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  1. #1
    Registered User Master Blaster's Avatar
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    Default NOBO Mail Drop Suggestions

    I was wondering if anyone has a good list for a NOBO thru hike. Still trying to piece mine together before mid-march. I would prefer to not have to venture to far off the trail. I was looking over the list of post offices and noticed that some are 15-30 miles away. I would prefer not to hitch back and forth. I'm carrying around 3 to 5 days worth of food at a time between resupplies, but capable of carrying a weeks worth if and when necessary. I'd also like to hear anyones thoughts on a don't miss experience, place to rest up for the day, or fill my belly with some real food (steak and potatoes). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as this will be my first thru hike. I've section hiked all of NC repeatedly on several weekends for the last 12 years and ready to explore it all. Time to cross this wonderful trail off my bucket list before corporate America puts me behind a desk.

  2. #2
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    MB, this topic comes up a lot on WB and opinions run the gamut. The good thing with the AT is you're never really too far away from a re-supply. So, I suggest keeping your mail drops to a minimum. It will serve you well to plan an equipment swap out. For summer gear get it sent around Pearisburg, then get your winter gear back around Hanover.

    Here's a previous thread with some other suggested drop locations:

    You might also scour past Trailjournals posts for ther suggestions.

    Cheers and good luck.

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/show...816-Mail-drops

  3. #3
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    Drats! Double post again!
    Last edited by Spokes; 03-03-2012 at 06:48.

  4. #4
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    Some mail drops that are convenient:

    Neels Gap (charge a buck)
    Budget Inn in Hiawassee
    Budget inn in Franklin
    Fontana Dam
    Grand Prix Motel in Gatlinburg
    Hot Springs
    Damascus
    Pearisburg
    Daleville
    Waynesboro (trail angel will pick you up, you want to go into town here anyway, very nice stop)
    Harper's Ferry (post office is close and stores are far, far away)
    Boiling Springs
    Doyle Hotel at Duncannon

    Curious, what kinda Master Blaster you be? Not the crazy sort that jumps out of airplanes.
    Last edited by swjohnsey; 03-03-2012 at 08:23.

  5. #5

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    Here's my maildrops. Some will say there too many, but they're packed, labeled and ready to go. I can adjust, adapt and overcome.

    Wesser, NC (c/o NOC)
    Fontana Dam, NC
    Hot Springs, NC(c/o ELMER”S)
    Erwin, TN (c/o Uncle Johnny’s)
    Damascus, VA
    Bland, VA (c/o Big Walker Motel)
    Pearisburg, VA (c/o Rendezvous Motel)
    Troutville, VA (c/o Red Roof Inn)
    Waynesboro, VA
    Harpers Ferry, WV (c/o ATC HQs)
    Duncannon, PA (c/o Doyle Hotel)
    Port Clinton, PA
    Delaware Water Gap, PA
    Bear Mountain, NY
    Kent, CT
    Cheshire, MA (c/o St. Mary Church
    Manchester Ctr, VT
    Hanover, NH (c/o Sunset Motor Lodge)
    Glencliff, NH

    Gorham, NH (c/o The Barn)
    Andover, ME (c/o Pine Ellis Lodging)
    Stratton, ME (c/o Stratton Motel)
    Monson. ME (c/o Shaw’s Lodging)


    Tumbleweed
    Last edited by RETCW4; 03-03-2012 at 10:35.

  6. #6

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    Definitely send to hotels or outfitters as much as possible. Better hours than Post Offices! And if you use flat rate boxes for anything you might want to send ahead or send back or bounce around, you don't have to go to a post office to mail them. Just get online and print a mailing label and then leave it at the hostel or outfitter to be picked up. Worked great for me!

