[at-l] Thru hikes, purist hikes, goals. WAS Earl Shaffer's hike

trailr at aol.com trailr at aol.com
Mon Jul 4 19:46:33 CDT 2011

I got on the trail in 03, because I got laid off from work. No purist reasons, but I ended up doing a Thruhike past all the White blazes... Why? Well, because it was easy... Does it make my thruhike any better than someone elses? Nope... Was I into the "journey", oblivious of the Destination? Hell no! To me, it was all about Katahdin... But enjoying the journey a little didn't hurt. My thru hike really sucked in many ways... For every good thru hiking  moment, there were many "WTF am I doing, this hurts" moments.   Between injuries and breathing problems, I should have quit, but I kept thinking of Katahdin (and that too many people knew I was out there, for me to quit...).
I wasn't out there finding myself , or communing with nature. I was trying to get to Katahdin, the goal was my incentive. My Thru hike was one of the best things I have ever done, and one of the worst. Too many pills to kill the pain on the trail makes you abuse muscles and joints beyond their limits.  Sometimes the price of Success is high... So hike your own hike... Enjoy yourself, and judge not.

------Original Message------
From: Amy Forinash
Sender: at-l-bounces at backcountry.net
To: at-l
Subject: Re: [at-l] Earl Shaffer's hike
Sent: Jul 4, 2011 8:10 PM

I don't get why everybody is so judgey.  It's not like the Guinness Book is out there keeping a record on every hiker.  We like to hike.  We go hike.  You might intend to do the whole trail in one go, and you might even actually do it that way, despite weather and injuries and illness and stuff back home.  And if you do, I bet you get a huge sense of accomplishment.  (Which, yay!) But why would I care if you did it that way?  (In other than a "go, you, that's awesome" sort of sentiment?)

Guess I was just raised wrong.  Maybe if I were raised Christian it would feel more natural to me to rate other people's leisure time activities.   I think I am on the other side of a cultural divide here.

I like to hike.  See y'all on the trail.  Unless you're going to judge me, in which case I'll be on the blue blaze.


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