Appalachian Trail - Class of 2018

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by Longbeard, Dec 17, 2017.

  1. Longbeard

    Longbeard Continental Drifter Bushclass III

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    Once again the stars have aligned and I get to do a rolling camping trip from Georgia to Maine. For a bushcrafter, it's really more about the ecosystems that you pass through rather than state boundaries. I say "get to" because I know that any day that I get to hike the AT is the greatest day of my life. Many times I have hoisted on my pack shortly after dawn (or the crack of noon) and surveyed my mountain kingdom and realized: I get to do this? Miraculous.

    My intention is to start slow in early March and stay out the entire season and be the last man to summit Katahdin on October 15, because as the saying goes, last man to Katahdin wins. I like to say "He who has the most fun wins".

    When I finished the PCT everybody automatically assumed I would go for the CDT next to finish the triple crown. I gave it a lot of thought, and the short version is: not this year, maybe next time. And there will be a next time as long as I can walk. I look at my first thru hike of the AT in 2015 as a practice run. This trip should be more fun because now I know where all the best spots are and I will have extra time to enjoy them.

    So, if you live near the AT, let's meet up and drink a beer. Or come out and hike for a couple days, you can set the pace, haha.

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  2. Mr. Tettnanger

    Mr. Tettnanger Supporter Supporter

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    Awesome! Congrats!

    I am really excited to follow your journey.....and jealous too!

    Best of luck!
     
  3. petey091

    petey091 Scout

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    Good luck and I look forward to hearing about your trip. I started section hiking last year and have Maryland done and currently working on Pa and Va.
     
  4. roadwarrior

    roadwarrior Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Good luck on your next adventure, I live less than an hour from the trail in CT. When you make it this far the nights will be a little colder.
     
  5. GoKartz

    GoKartz Sharpaholic

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    I'll definitely try to come out and play if I can swing childcare and work when you get up to PA! Slightly jealous of your ability to do these hikes - thru hiking the AT seems like a pipe dream for me these days.
     
  6. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    Looking forward to your reports!
     
  7. Simplejack

    Simplejack Scout

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    Ill still be in ne ga around then. Beers on the back side of hawk mountain. Theres a shelter for hikers too.
     
  8. Riverpirate

    Riverpirate Supporter Supporter

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    A dream....looks like I will never live this dream.
     
  9. CoolBreeze135

    CoolBreeze135 Scholarly Woodsman Supporter

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    Awesome! I live near several access points along the TN/NC section. I do a little section hiking, but not in an organized way. Of course, I love the Smokies (haven’t done the whole stretch of the AT through the park yet), but I also really like the Roan Mountain/Carvers Gap stretch and the Grayson Highlands/Mt. Rogers stretch.
     
  10. Longbeard

    Longbeard Continental Drifter Bushclass III

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    I had to wait a loooong time before I got my freedom bro, your day will come. Just keep the dream alive.

    Copy that. I stayed in that shelter too during my first week on the trail.

    I remember the climb up Roan Mtn hurting a lot and hellish rain coming down the other side. Good times.
     
  11. Wilderness Spirit

    Wilderness Spirit Guide Vendor Supporter

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    I’ll be following your journey. The AT runs along the top of the mountain behind my house in NEPA. @Longbeard
     
  12. jerome

    jerome Scout

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    i live 20 min from the A.T. when you up to this area, id love to buy you a beer, let you get a shower do laundry etc.
     
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  13. hdlv

    hdlv Treen Machine Supporter

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    That's awesome, I think about doing that one again all the time. I'd be happy to do some magic for you and whatever gang of trash you're running with when you get up to NY. I can also take you in when you get to NJ at the Delaware Water Gap if you don't want to stay at that church... theres an REI near by.
     
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  14. Pharmer

    Pharmer Supporter Supporter

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    Exciting to hear this. I hope by the time I get the chance to attempt it it'll still be what it is now. I'm sure the trail evolves a little every year I just hope it doesn't change too much. Best of luck on a long and healthy hiking season. Hope to do a 40ish mile section in the Spring.
     
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  15. Longbeard

    Longbeard Continental Drifter Bushclass III

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    Thanks Jerome. I'll take you up on that.

    Awesome, count on it buddy. The church had a great hiker box. I actually stayed in the AT style shelter they have built at the top of the parking lot. The ridge runner came by at like 2 am to crash 'cause that was his spot. He ended up sleeping in his jeep, haha. I gotta hit that bakery down the street again too.
     
  16. kwc271

    kwc271 Tracker

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    Looking forward to reports! Hope you have a safe and wonderful adventure!
     
  17. pecktron2000

    pecktron2000 Tracker

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    Lucky man! Have fun!
     
