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View Full Version : Whom do you feel better represents the trail today?



Former Admin
09-27-2002, 03:26
Whom do you feel better represents the trail today?

Kerosene
09-27-2002, 09:56
Neither.

ez-does-it
09-27-2002, 10:10
eek: NEITHER

attroll
09-27-2002, 12:44
Neither.

Former Admin
09-27-2002, 14:10
Alright I added a neither option. Is there anyone you feel that should be added?

Hammock Hanger
09-27-2002, 18:43
I agree, neither. I'm not sure there is anyONE person who truly represents todays trail. Unless you look at the folks who are routinely on this site. WE represent the trail. We think it, hike it (regularly), some are RECENT thrus, we discuss it, work at getting there, get educated and informed... HH

Singletrack
09-28-2002, 19:56
I think that the thousands of Section Hikers that go back to the Trail, year after year, until they finsh, represent the Trail the best. They are the vast majority of our AT Hikers. Do you know how hard it is to go back to each section, out of shape and having to go through the beginning aches and pains each time? Just ask one.

EarlyRiser
09-28-2002, 21:14
the trail isnt just limited to one person. the trail is forever. people come people go but the trail is constant the best representation it has is from all those who have gained anything, even somthing small from the trail. we all represent the trail equaly because weve all gained experiance through it and weve all become better for it.

Peaks
10-02-2002, 08:08
I really don't think that any one individual can best represent the trail, least of all Warren Doyle. I don't mean to slam him, because I have met him, and spent some time with him. He has his way of doing things and that's his perogative. But, he typically does the trail in about 14 weeks, and has done it now 13 times or so. He has caused a lot of controversy (and some very hard feelings) at ALDHA.

To quote the music of Takoma Ted: "The people are the trail." So, I'd say that the thru-hikng community best represents the trail. But, more than that, it's probably the section hikers that truely represent the trail, because they are ones that use it the most. As Dave Field says, thru-hikers are a "critical minority."

The Weasel
10-02-2002, 18:31
I am very uncomfortable with ANY issues involving personalities or "popularity contests" here. It doesn't matter who, or why. They're a mistake, and divisive.

Both of these men have made fine contributions to the trail and, to my knowledge, neither has done so out of a sense of competition with each other or anyone else.

This poll should, I think, be closed.

Just my opinion.

The Weasel

Peaks
10-03-2002, 07:04
Weasel: Good Point, well said, and thank you. I'll go further, and suggest that it be deleted. It has no place in this forum.

But these two individuals are just 2 of the many fine people out there who make the trail what it is today.

highway
10-03-2002, 08:33
Originally posted by The Weasel
.

Both of these men have made fine contributions to the trail and, to my knowledge, neither has done so out of a sense of competition with each other or anyone else.

This poll should, I think, be closed.

It is not divisive. It is only an opinion, which, in the final analysis, is what each and every post on this forum really is. If it is not an important one to most, then the thread will languish into obscurity somewhere at the end of the forum.

Anyway, HH said it best "WE [you]represent the trail. We think it, hike it (regularly), some are RECENT thrus, we discuss it, work at getting there, get educated and informed... HH

I have not been there but I can feel the reverence each of you have for it. YOU are the AT, like it or not! Maybe I can join that illustrious group after I have done some of it!

Lone Wolf
11-21-2002, 18:46
WARD LEONARD FOR TRAIL PRESIDENT! My buddy. My hero. Hiking God

Lugnut
11-22-2002, 01:34
Sounds like something a "hobo" would say.;)

Jack Tarlin
11-26-2002, 16:30
Will second what Lone Wolf said. Ward might not be wrapped too tight, but he's the most impressive hiker I ever met.

