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bsteinberg
11-29-2014, 17:11
Hello Follow Flip Floppers.

After reading the various thru hike strategies, I know a Flip Flop was the way to go for me.

http://www.appalachiantrail.org/hiking/thru-section-hiking/when-where-to-start

Brian

Tprunty8
11-29-2014, 17:35
That's my plan too, but I can go until 2018. Would love to follow you and any other flip floppers next year though. Good luck!

squeezebox
11-29-2014, 18:12
I'm seriously considering a head start from Harpers Ferry about May 1. The train from Maine to Harpers Ferry should not be too bad. And the flight to Wash DC should be cheaper than a flight to Maine.

dink
11-29-2014, 22:20
2018 for me too ...doing a flip flop...thinking of starting mid may because I don't want to hit maine before the black flies settle down a little bit...nasty little buggers!!!

semicolon
12-01-2014, 21:57
Well... my first WB post! On October 2nd, I committed to a 2015 thru hike. I decided that a head start itinerary would be best for me. Leaving Harpers Ferry May 1 (or there-abouts) and headed NOBO. Then HF SOBO to Springer. I appreciate all the info and support from the AT/WB community! More posts and lots of questions to follow.

semicolon
12-01-2014, 23:05
Squeezebox .... Pm 'd you, but your message box is full.

kushtakaa
12-09-2014, 14:40
Semicolon & Squeezebox - My wife & I are hoping to do the same, but will be starting 100 or so miles south of you (hwy33/SNP) and a few weeks earlier (no later than April 15). Should put us in HF about the time you take off (planning on taking it really easy the first 2-4 weeks...no reason to rush and blow an achilles :-)).

Treehugger
12-16-2014, 20:11
I have vacillated between a NOBO and flip-flop for months and have finally decided once and for all that I doing a flip. I am basically doing the Cool Breeze with a twist. Sounds like a yummy drink! Anyway, in early April it will be Troutville, VA to Gt. Barrington, MA, then off for a quick visit home, then from MA to ME by August. Then back to VA and SOBO the rest of the way. Done by mid October or so. I should hit the trail with some hikers in both directions so I hope to see some of you early starters and lots of SOBOs later on. This is my plan and I am sticking with it come hell or high water!! I can NOT wait!!

squeezebox
12-16-2014, 22:04
Did I hear that the ATC is doing a flip-flop workshop May 2? or was that just part of a strange dream?

squeezebox
12-16-2014, 22:28
Let's make sure one of us starts a thread about Apr. 1, to collect info about start places and times, share contact info etc,
I'm not looking to get married, or bubble, but having someone watching my back would be good.

Treehugger
12-17-2014, 00:14
Sounds good to me squeezebox!


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Praha4
12-17-2014, 15:25
hey great plan, that's probably the way I'll go too, maybe see you on the trail. Best of luck!


Well... my first WB post! On October 2nd, I committed to a 2015 thru hike. I decided that a head start itinerary would be best for me. Leaving Harpers Ferry May 1 (or there-abouts) and headed NOBO. Then HF SOBO to Springer. I appreciate all the info and support from the AT/WB community! More posts and lots of questions to follow.

semicolon
12-18-2014, 18:57
Did I hear that the ATC is doing a flip-flop workshop May 2? or was that just part of a strange dream?

Not a strange dream...I too saw Laura's post that the ATC was planning a May 2nd Flip Flop kick off. And, given all the conversations about traditional NOBO/SOBO hiker impacts, I hope that we can heighten the awareness of alternative thru hiking itineraries. The Head Start has always been my first preference.

dudeijuststarted
12-18-2014, 20:17
Anyone who chooses to flip flop is going to give themselves one big pat on the back. Here's an overlooked advantage to alternative thrus: you may very well be the first hiker(s) of the season for the hostels, businesses, and trail angels you pass through. Much more accommodating in every way.

You're doing a great thing for the trail too.

dangerdave
12-18-2014, 21:34
I am seriously considering an alternative thru, bailing on the Pack of Fools to help mitigate the Bubble. I'm trying to get the other Fools (here of WB) to reconsider as well. I'll be reviewing my choices and make a choice that seems right for me.

I really wanted to do a NOBO, but I'm retiring, and my options are open, so it seems like a wise choice for me and the wilderness. I want to do my part for future hikers.

squeezebox
12-22-2014, 13:04
I talked to Dave at the ATC info desk for quite a while this morning. They are planning a flip-flop kick off around May 1. He really did not know much about what it would involve, but was certain it will happen. I'm hoping for workshops and discussions. I plan on going to it and leaving for north the next day. It might create a small bubble, but I'ld like to hike with some folks the 1st week, someone to watch my back. I'm sure we will spread out quickly. So drop the huge crowd at Springer Apr 1 and join a reasonable sized group at Harpers Ferry May 1.

Rockdr
12-24-2014, 11:53
I'm also looking at flip-flop options. I'm retiring from teaching (maybe a sabatical?), but can't cut the strings until May 1. Harpers Ferry makes sense, or possibly somewhere a bit further south in Virginia. I want to have several weeks before hitting the Whites and other challenges to the North plus I've done a fair bit of the trail in North Carolina, so I'm OK with hitting that later.

Odd Man Out
12-24-2014, 12:28
I'm also looking at flip-flop options. I'm retiring from teaching (maybe a sabatical?), but can't cut the strings until May 1. Harpers Ferry makes sense, or possibly somewhere a bit further south in Virginia. I want to have several weeks before hitting the Whites and other challenges to the North plus I've done a fair bit of the trail in North Carolina, so I'm OK with hitting that later.

Waynesboro would be a logical place to start a bit south of HF. Pretty easy to access and you would start with the relatively easy SNP, although I don't know how many of the seasonal facilities there would be open on the first week of May.

Lauriep
12-24-2014, 12:32
Yes, ATC is planning a Flip-Flop Kick Off in Harpers Ferry on Saturday, May 2. I'm so excited to see this thread!

The goal is to promote flip-flop thru-hikes (that begin anywhere other than Georgia in March and the first half of April), provide information about the benefits of flip-flopping, and support those who choose to start out in Harpers Ferry May 2. The purpose is to disperse thru-hikers along the A.T. in time and space so that the Trail will be less crowded and negatively impacted, and, at the same time, allow more people to experience a thru-hike among uncrowded conditions.

We already have some recent flip-floppers lined up to participate in a panel. One is Emily "Fiver" Mishler, who did a flip-flop thru-hike starting in Harpers Ferry in May 23 last year. There was a nice article about her hike in her hometown newspaper, The Waynesboro Record at therecordherald.com/article/20141201/News/141209996/?Start=1 (By Nancy Mace/The Record Herald
Posted Dec. 1, 2014 @ 10:15 am

Thinking about hiking the Appalachian Trail? Just go for it, advised a Waynesboro woman who recently completed the 2,180-mile journey.
“If the idea appeals to you, don’t wait for the ‘right’ moment to present itself before you try it,” said Emily Mishler, 24. “Chances are low that the timing will ever be perfect to disappear from your life for five to six months.”
Her other advice — “You don’t have to be in shape to start — you’ll get there soon enough.”
Flip-flop hike
Mishler, the daughter of Neal and Lorraine Mishler, grew up on South Mountain less than a mile from the trail.
“I’d walked small sections of it when I was younger and I always thought it would be a fun adventure but I never expected to actually through-hike the entire trail. It wasn’t until returning from a study abroad trip in New Zealand that I really decided to make it a reality,” noted Mishler, a graduate of Waynesboro Area Senior High School and Grove City College. “After being able to travel on my own in another country it seemed a lot more realistic to be able to hike the trail by myself. I also did a lot of hiking while I was there.”
Mishler said she originally intended following the standard route, starting in Georgia and hiking the whole trail north to Maine.
“Due to financial reasons and scheduling conflicts my start date was too late to begin in the south so I decided on a flip-flop hike. A flip-flop is any through-hike that doesn’t begin at either terminus but rather somewhere in the middle. I chose Harper’s Ferry due to its fairly central location and first hiked north. Once I reached Katahdin (Maine), my parents came to pick me up and I took a short break before going back to Harper’s Ferry and hiking south.”


Read more: http://www.therecordherald.com/article/20141201/News/141209996#ixzz3Mpij8YSS)



Through-Hiker Reflects on Appalachian Trail
By Nancy Mace/The Record Herald
Posted Dec. 1, 2014 @ 10:15 am

Thinking about hiking the Appalachian Trail? Just go for it, advised a Waynesboro woman who recently completed the 2,180-mile journey.
“If the idea appeals to you, don’t wait for the ‘right’ moment to present itself before you try it,” said Emily Mishler, 24. “Chances are low that the timing will ever be perfect to disappear from your life for five to six months.”

Her other advice — “You don’t have to be in shape to start — you’ll get there soon enough.”

Flip-flop hike
Mishler, the daughter of Neal and Lorraine Mishler, grew up on South Mountain less than a mile from the trail.
“I’d walked small sections of it when I was younger and I always thought it would be a fun adventure but I never expected to actually through-hike the entire trail. It wasn’t until returning from a study abroad trip in New Zealand that I really decided to make it a reality,” noted Mishler, a graduate of Waynesboro Area Senior High School and Grove City College. “After being able to travel on my own in another country it seemed a lot more realistic to be able to hike the trail by myself. I also did a lot of hiking while I was there.”
Mishler said she originally intended following the standard route, starting in Georgia and hiking the whole trail north to Maine.

“Due to financial reasons and scheduling conflicts my start date was too late to begin in the south so I decided on a flip-flop hike. A flip-flop is any through-hike that doesn’t begin at either terminus but rather somewhere in the middle. I chose Harper’s Ferry due to its fairly central location and first hiked north. Once I reached Katahdin (Maine), my parents came to pick me up and I took a short break before going back to Harper’s Ferry and hiking south.”


Read more: http://www.therecordherald.com/article/20141201/News/141209996#ixzz3Mpij8YSS


Please tell me about what you'd like to see happen at our event that would encourage you to come (whether you're coming as a thru-hiker starting out, a dreamer, or a supporter), and would make it beneficial for you.

For many years I've made it my goal to learn everything I can about flip-flopping and what works best by interviewing thru-hikers who've done various flips and learning their perspectives. The comments I've heard have generally been very positive, but I want to make sure we give prospective thru-hikers as much information as possible so they can make an informed decision about what kind of hike is best for them given their goals for the hike.

Laurie Potteiger
ATC

traveller14
12-24-2014, 13:24
Hi Laurie, my wife and I decided last year that a flip-flop works for us and for the AT. We hope to set off N from HF on May 9, 2015. If all goes well, we will finish at Springer in October, but we're prepared to cut off the southbound leg if we are behind schedule (I have an obligation to attend to the first week of November). Because we are 60 and 61 yrs old, we have scheduled a leisurely pace. I'm hoping we can make better time than we anticipate and finish the whole sobo leg, but it seems to me that our situation allows us to just walk...and see where each day takes us. I'm waiting on the 2015 companion and data book to see if I need to make any adjustments. We are looking forward to our trip, have some key family support in MD, ME and GA for logistics, are now just trying to shave weight from our gear.

SteelCut
12-24-2014, 15:22
I have decided to start my thru hike in Harper's Ferry the 3rd week of April.

Lauriep
12-24-2014, 17:35
Traveller14 and Steelcut, great to hear of your plans. In my mind, you're in that optimal window (for both hikers and the Trail) for starting from Harpers Ferry going north.

Hikers starting in April or before may be chasing winter and loneliness a good portion of the way north. You'd be looking at pockets of cold weather and bare trees for quite some time, as well as very few long-distance around you for the social experience and quite a few seasonal places that wouldn't be open.

If someone wants to start earlier in April, it's best to start further south. Can't start until June? It's best to start further north.

Treehugger
12-25-2014, 09:13
Waiting for the kids to wake up and open Xmas presnts so I figured I check WB. I wanted to say Thanks LaurieP for the timing advice. I am starting April 4 in Troutville and will get to HP by end of April or so I think. I see quite a few peeps will be starting in HF but I maybe in front of most. I have to get off the trail in mid June for a bit and hope to have more thrus with after that.


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Carbo
12-25-2014, 09:47
Starting at HF (NOBO) first week of May. Looking forward to meeting all!

squeezebox
12-25-2014, 10:16
Interesting to see the ages of the people starting in the middle.

sparky2000
12-25-2014, 23:08
Having done a lot of the trail I've learned that the cost of starting at Springer is high but the cost of starting
a flip-flop from the part of the trail that is nearest to your place is lower. Duncannon is the closest for me
to start either north or south. South is a comfortable warm up and North is very interesting. As far as
hiking friends goes - well it's a game of chance. I'm 69 so it's unlikely that I'll really pal up with anyone. Still,
I know I'll do the thru 2015.

dangerdave
12-26-2014, 15:31
Ok, Flippers. Help me get off the fence here!

Let's talk specifics. If I start my hike north from HF to BSP, then return to HF to head south to Springer Mountain, how do I work out my gear. NOBO's have a standard schedule to guide the need for and exchange of cold weather gear for warm weather gear.

Doing a Flip this way, when will I need different kinds of gear, and/or where? Do I start with my Summer Pack or not? When will I (or might want) my cold weather gear going in each direction? I've been so focused on the NOBO schedule of gear, I have no clue.

dangerdave
12-26-2014, 16:16
I've joined several Facebook groups (various Class of 2015 AT Thru-Hikers) to push and promote the Flip. Good response so far. Many I'll inspire a few of the younger crowd to make the switch. Some had no clue there was such a thing.

Lauriep
12-26-2014, 16:42
Treehugger and anyone contemplating a start other than Harpers Ferry (especially points south of Harpers Ferry/northern Virginia):

It might be useful to know (if you weren't already familiar with the conditions) that April is very much a transition month between winter and spring, with winter conditions prevailing on and off at the higher elevations south of Harpers Ferry. The first week or two of April there's still a good chance of snow squalls and nighttime temperatures sometimes dipping into the 20s. There have also been pretty severe ice storms occasionally as late as the first week of April. Starting in Shenandoah or anywhere south of there in early April you would want to start with cold-weather gear.

It's counter-intuitive, but the further south you go on the A.T. from Harpers Ferry, very broadly speaking (until you get beyond the Smokies) the colder the temperatures. That's because the mountains get progressively taller the further south you go.

A.T. high points, by section listed south to north:

Georgia - 4,661'
North Carolina - 5,498'
TN/NC border - 6,625'
Tennessee - 6,285'
Southwest Virginia - Mt. Rogers 5,500'
Central Virginia - 4,206'
Shenandoah National Park - 3,837'
Northern Virginia - 1,500'
Harpers Ferry, WV - 250'
Maryland - 1,880'
Pennsylvania - 2,080'
New Jersey - 1,400’
New York - 1,433'
Connecticut - 2,316'
Massachusetts - 3,481'
Vermont - 4,010'
New Hampshire - 6,288'
Maine - 5,267'

You could have a warm spell in early April, and still get mild temperatures, but inevitably, sooner or later temperatures would dip down again at high elevations. In the Smokies, you can still get a major snowstorm in April. It just means that starting a flip-flop a month earlier and further south from Harpers Ferry means you'll encounter significantly colder weather.

Jeff
12-27-2014, 05:41
Anyone who chooses to flip flop is going to give themselves one big pat on the back. Here's an overlooked advantage to alternative thrus: you may very well be the first hiker(s) of the season for the hostels, businesses, and trail angels you pass through. Much more accommodating in every way.

There is truth to this observation. Service providers can get worn down late in the season just like hikers.

You can add the Hut Croo's in the White Mountains as being more accommodating early in the season.

Lauriep
12-27-2014, 13:06
Not only are attitudes better toward thru-hikers at the beginning of the season, but there is little chance of hostels being full, and less competition for the work-for-stay options at the AMC huts in the White Mountains. While AMC does not the guarantee the work-for-stay option, when they do offer it, there is generally only room for 2 hikers to do work-for-stay (4 at Lake of the Clouds). (More info about thru-hikers and the Whites at outdoors.org/conservation/trails/appalachian-trail/thru-hiker-guide-white-mountains.cfm (http://www.outdoors.org/conservation/trails/appalachian-trail/thru-hiker-guide-white-mountains.cfm.).

Not only that, but flip-floppers hiking north toward Baxter State Park in Maine are eligible to stay at The Birches campsite without an advance reservation (unlike sobos and southbound flip-floppers), and should not have competition for space, and no logjam waiting for a space to become available.

All in all, flip-floppers starting in the middle of the Trail ahead of the crowd still get a social thru-hike, but without adding to the problems caused by too many hikers concentrated in too small an area.

Flip-floppers who intentionally choose a start time and location other than Georgia in March and early April are the pioneers who will help conserve the A.T.

dangerdave
12-27-2014, 18:54
Ok, Flippers!

