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View Full Version : Should an AT thru-hike be able to include other trails?



Frolicking Dino
2008-03-04, 18:33
This was discussed a while back on a less serious site. Maybe we can really discuss it seriously here.

Frolicking Dino
2008-03-04, 19:11
Should someone be able to use something like the BMT or part of the GET to do a thru-hike? The corridor concept is in use on several other trails - the PCT and CDT come immediately to mind. Why should the AT be any different?

Amigi
2008-03-04, 21:26
If you start in Springer, end in Kat, dont yellow blaze, and stay on trails, I dont care what you do, its a thru. Life is too frigging short to concern yourself with this crap. This whole issue irritates me. ( Not irritation directed at the local friendly dino ).

I have met hikers that dont think its a thru if you leave the AT all at. No blues around hard parts when your ankles hurt, no side trails ( like the red-white dot trail in NJ, cant remember the name ), etc. It's just ridiculous.

Frolicking Dino
2008-03-04, 23:23
You pretty much stated the way I feel about the 2000 miler patches. I understand the ATC wants to be only about the AT, but the world has changed and this is no more feasible than th US being only about the US these days. It just doesn't work that way anymore - and hasn't for quite a while.

warraghiyagey
2008-03-05, 03:16
For sure, Dino is a poopie head. With that said, a thru-hike is only what it is to the person that hiked it. I may take the Gulf Hagas this year. I may take many interesting side trails and blue-blazes. I may not. But after I reach Springer, my friends will hear the story (all inclusive) of how I hiked the Appalachian Trail. The story won't include signing in at Harper's Ferry or getting a patch. That's not in the least germane to my trail experience.
And if I'm fortunate enough it will include a story of a night or couple days in the south where I camped and or hiked with a couple of interesting and graceful Dinos and a Dixi poopiehed - I mean critter.
And a meeting with a NOBO that goes by the name of Sargent Rock (which is a curious birthname BTW).
Maybe even a tatoo on this virgin skin - but for sure regardless the twists and turns, If I leave Katahdin and walk to Springer, I'll tell friends about my AT thru-hike, and ohhhhh how delicious it will all be!!!

Frolicking Dino
2008-03-05, 08:12
..... With that said, a thru-hike is only what it is to the person that hiked it. I may take the Gulf Hagas this year. I may take many interesting side trails and blue-blazes. I may not. But after I reach Springer, my friends will hear the story (all inclusive) of how I hiked the Appalachian Trail. The story won't include signing in at Harper's Ferry or getting a patch. That's not in the least germane to my trail experience.
And if I'm fortunate enough it will include a story of a night or couple days in the south where I camped and or hiked with a couple of interesting and graceful Dinos and a Dixi poopiehed - I mean critter.......... I'll tell friends about my AT thru-hike, and ohhhhh how delicious it will all be!!!Sanity
Hiking is sanity.
Unto Jesus, be all glory
Honor, and praise

Sanity
Without authority
They're dethroned
A hike of his own
Experience raised

So hike on, climb up on high
Katahdin to scale
Magnify, come glorify
Hiking your own hike

Sanity
Hiking is sanity.
Hike of your own, thru-hiker you are
Blue-blazes be damned

The chance you will see Dinos are very, very good. Can't speak for Miss Dixi.....

Frolicking Dino
2008-03-05, 10:20
Some have suggested the GET - not the AT - should become the premier trail in the eastern US. What do you think of that option? Thru-hiking the GET could then be done using the corridor approach and the AT would just be one of the trails used to accomplish that.

ki0eh
2008-03-05, 10:24
Hi all!

As I tried to say somewhere else, I don't think it's realistic for the ATC to embrace a 2000-miler concept that includes resupply-length diversions elsewhere. The ATC is embedded in the unique matrix of relationships with clubs, states, and federal agencies that enables the Appalachian Trail Project.

Obviously, a thru-hiker can go wherever they want on an open trail or an open road and they can recognize that themselves, or gain wider recognition through circulation in our clubs, communities, and forums.

If there's a need or desire to formalize that recognition, hopefully some organization can be found or created to do that. Unfortunately I'm a long way from being able to thru-hike myself so I personally don't feel able to nominate likely candidate groups to which I don't belong.
________
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Frolicking Dino
2008-03-05, 10:40
KI0eh, do you feel the corridor concept could work for the GET even though you don't feel it will ever work for the AT?

warraghiyagey
2008-03-05, 11:25
Some have suggested the GET - not the AT - should become the premier trail in the eastern US. What do you think of that option? Thru-hiking the GET could then be done using the corridor approach and the AT would just be one of the trails used to accomplish that.

