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Sonny Aruba
01-21-2006, 11:58
Why do it? is the question. most asked of me. Personally, it;s a 6 month vacation from myself snd ther life thst I knew. I plan on taking my time and enjoying as much as possible. Right now I'm still honing my procedure/plan/equipment. I read a lot of artilces, journals, websites, etc. Ran accrossed this. This is SO NOT ME. Yell me this is not common.


"Me on my AT thru-hike:
I'm gonna do whatever it takes to kill the trail. I want the trail to bleed with every footprint I leave. I want Mt. Katadyn to come alive and battle me as I climb to the top, and Springer Mt. to roll away down the coast to try and escape me as I run it down and beat it down to the size of an ant hill....I will own the Appalachian Trail, and nothing will stop me from finishing b/c there is someone I need to get back to."

posted by Michael S Benvenuto


I see the journey as something to be savored, enjoyed. I, mistakenly, felt everyone else did the same. Here is this dude who wants to kick the trails ass. Did/does anyone else this same mentality?

Sly
01-21-2006, 12:02
Something (his own words) tells me I wouldn't want to hike with Mr Benvenuto even for a short period of time.

Sonny Aruba
01-21-2006, 12:04
Exactly. Thank

DavidNH
01-21-2006, 12:12
I will hazard a guess that Mr. Ben Vanuto (sp?) won't complete the trail. Not be cause he can't but because he doesn't really want to be out there and will get tired of racing mile after mile through woods, having days without access to his back home comforts. Even if he does make it, he won't have much fun so what's the point? He so much as said that he is out to conquer, not to experience, not to savor, out to leave Springer in the dust and not to hold it in his memories.

I desparately hope that guys like this are a real minority. I have set out to do a thru hike specificially to avoid such a mentality! There is so much to savor, the wilderness, the peace, the natural splendor, the camraderie, why turn it into a battle before it even starts??

DavidNH

kyhipo
01-21-2006, 12:13
well have fun!sound like a rocket ready to launch thats for sure!:) ky

Sly
01-21-2006, 12:14
Has he hiked yet? I wonder how he made out?

kyhipo
01-21-2006, 12:16
I will hazard a guess that Mr. Ben Vanuto (sp?) won't complete the trail. Not be cause he can't but because he doesn't really want to be out there and will get tired of racing mile after mile through woods, having days without access to his back home comforts. Even if he does make it, he won't have much fun so what's the point? He so much as said that he is out to conquer, not to experience, not to savor, out to leave Springer in the dust and not to hold it in his memories.

I desparately hope that guys like this are a real minority. I have set out to do a thru hike specificially to avoid such a mentality! There is so much to savor, the wilderness, the peace, the natural splendor, the camraderie, why turn it into a battle before it even starts??

DavidNHwell lets not be so judgemental considering you have not completed your hike yet!ky

Lilred
01-21-2006, 12:18
"Kill the trail"?? Doesn't sound like a friend of the AT to me. Who would want to kill the very thing that can bring about such wonderful changes in a person. I don't know anyone with that kind of hiking attitude.

and BTW :welcome to Whiteblaze Sonny. You just found the only website you'll need for all your questions.

Sly
01-21-2006, 12:29
I don't think DavidNH was being "judgemental" as much as saying why bother. It's one thing to test yourself and another to slay the trail. The latter isn't going to happen.

I think most that have Benvenuto's attitude, and there are some, walk away empty handed even if they complete the trail.

Sonny Aruba
01-21-2006, 12:32
Thank you Lilredmg. My first welcome. Kinds sappy on my part, but I shall not forget. :sun Pretty soon, I hope to be one of "Youze Guyz".

minnesotasmith
01-21-2006, 12:33
-It's something I've wanted to do ever since I hiked 63 miles of it when I was a 13-YO Boy Scout. It's not on a level with wanting to have & raise children and professional success, but it's up there.

-My family will stop saying "Shut up about the Appalachian Trail already" as much as they do now (they'll probably say it more once I've done it).;) It's increasingly "put-up-or-shut-up" from their POV on my thruhiking, as I've largely arranged my life so that I can do this thing this year. IMO, only the physical training aspect of my preparation is sub-par, and plenty of people have made it to Maine who were worse off than I will be at Amicalola next month.