Jeff
11-26-2002, 17:13
I am not familiar with Ward Leonard....what's the deal??

icemanat95
12-02-2003, 12:30
Ward Leonard is something of a trail legend. He was a fixture for several years there. Just about every thru-hiker seemed to meet him at one point or another as he walked up and down the trail. He set an unofficial speed record in the 80's for a completely self-contained hike (no support vehicles, carrying all his own food and water, resupplying in towns etc.) He also did a double yo-yo once, hiking NB, then turning around at Katahdin and heading south, then turning around north again. He was a very hardy hiker.

Ward is not seen so much in recent years as age has slowed him down a great deal, he's got to be approaching 50 now and he probably cannot handle the 20-30 mile days as easily as he used to. Anecdotes of Ward encounters are also fewer than before.

As far as Ward Leonard's mental state, suffice it to say that he's bizarre, sometimes alarming, but mostly harmless. I've met him a number of times without any trouble, other than trying to extricate myself from bizarre and nonsensical conversations.

smokymtnsteve
12-02-2003, 12:40
WARD LEONARD FOR TRAIL PRESIDENT! My buddy. My hero. Hiking God


I thought eddie abbey was god :D

Moon Monster
12-02-2003, 23:40
The AT is special because all of its users have an intensely personal experience on it that needs no comparison to any other. Nevertheless, the AT community is large enough and old enough to have its own celebrities and to have a forum like this; and forums like this are natural places for celebrities to be examined.

Just as in other communities, there are many AT celebrities who have recused themselves from negative public opinion by recusing their neative opinions from the public. The two celebrities in this poll are not examples of such recused.

I do not think it is inappropriate to have a poll that matches the popularities of two AT celebrities so forward in the eyes of the AT community as these two are.

Lugnut
12-03-2003, 01:30
My vote for the person that truly represents the the real spirit of the trail is Bob Peoples. Bob is the most unassuming man I have met on the trail and does the most with the least grandstanding. He's a legend in my mind and if you don't know who he is or what he does then get yourself to NE TN and find out. I think even Jack will agree with me on this!

smokymtnsteve
12-03-2003, 08:59
I agree Lugnut...bob is super guy

Blue Jay
12-03-2003, 09:08
Lugnut you are exactly correct. Mr. Peoples, Miss Janet and others like them truly make the Trail a very special world.

hikerdude
10-31-2004, 12:25
I picked WD, cause I think he could represent us in washington with Wingfoot. But when I hike, it's the spirit of Myron H Avery. I get to a view and and take a break and the wind blows on my sweaty face. And I feel all that is Myron H Avery. I even think I got a wheel only cause I'm certain this is never been relocated.:-? Always was Myron and always will be. You got the pictures no doubt, but those old black and white photos.

Hawk
10-31-2004, 16:35
The spirit of the trail is best represented by the first-timers. There are no doubt many trail "ambassadors" but the spirit is represented by the earnest and sincere young male and female hikers who enter into the experience with joy and appreciation for all the work performed to make the A/T hiking experience both challenging and an inspiration. If you asked these A/T gurus who they thought represented the A/T spirit, I doubt they would answer "yours truly, of course!"

Kozmic Zian
10-31-2004, 18:31
Whom do you feel better represents the trail today?
Yea.....Of the Two, Doyle gets my vote. At least he's a hiker. Has done the Trail many times. More than anyone I think. Bruce just talks a lot. He has no authority, 'cept for his guide which is anotated by everyone else, not his original info usually. His web cite is a farce. He knows a good bit about the Trail but dosen't really represent it very well, too opinionated. Doyle has a school which teaches folks who want to learn, what it's all about. Good thing. Really knowledgeable. But actually, the White Blaze Open forum better represents what the freedom and wonder of the Trail is all about, just about as good as anything. ATC is good as a governing body. [email protected]:-?

