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)