-I want to have done something in my life that is (healthily) beyond the norm. I'll never win the Olympic marathon or get paid millions to shove to the hilt on live TV a tennis racket up the vastly-overpublicized Williams sisters' whatevers. I'm never going to have more money than Bill Gates, more women than Hugh Hefner, more books published than Isaac Asimov, or bigger biceps than Arnold Schwarzenegger at his peak, but then I don't believe I have to have any of those to be happy, or feel my life meant more than a mayfly's.

However, this is something I can do. A fair amount of pre-hike physical training; rather more earning more money than I spend (so I have funds for gear pre-hike and supplies en route); still more effort on figuring out, procuring, and testing (on section hikes) gear; and, then it's just me and the Trail. Don't get hurt (direct trauma from falling/etc. or joint overuse), stay at it through rain/aches/blisters/doubt/losing hiking friends (as they drop off the Trail or settle on paces radically different than mine), and eventually I'll see Katahdin.

-And, I believe I need to do this thing (on a relatively safe, if arduous and LONG trail) to see if I really have what it takes for my hoped-for trans-Alaska hikes. I would love it if the hiking community one day considered me to have founded another major trail, with crossing AK east-to-west from the Canadian border to Nome. I love Alaska, and wish a thousand times as many Americans as I do shared that reverence, which is what motivates me WRT those AK hikes. First things first, though, and the AT is IMO the next step.

kyhipo
01-21-2006, 12:52
I agree with sly, and can say hyoh with that said,considering it takes me wks to to do a normal 1wk hike for me!I still dont tell others what they are gonna do or what they cant complete. same o same o,speed hikers,power hikers met them all,I think we all hike for our own reasons.Some take the trail as a personal challenge as a conquest ,some see it as a story unfolding ect ect some hike the same trail over and over Got me!:D ky

wacocelt
01-21-2006, 13:06
Hey guys, everytime you put a different reason for hiking under the microscope and say, "this is a bad reason for hiking" you just crap all over HYOH. Instead why don't you be thankful that it's one more person taking the chance to go out in the woods and discover a new way of life.
I really love this site, but seeing people picked apart almost everyday because they don't subscribe to exactly the same school of thought as everyone else is getting very old.

Sly
01-21-2006, 13:33
Hey Wacocelt, how goes it?

I was never a firm believer in HYOH. There are limits such as cutting live trees, carving your initials in shelters, being drunk and disorderly, etc.

All I'm saying although it may be Benvenuto's testosterone talking, there's no way he's going to slay the trail. If he insists, all I'm going to say is "yeah OK". ;)

wacocelt
01-22-2006, 20:08
I'm doing good Sly, thanks for asking.

There are limits to HYOH, which are goverened by things disallowed by state regs in the forests etc. Other than that, until there is a law to regulate the activity, then it's purely a matter of opinion. The trail community is growing, despite the outrage of some folks and whether we want it to or not, the best way to make it better isn't to constantly carp about other people hiking ideals or agendas.

Take care bud! Be well.

Puck

wyclif
01-22-2006, 20:15
I will hazard a guess that Mr. Ben Vanuto (sp?) won't complete the trail.

It would really help if folks did their homework before sounding off on this subject...

For one, Mike Benvenuto (Don King) did indeed complete the trail, SOBO, in '05:

http://www.maine2georgia.com/

I don't know Mike, but I do know it takes some determination to complete a SOBO hike. You need to go to the link above and not take that quote out of context. Look at the photos at that site. I had a hard time finding a single one of Mike where he didn't have a big grin plastered on his face. If you read between the lines, you'll see that it's wasn't all wine and roses, but Mike and his partner obviously had a good time on their hike while not losing site of the challenge.

FWIW, Mike also has been very helpful to me personally (via email).

I don't think Mike deserves the potshots you guys are dishing out here.

Almost There
01-22-2006, 20:28
Anyone remember back when I posted about some guys soliciting for money to do their hike, not for charity, but for themselves? This is Uconn Mike, he was one of those guys. Met them while they were finishing in November at Tray Gap. Young guy, hence the testosterone mentality, but they were light weight nice young guys, cut him a break, I really think after talking to them that they definitely gained from their hike, in a way that we all appreciate!