What's the "best" way to get from Millinocket back to Harpers Ferry? <normally a 12 hour drive>

PS - Whoever thought "Turn around and walk back!" can skip that. :)

squeezebox
12-27-2014, 19:13
I compared Greyhound, Amtrack, and Southwest airlines. Southwest flies from Portland nonstop to DC. Amtrack had some funky transfer
somewhere in between, can start at Bangor. both about $150 but requires a good bit of lead time to get a good price. Greyhound from Bangor about $100 but no lead time. but a substantially long bus ride. I've asked this question and have always got the answer of don't fret it will work itself out as you get farther north. Getting to Bangor? The good will of others?

dangerdave
12-27-2014, 19:44
Well, I rode a Greyhound bus from San Francisco, CA to Columbus, OH back in 1984. Three days. Yes, three day on a bus. I think I could handle the ride from Maine to WV.

Given that, I understand the "don't fret" mentality. We don't know how fast we will get to Maine, so there's really no use worrying until we get there, at which time we will have to do something to get back to HF. So yes, it will work itself out, or we will work it out, one way or another.

I've got some friends in Maine, so I might be chilling for a few days up there. But I'm pretty sure they won't be driving a 24 hour round trip to take me to HF. My wife is still knocking around the thought of driving up to Maine (17.5 hours for her) and taking me to HF. If she does, there might be space for one or two more...but you'd have to be nearby at the time. :)

I'm going with a wait and see for that one.

Tabasco Hikes
12-27-2014, 20:45
NOBO's have a standard schedule to guide the need for and exchange of cold weather gear for warm weather gear.

Hey DangerDave: You mentioned that some of the NOBOs you spoke with had suggested a good time to swap out cold weather gear for spring/summer gear. Could you send me a link to what you found? I am doing a pre-hike of the Palmetto Trail (SC) beginning Jan. 10 to shake out more equipment and build up some trail legs before tackling the AT, but the weather in SC is so temperate in Jan/Feb that really cold weather gear is probably unnecessary.

If I start the AT from Springer on or about March 1st, I'm pretty sure I'll need a mail drop of cold weather gear to get started, but it would be awesome if you know roughly what those dates would be. I'm putting together mail drops now. Any information would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

Tabasco

Lauriep
12-27-2014, 21:28
Danger Dave,

Compared to the other challenges you'll face on a thousand miles of the A.T., finding transportation from Baxter State Park to Harpers Ferry will seem like a small matter by the time you get there.

Every day, there are many people leaving Baxter and heading out the same way you are. You can certainly find a ride to the town of Millinocket outside Baxter State Park, where you'll probably want to spend your first night after climbing Katahdin. The owners of the Appalachian Trail Lodge where you might choose to stay also provide shuttles. The cheapest option is to then get a shuttle 10 miles to Medway, where you can catch a Cyr Bus the 60 miles to Bangor. If the timing doesn't work for you, the A.T. Lodge and other shuttlers can take you all the way to Bangor. From there you can catch a Greyhound bus or a plane to a DC area airport (BWI is the furthest from Harpers Ferry, but often the cheapest, with public transportation to Harpers Ferry via DC's Union Station on the MARC train).

Or, you can travel south 125 miles to Portland, and catch a cheaper MegaBus, or get an Amtrak train to DC. From DC, you can catch either an Amtrak train or the cheaper commuter MARC train on weekdays.

No shortage of options!

dangerdave
12-27-2014, 21:48
@Tabasco: If I am not mistaken, Mount Rogers in VA is the cut-off for sending home cold weather gear, but I see you are starting March 1st. That might push you past that point. Maybe some past thru-hikers could fill in the blanks here. Having the right gear at the right time is important (very). I don't want to misinform you.

Thanks, Laurie! You are awesome!

putts
12-27-2014, 23:07
Is it May or June in Vermont, where they kindly ask that we don't use the trails due to the fragile state of the muddy trails?

I'm thinking of starting NOBO at HF or slightly South in mid April, but may start more south to avoid damaging trail in VT.

Jeff
12-28-2014, 07:20
Is it May or June in Vermont, where they kindly ask that we don't use the trails due to the fragile state of the muddy trails?

I'm thinking of starting NOBO at HF or slightly South in mid April, but may start more south to avoid damaging trail in VT.

It is the month of May where the Green Mountain Club (who maintains the AT in Vermont) asks you to avoid hiking during "mud season". You will find Vermont to be muddy even in the summer months, but the month of May is awful "mudwise".

Thanks for your consideration when planning your schedule !!

Dwill1000
12-28-2014, 19:33
Well, I've read a lot on the negatives of a Springer start. I'm seriously looking at starting at Harper's Ferry N to BSP then HF to Springer - instead if a trad NOBO. Vermont will be really muddy and the black flies will be fierce. But it sounds like the way to do it. Any comments on this plan from former thru hikers greatly appreciated.

I've got the logistics all figured out. I'm planning to start from HF around April 1.

Thanks!

Lauriep
12-28-2014, 21:10
Dwill1000, awesome that you are considering starting in Harpers Ferry!

April 1 is definitely on the early side to start from Harpers Ferry. Although there will be some people on the Trail (spring breakers, weekenders, day-hikers), you'll be ahead of the nobos and most flip-floppers won't have started yet. It's good to have a few long-distance hikers around you for companionship, moral support, and advice. You don't have to hike together during the day, but it's nice to chew the fat with at the end of the day, share your successes and woes and food fantasies, high and low points of the day. You have your areas of expertise and you'll have done a lot of research, but there are always more tips you can learn from others.

Here's info about Mud Season in Vermont greenmountainclub.org/page.php?id=60 (http://www.greenmountainclub.org/page.php?id=60)


Mud Season
Early spring through Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend

Please help protect the fragile alpine tundra and prevent soil erosion by staying off susceptible trails during Mud Season! This will allow the trails to dry out and reduce the amount of maintenance required each year to keep them safe and enjoyable. We know everyone is just itching to get out and enjoy the wonders of spring - we are too!

Rain and melting snow at higher elevations are keeping many of Vermont's hiking trails wet and muddy. When hikers tramp on saturated soils, they cause irreversible erosion and damage to the trail and surrounding vegetation. The Green Mountain Club, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, and Green Mountain National Forest advocate responsible use of the state's hiking trails during mud season (usually between sugaring season and Memorial Day weekend).

Some of the Long Trail has been worn down to bedrock by soil erosion over the years. Higher elevation soils take longer to dry out, and their higher content of organic material slows the drying process. A trail may be dry at the trailhead, but it will get muddy if you climb very high this time of year.

The GMC thanks hikers for their cooperation to help preserve one of Vermont's finest recreational resources.

Mud Season Hiking Guidelines


Walk through the mud, not around it! If a trail is so muddy that you need to walk on the vegetation beside it, turn back, and seek an alternative area to hike.
Hike in the lower-elevation hardwood forest (unless it is muddy!) with southern exposure (south facing slopes dry out first in Spring).
Avoid the spruce-fir (conifer) forests at higher elevations.
The State of Vermont closes all trails on state land including those on Camel's Hump and Mount Mansfield from mid-April until Memorial Day weekend. Please do not hike in these fragile areas. [Note from Laurie: most of the A.T. is on U.S. Forest Service lands, so the state closure doesn't apply, but the USFS is still asking hikers to stay away. The A.T. follows the ridge line of the Green Mountains, and many parts are in spruce-fir forests.]




If you're really itching for an early start, then how about a little compromise and starting at Rockfish Gap, near Waynesboro, Virginia (at the southern end of Shenandoah National Park, 160 miles south of Harpers Ferry) or Swift Run Gap/US 33 (45 miles north of Rockfish Gap). where you'll reach some services in a few days) around April 15? Perhaps you could time it to reach Harpers Ferry May 1?

Most services in Shenandoah National Park start to open at the beginning of April. Here's the schedule for 2014: nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/facilities-opening-schedule.htm (http://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/facilities-opening-schedule.htm). It theory it shouldn't be much different in 2015. Although the camp stores in the park don't have fancy hiker food and they are expensive, they do have a lot of staples. If you're not choosy, you can completely resupply there. Another option is staying at Skyland Resort and having a drop box sent there (only guests can do that). Or, you could go into Luray, 5 miles west, which has all major services. There are some shuttlers in Luray who could pick you up and take you back (see the shuttle list at appalachiantrail.org/transportation (http://www.appalachiantrail.org/transportation)).

When you're just starting out, it's good to resupply frequently to keep your pack weight as low as possible. Whatever you're doing before your thru-hike, it probably won't equate to the rigors of carrying a pack for 8 hours a day up and down mountains.

Many former thru-hikers will tell you Shenandoah is easy. True, it's easy compared to just about everything on the A.T. to the south of it, but it's not easy if you're just starting out. Eight to ten miles a day is plenty to start (ignore thru-hikers who can tell you that it's easy to do twenties in Shenanodah, just because after 2 months of hiking and pushing full-tilt for 2 months they found it easy). It's a little harder than Maryland (though not as rocky). The Roller Coaster in northern Virginia is tougher than either--not difficult or seriously steep, just grueling with unrelenting ups and downs.

This may be more information than you wanted or were asking for, but if so, it may be helpful to others.

Dwill1000
12-28-2014, 21:44
Laurie -Thanks very much for the info. It is much appreciated. My plans are flexible, so I'll look into either a later HF start or a start further south April 1ish so that I don't hit Vermont before memorial day. David

Treehugger
12-28-2014, 23:05
Laurie -Thanks very much for the info. It is much appreciated. My plans are flexible, so I'll look into either a later HF start or a start further south April 1ish so that I don't hit Vermont before memorial day. David

Dwill. I am starting in early April too but further south in Daleville/Troutville. This gets you to, or at least near HF at the first of May. The ATC's Flip Flop kick off is May 2nd, I think. Good timing for that and probably plenty of thrus leaving around then from HF too. Just thought I'd let you know an alternative idea. Good luck and maybe we will see each other out there!

Dwill1000
12-28-2014, 23:58
Thanks, Treehugger. Sounds good. I'm going to look into starting further south too. Transportation is the biggest factor - Harper's Ferry is the most accessible point on the trail because of Amtrak. I may end up leaving from there around May 1.

Jeff
12-29-2014, 08:19
Looks like a flip starting in Harpers Ferry is catching on. Can anyone advise these hikers where a good outfitter is located 30 -50-100 miles north of Harpers? Gear adjustments are common and NOBO's from Springer are lucky to have Mountain Crossings available at Neel Gap.

Treehugger
12-29-2014, 08:43
http://appalachiantrials.com/outfitters-appalachian-trail/

Check this out. Has just about all of them. But leaving HF it looks like you need to be more careful to pack lightly and smart. Cabelas is closest north of HF and AORE will deliver if not too far away from HF, probably within 30 miles would be ok. I know them, very cool people.


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Coffee
12-29-2014, 09:03
I started a 260 mile section hike NOBO from Rockfish Gap on April 15. The first night was very cold with frozen water bottles and it remained cold in SNP but warmed up as I moved to lower elevations north of the park. I found the hiking in SNP relatively easy and hiked low 20s every day after the first partial day, but planning for 10-15 mile days would allow a larger margin of safety and avoid potential injury early in the hike.

Park services were were mostly open during my time in the park. I carried food for the 7 days between Rockfish Gap and Bears Den hostel but could have easily resupplied at Big Meadows which has the most extensive food selection. Lewis Mountain camp store also had quite a bit. Elkwallow had less variety.

Although i I plan to SOBO when I thru hike, a flip flop starting mid April from Rockfish Gap could also be a great trip. Easy to flip back to Rockfish Gap after reaching Maine by taking Amtrak to Charlottesville or Staunton.

kushtakaa
12-29-2014, 14:48
Alright, I thought I had convinced the wife that a start from central-snp/HF between April 15 & May 1 would be nice...until the Lyme talk came. :-) We're talking being in the midst of New England Dear Tick season at the height (June or so)...any good info & arguments pro/con? I haven't used Permethrin (sold tons when working @ a backpacking store in the Shenandoah Valley), but it sounds pretty good. Clothing infused with added daily Deet, tick-checks and just watching where we are going should cover the bases. I know it was just a "freak-out" moment for her, but it seems that the number of people utilizing the outdoors in NE compared to the actual Lyme cases is still fairly distant...especially with fore-thought. Just wondering if any of you have experience, anecdotes, etc. for me?

Treehugger
12-29-2014, 17:22
Ticks are active and looking to feed when temps are 40 degrees and over. Northern VA and vicinity has as many cases of Lyme disease than anywhere in NE. So really You can't avoid them because they are out looking for food when we want to be out playing in the woods. Repellants, checks and avoiding prolonged exposure to their habitat is the only way to deal with them. I have had lots of experience with ticks, their habitat and effects of bites. I have seen what Lyme can do to people and animals and it is no joke. I will use permethrin sprayed on my clothes and deet on occaision. I bought mosquito netting for my head and the pants too. I do not want what ticks are pushing so I hope my strategy works.


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bsteinberg
12-30-2014, 13:47
It's cool that the ATC is having a little Floppers workshop/meetup on May 2nd. I plan to head with that group. One of my issues with flipping was that it seemed more of a loner hike because I would be too far ahead of the nobo pack. I'm a slow hiker so they would definitely catch up after a month or so. But it looks like there will be a small group starting out from Harpers on May 2st. Not so much to create a bottleneck, but enough for a social hike.

dangerdave
12-30-2014, 17:46
Don't worry, Steinberg. There will be some other slowpokers starting out about then, heading north. You will not me lonely.

I want to thank everyone who had a part in me deciding to do a Flip from HF. The more I prepare and talk about it, the better it sounds for me. I can take my time. Avoid the party crowd (not interested!). Enjoy the trail and the woods and the mountains with a few (and it would seem mature) like-minded individuals.

We shall see. I am s very much looking forward to it.

dangerdave
12-30-2014, 18:47
Since I changed from an April Fool to a Flip Flopper, I got me a new patch for my pack...

29343

Treehugger
12-30-2014, 19:45
Don't worry, Steinberg. There will be some other slowpokers starting out about then, heading north. You will not me lonely.

I want to thank everyone who had a part in me deciding to do a Flip from HF. The more I prepare and talk about it, the better it sounds for me. I can take my time. Avoid the party crowd (not interested!). Enjoy the trail and the woods and the mountains with a few (and it would seem mature) like-minded individuals.

We shall see. I am s very much looking forward to it.

Feels good to settle on a plan doesn't it? I may have missed it but did you come up with a start date?

dangerdave
12-30-2014, 20:04
Yes, it does, and you did miss it! Beginning of May (probably the 1st). I haven't decided whether to hang around for the Flip Flop Kick-off or just head out on the first.

bsteinberg
12-31-2014, 16:20
OK. It's kind of official. I just requested a reservation for a room in Harpers on May 2. The plan is to go the Flipper workshop at the ATC, and hike out after breakfast the next day.

o hiker guy
12-31-2014, 19:20
Someone help me out here. Hiking on the AT is all I think about. A thru hike this year is all I think about. Now with this flip flop start in May that's even more better. Now my problem. How does a person get past the mental part of leaving your family for 6 months. I have a 6 yr old grand daughter that I don't know if I can be away from that long. Thanks

Sandy of PA
12-31-2014, 21:23
A small pack for the grandaughter and take her along!

Carbo
01-01-2015, 10:52
Part of the mental challenge I'm sure. My wife says when she drops me off for the start of my thru, she'll lay a patch of rubber leaving the parking lot. She's joking (I think ?!), but the sense of humor helps.

Treehugger
01-01-2015, 19:34
Hiker Guy. You can always bounce off and back on the trail if you want to. I have to come off for my daughters HS graduation in June and again in August to take her to college. I wont be off long each time and it add to cost and logistics but I think its worth it! Good luck to you!


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bsteinberg
01-01-2015, 19:46
My first section hike was in 95, which was kind of pre-cell phone or at least I didn't have one yet. It certainly was pre social media. I remember being on Max Patch on father's day and borrowing a cell phone to call my father. It was pretty cool. The cellphone guy also gave be a soda and a sandwich, which was cool too, and I picked wild strawberries with him and his kids.

This hike will be interesting for me because it will be a challenge to "be on the trail," and not checking my facebook all day. I might even chat more with friends from home more than in my daily life.

As for feeling homesick, that's going to happen.

For my hike, I have planned some family meetup alone the way, which is easy for me because I'll be in striking distance of some of them. And I also planned a 7-10 day trip in August off the trail.

You can be flexible with your hike.

bsteinberg
01-01-2015, 20:29
Wanted to share this. The Town's Inn in Harpers Ferry used to have hostel like accommodation for hikers, but no longer do.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you for your inquiry regarding lodging at the Town’s Inn!


