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appalachan trail

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 8:16 pm
by WILLIAMS5232
so the other day i watched a show about the Appalachian trail (netflix). now i can't stop fantasizing about making the trek. although i'm sure it's something i never would actually attempt, it is fun to think about doing it.

has anyone here thought about it? or better yet attempted/completed it?

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 8:18 pm
by jonesthecurl
I tried to do a tiny bit of it in northern NJ one time. I got about 100yards before the trail disappeared into a river which had recently flooded.

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:00 pm
by WILLIAMS5232
jonesthecurl wrote:I tried to do a tiny bit of it in northern NJ one time. I got about 100yards before the trail disappeared into a river which had recently flooded.


well that didn't go well it sounds like. you could have went the other way tho'. i've walked about 50 feet or so on it myself at clingmans dome. but at that time had no real thought about it. i was only about 13 or so.

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:50 pm
by pimpdave
I've done the whole thing. It's brutal and I did permanent damage to one of my toes (both feet were brutalized through and through though). I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Read a book about it, and just take six months off from life and do it. Oh, and word to the wise, come up with your own trail name, or else others will come up with it for you.

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:51 am
by notyou2
jonesthecurl wrote:I tried to do a tiny bit of it in northern NJ one time. I got about 100yards before the trail disappeared into a river which had recently flooded.


That's why you take a pair of light weight sneakers, to ford the rivers and streams.

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:52 am
by notyou2
pimpdave wrote:I've done the whole thing. It's brutal and I did permanent damage to one of my toes (both feet were brutalized through and through though). I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Read a book about it, and just take six months off from life and do it. Oh, and word to the wise, come up with your own trail name, or else others will come up with it for you.


Did you do the extension into Canada Dave?

http://www.backpacker.com/trips/international/canada-s-appalachian-trail/

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:01 am
by pimpdave
No because America is #1

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:18 am
by notyou2
pimpdave wrote:No because America is #1


The Appalachian trail was invented at McGill in 1935.

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:54 pm
by ChrisPond
I want to. I know a few pond builders that have hiked at least part of it. I am thinking when my boy gets older, I may see if he wants to hike it with me one summer.

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:22 pm
by WILLIAMS5232
pimpdave wrote:I've done the whole thing. It's brutal and I did permanent damage to one of my toes (both feet were brutalized through and through though). I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Read a book about it, and just take six months off from life and do it. Oh, and word to the wise, come up with your own trail name, or else others will come up with it for you.


was there ever a time when you thought, "wtf! this is so stupid! why am i doing this?"
also, when did you honestly believe you would make it to the end?

that's what i'm most afraid of, i'll get halfway through it and lose interest.
as far as the trail name goes, i've thought about that a bit too, and i don't care if they call me shitstain. i'm not making a trail name because i think that's dumb.

ChrisPond wrote:I want to. I know a few pond builders that have hiked at least part of it. I am thinking when my boy gets older, I may see if he wants to hike it with me one summer.


i've talked to my pop about it. he's 70. but said he would do about a week of it with me if i took it on.

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:06 am
by pimpdave
WILLIAMS5232 wrote:was there ever a time when you thought, "wtf! this is so stupid! why am i doing this?"
also, when did you honestly believe you would make it to the end?

that's what i'm most afraid of, i'll get halfway through it and lose interest.
as far as the trail name goes, i've thought about that a bit too, and i don't care if they call me shitstain. i'm not making a trail name because i think that's dumb.


Six months of getting called shitstain will wear on you.

Anyway, no, I never thought about giving up. I commit to my actions. It would have required my being disabled to get me off that trail. No way. No no no nope no. Of course it hurt. Of course I suffered. Reaching the summits never would have been so sweet if I didn't. Sure I cursed plenty (I mean I am from Jersey). Sure I blew off steam. But there was only one exit from the trail in my mind, and that was in Maine. And that's not the part you remember so vividly. You remember the trail songs. You remember the satisfaction. You remember looking out at our beautiful countryside and feeling a connection to your ancestors, who crossed these same mountains in the same way. Think on the summit, not the getting there. Quitters focus on the getting there part, and complain, and aren't real men. Usually day hikers anyway. Leave that to the women. Oh! If you do it with a girl, be sensitive to the fact that she can't carry as much and is thus mostly useless in back country hiking, and she'll undoubtedly complain more than everyone else and try to get you to lighten her load. She'll only fatigue you if she can't take care of herself, and most can't. They just can't carry the weight (calm down ladies, there are always exceptions, but please prove yourself before demanding I take on faith you can cut it -- there's a reason no woman has completed training to be a Marine -- and there's plenty of men in no shape to do it either). If you bring a dog get those saddle bags they sell, trust me, the few pounds your pooch carries makes a huge difference.