There is 'sanity' in what you say here. But for my heart at this point, the AT as is, is the path I've been looking forward to. As I finish my hike I may have a better understanding of it's path and if an alternate system might be even better.

Lone Wolf
2008-03-05, 11:28
there are no rules. just hike. who gives a shit about patches and certificates

Frolicking Dino
2008-03-05, 11:56
there are no rules. just hike. who gives a shit about patches and certificatesApparently fewer and fewer people every year.... Steve the Ferryman's numbers were grossly higher than the ATC numbers last year.... seems fewer people are reporting their their thru-hikes to the ATC - a shift that can't be good for that organizations bottom line.

As I said earlier, the ATC tries to be all about the AT, but this is a different world. Is anyone else worried that the ATC will eventually fold due to lack of participation and donations if it doesn't begin to branch out and network with the other trail organizations?

ki0eh
2008-03-05, 12:05
KI0eh, do you feel the corridor concept could work for the GET even though you don't feel it will ever work for the AT?

I think the corridor concept for thru-hike recognition can and should embrace both and more. I can see a challenge for this future potential thru-hike recognizer is defining what would be comparable difficulty and how endpoints would be determined - in addition to one season vs. sectioning.

Let's say you could get from Key West in the fall to Damascus at Trail Days on a 2,000 mile route using FT, ECT/GET, BMT, AT, and IMT within less than one year. Did you thru-hike?
________
ANIME TUBES (http://www.fucktube.com/categories/3/anime/videos/1)

Frolicking Dino
2008-03-05, 12:09
I think the corridor concept for thru-hike recognition can and should embrace both and more. I can see a challenge for this future potential thru-hike recognizer is defining what would be comparable difficulty and how endpoints would be determined - in addition to one season vs. sectioning.

Let's say you could get from Key West in the fall to Damascus at Trail Days on a 2,000 mile route using FT, ECT/GET, BMT, AT, and IMT within less than one year. Did you thru-hike?Excellent points!!! I'm really loving getting to have a serious discussion of all of the various aspects of this topic without the fight.

Amigi
2008-03-06, 17:49
That's why I post here now...

Nightwalker
2008-03-08, 01:57
Some have suggested the GET - not the AT - should become the premier trail in the eastern US. What do you think of that option? Thru-hiking the GET could then be done using the corridor approach and the AT would just be one of the trails used to accomplish that.

Ask again when it's finished. Too danged many road walks right now. Same with the Florida Trail, though that's still a nice way to spend a couple of months in the Winter.

ki0eh
2008-03-08, 14:27
As someone who's been working on what's now the GET for (shudder to think) 8 years, I do not think it is the intention to displace the A.T. - rather to enhance the environment for hikers in the central Appalachians, by offering different experiences and choices.

Some of the GET trails have or are planning shelters, others aren't there yet. The secondary hiker-oriented lodging opportunities (hostels, etc.) along the A.T. don't exist yet.

Neither are there many hikers. PA's Mid State Trail advertises "If you hike alone, you will meet more bears than people!" This MST is already longer than VT's Long Trail and its connections to MD then WV and VA already exist.

For those who yearn to walk alone, you've got a lot of room on the GET. For those who are principally motivated by social "thru-hiker pack" experiences, the GET is not for you and may never be.

Also, on the GET from the New River north to the NY/PA border, there are already no roadwalks longer than a day. Some parts of the GET have been marked and maintained for forty years already.

GET volunteers are in winter 2008 slowly working on data collection and mapping exercises that will, hopefully soon, make it easier to see that one CAN hike much of it today!
________
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Frolicking Dino
2008-03-08, 14:40
All excellent points - the road walks - the solitude - the shelter situation - the lack of support-type businesses. While I realize the lack of shelters, hostels, people would make this trail unattractive to many AT-type hikers, those things are exactly what makes me favor the GET over the AT.

GGS2
2008-03-08, 16:25
Is there any prospect of linking to NY trails? From my position, it would be nice to walk down from the terminus of the Bruce Trail in Niagara, all the way down to Florida...

ki0eh
2008-03-10, 08:47
Is there any prospect of linking to NY trails? From my position, it would be nice to walk down from the terminus of the Bruce Trail in Niagara, all the way down to Florida...