    I had friends and family in several places on the trail so there are stretches here with no clear mail drop, but this is what I did (oh and I flip-flopped so the drops start in VA)
    Cavern Inn -Luray, VA (not necessary) (had to get a shuttle to Luray - if I did it again I would go straight through the Shenandoahs without a maildrop)
    Outfitter in Harpers Ferry (right on trail)
    Doyle Hotel, Duncannon, VA (right on trail)
    Garden Center near Pawling, NY (right on the trail)
    Tyringham Post Office, MA (a little bit of a side hike, I think)
    Mountain Meadows Lodge - Kent, VT (right on the trail)
    Outfitter in Hanover, NH (right on trail, practically)
    Libby House B&B (The Barn) - Gorham, NH (had to hitch)
    Shaw's in Monson, ME (no hitching needed)
    (Then flipped back to VA)
    Barn Restaurant near I-81 in VA (right on trail)
    Outfitter in Damascus, VA (right on trail)
    Uncle Johnny's (Erwin, TN - right on trail)
    Outfitter in Hot Springs, NC (right on trail)
    Fontana Village P.O. (got a ride)
    Haven's Budget Inn, Franklin (got a ride from Ron Haven)
    Neel's Gap (right on trail)

    Hope this helps - remember you don't have to send your stuff to a PO!
    Cheers!
    Zipper
    VA-ME VA-GA '09
    "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver
    http://livingwildandprecious.com/

  7. #7
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RETCW4 View Post
    Here's my maildrops. Some will say there too many, but they're packed, labeled and ready to go. I can adjust, adapt and overcome.

    Wesser, NC (c/o NOC)
    Fontana Dam, NC
    Hot Springs, NC(c/o ELMER”S)
    Erwin, TN (c/o Uncle Johnny’s)
    Damascus, VA
    Bland, VA (c/o Big Walker Motel)
    Pearisburg, VA (c/o Rendezvous Motel)
    Troutville, VA (c/o Red Roof Inn)
    Waynesboro, VA
    Harpers Ferry, WV (c/o ATC HQs)
    Duncannon, PA (c/o Doyle Hotel)
    Port Clinton, PA
    Delaware Water Gap, PA
    Bear Mountain, NY
    Kent, CT
    Cheshire, MA (c/o St. Mary Church
    Manchester Ctr, VT
    Hanover, NH (c/o Sunset Motor Lodge)
    Glencliff, NH

    Gorham, NH (c/o The Barn)
    Andover, ME (c/o Pine Ellis Lodging)
    Stratton, ME (c/o Stratton Motel)
    Monson. ME (c/o Shaw’s Lodging)


    Tumbleweed

    Wasn't Glencliff closed?

  8. #8
    AT 4,000 miler, LT Blissful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swjohnsey View Post
    Wasn't Glencliff closed?

    PO supposed to close in May. Can send to the Hiker Welcome Hostel



    Climb a mountain...wash your spirit clean - John Muir






    Hiking Blog- March 14 - Backpacker's Seminar! Learn it ALL
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  9. #9
    AT 4,000 miler, LT Blissful's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RETCW4 View Post
    Here's my maildrops. Some will say there too many, but they're packed, labeled and ready to go. I can adjust, adapt and overcome.

    Wesser, NC (c/o NOC)
    Fontana Dam, NC
    Hot Springs, NC(c/o ELMER”S)
    Erwin, TN (c/o Uncle Johnny’s)
    Damascus, VA
    Bland, VA (c/o Big Walker Motel)
    Pearisburg, VA (c/o Rendezvous Motel)
    Troutville, VA (c/o Red Roof Inn)
    Waynesboro, VA
    Harpers Ferry, WV (c/o ATC HQs)
    Duncannon, PA (c/o Doyle Hotel)
    Port Clinton, PA
    Delaware Water Gap, PA
    Bear Mountain, NY
    Kent, CT
    Cheshire, MA (c/o St. Mary Church
    Manchester Ctr, VT
    Hanover, NH (c/o Sunset Motor Lodge)
    Glencliff, NH

    Gorham, NH (c/o The Barn)
    Andover, ME (c/o Pine Ellis Lodging)
    Stratton, ME (c/o Stratton Motel)
    Monson. ME (c/o Shaw’s Lodging)


