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raeba
02-07-2006, 12:50
I'm curious how many old school (some read true) thru-hikers are left out there.

Are any of you still doing it without checking into motels and eating in restaurants?

Thanks.

Raeba

Gray Blazer
02-07-2006, 12:54
I'm old and I work in an old school. I don't know if that qualifies me for old school. When I'm on the trail I use an old, old school janssport backpack (I bought it from Winton's antiques and combined it with my sister's old school backpack she carried from FL to OR in the late 70's) and I can't afford to eat out and stay in motels very much.

Gray Blazer
02-07-2006, 12:56
:datz :datz :datz Whoops, I just read your post again and I'm not a thru hiker. Bad Music Teacher!!(Slaps own hand).

Grampie
02-07-2006, 12:57
:) I guess I could be considered "old school." I'm 70 years old, use a external frame pack and hike with leather hiking boots. Unfortunately I still like to sleep in an airconditioned motel, take a shower and eat in a resturant every 4-6 days on the trail.

Lone Wolf
02-07-2006, 12:58
I'm curious how many old school (some read true) thru-hikers are left out there.

Are any of you still doing it without checking into motels and eating in restaurants?

Thanks.

Raeba
I have never met or known of any thru-hikers that didn't eat at any restaurants or didn't stay in a motel.

Footslogger
02-07-2006, 13:01
[quote=raeba]I'm curious how many old school (some read true) thru-hikers are left out there.

Are any of you still doing it without checking into motels and eating in restaurants?
=========================================
I think of myself as "evolved old school". Guess I don't associate "old school" with avoidance of motels and restaurants. I keep em to a minimum but when it feels right I don't fight it.

'Slogger

Just Jeff
02-07-2006, 13:12
I'd imagine one of the reasons "old school" hikers didn't frequent motels and restaurants so much is that there weren't so many convenient options. If Earl had a Red Lobster instead of a gas station, he might have partaken.

raeba
02-07-2006, 13:20
I have never met or known of any thru-hikers that didn't eat at any restaurants or didn't stay in a motel.

I have. I'm one! This is not to say that I don't do those things now - at times. However, my only thru-hike that I count is the one that I did without any motels, retaurants, rides... It's just a personal thing for me - so I'm not stating this for everyone. I'm a big believer in HYOH and FYOB (Float Your Own Boat).

I really like the fact that I slept on the trail and ate out of my pack for the whole trail. Others don't feel the same way and that is ok. Besides when your tired and starving, the smell of pizza will drive you crazy...:)

Raeba

raeba
02-07-2006, 13:21
I'd imagine one of the reasons "old school" hikers didn't frequent motels and restaurants so much is that there weren't so many convenient options. If Earl had a Red Lobster instead of a gas station, he might have partaken.

That is certainly true for some.

Raeba

Mags
02-07-2006, 13:41
I'd imagine one of the reasons "old school" hikers didn't frequent motels and restaurants so much is that there weren't so many convenient options. If Earl had a Red Lobster instead of a gas station, he might have partaken.

I was looking at "The Appalachian Trail: Calling Me Back to The Hills". The text is by Earl Shaffer and it is of his 1998 thru-hike.

In the book Earl complains that the trail does not go through sporting camps or towns like it used to!

So..no Red Lobster, but the first thru-hiker certainly did like his meals at sporting camps and in town! :D

Mags
02-07-2006, 13:42
I have. I'm one!

Well..that makes you "new school" then since the first thru-hikers ate in town. :)

raeba
02-07-2006, 17:31
Well..that makes you "new school" then since the first thru-hikers ate in town. :)

Well, that's subjective and a matter of sematics, but I'll give you that. Let me explain...

There are literally hundreds of people who have successfully hiked the AT without being in the new groups/circles that have emerged.

They don't appear in books, logs, documentaries, guides, and such. I've hiked along with some in the 70's like this.

There is so much more about AT hikers that is not mainstream. I've know people who have yo-yo'd the AT and don't even have a trailname nor seek or desire any public recognition for it.

I'm a little bit more social than that. But I still consider my thru-hike without the aid of motels and restaurants as my authentic thru-hike (for me). To each their own.

Reaba

Tabasco
02-07-2006, 17:40
But I still consider my thru-hike without the aid of motels and restaurants as my authentic thru-hike (for me). To each their own.

Reaba


Just as all those dreaded circle / expedition thru hikers consider theirs as THEIR AUTHENTIC THRU HIKE (for them).

Moxie00
02-07-2006, 17:42
Earl is the oldest, he ate in town or in camps. Grandma Gatewood was a world class Yogi. Ed Garvey never turned down a meal so I don't know what you are refering to as old school, Hank has hiked the trail at least 5 times but completed his first thru in 2001 or 2002, Hank doesn't carry a tent and didn't stay in shelters and rarely hostels. He carried a bivy and just walked off the trail and found a flat spot. He didn't eat in town but I don't think he was old school, just a guy with little money and a desire to hike and be left alone. Gary at the Bluberry Patch knows Hank well but most hikers have no idea who he is as he keeps to himself. I know him well and don't feel he thinks of himself as being of any school, just a hiker with a style unlike many others.

Left Hand
02-07-2006, 17:46
My goal is to limit my visits to hotels and restaurants; however, I don't expect to complete the trail without partaking in some well deserved zero days.

Ender
02-07-2006, 17:53
I'm curious how many old school (some read true) thru-hikers are left out there.

Are any of you still doing it without checking into motels and eating in restaurants?

Well, you're the first that I've heard of. Congrats on that accomplishment! It's a heck of a thing to be able to avoid all that while on the trail, given the fact that it's so easy to get. Not my thing, since I'm a huge (read: largest ever) town food junkie, but I really appreciate the level of difficulty it would add.

As far as the old school thing, I think it's just a semantic matter, and wouldn't get too caught up in that.

Mouse
02-07-2006, 18:04
I'm curious how many old school (some read true) thru-hikers are left out there.

Are any of you still doing it without checking into motels and eating in restaurants?

Thanks.

Raeba

Let's see, skimming the very early published journals:

Gene Espy (1951): "Many times I was invited to join the family for supper." "I ordered 10 slices of toast and syrup, a pint of ice cream and a milk shake" "After putting away six eggs, two orders of ham, two waffles, toast, grits, and a pint of milk, I staggered out and hit the trail" "I walked around to the front of the restaurant and went inside"

Dorothy Laker (1957):"I hitched to Hiawassee for a chicken dinner" "The trail descended into Hot Springs, where I arrived at 4:00pm and took a motel room for the night. I went out for supper and then returned to my room..." "I reached Damascus around four o'clock, took accomodations at a private guest house.."

