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[pct-l] re: Congrats to Brian

On 10/30/01 4:45 PM CMountainDave@aol.com wrote (in part):

>Sorry but I view his 
>accomplishment as a threat to wilderness areas, not physically, yet, but in 
>other ways. 

What ways?  I respect and appreciate that you have a caring attitude, but 
frankly, this makes no sense.  Brian walked a lot.  How is this a 
"threat"!?  Again, I don't think we are talking about the wilderness at 
all, we are talking about how YOU feel threatened.

>Once the idea of going there to compete and set records (aka 
>Robinson)is gradually accepted, the idea of using wilderness as sanctuary 
>(aka Muir) from the pressures of civilization will fade and the whole idea 
>getting away from it all may come to be seen as bordering on being 
>sociopathic.  Eventually the entire 1964 wilderness act may be condemned as 
>being exclusive (which it is), quaint, and antiquated.

Keep in mind, "Getting away from it all" is your idea;  it's what you 
want to do.  That's great and perfectly valid, but please don't condemn 
others for having differing ways of appreciating the outdoors, please 
stop making completely illogical connections between the pace at which 
one hikes and "getting away from it all" (some people just want to get 
away sooner rather than later!), and certainly don't cite the Wilderness 
Act in defence of your own sociological preferences.  The Wilderness Act 
created wilderness, it obviously never intended to proscribe how far one 
hikes during a day!

And lastly, note that if you went for a hike with John Muir, he'd blow 
your socks off!  He was fit, he was fast, and he derived great joy from 
playing in nature.  Better read his stuff;  he was incredible.

> I've gone through all this before and it is getting to be redundant but 
>bring it up again: Who gets a better wilderness experience. Someone who 
>100 miles around Mt. Rainier in 24 hours, much of it in the dark by 
>flashlite, or someone who (also ultra lite) takes 10 days.  

This is an extremely easy question to answer:  "Whoever appreciates it 
the most".

Who gets a better experience:  those on foot or on horseback?  Those in 
winter or summer?  Those with heavy packs or those with light?  How about 
women or men?  Those who hike slowly or those who hike quickly?  These 
all are bizarre questions.  They all have the same answere.

The value of your experience is surprisingly unrelated to what is 
happening outside.  Its about what happens within you.  All the hiking, 
scenary, records, thru-hikes or section hikes are merely props to support 
our inner experience.  

>If a place is so 
>enjoyable, why the rush to get through it?

Do you hike one mile each day?  Why not?  By your own "logic", wouldn't 
that be "better"?  Maybe you could set the record for thru-hiking the PCT 
in the longest time, like 20 years.  (I actually think that would be 
interesting ... but obviously no better or no worse than in any other 

I sometimes cover 100 miles in a weekend.  I'm not in a rush, there's 
just places I want to see, and I gotta be back at work on Monday! 

> If you're racing, there's got to 
>be another reason besides just experiencing the place. Myself, I consider a 
>hike a success if I arrive back at the car in the last fading light no 
>how far I hiked. I love to linger. 

Good for you.  Sounds great.

>I bet  Brian and most ultra marathoners 
>would agree-- enjoyment of all the nuances that wilderness has to offer has 
>nothing to do with it, it's the goal and record (personal or otherwise)that 

Really no offence, but while your opinions of what you like to do are 
very valid and nice reading about, stating and then judging what you 
think other people are thinking and feeling puts you into very tenuous 
territory.  Are you sure you want to be doing that?!  Judging other 
people who you've never met is a shaky practice!  People like me get 
alarmed and write you letters like this one!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and I look forward to hearing about 
what you experienced on your upcoming hike!  It sounds really nice.

Buzz Burrell