Ridge
11-01-2004, 21:59
Alright I added a neither option. Is there anyone you feel that should be added?
A guy who left WWII, who had lost his best friend to war, and needed a place in which to set his mind straight. I think of the AT as a place to go in order to "set my mind straight". Earl Shaffer inspires me to think of the AT as a pure and wholesome place to get away and to lose myself in nature. I knew Earl and wish everyone who ever set foot on the AT had met him. He made me look at the trail and the experiences in a whole new way. I vote for the inspiration he has given so many and for those yet to be inspired. RIP Earl

Bloodroot
11-02-2004, 08:04
The spirit of the trail is best represented by the first-timers. There are no doubt many trail "ambassadors" but the spirit is represented by the earnest and sincere young male and female hikers who enter into the experience with joy and appreciation for all the work performed to make the A/T hiking experience both challenging and an inspiration. If you asked these A/T gurus who they thought represented the A/T spirit, I doubt they would answer "yours truly, of course!"
Hooah! Nice thought.

Jaybird
11-02-2004, 10:09
why wasnt LONE WOLF included in the poll????????

weary
11-02-2004, 10:33
The people who best represent the spirit of the Appalachian Trail are the 5,000 or so maintainers who are assigned a section and go out on schedule, month after month, year after year, removing the blowdowns, cutting the brush and thistles, picking up the litter, cleaning the privies, moving them when they get full, and just generally making the Appalachian Trail the greatest volunteer recreation project in history.

Coming in second are those who fight to maintain as much wildness as possible in a trail that runs through the most heavily populated states in the east -- those who worked to protect Saddleback, and Max Patch, who fight to keep mining operations, and industrial power generating sites away from the trail, and who lobby their Congressmen and public officials about the importance of this trail.

The rest of us are just users of what others have created and continue to protect.

Weary

Lone Wolf
11-02-2004, 11:39
Jaybird, I represent BLUE-BLAZE trails. :)

Dances with Mice
11-02-2004, 13:22
Jaybird, I represent BLUE-BLAZE trails. :)

I thought that was Pirate's job?

Lone Wolf
11-02-2004, 14:05
I've done more blue-blazing by accident than Pirate has done on purpose. :)
We'll be at Springer March 28th if anyone wants to join us for the 05 Blue Tour.

Crash! Bang!
11-08-2004, 13:28
neither. both of these guys are tools.

i would say the bastard love child of baltimore jack, bob peoples, and miss janet is the best representative

Blue Jay
11-08-2004, 13:52
i would say the bastard love child of baltimore jack, bob peoples, and miss janet is the best representative

We have a new world record for the most offensive post, on so many levels.

Lugnut
11-08-2004, 14:27
i would say the bastard love child of baltimore jack, bob peoples, and miss janet is the best representative

Put your fan away 'cause something is getting ready to hit it!
You just insulted two of the most respected persons associated with the trail; not to mention Jack.

Rocks 'n Roots
11-08-2004, 15:18
If you know anything about the formal AT Wingfoot represents it best. I don't see anyone else out there (including ATC) pushing people towards formal recognition of the Trail's basic purpose and philosophy.


Dan's personality tends to be intolerant of disagreement or even other's input at times. Shame, because people focus on that instead of the valid purpose his Trail drives, education, and support campaigns served.

What happens with "neither" is that the central understanding of the AT reverts to websites, lists, or popular Trail conceptions that don't necessarily reflect any true AT meaning. Many would like Trailfest parties to be the AT's central image.

Wingfoot insists on Trail responsibility. If he does that a little too forcefully is up to debate - but the important part is that he does. Until you can show me equal or better he wins by default...

steve hiker
11-08-2004, 15:34
Note to self: When I'm so bored that I respond to posts like this, it's time to get back to work.

swamp dawg
11-14-2004, 13:52
The trail is not represented by any one indivdual but a group of diverse folks. The two men mentioned are advocates of the trail. Many speak for and about the trail with the ultimate goal of preserving and protecting this fragile corridor.
Life is good.......Swamp Dawg

steve hiker
11-15-2004, 09:50
Jumble Jowls #1 :jump

DLANOIE
03-02-2005, 22:04
I would agree with the overall opinion here. While I dont know who either of those gentleman are, I dont believe any one person can represent the trail. But just for argument sake, how about the men and women who constructed the trail. And how about the hard working folks who maintain the trail. I believe those who volunteer their blood, sweat and tears to keep the trail a reality(in my opinion)best represent the trail "today"

Mountain Dew
03-02-2005, 23:50
I wish we could have a poll where people were NOT allowed to comment other than their vote. Too many people ramble, get off topic, and make weak attempts at philosophical answers.