Let's be honest the trail changes us, perhaps he wrote that before hiking much more than a weekend. He had yet to allow himself to be stripped down on the trail and rebuilt after evaluating what is important...and he may be too young yet to really do that, but one thing is for sure, you don't finish the trail with the same exact mentality you started with.

Sly
01-22-2006, 22:04
Well, I for one, would never doubt anyones ability to complete the trail. I just thought Benvenuto's quote in post #1 was lacking respect for the trail or otherwise filled with hubris.

handlebar
01-22-2006, 23:22
-I

-And, I believe I need to do this thing (on a relatively safe, if arduous and LONG trail) to see if I really have what it takes for my hoped-for trans-Alaska hikes. I would love it if the hiking community one day considered me to have founded another major trail, with crossing AK east-to-west from the Canadian border to Nome. I love Alaska, and wish a thousand times as many Americans as I do shared that reverence, which is what motivates me WRT those AK hikes. First things first, though, and the AT is IMO the next step.

Can I join you on your trans-Alaska. I did 14 days in Gates of Arctic in Aug, 2000 and got hooked.

minnesotasmith
01-22-2006, 23:46
Can I join you on your trans-Alaska. I did 14 days in Gates of Arctic in Aug, 2000 and got hooked.

This expedition is expected to start in May 2008, and will cover a route of over 1000 miles. I already have two other people who want to go, both mentally-stable male gun nuts in good physical condition, one of whom is an M.D.

The plan is to get off a boat on the north side of the Porcupine River, where it crosses the international boundary with Canada, ending at Nome on the Seward Peninsula, walking the whole way. You'll need to carry a serious firearm (something larger than a .44 magnum pistol/.303 rifle, like a .500 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol or a .330 magnum rifle; only a woman hiker would get a pass IMO with just a .44 magnum or a 5-shot 12-gauge shotgun with rifled slugs), gear and fortitude to handle repeated Arctic river crossings, funding for at least 3 airdrops (cost is close to a grand just for the air flight itself for air drops; I've already checked), willingness to eat any fish we catch, air drops to about 8 locations, only about 4 stops where there is an actual town, ability to handle a large dog like a adult Newfoundland or male Great Pyrenee (even better if you own one by then), etc., etc. Expect to carry a seriously BIG pack; I'm thinking of something like the only expedition pack Gregory makes (the big chili-red one). There will be daylight over 20 hours a day; we may sleep in watches, due to bear concerns.

I've posted on this before. I think it was on the "North to Alaska" thread.

smokymtnsteve
01-22-2006, 23:53
It'll be daylight all the time :D

sun mite be jist under the horizon but it'll still b light.

ole grizzz ain't gonna bother U MS..

why is U so scared of bears??:rolleyes:

UCONNMike
01-23-2006, 12:58
Well, Well...I see that a comment I made before I left on my thru hike for some reason is being misunderstood, and some how i am being labeled as disrespectful, testosterone filled, young and dumb, and not in the right frame of mind to complete the trail. Well, as was mentioned by one of my few allies (Wyclif and Almost There) I did complete the trail, in 127 hiking days, whihc was 17 miles a day. So needless to say it seems as though I was in the right enough frame of mind to not only complete the trail but do it alot faster than most. Not only did I complete the trail averaging big miles, but Blake and I took a bunch of zero days and really enjoyed our time out there. I can't tell you how many times people approached us out there and said "I can't believe you guys are still smiling, laughing, and havign fun out here." We loved our time on the trail and appreciated it more than I could ever explain. And the comments I made before the trail, that was simply a poem I wrote that I shared with you all....I had no acctual intentaions of killing the trail (cutting down trees, starting fires, carving my name in shelters, fighting wilderness creatures) killing the taril simply meant I was going to complete it at all costs, there was no quiting for me. And I wrote that poem as a means of motivation, that I would do anything to finish, no matter how hard, so that i could make it home to the woman i love. So again, all you rookie posters and thru hikers in planning, and day hikers who need to find somethign to do on wb.net because you cant get out there and actually hike the trail yourself, find an excuse to over analyze other peoples motivation and reasons for hiking or methods, etc. should all just shut up and show some respect, because i was out there for 5 months and I walked every mile and was respectful to people i met and did enjoy my time out there, but because many of you dont take the time to check out the otehr posts i made, or go to my website and see what i did and try and become a part of my trip, you carelessly jump to conclusions and create a whole image of who i am without ever finding out anythign about me. I didnt sweat and bleed out there to be mocked and made fun of by a bunch of rookie's who havent spent two days without a shower or walked a 20 mile day. I never wish falure on anyone, so i hope one day you can get out there an actually do the AT, but i most certainly will not be reaching out to any of you, like I have for many other WB members and other planning thru hikers....

