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[pct-l] RE: Non linear hiking the PCT


  I am glad that you found such a rich experience on the PCT.  Life, it seems,
gives us some of its best moments when we drop our pretentions and let life
lead us on.  Sometimes we have to be blindsided and just about loose our life
in order to listen to what's being said.
  As to your comments about Ray Jardine and his way of doing things, you
shouldn't be so negative.  Ray is not the first person to preach a
fundamentally different way of doing something.  His book was published long
after I had done my thru-hike, but I recognize good advice when I see it.  Take
from it what you will, and then go on from there.  A person who truely believes
in themself need not tear down what they consider "false gods".  There are a
lot of people out there who will benefit from Ray's book and, daresay I, advice
from this list.  I know that when I take apart my motorcycle engine, I consult
the manual all the time - why re-invent the wheel? (No pun intended).  Besides,
as you stated, the real journey is beyond such petty details as equipment and
such, and I'm sure that Ray is very aware of that.
  As for people's attitudes, I will admit that it is hard to get out of the
thru-hiker mentality, especially when the person doesn't want to.  When I was
on my thru-hike, I joined up with other thru-hikers, bonded with them really,
because you want to be travelling with someone who shares your goal when you
are unsure of reaching that goal.  Someone such as yourself (once you decided
to do your own thing) might be percieved as being negative to someone else's
rather shaky goal (personal experience on the Appalachian Trail here) of going
all the way to Canada in a season.  On my trip, I met more than a few people
who were hiking the Cascade Crest or the Oregon Skyline (no Muir Trail folks as
I was way too early for that crowd) and I was more than happy to let them talk
my ear off about their trip, which they were obviously very proud of, and I
usually left them without saying that I had started in Mexico, as did every
thru-hiker I knew.  I really cannot believe there is much of an us-versus-them
thing on the trail.
  Just a few years after the PCT, I was living alone in a cabin in the Alaska
wilderness so that I could further explore the "other" side of me that was put
to the side on my thru-hike, so I know a bit about solitude.  They are both
intensely beautiful experiences, opposites in goals, but very complimentary in
other more significant ways, and I would trade neither of them for the other. 
There are times to sit and wonder, there are other times to seize the day and
push oneself beyond what one considered possible.  Sometimes insight arrives in
a gentle morning kiss, other times an almost destructive realization.
  If you are interested in reading something which covers it as well as any
book I've read recently, then I can heartily recommend Jon Krakaur's "Into the
Wild", the story of Chris McCandless, aka Alex Supertramp, who starved to death
in the Alaskan wilderness in 1992.  He was extremely idealistic (so was I), and
also vacillated between the extremes of being goal oriented and just letting
life be.  Unfortunately, he paid the ultimate price.  Ironically, he also spent
some time just hiking around on the PCT in the summer of 1990, among his many
wonderful adventures.
  I hope that you have equally valuble trip this summer when you return to the

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