Murray Chism and Edward Little (1959) "Lucky for us, Mrs Little was enthusiastic about the idea of chauffeuring the family car as a supply car...The car could serve another purpose. It could take us off the trail at least once a week. That would mean a hot shower..."

Orwin Allen (1960): "Every town along the trail was an opportunity for a complete restaurant meal" "We decided to live it up and registered for a $12 cabin..OH that shower was good!" "We signed the register in the town hall, then got a room at Mrs. Keebler's. We took all our clothes to the laundromat, ate a big dinner at Corny's, and then came back to the room to read our mail."

James Fox and PAul Gerhard (1963) "When convenient we might stay at a hotel, eat at restaurants, or visit the local laundromat"


Sounds just like now. :rolleyes:

raeba
02-07-2006, 18:16
Well, you're the first that I've heard of. Congrats on that accomplishment! It's a heck of a thing to be able to avoid all that while on the trail, given the fact that it's so easy to get. Not my thing, since I'm a huge (read: largest ever) town food junkie, but I really appreciate the level of difficulty it would add.

As far as the old school thing, I think it's just a semantic matter, and wouldn't get too caught up in that.

Thanks. I know I'm not the first, and yes I do feel that it was an accomplishment - as do others do about their hikes, whether they eat in town or not.

Yeah, I'm not worried about the terms. People will grab someone's book and use it as the 'facts' in the matter.

VERY little has reached the books about hikers on the AT. Again, not everyone cares to be in them, and some have gone to great lengths to avoid ANY attention.

Raeba

raeba
02-07-2006, 18:17
Let's see, skimming the very early published journals:

Gene Espy (1951): "Many times I was invited to join the family for supper." "I ordered 10 slices of toast and syrup, a pint of ice cream and a milk shake" "After putting away six eggs, two orders of ham, two waffles, toast, grits, and a pint of milk, I staggered out and hit the trail" "I walked around to the front of the restaurant and went inside"

Dorothy Laker (1957):"I hitched to Hiawassee for a chicken dinner" "The trail descended into Hot Springs, where I arrived at 4:00pm and took a motel room for the night. I went out for supper and then returned to my room..." "I reached Damascus around four o'clock, took accomodations at a private guest house.."

Murray Chism and Edward Little (1959) "Lucky for us, Mrs Little was enthusiastic about the idea of chauffeuring the family car as a supply car...The car could serve another purpose. It could take us off the trail at least once a week. That would mean a hot shower..."

Orwin Allen (1960): "Every town along the trail was an opportunity for a complete restaurant meal" "We decided to live it up and registered for a $12 cabin..OH that shower was good!" "We signed the register in the town hall, then got a room at Mrs. Keebler's. We took all our clothes to the laundromat, ate a big dinner at Corny's, and then came back to the room to read our mail."

James Fox and PAul Gerhard (1963) "When convenient we might stay at a hotel, eat at restaurants, or visit the local laundromat"


Sounds just like now. :rolleyes:

If you read what I said - THE PEOPLE I AM REFERRING TO ARE NOT IN THE BOOKS. :rolleyes:

Raeba

raeba
02-07-2006, 18:23
Let's see, skimming the very early published journals:

Gene Espy (1951): "Many times I was invited to join the family for supper." "I ordered 10 slices of toast and syrup, a pint of ice cream and a milk shake" "After putting away six eggs, two orders of ham, two waffles, toast, grits, and a pint of milk, I staggered out and hit the trail" "I walked around to the front of the restaurant and went inside"

Dorothy Laker (1957):"I hitched to Hiawassee for a chicken dinner" "The trail descended into Hot Springs, where I arrived at 4:00pm and took a motel room for the night. I went out for supper and then returned to my room..." "I reached Damascus around four o'clock, took accomodations at a private guest house.."

Murray Chism and Edward Little (1959) "Lucky for us, Mrs Little was enthusiastic about the idea of chauffeuring the family car as a supply car...The car could serve another purpose. It could take us off the trail at least once a week. That would mean a hot shower..."

Orwin Allen (1960): "Every town along the trail was an opportunity for a complete restaurant meal" "We decided to live it up and registered for a $12 cabin..OH that shower was good!" "We signed the register in the town hall, then got a room at Mrs. Keebler's. We took all our clothes to the laundromat, ate a big dinner at Corny's, and then came back to the room to read our mail."

James Fox and PAul Gerhard (1963) "When convenient we might stay at a hotel, eat at restaurants, or visit the local laundromat"


Sounds just like now. :rolleyes:

By the way, you cannot believe that a person or two from each year speaks for ALL? IT IS WELL-KNOWN THAT MANY PEOPLE ATE IN RESTAURANTS.

I guess you're caught on my use of the term 'old school.' I should have picked a better term that doesn't have such subjective meaning. Old school doesn't always refer to being 'real old.'

So, I apologize for the term, let's move on and understand the overall meaning:

Are there many AT thru-hikers hiking the trail today without the aid of hotels, restaurants...?

Raeba

raeba
02-07-2006, 18:25
My goal is to limit my visits to hotels and restaurants; however, I don't expect to complete the trail without partaking in some well deserved zero days.

On the thru-hike I am referring to. I did take zero days, they were on the trail though. I was just determined to do what I (personally) considered to be an authentic thru-hike on the trail.

Raeba

weary
02-07-2006, 18:42
I'm curious how many old school (some read true) thru-hikers are left out there.
Are any of you still doing it without checking into motels and eating in restaurants? Thanks. Raeba
The problem is with your definition of "old school." Hikers have always welcomed a restaurant meal while in town. Those who could afford it also used motels occasionally or the cheaper hostels.

What separates "oldtimers" from many recent hikers is that in the early years there was a striving to actually walk the entire trail. Many today, including me, deliberately skip sections for many reasons -- in my case age, a late start, physical infirmities and a desire to concentrate on the southern Appalachians which I had never seen and especially wanted to explore.

Weary

raeba
02-07-2006, 19:04
The problem is with your definition of "old school." Hikers have always welcomed a restaurant meal while in town. Those who could afford it also used motels occasionally or the cheaper hostels.



Yes, I've stated that above earlier in the thread (regarding my definition). Also, again, I certainly know that hikers do use hotels and restaurants. I'm referring to those who don't. There are more than just those who do, you do realize that?