The rooms in this historical (circa 1840) residence are delightful, and the location is perfect: it's in the heart of Harpers Ferry (www.HistoricHarpersFerry.com (http://www.historicharpersferry.com/)), a few steps from the rivers, trails, train station, shops, restaurants, and museums that are part of the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park 1860 living history village ( www.nps.gov/hafe (http://www.nps.gov/hafe)).


The Town is a special place for all seasons for many reasons, and the Inn is a self-contained destination ( lodging, restaurant, Sundry Shoppe, and an Adventure Academy offering educational, enjoyable customized sessions from November through April…. ).


The Inn no longer contains hostel-style accommodations available for advance reservation. However, if any of the private rooms have not been rented by noon on the day of arrival, an individual bed can be reserved for $40 with the understanding that the other beds in the room may also be rented hostel-style if possible.


For future reference:


Each of the five rooms in the Inn have a private bathroom, microwave, and fridge. Each room is unique. At this moment, all five rooms are available for a 2 May arrival and 3 May departure.


The three rooms in the Heritage House ( 179 High Street ) include the Appalachian Room ( full-size bed, $140 ), Potomac Room ( queen-size brass bed and brass day bed with trundle, $120 ), and Shenandoah Room ( upper/lower full-size and upper/lower twin-size beds, $120 for 1 to 4 guests, plus $10 for each additional person.


The accommodations in the Mountain House ( 175 High Street ) were totally renovated during the fall. The website is still undergoing revisions to reflect the changes — but pictures of the rooms have been posted.


The second and third floors have been rented as a private residence. The first floor consists of the Mountain View Suite and the Friendship Room.


The Mountain View Suite consists of two rooms and a private bath in the stone portion of the Mountain house. The front room is furnished with a queen-size sleeper sofa and the back room with an antique queen-ish size brass bed. The Suite also has a little nook with twin-size bunk beds. The cost is $140 / night for 1 to 4 guests plus $10 for each additional person.


The Friendship Room consists of the first floor of the wooden house that is attached to the stone house. This large room is furnished with a queen-size bed, a day bed, a trundle bed, and a sofa that can serve as a fourth bed. The cost is $140 / night for 1 - 4 guests, plus $10 for each additional person and $30 for approved pets.


By the way, you can check room availability anytime from the Home Page of the Inn's website by clicking on "Click here to reserve a room," which will allow you to see which rooms are available yet not require you to make a reservation on-line unless you choose to do so. Keep in mind that we love our "on-line" / Internet features but that we are always happy to personally respond to emails and to telephone calls. We enjoy talking personally with callers who have questions about the Inn and/or the Town.


If you want to make reservations, please either book your reservation on-line (www.TheTownsInn.com (http://www.thetownsinn.com/)) or call / email us with MasterCard or Visa information (number, expiration date, security code). Upon arrival, please stop by my office to check-in and to get your credit card swiped so that you won’t have to pay a $5 credit card processing fee.


Regardless of whether or not you stay in the Inn, we invite you to dine in our Restaurant which features friendly service and delicious, nutritious, fresh-from-the-kitchen cuisine served in our dining room or on our patios from 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. every day of the year.


We hope we have the privilege and pleasure of seeing and serving you, your family, and your friends in the future.




Sincerely,
Karan








Dr. Karan Townsend


The Town's Inn
179 High Street
PO Box 1412
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425

fou
01-01-2015, 23:13
My hubby & I are starting in Atkins, VA on April 14. North of Mt. Rogers, so hopefully we won't experience any snow. Too bad we won't be in HF in time for the Kickoff. :(

squeezebox
01-02-2015, 01:01
Laurie, Could you fill us in on what you're thinking of doing for the kick off?
Also are there any tent sites nearby?

mtntopper
01-02-2015, 12:51
Thanks, Treehugger. Sounds good. I'm going to look into starting further south too. Transportation is the biggest factor - Harper's Ferry is the most accessible point on the trail because of Amtrak. I may end up leaving from there around May 1.


Amtrak also goes to Lynchburg Va. There you catch a bus (30 minutes $5 to Roanoke Va.) It is easy to catch a lift from tail angels to Daleville Va. where you can get on the trail. Check the bus and train schedules. PM me if you want some help.

Cashmere
01-02-2015, 17:14
I plan to start May 9th in HF (going north first) for my flip flop. This may be a silly question.....Should I check-in/sign the registry at the ATC when I start or when I come back to go south or both?

Treehugger
01-02-2015, 19:36
Thanks, Treehugger. Sounds good. I'm going to look into starting further south too. Transportation is the biggest factor - Harper's Ferry is the most accessible point on the trail because of Amtrak. I may end up leaving from there around May 1.


Amtrak also goes to Lynchburg Va. There you catch a bus (30 minutes $5 to Roanoke Va.) It is easy to catch a lift from tail angels to Daleville Va. where you can get on the trail. Check the bus and train schedules. PM me if you want some help.



I live close to HF and my husband will be driving me to the starting point in or near Troutville, but thanks for the offer to help me out. I will offer the same to you. PM me if you would like a ride south from HF.

Busky2
01-03-2015, 00:59
Well this may be a bit different because I am headed SOBO from Snickers Gap the last week of April and everyone seems to be NOBO. But, I may cross paths with a few of you on the trail. Best wishes and good weather to you all.

ChrisChros
01-03-2015, 15:33
I already have decided to make a FlipFlop to avoid the Bubble. Starting date should be around end of March. What I still haven't understood is why all people seem to go north instead of south. Wy not start, let's say, in upper third of AT, go south, return to starting gpoint and go north to Kathadin? Noone seems to take into consideration this itinerary. Any reason for that?
Thanks for any advice.

Treehugger
01-03-2015, 17:44
It gets seriously hot as you follow spring into summer as you go south. I would much rather be in New England in the summer than NC and GA. But I can certainly see the draw of finishing at Katahdin in Sept/Oct too. I've lived in both regions and even though New England can get hot, the temps do not tend to stay that way for long. Going north from somewhere in VA in the spring just seems to get you more moderate temperatures thruout, albeit plenty of cold at first, storms and bugs later, and ending with nice fall weather in the south. I hope.



I already have decided to make a FlipFlop to avoid the Bubble. Starting date should be around end of March. What I still haven't understood is why all people seem to go north instead of south. Wy not start, let's say, in upper third of AT, go south, return to starting gpoint and go north to Kathadin? Noone seems to take into consideration this itinerary. Any reason for that?
Thanks for any advice.

jimmyjam
01-04-2015, 19:16
I'm going to jump on board with the flippers and start NOBO early to mid April from the northern end of the SNP. I like hiking with people, but I've been down south and hiked with the tail end of the bubble and seen what happens when the main bubble passes thru and do not want to be a part of it.

squeezebox
01-05-2015, 04:57
Where to change out winter/summer gear? I've read the suggestions for where to change out winter/summer gear with a March start from Springer.
I just don't see that holds for a flip flop. I've modified my cold weather gear list from a March start to a May start from Harpers Ferry. lighter bag, jacket etc. So my question is where & when to change out cold & warm weather gear. Sounds like Maine in July can still be pretty chilly, and Virginia in Aug & most of Sept., pretty hot & humid.
So I'm thinking! start with the cold weather stuff, starting in HF, carry it to Maine. flip back to Harpers Ferry probably around Aug 1. Pick up warm weather gear there carry that until the 2nd half of Sept. should be close to Erwin or Hot Springs, but pick up the colder weather gear before the Smokies. Altitude comes into the mix. Then finish in cooler fall weather. Your opinions?

jimmyjam
01-05-2015, 07:50
SB, I think your clothing plan is sound from what I know about the trail .

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Grampie
01-05-2015, 11:15
I notice by the posts that almost all of the folks who have decided to flip are from a older, more sensible crowd. The younger group, 18-30 group are more in it for the party aspect and not the hike.

hazmat
01-06-2015, 12:05
Hey Grampie,

I too am from the older generation of hikers and not exactly fond of being a part of the bubble either. Logistically, I could not put a flip hike together, and hope to HMOH by minimizing shelter use. I was also concerned about mental aspects of flipping as well. After a few days of the trail for travel purposes, to see family and friends, familiar surroundings, it might be difficult to get started again.

Regards,
hazmat (70 days and counting)

dangerdave
01-06-2015, 14:48
Makes sense, Hazmat, and good luck! Maybe we'll pass along the way.

I am delighted to see so many making the Flip decision for all the right reasons. Perhaps the Class of 2015 can be a turning point...a new trend. We can hope.

kushtakaa
01-11-2015, 11:14
Thanks for the tick info Treehugger!

squeezebox
01-11-2015, 11:41
chrischros An option you might consider is to cut the trail into thirds. You could fly into New York city. The trail is close by. Hike south for a while, maybe close to the Smokies. Then when summer really kicks in move to New England, north or south. After New England down south, finish the southern 1/3 probably heading south.
But if you have time constraints and visa issues you might skip the middle section.

Lauriep
01-17-2015, 00:52
I already have decided to make a FlipFlop to avoid the Bubble. Starting date should be around end of March. What I still haven't understood is why all people seem to go north instead of south. Wy not start, let's say, in upper third of AT, go south, return to starting gpoint and go north to Kathadin? Noone seems to take into consideration this itinerary. Any reason for that?
Thanks for any advice.

ChrisChros,

Here are the reasons ATC particularly encourages starting the first half of a flip-flop northbound from Harpers Ferry late April to mid-May.

1) You start significantly ahead of the northbound bubble and stay ahead of it, at least until it thins out. That's good for the trail, because hikers are dispersed. If you walk southbound, you're adding to the bubble when you walk through it. One person isn't going to make a difference, but if it became a popular trend, it could.

2) You have the companionship and camaraderie of northbound thru-hikers. Almost all will be walking faster and further than you at the beginning, but you might bump into people a few nights in a row. After a while, as you get your trail legs, you will spend more successive nights together, or at least bump into hikers in town, or after they've gotten off for a wedding or something like that. If you go southbound, at first there will be almost no thru-hikers, and then there will be a big crush of hikers. You'll pass more than a thousand of them, but just with a hi or a brief chat at a view. At most, you'll spend a night at a shelter. Most hikers find it more satisfying to spend more time with fewer people.

3) There are a lot of advantages with the timing and succession doing the northbound first in the late April to mid-May time frame.


a) You get through some or most of the mid-Atlantic before it becomes really hot and humid.

b) You reach the White Mountains before there are tons of thru-hikers to compete for work-for-stay (though never guarantees that it's available--generally only 2 spots are offered, if help is needed), but your chances of getting it are better, and the hut crews won't have soured after a season of too many north bounders whom they perceive as acting entitled. The huts are as much as $149/night per person (including breakfast and dinner).

c) You hike Maine, which is really, really hard (the hardest state of all, with the most scrambling and climbing) when daylight hours are still relatively long, with more time to do those rugged miles.

d) You hike Maine, which is really, really hard (the hardest state of all) before your body starts to wear down. Some hikers are just worn out by the time they get there on a northbound hike, especially older hikers. The younger hikers sometimes are just bored with the trail by then and just want to get it over with, which is kind of a shame, because many consider Maine the wildest and most beautiful state.

e) Your accèss to Baxter State Park is much simpler when you arrive on foot a distance of more than 100 miles. Otherwise, you have to go through all the advance reservation system (this note is more for those flipping up to Katahdin).

Conversely, we've had two volunteers at ATC headquarters (a few years apart)--people whom I knew pretty well, who attempted flip-flop thru-hikes from Harpers Ferry southbound (against my advice, if they had asked or listened). They both ran out of steam and quit because it just wasn't fun enough to keep going (one in Pearisbug, VA and one in the Smokies). They just didn't seem to be as pulled into the experience, even though they planned for a long time and were really excited about it when they set out. I also think it wore on them psychologically to keep explaining what they were doing, not only something different, but going "the wrong way." Two people is a small sample, and only one 1 out of 4 north bounders makes it the whole way, but it still made an impression on me. That is in combination with two other people (one solo male and one couple) who also didn't like going through the crowds and a variety of other conditions they encountered.

Does everyone know about our 2,000-miler correspondence list for alternative thru-hikes? If not, it's a list of recent flip-floppers and other thru-hikers with alternative itineraries from recent years that you can contact, along with some quotes by them, and some tips from ATC. If you're interested, email info@appalachiantrail.org and request the Alternative 2,000-miler correspondence list.

Hikers have done many many different types of flip-flops, and there are many that people have been happy with. However, some work best only in a specific time/pace scenario, and some are more popular than other. Especially in an aspect of thru-hiking about which there is not a lot of information, I think it's most beneficial for ATC to promote the flip-flop version that has been tried the most (of the versions that benefit the Trail) and about which we have heard enough feedback to feel confident in sharing it.

I hope this helps!

Laurie P.
ATC

dangerdave
01-20-2015, 11:13
Got some lodging info from Lauriep in an e-mail. She also says the ATC is still getting the Kick-off organized, so if anyone has ideas, let 'em fly!

"The three places other than B&Bs within walking distance of ATC are The Teahorse Hostel (1/2 mile west of ATC), the Town's Inn (1/2 mile east of ATC, in the heart of downtown Harpers Ferry and the historic district), and the EconoLodge. 1/4 mile west, then 0.4 miles south.

The Teahorse Hostel is perhaps the location most ideal to host a group of flip-flop hikers, but The Town's Inn, however, has been the most eager to be involved. The space at The Inn is pretty snug, and the owner Karan doesn't run a hostel per se, although some rooms can sleep 4 or 6, I can't remember (but she doesn't sell bunk space, only room space). There is a restaurant right on premises. Typically only a portion of the guests at The Inn are hikers, whereas the Teahorse gets primarily hikers and some cyclists."

I gotta get my lodging nailed down myself. I struggle with the Big P (procrastination)...

Treehugger
01-20-2015, 11:34
Got some lodging info from Lauriep in an e-mail. She also says the ATC is still getting the Kick-off organized, so if anyone has ideas, let 'em fly!

"The three places other than B&Bs within walking distance of ATC are The Teahorse Hostel (1/2 mile west of ATC), the Town's Inn (1/2 mile east of ATC, in the heart of downtown Harpers Ferry and the historic district), and the EconoLodge. 1/4 mile west, then 0.4 miles south.

The Teahorse Hostel is perhaps the location most ideal to host a group of flip-flop hikers, but The Town's Inn, however, has been the most eager to be involved. The space at The Inn is pretty snug, and the owner Karan doesn't run a hostel per se, although some rooms can sleep 4 or 6, I can't remember (but she doesn't sell bunk space, only room space). There is a restaurant right on premises. Typically only a portion of the guests at The Inn are hikers, whereas the Teahorse gets primarily hikers and some cyclists."

I gotta get my lodging nailed down myself. I struggle with the Big P (procrastination)...

Hi Guys. I live nearby and although I will be on the trail already come FFKO time (I hope to go anyway) I thought I'd offer my two cents here.

Other lodging choices in town but further from the ATC are The Knights Inn, Knoxville, MD on Keep Tryst Rd. and HI-Harpers Ferry Hostel on Sandy Hook Rd. and if all else fails check this website for just about everything offered in the way of lodging http://historicharpersferry.com/directory.php?type_id=4
The ATC may have volunteers' names that will cart you to and from the ATC and/or trail head from any of these locations. The outfitters in HF and nearby Purcellville, VA may be able to help with shuttle contacts too. Keep in mind also that the PATC runs several accommodations within a days walk or hitch of HF, including Bears Den, Blackburn Trail Center, and High Acre. The David Lesser Shelter is pretty close by as is the Ed Garvey Shelter.

squeezebox
01-20-2015, 12:08
This question is mostly aimed at Lauriep. The best flight I can get May 1 arrives at Reagan airport at noon. Is there train service from Reagan to Harpers Ferry?
Thanks for the info about lodging.

Treehugger
01-20-2015, 12:20
Hey Squeezebox. I know you directed this to Laurie but since I am here, here's the Marc Train website. http://mta.maryland.gov/marc-train. You want the Brunswick Line from Union Station to HF. Take metro from airport to Union Station. Check metro maps to know what color line to take. Since May 1 is a weekday trains will be running west bound for the commuters in the afternoon at regular intervals. Good luck!

jimmyjam
01-20-2015, 20:06
i'll be hiking NOBO from near the northern end of the SNP early to mid April.

Lauriep
01-20-2015, 23:55
Hey Treehugger, thanks for helping out Squeezebox.

Squeezebox, Treehugger has given you good advice.

