[Cdt-l] Embrace the

Jim and_or Ginny Owen spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com
Tue Nov 9 20:45:12 CST 2010

lol - we had our whiteout on Black Mt in Montana.  We had our snow in Glacier. We had NO water 
information for the bootheel (we were the first to hike that route - as the "official" route into Lordsburg). 
And I was doing it on a knee that needed replacement - my knee mechanic told me he didn't think I 
could make the distance, but he thought I should try it anyway.  Good man.  And he was "almost" 
right.  At least we didn't have to deal with another rock slide like the one in '99 that took off the end 
of one of Ginny's fingers.  But even that had a positive effect - it saved "my" life. I know - not everyone 
thinks that's a positive :-))

Still no "brutality" - not from my point of view.  The positives far outweighed the negatives for 
both hikes.  
We've watched people do the Trail for over 15 years now.  And read the registers from 20, 30 
years ago.  And talked to the people who did it before and after us.  And the "brutality" is always 
related to either their attitude or their actions.  Has nothing to do with the Trail.  Yeah - the Trail 
is harder some years than others. Snow, thunderstorms, drought, maintenance, marking...whatever.  
And it was a whole lot harder 10, 20, 30 years ago.  But in 2006, it was comparable - and in some 
places, better marked, than the PCT. 
It still all comes down to attitude and actions.  It's not the problems  you encounter that matter - 
it's how you handle them.  And if you're encountering "brutality", then you need to change what 
you're doing - or the way you're doing it.  Just like everything else in life. 
I know you learned that - you wrote it in your journal.  :-)
Have a good night,



Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2010 16:44:38 -0800
From: jonathan at phlumf.com
To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] Embrace the

I think everyone has their own experience... & it's so hard to compare one hike to another. If you get caught in a white-out in the San Juans, it can be pretty brutal indeed. But, you could breeze-through a few days earlier, and have a downright pleasant stroll. These kinds of random things can really make all the difference in one's perception of the CDT. I think it's best not to read too deeply into these catch phrases. It's just something fun to say & good motivation in case the going does happen to get rough. 



From: davidspangler at hotmail.com
To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2010 12:13:21 -0800
Subject: [Cdt-l] Embrace the

Thanks for bringing up the annoying "Embrace the Brutality" which is emblazoned across the Yogi Guide.  All trails are tough in their own way but the CDT is very doable.  We often Embraced, not the brutality, but the beauty, solitude, lack of trail, new friends and kindness of strangers.  
The "Embrace the Brutality" was a running joke for us because the saying is such a joke.  We came up with "Embrace the Stupidity" to deal with the random signs, trail junctions etc.  Although this or any pithy saying doesn't do a trail justice. 
The Yogi guide is great but at times it makes the trail seem like something unattainable--if your planning consider this basis. 

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