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[pct-l] Martin Papendick

Martin Papendick?  

In 1971 Eric Ryback shocked the backpacking world by publishing his account 
of his "first" thru-hike of the PCT.  It was controversial as he exagerated 
miles, pack weights, elevations, etc. and was widely criticized and chastised.  
However, his account, inspired many of us to consider such a trek and the early 
hikers owe him much.

As is the case often when someone steps up and says "I was the FIRST!"  
information comes slowly leaking out that perhaps this is not so.  Such is the case 

After being one of the first to hike the Appalachian trail in 1951, Martin 
Papendick, a young WWII veteran, looked around for something no one had done 
before and considered a thru-hike of the PCT.  On July 4th, 1952 he left British 
Columbia and hiked an estimated 2,275 miles to reach the Mexico border near 
Campo on December 1.  His account is recorded in a short article in the 
periodical "Appalachia, XXVIII: 374-376" called "Pacific Crest Trails" by Martin 

In a side note with the article it says, "Martin D. Papendick's account of 
his trip over the Appalachian Trail appeared in our last number, "Impressions of 
a Long Hike", Appalachia, XXIX: 236-239.  Now he describes his long-planned 
trip over the crests of the mountains along the Pacific Coast, where some day 
there may be a completed Pacific Crest Trail."

Martin dryly describes his route, which is quite different than what is now 
walked, and unfortunately for us puts no words of wisedom or insights into his 
state of mind in taking on this incredible task.  

He has never been heralded in this hiking community.  He never heralded or 
sought attention for his accomplishment.  A few years ago he slipped into the 
deliriums of Alzeimers and never recovered. 

I respectfully call for recognition of Martin D. Papendick's hike as THE 
first thru-hike and respectfully ask the PCTA to honor his memory in some 
permanent way along the trail.  A bridge, a marker, a tree, a rock, something  that 
will memorialize his pioneering spirit.

I will personally donate funds to this end.


Greg Hummel