  18. NattyBo

    NattyBo Supporter Supporter

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    Just wanted to get in on this for closer to the time. I'm just north of @Lode 's Lodeland.
    Good luck and I hope the stars align for you.
     
  19. City Bushcrafter

    City Bushcrafter Hooah!

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    Reflecting on it, Thru-hiking the AT was the best time of my life and my most cherished accomplishment! I once had dreams of triple crowning but life got in the way. I'm very grateful for having done at least one.

    Have fun!
     
  20. blind & lost

    blind & lost Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    I'll be living vicariously through your hike. Will you also be posting on Whiteblaze?
     
  21. jerome

    jerome Scout

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    the closet point on the A.T. to me is where it crosses us route 30 at caladonia in pa. just a bit below pine grove. so almost the midway point. July 4-8 I'm out of town, any other date I will make myself available. feel free to pm me for more info.
     
  22. Longbeard

    Longbeard Continental Drifter Bushclass III

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    Some of my best memories from the first time were meeting BCUSA members along the way. Probably gonna be rolling solo, but you never know. Thanks buddy.

    Thanks NB, I'll shoot you a PM.

    Sounds good Joe, I can do that.

    Yeah, I hear ya. Hopefully these long trips are my new normal. The more I do, the more I like.

    Nope. I'll try to get pics up here though.
     
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  23. ra2bach

    ra2bach Bushmaster

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    I've been sectioning the NC/TN sections north into VA. I'll be looking to do the Shenandoah Park section sometime this spring but I could consider starting where I left off at Grayson Highlands and going as far as I can get with the time I have.

    I think it would be great to meet you on the trail if the stars line up but I like to hike alone. it's better for me if I can set my own pace and stop to gaze and reflect where I want to. that section from Roan to Grayson is where I could spend the rest of my days if I needed to...
     
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  24. wirerat99

    wirerat99 Scout Bushclass I

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    I would love to know about your pack contents and what has changed for you now that you have so many miles under you belt. Any chance you have some pictures or video you can share? Congrats on your trip.
    Joe
     
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  25. RiceOnSuede

    RiceOnSuede Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    My buddy in my last few trips pics just hiked it this past year. We did the whole NJ section in the spring, so when he came up here we met up with him in NY and hiked with him for the weekend. It was fun. I'm hoping I can get out there next year and do it. Boss ok'd me to take 6 months off.
     
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  26. Longbeard

    Longbeard Continental Drifter Bushclass III

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    Shenandoah is my all time fav, except for the crowds. And the bears. haha. Did my first section there in 1980. Hiking alone is the only way to go, everyone's pace is different.

    There's no pics or video of my pack contents, everyone else on the planet has beat that subject to death. Everyone's load is different. When I was starting out, I took other peoples advice and most of it sucked. You gotta find gear that YOU like through experience. Best thing I could tell ya is stay away from gear list video's and look more at reviews done by Backpacker Magazine or some of the better hiking websites.

    You have a cool boss. You should absolutely go for it. It was life changing for me and I don't say that lightly.
     
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  27. ra2bach

    ra2bach Bushmaster

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    oh really? that's encouraging. I love the Roan Mtn to Grayson Highlands section but I was debating doing Shenandoah, or just starting where I left off at Grayson and going north for as long as I have time.

    I'm not encouraged about the crowds though. after a couple tries at hiking with another it's too much like what I go hiking to avoid, if you know what I mean...
     
  28. ra2bach

    ra2bach Bushmaster

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    I live north of ATL. when you get around to it I can pick you up at the airport and take you to trail head - no need to pay for shuttle. and you're welcome to stage at my house till you're ready to go...
     
  29. Sweeneyguy

    Sweeneyguy Supporter Supporter Hardwoodsman Bushclass II

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    You know you got 7 hots and a cot here buddy. Hopefully my guts are cleared up by then. If not then you can eat my portions.

    It will be good to see ya again.
     
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  30. Longbeard

    Longbeard Continental Drifter Bushclass III

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    That is awesome. I'll shoot you a message soon.

    Right on, looking forward to it.
     
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  31. ATsawyer

    ATsawyer Supporter Supporter

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    I oversee the maintenance of about 30 miles of AT in central Shenandoah NP from Thornton to Swift Run Gaps, so you'll certainly be passing through my realm. Will you be keeping an online journal somewhere?
     
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  32. bumma

    bumma Supporter Supporter

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    I live fairly close to several access points on the AT in Maine. My favorite is the town of Andover. I'll go there, grab a coffee at the General Store in the center and sit outside. Many times there are thru hikers there. I've heard some great stories...anyway, If you want I can PM you my contact info for when you're in this area.

    Congrats on being able to do this trail again and I look forward to reading your progress.
     
