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[pct-l] Thank you for your letters.

Dear Mr. Snyder's class,

I read about six of your letters while hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail in last month. They have been very encouraging. Whoever leaves them likes to pick the rockiest, steepist, driest, hotest parts of the trail.

But I wanted to tell you: It's reallly not that bad. In fact, it's kind of great. Most of the bad things are here too, but they're small, fixable problems. Too cold, get a better jacket. Too lazy, too bad. Too tired, slow down and smell the cactus.

The cactus smell pretty good, actually. The wild world is amazing, and hiking gives you all day in it.

I'm hiking not to get to Canada, not to teach or to triumph over adversity or to prove myself, but beause it's wonderful. I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be.

Here's an 'Earth Prayer' by Edward Abbey I found pasted in a trail register:

Benedicto: May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
May your rivers flow without end, meandering through pastoral valleys tinkling with bells, past temples and castles and poets' towers 
into a dark primeval forest where tigers belch and monkeys howl, through miasmal and mysterious swamps and down into a desert of red rock, 
blue mesas, domes and pinnacles and grottos of endless stone, and down again into a deep vast ancient unknown chasm 
where bars of sunlight blaze on profiled cliffs, 
where deer walk across the white sand beaches, 
where storms come and go 
as lightning clangs upon the high crags,
where something strange and more beautfiul and more full of wonder than your deepest dreams waits for you --
beyond that next turning of the canyon walls.

Thanks again for your letters. I hope I meet you on a trail someday.

Ken "Treadwell" Kaplan
Bonny Doon, CA

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