You'll need food drops along the way. Learn how to dry your own food, you'll save a fortune. Do some serious hiking before you start, do like a one week trip, so you know exactly how your body will adjust to burning 10,000 calories a day. You're probably already in shape, hell I'd hope so if you're thinking of the AT, but it has shocked some athletes just how much they end up burning daily. Figure out whether you prefer trail shoes with ankle support or not (absolutely personal preference, no study can objectively determine which is superior). Get used to your pack. Oh man get used to your pack. Go to REI and try them out. Make sure the thing isn't poorly designed or manufactured. Your hips, knees and back will thank you later.

Get a small book of old songs. Cumberland Gap is a really good one, really any that follow that call back style popular with the military. (Me and my wife and my wife's pap, live on down in the Cumberland Gap! Settle down boys gonna take a little nap, it's 15 miles to the Cumberland Gap! Daniel Boone of Pinnacle Rock, killed Injuns with his old flintlock!) Learn old songs of the sea, there's tons. (What would you do with a drunken sailor?) This tip is gold, the people on the trail will love you (in my experience, teaching a man a song is a great way to bond) and nothing helps a tough slog more than singing to yourself.

Other than that, read a couple books about how to do it. And then do it. Commit to your actions, embrace what our ancestors did, and whip that trail. Join the very, very few of us that have completed the whole thing. Only 2% of people who hike any part of the AT will finish the whole thing. I've never felt closer to nature than along that trail.

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:38 am
by WILLIAMS5232
pimpdave wrote:
WILLIAMS5232 wrote:was there ever a time when you thought, "wtf! this is so stupid! why am i doing this?"
also, when did you honestly believe you would make it to the end?

that's what i'm most afraid of, i'll get halfway through it and lose interest.
as far as the trail name goes, i've thought about that a bit too, and i don't care if they call me shitstain. i'm not making a trail name because i think that's dumb.


Six months of getting called shitstain will wear on you. I usually ...<delete>.... that trail. Join the very, very few of us that have completed the whole thing. Only 2% of people who hike any part of the AT will finish the whole thing. I've never felt closer to nature than along that trail.


well, i don't typically quit things either, that's why I'd hate to get started with it and a month later feel like the only reason I'm still doing it is because i don't want to be called a quitter. i do a lot of walking at work, (i survey railroad tracks) i realize it's not the same as walking 15-25 miles every single day for 6 months up mountains and stuff, but i feel like i'd transition pretty well with that much of it.

pretty much every where i read about it, they say do it alone. you'll meet folks along the way that will match your pace, and that seems like the interesting part to me. aside from being in god's country.

anyway, good words. it's nice to get someones perspective that completed it. i have plans in 2016 to take a 2 year absence from working and just go do things like that while I'm still somewhat young. i think if i walked it, i'd then catch a train to washington state, and see what i can't get into over that way.

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:47 am
by pimpdave
Yeah man do it alone. That's how I did it. I was really tired of waiting for my idiot friends to get it together. It pissed those guys off, but if they really wanted to go like they said, they'd have done it by now. If you know some basic survival skills, you'll be able to drag yourself to help if you get in trouble. Only thing I ever worried about were rattlers (never a big deal just don't bother em), ticks, and brown recluse spiders. I kept a knife on me just in case another human wasn't too friendly.

When you get to the Shenandoah, be sure to break off from the trail to visit Herbert Hoover's private cabin. He bought it himself, didn't charge the taxpayer a dime. Really was a great president who got the bad rap Calvin Coolidge really deserved.

And dude, yeah, it's worth it. So so so so so worth it. The only reason people say Yellowstone is better is cause of the elevation there. Grand Canyon is only awesome because it's literally trying to kill you and you gotta be tough as nails to get through it (AND SALT. EAT SALT). But the AT is a place you could actually live in if you wanted to. That's what makes it so special to me. That we managed to preserve a bit of the wilderness that's still habitable. Go south young man. Then come north.

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:55 am
by pimpdave
Another important reason to sing on the trail, as we learned as kids, is to let the critters know you're there. When I was a camp counselor, before I fully embraced singing on the trail (it offends some people who don't hike regularly or are self-conscious idiot teenagers, like I once was), I'd tell my campers that every now and then we need to practice our moose calls. Then I'd yell, "Here moose! Here moose moose moose!". There's no moose where I went to camp. I did it cause another counselor on a hike was calling out "Here bear!", cause that's who you're really warning, the black bears who are nothing to afraid of unless you end up between mama and cub (I've chased many off myself, even when they do that faux charge), and one of the campers walked up to me very seriously and demanded to know for the sake of others why in God's name the other counselor would SUMMON THE BEARS.