wacocelt
01-23-2006, 13:10
Wow mike, you just made me sorry that I defended you, good job.

Sly
01-23-2006, 13:10
Benvenuto with all due respect you did what 1000's of others have done before you and will do after. Your pain and sacrifice has been shared many times beforehand.

And although it may have been your motivater to complete the trail, I simply disagree with your "poem".

UCONNMike
01-23-2006, 14:02
And although it may have been your motivater to complete the trail, I simply disagree with your "poem".

.......IT'S A ******* POEM YOU IDOITS! IT WASN'T CREATED TO BE AGREED WITH OR DISAGREED WITH, IT WAS MY FEELINGS AT THE TIME! DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THAT I DO NOT MEAN THAT I LITERALLY WAS GOING TO KILL THE TRAIL? DOES ANYONE GET THAT?

I AM SO FREAKIN' ANNOYED BY ALL OF YOU, YOU ARE ALL IDOITS AND I AM OFFICALLY DONE TRYING TO HELP. THIS IS SUPPOSE TO BE A PLACE WHERE YOU CAN COME AND GET INFO ABOUT THE TRAIL AND SHARE EXPIERNCES SO OTHERS MAY BENIFIT, NOT TO OVER ANAYLZE EVERYTHING! SOMEONE CREATED A THREAD TO CUT ME DOWN, WHAT BENIFIT DOES THAT HOLD OTHER THAN TO MAKE SOMEONE ELSE FEEL BETTER ABOU TWHTA THEY ARE DOING....THINK PEOPLE, JUST THINK

Sly
01-23-2006, 14:12
Wow, there goes the testosterone again. Chill trailslayer, I didn't post your poem to begin with and think it sucks if you want the truth.

Heater
01-23-2006, 14:18
.......IT'S A ******* POEM YOU IDOITS! IT WASN'T CREATED TO BE AGREED WITH OR DISAGREED WITH, IT WAS MY FEELINGS AT THE TIME! DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THAT I DO NOT MEAN THAT I LITERALLY WAS GOING TO KILL THE TRAIL? DOES ANYONE GET THAT?

I AM SO FREAKIN' ANNOYED BY ALL OF YOU, YOU ARE ALL IDOITS AND I AM OFFICALLY DONE TRYING TO HELP. THIS IS SUPPOSE TO BE A PLACE WHERE YOU CAN COME AND GET INFO ABOUT THE TRAIL AND SHARE EXPIERNCES SO OTHERS MAY BENIFIT, NOT TO OVER ANAYLZE EVERYTHING! SOMEONE CREATED A THREAD TO CUT ME DOWN, WHAT BENIFIT DOES THAT HOLD OTHER THAN TO MAKE SOMEONE ELSE FEEL BETTER ABOU TWHTA THEY ARE DOING....THINK PEOPLE, JUST THINK

Geeeeeeze....

:o

jmaclennan
01-23-2006, 15:00
i don't care what anyone else does as long as it doesn't affect me. uconnmike, more power to ya. i agree with someone else who said why ***** on the way someone else enjoys the trail.

i read a shelter register entry once that said something to the effect of: "i'm gonna make the smokies my b*tch." how could you not laugh at that? different strokes...