The poll speaks volumes ! One is all but an outcast and the other is working on obtaining that title. Congrats to both.

Turtle2
08-10-2005, 17:37
The AT is like a group of musicians. Each has it's part and is grand in its own way, but, as a whole something magical is created and without each contribution it would be less.

Scary, huh?

neo
08-10-2005, 21:15
my vote is for baltimore jack:cool: neo

Slimer
08-10-2005, 21:46
I've never met Mr. Doyle, but I have been on Wingfoots site where censorship and dictatorship is alive and well. Can you guess who I voted for?

MOWGLI
08-10-2005, 21:55
You know who best represents the trail? The nameless, faceless dayhiker. Or the lurker out on Whiteblaze who has been reading these forums for a year or two, and has never felt the need to post here.

Other than that, folks like A-Train who is serving as a Ridgerunner, or Dances With Mice who is a maintainer with GATC represent the true meaning of the trail. Without folks like them (and many others) the trail would not exist.

Thru hikers don't represent the trail - IMO. They are a tiny fraction of the user community - and sometimes (a minority to be sure) behave in a manner that actually is detrimental to the trail.

SGT Rock
08-10-2005, 21:58
Well said Mowgli.

Lone Wolf
08-10-2005, 22:30
Ditto what Mowgli said.

fiddlehead
08-10-2005, 22:54
[QUOTE=icemanat95]
Ward is not seen so much in recent years as age has slowed him down a great deal, he's got to be approaching 50 now and he probably cannot handle the 20-30 mile days as easily as he used to. Anecdotes of Ward encounters are also fewer than before.

QUOTE]

I think possibly it's Ward's priorities that have changed. I certainly don't think 50 is old although i guess i would when i was 30?? I did my biggest miles when i was 51.

I think this whole poll is a moot point. Why put any one hiker on a pedestal? The backpacking world tried it early on with Eric Rybeck and was embarressed because of the choice when the truth was found out. I still admire him for doing it 1st (Triple Crown) back when hiking in the complete wilderness for extended trips was something very few were doing. Turns out he got a few rides i think, from cars, so was called a liar and removed from the hero lists or whatever. I thorougly enjoyed his book on the CDT anyway.
No one is perfect are they, and that's what we seem to look for in a legend.
I would say Earl Schaeffer was my biggest hero but then the originaly question was for "Today's" best representation of the trail.

Tha Wookie
08-10-2005, 23:44
You know who best represents the trail? The nameless, faceless dayhiker. Or the lurker out on Whiteblaze who has been reading these forums for a year or two, and has never felt the need to post here.

Other than that, folks like A-Train who is serving as a Ridgerunner, or Dances With Mice who is a maintainer with GATC represent the true meaning of the trail. Without folks like them (and many others) the trail would not exist.

Thru hikers don't represent the trail - IMO. They are a tiny fraction of the user community - and sometimes (a minority to be sure) behave in a manner that actually is detrimental to the trail.
I think everybody represents the trail. If you think about it, hikers on the trail represent a cross-section of America. Granted, a piece of the the white male (mostly) population, but a wide section nonetheless.

There are all different types of folks on the trail. There the people who just hike and never waste their life away on Whiteblaze. There are also thousands of people who dream, blog, post, talk, read ect. about the trail who never set foot on it. Those people also represent the trail. Then you got your folks who just hike their asses off. Then you got the trail maintainers who like to get out and get dirty. Then the people in the towns who identify with the AT. Then the you got Bill Bryson.... well, maybe not everybody. ;)

Sly
08-10-2005, 23:59
The ATC, ALDHA and all their members best represent the trail.