So I did the moose thing, and made up stories about how there was a moose on the loose and if we spotted it a billionaire would reward us. So they practiced their moose calls a lot and I barely had to.

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:15 am
by oVo
I did 200+ miles of the trail through the Blue Ridge Mountains (Virginia) and it was great. Can't imagine trekking Maine to Georgia, but picking a good spot and spending a week or two there in the Spring or late Summer is certainly worth doing.

I lean towards leisurely canoe trips now...
with a fly rod.

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 3:24 pm
by PLAYER57832
WILLIAMS5232 wrote:so the other day i watched a show about the Appalachian trail (netflix). now i can't stop fantasizing about making the trek. although i'm sure it's something i never would actually attempt, it is fun to think about doing it.

has anyone here thought about it? or better yet attempted/completed it?

I have hiked only small portions of the Appalacian Trail. I have done more of the Pacific Crest Trail, including working a couple stretches of it.

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 11:36 pm
by WILLIAMS5232
oVo wrote:I did 200+ miles of the trail through the Blue Ridge Mountains (Virginia) and it was great. Can't imagine trekking Maine to Georgia, but picking a good spot and spending a week or two there in the Spring or late Summer is certainly worth doing.

I lean towards leisurely canoe trips now...
with a fly rod.


maine to georgia is a commitment for sure, but i'd rather do that than just a little week trip.

as far as the canoe trip goes, that's where it's at. up til about 2 years ago, we floated a little creek in mississippi for 2-3 days ( with spinning reels ) every october. i'm kind of the reason we stopped because i'm planning to quit my job so i haven't been using my vacation. ( saving it for when i quit )
but will be starting that back up shortly i imagine.

PLAYER57832 wrote:
WILLIAMS5232 wrote:so the other day i watched a show about the Appalachian trail (netflix). now i can't stop fantasizing about making the trek. although i'm sure it's something i never would actually attempt, it is fun to think about doing it.

has anyone here thought about it? or better yet attempted/completed it?

I have hiked only small portions of the Appalacian Trail. I have done more of the Pacific Crest Trail, including working a couple stretches of it.


when you say "working a couple of stretches" does that mean you're like a park ranger? or a volunteer?
i've heard about the PCT a bit while researching the AT. i have an elaborate plan set up in my mind that i sure hope i get to act on.

1. hike the appalachian trail. ( mid april to mid sept 2016 )
2. use a week or two meandering my way down to NYC. spend a week there. ( or two )
3. catch a train (amtrak) to washington state. (arrive mid october)
4. work my way over to idaho and stay the winter there.
5. buy a mountain bike and ride the CDT down to the mexico ( do not enter mexico b/c of the narcos )
6. hang around new mexico, arizona, utah for the remainder of the year. (panning gold, working odd jobs, etc)
7. jan 2018 head to california. plan to leave around april 2018 to hike the PCT
8. get an enduro motorcycle and head up to alaska to winter 2018-2019
9. leave alaska spring-summer of 2019 and head towards mississippi coast in fall of 2019 ( that's where i'm from, they say you always go back home )

i know that sounds slightly over the top. but it's just what i think about. not sure if i'll ever act on it. i've been with my company for 17 years now, and it will be hard to leave. but i'd hate to know i spent my whole life not knowing anything else.

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 11:44 pm
by Dukasaur
WILLIAMS5232 wrote:
oVo wrote:I did 200+ miles of the trail through the Blue Ridge Mountains (Virginia) and it was great. Can't imagine trekking Maine to Georgia, but picking a good spot and spending a week or two there in the Spring or late Summer is certainly worth doing.

I lean towards leisurely canoe trips now...
with a fly rod.


maine to georgia is a commitment for sure, but i'd rather do that than just a little week trip.

as far as the canoe trip goes, that's where it's at. up til about 2 years ago, we floated a little creek in mississippi for 2-3 days ( with spinning reels ) every october. i'm kind of the reason we stopped because i'm planning to quit my job so i haven't been using my vacation. ( saving it for when i quit )
but will be starting that back up shortly i imagine.

PLAYER57832 wrote:
WILLIAMS5232 wrote:so the other day i watched a show about the Appalachian trail (netflix). now i can't stop fantasizing about making the trek. although i'm sure it's something i never would actually attempt, it is fun to think about doing it.

has anyone here thought about it? or better yet attempted/completed it?