For anyone else looking into transportation, you can view a helpful map here (http://http://mta.maryland.gov/sites/default/files/Marc_Map_and_Legend_UPDATED_2%20%282%29.JPG)that shows the 3 DC area airports, the 2 train systems (MARC Commuter train and Amtrak), and the MetroRail. The three airports are:


Dulles (closest, but no public transportation, shuttles available, not cheap because it's 40 miles away)
Reagan (closest to Union Station where you pick up Amtrak or MARC commuter train to Harpers Ferry, requires two short legs on the MetroRail)
BWI (furthest, but MARC Penn line connects directly to Union Station)

All trains from DC to Harpers Ferry run late afternoon or evening. The Amtrak is 4:05pm - 5:16pm daily (the schedule usually changes by a few minutes in the springtime, but never significantly). Faster, nicer, more expensive than the commuter train, be sure to check their baggage requirements (only small carryons allowed; unless you're ultralight your backpack probably won't qualify). The MARC has several trains on weekdays.


Hey Jimmyjam,

Good to hear of your plans! Keep us posted!

Lauriep
01-21-2015, 01:00
A 2014 flip-flopper, "Nubbins," has just accepted ATC's invitation to give a presentation at the Harpers Ferry Flip-Flop Kick-Off May 2 about her successful flip-flop thru-hike this past year. She will also participate in our panel discussion, which is up to 3 recent flip-floppers now.

Nubbins is a 69-year-old woman who started in Pearisburg, VA (388 miles south of Harpers Ferry) on her birthday, April 5. She reached Harpers Ferry May 21. (Some time off was planned for a board meeting, some time off was for a sprained knee). On October 1 she climbed Katahdin, and then finished her final leg from Pearisburg to Springer on December 15. She was a pretty experienced hiker before she started, having completed the Long Trail in Vermont (which shares 100 miles with a moderate section of the A.T., but more than 100 north of the A.T. that is considered by some even tougher than the A.T. in Maine). Her trail Journal (unfinished, but she says she will be updating it) is TrailJournals.com/Nubbins (http://www.trailjournals.com/about.cfm?trailname=16215).

By the way, flip-floppers finishing in 2014 ranged from age 5 (the youngest thru-hiker ever) to age 71. The median age was 29.

squeezebox
01-21-2015, 07:09
Thanks for the info treehugger & Laurie. So Laurie are you saying my 65L + pack won't qualify for Amtrack? Does the MARC have restrictions? No reason to fly into DC and then not get my pack to Harpers Ferry. Or am I just confussed.
How many people are you expecting for the flip flop kick off?
This is getting real, I'll book my flight with the next paycheck.

Treehugger
01-21-2015, 18:36
Thanks for the info treehugger & Laurie. So Laurie are you saying my 65L + pack won't qualify for Amtrack? Does the MARC have restrictions? No reason to fly into DC and then not get my pack to Harpers Ferry. Or am I just confussed.
How many people are you expecting for the flip flop kick off?
This is getting real, I'll book my flight with the next paycheck.

I asked my husband who rides the MARC train everyday from DC on the same line and he said he's seen luggage of all sizes on board. If it doesn't fit in the overhead bin then you have to find a place under your seat or next to you, even at your feet. He wasn't as sure about Amtrak but he has taken it before and has seen carry-ons of many sizes too. http://www.amtrak.com/baggage-policy should tell you what you need to know.

T-Rx
01-21-2015, 22:54
Lauriep,
My wife and I are considering changing our thru hike plans to a flip flop from HF in late April or early May of this year. We have family that wants to be involved and would like to day hike some with us as well as slack pack us for a few days at the beginning. Based on your experiences can you suggest a slackpacking itinerary and some possible accommodations? It would be ideal to rent a conveniently located cabin or house for a few days since there will be 5 of us in our group. Thanks!

semicolon
01-21-2015, 23:15
Lauriep,
My wife and I are considering changing our thru hike plans to a flip flop from HF in late April or early May of this year. We have family that wants to be involved and would like to day hike some with us as well as slack pack us for a few days at the beginning. Based on your experiences can you suggest a slackpacking itinerary and some possible accommodations? It would be ideal to rent a conveniently located cabin or house for a few days since there will be 5 of us in our group. Thanks!

T-rex,
I came across this site during my research. It looks like they have a couple of family rooms and offer slack packing services.
http://www.teahorsehostel.com/Rates.html

I hope to see you on the trail!

T-Rx
01-21-2015, 23:40
Thank you very much for the info. semicolon. I hope our paths will cross.

Lauriep
01-22-2015, 15:03
Hey guys, I just noticed Harpers Ferry National Historical Park has a gorgeous new photo of Harpers Ferry on the banner of their website. Check it out at nps.gov/hafe (http://www.nps.gov/hafe).

The view is from Maryland Heights, which is not on the A.T., but it shows you the route of the A.T. below. Your first steps northbound will be through that little town and across the bridge across the Potomac (in the foreground) on the left. Southbound, you cross the bridge over the Shenandoah in the upper left of the photo.

The HFNHP website has a wealth of information about the history of the area, and some excellent maps showing the many day-hikes in and around the town. There's no place I know of where so much history is blended with so many scenic overlooks, river walks, and battlefields. The flip-floppers starting out this year are probably too focused on their thru-hike to really be interested in this, but for those who might want to come to the kick-off to get information for a future hike, you might want to build a day or two extra into your trip.

The one thing this website does not have is information about commercial businesses and other things outside of the park (which surrounds Harpers Ferry in three states). The one for that is historicharpersferry.org (http://www.historicharpersferry.org).

There are other questions raised in this thread I want to address, but I'll have to get to them later.

dangerdave
01-22-2015, 17:08
Thank you, Laurie. I can't speak for the others, but you are making me feel like the Flippers are a special group, deserving of recognition. I must agree.

Makes me wish the time would pass more quickly. I find myself getting even more excited with this fine event to mark our departure. The chance to meet and bond with others prior to stepping off is no doubt a highlight of the ATKO down south. We can only hope that enthusiasm swells, and this event becomes just as popular in the coming years. Harpers Ferry is also the closest point on the trail to my home, so the possibility (presuming a successful thru) of being involved in future kick-offs is very appealing.

My dear classmates, it's going to be an awesome year! :)

Lauriep
01-23-2015, 00:20
Dave,

You guys *are* a very special group. I really can't think of any precedent in the history of the A.T., where a diverse group of thru-hikers has deliberately set out to hike the A.T. in a way that will help preserve it and sustain it.

The number of intentional flip-floppers is very small. The vast majority of flip-floppers in the numbers you see on our 2,000-miler stats page (http://www.appalachiantrail.org/2000milers) are flips that were unplanned. Most of these hikers were originally northbound, many starting in March and early April. Most flipped because they felt they would not have enough time to complete a northbound thru-hike. We celebrate those hikers, because generally they have done a slower hike and have chosen to do the responsible thing--not risking rescue somewhere in New Hampshire or Maine or when the snows set in. And we love it when hikers choose to end here. The rest of the world tends to laud and be impressed by the fast hikers. Our heritage at ATC is different.

Benton MacKaye, the A.T.'s founder who helped create ATC, said he wanted to give a prize to the slowest hiker. The purpose of the A.T., he said, is "to walk, to see, and to see what you see."

Any hiker can choose a hike more focused on the natural world around them, but I do think the alternative itineraries are more conducive. They don't have the crowds and distraction of frequent opportunities to party. Nobos often talk about how their faith in humanity has been restored, so clearly they are seeing beautiful things too. And as for fast hikers, they can be observant at any pace. Jennifer Pharr Davis, who has the fastest reported hike of the A.T., has talked about seeing more wildlife than any other hiker I can recall--probably because she was always hiking at dawn and dusk.

Just the same, ATC is going to champion the flip-floppers, because you are doing good things for the Trail. You are a model we hope more people will follow.

Have you guys seen The Path Less Traveled (http://appalachiantrials.com/path-less-traveled/?fb_action_ids=10103842961805617&fb_action_types=og.likes) article on Appalachian Trials (posted Jan. 4) by Liz Kibby? She's saying she's starting in Virginia in May and says, "I would love to hear from anyone else who is planning on flip-flopping, leapfrogging, or any other non-traditional hiking method."

There are more than a dozen responses, including a number of folks planning flip-flops in 2015.

SteelCut
01-23-2015, 07:25
Have you guys seen The Path Less Traveled (http://http://appalachiantrials.com/path-less-traveled/?fb_action_ids=10103842961805617&fb_action_types=og.likes) article on Appalachian Trials (posted Jan. 4) by Liz Kibby? She's saying she's starting in Virginia in May and says, "I would love to hear from anyone else who is planning on flip-flopping, leapfrogging, or any other non-traditional hiking method.".

Corrected link: The Path Less Traveled (http://appalachiantrials.com/path-less-traveled/?fb_action_ids=10103842961805617&fb_action_types=og.likes)

full conditions
01-23-2015, 08:25
I think what you guys are planning is awesome. If I had it to do over again I definitely would flip my hike - the only reason I can think of for not flipping was a serious failure of imagination on my part - it never occurred to me that that was an option. I suspect that what you all will find is an experience that thru hikers used to have many decades ago -a greater adventure with a handful new friends. Let's face it Georgia to Maine has been done - many, many times. What you all have in mind is new(er) and special. Frankly, I'm eating my heart out. Best of luck to all of you,

bsteinberg
01-23-2015, 15:45
OK. My official plan is to attend the May 2 ATC meet up, workshop? I not actually 100% sure it will be but I'll be there. Then hike out the next morning.

So I figure if anyone other flipper has the same plan, we could get toghether for a pizza.

jimmyjam
01-23-2015, 18:41
I think I'm going to delay my start just a little so I can arrive there in HF on the 2nd for the festivities and have some hiking company leaving HF. Now will the end of April please Hurry UP and get here!!

Wild Blue
01-24-2015, 17:31
Hi Flip Flopppers. I've been following this thread with great interest, I think it's very good to see more interest in alternate ways to hike the AT while decreasing impact to the trail. There is also a chance I might join you, but that is not in my control. If I can my start date would be a little later, end of May or early June, NOBO from HF. Any thoughts on starting in early June? Regardless of my participation I hope you all have an adventure of a lifetime out there. Good luck!

squeezebox
01-24-2015, 20:11
Wild blue; would starting in New York City be an option for June 1?

Wild Blue
01-24-2015, 20:29
Squeezebox, yes I'd consider starting further north, NYC or another point. I can't do a traditional hike, this year at least, so I'm open to a lot of options.

T-Rx
01-25-2015, 13:24
Ok, I will make it official. My wife and I are now proud members of the Flip Flop Class of 2015. We were planning a NOBO hike beginning at Springer Mtn. but are changing our plans to a HF start around May 1. We look forward to seeing many of you on the trail!

squeezebox
01-25-2015, 15:31
Geez!! So how many folks are planning on starting May 1 from Harpers Ferry. Just might have to jump back to Springer to avoid the big bubble. Just teasing!

SaltyBiscuit
01-25-2015, 23:37
Woah was pretty bummed to hear that I wouldn't be able to leave until May. But now that I have discovered the flip-flop route I couldn't be more happy. I am planning on heading to HF first week of May. The Workshop sounds like a plan!

dangerdave
01-26-2015, 00:20
You all are awesome! I never expected this level of enthusiasm for the Flip this year! I'm so glad I won't be totally lone! I'm very proud of you all! Class of 2015 Rocks!

dangerdave
01-27-2015, 11:35
Ok, Flippers, here's the deal. My wonderful wife had a great idea. We're interested in a vacation rental in Harpers Ferry to share with some of you. I have found a few in HF that are still available, and pretty nice. Hey, most of us are only doing this hike once, so we may as well do it up right and have a great send-off!

Here's an example: The Two Rivers Guest House (https://www.flipkey.com/harpers-ferry-vacation-rentals/p740483/). Sleeps six (or more). $240 a night (that's $40 a night). Full kitchen (so we can scarf our last homemade meals). Two bathrooms. Good ratings. Within walking distance to the ATC Headquarters and local amenities.

As a final incentive, I make wine. Ok, I make very good wine, some award winners. Needless to say, there will be lots of wine! So, heavy rich foods, many adult beverages, great setting, wonderful people.

I've got a thumbs up from squeezebox. We're making plans. Who's with us? First comers get a spot! If you prefer to respond in private, PM me.

jimmyjam
01-27-2015, 14:17
Ok, Flippers, here's the deal. My wonderful wife had a great idea. We're interested in a vacation rental in Harpers Ferry to share with some of you. I have found a few in HF that are still available, and pretty nice. Hey, most of us are only doing this hike once, so we may as well do it up right and have a great send-off!

Here's an example: The Two Rivers Guest House (https://www.flipkey.com/harpers-ferry-vacation-rentals/p740483/). Sleeps six (or more). $240 a night (that's $40 a night). Full kitchen (so we can scarf our last homemade meals). Two bathrooms. Good ratings. Within walking distance to the ATC Headquarters and local amenities.

As a final incentive, I make wine. Ok, I make very good wine, some award winners. Needless to say, there will be lots of wine! So, heavy rich foods, many adult beverages, great setting, wonderful people.

I've got a thumbs up from squeezebox. We're making plans. Who's with us? First comers get a spot! If you prefer to respond in private, PM me.


So which night are you renting it for 5/1 or 5/2?

Lauriep
01-27-2015, 17:13
The way things are coming together for the 2015 Class of Flip-Floppers is so exciting. This year is going to be historic..

1936 - first section-hike completed - Myron Avery
1948 - first thru-hike (northbound) - Earl Shaffer
1951 - first southbound thru-hike - Chester Dziengielewski
1952 - first female thru-hiker and part of first couple to flip-flop - Mildred Norman (who subsequently became "Peace Pilgrim")
1955 - first solo female thru-hiker - Grandma Gatewood
1990 - first blind thru-hiker - Bill Irwin
2015 - first Flip-flop Kick Off - group of forward-thinking hikers choose alternative itinerary to avoid crowds and help conserve the A.T.

dangerdave
01-27-2015, 17:35
So which night are you renting it for 5/1 or 5/2?

I'm thinking both. Drive to HF on the 1st, attend Kick-Off on the 2nd, hike out on the morning of the third. Eat, drink, and be merry both nights! :)

Treehugger
01-27-2015, 18:04
I'm thinking both. Drive to HF on the 1st, attend Kick-Off on the 2nd, hike out on the morning of the third. Eat, drink, and be merry both nights! :)

Did you say wine? I will be hiking already but am planning on showing up for the Kick Off no matter where I am, soooo....can I come too? I live nearby so i don't need a place to crash but the wine sounds good and meeting all of you fine people too, of course!! :D And I can bring some fun stuff to eat and drink to add to the merry!

jimmyjam
01-27-2015, 20:17
I'm thinking both. Drive to HF on the 1st, attend Kick-Off on the 2nd, hike out on the morning of the third. Eat, drink, and be merry both nights! :)

I'll be hiking into town from the south on the 2nd. So I could only stay there the 2nd, don't know if that works. But hey if it doesn't I'd still like to maybe have a glass of wine with everyone.

jimmyjam
01-27-2015, 20:20
I took a quick count and it looks like there are about 17 of us headed NOBO from HF about 5/2 and 3 maybes. This is going to be the start of something great!

Humminbard
01-28-2015, 11:11
Howdy Everybody! This is my first post, because it's a far-fetched fantasy that I'll be able to complete the entire trail before 2016 rolls in, but my plan is to start collecting miles NOW, beginning just south of the middle near my home. Who knows, maybe I can collect them all before year end :) Prior to the HF kickoff May 2, I'll be re-hiking (so it counts for 2015:) as much as possible of the familiar ground on the trail both south and north from Rockfish Gap, and from the other places to access the AT when the Parkway and Drive are closed to vehicles. Looking forward to meeting many of you as the journey unfolds. Gotta connect with the Tribe!

squeezebox
01-28-2015, 11:28
Interesting how our flip start will be about the same number of people as most Mar. or April days from Springer.

dangerdave
01-28-2015, 13:02
That is funny, squeezebox! At least there won't be 20 the day before and the day after...etc.

Treehugger and jimmyjam, you are both welcome to come by and/or stay a night. My wife and I are still hammering out the details. When we get details settled, I'll PM info to you here on WB.

bsteinberg
01-28-2015, 15:49
Looks like there might be around 20 of us hiking out around May 3. I'll be in that group.

I'm really excited. This Flipper enthusiasm was unexpected. Because of my school schedule I couldn't start earlier at Springer. I figured I'd be alone on my hike until the pack eventually over took me say by June.

But looks like our noble little ban of Flippers will provide some hiker companionship.

And like mentioned, our Flip can be a trend setter.