MOWGLI
08-11-2005, 08:42
I think everybody represents the trail. If you think about it, hikers on the trail represent a cross-section of America. Granted, a piece of the the white male (mostly) population, but a wide section nonetheless.



I hear ya Wookie. Looking at the question, and reading some of the recent responses I felt the need to respond.

The question is akin to asking who better represents mainstream American politics? James Carville, Pat Robertson, Ted Kennedy, or Tom DeLay? Of course, the answer is clearly - none of the above.

That's not to attack Warren or Dan. Far from it.

kyhipo
08-11-2005, 08:47
man o man what a topic ofcourse the mts silly i didnt know any of those guys when i started hiking,people dont attract your average person to the trail the trail does.:datz ky

rhjanes
08-11-2005, 09:39
the maintainers......everyday.

earl.....(think about the total lack of facilites and support)

Jack Tarlin
08-11-2005, 18:51
I just re-read this whole thread.....sorry I didn't respond to an old comment of Lugnut's.

I personally don't think that the person who best represents the Trail is necessarily a hiker, and certainly not necessarily a long-distance hiker.

The people that I think best represent the Trail are the folks who a lot of folks have never met or heard much about....folks like Laurie Potteiger or Brian King at the ATC in Harpers Ferry, who have spent years helping protect the trail and helping people to learn more about it.

There are also folks (too numerous to mention), who have spent years helping out hikers on their own, and helped brighten the days of thousands of folks: I'm thinking of angels like Tom Levardi and Rob Bird in Dalton, MA; Miss Tillie Wood near Pearisburg; Greg and Mary of Duncannon, PA; Joel "Bag 'O Trix" Urbine of PA; David Blair of Damascus, VA, Steve Longley of The Forks, Maine.

Also the folks who run "commercial" hostels or businesses but who aren't about the money; these are folks who go the extra mile for hikers not to get rich but mainly because they're great people: Gary and Lennie of the Blueberry Patch in Georgia; Winton Porter, his family, and staff, of Neel Gap in Georgia; Ron Haven of Franklin, TN; Elmer Hall of Hot Springs, NC; Brian and Frank at the Duckett House in Hot Springs; Dan and Wayne of Bluff Mtn Outfitters in Hot Springs; Janet Hensley of Erwin, TN; Jeff Patrick of Mt. Rogers Outfitters in Damascus; Buck and Brenda at the Rendezvous Motel in Pearisburg; Ron and Laura at the Outfitter's in Harpers Ferry; Pat and Vicki at the Doyle Hotel in Duncannon; Paul and Ilene & Honey and Bear, hostel-keepers extraordinnaire of Andover, ME, and Pat and Keith Shaw, Jr., of Monson, ME.

Add also the church hostel folks in places like Damascus, Pearisburg, Cheshire, Vernon, and Greymoor who have helped out strangers for years, without regard to their faith or lack of it.

Also the folks who've moved onto other things or other worlds, like the folks who ran the old church hostels in Waynesboro, Manchester Center, Hanover.
And people like Ed Williams of Vesuvius VA, or Keith Shaw Sr., of Monson.

And last, but certainly not least (anything BUT least!), there are the maintainers who give up their own time----and in some cases, have given up dream hikes of their own----in order to volunteer their time to keep the Trail alive. They expect nothing: Neither recognition, payment, or thanks. Without them, the Trail would disappear.

And as Lugnut put it, I think the Trail is best represented by folks like Bob and Pat Peoples, of Dennis Cove, TN, who've spent almost ten years brightening the lives and days of more hikers than anyone could possibly count. By opening their door to strangers, by performing countless acts of kindness to hikers (and not just thru-hikers), by spending his retirement maintaining the Trail when he could be hiking it.......what Bob does every day represents the Trail better than anyone I know. He has done more good for the Trail in the past decade than all of the "famous" thru-hikers combined, because what he does is not for himself.