I have hiked only small portions of the Appalacian Trail. I have done more of the Pacific Crest Trail, including working a couple stretches of it.


when you say "working a couple of stretches" does that mean you're like a park ranger? or a volunteer?
i've heard about the PCT a bit while researching the AT. i have an elaborate plan set up in my mind that i sure hope i get to act on.

1. hike the appalachian trail. ( mid april to mid sept 2016 )
2. use a week or two meandering my way down to NYC. spend a week there. ( or two )
3. catch a train (amtrak) to washington state. (arrive mid october)
4. work my way over to idaho and stay the winter there.
5. buy a mountain bike and ride the CDT down to the mexico ( do not enter mexico b/c of the narcos )
6. hang around new mexico, arizona, utah for the remainder of the year. (panning gold, working odd jobs, etc)
7. jan 2018 head to california. plan to leave around april 2018 to hike the PCT
8. get an enduro motorcycle and head up to alaska to winter 2018-2019
9. leave alaska spring-summer of 2019 and head towards mississippi coast in fall of 2019 ( that's where i'm from, they say you always go back home )

i know that sounds slightly over the top. but it's just what i think about. not sure if i'll ever act on it. i've been with my company for 17 years now, and it will be hard to leave. but i'd hate to know i spent my whole life not knowing anything else.

Why does it have to be all-or-nothing? Why is it a choice of do this monstrous 3-year Odyssey or keep working and going nowhere forever?

You could keep your job, take 2 weeks or 3 weeks or whatever your normal vacation entitlement is, apply for and add on maybe 2 or 3 extra weeks of unpaid leave, and go on a 5- or 6- week trek somewhere. The following year, do the same, and take something else off the list.

Monumental all-or-nothing plans usually result in failure. Cutting up your goals into bite-sized chunks makes it more likely that you will actually accomplish some of them.

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:07 am
by WILLIAMS5232
Dukasaur wrote:Why does it have to be all-or-nothing? Why is it a choice of do this monstrous 3-year Odyssey or keep working and going nowhere forever?

You could keep your job, take 2 weeks or 3 weeks or whatever your normal vacation entitlement is, apply for and add on maybe 2 or 3 extra weeks of unpaid leave, and go on a 5- or 6- week trek somewhere. The following year, do the same, and take something else off the list.

Monumental all-or-nothing plans usually result in failure. Cutting up your goals into bite-sized chunks makes it more likely that you will actually accomplish some of them.


well duk, we're all different. i'm kind of like i don't want to be employed anymore. i work in houston, which is not where i want to live the rest of my life. so i plan on quitting anyway. if i have the resources available to see a large part of the country at my leisure/own pace, i would rather do it like that. hiking the appalachian trail is kind of an all or nothing item anyway. i don't think the experience would be the same chopped up in 6 week per year increments. same to be said for the CDT, and the PCT. also i want to spend a full winter up north where i can know just how miserable it is. this is all possible, as long as i act on it. it's completely up to me. i'm not married, so i'm basically dependent only on myself. i've worked for a long time, and am ready for a break. at any point i can stop and go back to work, so that's not a problem in my opinion.

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:40 am
by Dukasaur
WILLIAMS5232 wrote:
Dukasaur wrote:Why does it have to be all-or-nothing? Why is it a choice of do this monstrous 3-year Odyssey or keep working and going nowhere forever?

You could keep your job, take 2 weeks or 3 weeks or whatever your normal vacation entitlement is, apply for and add on maybe 2 or 3 extra weeks of unpaid leave, and go on a 5- or 6- week trek somewhere. The following year, do the same, and take something else off the list.

Monumental all-or-nothing plans usually result in failure. Cutting up your goals into bite-sized chunks makes it more likely that you will actually accomplish some of them.


well duk, we're all different. i'm kind of like i don't want to be employed anymore. i work in houston, which is not where i want to live the rest of my life. so i plan on quitting anyway. if i have the resources available to see a large part of the country at my leisure/own pace, i would rather do it like that. hiking the appalachian trail is kind of an all or nothing item anyway. i don't think the experience would be the same chopped up in 6 week per year increments. same to be said for the CDT, and the PCT. also i want to spend a full winter up north where i can know just how miserable it is. this is all possible, as long as i act on it. it's completely up to me. i'm not married, so i'm basically dependent only on myself. i've worked for a long time, and am ready for a break. at any point i can stop and go back to work, so that's not a problem in my opinion.

Well, if you can pull it off, more power to ya!
:D

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:39 am
by pimpdave
William. Don't look back. Just go. I heard all the same stuff about all the reasons why I shouldn't, or all the concerns and dangers and "Well, if you can pull it off, more power to ya!". That's so dismissive and cunty to say.