SaltyBiscuit
01-28-2015, 16:23
Am I the only one slightly concerned about missing the southern hospitality during the first leg? I'm concerned that we will miss out on the trail magic a little. Plus from what I read the mid-atlatnic tends to be the least favorite of of thru-hikers. I think a Flip-Flop is most definitely away to go, just been thinking about what I may miss the past day or two. Some reassurance would be great! haha

SteelCut
01-28-2015, 16:29
Am I the only one slightly concerned about missing the southern hospitality during the first leg? I'm concerned that we will miss out on the trail magic a little. Plus from what I read the mid-atlatnic tends to be the least favorite of of thru-hikers. I think a Flip-Flop is most definitely away to go, just been thinking about what I may miss the past day or two. Some reassurance would be great! haha

I'm not doing a thru hike because of hospitality and I'm not worried that on my flip-flop that I might "miss" something in the south by not starting with the masses. Trail magic happens when trail magic happens and that happens the entire length of the trail. Sure, you won't get hiker feeds going through mid-Atlantic in April or May. But so what ?? If that's important to you well then ...

Fairway
01-28-2015, 16:31
I started a flip from from Harper's Ferry last year on June 1st. There was plenty of trail magic and a few hiker feeds in PA and NJ/NY. The magic seemed to stopp once I got into Connecticut.

SaltyBiscuit
01-28-2015, 17:45
Sounds good Fairway! My reasons for hiking are my own and are irrelevant to anyone and it seems odd to for someone, particularly a fellow hiker, to question them. I suppose I am just anxious about the Flip Flop since I have planned for years to leave from Springer. I think that feeling is perfectly natural. Regardless I'm beyond excited to embark on a Flip Flop.

kushtakaa
01-28-2015, 18:10
My wife & I are hoping to be on the trail (SNP @ Hwy33) no later than the 15th of April...so we will probably be north of HF on the 1st of May. That said, we may hitch back for the festivities :-)

jimmyjam
01-28-2015, 19:49
That is funny, squeezebox! At least there won't be 20 the day before and the day after...etc.

Treehugger and jimmyjam, you are both welcome to come by and/or stay a night. My wife and I are still hammering out the details. When we get details settled, I'll PM info to you here on WB.


Sounds great! Thank you!

WeatherGuy
01-28-2015, 20:49
Hi everyone. I'm strongly considering changing my plans from a SOBO to a Flip-Flop (Harpers Ferry) this year. If so, I'll begin around 18 May -- after Trail Days. Still not 100% certain though. Take care.

squeezebox
01-28-2015, 22:08
Well i just did a big thing, I just booked my flight to DC for May 1. I'm almost tearing up. So excited.

Lauriep
01-28-2015, 22:42
Congratulations, Squeezebox!!!

WingedMonkey
01-28-2015, 23:13
The way things are coming together for the 2015 Class of Flip-Floppers is so exciting. This year is going to be historic..

1936 - first section-hike completed - Myron Avery
1948 - first thru-hike (northbound) - Earl Shaffer
1951 - first southbound thru-hike - Chester Dziengielewski
1952 - first female thru-hiker and part of first couple to flip-flop - Mildred Norman (who subsequently became "Peace Pilgrim")
1955 - first solo female thru-hiker - Grandma Gatewood
1990 - first blind thru-hiker - Bill Irwin
2015 - first Flip-flop Kick Off - group of forward-thinking hikers choose alternative itinerary to avoid crowds and help conserve the A.T.

Sure seems a bit of a stretch to compare successful trail completions of those accomplished hikers with folks that are just starting a hike.

Historic?

Fairway
01-29-2015, 13:12
Sure seems a bit of a stretch to compare successful trail completions of those accomplished hikers with folks that are just starting a hike.

Historic?

Bruh, I think you missed your station a few stops back. GET OFF THE HYPE TRAIN!!!

dangerdave
01-29-2015, 16:13
Ok, Class of 2015, Flip Flop Division, here's the deal. Drum roll, please!

Announcing the First Annual (Unofficial) Flip Flop Meet and Greet! I have rented the Two Rivers Guest House in Harpers Ferry for May 1st and 2nd. I am unofficially extending an invitation to my fellow WB Flip Floppers, Class of 2015 to join my wife (Irish Jo) and I for wine and comradery at the House on one (or both) of those nights. Hopefully, we can get most of us together and have a toast to our impending adventure. There will most certainly be some food---as long as it might last---depending on what we can collectively throw together (I think Jo mentioned lasagna!). The House will sleep more than just us two, so anyone who needs a place to crash for one (or both) of those nights, just let me know (PM). It's $40 a head per night (includes wine!) until it's full. Comparable to the hostels in an awesome setting. :D

Two Rivers Guest House
52 Jefferson Street
Harpers Ferry, WV

Please Note (Official Stuff): This is not an open call to come stay at the "party house". I will be renting the House under my name, making me responsible. Anyone coming to visit or stay with us will be required to respect the House and everyone in it, without exception. I will personally eject anyone who causes the least bit of trouble (not that I expect any, quite the opposite). We are going to have a wonderful gathering (hopefully a bunch of you will stop by), enjoy some drinks (if you desire) and have a chance to hang out for the weekend before we depart on Sunday. :banana

Back to the fun part! So far, we have squeezebox staying with us both nights and jimmyjam on Saturday night. We can hold a few more. You guys/gals get first pick, here, on this thread. If we're not full by May, we'll try to scrape up some hiker trash at the FFKO to fill the gaps---;)

Let's do this up right!

jimmyjam
01-29-2015, 18:35
that's awesome dangerdave!

Sent from my SCH-S720C using Tapatalk 2

T-Rx
01-29-2015, 19:46
That's great dangerdave. We hope to see you there!

Lauriep
01-30-2015, 13:44
Flip-Flopper Class of 2015 (those starting in Harpers Ferry and heading northbound):

If you are willing, would you start a list so we have at least a partial count so far? I have started an Excel spreadsheet of flip-floppers, but haven't had time to update the list from all sources that I learn about prospective flip-floppers starting their hikes May 3 (and other times). I know people have made declarations on this thread, but it would be nice to have all the WhiteBlazers in one place in list format.

We also need to make sure we are not getting too large a group at the Ed Garvey Shelter (7 miles from ATC) the night of May 3. I'm in discussions with the land managers now about what number they think is the maximum that's appropriate. I really don't think it will be a problem if we are thoughtful about it.

If the group at Garvey Shelter gets large (more than 10, or the threshold might be higher since the "group" is not a traditionally organized group that will necessarily be hiking together), we may ask if some of the hikers (those who feel fit, are more experienced, have lighter packs, less into the social aspect of the hike) would be willing to plan on going to the Crampton Gap Shelter, 4.4 miles beyond. The Crampton Gap Shelter is a tiny, old-style CCC shelter (sleeps 6, built in 1941), campsites around it. The first 3.7 between Ed Garvey Shelter and Crampton Gap are almost flat, but there is a modest climb and descent at the very end.

There are other off-trail options for the first night, too.


1) Maple Tree Campground, a small woodsy commercial campground 0.4 trail west at the Crampton Gap road crossing (3.7 north of the Ed Garvey Shelter)
2) Slackpacking and returning to Harpers Ferry for the night
3) Slackpacking back to the Harpers Ferry Hostel, the least expensive commercial option, located in Maryland a little north of Harpers Ferry. Those who wanted to really take it easy the first day could stay here; it's 4 miles and change from ATC, then 1.1 mostly uphill roadwalk (or you might want to arrange a shuttle).


In Maryland, you are required to stay at designated overnight sites, so the only overnight options in the A.T. corridor north of Harpers Ferry are the two shelters (unless you want to go to the Rocky Run Shelters, which are about 16 from Harpers Ferry and outside the range that would be sensible for all but the most fit, experienced hiker with a lightweight pack who is in a hurry.


Back to the list. Please provide (if you are comfortable doing so):


First name and first letter of last name and/or Trail name
Date starting out
Intended location first night: (Ed Garvey Shelter/Crampton Gap Shelter/Maple Tree Campground/slackpack-return to Harpers Ferry)
Want to start out from Harpers Ferry as part of the group? (yes/maybe/no)

If you don't want the information so public, then I'd appreciate it if you'd email me at lpotteiger@appalachiantrail.org.

Also, we plan to post an online thru-hike voluntary registration, probably within the next week. It will have options for nobo, sobo, and the Harpers Ferry flip-flop starting northbound. This first year is serving as a trial run. The software that is being used does not allow you to see how many people have registered on what days, just what days are at the maximum capacity. Hopefully we can change that next year. For the Harpers Ferry flip-floppers, I may be able to post the numbers that have registered for each day periodically.

We would like to have a group of flip-floppers starting out together in Harpers Ferry with well-wishers walking along at the beginning. Maybe just through Harpers Ferry, maybe across the footbridge over the Potomac River as you cross your first state line, or maybe along the 2.7 miles along the C&O Towpath. The town of Harpers Ferry is excited about being part of the kick-off. We'll want to take some pictures and probably have some kind of ceremony. We know that not everyone will want to be a part of this; that's okay. Those folks can start a little earlier or later in the day or another day altogether. But we do hope to have at least one person who's willing to help us publicly promote the Harpers Ferry Flip-Flop, and it would be nice if there were more than one hiker!

Laurie P.

Treehugger
01-30-2015, 14:02
Hey Laurie! Great meeting you at the Ruck by the way. That was a really good talk you and Sisu gave too. So, I have a question for ya, since I (and possibly many others) will be starting out south of HF and heading north, arriving for the FFKO, do you still want our info? I may even be past HF by May 2 but will grab a ride back for the KO if that is the case. I'd love to be part of the celebration and anything I can do to promote HF and the ATC would be icing on the cake too.

bsteinberg
01-30-2015, 15:26
Already got a bunk at the teahorse, but if there are plans for a meet and greet dinner count me in.

bsteinberg
01-30-2015, 16:44
Laura,

Thanks for the info. Can't plan at this point where I'll end up my first day out if Harpers May 3rd.

I do like the idea of a class of 2015 Flipper photo. But given individual plans a time and place photo opt may be tricky, so I suggest making a sign "Flippers 2015" for folks to take individual pics in front if the ATC.

The way this is coming together, I see Flipping being a possible growing AT event like say a Trail Days. (Flipper Days).

Might be getting ahead of myself. The idea of flipping does hold merit for ecology, the recent college grad schedule crowd like me. Just very excited.

Humminbard
01-30-2015, 19:53
You are an amazing organizing machine! My question is pretty much the same as Treehugger's; that is, if all goes well I'll start sectioning someplace south of Harper's Ferry but would hope to attend the kick off in order to connect with other flip-floppers. This is all still very tentative at this point for me. Because I live near the Trail, I can hop onboard at any time. Is the info you're collecting primarily to determine how much of an overnight load the first two shelters will be carrying? I'm certainly willing to adjust my camping location for the good of the group. I have a hammock and will be happy to hang anywhere that reduces impact according to ATC preferences. I'm following this thread with great enthusiasm!

dangerdave
01-30-2015, 20:30
Yea, I was thinking about the shelter issue north of Harpers Ferry. Good info, Laurie. For myself, I'm willing to do whatever I can to help this event come out positive, even if it means leaving a day later to reduce the load at the first couple of shelters. I am presuming that---given a presumptive yearly increase in the Flippers---these issues would be addressed early instead of late. If the goal is to encourage alternative hikes, the infrastructure for handling them must grow along side.

Not to mention, if good stats are kept for Alternative Hikers---meaning who starts where and whether they finish---I think the results would show a larger per capita chance for success. To be able to claim a higher rate of completion for Flip Flops would go a long way toward dispelling the myth that NOBO is the "traditional" or "best" way to hike. Apparently, a lot of prospective thrus out there in social media land (understanding most of which will fail), know of nothing else. It's a propaganda war!

dangerdave
02-02-2015, 12:36
Here you go, Laurie...

First name and first letter of last name and/or Trail name: David L ("Danger")
Date starting out: May 3rd
Intended location first night: (Ed Garvey Shelter/Crampton Gap Shelter/Maple Tree Campground/slackpack-return to Harpers Ferry): Not sure, but wherever there is room.
Want to start out from Harpers Ferry as part of the group? (yes/maybe/no): Yes, but I'm willing to modify my plans to lessen the FF Bubble. It's so cool we're even talking about that!

I hope my talk of a meet & greet at the Guest House didn't scare everyone off! You gonna come have a glass of wine, Laurie? I make some awesome redneck fruit wines...in addition to more traditional vinos. :cool:

29835

jimmyjam
02-02-2015, 18:32
Yikes DDave, you bring all that wine and everyone will be crawling out of HF.lol :)

squeezebox
02-02-2015, 19:03
Bryce K. / Squeezebox
will start: May 3rd
1st night: Ed Garvey
group: Yes

Lauriep
02-03-2015, 01:40
Thanks everyone for your input, and to those of you who emailed me. This is an amazingly supportive and creative group.

Danger Dave - thanks for your leadership! You have really made a huge difference in encouraging folks and setting things in motion. And yes, I (and maybe even my husband Dick, of “Mountain Laurel & Hardy”) will join you for a glass of redneck wine Saturday evening :-)

Treehugger - great to meet you too at The Ruck and I'm looking forward to your help May 2!

Bsteinberg - Love the idea of a “Flip Flop Class of 2015" sign to use in pics for those not participating in the group send-off on Sunday.

News flash: ATC's executive director, Ron Tipton, wants to be a part of the event! He may even walk along for the first leg when you guys set off. Ron’s a 1978 thru-hiker and has been involved in land conservation his entire career. He’s just a great guy. You will love meeting him and he will love meeting you. His bio is here (http://appalachiantrail.org/who-we-are/our-team).

Lauriep
02-03-2015, 01:58
SaltyBiscuit, thanks for being up front about your doubts and being smart enough to ask for encouragement. Starting a flip-flop, you will definitely not see the organized pre-planned trail magic the nobos do. But I guarantee you there will be trail magic of the spontaneous, unexpected kind, as long as you don’t look for it or even hope for it. Trail magic will come when you least expect it. The trail magic that will come your way will be personal and memorable for both you and the person who gives it—you won’t be just another face in the crowd of nobos.

As you are hiking, it helps to think of all those volunteers, 6000 of them every year, who work on their own free time to make your hike possible. The move rocks, dig in the dirt, lug chainsaws for miles, and run weedwhackers. They attend meetings, write proposals, and balance budgets. They carry out trash and maintain privies. They monitor rugged boundary lines for activities that threaten the trail corridor. You won’t see many of them out there on the trail; they do their work before you get there or out of sight. If you ask me, these are the true trail angels. Be sure to thank them whenever you do meet them, and sing their praises in the trail registers when you particularly notice their good work.

As for Southern hospitality, won’t it be that much sweeter at the end, rather than to walk away from it as the nobos do? Besides, there are kind and generous people everywhere on the A.T., even if there is undeniably a certain special flavor of hospitality in the South.

squeezebox
02-03-2015, 03:47
Yes!!!!! A good trail is so much better than a couple of hot dogs.

dangerdave
02-03-2015, 10:50
I keep reminding everyone that most of us will only get to do this once. Let it be special!

Laurie is right, IMO! Spontaneous Trail Magic is better than a hiker feed. The sparsely populated trail, random trail magic, occasional seclusion. These are the reasons I'm doing a Flip Flop. All the rest is just gravy. I want to hike the Whites in the height of summer. And the crowning jewel for me will be walking through the Smokies (one of my favorite places) in October! That's what will pull me down the trail!

Laurie, you and your husband are more than welcome! We'll leave a light on for ya!

...and anyone crawling out of HF because they drank too much of my wine deserves what they get! It's not the wine's fault it's good! :)

SaltyBiscuit
02-03-2015, 18:29
Thank you so much Laurie! Your kind words and encouragement helped a lot to ass persecutive! Im counting down the days till May 3rd!

bsteinberg
02-05-2015, 17:15
I find the conversation of Trail Magic maximization interesting. It suggests that there is a way to hike the trail to receive the greatest amount of Trail Magic, an occurrence that's about random acts of kindness from strangers.

It comes in many forms: A ride, free foods and drink, shard company and conversation with non hiker folk, and even a free nights lodging in someone's home.

Then there are planned happenings along the trail like structure feeds, festival events, and towns. Are these Trail Magic by definition?

A trail town is magical to me: hostel lodging with showers and kitchens, restaurants, camping stores, resupply, movie theaters.

Sometimes you get lucky. I recall hiking in NJ and timing it right at the hostel to be there during a monthly potluck.

So is the conversation that Flippers may miss out on a few events that are scheduled for the Northbound wave?

I figure as Flipping becomes a thing, there will be Flipper specific events.

All of this has got me thinking about Trail Magic. I was thinking about the random nature of it. It feels cool to be the lucky recipient of trail magic. But I was thinking why did it have to be so random? In an age of social media, could trail magic be structured? Could there be a Trail Magic Network that connects hikers to friends of the trail to plan some trail magic?