Almost There
01-23-2006, 15:28
O.K. guys take a deep breath and count to three. I've met both Sly and Mike, both are good guys, just from two completely different generations, and I think both will a little bit of a different view on like. That being said I know I would have a geat time hiking with both, granted I would have to get my but in better shape to keep up with Mike. Mike, chill out, Sly is about as laid back as they come, and remember sometimes what you write will elicit emotion, sometimes the kind you want...and the kind you don't want. Take that however you want, instead of talking about what you accomplished, talk about how your views on the trail changed, etc. If there is one thing I have learned here on WB as I am sure you are now aware of, is if you come at someone, expect 3 more to come at you. Anyways, take care, and don't give up on folks. Anger is a lesson in futility for the most part!

Sly
01-23-2006, 15:32
i read a shelter register entry once that said something to the effect of: "i'm gonna make the smokies my b*tch." how could you not laugh at that? different strokes...

What was his trail name, Humping Air or HA! for short?

wyclif
01-23-2006, 15:51
Wow, there goes the testosterone again. Chill trailslayer, I didn't post your poem to begin with and think it sucks if you want the truth.

Sly, you're an idiot. A poem is not a propositional statement. You don't "agree" or "disagree" with a poem. I think you need to go back to school and improve your education a bit before you make yourself look ridiculous again.

Of course, you could wind up being the first user I file under "ignore" here...I'll solve your problem electronically so I don't have to listen to you bloviate any more.

Some of the people on Whiteblaze are really filled with negativity. Either that, or they can't get laid. Sorry, but that's what it sounds like to me.

wacocelt
01-23-2006, 15:55
Some of the people on Whiteblaze are really filled with negativity. Either that, or they can't get laid. Sorry, but that's what it sounds like to me.



Dammit, you caught me!

Seriously folks, let's all take a step back and look at the fact that we're all hikers, shake hands and start this whole thing new. Crap like this is starting to bleed out onto the trail itself and we have the chance to stop it here... Let's do so. Please.

Puck

Lone Wolf
01-23-2006, 15:55
Sly, you're an idiot. A poem is not a propositional statement. You don't "agree" or "disagree" with a poem. I think you need to go back to school and improve your education a bit before you make yourself look ridiculous again.

Of course, you could wind up being the first user I file under "ignore" here...I'll solve your problem electronically so I don't have to listen to you bloviate any more.

Some of the people on Whiteblaze are really filled with negativity. Either that, or they can't get laid. Sorry, but that's what it sounds like to me.
So you're a genius and a stud?:rolleyes: Sit down kid!:cool:

mweinstone
01-23-2006, 16:02
killing is a good thing.we all must kill the evil inside.his poem was a chant like crazy football dudes do before the superbowl.it was very nice and if the trail could talk it would be heard to say,"i feel your excitement and i understand your wanting to walk on me.im not anxious to beat you up mr hiker but im affraid im a bit tougher than you."

wyclif
01-23-2006, 16:02
So you're a genius and a stud?:rolleyes: Sit down kid!:cool:

Hey Wolf

I have total confidence, after reading this thread, that Sly couldn't keep up with me even if I had one lobe of my cerebellum tied behind my back. Got it? :cool:

Lone Wolf
01-23-2006, 16:04
Got it Scooter.:cool:

Heater
01-23-2006, 16:04
Sly, you're an idiot. A poem is not a propositional statement. You don't "agree" or "disagree" with a poem. I think you need to go back to school and improve your education a bit before you make yourself look ridiculous again.

Of course, you could wind up being the first user I file under "ignore" here...I'll solve your problem electronically so I don't have to listen to you bloviate any more.

Some of the people on Whiteblaze are really filled with negativity. Either that, or they can't get laid. Sorry, but that's what it sounds like to me.

Note to Sly:

The word "bloviate" is this years buzz word for the O'Reillyites.
Last years "catch phrase" was "pithy".

There is no reasoning with them. They cannot think for themselves. They have been assimilated.

Move on...

Lone Wolf
01-23-2006, 16:06
Note to Sly:

The word "bloviate" is this years buzz word for the O'Reillyites.
Last years "catch phrase" was "pithy".

There is no reasoning with them. They cannot think for themselves. They have been assimilated.

Move on...
B. Jack says I'm pithy.

Heater
01-23-2006, 16:09
B. Jack says I'm pithy.