What separates "oldtimers" from many recent hikers is that in the early years there was a striving to actually walk the entire trail. Many today, including me, deliberately skip sections for many reasons -- in my case age, a late start, physical infirmities and a desire to concentrate on the southern Appalachians which I had never seen and especially wanted to explore.

Weary

I can certainly appreciate those who cannot hike the entire trail for whatever reason. AND they are not less important than those who do.

Though they are section hikers, not thru-hikers (which I'm addressing).

Raeba

Programbo
02-07-2006, 19:19
I'm curious how many old school (some read true) thru-hikers are left out there.....Are any of you still doing it without checking into motels and eating in restaurants?

How far back are you going?..I`m not exactly a "thru hiker" but I hiked half the trial at one shot and hiked 5-6 additional month long trips during the 70`s...While it wasn`t something I or anyone else did as a matter of course we did eat in a restaurant now and then when stopping in a trial town to resupply..I think I recall staying in a motel maybe 3 times on all my treks when I hiked far down into the valley to stock up and just wanted a shower and a soft bed for a night..Also a youth hostel once and a YMCA summer camp which was closed for the winter but the door was unlocked on a cabin :)

Moxie00
02-07-2006, 19:25
I still cannot understand where the term "old school" comes in. Are you implying that someone who doesn't go to town is old? I think alot of experienced trail veterans have pointed out most of the old, say pre 1965, hikers didn't hermit hike. I also am confused by the term "school". What does that have to do with hiking without socializing. I could not survive on nuts and berries so your definition of old school must have either carried six months suooley of fod and fuel or gone to town sometime.

raeba
02-07-2006, 19:48
I still cannot understand where the term "old school" comes in. Are you implying that someone who doesn't go to town is old? I think alot of experienced trail veterans have pointed out most of the old, say pre 1965, hikers didn't hermit hike. I also am confused by the term "school". What does that have to do with hiking without socializing. I could not survive on nuts and berries so your definition of old school must have either carried six months suooley of fod and fuel or gone to town sometime.

Please go back and read a few messages back that I wrote. The text is in bold magenta type.

Thanks. Sorry for the confusion.

Raeba

Mags
02-07-2006, 19:49
ByAre there many AT thru-hikers hiking the trail today without the aid of hotels, restaurants...?

Raeba

How would we know..they aren't in books I thought? :D

This is starting to remind me of people I see here in the People's Republic. They'll let you know how enlightened they are and what great people they are. Makes me want to offer a PBR and brat to see them run away in fright...

Anyway, it is just hiking. The original old school guy..the one who thought up this whole thing said the purpose of the AT is simply was "to walk, to see, to see what you see". Anything else is just like talking about angels and the head of the pin. Why make it complicated?

The old school guy's name was Benton MacKaye.

mweinstone
02-07-2006, 19:49
i cant be myself around anyone whos clean,rich,ownsthings like wallets,houses,electric shavers,boats,etc. i belive you cant own a thing and its scary to me that people spend there lives amassing anything other than the love of others and god. this ol boy dont ever eat or sleep with others in houses or motels . i am fine in shelters and hostles .i dont go to partys,have friends,eat christmas dinner with people ever,ever.i like to hang out with the homelass sometimes more than my own son,as much as.i find our world unwelcoming to most non card carrying folk and i really get the willys being around matirialistic man.im actually scared about getting in trouble in the white mts hut system. i know i cant stay in a jail like those huts where they insist you help out and do chores. i dont want to break the rules but ill be camping stealth under a parked car before ill join a group like those hut folks with there rules and boundrys. as for the fact that they may be the only source of water or flat ground or if theirs nowhere to hideout,then ill prtest and do what i must. but i dont vote and i dont trust anyone ive ever met.so im weird. i am waiting for jesus,you guys can live however you like. but im gonna wait for him.period.

raeba
02-07-2006, 20:08
How would we know..they aren't in books I thought? :D


Do you only know people who are in books? And people who did it, know themselves.

Ok, for you, I recommend (no insist) that you do read the books. :)

Raeba

raeba
02-07-2006, 20:12
i cant be myself around anyone whos clean,rich,ownsthings like wallets,houses,electric shavers,boats,etc. i belive you cant own a thing and its scary to me that people spend there lives amassing anything other than the love of others and god. this ol boy dont ever eat or sleep with others in houses or motels . i am fine in shelters and hostles .i dont go to partys,have friends,eat christmas dinner with people ever,ever.i like to hang out with the homelass sometimes more than my own son,as much as.i find our world unwelcoming to most non card carrying folk and i really get the willys being around matirialistic man.im actually scared about getting in trouble in the white mts hut system. i know i cant stay in a jail like those huts where they insist you help out and do chores. i dont want to break the rules but ill be camping stealth under a parked car before ill join a group like those hut folks with there rules and boundrys. as for the fact that they may be the only source of water or flat ground or if theirs nowhere to hideout,then ill prtest and do what i must. but i dont vote and i dont trust anyone ive ever met.so im weird. i am waiting for jesus,you guys can live however you like. but im gonna wait for him.period.

Are you looking for a date? :-? JUST KIDDING <running to take shower>. :jump

Raeba

Lone Wolf
02-07-2006, 20:12
So Raeba, did you go into stores/post offices to resupply? If so that wouldn't be an authentic through hike.

Blue Jay
02-07-2006, 20:23
I'm curious how many old school (some read true) thru-hikers are left out there.

Are any of you still doing it without checking into motels and eating in restaurants?

Thanks.

Raeba

Congratulations, you've discovered a new and creative way to be superior to other thrus. All hale the great and powerful raeba (yawn).

mweinstone
02-07-2006, 20:35
yes.why are we soul mates.oh wait a minute.arent you the chick that was the girl in the chair nitting in my dream aweek or so ago?

