[at-l] Earl Shaffer's hike‏

Jim Bullard jim.bullard at gmail.com
Tue Jul 5 09:03:24 CDT 2011

Some thoughts:

   - ATC doesn't recognize "Thru-hikes". They recognize 2000 milers defined
   as hiking the entire trail as far as is practicable. They don't care if you
   did in in one season or 30. They don't care if when you finished the trail
   "X" years later was a different route than when you started. They allowed
   that Earl's detours were okay and they have allowed such for others since.
   The only recognition for a single season thru is the one you carry in your
   own head.
   - A one season hike of the AT represents what is probably the most
   individual freedom to do what one wants, when one wants & how one wants in
   their entire life. No parents, priests, bosses, no responsibilities to
   significant others, etc. Just do what is necessary to survive and not be
   obnoxious to others you meet on the trail. So why the urge to impose RULES,
   not just for yourself but in judgement of how others do it? You want to
   pass/touch/kiss every white blaze, fine. Do it. But recognize that is simply
   fulfilling your own desire.
   - The argument that someone else calling their hike a "Thru-hike" when it
   doesn't meet the standard you set for yourself somehow devalues your hike
   sounds remarkably like the argument that if gays are allowed to marry that
   will devalue marriages of heterosexuals. Or that those who don't follow my
   religion are going to hell. Thru-hiking is thru-hiking and love is love and
   belief in God is belief in God only if you are like me?
   - This whole discussion is like a flashback to Trail Place. We just need
   someone to propose trail monitors to insure thru-hiking purity and we'll be

Jim Bullard
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