Nothing wrong with being "pithy" as long as you think for yourself. (which you do)

Sly
01-23-2006, 16:19
At the urging of a friend, I'm bowing out of this thread. Perhaps, wyclif will understand this as poetry if he ever gets walk the talk and hike the trail.

Climb the mountains

Get the glad tidings

Nature's peace will fill your soul

Like sunlight to trees

On a clear mountain breeze

Wear sorrow away

At least for today



Climb the mountains

See the wonder around you

Hear the cry of a falcon in flight

Lift your eyes to the sky

Watch the clouds rolling by

Your spirit will be

Eternally free



See the leaves turnin' gold in autumn

Go to dust as the day goes to night

Proclaimin' along with the angels

Death's no more than a door to the light



Climb the mountains

To the dawn of Creation

Hear the psalm of the billowing falls

Meander through flowers

And sunshine for hours



Climb the mountains

Get their glad tidings

Leave the dark of the cold city streets

Find a meadow to play in

A forest to pray in

Leave your civilized strife

For a fountain of life!

-A young John Muir.

wyclif
01-23-2006, 16:31
Glad you own a dictionary. Congrats.

Let's review here:

1. Sonny Aruba starts this thread just to trash another hiker by completely (or intentionally) making him look like a Type-A competitor without checking his facts, quoting him as saying that he wants to "kick the trail's ass" and setting up a false dichotomy by representing UConnMike as not savoring or enjoying his hike.

2. Certain mentally challenged members of Whiteblaze jump in before they know what they're talking about. One (l)user puts his foot in his trap by saying "I will hazard a guess that Mr. Ben Vanuto (sp?) won't complete the trail," illustrating how completely uniformed he is.

3. Another fool chimes in by saying "All I'm saying although it may be Benvenuto's testosterone talking, there's no way he's going to slay the trail", even though the hiker in question finished last year, displaying his ignorance. Again, see #2 above.

4. The same fool mentioned above posts again, saying UConnMike "was lacking respect for the trail" even though the hiker in question practiced LNT, and the commentor shows his inability to grasp this little concept called "metaphor": e.g., "slaying the trail" does not mean cutting down trees, carving graffitti with a pocket knife, &c.

Are the sages of Whiteblaze finished yet? No; it gets better.

5. One of the commentors comes back, saying "I didn't agree with your poem" as if a poem is a propositional statement or something. Amusement ensues.

6. The same guy (Sly) still isn't done trashing another hiker yet, though. He returns to make the earth-shattering critical comment that UConnMike's poem "sucks."

Congrats, lads. You're real hardcore thru-hikers. Not only are you all worthy of respect, I've learned so much from you. Yoda could learn some things from Sonny Aruba, Sly, and Wolf. It's been a slice.

Almost There
01-23-2006, 16:33
Nice Poem, now I'm off to wrestling practice!!!

UCONNMike
01-23-2006, 16:48
Wyclif, thank you so much for coming to my defense...it is hard to deal with all the negative banter from the "couch hikers" but I promise you that while planning your thru hike, this site is the best source of info about gear and the trail out there. Anyway, When you get out on the AT this year, just keep an eye out on those trailheads up North, b/c i most def will be coming with some trail magic for you.

peace

Almost There
01-23-2006, 17:33
Mike it's nice to see that you calmed down, we're all good people here...essentially, people are just passionate here at with all written word sometimes the intent gets lost without the sound of voice. Keep trucking and it was great meeting you at Tray Gap!!! Hope you enjoyed your beers that night!!!

DavidNH
01-23-2006, 18:52
gee whiz

Sunna arabia posts a poem or a quote that speaks about slaying the trail, leaving springer in the dust and I have something to get back to. I simply posted my reactions to this philosophy or way of thinking. Amazing how things can so quickly get out of hand here on white blaze.

Perhaps this was a statement about not backing down or comittment but seemed more to me the person was out there to prove something and not to enjoy the trail That's just how I read it. It would seem to me..If one was out to fight a trail rather to conquer a challenge rather than for the love of hiking the trail then he would be less likely to want to be out there for 5-6 months. But that's just me.

I have no desire to get under anyone's skin here. Yet I see no reason why I can't express my oppininons either.

chill out!!!