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  33. Longbeard

    Longbeard Continental Drifter Bushclass III

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    Hey Sawyer, probably won't journal online, but I'll get a picture thread going here at the minimum. I'll keep a daily journal and maybe work that into a trip report after it's done. Shenandoah is where it all started for me in 1980. SNP & Virginia in general are pretty hard to beat.

    Hey Bumma, haha, yeah I've sat at those very picnic tables. There is/was an ice cream place there too where I did some damage. Stayed at Pine Ellis hostel in Andover, but PM me you info and I'll contact ya.
     
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  34. ATsawyer

    ATsawyer Supporter Supporter

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    Down the hill from Thornton Gap in the town of Sperryville is the Hopkins Ordinary B&B. The owner has a nanobrewery in the basement and makes some pretty good beers. If we can connect, the first one's on me. I'll be following your progress.......
     
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  35. bumma

    bumma Supporter Supporter

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    Oh Yeah, the ice cream place is still there. I'll send my info to you.
     
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  36. Park Swan

    Park Swan Maker Vendor

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    I'm an hour drive east of Shenandoah but I'd be happy to buy you a beer when you pass through the area if I can. Any excuse to get out there is a good excuse. Wife and I are very fond of the Sky Meadows area.
     
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  37. Odinborn

    Odinborn Supporter Supporter

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    I live 15 minutes away from where the trail crosses through Port Clinton, PA. If the timing works out, I'd be glad to grab a drink and/or drive you to the Cabela's by the trail.
     
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  38. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17- Supporter Bushclass I

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    Oh boy, I can't wait for a TR! :D I'll go someday.
     
  39. Longbeard

    Longbeard Continental Drifter Bushclass III

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    This is the kind of info that turns a good trip into a great one. Sperryville is penciled in...no, consider it carved in stone, haha.

    Sky Meadows is very nice, except the bears show up too often. We can make that happen.

    Awesome, I hit that Cabelas twice last time, took a zero at the PC pavilion. Greatest collection of taxidermy I've ever seen. When I came off the trail that whole retail area was in a power outage. McDonalds gave me free nuggets 'cause their cash registers were not working, haha a hiker's dream.
     
  40. Bobsdock

    Bobsdock Still going Supporter

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    As of this moment it is still just a dream. But it is a very good dream.
     
  41. DCPugh

    DCPugh Supporter Supporter

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    When you get near front royal va pm me and I can give ya a lift to wherever you need to go.
     
  42. twisted2

    twisted2 Tracker

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    Have a hunting cabin just North of the 100 mile woods. Most hikers head onto Monson to resupply and head off.
    We use to follow some old logging rds and hang out near one of the crossings and hand out trail sodas and snacks so we could talk to the through hikers, kinda sounded like a big party with a lot of walking . Interesting people that's for sure.
    DSC02821.JPG 20170627_061924.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018
  43. Longbeard

    Longbeard Continental Drifter Bushclass III

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    I can do that, thanks DC.

    Trail Days in Damascus is a big party, other than that it's mostly a grind with awesome scenery, haha. Yeah, trail magic is one of the best things about the AT. The people you meet is by far the best.
     
  44. colter

    colter Still Learnin' Supporter

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    Awesome! Maybe Ill run into ya, ill be with my riff-raff crew doing trail magic at trail days this year. Good luck!
     
  45. Peter M

    Peter M Plant Nerd and Scatologist Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor Bushclass II

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    Awesome man! Im in asheville NC so keep me updated and i would love to even hop on the trail with you for a couple days!
     
  46. Longbeard

    Longbeard Continental Drifter Bushclass III

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    I missed Riff Raff the first time around, hope to see you there.

    That would be cool Peter, I'll be in the area sometime around late March, early April.
     
  47. HeadyBrew

    HeadyBrew Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Congrats on being able to do it again. So few get to do the full thing once, even fewer twice.

    Since you are in the know on these things - have you or any of the groups you’ve partnered with ever looked at the North Country Trail? I hear so very few talk about it or consider it, yet it’s twice the length of the AT (NY to ND). Only reason I ask is it came up in brief convo I was having with another member via PM. It also runs very near to where I’m at though I honestly don’t give it much thought either.
     
  48. Longbeard

    Longbeard Continental Drifter Bushclass III

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    I don't know anyone who has done it. At 4000+ miles it's probably a year long journey. Never say never, haha.
     
  49. Whispering Pine

    Whispering Pine Tracker

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    I live less than a minute away from the AT between Damascus and the Grayson Highlands. I’m not sure if we will be at the same place still, where we have an extra bedroom, or done remodeling our place and moved there (about 5 minutes away) when you come through, but I’d love to meet up and help in anyway I can when you come through.
     
  50. Longbeard

    Longbeard Continental Drifter Bushclass III

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    Thanks buddy, I'll send you a PM before I leave. That's a great area of the trail.
     

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