[at-l] But!

Mark Hudson mvhudson at gmail.com
Thu Jan 21 05:44:06 CST 2010

I was always taken aback on the trail when section hikers looked in awe on
thru-hikers. They're always doing the first two weeks, the hardest two
weeks. And talk about persevering - all I had to do was follow white blazes
for 2,000 miles and I was done. They had the logistics of trying to set up
the transportation loop every year, getting to the trail, arranging
shuttles, etc. Not to mention taking 10 years or so to complete the trail (I
don't think I have the attention span for that!).

Somewhere near Damascus we were leapfrogging with a crew of four or five
section hikers, for most of a week. One night we were sharing a campsite,
and one of the section hikers threw out a question along the lines of "At
what point do you consider a section hiker on a par with a thru-hiker?" (I
wish I could remember the exact wording - it came out much better than my
rough approximation there).
This wasn't something any of us had ever considered. So we threw it back and
forth for a bit and decided that if you were out for two weeks or longer,
and not hiding from the weather in town or motels, you were hiking what we
were hiking, eating what we ate, hurting like we hurt, and worst of all,
smelling like us too! ;-)

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