Frosty
02-07-2006, 20:50
i cant be myself around anyone whos clean,rich,ownsthings like wallets,houses,electric shavers,boats,etc. i belive you cant own a thing and its scary to me that people spend there lives amassing anything other than the love of others and god. this ol boy dont ever eat or sleep with others in houses or motels . i am fine in shelters and hostles .i dont go to partys,have friends,eat christmas dinner with people ever,ever.i like to hang out with the homelass sometimes more than my own son,as much as.i find our world unwelcoming to most non card carrying folk and i really get the willys being around matirialistic man.im actually scared about getting in trouble in the white mts hut system. i know i cant stay in a jail like those huts where they insist you help out and do chores. i dont want to break the rules but ill be camping stealth under a parked car before ill join a group like those hut folks with there rules and boundrys. as for the fact that they may be the only source of water or flat ground or if theirs nowhere to hideout,then ill prtest and do what i must. but i dont vote and i dont trust anyone ive ever met.so im weird. i am waiting for jesus,you guys can live however you like. but im gonna wait for him.period.Matt, Put the coffee cup down. Real slow, now. Okay, step away from the coffee maker. Easy, easy, nice and easy, and no one ges hurt. :D

mweinstone
02-07-2006, 20:59
im about to make a donation just for the ability to edit my posts.then i could undo my life at white blaze and erase any trace of me. cause this site is way funner to read than to post on.

icemanat95
02-07-2006, 21:55
For their to be an "old school" in which hikers hiked the whole AT without eating in restaurants, staying in inns, motels or boarding houses, yogiing food from houses they pass along the way, etc. You have to demonstrate that this was an original ethic of thru-hiking. That is demonstrably untrue. The idea of going it on your own without any outside help or comfort is a modern ideal. From the first colonists to today, any time people have gone on long journeys, they have sought out and accepted the aid of other people they have encountered along the way, resting in villages, trading for food and goods, enjoying fellowship, etc. The first thru-hikers on the AT did this and thus set an example of some of the cultural aspects of the AT, and since that time, hikers from all walks of life and all geographical locations have learned about the people who live along the trail by visiting them and visiting with them.

So really, the "old school," the school established by Earl Shaffer and Ed Garvey and Grandma Gatewood, is the tradition of stopping in towns eating in cafes and restaurants, staying in inns, boarding houses and haylofts, and enjoying the people along the way as well as the mountains.

Benton MacKay's original vision, unrealistic as it was, was to establish frequent communes along the way where people could actually live and work and where hikers could stop temporarily to help out and be helped out. The idea of thru-hiking wasn't even in MacKay's conception at all. his vision was for a series of vacation camps connected by hiking trails.

I'm not belittleing your idea or ideals, there isn't anything wrong with them. You are just laboring under a false impression of what things were like during the early days of AT thru-hiking and long distance section hiking.

Frosty
02-07-2006, 22:14
From the first colonists to today, any time people have gone on long journeys, they have sought out and accepted the aid of other people they have encountered along the way, resting in villages, trading for food and goods, enjoying fellowship, etc. Even before the colonists. Providing aid to those on a pilgrimage is an Old World tradition. Even yogi-ing has ancient roots. How different was it for Old World travelers to be fed in homes along the way in return for telling stories of their adventures. The family who feeds a thruhiker at a picnic table and gets an hour or two of entertaining stories in return had received full value.

Hikes in Rain
02-08-2006, 09:29
When I read "old school", I immediately thought of pulling out my trusty hatchet, whacking down a couple of pines to make my fragrant, soft bough bed, and using one of the trunks as a ridgepole to thatch the roof of my leanto with more boughs, to shed the drizzle. After that, of course, I'd need to pile up cords of firewood to keep that all night campfire burning so I'd stay warm and snug, after supping nicely on all the game I'd shot earlier in the day, and am now roasting over the coals raked out of that big fire that's lighting up the clearing. Now there's old school!

Restaurants, hostels and such? Maybe I'm in the wrong thread.....but they sure are a welcome site after a week or so on the trail.

rickb
02-08-2006, 10:22
Raeba--

Sounds like you had an interesting hike Raeba. Most interesting to me is that you were able to really Hike Your Own Hike.

Most of us (me included) seem to adopt the norms of everyone else around us on the Trail.

Not sure why so many in this thread seem to deny the fact that the norms have changed over the years. WHile it may be tru that early hikers took advantage of barns or gazebos or later on hostels, that hardly compares to checking into facilities with TVs every week or so. But that's beside the point. Seems you wrote your own contract and lived up to it. In my book that is a cool approach to thru hiking.

Rick B

dje97001
02-08-2006, 10:42
As if it mattered let's paraphrase: My evidence is the thru-hikers that you don't know, will never meet, and won't ever see because they don't want to be seen! Now that is a convenient argument.

Ghosts and Aliens and Bigfoot, oh my!;)

gargamel
02-08-2006, 11:31
Sometimes I wonder if all this is still about hiking, or doing a hike in a special way. Isn't it enough to walk the whole way from Georgia to Maine (or the other way round) ? Or isn't this any longer considered something extraordinary only because so many people have done it in the past? Maybe some people (and I don't mean anyone in particular) feel the need to distinguish themselves from the "mass". But what makes their hike something special? Only because they have done it in a way others don't have? But then this isn't longer about the hike itself but about the difference to other hiking styles. And what's next? Hiking the trail backwards? Hopping 2167 miles on one foot? Certainly there are so many ways to make the hike yet harder and more challenging than it is. But then it is not longer a hike but a competition.

Don't get me wrong on this. Nothing to be sayed about competition and challenges. Let's take Sqeakys Triple Crown or his upcoming sub40 attempt as an example. I admire his ability to challenge himself. But I don't think he would consider his hikes as superior and the only legitimate way to do it.

I think there's a good reason the ATC refuses to define the term "thruhiker" and gives such a broad definition what they consider a 2000-miler (anyone who has hiked the entire Trail between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Katahdin in Maine.)

There are so many different ways to hike this trail:

Whiteblazers vs. Blueblazers
tent vs. tarp. vs. hammock vs. shelter
cellphone vs. no cellphone
hiking poles vs. no poles
(and so on...)

Imagine some organisation would set up a bunch of rules to define a thruhike. Would't it be boring to religiousely follow this rules only to be considered as a legitimate thruhiker?

In my view it's like cooking: You can follow the recipe or you can take it as a starting point for your own creation. And as long as you don't oversalt nobody would say it doesn't taste good only because you deviated from the recipe book.

Mags
02-08-2006, 11:39
Do you only know people who are in books? And people who did it, know themselves.

Ok, for you, I recommend (no insist) that you do read the books. :)

Raeba

Er..yes.

THanks for the info.

Mags
02-08-2006, 11:46
Raeba--

Sounds like you had an interesting hike Raeba. Most interesting to me is that you were able to really Hike Your Own Hike.

Most of us though (myself included) take umbrage at the term "authentic thru-hike". Again, reminds me of the people I know in my little town. Bleech!

When someone starts saying (or even more smarmy--implying) that their way is the one, true way, my BS detector starts going off.

Couple that that with the "I know people you don't know.Nyah! Nyah! Nyah!"..and it just gets annoying.