I recall one year when I lived in Western Mass. I would see the random thru hiker walking in the road and stop to offer a ride. It felt good to give back. But this experience was completely random. I was in the right place at the right time. But I'm sure I missed the opportunity to help out the 100's of other hikers who came near my town.

I figure why not use social media to give potential local friends of the trail, local purveyors of Trail Magic a heads up that you are hiking thru? This would connect local friends of the trail to hikers, so they are both in the right place in the right time.

That would create Trail Magic Maximization.

Lauriep
02-05-2015, 17:17
Hey guys,

We have a rough schedule of the Flip-Flop Kick Off now posted on our website at www.appalachiantrail.org/flipflop (http://www.appalachiantrail.org/flipflop.).


SATURDAY, MAY 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. featuring music, games, and the following sessions:


- Panel of Flip-Floppers Join Anne "Nubbins" Brown '14 (Pearisburg northbound); Emily "Fiver" Mishler '14 (Harpers Ferry northbound); and Ryan "Castanada" Seltzer '09 (modified "Cool Breeze") for this round table discussion.

- Flipping Out for 30 Days: Lessons Learned by "Treehugger" A month into her flip flop, "Treehugger" will share what she's experienced so far on the Trail.

- Flip-Flopping in 2014 by Anne "Nubbins" Brown Listen to Anne discuss her experiences as a flip-flop hiker last year.

- Thru-Hike Planning by Ryan "Castanada" Seltzer How do you prepare for a long-distance hike of the A.T.? Ryan shares his tips.

- Leave No Trace on the A.T. Find out how to incorporate these principles into your life on the Trail.



SUNDAY, MAY 3, beginning at 7:30 a.m.


- Community breakfast We invite all flip-flop hikers to join the Harpers Ferry community and ATC staff for breakfast from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.

- Official flip-flop hiker send off And they're off! Wish the 2015 class of A.T. flip-floppers the best as they set off on their journey at 9 a.m.


We be adding more details and perhaps tweaking times a bit, but wanted to give folks a rough outline.

Laurie P.
ATC

jimmyjam
02-05-2015, 17:39
Thank you Laurie and the ATC. This is going to be great! I've got goose bumps thinking about it.

Treehugger
02-05-2015, 18:44
Can't wait! Thanks Laurie! This will be so cool! Starting to get butterflies as April gets closer!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

dangerdave
02-06-2015, 10:44
This just gets better all the time! Thanks Laurie!

squeezebox
02-08-2015, 13:12
So where can I get a gas canister in Harpers Ferry?

jimmyjam
02-08-2015, 15:00
So where can I get a gas canister in Harpers Ferry?



At the Outfitter and General Store in HF

dudeijuststarted
02-08-2015, 21:55
The resources in the north will appreciate all of you early arrivals. Kudos and have fun!!!!!!!!!!

bsteinberg
02-10-2015, 19:56
Laurie,

Are there times for the scheduled events for Saturday?

Brian

jimmyjam
02-10-2015, 20:40
Laurie,

Are there times for the scheduled events for Saturday?

Brian


See here: http://www.appalachiantrail.org/who-we-are/events/2015/05/02/default-calendar/flip-flop-kick-off

dangerdave
02-11-2015, 11:36
Two Rivers Guest House reservations confirmed. Y'all come by for some wine!

Well, we'll all have time to discuss it during the Kick Off Event.

Countdown: 80 days!

T-Rx
02-12-2015, 09:10
Two Rivers Guest House reservations confirmed. Y'all come by for some wine!

Well, we'll all have time to discuss it during the Kick Off Event.

Countdown: 80 days!

Our reservations and transportation are set and we are counting down. Looking forward to meeting you and others at the Kick Off in HF!

Dwill1000
02-15-2015, 12:09
Hello 2015 Harpers Ferry Flip Floppers!

I have already decided to flip-flop and have been planning a mid-April HF start. Now I'm thinking about pushing back my start date to attend the HF flip flop meeting May 2. Being part of this group, I've come to see as I watch this thread, may be a really good thing. A couple of questions, though...

-Are there any other hostels or inexpensive hiker lodging in HF besides the Tea Horse? I've seen the posting by dangerdave about a house rental - is that still an option?
-I wonder how many people are already signed up or planing to start May 3 after the kick-off meeting?? Is this going to be another bubble, resulting in crowded shelters, etc?
-I'm going to start this marathon hike slowly - 7-10 miles per day for at least a week or so. Will I end up hiking pretty much by myself anyway as everybody else picks up their pace and leaves me in their dust in just a day or two? In other words, will I be the only person age 60+ in this group? BTW - I am an experienced backpacker and getting up to 15-20 miles per day is normal for me - after 2-3 weeks on the trail.

Any and all comments by the 2015 HF flip floppers will be much appreciated. Thanks!!

Dave

Dwill1000
02-15-2015, 12:18
One more quick question - Assuming there will be room at the Tea Horse, is it a decent place to stay?

Thanks again.

Dave

jimmyjam
02-15-2015, 14:46
Dwill1000,

I will be hiking NOBO out of HF on May 3. I'm in the over 55 bunch as I think most of us will be. I think it will be a small bubble and there are 3 shelters within hiking distance north of HF so I don't think over crowding will be a problem. I like to hike 15 to 18 a day, sometimes low 20s; I like to do 10 mi by 12 noon and then figure out a good spot to stop from there. Bears Den Hostel is about 20 mi south of HF, the Blackburn AT Center is about 10 mi south, and you also have the Harper's Ferry Hostel and a couple of hotels in HF.

Treehugger
02-15-2015, 20:49
The Teahorse is great! Clean, quiet, big waffles and good location!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Treehugger
02-15-2015, 20:57
Dwill1000, i also wanted to let u know that I will be starting early April but closer to Roanoke. I plan on being at the Kick Off May 2. It sounds like you are wanting to leave earlier than May 3 and this maybe an option for you and those like you. You will have your trail legs by the time the FFKO happens too! Just a thought. Also as far as hostels in HF. Theres the HI Hostel on Sandyhook Rd. and several B&Bs in town. The Econodge is good too. I think theres a KOA near HF too.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

squeezebox
02-15-2015, 23:00
Dwill1000 ; I'm overweight, out of shape, but determined!, I'm hoping for the same kind of mileage, you won't be last. And If someone sits out for a few days with Noro, or a bad ankle etc. you'll catch up to them. Oh yea I'll be 62 two weeks into the trail. Sounds like most of this group is older wanting to get away from the crazy 20 somethings.

kushtakaa
02-16-2015, 00:41
I'm right there with you squeezebox (well...you have 10 or so years on me :-)), but the out of shape and going to go slow (especially for the first number of weeks)...yeah!

T-Rx
02-16-2015, 08:11
Dwill1000,
we too are starting out of HF on May 3 and are members of the 55+ group. It is shaping up to be largely a group of older 'seasoned' hikers. I think many people will use your strategy of start low and build up your miles. We plan to start with 8-12/ day and build from there. We will take what the trail will allow. I think you will have a lot of company at that pace. Come join the flip flop crew. See you in HF!

Dwill1000
02-16-2015, 10:24
OK - thanks for the replies to my post. It is wonderful and encouraging that we seem to be shaping up as (at least some of us) in the 50+ age group. I will plan to be in HF on May first, then.

On a more philosophical note, I've come across so many hikers - mostly young but in all age groups - who seem to be motivated entirely by making as many miles as they can as fast as they can; like this is some sort of competition (I've also seen MANY of these hikers forced to leave the trail early due to injury and burnout!). For my part, I have an entirely different motivation. While I 'get' the necessity to make miles on a long-distance hike, the fact is that I really want to enjoy the experience of hiking; of the wilderness; of my fellow hikers. I've learned that I have to listen to what my body is telling me and adjust my pace and distances accordingly. It really makes no difference to me whether thru-hiking the AT takes 5, or 6, or 7 months.

squeezebox
02-16-2015, 11:45
Seems like we are developing quite a little bubble. I'm looking forward to hiking with all of you, and spooning in the crowded shelters.

Lauriep
02-16-2015, 12:12
I've attached a brochure produced by ATC that lists a lot of Harpers Ferry area services in one place. It's not absolutely current in every detail (so please confirm prices, etc.), but hopefully will be helpful.

Lauriep
02-16-2015, 13:05
I'm posting a graph (below) of the thru-hikers who have registered through the official A.T. Voluntary Thru-Hike Registration system on ATC's site, as of February 14.

Most of you are already aware of the voluntary registration, that is in a pilot phase this year. One or two of you even helped ATC during the development and testing phase of the website. Some of you have registered - thank you! The main purpose of the voluntary registration process is to spread out thru-hikers, mostly by evening out the flow at Springer, but also by encouraging alternative start locations. The registration also allows us to collect data on starters, and potentially communicate with hikers before, during, and after their hikes, whether they complete the thru-hikes or not. We are still tweaking the system, and learning a lot to get ready for next year, when we expect a whole lot more hikers.

If you haven't registered yet, there's no rush, although we hope you will register before your hikes (at least 2-3 weeks in advance so we can send a special commemorative 2015 thru-hiker hang-tag). We're not really concerned that there will be too many of you starting during the flip-flop weekend (although we know there are a lot more people starting in Harpers Ferry than the attached chart shows). Even if we had, say, more than 25 leaving on May 3 (which doesn't seem likely), there are several locations where hikers could end up: Ed Garvey Shelter of course would be the most popular. It has space for 14 in the shelter and there are 6 designated tent sites. Some could go on to the Crampton Gap Shelter. A few of the stronger, more experienced hikers will even go on to the Rocky Run Shelters. Some might camp off-trail by staying at the Maple Tree Campground (mile 10), or get slack packed back to Harpers Ferry.

One thing that may be throwing the dates off slightly is that the registration form asks for "arrival date." Some have interpreted that to mean when they are arriving in the area, so they may actually be hitting the Trail a day or two later.

By the way, if you've emailed me to tell me of your plans, that is not the same as registering through the official site. I am keeping my own records, which allows me to have keep a little more detail on individual hikers, and perhaps capture some who are not inclined to register. I have gotten behind in my email, so if you've written me and I haven't responded, don't hesitate to check in with me.

Here is a dates and locations of hikers who have registered an alternative start location other than Harpers Ferry:

3/1/15 Port Clinton, PA sobo
3/23/15 Bear Mtn. Bridge, sobo
4/4/15 Daleville, VA nobo
4/11/15 Hot Springs, NC nobo
4/14/15 Atkins, VA nobo
4/29/15 Pearisburg, VA, nobo
5/1/15 Waynesboro, VA nobo
5/1/15 Fontana, NC nobo
5/15/15 Damascus, VA
7/1/15 Connecticut nobo
10/31/15 DWG, PA



Again, thanks to all of you pioneers who are helping to preserve the A.T. by choosing an alternate start date!

dangerdave
02-22-2015, 10:41
Thank you for the encouragement, Laurie. Having the support of the ATC is immeasurable---I would think---to our enthusiasm.

For myself, as each day goes by, I feel more convinced that this choice borders on destiny. It just feels right. In my mind, it has become an inevitability. This is exceedingly strange for me, as I'm not a fan of "fate". If it all rolls out like pre-destined clockwork, I may have to change my point of view. As grounded and earthy as I am, I still foresee a series of revelations to come. I can't wait to face them!

BrandtCantWatch
02-22-2015, 11:41
Hi all, i'm a 26 year old dude who is quitting his job and trying to flip flop with you guys. Ill be in harpers somewhere between 30th-may 3rd. I hope to see you guys. Ill be the chubby one with glasses and the red backpack. Say hi. And id love to chat with you about the trip and the travel back to hf

Humminbard
02-22-2015, 19:05
Hey Everybody! I've been watching the 2015 FlipFlop tribe steadily expand, and am hoping to become a part of it if only for a section at a time. I'll have to jump on and off throughout the season, but want to collect lots of AT miles in the company of other hiking/backpacking enthusiasts. Probably will try to connect with some of y'all at the May 2nd-3rd Harper's Ferry Kick Off. Between now and then, I plan to hike often on the AT south of HF in Virginia and would love to have hiking buddies to join me in picking up some SNP miles in March and April. My home is closest to Rockfish Gap and Swift Run Gap, but I'd be happy to drive a little farther north or south. Do any of you want to start working on your trail legs now?

jimmyjam
02-22-2015, 20:08
Hey Humminbard, welcome to the FlipFloppers. I hike in the SNP area fairly often. I've done all of the park south of Elkwallow, some of it multiple times. I'd probably be up for a section in the SNP or south of there like Maupin Field Shelter/ the Priest area once it warms up a little.

Treehugger
02-22-2015, 21:41
Hi all, i'm a 26 year old dude who is quitting his job and trying to flip flop with you guys. Ill be in harpers somewhere between 30th-may 3rd. I hope to see you guys. Ill be the chubby one with glasses and the red backpack. Say hi. And id love to chat with you about the trip and the travel back to hf

Looking forward to meeting you BCW!

Humminbard
02-22-2015, 23:21
jimmyjam, thanks for the welcome! I hike in SNP a lot too, often with other C-ville PATC members, and like you I've done most of it, but not for 2015. I did Three Ridges from 56 to Reed's Gap earlier this month and was grateful for my micro-spikes. Also hiked Rockfish to Jarman's. It's tricky to find 10-12 milers when the Drive and Parkway are closed! I'll be ready to get back on the trails starting next weekend (out of town until then). Hoping snow and single-digit temps will be gone soon. The Priest is probably an ice chute right now. Let me know when it's warm enough for you to head out and we can pick a day-hike!

squeezebox
02-23-2015, 00:31
You know we could almost do a collective trail journal. Maybe someone in our bubble writes well enough to turn our journals into a book. Laurie keeps saying we are breaking fresh ground. But heck I'm just walking, just starting somewhere else. It is interesting we a forming a 55+ bubble rather than the 20 something stuff from springer.

lsteveo
02-23-2015, 00:51
based on the research i've done, there is a bus/train via amtrak from bangor, me to harpers ferry, wv. my plan is to take the train from newark, nj to harpers ferry and head north.

squeezebox
02-23-2015, 01:26
Check out Megabus from Portland to DC, dirt cheap. Getting back to Harpers Ferry should not to be too difficult.

lsteveo
02-23-2015, 02:50
any space left for Sat night? your PM box is full.

Carbo
02-23-2015, 08:54
... the 20 something stuff from springer.

Made me laugh!! Just kids having fun, like us.

BrandtCantWatch
02-23-2015, 12:55
I am excited to hang out with you "oldies" . anyone else trying to stay away from town as much as possible?

brancher
02-23-2015, 17:28
Wow. Now this is very intriguing. Hmm.... At 60 (but with a 15-year-old brain), maybe I should put off my Springer departure in end of March and move it to HF in May? Sure seems like it's a better fit for me (especially since, as we all know, no decent music has been composed since 1977). Any room for a long-time hiker/backpacker in this group?

Carbo
02-23-2015, 18:05
I'm beginning to wonder if that movie "Cocoon" was based on what goes on in Harpers Ferry!

dangerdave
02-23-2015, 18:33
Wow. Now this is very intriguing. Hmm.... At 60 (but with a 15-year-old brain), maybe I should put off my Springer departure in end of March and move it to HF in May? Sure seems like it's a better fit for me (especially since, as we all know, no decent music has been composed since 1977). Any room for a long-time hiker/backpacker in this group?

That's what I did, Brancher. Now we're one (not so) big aging hipster group. While I might argue that the 80's had it's share of "decent music", you make a good point.

brancher
02-23-2015, 18:42
Yeah that was a joke -- some great music appeared after -- B-52's, Police, Genesis, others, and more recently Barenaked, Mumford, Hayes Carll, and on. I even liked some of the early Dubbie (before it got perverted by big $$). Anyway, getting to be an attractive option. And it'll give me more time to learn to like those newfangled cellophane air mattresses....

jimmyjam
02-23-2015, 21:40
Wow. Now this is very intriguing. Hmm.... At 60 (but with a 15-year-old brain), maybe I should put off my Springer departure in end of March and move it to HF in May? Sure seems like it's a better fit for me (especially since, as we all know, no decent music has been composed since 1977). Any room for a long-time hiker/backpacker in this group?

Sure, jump on board brancher. And the best music is pre-80s IMO. Some good music since then and I listen to current rockers, but my rock-n-roll is 70's, late 60's.

Treehugger
02-23-2015, 22:09
I'm beginning to wonder if that movie "Cocoon" was based on what goes on in Harpers Ferry!

