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In Pictures: The Inaugural Truthdig Trek

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Posted on Jul 6, 2010
Trek Group photo

This summer’s inaugural Truthdig Trek was truly an adventure. Organized as a fundraiser for Truthdig, the event drew participants from as far away as Canada to join our columnist Chris Hedges, his son and certified mountain guide Thomas Hedges, and Truthdig Publisher Zuade Kaufman on a journey through the Appalachian Trail in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Daily group discussions revolved around Hedges’ classic book, “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning.”

We’d like to thank all of our participants for their support, enthusiasm and adventurous spirit in helping us make the first Truthdig Trek a success. And now we’d like to share some of the remarkable photos that our group took along the way. Click the link below to view a slide show of photos from the Trek—and click here to read what some of our participants are saying about their experiences. And in case you missed it, check out Chris Hedges’ latest column, which was inspired by the Appalachian Trail.

View the Flash Photo Essay

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By skbj329, April 11, 2012 at 9:54 pm Link to this comment

That made nice to see your daily photographs and then lots thanks also to help those who attended which fundraiser. By this can’s sometimes makeup such thing is not depending on diversity fires, and also I regret your daily wording and then brevity on my initial post.

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By Xtreme, March 20, 2011 at 4:46 am Link to this comment

nice pic ..

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By Tobysgirl, July 10, 2010 at 6:06 am Link to this comment

kerryrose, what kind of disabled riders do you instruct?

I need surgery to repair a botched hernia repair (my small intestine is currently bulging outside my abdominal cavity) and was a little worried about falling off, but am just going to put on something binding and try getting on.

I was born in December, so have always thought of myself as half-woman, half-horse. Heights make me nervous, but somehow being five and a half feet off the ground feels just about right. Taking care of my Toby is healing and has helped me not fall into the fibromyalgia pattern of staying up until 2 or 3 a.m. and getting up at noon. Not when someone expects his breakfast! (Plus the carrot for coming when called.)

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By kerryrose, July 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

Hi Tobysgirl

Thanks.  Half horse is a great description.  I need extensive surgery, and I’m afraid to go through it again.

I am a NAHRA riding instructor, though, so I instruct disabled riders, but can’t do it myself anymore.

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By Tobysgirl, July 9, 2010 at 4:24 pm Link to this comment

kerryrose, your post made me sad.

For those of us who are probably half horse, there is nothing like the back of one. I’m disabled, too, partially from bad falls from horseback as a teenager. I have a beautiful, enormous Belgian, but haven’t ridden in three years and my physical therapist wants me to get back in the saddle.

Are there any therapy riding programs near you? Is there any way you could have this experience again? At least you live near a beach!

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By Ouroborus, July 9, 2010 at 4:47 am Link to this comment

Oops! My apologies, I had responded to Hedges column;
Chris Hedges’ Columns
Freedom in the Grace of the World
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
So nix my comment immediately below this one, sorry.

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By Ouroborus, July 9, 2010 at 4:39 am Link to this comment

I had made the first comment here; which has since
disappeared. WTF?
It was a very positive comment about my own days of
major climbs and hikes, which Hedges brought me back
to.
What the hell is going on with TD????

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By Ouroborus, July 9, 2010 at 2:05 am Link to this comment

By No_Man’s_Land, July 8 at 4:49 pm #
This is a sad conversation indeed.

+1 Indeed!

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By no mans land, July 8, 2010 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

This is a sad conversation indeed. With the rare exception of a mature few, there seems no end to the cannibalism of the present political environment. Nice to know that all of the articles and commentaries have been well-contemplated and internalized.

These people had the money and donated it to help this site out. They could have used for far more selfish reasons. Isn’t that the point of what every columnist on this site has been trying to make?

Plus I have no doubt that the folks who went on that trip did not want a bunch of conservative activists crashing the party, lest we forget ACORN’s faux-pimp so soon.

And I’m sure all of my fellow truth-diggers are more than happy to pay their share for the content and platform that they use to disparage each other with so that this group of “lily-white, unfit, social-Darwinist, neat, nifty, elitists” won’t ever have to subject themselves to you again.

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By Puccini, July 8, 2010 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

I would much rather pay for a hike with Chris Hedges than go on a cruise ship with
him. Blogs such as this one are constantly scrambling for funds and in my mind
this was an excellent way to raise some.

Call it what you will. Lily-white, elitist, rich people, etc. My life has been enriched
beyond measure for spending time with such a diverse group of wonderful people
who I now count as friends.

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By samosamo, July 8, 2010 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

****************


I must say that raising funds for TD in this way is fine and if
appell have worded his enthusiasm such that ‘due to the need of
a small group for logistics, it presented great way to have
serious discussion’ then it was not have had such a negative
effect;  the hike itself when taken as a personal event then it
needs nothing more for explanation.

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By Florie, July 8, 2010 at 7:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Josh, “diversity” exists among ALL people, no matter the color of their
skin. In fact even in one person, there are many facets that come to
prominence from day to day.

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By Paul Appell, July 8, 2010 at 4:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow, as a life long farmer(except for time away in school and the army) I have never to my knowledge been considered elitist.  Though maybe my time serving in a Special Forces Group might be viewed as elitist.  I take being considered as elite as a compliment which is why I work long and hard to leave the land that I am caretaker of in better shape than I received it.  I have found that it is more productive and rewarding to associate with serious hard working folks who make the effort to change things for the better.  All those on the trek fit this description.  It was enlightening to benefit from their knowledge gained from hard work and experiences.  Life is too short to waste it on dealing with the stupid, which is why I do not watch Fox news.

