[at-l] hike prep

Jim and_or Ginny Owen spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com
Thu Dec 10 11:53:00 CST 2009

Haven’t posted here for a while – but this was worth stopping by for - Cody Girl wrote:> And yes, the family stuff is already begun.  They want some specific > time tables from me.  Laughable, since I am clueless myself. As someone said – give’em a schedule.  It might even prove to be “close”.  Maybe.  I’ve always planned 6 month hikes (except for the PCT) – and then finished within a couple days of the 6 month target.  But NOT because I kept to the “schedule”.  That always fell apart within days and then just didn’t matter.  
 >Yes, I read the Thru Hiking Papers and I thank Jim & Ginny very much >for taking the time to put all that info together. You’re welcome, but truthfully, we HAD to do that – for ourselves as much as anyone else.  It was a relief valve for the screaming pressure to go back to the Trail at a time when it wasn’t possible for us to do so. 
 >So my question.  When people talk about the mental aspect, what >exactly are they saying?  Stick to it ness?  Refusal to quit?  >Optimistic attitude? And so on.  I'd love to hear all of your thoughts >on what mental skills it takes to get to Katahdin.   And this may be a >silly thought, but if you have any ideas on how to DEVELOP those >pertinent mental skills I'd like to hear that too.  Conditioning for >the brain?  Yep.
The advice you’ve gotten here is the best there is.  I won’t repeat it, but I’ll add one thing 
– How much do you WANT it (the Trail)?   I wanted it enough to finish with major 
physical injury – on 3 out of 5 thruhikes.  But then I’m “intrepid” (i.e. - too stupid to 
 >It's funny you say that.  I was thinking about this last night, it >seems it's sort of like running away to join the circus, LOL!
Robert Rubin wrote: >I know it's anathema to mention it on this list, but that's why I>would hesitate to carry a cell phone--for me, the temptation to use it >would be too great while on the trail, and it would make it too easy >to not leave all the other stuff behind once I climbed the hill >leading up from the roadcrossing.
Robert – it’s really good to hear your voice again.  And I’ll say this about cell phones – 
we’ve lost the war.  But I still won’t carry one on the trail.  In spite of those who claim it 
doesn’t change their hike – it most certainly does.  And not for the better.  Ran into the 
cell phone thing this year on the PCT.  And our families are still horrified that we won’t 
carry one.  We just tell them that they won’t work in the places we go.  Which is largely 
true because we deliberately head for those “blank spots in the cell phone coverage.”  J
Rockdancer wrote: 
 >I just checked my mileage log and found it took me 5 days to reach >Neels gap, a hike I did this past June in 3 days. In '97 it was on day >15 when I finally broke the rule and went for a double digit day & did >12.9 from Standing Indian Mtn to Big Spring Shelter (mostly downhill). >I averaged about 6 miles per day for the first 2 weeks.
>>You can be in it for the long haul if you are patient & build up to it. 
One of the greatest errors on the Trail (ANY Trail) is to go too far, too fast, too soon.  We’ve seen 
the 20, 30, 40 and 50 mile per day hikers zip by us for nearly 20 years now.  
With few exceptions, we’ve finished our trails - many, if not most, of them haven’t.  
We’re still hiking – very few of them are.  Nuff said. 
 Ke Kaahawe - 
Mike – one of these days we’ll catch up to you while you’re home.  Won’t be this year (2010) 
though – we’ll be trying to finish what we started in 2009. 
And back to Cody Girl - 
All that said – when I first found at-l there was NOBODY who knew enough about thruhiking 
(or was willing to talk about it) to give the kind of advice that you’ve gotten on this thread.  And it 
took literally years to get people to stand up and answer questions like this.  
So – I’m very, very proud of the people on this list.  They’ve hiked – and learned – and come 
back here to help others.  And this thread proves the quality of both their learning – and their helping.  
Finally – for Ginny – Happy Birthday.  XX years old and still with the circus.  


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