Sunday, August 05, 2007

Talking to Hikers in Maine

Gary Thorne's article in the Bangor Daily News of 4 August 2007 and titled "AT's through-hikers walk the walk" asks the basic question 'Could I hike the Appalachian Trail end to end? Could I be a thru-hiker?'

He seeks an answer by interviewing two hikers at a general store near the Kennebec River. One happened to be a southbounder 14 days into his trek, and the other a northbounder about that many days from finishing his. The former is Nathan Ruth from Ohio, having started on 13 July. The latter is hiking with the trailname "Retro" and started on 1 March.

Well-spoken men, both hikers gave the reporter good solid answers to his questions. He seems to be urging his readers to make contact with thru-hikers as they pass through Maine, especially in the next few weeks.
"If the question of what it takes still seems unresolved after talking with a through-hiker, you shouldn’t be too surprised. After all, the ultimate answer may be that you’ll never know if you can walk the walk until you load up a backpack and take that first step yourself. Then again, it may not be until you take the last one.

".... Just find the people who look like they’ve been in the same clothes for six months and are carrying everything they need on their backs. Most love to tell you about their trip. But if someone puts you off, don’t be too upset. They’ve probably been asked the same questions dozens of times, starting with, 'Are you a through-hiker?'"

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