David

Jack Tarlin
01-23-2006, 20:30
Geez, I actually met the Maine2Georgia guys this summer, and found them to down-to-earth, friendly, and perfectly fine young men. I can't understand how and why this thread got so heated.

Let's move on, folks.....nothing to see here.

RITBlake
01-23-2006, 21:01
Allright....... being Mikes best friend since high school and his thru hiking partner for 5 months, I can attest to the fact that Mike is an all around great guy. From the posts Iíve read here, seems like everyone that met Mike this year seem to agree. How can you speak so venomously about someone you've never met? and has done YOU NO WRONG??? I'm not really sure why Sonny Aruba chose that journal entry from our website (I'm assuming thatís where you got it from?) when there are literally hundreds of 'positive' ones where we talk about our amazing hike, the struggles we were encountering, and the people we are meeting.

Mike wrote that to get himself psyched up mentally for the physical challenge that laid before us. And you know what, it was physically harder then we both had imagined. Before rugby games we gather in a circle, lock arm in arm and say our mantra, 'ashes to ashes, dust to dust, death and hatred is a must' Now do I really believe in that? of course not. Its just something we say to get pumped up for a game. We know that the next 80 minutes will be punishing, and if you're not mentally there, you're going to lose. It's that simple. I realize that thru hiking isn't that serious, but I'm just using it as an example.

Mike and I are both athletes. We decided to thru hike not only for the adventure and the freedom but to see if we could meet the physical challenge. These were OUR reasons and our ATTITUDE developed accordingly. If Mike and I were going to thru hike because we wanted to get close to god, our attitude would fit that approach, if we wanted to thru hike to secede from the corporate world, our attitudes would fit that approach. The point being, your attitude or mindset or motivation for a thru hike, or anything life is YOURS. The way I see it, you want to do a thru hike, do it, I donít care why or how, just get out there and enjoy it. How can you pass judgment on something like this?

Mike is a competitive guy and he wrote this for his own personal benefit. We both really wanted to complete our thru hike. This was his way of convincing himself that he was ready. He wasn't cramming it down the throat of you guys, he wasn't printing it up on t-shirts and preaching his word at Trail Days. He wasnít sending PMís out with this poem, was he? I think that Sonny Arubas and the posts that followed were totally unnecessary, unwarranted, and frankly immature for a group of grown men and women.

The funniest part of this whole thread is the DavidNH's post
"I will hazard a guess that Mr. Ben Vanuto (sp?) won't complete the trail."
Goes to show you what happens when you make assumptions about people you've never met and don't know.

RITBlake
01-23-2006, 21:05
Hope you enjoyed your beers that night!!!

We certainly did! That was a great day of hiking. It was nice to meet you guys.

Almost There
01-23-2006, 21:14
It was great meeting you both as well, if some folks had met you guys this would be a non issue. Take care and maybe one day we'll have a beer together!

UCONNMike
01-23-2006, 21:17
It was great meeting you both as well, if some folks had met you guys this would be a non issue. Take care and maybe one day we'll have a beer together!

Heck yea, you gotta let us know when you are doing some of the sections up here in New England, we would love to meet you for a bit of trail magic.

khaynie
01-24-2006, 01:25
I just finished reading posts 1-50. Wow. Somebody's got a case of the "Mondays."
<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
I hiked with Mike, aka Don King, from <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:State w:st="on">Maine</st1:State> to <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Georgia</st1:place></st1:country-region>. He was very pleasant to be around, and someone who I saw the AT profoundly change. His “pump himself up” post was merely an expression - not a death threat to the AT. It’s unfortunate that a few Whiteblaze members were so quick to pass judgment and jump to conclusions without first having all the facts, or knowing Mr. Benvenuto personally. <o:p></o:p>
<o:p> </o:p>
Whiteblaze is a site for one to find helpful info re: the AT, not for one to attack another person’s character.
<o:p> </o:p>
As Baltimore Jack said, there is nothing here – lets move on.<o:p></o:p>

lobster
01-24-2006, 12:42
Are all the reactors liberals??

UCONNMike
01-24-2006, 13:14
I am very liberal