[at-l] But!

Jim and_or Ginny Owen spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 22 10:05:30 CST 2010

It "can" be, but more commonly the action is "hitchhiking around the hard sections".  

And that's not walking, and therefore not thruhiking.   


Walk softly,




From: jplynch at crosslink.net
To: spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com; trailr at aol.com; at-l at backcountry.net
Subject: Re: [at-l] But!
Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 10:34:37 -0500

I always thought that "yellow-blazing" was road walking. 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Jim and_or Ginny Owen 
To: Russ Dade ; at-l 
Sent: Friday, January 22, 2010 10:24 AM
Subject: Re: [at-l] But!

Dog - 
I don't fight with it at all.  Or about it.  And YOU are welcome to define it as you see fit.  
BUT ... my reasoning is as follows (in ascending order of importance) -
Note that da Gubmint (USFS, NPS) define "through-hiking" as walking "through" a National 
Park or other Gubmint entity.  And a "through-hiker" as the warm body that's "through-hiking". 
Present tense.  
"My" definition was established in the Thruhiking Papers about 14 years ago as follows -
IMO a thruhiker is someone who walks from Maine to Georgia (or Canada to Mexico) or 
vice versa on one of the three major hiking trails in the US (i.e. - performs a "thruhike). 
Pack or not, blue-blazes or not, supported or not, running, walking, crawling, in one 
direction or both, North-to-south or vice versa, whatever - no restrictions EXCEPT -- 
yellow-blazing (i.e. - hitchhiking or riding around large sections of the Trail) particularly 
with no intent to go back and hike those sections. "Yellow-blazing" means that person 
isn't walking and cannot, therefore, logically claim to be a "thruhiker". 
For me, a thruhiker is someone who makes their best effort to "connect the steps" between 
the two ends of the trail. 
No implication of past tense.  
Finally, common usage is that a thruhiker is someone who is presently hiking.  
BUT - if your definition works for you, that's cool.  
BUT - I have too many years of ingrained habit with respect to the word usage.  So I'll just have to 
agree to disagree about it.  
Personally, I think the important part was the final statement in that passage of the Thruhiking
Papers - 
Whatever definition you use for "long trail" or "thruhike" or "thruhiker", it's a very simple concept - 
at least until the sea-lawyers and "hair-splitters" start tearing it apart. Don't let them confuse you. 
Decide what YOU want, plan for it - and then go hike your own hike.
Just sayin', my friend...
Walk softly,



Subject: Re: [at-l] But!
To: spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com; at-l at backcountry.net
From: trailr at aol.com
Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 11:19:12 +0000

I fight with the word usage once in a while. People along the trail ask if you are thruhikers, and the answer they are looking for is yes. To others, everyone attemping a Thruhike is a thruhiker. But, if you are a Thruhiker in Georgia and you quit in Tennessee, are you still a thruhiker? No..... But that doesn't lessen your accomplishment. Anyone that gets out there is a winner to me.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

From: Jim and_or Ginny Owen <spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com> 
Date: Fri, 22 Jan 2010 01:47:08 -0500
To: Russ Dade<trailr at aol.com>; at-l<at-l at backcountry.net>
Subject: [at-l] But!

HotDog wrote:
>You're a "Thruhiker" when you finish... Until that point you are "Thruhiking". Never 
>considered myself a thruhiker until I was on Katahdin touching the sign.

I have a different take on it - 
If one is "thruhiking", then one must be a "thruhiker". Otherwise one would not be thruhiking. 
When one finishes, then one is technically an "ex-thruhiker".  
Unless, like me, one's mind never leaves the Trail. In which case, one is always a thruhiker.  
But keep in mind that, as one of my co-workers (for 25 years) once said - I'm different.  :)

Of course, YMMV.  
All these complicated discussions are gonna give me a headache. 
Walk softly,



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