As my Mom so wisely said "It is not what you say..it is how you say it".

Talk about your hike. It does indeed sound interesting.

But "old school", "authentic" and "my unknown sources".

Shove it.

It is simple:

There are three things: to walk, to see, and to see what you see.</pre>

Sly
02-08-2006, 12:01
When someone starts saying (or even more smarmy--implying) that their way is the one, true way, my BS detector starts going off.

Yup, that's what I get from this thread.

Mouse
02-08-2006, 12:02
I have little patience with this sort of imaginary hero worship. I have not seen any evidence that early thruhikers were any less willing than modern ones to take advantage of whatever commercial food and lodging were available. And even more willing to avail themselves of the hospitality of local residents. A bed is a bed, whether in a motel or a farmhouse. Back then even the 100 Mile Wilderness was hardly that, strewn with camps with food and lodging. Back then just completing the Trail seemed challenge enough, with little concern with "purity".

If one wants to hike that way well and good, it is even laudable as an acomplishment, but don't bother trying to sanctify it with claims of trueness to thruhiking. Especially with no evidence that such an "Old School" existed and plenty of evidence that it did not.

weary
02-08-2006, 12:10
....I think there's a good reason the ATC refuses to define the term "thruhiker" and gives such a broad definition what they consider a 2000-miler (anyone who has hiked the entire Trail between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Katahdin in Maine.).....
The definition of a 2000-miler is a bit more detailed than garamel thinks:

"The Appalachian Trail Conservancy recognizes anyone who reports completion of the entire Trail as a 2,000-miler. The term is a matter of tradition and convenience, based upon the original estimated length of the Trail. Conservancy policy is to operate on an honor system, assuming that those who apply for 2000-miler status have hiked all of the A.T. between Katahdin and Springer Mountain, either as a thru-hiker or in sections. In the event of an emergency, such as a flood, a forest fire, or an impending storm, blue-blazed trails or officially required roadwalks are viable substitutes for the white-blazed route. Issues of sequence, direction, speed, length of time or whether one carries a pack are not considered. ATC assumes that those who apply have made an honest effort to walk the entire Trail, even if they did not walk past every white blaze."

Note that blue-blazed shortcuts are allowed only in an emergency, such as "flood, a forest fire, or an impending storm." The exceptions don't include your desire to get to Damascus for Trail Days, or to catch up with trail buddies, or hitching ahead to get supper ready for buddies, or the need to pickup a mail drop before the post office closes.

They don't even include taking longer blue-blazed loop trails to a scenic overlook, waterfall, shelter or other trail attraction, though I think they should.

Anyway, the latter omission is why I can never apply for a 2,000-miler patch, though I suspect many who have greater transgressions than I, do so regularly.

Weary

Jaybird
02-08-2006, 12:22
I'm curious how many old school (some read true) thru-hikers are left out there.Are any of you still doing it without checking into motels and eating in restaurants?Thanks.Raeba



If anyone is honest about it...i dont think you'd find any "OLD SKOOL" hikers out there...:D

Almost There
02-08-2006, 12:23
Actually Weary,

I think there are many who think you would be well deserving of applying. Did you walk 2,000 miles? If yes, then go for it, don't let the pride of others get in the way of your sensibilities. It is this holy reverence to the "white blaze" that makes people miss out on great scenery and views. If the mileage is there it should be your choice. Who defines honest effort, as the blue blazed routes are recognized alternatives. It's about interpretation. If there are those with multiple hikes under their belt advocating blue blazes, it is simply something I am willing to consider.

shades of blue
02-08-2006, 12:31
Somewhere there is a thread that talks about "what I would do different on another thru-hike" or something like that. Some people would slack pack more, some less. Some would take zero days in the woods, or not be mile monsters...some would take more town days or try for bigger miles.

We can get into huge discussions about what is authentic....but in the end a long distance hike can be about many things...to you. Your self-discipline and accomplishment is subjective....unless you are pitting it against the ATC's guidelines...and then, does it really matter....to anyone else?

I can understand the need to see..."did anyone else do it my way?" attitude, as long as it doesn't carry the "if you didn't do it my way it wasn't authentic" attitude.

It would be interesting to not stay in hostels and towns...not eat in resturants...but then again, you miss the different cultures that you would interact with if you did go into "rural civilization". I can't say one is better than the other, but you would get a different experience.

By the way....I hike to get out of school (I'm a teacher) why would I want Old School?:rolleyes:

Mouse
02-08-2006, 12:35
By the way....I hike to get out of school (I'm a teacher) why would I want Old School?:rolleyes:

LOL! :jump

gargamel
02-08-2006, 12:40
The definition of a 2000-miler is a bit more detailed than garamel thinks


I was well aware that there is a more detailed definition, but nevertheless it's a very broad one, who gives you a lot of options to do your hike the way you consider the best (certainly within some borders).

As far as blue-blazing is concerned I'm 100% with you. And although I think you would deserve every right to call yourselve a 2000 miler I admire your steadfastness not to apply for recognition. :)

rickb
02-08-2006, 13:55
The only reason the term 2000-Miler exists is that the ATC decided to give out an award under that name.

For a long time, the ATC was very focused on marking and establishing and protecting a continuous footpath. That continuity was very important to them, so it should come as no surprise that their "2,000 Miler Award" was for ALL the trail, not just MOST of it.

Why is this important?

Its not important, except for that rare thru hiker who will read the ATC's written application up in Baxter only to be surprised by what it says, and feels some distress as a result. Future thru hiker can read the appication at atconf.org.

Rick B

(A proud 2,000 Miler who is even prouder that he never applied for it.)

weary
02-08-2006, 15:05
I suspect that I've seen more of the trail corridor than most thru hikers/2,000-milers. I find that important.

I don't find a 2,000 miler patch important. Above my computer are a couple of maps showing the AT from Springer to Katahdin and a poster of a snow covered wolf I picked up when "Restore" gave me a piece of inscribed drift wood a few weeks ago. To the left is a wall of such things collected over the decades.

I have to smile from time to time when I think of the problem they will pose for my kids one of these days. They won't feel right about throwing them away, but they certainly won't want them on their walls.

Eventually my grandkids will probably find a dusty box, take a final glance and assign them to the dump. As Henry observed, "when a person dies, he literally hits the dust," or words to that effect.

Weary

TJ aka Teej
02-08-2006, 15:22
The only reason the term 2000-Miler exists is that the ATC decided to give out an award under that name.