C'mon, you guys are making the Flip Floppers sound all old and raggedy! Not all FFers will be (quote) old. I think there's a few 20-30 somethings coming along too. Besides I don't know about you guys, but sometimes my maturity level and age have nothing to do with each other. I can hang with the best of them and usually drink 'em under the table too. Oh, and I totally agree with the choices of music. 70's super groups and a smattering of 80's+ rock. Good stuff. Which reminds me, I have to get my "OMG, I Have to Get MY Ass Up Another Mountain" motivational list of tunes together. That's gonna be a long list.

Humminbard
02-23-2015, 23:15
I'm thinking that the FlipFlop Family is a situation comedy about to unfold. No doubt there are miles of smiles in store for this playful band of "outsiders." Let the laughter begin!

Carbo
02-23-2015, 23:32
I'm thinking that the FlipFlop Family is a situation comedy about to unfold. No doubt there are miles of smiles in store for this playful band of "outsiders." Let the laughter begin!

Looking forward to it!

squeezebox
02-24-2015, 00:06
Is our bubble getting large enough to split into 2 start dates? I think we will split up pretty quickly in the 1st week. Is anyone keeping a list of the flip flop send off folks?

squeezebox
02-24-2015, 00:15
Is there anyway to invite Al Gore to our send off?

brancher
02-24-2015, 07:54
Is our bubble getting large enough to split into 2 start dates? I think we will split up pretty quickly in the 1st week. Is anyone keeping a list of the flip flop send off folks?

The bubble won't last; It never does.

traveller14
02-24-2015, 15:25
Hi Everyone,
It's been interesting to read this thread. We are still planning to start our flip-flop northbound on May 9th from Harper's Ferry, and we look forward to meeting some of you out there on the trail. May we all live, laugh and learn with this experience. I just downloaded Sibley's Birds of North America on my phone, and I'm really looking forward to having it with us. It includes audio clips for all those aggravating birdsongs. We'll all be marching north with the songbirds, so I hope to meet some of them too. I also just got my copy of Underfoot by V. Collins Chew. I don't think I'll be packin' (in the literal, literary sense that is) but hopefully I can remember some of the geology information in his book when we hit the trail.
Peace and Love,
Traveller14

MisterQ
02-24-2015, 15:41
I am starting a section hike north from Pen Mar on May 16, so hopefully I will run into the end of this bubble.

Charliehorse
02-24-2015, 18:02
laurie,
Add one more to the mix; i made the decision recently to do the flip-flop out of HF. Your argument is solid. I'm planning on a April start and have some concerns about weather, but if it's nasty then i can push it back as needed, or move the start point south; maybe Rock Fish Gap...just depends on the wx. Do you have any data on early April starts from HF to Me? Thanks for all your work!
Charliehorse

dangerdave
02-24-2015, 21:20
LOL! Should be quite the funky family with this Class of 2015. I'm taking notes, so I can write all this up later. A wide range of characters.

I think, though, that none of us would be doing this if we weren't young at heart.

Humminbard
02-24-2015, 21:46
LOL! Should be quite the funky family with this Class of 2015. I'm taking notes, so I can write all this up later. A wide range of characters.

I think, though, that none of us would be doing this if we weren't young at heart.

Danger Dave, it looks like you will be one of the babies of the family! And you're right: lots of characters for our stories, individual and collective. I predict that some great AT writing will come from this clan.

brancher
02-25-2015, 07:10
I'm gonna need to change my kit all around now......late spring/summer in NE.

Charliehorse
02-25-2015, 10:55
Humminbird,
I'm planning a NOBO FF start from Rock Fish Gap (+/-) on or about 13-17 April. Right now it's just me and another friend, and we have talked about a shakedown hike in SNP prior to the April start. I'm not too far either here in Stafford, Va. I'll try to keep in touch. These dates can easily move later depending on Mother Nature. The long term weather outlook for Virginia in March is cold and wet. I'm in a wait and see mode for now. Hope to see you on the trail.

Charliehorse

SteelCut
02-25-2015, 11:08
I had been planning my Flip Flop thru around April 20 from Harpers Ferry. Given the winter that New England is having I am thinking about starting my flip flop further south which would delay when I would hit New England. My backup plan was to also start at Rockfish Gap going NOBO and would be leaving there around April 19 or 20. Good to know that there will be some other thru's in the area around that time.

squeezebox
02-25-2015, 12:40
According to DangerDave we could call ourselves the "Funky Family". I kinda like it.

Humminbard
02-26-2015, 00:03
Charliehorse,
I'm in shock having just driven back to the VA mountains today from warm sunny Florida. Brrrrrrr...it's freezing cold and colorless here! (and yet beautiful in that wintery way). My driveway is like a luge run. Hoping for enough of a melt to head for the AT hills for a couple of 8-10-milers next week. No campouts for me until the nighttime temps are a whole lot higher! By the end of March I hope to have covered a lot of miles in SNP and/or a little south, just by day-hiking. The first week in April I'll be out of town and then have family visiting April 18-25. Keep me posted about your shakedown plans and maybe I can join y'all in checking out the gear.

Humminbard

Lauriep
02-26-2015, 09:25
laurie,
Add one more to the mix; i made the decision recently to do the flip-flop out of HF. Your argument is solid. I'm planning on a April start and have some concerns about weather, but if it's nasty then i can push it back as needed, or move the start point south; maybe Rock Fish Gap...just depends on the wx. Do you have any data on early April starts from HF to Me? Thanks for all your work!
Charliehorse

Hey Charliehorse,

I have just anecdotal information from a few thru-hikers and my own experience to draw from. Those who start in early or mid-April have said it was basically really cold for a long, long time. Plus, you'll be hiking amid bare trees and bare forest, and very few other long-distance hikers that far north at that time. It might not be below freezing too often, but hiking in 40- or 50-degree rain isn't very pleasant either. Weekenders and day-hikers are out, and even "spring breakers" so it's not like you wouldn't be seeing other people, it's just you might not have anyone to share the journey with.

You also don't want to reach Vermont before the end of May, due to mud season, which ends about then. Hiking during mud season is unpleasant for the hiker and very hard on the trails: www.greenmountainclub.org/page.php?id=60. Avoiding Vermont mud season does not mean you won't be hiking in mud in Vermont later or hiking in mud in New Hampshire and especially Maine, but you'll be reducing damage to the trail in a particularly vulnerable area and should avoid the worst of the mud.

If you start further south in early or mid-April, it will be even colder than starting in Harpers Ferry, since the elevations are significantly higher (mostly 2000-4000 feet, as opposed to mostly 1500 and under all the way north from Harpers Ferry to Connecticut). But, all things considered, if you want to start in early April, it's probably better to move your starting point south. I know of 2 or 3 people starting around Roanoke/Daleville the first week of April, and a handful of others starting at points in Shenandoah a little later, and a few assorted other place in between. Some are starting at points even further south, but the numbers of nobos don't really thin a great deal for a while.

Starting in Front Royal, VA (54 miles south of Harpers Ferry) makes sense weather-wise, but northern Virginia is a lot more challenging than Maryland, so Harpers Ferry just makes a good starting point for a lot of reasons.

kushtakaa
02-26-2015, 10:20
Charliehorse, my wife & I are hoping to start at about the same time as you (maybe a few days earlier) from just to the north @ Swift Run Gap (just east of Harrisonburg, where I have family). We'll be going pretty slow for the first weeks, so we'll probably see you before we all get to HF. :-)

BrandtCantWatch
02-26-2015, 12:26
I will be leaving nobo from harpers ferry april 27th if anyone wants to join. I am starting slow and trying to stay out of town.

dangerdave
02-26-2015, 17:49
Dude! You'll miss the first ever Flip Flop Kick Off on May 2nd! :banana

squeezebox
02-26-2015, 19:58
I hate the dancing banana!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lauriep
02-26-2015, 19:59
Have you all seen our latest blog post at atconservancy.wordpress.com (http://www.atconservancy.wordpress.com):


A new (voluntary) step for thru-hikers
by Anne Baker, ATC marketing assistant

Thru-hiker fever has officially set in. And with the general preparations like gear shakedowns, meal planning, mail drop logistics and (in some cases) quitting your job to hike thousands of miles, there’s another way the class of 2015 is getting ready for a thru-hike: voluntary registration.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) launched its Thru-Hiker Voluntary Registration system this year with the goal of not only better managing the Appalachian Trail (A.T.), but also enhancing the thru-hiker experience. With movies like “Wild” and “A Walk in the Woods” drawing attention to two of America’s national scenic trails, something had to be done to spread out the volume of thru-hikers who hit the A.T. at peak times. This voluntary registration system is one way the ATC hopes to address potential overcrowding, especially at the southern end of the A.T. in March and April

Currently, more than 800 people have registered their thru-hikes through this system, allowing hikers to see how many have plan to start their thru-hike on a particular day and giving them a chance to see when crowded conditions will exist. Prospective thru-hikers can see on what days thru-hikers have registered not only for northbound and southbound thru-hikes, but also for thru-hikes starting in Harpers Ferry or other locations.

This planning feature is especially appealing to hikers like Barbara “Firefly,” who will set out on a thru-hike this year with her 26-year-old son:

“When we started planning, we intentionally looked into the traditionally crowded start days and tried to avoid those as well as avoiding a weekend start. I really think for many people, being able to look and visually see days that are already packed will help future thru-hikers spread themselves out.”

Hiking the A.T. is practically a lifelong dream for Firefly, who began planning her hike when she was 12. Back then, she was using the library and snail mail to gather information while also getting firsthand experience by working on trail crews. Yet it wasn’t until now that she felt like she could to take the amount of time off that’s required for a thru-hike, and when she began planning again, she realized that the A.T.—and the process of planning—had changed.

“I was a bit sad at a lot of the negatives I’ve heard concerning problems resulting from overcrowding, especially at the both ends of the Trail. As a lifelong dream I couldn’t let go of the idea of a traditional thru-hike, even though the cool breeze option looks awesome. The reality is we are approaching our hike with a degree of flexibility, evaluating our progress along the way and if needed changing to an alternative itinerary.”

Firefly’s willingness to embrace an alternative plan if necessary is a sentiment that is growing among potential thru-hikers. It’s good timing, too—as the popularity of long-distance hiking trails increases, the A.T. will benefit from those who recognize that a thru-hike doesn’t have to start at Springer Mountain, or even Katahdin. After all, the journey isn’t so much about the destination, but the process of getting there.

To everyone who has registered their thru-hike, and especially those who made an effort to avoid popular start dates or even selected an alternative starting location, thanks for making the A.T. an incredible hiking and camping experience—and for helping it stay that way.

Have a comment about our voluntary registration system? Email AT-ThruStartDate@appalachiantrail.org

jimmyjam
02-26-2015, 20:24
:banana:bananaOnly 64 days. Not that I am counting.

GrayGhost
02-26-2015, 23:44
Waynesboro would be a logical place to start a bit south of HF. Pretty easy to access and you would start with the relatively easy SNP, although I don't know how many of the seasonal facilities there would be open on the first week of May.

The SNP facilities open for the Season March 28, 2015; until then only the Byrd Visitor Center and Big Meadows is open Friday, Sat, and Sun, and Monday Federal Holidays. As a result, SNP has had a big revenue and visitor increase this past winter so far. We live about 45 min away from SNP.

Lauriep
02-27-2015, 09:18
GrayGhost, thanks for the Shenandoah info. Great to learn the weekend winter opening has been successful.

For those who haven't seen the link, the complete schedule for all facilities in Shenandoah National Park can be found at www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/facilities-opening-schedule.htm. A lot of facilities will be open full-time by the end of March, but some don't open until April, and a few not until May.

dangerdave
02-27-2015, 10:12
Thanks again, Laurie! More great info!

I'll be in Harpers Ferry nine weeks from today, along with most of the rest of you. Jimmyjam's double banana dance makes me jealous. He's gonna be almost a whole month ahead of us when he gets there! Bugger! ;)

I've got a month's worth of prep here at the house to get everything ready for my long term absence. To Do: Carpets cleaned, vehicle maintenance, wine made, lawn care arranged, hiking clothes treated, mail drops organized, bills scheduled, etc, etc, etc. I plan to make my absence as easy on my wife as possible. This is an adventure for her, too! I've been very busy---trying to throw in some fun along the way---and still have a lot to do. While my natural tendency is to procrastinate, I can't do that this time. I must be ready when the time comes.

No pressure...:datz

Carbo
02-27-2015, 11:02
A lot of prep to do here also. I did the voluntary registration with the ATC for May 3. It really depends on everything coming together for that date, and everything looks good so far. I have to keep telling myself this is just a long walk in the woods, not a space launch to Mars!

Good luck to all, hope to meet you.

Treehugger
02-27-2015, 22:02
36 days to go for me! I have to admit I am freaking out a bit. It seemed like I had so much time to get ready and now it feels like I don't have enough! I have most things covered but I feel like I am less ready than I was back in December. More apprehensive and less sure of myself too. I think this is because I am a Mom, always doing stuff for the family and stuff and not as much for just me. Feels foreign. I also think some of that stems from being somewhat snowed/iced in and injured lately. I always feel better once I get out in the woods. I really want to put my backpack on and get out of here but haven't been able to for a while now. I want to do a last shake down hike in a couple weeks, maybe to the Foothills Trail (less cold, snow, ice) but I have hurt my hip so now I am not sure I will be able to do anything more than go to PT, go to the gym and walk around Northern VA for a few more weeks. I will see how I feel next week. In the mean time I go thru my pack again and again trying to decide if i've made the right choices in gear. I am just now going over food choices and getting at least one food box ready for perhaps Clinton, PA or maybe Del Water Gap or even Bear Mtn, NY. I've heard these are a few locations that aren't great for resupply in the beginning. Not sure. I am getting cars fixed, taxes done, pets to the vet, dentist and drs visits done, and some projects finished around the house. I got my CPR updated and am doing Wilderness 1st Aid this month. Basically trying to dot the I's and cross the T's before i go so I feel more ready to leave and my husband doesn't have as much to worry about. whew! I am looking forward to meeting you all in HF at the FFKO. I will be walking already but hope to be near HF by the first of May. I like this quote, kinda sums up how I feel lately.
“It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”
― John Green (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1406384.John_Green), Paper Towns (http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/3364505)

dangerdave
02-28-2015, 10:56
While I'm new to this type of adventure, I imagine the sense of impending doom is "normal". It sounds to me, Treehugger, like your preparations are moving along. IMO, what you must not do is hurry your recovery. You've got to give your body time to heal before you hurt it some more.

I stood outside this morning, breathing the cold (7F) air, wishing Spring were here, longing to give up this wait. I get my hands on my future home (my pack) at least once per day. I have all my gear spaced out on my pool table. I run my eyes over it every time I walk by. I pick up items, modify bindings, snug down compression sacks, peruse my guidebook, shuffle through my dried goods. I feel you. It all seems like busy work. I'm ready to go. For good or bad. Ready or not. My feet crave the trail.

Relax. Heal. It will come. Hurry not into tomorrow.

Humminbard
02-28-2015, 12:16
Treehugger, if an experienced backpacker like you is feeling pre-launch pressure, I ought to be having a full-blown anxiety attack out of ignorance of what lies ahead. Maybe my total lack of long-haul backpacking knowledge is psychologically a good thing (until I start actually doing it!). More likely it's knowing that I have to return home from time to time so will have the luxury of correcting any gear mistakes I've made, and handling the business of daily life, since I have no one at home to do it in my absence. A frustrating inconvenience, but also reassuring in some ways.

Sometimes knowing too much causes too much worrying. I agree with dangerdave's soothing advice: Don't rush the recovery. The Trail is not going anywhere and we are not racing to the finish. That said, I find myself wanting desperately to finish climbing the mountain of domestic and financial chores inside so that I can suit up to explore the snow-dappled mountains outside NOW.

Thanks for sharing your pre-flight "freak out." It's helpful to hear how fellow FlipFloppers are feeling as departure dates take on an exciting/intimidating reality. We might be often alone once out on the trail, but we are deeply connected always by the call of the journey.

brancher
02-28-2015, 18:37
While I'm new to this type of adventure, I imagine the sense of impending doom is "normal". It sounds to me, Treehugger, like your preparations are moving along. IMO, what you must not do is hurry your recovery. You've got to give your body time to heal before you hurt it some more.

I stood outside this morning, breathing the cold (7F) air, wishing Spring were here, longing to give up this wait. I get my hands on my future home (my pack) at least once per day. I have all my gear spaced out on my pool table. I run my eyes over it every time I walk by. I pick up items, modify bindings, snug down compression sacks, peruse my guidebook, shuffle through my dried goods. I feel you. It all seems like busy work. I'm ready to go. For good or bad. Ready or not. My feet crave the trail.

Relax. Heal. It will come. Hurry not into tomorrow.

Dude, relax. Sounds like you're all ready to attack the trail. Don't. It will beat you. Just relax and let the trail take you.

