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[pct-l] Bill Qualls Introduction

Hello everyone. I've been listening in on this list for a couple of
months now, so I guess I'm long overdue in introducing myself. My
name is Bill Qualls. I am 40 years old, married, with four children.
I spent nine years as a mainframe programmer before becoming a 
full time college instructor. I spent six and a half years as an
information systems instructor but that's not much fun anymore since
most instruction involves training on the use of packages instead of
teaching programming logic and languages. So I switched over to the
math department and have been an assistant professor of mathematics
here at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, IL for the last
year and a half. 

I am a native of southern California - mostly Whittier. Growing up I
did the boy scout thing including Eagle, Vigil, Woodbadge, Natl. 
Camp School, etc., and one week-long hike each summer of my high 
school years, mostly along the John Muir Trail. I am very grateful for
the outstanding scouting experience I had growing up, but I am certainly
intrigued by the newer "radical" methods discussed on this list,
including stealth camping, tennis shoes, lighter loads, tarps vs. 
tents, etc.

I am no stranger to minimalist camping. In 1976 I did BYU's three
week survival course, first as a student, and then twice more as
an instructor. In 1995 I did Boulder Outdoor Survival School's two
week course, just to see if the old man could still do it. Yes.
(BOSS took over BYU's survival programs years ago.)

Of course, those (survival) methods are far too extreme for the PCT
thru-hiker. Finding the perfect balance between the boy scout way,
the "Ray way", and BYU/BOSS: that's the quest / question. It gives
us an excuse to keep on experimenting, right?

Several weeks ago someone mentioned Ryback's book. I read it in the
sixth grade and have been intrigued by it ever since. I understand
that he really didn't do it as he said he did, but I will always be
grateful for what he did do and for having written about it because 
it has given me a dream. 

I really enjoy reading the list, especially the trip reports (everyone's
favorite part?) Many thanks to all of you contributors. I hope I can
return the favor in some way.

My plan is to do the California section of the PCT in summer of 1998.

I do have a couple questions and comments, but I'll send them in 
a separate post.

Best wishes to you all,

Bill Qualls

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