I don't think Myron Avery and the other early 2000-milers got 'awards' other than recognition and acknowledgement. It wasn't until single season end-to-end hikes began that the "how" and "how many" of the miles covered began to matter to some people.

raeba
02-08-2006, 16:38
So Raeba, did you go into stores/post offices to resupply? If so that wouldn't be an authentic through hike.

I didn't say that my hike is authentic for others. I just count sleeping and eating on the trail, rather than in hotels and restaurants, more authentic for me.

R

raeba
02-08-2006, 16:41
For their to be an "old school" in which hikers hiked the whole AT without eating in restaurants, staying in inns, motels or boarding houses, yogiing food from houses they pass along the way, etc. You have to demonstrate that this was an original ethic of thru-hiking. That is demonstrably untrue. The idea of going it on your own without any outside help or comfort is a modern ideal. From the first colonists to today, any time people have gone on long journeys, they have sought out and accepted the aid of other people they have encountered along the way, resting in villages, trading for food and goods, enjoying fellowship, etc. The first thru-hikers on the AT did this and thus set an example of some of the cultural aspects of the AT, and since that time, hikers from all walks of life and all geographical locations have learned about the people who live along the trail by visiting them and visiting with them.

So really, the "old school," the school established by Earl Shaffer and Ed Garvey and Grandma Gatewood, is the tradition of stopping in towns eating in cafes and restaurants, staying in inns, boarding houses and haylofts, and enjoying the people along the way as well as the mountains.

Benton MacKay's original vision, unrealistic as it was, was to establish frequent communes along the way where people could actually live and work and where hikers could stop temporarily to help out and be helped out. The idea of thru-hiking wasn't even in MacKay's conception at all. his vision was for a series of vacation camps connected by hiking trails.

I'm not belittleing your idea or ideals, there isn't anything wrong with them. You are just laboring under a false impression of what things were like during the early days of AT thru-hiking and long distance section hiking.

If someone told you "ummm, I made a mistake on the map directions that I gave you, don't follow them." I presume not.

I MADE A MISTAKE WITH THE TERMINOLOGY! MOVE ON! - Sheesh, read the thread first...

raeba
02-08-2006, 16:44
Raeba--

Sounds like you had an interesting hike Raeba. Most interesting to me is that you were able to really Hike Your Own Hike.

Most of us (me included) seem to adopt the norms of everyone else around us on the Trail.

Not sure why so many in this thread seem to deny the fact that the norms have changed over the years. WHile it may be tru that early hikers took advantage of barns or gazebos or later on hostels, that hardly compares to checking into facilities with TVs every week or so. But that's beside the point. Seems you wrote your own contract and lived up to it. In my book that is a cool approach to thru hiking.

Rick B

Thank you for your very mature and insightful post. You seemed to get right through to the meaning, rather than mince words. I don't have to tell you, as I'm sure others have (or believe): you're wise!

Best to you...

Raeba

raeba
02-08-2006, 16:47
As if it mattered let's paraphrase: My evidence is the thru-hikers that you don't know, will never meet, and won't ever see because they don't want to be seen! Now that is a convenient argument.

Ghosts and Aliens and Bigfoot, oh my!;)

Evidence of what? You're straining way more out of this than there is. Do you not think that people can hike the AT without the aid of hotels and restaurants?

Challenge yourself - in your own way or follow the crowds (if you prefer). But don't do it blindly.

R

raeba
02-08-2006, 16:53
Sometimes I wonder if all this is still about hiking, or doing a hike in a special way. Isn't it enough to walk the whole way from Georgia to Maine (or the other way round) ? Or isn't this any longer considered something extraordinary only because so many people have done it in the past? Maybe some people (and I don't mean anyone in particular) feel the need to distinguish themselves from the "mass". But what makes their hike something special? Only because they have done it in a way others don't have? But then this isn't longer about the hike itself but about the difference to other hiking styles. And what's next? Hiking the trail backwards? Hopping 2167 miles on one foot? Certainly there are so many ways to make the hike yet harder and more challenging than it is. But then it is not longer a hike but a competition.

Don't get me wrong on this. Nothing to be sayed about competition and challenges. Let's take Sqeakys Triple Crown or his upcoming sub40 attempt as an example. I admire his ability to challenge himself. But I don't think he would consider his hikes as superior and the only legitimate way to do it.

I think there's a good reason the ATC refuses to define the term "thruhiker" and gives such a broad definition what they consider a 2000-miler (anyone who has hiked the entire Trail between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Katahdin in Maine.)

There are so many different ways to hike this trail:

Whiteblazers vs. Blueblazers
tent vs. tarp. vs. hammock vs. shelter
cellphone vs. no cellphone
hiking poles vs. no poles
(and so on...)

Imagine some organisation would set up a bunch of rules to define a thruhike. Would't it be boring to religiousely follow this rules only to be considered as a legitimate thruhiker?

In my view it's like cooking: You can follow the recipe or you can take it as a starting point for your own creation. And as long as you don't oversalt nobody would say it doesn't taste good only because you deviated from the recipe book.

Rules are pesonal in this case. HYOH. Some people leave their thru-hike on Springer Mt. headed NOBO, because they've done the only 20 miles they could handle (for whatever reason). But it is still significant. Some just sit on their couches at home and do nothing.

My way is not the only way, not even the right way to most (as evidenced in what the trail is like today). But that doesn't mean my way is not a valid one too.

I emphasized OVER AND OVER that it is MY PERSONAL way that I am proud of. The very fact that this brings this on is good reason for one to privately/inwardly ask why!

Very interesting behavior coming from this - most revealing.

R

raeba
02-08-2006, 16:57
Most of us though (myself included) take umbrage at the term "authentic thru-hike".

It doesn't have to be taken that way when people are referring to an 'authentic thru-hike' that is personal and applies to themselves.

Do you have any thoughts or beliefs of what an authentic thru-hike is for you?

What about a person who hitches a ride during their 'thru-hike' to skip a couple hundred miles? Is there still no call for any idea of what is authentic.

To that person it may remain authentic, perhaps to you and I it wouldn't be.

R

Old Hillwalker
02-08-2006, 17:00
Old Johnny Muir hiked from Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico in 1867. Being just after the Civil War there was a scarcity of motels and gas stations, but he did Yogi a bit. Of course the AT wasn't even a dream yet, and he only did about a thousand miles. Makes good reading though. :) A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1916

raeba
02-08-2006, 17:01
When someone starts saying (or even more smarmy--implying) that their way is the one, true way, my BS detector starts going off.