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By josh trost, July 8, 2010 at 12:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My thanks also to those who participated in this fundraiser.  By it’s very nature such a thing is not subject to diversity criticisms, and I regret the wording and brevity of my initial comment.

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By mark shaw, July 7, 2010 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

i have to say a bunch of rich dudes hiking through the bush and having there meals waiting for them everynight is elitist and if this is the only way these people have to listen to chris hedges or carry his back pack or scramble to walk next to him all day long,ifeel sorry for you,i actually feel sorry for hedges being surounded with all those hangers on for a week.

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By elisalouisa, July 7, 2010 at 10:08 pm Link to this comment

From what i understand, this was not only an opportunity to get in touch with nature but also a fund raiser for Truthdig. If the participants on this trek will pardon me most of you really don’t look elitist and again if you will pardon me, too fit. But then who am I to say. As one who benefits from this website I thank you all for contributing to Truthdig by being part of this event.

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By brochill, July 7, 2010 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You charged for a hike? Give me a break, the whole point of getting “out there” is to experience a modicum of freedom in a world where almost everything we do is regulated by someone or something. Guided hikes defeat the entire purpose…for me at least.

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By richard nixon, July 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Can anyone give us more insight into what the discussions were like? Did it solely
revolve around WIAFTGUM?

What kind of questions did you/other people ask in them?

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By samosamo, July 7, 2010 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment

****************


By Donna Fritz, July 7 at 5:34 pm

““I enjoyed viewing the slide show, but I must say that I found
the following caption on slide #6 a bit elitist:

“The one advantage of the trek being fairly expensive and
physically demanding is that it weeded out the less serious.” —
Paul Appell”“
*********************

I feel the same about wanting to go and the remark you
reference. Matter of fact I commented on it and appears I was
reported and my comment dropped as, I guess, being too
disparaging or aggressive and officially breaking the rules of
commentary, though I don’t feel I did. But that is neither here
nor there, I feel the person’s comment was just as disparaging
towards others that could not afford to go or were not physically
able to go, if mine was considered as such.

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By Puccini, July 7, 2010 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

I was on the trek and enjoyed is immensely. I come from a blended family of
multiple races including an American Negro wife and children with Central
American heritage.

I know for sure that Paul didn’t intend for his remarks to be elitist and if you knew
him you would know he is anything but that.

I was fortunate to be able to afford it and discovered a place I would have never
known existed and plan on returning to often. Thanks Chris and thanks Truthdig.

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By emaho, July 7, 2010 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It was enjoyable to see the photos, but I have to agree with all the comments, regarding how neat, nifty and elitist it all seemed to be.  I’ve been to the White Mountains—-nearly died there.  It would have been fun to return IF I could have afforded it.

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By Richard Nixon, July 7, 2010 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Did comment #6 get removed? I’m not seeing it.

Some good photos amongst these, thanks.

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By Denise Alexander, July 7, 2010 at 1:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I find it interesting that not only did Mr. Appel think that the you were “weeding out..” the less serious and made it expensive so that that the “best and the brightest(?) could could trek, but that you thought this was informative and enlightening enough to add as a possible inducement to future trips. Damn guys, this is the exact attitude that gives liberals a bad name. I don’t know Mr. Appel and maybe he is a good guy, but you, Truthdig, really should know better and have a bit more respect for your readers.

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By Donna Fritz, July 7, 2010 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

I enjoyed viewing the slide show, but I must say that I found the following caption on slide #6 a bit elitist:

“The one advantage of the trek being fairly expensive and physically demanding is that it weeded out the less serious.” — Paul Appell

I would have loved to have been a part of the Truthdig Trek, but alas I couldn’t even afford the plane ticket (I live in California). I’m sure there are others here who wanted to go, but simply couldn’t afford it.

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By kerryrose, July 7, 2010 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

I grew up on the back of a horse.  It was the place where I was the happiest.  A bad accident later, and I am disabled.  Minus horses, minus long walks and hikes… I have to redefine how to put myself in the natural world…

I spend a lot of time on the beach, just watching.

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By Bill Wolfe, July 7, 2010 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

Dear Mr. Appel - I resent your social Darwinist inspired views about “weeding out” the less serious.

I am very serious and would have loved to go on the Trek, but I couldn’t afford it.

Money doesn’t make one serious.

Wolfe

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By elisalouisa, July 7, 2010 at 5:26 am Link to this comment

        Perhaps that is why there is a sickness

              in the being of our nation, one that all

              the medication in the world cannot cure.

  At one time, prior to our automated ways of transport, we all hiked, calming our turbulent minds, bringing back the sanity that everyday life sucked out.  If you fitness enthusiasts will forgive me, walking not on a treadmill or other exercise equipment where electricity jolts the body and there is no beauty of nature and smell of the earth is not quite the same. Perhaps that is why there is a sickness in the being of our nation, one that all the medication in the world cannot cure.

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By josh trost, July 6, 2010 at 9:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Looks like a lily-white crowd; I’d hope future treks might include more diversity, providing scholarships if necessary.

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