Remember the immortal words of Bob Marley: "Some people FEEL the rain. Others just get wet."

Carbo
02-28-2015, 22:46
Dude, relax. Sounds like you're all ready to attack the trail. Don't. It will beat you. Just relax and let the trail take you.

Remember the immortal words of Bob Marley: "Some people FEEL the rain. Others just get wet."

Good advice for many things in life. As I was reading your comment I was listening to the song "Slip Slidin' Away", the part "... a good day ain't got no rain... a bad day is when I lie in bed and think of the things that might have been" struck me as an interesting coincidence. Just let things happen and go with it.

dangerdave
03-01-2015, 10:04
Thanks for the advice, Carbo and brancher. As an avid whitewater kayaker, I think the mentality should be the same. You don't jump on the Gauley River with the idea that you will conquer the river. It will eat your lunch. A kayaker joins the river, using it's flow and it's power, not fighting it. Being "one with the river" may sound passe, but there is no better way to say it. The Trail is much the same, in that way, and yet completely different in it's own right.

Believe me, I have a firm understanding of what I am in for. I have spent some days hiking by myself, in the rain and cold. Don't mistake enthusiasm for fool-heartiness.

Just cued up Tom Petty, "The Waiting (is the Hardest Part)". Seems appropriate. :)

Treehugger
03-01-2015, 10:48
I am in anything but attack mode I assure you. I have nothing but love and longing for the adventure that awaits me. It's just the standard butterflies one gets before stepping off into the unknown. Me being the biggest unknown in this scenario.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Praha4
03-01-2015, 11:46
I'm doing a section hike with my brother-in-law from Waynesboro to HF starting in mid-April, will look for the Flip-Flop class of 2015 in HF area, and wishing all of you best of luck. (be glad you won't be in the middle of the NoBo "mob" leaving Springer in March-April) Looks like there will be a nice group of FF hikers this year. Spring will be upon us in no time, and before long we will be wishing we still had cooler hiking weather! :)

bsteinberg
03-01-2015, 16:54
62 Days. I'm looking around the room I rent, that has to be packed up, and how out of shape I am, and at the snow outside, and I can't picture me on the trail with my stuff in storage in 62 days.

My brother thinks I'm crazy (my whole family really), thinks I should wait a year to get in better shape. Not buying it. The trail gets you in shape (or it bets you). I've met runners who had to leave the trail after a few days on, while chubby gut me was still going.

The countdown starts!!!!

Charliehorse
03-01-2015, 17:21
kushtakka,
We'll be looking for you along the way. I know Swift Run Gap well. My car and my money passed over the gap for 4 years heading to JMU ;). I'm hoping to make HF by May 1st for a little get-together...

Charliehorse

jimmyjam
03-01-2015, 18:31
kushtakka,
We'll be looking for you along the way. I know Swift Run Gap well. My car and my money passed over the gap for 4 years heading to JMU ;). I'm hoping to make HF by May 1st for a little get-together...

Charliehorse


I should see you guys on the trail as well. I'll be heading out from Elkwallow the last week of April.

Humminbard
03-01-2015, 21:22
kushtakka,
We'll be looking for you along the way. I know Swift Run Gap well. My car and my money passed over the gap for 4 years heading to JMU ;). I'm hoping to make HF by May 1st for a little get-together...

Charliehorse

Hey you guys (Charliehorse, kushtakka, jimmy jam--and Praha, I think), I'll still be in short-hike mode in April with family visiting from the 18th to 26th, but I'll be out there in SNP often, adding up AT miles as schedule allows before longer trips, beginning
with the HF kickoff. This seems like a strange and funny question, but how will I recognize you on the trail?

Also, I live 30 minutes from Rockfish and about 40 from Swift Run. If you need anything on short notice, give me a holler.

jimmyjam
03-01-2015, 21:29
I'm the one with green hiking shirt and green AT ball cap.

squeezebox
03-01-2015, 23:06
BSteinburg ; It is really cost effective to rent a storage locker and pay for the move back and forth rather than leaving your stuff where it is. Storage costs about the same per sq. ft. as less expensive apartments.

Charliehorse
03-02-2015, 19:09
Hey you guys (Charliehorse, kushtakka, jimmy jam--and Praha, I think), I'll still be in short-hike mode in April with family visiting from the 18th to 26th, but I'll be out there in SNP often, adding up AT miles as schedule allows before longer trips, beginning
with the HF kickoff. This seems like a strange and funny question, but how will I recognize you on the trail?

Also, I live 30 minutes from Rockfish and about 40 from Swift Run. If you need anything on short notice, give me a holler.

Humminbard
I'll be the old guy with the grey beard looking lost...

Charliehorse

Treehugger
03-02-2015, 19:22
Hey you guys (Charliehorse, kushtakka, jimmy jam--and Praha, I think), I'll still be in short-hike mode in April with family visiting from the 18th to 26th, but I'll be out there in SNP often, adding up AT miles as schedule allows before longer trips, beginning
with the HF kickoff. This seems like a strange and funny question, but how will I recognize you on the trail?

Also, I live 30 minutes from Rockfish and about 40 from Swift Run. If you need anything on short notice, give me a holler.

Hey Humminbard!

I may see you out there too. I plan on starting about two weeks south of Rockfish but tomorrow I have an MRI on my hip, which will tell me when and if I can leave at all. GULP. Anyway, thinking positively I WILL be the one with the white nurses shoes strapped to my pack. I know, weird, but they were cheaper and lighter than Crocs so I went for them! :) And thanks for the offer to help out, very nice to know someone is close by if needed.

jimmyjam
03-02-2015, 19:53
I hope that MRI turns out OK for you Treehugger.

Humminbard
03-02-2015, 19:57
Ha! This is going to be so much fun! Me: No signature hiking outfit and no noticeable facial hair (I hope). Hmmm...Oh yeah, I always have bright pink surveyor's tape on my trekking poles (because I frequently leave them lying someplace), and sometimes on my pack too.

Treehugger, I'm sending all the healing energy I can generate and hope that you'll get the go-ahead after MRI results. My son just had his temperamental knee radiographed and was cleared for a NOBO from Springer starting in a couple of weeks. I'll keep an eye out for the white shoes! When are you planning to start? I've covered from Rt. 60 to Reed's Gap, but could join you for a day or two nearby if you want company.

And if any of you unexpectedly need an early Zero or Nero to make adjustments, I'm happy to give you a lift and/or a place to regroup.

squeezebox
03-02-2015, 23:00
As one of our group pictures I think we should each get a pair of flip flop shower shoes and a couple of feet of cord and tie the flip flops to the back of our heads like bunny ears. If you're gonna flip flop do it all the way'.

Trail Ponderer
03-03-2015, 00:27
Hey, all you flip floppers! Wish you guys and gals the best of luck on your thru hike. I wish I could join you all since I am in the same age range as most of you. I will be hiking into HF on May 2 but will miss the festivities due to arriving about 6pm. Hopefully, I will run into some of you during my
section hikes this year.

Treehugger
03-03-2015, 00:32
Thanks guys for the well wishes. I think I will wear flip flops as my good luck charms to my MRI. And Hummingbard I plan on starting April 4 from somewhere north of Roanoke. I will nail that down as soon as I get the word from the docs. I would love the company on the trail if we can swing it and the offer of help along the way is awesome. More later. Thx again.

squeezebox
03-03-2015, 03:13
Treehugger; when is your MRI ? I'll get a pair of flip flops and wear them in your support.
I think we should all wear flip flops for the flip flop kick off, a funny comradery kind of thing.

dangerdave
03-03-2015, 10:00
My camp shoes are flip flops. Seemed appropriate. And, I have a FF patch on my Granite Gear backpack...sweeeeeet!

30133

Treehugger
03-03-2015, 10:44
Treehugger; when is your MRI ? I'll get a pair of flip flops and wear them in your support.
I think we should all wear flip flops for the flip flop kick off, a funny comradery kind of thing.

That would be awesome! My MRI is this afternoon. So have to get a photo of all of us wearing flip flops at the KO! I love that idea and patches too!
Cheered me right up Danger, thanks!

http://img.loveitsomuch.com/uploads/201212/09/fl/flip%20flop%20applique%20patch%20iron%20on%20embro idery%20lifes%20a%20beach%20blue%20and%20green%20p atch.-f28777.jpg

Sling Shot
03-03-2015, 11:59
Hi all, Add me to the group. I'm SlingShot and 50 years young. Looking forward to seeing you all.
I too am ready to get this thing underway.
Good luck Treehugger!
I like the patch DangerDave

jimmyjam
03-03-2015, 12:15
Welcome slingshot!

dangerdave
03-04-2015, 10:51
This is going to be quite the gathering! Don't forget, we're toasting our departure at the Two Rivers Guest House Saturday evening after the FFKO event. Everyone is welcome to stop by and sample some of my best home made wines. I'll probably be hiking with a hangover on Sunday. :D

kushtakaa
03-04-2015, 11:39
Charliehorse - I lived in the 'burg for most of my 20's & 30's. I worked for about 10 years at the outfitter there (Wilderness Voyagers...closed down about a year ago :-(), and about 5 years at the JMU satellite library on the CISAT campus (east side of the interstate...before they build the new one).

Hummingbard - I'll be the middle-aged, borderline obese guy with longish blond hair (or will I shave it?) hiking with my wife in my Vibram 5-finger shoes :-). We will also be doing day & overnighters in the SNP during the first or second week of April as shake-down/training days...hoping to officially start north no later than the 15th, but we have no schedule...which, while a strange sensation, is starting to feel quite nice!

Humminbard
03-04-2015, 11:54
I'm about to commit to making a reservation in Harper's Ferry for Saturday, May 2. Other than at dangerdave's Two Rivers wine-sampling shelter, where is everyone staying? I'm willing to spring for a comfortable room in town before spending subsequent nights hanging between trees in the woods. Any recommendations?

Humminbard
03-04-2015, 12:04
Charliehorse - I lived in the 'burg for most of my 20's & 30's. I worked for about 10 years at the outfitter there (Wilderness Voyagers...closed down about a year ago :-(), and about 5 years at the JMU satellite library on the CISAT campus (east side of the interstate...before they build the new one).

Hummingbard - I'll be the middle-aged, borderline obese guy with longish blond hair (or will I shave it?) hiking with my wife in my Vibram 5-finger shoes :-). We will also be doing day & overnighters in the SNP during the first or second week of April as shake-down/training days...hoping to officially start north no later than the 15th, but we have no schedule...which, while a strange sensation, is starting to feel quite nice!

kushtakaa, The Vibram 5-fingers will be a good way to spot you! I'll be day-hiking beginning this weekend and next week. Probably I'll be out of town the first week in April, but back the second. Let me know where you and your wife decide to hike whenever you go and maybe we can connect for a few miles in SNP. Also, if you're middle-aged at 47, then I guess I'm borderline elderly at 59! Hope I live long enough to make it to HF in May :) Hope to see y'all in the soon-to-be-green tunnel.

Treehugger
03-04-2015, 13:58
I'm about to commit to making a reservation in Harper's Ferry for Saturday, May 2. Other than at dangerdave's Two Rivers wine-sampling shelter, where is everyone staying? I'm willing to spring for a comfortable room in town before spending subsequent nights hanging between trees in the woods. Any recommendations?

Hey Humminbard! Check this site: http://www.historicharpersferry.com/
It has everything you will need to get a room. Teahorse Hostel is great and several folks are staying there. The other hostel is nice too. If both are full just go somewhere in town. Even the Econolodge isn't that bad. If you bomb out, let me know I may be able to hook you up.
Good luck!
Treehugger

Treehugger
03-04-2015, 14:10
Almost forgot! My MRI results are in! No tears or broken stuff in my hip! Just strained muscles and possibly even tendons. I have to have more PT but I can at least hike the AT!! I was sweating these last few days, let me tell ya. YAHOO!! I wore my lucky flip flops to the MRI and they worked!! Skipidy-do-da, skipidy-A, my oh my, what a wonderful day!!! I don't know why this photo is upside down but you get the idea of how dorky I looked at radiology yesterday. And I don't care!! Flip flops rule!
30150

jimmyjam
03-04-2015, 14:15
Almost forgot! My MRI results are in! No tears or broken stuff in my hip! Just strained muscles and possibly even tendons. I have to have more PT but I can at least hike the AT!! I was sweating these last few days, let me tell ya. YAHOO!! I wore my lucky flip flops to the MRI and they worked!! Skipidy-do-da, skipidy-A, my oh my, what a wonderful day!!! I don't know why this photo is upside down but you get the idea of how dorky I looked at radiology yesterday. And I don't care!! Flip flops rule!
30150

That's great news! Hike on!!!!

Trillium
03-04-2015, 15:42
Almost forgot! My MRI results are in! No tears or broken stuff in my hip! Just strained muscles and possibly even tendons. I have to have more PT but I can at least hike the AT!! I was sweating these last few days, let me tell ya. YAHOO!! I wore my lucky flip flops to the MRI and they worked!! Skipidy-do-da, skipidy-A, my oh my, what a wonderful day!!! I don't know why this photo is upside down but you get the idea of how dorky I looked at radiology yesterday. And I don't care!! Flip flops rule!
30150I am happy for you Treehugger. I have tears in my tendons in my arm and am currently doing PT. Hope I'm able to get back on trail.

Humminbard
03-04-2015, 17:12
Almost forgot! My MRI results are in! No tears or broken stuff in my hip! Just strained muscles and possibly even tendons. I have to have more PT but I can at least hike the AT!! I was sweating these last few days, let me tell ya. YAHOO!! I wore my lucky flip flops to the MRI and they worked!! Skipidy-do-da, skipidy-A, my oh my, what a wonderful day!!! I don't know why this photo is upside down but you get the idea of how dorky I looked at radiology yesterday. And I don't care!! Flip flops rule!
30150

I can only imagine how relieved you must be to get that news! YAY!!! Clearly flip-flops have magic powers that we are only beginning to witness.

Thanks for the link for lodging. It seems that most of the B&Bs prefer a two-night stay for weekends. Laurel Lodge was listed as full. I've emailed West Ridge Hollow, and I might see if some of the 2-nighters are even available at such a popular time. Didn't try the hostels yet just because I assume they're probably full. Still thinking about the logistics of shuttling to return home for a couple of days after 2-4 weeks out on the Trail. Park my car ahead? Rent a car when I need it? Beg a friend to come pick me up? Geez, it's a little tricky for those of us who have to take more than a couple of intermissions.

kushtakaa
03-04-2015, 17:46
Almost forgot! My MRI results are in! No tears or broken stuff in my hip! Just strained muscles and possibly even tendons. I have to have more PT but I can at least hike the AT!! I was sweating these last few days, let me tell ya. YAHOO!! I wore my lucky flip flops to the MRI and they worked!! Skipidy-do-da, skipidy-A, my oh my, what a wonderful day!!! I don't know why this photo is upside down but you get the idea of how dorky I looked at radiology yesterday. And I don't care!! Flip flops rule!
30150

Glad to hear TH...hope to see you out there!

brancher
03-04-2015, 18:44
Almost forgot! My MRI results are in! No tears or broken stuff in my hip! Just strained muscles and possibly even tendons. I have to have more PT but I can at least hike the AT!! I was sweating these last few days, let me tell ya. YAHOO!! I wore my lucky flip flops to the MRI and they worked!! Skipidy-do-da, skipidy-A, my oh my, what a wonderful day!!! I don't know why this photo is upside down but you get the idea of how dorky I looked at radiology yesterday. And I don't care!! Flip flops rule!
30150

Great to Hear! I tore an LCL in February on a bicycle tour of Florida and thought my AT stuff was over with as well -- when I found out no surgery was required - just some 'Rice' and rehab,-- boy I felt like a brand new person! Congrats!

Sling Shot
03-06-2015, 10:51
Great news Treehugger!

Grampie
03-06-2015, 11:59
Flip-floping = Failed thru-hike? Here is some food for thought on fliping. If you start in the middle of the AT instead at either terminus you would have completed about 1/2 of the AT and you will have walked a little over 1000 miles and probably spent over 1/2 half of your hiking funds. You now have to return to your starting point and continue hiking another 1000 miles for another 2-3 months. In my estimation most hikers will stop, at this point, to regroupe. They will consider what they have accomplished and the money spent along with the hardships incured and decide that "I've done enough" and just call it quits.
I have thru-hiked, doing a flip-flop. I had not planed to do so. I started mid April, the crowd was well ahead. I was only averaging a little over 10 miles a day. I realized that time would run out before I would reach Katahdin and I was enjoying the hike. All the hikers I met on my SOBO trip were late starters of section hikers. I met no hikers who were flip-flopers hiking SOBO to finish a thru.
I'm not saying that being a flip-flop thru-hiker is a bad idea. Just consider what I have offered.