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Discussion Forum - LDWA ideas forum - Know anyone planning an AT/CDT/PCT thru-hike next year?

Posted: Fri 23rd Jan 2009, 12:56
Joined: 2008
Thanks Chris - I have Thoreau in my bookcase - I'd link your quote of his with another: "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them". This I think is interesting in the times we now live. Pursuit of the almighty dollar has shown itself to be precarious. While security for oneself and family will always preoccupy - it's also a time for reflection on what actually matters. Either that or Marx's prediction finally comes home to roost!

I'm trying to find out how if the government's public works programme includes path restoration/creation (a la AT in the 30s) and if it can lead people to look again at the simpler pleasures and benefits of traveling from A to B and beyond.

I'll copy this to your email address.


Posted: Sun 18th Jan 2009, 21:17
Joined: 1972
The Nick Crane series of walks on TV are good examples of making long distance walking accessible, Essentially each programme has narrative(a story to tell), presents some problems that are solved on screen(wide unbridged rivers to cross, no aerial photography but it seems a hand held camera is used throughout, and a general feeling that the whole exercise in for real and that when Nick puts up a light weight tent on a mountain top that he is going to spend the night in it. And suitable accessible titles could be "Bottom Gear", "Strictly Come Walking a 100 miles", or even "Who wants to hike a million steps?".

As for the character of the US mega mile Trails? I have submitted an Article Strider where I have summarised the PCT as the one for scenery, the CDT for Wilderness, and the AT for comradeship.

Motivation. Well I suppose to be trite "because they are their". But for some deeper sentiments I quote Thoreau," I went to the woods because I wished to live life to the full, to front only the essential facts of life and not, when I come to die discover that I had not lived'.
For more information go to my web site:
email me
Posted: Wed 14th Jan 2009, 17:51
Joined: 2008
Dear Christopher

I'm sorry to have taken so long to reply to your post. It's a very good point you make about the creation of trails during the great depression - although the CDT still has a way to go!

I'd be very interested to hear more about your triple crown progress to date. When did you do them, characteristics of each - as much as you want to relate really - perhaps you have trail journals?

From a story point of view I'm working with a producer on how to make the subject accessible and fascinating to non-long distance walkers - not easy as I'm sure you'll agree - and I'd love to call on Brits who have genuine experience of life on the trail, as well as a bit about the motivation and background of hardy types such as yourself!

I'd be delighted to hear more from you.

Best regards

Posted: Wed 17th Dec 2008, 11:05
Joined: 1972
I'm planning to finish my triple challenge project(PCT, CDT, and AT) in the Autumn of 09 so that maybe in the middle of what could be the great depression of the noughties.

I have 550 miles of the Southern Appalachian Trail still to do and it is interesting to remember that the Trail itself was in part a product of the Wall Street Crash of the 1930s since much of the work on it was done by the Conservation Corp as part of the "New Deal" job creation programme.

As for the impact of the "crunch" on my project? I have of course benefitted over the past year from the 2 dollar pound but as sterling heads towards parity with the dollar(and euro) I have now hedged my hiking fund by using my post office travel money account to buy into dollars at a rate about 1.50.

Being retired my income, provided I don't live in a land of clouds and cuckoos, is assured and once I've paid for a plane fare the cost of living on Trail is lower than when I live at home. I rarely pay for accomodation because on the AT I stay in the public shelters along the route and they are a part of the AT experience. The PCT and CDT are in their nature wilderness routes so I have to camp and the weather along them is usually highly conducive to outdoor living.

Food in the USA is cheaper than in the UK when bought in the likes of Walmart and posted ahead on trail for collection at post offices to avoid buying at the high prices of small towns. And many other chains of stores offer loyalty cards that even for infrequent purchases give good savings. I reckon to spend $60 a week on basic food.

So if the price of air travel remains reasonably stable, and the cost of airline fuel is nose diving, then the impact of the crunch on my hikes can be minimised, clouds and cuckoos still applying.
Posted: Tue 25th Nov 2008, 8:22
Joined: 2008
I've done a little journalism on ultra-light hiking (Sunday Times, R4 and Outdoor Adventure Guide) and am working a new project for our post-crunch world. It looks at a return to more gratifying pastimes now that consumerism is taking a hit and programmes like Property Ladder and The Gadget Show are consigned to The History Channel.

I'd love to talk to anyone planning to do one of the US biggies next year.

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