YES, actually - the GET will be crossing one county in NY to link from the PA line to Finger Lakes Trail (where it is also North Country Trail), which of course already links to the Bruce Trail via its spur the Conservation Trail.

It is hoped by year end 2008 that at least some of the 40 miles Finger Lakes Trail Conference has been actively planning, will be officially opened.
________
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Frolicking Dino
2008-03-10, 09:56
YES, actually - the GET will be crossing one county in NY to link from the PA line to Finger Lakes Trail (where it is also North Country Trail), which of course already links to the Bruce Trail via its spur the Conservation Trail.

It is hoped by year end 2008 that at least some of the 40 miles Finger Lakes Trail Conference has been actively planning, will be officially opened.:::: Dino seen wildly applauding and doing cartwheels ::::

GGS2
2008-03-10, 20:00
YES, actually - ...

Great! I hope I will be mobile in time to celebrate in the appropriate fashion. :biggrin:

Frolicking Dino
2008-03-10, 20:11
I just want to thank you guys for having such a rational and positive discussion of this topic. I made the mistake of posting over on WB in the GET thread and was, of course, attacked as usual. Think I'll have all my serious discussions over here from now on.

JAK
2008-03-10, 21:51
Patches? We don't need no stinkin' patches!

ki0eh
2008-03-10, 21:55
I spent a couple of hours typing in a response to YOUR post, and not the other one...
________
VOLCANO VAPORIZERS (http://volcanovaporizer.net/)

JAK
2008-03-10, 22:06
More importantly, I think you are right that a change in thinking may be evolving for the better. New archetypes are emerging. It would be nice to see less one path segregation and control, and more and more of a world with interconnecting and crisscrossing networks of urban and suburban bike and walking paths, rural paths and wilderness trails, and plain old wild and wooly. It would be nice to see more of a blur between our everyday walking to work and our seasonal section hikes and once in a lifetime thru-hikes and adventures. I would like to be able to walk out my back door on any given morning and be able to wind my way to just about anywhere, everywhere, and especially nowhere. :tee:

GGS2
2008-03-11, 00:34
Oh, you can do that already, JAK. :proud:

Frolicking Dino
2008-03-11, 07:53
More importantly, I think you are right that a change in thinking may be evolving for the better. New archetypes are emerging. It would be nice to see less one path segregation and control, and more and more of a world with interconnecting and crisscrossing networks of urban and suburban bike and walking paths, rural paths and wilderness trails, and plain old wild and wooly. It would be nice to see more of a blur between our everyday walking to work and our seasonal section hikes and once in a lifetime thru-hikes and adventures. I would like to be able to walk out my back door on any given morning and be able to wind my way to just about anywhere, everywhere, and especially nowhere. :tee:There are a handful of people who just can't adapt to change, but for most hikers, as GGS2 notes, the lines are already gone. We've hiked, biked, kayaked, canoed and walked our way right into the freedom to choose where we do our east coast hikes - it's wisdom taught to us by hikers to the west.

enviro
2008-03-13, 01:10
Sorry to plead dumba%$, but what is the GET, now I know what the GED is, but I don't think that's what you are talking about.

If I can manage the time when life let's up a little and I can hike from Ga (or AL) to Maine, I won't need a patch (might get a tatoo) but to me that type of endeavor is a personal challenge. Which would also make me think that I would prefer a SOBO experience or a May start to stay out of the herd. To each their own, but I just don't think that would be the way I would want to do it.

Frolicking Dino
2008-03-13, 07:17
Sorry to plead dumba%$, but what is the GETThe Great Eastern Trail (http://www.greateasterntrail.org/) - a network of intertwining trails that stretch from Alabama to New York -- this was the vision Benton MacKaye had for an eastern trail system. Making a single pathway was the (IMO misguided) idea of Myron Avery; a Washington, DC attorney (need I say more); who bulldozed the idea and this resulted in the AT.

Other long trails like the PCT and CDT have alternate routes on other existing routes that are recognized as being part of the official trail just because they are chosen by the hiker. The ATC (thus far) only recognizes its own blue-blazed paths and then only if there is some reason the white-blazed path cannot be hiked.