People say that because they're overwhelmed by it. You're going to run into adversity. There will be situations you weren't prepared for (but you'll learn how to prepare for them next time because of the experience!).

You CAN do it. And if you don't, you'll regret it forever. You're not doing this to complete a checklist. You're doing this find out what the checklist was you never conceived of and will only know you checked off after it happened.

Nike came up with the best slogan of all time: Just Do It. Now just fucking do it, bro, like the badass and courageous American you are.

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 3:25 pm
by oVo
I was in Confluence, PA and saw that the Railroad System had been converted into a bicycle trail. Don't know it has any relation to the Appalachian Trail, but it seems to be extensive and unlike the AT, has civilization (and real food & lodging) in closer proximity.

The Great Allegheny Passage

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 4:45 pm
by PLAYER57832
PLAYER57832 wrote:
WILLIAMS5232 wrote:so the other day i watched a show about the Appalachian trail (netflix). now i can't stop fantasizing about making the trek. although i'm sure it's something i never would actually attempt, it is fun to think about doing it.

has anyone here thought about it? or better yet attempted/completed it?

I have hiked only small portions of the Appalacian Trail. I have done more of the Pacific Crest Trail, including working a couple stretches of it.


when you say "working a couple of stretches" does that mean you're like a park ranger? or a volunteer?
i've heard about the PCT a bit while researching the AT. i have an elaborate plan set up in my mind that i sure hope i get to act on.

1. hike the appalachian trail. ( mid april to mid sept 2016 )
2. use a week or two meandering my way down to NYC. spend a week there. ( or two )
3. catch a train (amtrak) to washington state. (arrive mid october)
4. work my way over to idaho and stay the winter there.
5. buy a mountain bike and ride the CDT down to the mexico ( do not enter mexico b/c of the narcos )
6. hang around new mexico, arizona, utah for the remainder of the year. (panning gold, working odd jobs, etc)
7. jan 2018 head to california. plan to leave around april 2018 to hike the PCT
8. get an enduro motorcycle and head up to alaska to winter 2018-2019
9. leave alaska spring-summer of 2019 and head towards mississippi coast in fall of 2019 ( that's where i'm from, they say you always go back home )

i know that sounds slightly over the top. but it's just what i think about. not sure if i'll ever act on it. i've been with my company for 17 years now, and it will be hard to leave. but i'd hate to know i spent my whole life not knowing anything else.[/quote]

I worked it, as part of a paid crew under both the US Forest Service and the Park Service. I was part of a select Backcountry Trail crew through the now defunct California Conservation Corps. (not to be confused with the Conservation camps.. which are juvenile prison centers).

To begin, you should look into the differences between National Parks, EACH state park, National Forest, Wilderness within Parks and National Forest. I am thinking that some of the trail goes through other jurisdictions, but I would have to look through a map to be sure. Just roughly (very roughly), the parks are going to be more strict... basically think of them as living museums. They are designed to preserve everything 'as is" as much as possible, though with allowances for truly natural change. National Forests are designed to be used...that means logging, but also that rules for you hiking there are less strict. You will almost certainly need to get advance permits for any stretch going through National Parks, but I am not sure that it does. I seem to think that the trail is mostly through forest and Borough of Reclamation lands. Regardless, you want to know of the jurisdictional differences because even if the trail doesn't go directly through those areas they are close enough that you should know what is what.

A couple of other points: Weather matters. In the west, altitude REALLY matters. You talk of October as if it is just fall, but in much of Idaho, Alaska, that is already pretty much winter. (depending) You might be able to get work, but more likely in McDonalds than gold mining or fishing. Those opportunities have largely dried up. You never know. If you are flexible and of good humor, you can make contacts. My brothers did.

Per Alaska, think about the "Alaska marine Highway".... at least for one side of the trip. Bring a HEAVY sleeping bag and plan on sleeping on deck (do NOT try a tent!!!!!! Some do, but they also lose a few tents every trip)

Re: appalachan trail

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 4:48 pm
by PLAYER57832
oVo wrote:I was in Confluence, PA and saw that the Railroad System had been converted into a bicycle trail. Don't know it has any relation to the Appalachian Trail, but it seems to be extensive and unlike the AT, has civilization (and real food & lodging) in closer proximity.

The Great Allegheny Passage

Rails all over have become part of an extensive rail-trail network. They are nice routes, though I have only actually been on a couple myself.
That said, though civilization can be comforting, it means a LOT more money. If nothing else, you have to at least keep your clothes clean (among other issues).