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[pct-l] re: trail tread and other curiosities

If the PCT were better marked, arguably it would be less of a challenge. Do
we necessarily want that? Do we want an endless series of 2 by 6 inch blazes
painted on trees, or an armada of PCT-labelled carsonite posts floating out
toward the horizon and beyond? Or even merely at the occasional confusion
junction (the "A Tree" comes affectionately to mind), should we never be in
doubt as to our next move?

What is a wilderness adventure without, upon occasion, confusion? Or doubt.
Or worry. Or fear. What of learning the skills to overcome the physical and
mental obstacles in our path? Of sound decision making, or deductive
reasoning, or of calming the inner rage invoked after 3 miles of following
the wrong trail at a poorly marked junction (it can happen, even in Canada).

The PCT should be better marked. It should also be better maintained - too
much brush on the trail, too much erosion. It should feature more water
sources, and fewer fords, less rain, lower snowpack. The interminable dust
along the path should cling less to the hiker's legs and settle more
readily. The hiking season along the route should be longer, more
accommodating. The sun shouldn't be so strong and hot. Townsfolk should give
a hoot about hikers and the trail (especially in Sierra City). And the
guidebook ought be infallible, should read more like a work fitting of the
dialog I'm having out there with my Creator.

For that matter, the PCT should be graded more ruggedly, something befitting
of a long route through high mountains. Hikers should learn what it's like
to become anaerobic at a one mph pace. The trail is too easy. The least we
can do is befuddle ourselves at obscure places like the A Tree. After all,
what is a PCT thru-hike if not a painfully beautiful trip to the backside of
the moon?

- blisterfree


From: Frank Kroger <fkroger1999@yahoo.com>

I would say that in total the trail is badly marked, it is not just stolen =
signs that are a problem. Though the PCT was established in the 1930's (I s=
eem to remember), more than 70 years later seemingly well intentioned range=
rs are putting up brand new signs in  2002 that fail to include "PCT" on th=
em. The signage on much of the PCT is comparable to a freeway that fails to=
 identify the freeway, the cities and only signs local cross streets. Many =
signs that include "PCT" fail to indicate both the North and South directio=
ns of the trail though the trail is in fact continuous in both directions.