    Tumbleweed

    I can tell you that Troutville (right by the AT) and Waynesboro both have huge Krogers. Pearisburg has a Food Lion 1/2 mile away. Port Clinton and Gorham have huge Wally Worlds. Manchester also has a good store. No need to ship to these places unless you need prescriptions.
    The church at Cheshire accepts a drop? News to me. The PO is right there at the corner.
    The Sunset Lodge in Hanover is a good distance away (several miles and the bus does not go all the way there). I'd send to the PO, but there is a good co-op grocery store on the way out of town (a little pricey though)

    No drop in the Whites? You can send either to Crawford Notch campground or Pinkham Notch.
    Last edited by Blissful; 03-03-2012 at 22:44.



    Climb a mountain...wash your spirit clean - John Muir






    Hiking Blog- March 14 - Backpacker's Seminar! Learn it ALL
    AT NOBO and SOBO, LT, FHT, SHEN 500
    Shenandoah Ridgerunner, Author, Speaker


  10. #10
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    Default

    what's the time frame for mailing drops? Send them all the way up to New England before you leave or have someone mail them a couple few weeks before hand? I am only thinking of sending a few but wondered if they would hold them for months

  11. #11
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    USPS is supposed to hold General Delivery for 30 days. I have mine mailed about 10 days before my ETA.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike2012 View Post
    what's the time frame for mailing drops? Send them all the way up to New England before you leave or have someone mail them a couple few weeks before hand? I am only thinking of sending a few but wondered if they would hold them for months
    I had my girlfriend send mine out around 10-14 days out. Don't forget to write your real last name in bold letters on a couple adjacent outside walls of the box since thats how the clerks look for packages on the shelf.

    Remember too, if anyone sends you a General Delivery letter or card along the way be sure to ask for it specifically since these are stored separately from parcels/boxes in the post office. I learned this after a sharp postal clerk told me about it.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by swjohnsey View Post
    Wasn't Glencliff closed?
    Sending to Hiker Hostel in Glencliff.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blissful View Post
    I can tell you that Troutville (right by the AT) and Waynesboro both have huge Krogers. Pearisburg has a Food Lion 1/2 mile away. Port Clinton and Gorham have huge Wally Worlds. Manchester also has a good store. No need to ship to these places unless you need prescriptions.
    The church at Cheshire accepts a drop? News to me. The PO is right there at the corner.
    The Sunset Lodge in Hanover is a good distance away (several miles and the bus does not go all the way there). I'd send to the PO, but there is a good co-op grocery store on the way out of town (a little pricey though)

    No drop in the Whites? You can send either to Crawford Notch campground or Pinkham Notch.
    Blissful:

    Troutville I plan on staying at Howard Johnson Express.
    The AT Guide lists a mialdrop at St Mary's. I'm going to call to verify.
    Most of the other maildrops sent to place I plan to stay at.

    Tumbleweed

  15. #15
    Registered User Edwardo Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Cost, do these non PO places charge people to hold their boxes,

  16. #16
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    Some do. One disreputable one tried to charge Goldielocks ten bucks last year.

  17. #17

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    I was never charged for non POs holding my packages. But I always made a point to buy something from them - a dehydrated meal, or some energy bars or a candy bar, or a drink, or socks when I needed them, and I stayed at all of the hostels where I had mail drops. I don't think it's necessary to do that, I just did - after all I was always hungry so why not buy one treat from the outfitter?
    "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" - Mary Oliver
    http://livingwildandprecious.com/

  18. #18
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    The post office at Glencliff is alive and well. The hours are short.

  19. #19
    Registered User Drybones's Avatar
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    IMO...forget the mail drops and dont over complicate your hike...supply as you go. Mountain Harbour hostel breakfast is awsome!

  20. #20
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    You could end up eating beef jerky and poptarts for a few days.

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