Monday, May 18, 2009

Scouting, PCT History

A post from a while ago I never finished:

Using parts of the school library I've never been to before, I watched the 2001 Sundance Best Documentary Audience Award winner, Scout's Honor, about people trying to get the Boy Scouts to change their discriminatory policies. It's not the greatest documentary I've ever seen in my life in a technical sense, but I strongly support the cause and it's worth watching. Film website. Scouting for All, the organization featured in the film.

I also looked at a 1945 copy of Clinton C Clarke's book Pacific Crest Trailway from the Bancroft library. It had 12 loose prints of famous mountains along the trail, and eight maps of the trail, all on delicate tracing paper, hence the book's location in the fancy-pants no-circulation no-pens-allowed we-have-Mark-Twain's-private-letters Bancroft library. It was interesting to compare the original idea with the finished version. I'd say the original is very close to today's, except the mileage estimate was a very low 2156. The miles on private land estimate was spot on (160) and I think that's pretty much the same today, with the exception of last year's successful first purchase by the PCTA (Yay!)

Neat original trail details:
  • The current Glacier Peak detour was one of two suggested original routes in the area.
  • The maps made it look like the trail summited (or at least went really close to the summit of) Mt. Hood.
  • The original trail went east of Mt. Shasta.
  • South of Mt. Whitney the trail went over Siberian Pass instead of Cottonwood and then did the largest section of trail where I didn't recognize any names--I believe it was all further west than today's version.
  • Trail hit PO's in Weldon and Piute.
  • Trail went right through the towns of Big Bear Lake and Idyllwild.
  • Trail conceived as part of "Trail of the Americas" from Aconcagua to Denali.


Quotes:
"Mechanization has created a soft, flabby civilization; there is a marked deterioration in the physical, mental, and spiritual caliber of our youth due to too much bossing, regulation, and regimentation."

"The masterpieces of Mother Nature have a lasting curative and civilizing value that should not be lessened by mechanization and commercialization except under dire necessity, and this necessity no longer exists."

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