Oh well. This is long enough. Apologies in advance for the many people I've managed to forget or leave off this list; this was written very fast. Some of the Trail's best friends are nameless in any case, as they do what they do without seeking thanks, recognition, or acclaim.

In short, there are all sorts of folks who best represent the Trail, and I'm not sure any of them are well-known long-distance hikers. The Trail is bigger than any one or two individuals; as this post proves, it's flatly impossibly to come up with a list of who really represents the AT today.

But I think this is a start. To all the folks I've mentioned above, and all the folks I've forgotten to mention, thanks for ten great years.

Ridge
08-11-2005, 22:20
Even the Native Americans are part of the trail. Some of the trail follows their footsteps from long ago.

Tha Wookie
08-11-2005, 23:00
Even the Native Americans are part of the trail. Some of the trail follows their footsteps from long ago.
You're right about that. And in a way, we represent the Native Americans. In fact, some of us are the native species, at least partly (anybody half, quarter, full blooded out there?).

I thought about this question earlier today when I was weedin the melon patch and I had a romantic vision of Benton Mackaye, up in that tree on Stratton Mt., looking out over the treetops, and being struck with a vision that changed all of our lives forever. I think if I'd have to narrow it down to one person, it would be that person up that tree. I think we all are that person, or at least could be.

To me, that's what the AT is all about: A view that you can't get in town... a landscape stretching deep with inspiration.

SGT Rock
08-11-2005, 23:07
yep, Ive got some ancestry

Tha Wookie
08-11-2005, 23:20
yep, Ive got some ancestryMe too. Cherokee. My great x4 grandmother was full. How bout you?

hey this might be a good thread on it's own....

Tin Man
08-11-2005, 23:28
The Appalachian Trail Community is about everyone involved from hikers to <egads!> congressmen that use and support the trail. Ridge runners, maintainers, the Harper's Ferry crowd, and other people who sweat to help keep it operational are my personal favorites. But where we would be without trail angels, country stores, and all the "off trail" supporters? Where would we be without hiking pole makers, outfitters, ramen noodle makers, and reporters? Some use, some keep it open, some profit, some write for profit, some White Blaze about it, and apologies to the "some" I missed. The AT is a community that, like any community, does not exists without all the pieces and parts. Let's appreciate them all for their role. :clap

Tin Man
08-11-2005, 23:31
Me too. Cherokee. My great x4 grandmother was full. How bout you?

hey this might be a good thread on it's own....

I am part of the part Cherokee crowd too. Maybe that is why some of us are trail people - it is in the blood.

SGT Rock
08-11-2005, 23:44
Me too. Cherokee. My great x4 grandmother was full. How bout you?

hey this might be a good thread on it's own....
That is where I am not exactly clear, my Father's Grandmother was from one of the north eastern tribes. My Great Grandfather and her went west to Washington state, then later came back east during the depression where my Grandmother met my Grandfather in NC. The story was she was so dark, that people often thought she was a light skinned black woman and was the help or something. My Grandfather doesn't know what tribe she was from, apparently that wasn't discussed back then.

Also I probably also have Cherokee, for many generations my Grandmother's people all lived in and around the Cherokee in Qualla NC. My Great Great Great Grandfather was the company commander of Second A company of Love's Battalion of the Thomas' Legion - one of the Cherokee units that fought for the confederacy and was later a Cherokee agent helping them to establish their claim on the land that became Cherokee NC, and my Great Great Great Great Grandfather was one of the local white people that worked to help proxy buy land for the eastern band of the Cherokee.

Lugnut
08-12-2005, 00:47
yep, Ive got some ancestry

Well, having met you I would have never guessed that! :D

Heater
11-11-2012, 04:27
Neither. :)

Ender
11-11-2012, 10:37
18065

I think I'll just shut this one down... no need to bring a 7 year old thread back from the dead.