Do you believe that your above statement is true? Does your statement (above) imply your 'way' or beliefs?

Oops, that detector is going off, because your statement implies that it is your way and the right way to think.

R

Skyline
02-08-2006, 17:03
I think Cabin Fever is finally afflicting a few of us this Winter.

School? I hated school. The old schools and the new schools. Don't want any part of school. Just let me hike.

Sly
02-08-2006, 17:06
My way is not the only way, not even the right way to most (as evidenced in what the trail is like today). But that doesn't mean my way is not a valid one too.

Well, you did say in your first post, yours was the "old school" or "true" way, which to me means the other ways must be nouveau or false.

raeba
02-08-2006, 17:12
Well, as many of you know from other threads here, this forum is open to all. There are many here who are young and are still trying to figure out who they are and what strange things are happening to them. There are others who are well-educated (not talking about schools), ignorant, ethical, non-ethical, mentally-ill (though maybe yet unknown to themselves) and on and on.

It's like holding a meeting and inviting people from top universities, scientific organizations, mainstream America, mental institutions, and all many of other sector of society and asking them to determine what to do or believe about this or that issue. You'll get a lot of good and a considerable amount of misdirected, immature nonesense.

With that in mind, I concede that this thread has become likewise. I recommend that anyone with any sense move on.

It's an exercise in futility to persist. Relax! It's just my opinion - do what you want. Don't let it make you unstable or insecure.

Raeba

JoeHiker
02-08-2006, 17:20
"Old school" "new school"
"true" "false"
"Valid" "not valid"

Debates like this mystify me. I don't see how there is any virtue in either avoiding restaurants or seeking them out. If your goal is to avoid human contact, I suppose I might understand - the effect of solitude is big.

But once you are in town, you are in town. Don't kid yourself. The difference between eating a restaurant-cooked meal vs one that you made from the pasta mix you bought at the Super Stop and Shop isn't something with virtue. It certainly does not inspires admiration. The main difference is who cleans the pots

Alligator
02-08-2006, 17:27
Old school is wiping your ass with leaves. I'd have a lot of respect for any thru who managed to go the whole trip without tp, but don't expect me to shake your hand:bse .

casanoah
02-08-2006, 17:46
I'm not taking any tp nor will I be staying in any Motels or Hotels or any such sillyness.

Mags
02-08-2006, 17:48
Oops, that detector is going off, because your statement implies that it is your way and the right way to think.

R

No, I just think you are like a diaper...full of sh**.

Quit the "enlightened one" routine. It is transparent.

My "way", ahem, is just for poeple to enjoy their hike..without some false sense of superiority.

Sly
02-08-2006, 17:53
The Raeba Way, kinda like the Ray Way, only different. :rolleyes:

gargamel
02-08-2006, 18:16
My way is not the only way, not even the right way to most (as evidenced in what the trail is like today). But that doesn't mean my way is not a valid one too.

I can't remember having said your way is not a valid one.



I emphasized OVER AND OVER that it is MY PERSONAL way that I am proud of. The very fact that this brings this on is good reason for one to privately/inwardly ask why!


What do you mean if you say "this brings this on"? If you feel this was the right way to do your hike and you enjoyed it you have every right to be proud of (as every other hiker who has acomplished something he/she desired). But you repeatedly used terms like "authentic" and "old school" which for most people implied you would consider only YOUR way as superior, even if this wasn't your intention. (I know you tried to clarify this later on, and if you had asked "How many people have done their hike without staying in hostels and eating in restaurants" in your first post you would have gotten completely different responses.)

I'm 100% with you when you say that people shouldn't follow the crowd (should read: only to do something because all others do it). But I don't think this is the reason most hikers prefer to stay in hostels or eat in restaurants. They simply don't see a reason to abstain from doing so.


Very interesting behavior coming from this - most revealing.

Again a cryptic remark. Revealing what? You asked - you got answers - and now you don't like them. If you like to have simple yes/no answers without expressing personal views I suggest starting a simple poll ("How often have you stayed at a hostel ....") so people only have to check the buttons.

Programbo
02-08-2006, 23:27
I didn't say that my hike is authentic for others. I just count sleeping and eating on the trail, rather than in hotels and restaurants, more authentic for me.R

Ah but some of those quaint little trial towns and their old fashioned diners are part of the trail lore and history just as much as the Civil War battle sites or the old German POW camp you pass in PA (If they haven`t built condos on the site by now)...As I mentioned I hiked extensively all thru the 70`s and don`t really recall anyone who didn`t at least stop in a restaurant or diner every now and then..In my 8-9 months total time on the AT over those years so long ago I think I slept 4-5 times indoors various places which were off the trial..Heck Ed Garvey who is Mister Old School if ever there was one seemed like he was in someones home or hotel or restaurant everytime you turned around..To me you`d be more "old school" for the reason you were on the trial in the first place more than where you slept

rickb
02-09-2006, 10:20
Questions for Raeba...

Mag's comments about the BS detector got me thinking. Not so much about your philosophy, but rather the specifics of your hike.

When did you thru hike?

Also, while I don't find it strange that you didn't stay in any Motels (I didn't either), it does strike me as a rather radical choice that you also elected to bypass other accommodations to stay in the woods.

For example, why did you elect not to stay in a cell at the Graymore Monastery and break bread with the Brothers? How could you have passed up Shaw's and their fried chicken? Or any number of hostels that were free or cost just a buck or two per night?

How could you not have stopped to get served a piece of pie from the First Lady of NH, or popped into get even burger at any of the places that the Trail literally walked right on by?

Seems rather puzzling. I am sure a person like Eustice Conway might have gone that route, but it would be very unique.

Or are you exagerating a bit to make a point and draw comparisons to how norms may have changed over the years?

Rick B

Mags
02-09-2006, 14:54
Ah but some of those quaint little trial towns and their old fashioned diners are part of the trail lore and history just as much as the Civil War battle sites or the old German POW camp you pass in PA (If they haven`t built condos on the site by now)...

HEy..do you have more info about that? I'm a big WW2 buff and did not realize there were POW camps along the AT.

In my family research, found out this past year my grandfather's uncle (in the Italian army) was captured by the Americans in North Africa and shipped to Texas. My grandfather, fighting for the Americans, was shipped to Italy and ended up fighting less than hour where this same uncle came from!

Sorry for the tangent..but your mentioning the POW camp reminded me of neat story.

