[pct-l] The Herd

JoAnn M. Michael jomike at cot.net
Wed Mar 14 13:34:05 CDT 2007

Far out, solid and right on!   :)

are we there yet

Message: 5
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2007 21:43:46 -0700 (PDT)
From: Paul Magnanti <pmags at yahoo.com>
Subject: [pct-l] The Herd
To: PCT MailingList <pct-l at backcountry.net>
Message-ID: <547380.68182.qm at web33611.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1

A few observations....(longish):

1) This topic comes up every year now.  Add this to Oil Can's great Carlinesque things that should not be talked about on the PCT-L:
>>"So can my dog carry my bear can while I ride my mountain bike along the
>>PCT? That way I'd have room to pack my gun to protect myself from the
>>illegal immigrants (or minute men)!"

I'll add cell phones and the KOP to this list. :)

2) >>"If there were more distance trails...SNIP... but unfortunately, there are a 
>>limited number of them in this country (three, to be exact)."


Ken and Marcia would adamantly disagree. ;-)

Besides the ADT,  I can think of the Florida Trail, The North Country Trail,
the Pacific Nortwest Trail, The Great Eastern Trail, etc. These are all 1000+ mile trails.
The ADT and the NCT are almost 4000 miles! 

There are others of varying lengths. http://www.aldhawest.org/trails/ot_def.asp

The "Big Three" have much beauty, grandeur and moments of the sublime. But they get all the attention.
There are other trails (and routes) that have much beauty, grandeur and moments of the sublime as well.
The desert southwest is calling strongly to me, for example.
So many mile to hike, so many places to see, so many mountains to climb and canyons to explore.
Alas, I only have one life to live.

3)>> then perhaps the impact of the 
>>socialites on the trail would be lessened,

Well, now that is an interesting observation. As with the poster, I too am a mainly solo LD hiker.
But who am I to say that our way is the best way to hike? Maybe the "socialite hikers" are ruining
the trail? But keep in mind we are talking about 300 hikers total out of how many who use the trail?
I can't see that big of an impact on the trail itself overall. (Impacting on off-trail resources is 
another ball of wax, though)

Truth be told, I love the KOP as an alumni. If I did it again, I'd probably start later and skip the KOP
for ***ME***.  I don't enjoy hiking in a crowd. Some prefer the social interaction.

I am not arrogant enough to say that my way is the best to hike a trail. I won't whip out that
nugget about hiking we like to use...but there is truth to it. There is NONE, NO, ZIP, NADA, NIENTE
need to insult other hikers when expressing opinions. I'll save everyone the trouble who feels the need
to do so by summing it all up: YOUR OPINION SUCKS! MY WAY IS BETTER! :)  
It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable.

4)  >>but please leave the wilderness to those of use 
    >>who need and cherish it for what it is,What is it? I need it...but again, is my definition more valid than Joe Thru-hiker? My mom's? Yours? 

5) Thru-wallet? Gave me a chuckle..but over the top. Thru-hikers don't pay a cent. The pay pal option is for people who donate.
And the vendors? I see people who are part of the community, not K2 Sports. To be honest, most of the purchasing is done by
non-thru hikers.   I sincerely doubt the KOP is exactly a money maker for venture capitalists. :) Let's not use hyperbole here.

6) The KOP people rock. Despite some more cynical views, they are doing it to give back to the community they love.
You may disagree if the KOP is a good thing (which is perferectly fine)..but please, let's not give Greg, Bob, Carl et al ulterior motives. 

They have big hearts..and big smiles all weekend to match.

7) Having said all the above..a  Trail Days-like event (meaning further up the trail ad and at a later date) may not be a bad idea. But, (THIS IS A BIG BUT), for those who are most adamant about moving the location and the date, have you thought of organizing it yourself/helping out withe current organizers?

I belong to an outdoor group. Sometimes people kvetch there is a not a easier/harder/longer/shorter trips. I say "Have you thought of organizing one?!?!?".  They shut up, sip their lattes on Pearl St and continue to kvetch. :)

7) Impact on town services: No denying that. I think it would be the same overall. But the KOP does funnel a bulk of people at once.
I know more hikers now, though, are starting early and hitching back, going to the KOP and starting later, etc.  Perhaps
this impact "all-at-once" will be lessened. I honestly don't know. 

 What will NOT lessen are the amount of hikers on the trails. KOP or no KOP.

8) Finally: The Internet is not the trail. Thank (insert deity(ies) of your choice here)!!
No matter how you decide to start the PCT, enjoy every step.  It is a wonderful journey....that is over much too soon. 

Ignore these squabbles.
Only former thru-hikers who miss the trails terribly bother to write 8 point essays that ramble on anyway. :)

The true harvest of my life is intangible.... a little stardust 
caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched

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