[at-l] what are you reading?

hiker 317 hiker317 at gmail.com
Sat Mar 17 13:06:50 CDT 2012

Currently reading: Diary of a Common Soldier in the American Revolution,
1775-1783 by Jeremiah Greenman (1758-1828)
    I think often of the headstones that i'd see on rare occasion along the
AT, inscribed ' [A ?]Soldier of The Revolution'

On Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 9:55 AM, RockDancer <rockdancer97 at comcast.net>wrote:

> Got this one from eBay this week, a real page-turner:
> Maret, Darrell The Philosopher's Guide (1990)
> This one is the last edition printed by the ATC, unmarked, unused I was
> thrilled to have it pop up on my regular eBay search. I've read the first
> 40
> pages, the boilerplate, that discusses weather, trail access, gear
> selection, attitude on the trail. Very thoughtfully written and in some
> ways
> reminds me of my thinking when I headed out in '97 for my thruhike. The MSR
> Whisperlite was just making its appearance on the trail, now it's been
> passed by. Packs, sleeping bags, tents have all evolved.
> One neat feature of the book is a "season summary" for the previous 2
> years.
> Maybe 5-10 paragraphs saying what happened out there as reported by hikers
> sending info to Maret.
> 1988: It was a dry year, and the finding of flowing springs was an
> obsession
> with hikers. The drought led to fires which closed section of the Trail and
> forced hikers either onto roads or to "legitimately" skip sections.
> A woman camper was murdered just off the AT in PA. A man who had been
> living
> in the woods was given a life sentence in the case.
> It was also a year when a very few rowdy and inconsiderate hikers put at
> jeopardy many of the facilitates and much of the good-will that the
> numerous
> responsible hikers in past years had spent making. Some of their antics:
> staying in towns for several days on end looking shiftless and suspicious,
> disregarding notices and disturbing the nesting of peregrine falcons,
> disregarding rules in Shenandoah and getting picked up, getting arrested
> and
> making national news for being dangerously drunk on the AT and causing a
> search, urinating from the second story window of a hostel in plain sight
> of
> neighbors having breakfast , getting drunk in a church hostel in spite of
> rules against alcohol, disobeying a Katahdin park ranger's camping
> instructions and getting picked up, being so loud and obnoxious as to scare
> away a B & B's regular customers. One of these hikers was heard to say, "I
> don't care, I'll never be back here again."
> 1989: In contrast to the drought years of 87, and 88, 89 was a monsoon, one
> of the wettest years on record in some places along the Trail. One hiker
> reported that it rained 69 of his first 100 days! With the rain came
> leaking
> shelters, submerged Trail (Wataugua Lake), lightweight boots coming apart,
> and hoards of merciless bugs.
> An ice storm hit North Georgia on Feb. 17, resulting in thousands of
> blow-downs. For those hikers starting in March, the Trail was an obstacle
> course. By April, and after hundreds of people-hours, the GATC had most of
> the way clear.
> A late snowstorm dumped eight inches of snow in GA and NC on April 8,
> driving many unprepared hikers out of the mountains and into towns and
> hostels for the duration. Another 2 inches fell in the highland of NC and
> VA
> on May 7.
> On June 19, there was an attempted rape of a thruhiker between Don Nelan
> and
> Moreland Gap Shelters. The suspect, who had been hanging around the
> shelters
> for several weeks beforehand, was not prepared for the cool-headedness of
> the thruhiker. She managed to escape. The thruhiker was unharmed, took a
> couple of weeks off, then returned to the trail.
> A frightening recount from Hank Lanman, "I was spending the night in West
> Mountain Shelter in Bear Mtn SP with Stephen Harmelink (The Void) when
> someone came into the shelter and shot him in the back while he lay in his
> bag ..." It was a shoulder wound from a small-caliber bullet. The Void and
> Hank walked back to the parkway and called police. No suspect was caught.
> (It goes on to describe Hurricane Hugo and that all but 6 miles of trail
> were open by end of year, that 1990 might have a lot of "leaners and
> hangers" ready to come down on hikers.)
> Business cards among thruhikers were big in 89, some very clever, some
> ended
> up littering the trail or were found stuffed into tree bark. A check of
> hostel owners found the 1989 hikers, as a group, were one of the most
> mature
> and responsible ever.
> (ME again) We don't often hear these kinds of yearly assessments, and
> almost
> never hear of small assaults, thefts, conflicts on the trail unless they
> merit the attention of the national media. As ALDHA is the group closest to
> the trail, sort of "on the ground" each year, I think there should be a way
> to record and then catalog the whole gamut of events, good and bad, that
> occur and tabulate them yearly. Then a hiker heading out for his "big Year"
> would have more facts at hand regarding the numbers and kinds of trail
> incidents.
> --RockDancer
> _______________________________________________
> at-l mailing list
> at-l at backcountry.net
> http://mailman.backcountry.net/mailman/listinfo/at-l
> Please trim this footer if replying to the list.   Do not send entire
> digests in your replies.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://patsy.hack.net/pipermail/at-l/attachments/20120317/346f1af3/attachment.html 

More information about the at-l mailing list