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[pct-l] Punk Remark

William writes >> I merely wanted to remind everybody that a walk in Nature
has so many
values, so much to teach, so much to absorb, so much that we are overlooking

A thru-hike is a lot of things but a simple "Walk in Nature". One way or
another all thru-hikers are in some form of competition. The very nature of
the activity makes it so. 

If you want an extended  hike in the woods, simply drive to the nearest
forest, park and walk. Keep walking if you feel the need. Travel on some
indeterminate course, with no thought or consideration to destination or

For most thru-hikers the competition isn't with another person, but it often
is with nature or oneself. To complete one, you'll need to be able to finish
before snow closes the trail. For most of us the biggest competition is
within one's self. To overcome self doubt, to take on something bigger than
ourselves and finish it.

>> They cannot sit around the campfire and have a discussion without
reference to their daily mileage.  It is their shallow victory. <<

A shallow victory indeed. When I did my first 30 mile day last summer I
finished it in extreme pain with a body racked by waves of cramps. I didn't
boast my accomplishments, I was too busy trying to keep from crying out and
disturbing everyone else's sleep. Never the less I was indeed proud. I was
proud I was still alive. I was proud my body had recovered from cancer
enough to carry me that far. I was proud that I pushed when I felt like
giving up. I was proud because I knew that only a few short years ago hiking
a few short miles was a major accomplishment. And I'd covered 33 in a single

It was a shallow victory indeed. But then aren't all victories shallow when
they happen to someone else. 

Ron "Fallingwater" Moak