Off to google search now. :)

Mags
02-09-2006, 14:57
Questions for Raeba...

Mag's comments about the BS detector got me thinking. Not so much about your philosophy, but rather the specifics of your hike.


When did you thru hike?

Mine did for both reasons. :)

I am seriously interested in the hike. I'd love to hear about it. Sounds very unique. And, based on R's posts, sounds like he did it pre-"modern era". I love to hear trail history stories!

Just check the attitude at the door.

Programbo
02-09-2006, 20:19
HEy..do you have more info about that? I'm a big WW2 buff and did not realize there were POW camps along the AT.

Oh Geez I can`t really recall much about it as it was 30+ years ago..I remember it was written about in the MD/PA AT guide book at that time (You know the typical: "At mile 14.3 you will pass on the left just beyond Hollow Rd the ruins of a WW2 POW camp" (I just made that part up as an example of what it said).. and I recall looking at old barracks looking buildings as I passed by..Maybe someone has a guide book that old laying around and can pinpoint the spot better..Or perhaps the trials been rerouted as I recall it was in a section where the trial followed a lot of roads or there may even be a housing complex or factory there now..I`ll do some Google search also

Mags
02-09-2006, 20:33
Oh Geez I can`t really recall much about it as it was 30+ years ago..I remember it was written about in the MD/PA AT guide book at that time (You know the typical: "At mile 14.3 you will pass on the left just beyond Hollow Rd the ruins of a WW2 POW camp" (I just made that part up as an example of what it said).. and I recall looking at old barracks looking buildings as I passed by..Maybe someone has a guide book that old laying around and can pinpoint the spot better..Or perhaps the trials been rerouted as I recall it was in a section where the trial followed a lot of roads or there may even be a housing complex or factory there now..I`ll do some Google search also

Well afer some google searching, here is what I found.

The ruins aren't far from Pine Grrove Furance.

http://www.beulahpresby.org/webmaster/michaux.htm
http://www.wartimememories.co.uk/pow/pinegrove.html

Apparently it was CCC camp, then a POW camp. Its last days were as a church youth camp.

weary
02-09-2006, 23:27
HEy..do you have more info about that? I'm a big WW2 buff and did not realize there were POW camps along the AT.
In my family research, found out this past year my grandfather's uncle (in the Italian army) was captured by the Americans in North Africa and shipped to Texas. My grandfather, fighting for the Americans, was shipped to Italy and ended up fighting less than hour where this same uncle came from!
Sorry for the tangent..but your mentioning the POW camp reminded me of neat story. Off to google search now. :)
The forests around Millinocket, Maine were harvested during World War II by German Prisoners of War from a prison camp in Seeboomook Township, a few miles north of the trail crossing at Abol Bridge. The Army assigned several hundred prisoners to Great Northern Paper Co. of Millinocket because the company had trouble finding laborers to supply its mills with pulp wood.

Weary

RedneckRye
02-09-2006, 23:29
Not quite related to "old school", but when did the whole concept of "purity" arise? Just wondering.

Lone Wolf
02-09-2006, 23:31
When Wingfoot arrived on the scene.

weary
02-09-2006, 23:34
Not quite related to "old school", but when did the whole concept of "purity" arise? Just wondering.
Actually, when ATC began posting its application for 2,000-miler patches, which included the rules for qualifying. The rules were weakened a bit a few years ago to Wingfoot's dismay, but they basically remain the same, while providing a little ambiguity and wiggle room.

Sly
02-09-2006, 23:35
When Wingfoot arrived on the scene.

Yeah think? I know of another that hiked BWF that always mentions he hiked the ENTIRE trail.

shades of blue
02-09-2006, 23:47
weary...
Just from curosity...what were the "rules" before they were watered down so to speak.

weary
02-10-2006, 00:36
weary...
Just from curosity...what were the "rules" before they were watered down so to speak.
I forget. If I run across them I'll post them. But the difference is pretty subtle. Maybe the new part was the bit about making "an honest effort," which some take as an invitation to do whatever the hiker wants, though an honest look at the whole statement makes it obvious that the words do no such thing.

Skyline
02-10-2006, 11:48
I forget. If I run across them I'll post them. But the difference is pretty subtle. Maybe the new part was the bit about making "an honest effort," which some take as an invitation to do whatever the hiker wants, though an honest look at the whole statement makes it obvious that the words do no such thing.

"Honest effort" requires one to be "honorable" in the recounting of the hike. Now that's an old-school concept.

If you make an honest effort to do all the white blazes, but have to detour because of severe ice, lightning, floods, forest fires, etc. I'd think you could honorably say you made an honest effort.

If you skipped a section because you wanted to catch up to friends, aqua-blazed the Shenandoah instead of hiking the AT, or did an alternative route because it was easier or more scenic--I'd think this doesn't qualify under ATC guidelines and you'd be less than honorable if you signed an application stating you hiked the entire AT. The good news is that you could always go back and make up whatever you missed, and then qualify for ATC's recognition. ATC doesn't care if you hiked it all at once, in one or 30 years, how much weight you carried, or if you did it in geographic order. ATC only expects you to make your best honest effort to hike the official AT as it existed at the time of your hike.

And if you don't care about ATC's patch, certificate, and the publication of your name in its magazine--none of this matters one bit. HYOH if you don't intend to apply.

Mags
02-10-2006, 12:07
The forests around Millinocket, Maine were harvested during World War II by German Prisoners of War from a prison camp in Seeboomook Township, a few miles north of the trail crossing at Abol Bridge. The Army assigned several hundred prisoners to Great Northern Paper Co. of Millinocket because the company had trouble finding laborers to supply its mills with pulp wood.

Weary

Makes sense. The majority of the able bodied young men were in the service.

I do know that many of the German PWs didn't mind their internment. The conditions were pretty good overall and they weren't getting shot at! Apparently more than a few marriages happened between PWs and the locals. In such places as Nebreska (which had many 1st and 2nd generation German-Americans who still spoke German and kept up the customs), it was mainly farm work. Which many of the Germans did back home. Add some friendly locals and they were content. There is also a documentary out about many of the Italian PWs who were shipped to areas that happened to have a a local Italian-American population. A few marriages happended between the Italian PWs and the locals as well. Wonder if any wartime marriages happened in Millinocket?

A telling story, though, was that some of the PWs wondered why they were being treated better than the American soldiers who were not allowed to eat in the restaurant. The American soldiers they made reference to were black Americans. Sad chapter in our country's history.

Well, I'm way off on a tangent. Sorry.. :)