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Boots and Backpacks
10-06-2015, 11:37
For many year a few people in Monson have been providing bucket drops in the 100 Mile Wilderness to help hikers make it through that stretch. Well, not anymore. As of now these services are no longer available due to your current thru-hikers, or current backpackers in the area. Chances are these were of course some NOBO's given the time of the year this has happened in.

It's 117 miles from Katahdin/Monson to Monson/Katahdin if Baxter keeps Katahdin open next year. Resupply is available at Abol Bridge although it's limited. For NOBO's you can get you last night/days for there, but SOBO's don't plan on using it for a long term. Something to consider would be setting up a drop, and have someone meet you there at a given time on a certain day.

Plan Wisely!

http://i1059.photobucket.com/albums/t438/mwstudt/Mobile%20Uploads/Screenshot_2015-10-06-10-14-39_zpsorlzp9sm.png[/URL]

colorado_rob
10-06-2015, 12:13
Way too bad, but Shaw's still provides food drop-off at three road crossings in the 100-mile; Katahdin Ironworks, Kokadjo Road and Jo Mary Lake road. This is a "personalized" timed-meet thing, making it harder for some to plan for, plus it costs $70/$80 per meet/drop depending on where ($80 total for two of us at Kokadjo Rd, right at half way through). My wife and I used this service just last week, and it should be able to continue as it doesn't have the same drop-and-leave method that can lead to people leaving lots of trash. The Shaw ladies did collect our trash for us, plus they brought us a couple ice cold beers and sodas. We did two 15 mile days (tough), then a 13 mile day (moderate), then an 11-mile (easy) half day to meet them at noon, fourth day out.

I can't say enough good things about the total Shaw's experience, though of course we ate at the Lakeshore (great food).

Traveler
10-06-2015, 12:16
Nice job to those who claim to be adult but obviously need supervision. Further demonstration of ethical erosion.

Slo-go'en
10-06-2015, 12:17
Well, that's not surprising and was predictable. I read one trail journals where that spot was called "the bucket graveyard" so I imagine there were quite a few buckets littering the area. Of course, some of the blame has go to the Lake Shorehouse as they created the service and had a responsibility to keep the area clean and pick up after the less considerate hikers. Then there is the possibility that these food drops attracted bears who actually did the damage.

I guess future hikers will just have to do the HMW the way everyone else did it in the past - carry enough food.

colorado_rob
10-06-2015, 12:19
I guess future hikers will just have to do the HMW the way everyone else did it in the past - carry enough food.Or use Shaw's, as we just did.

Boots and Backpacks
10-06-2015, 12:58
You should still be able to have someone meet you with supplies. But like you said that is kind of hard to pinpoint an exact time. NOBO's should be able to make it from Monson to Abol Bridge in 5-6 days, and SOBO's were taking about 8-10 days when we headed through.

Still no surprise to anyone who's been following some of the trash on the trail this year.

TD55
10-06-2015, 14:38
Sounds like a commercial enterprise created a problem and created a dump on the trail and is finally being force to cease and desist from profiting from adding to litter on the trail. Is that a harsh judgement?

mattjv89
10-06-2015, 14:46
What a shame, I just used them a week ago at the end of my thru to enjoy dragging my feet through nine days of beauty while carrying half the amount of food. Little did I know I would be one of the last.. When I passed through there were close to 20 buckets all neatly left in the dropoff point and no trash in sight. I do agree with Slo in not being 100% convinced this was a deliberate act or even a human spreading the trash. A lot of the buckets were worn out with warped lids that are kinda spring loaded ready to jump off once they are closed. I had to really slam the lid hard on my bucket for it to stick and wouldn't be a bit surprised if one popped off while unattended leaving it open for small animals or the wind to spread the trash far and wide. Many of the hikers who were causing devastation down south ran out of money or got bored 500+ miles ago, I certainly encountered less folks in NH/ME who would deliberately make a mess. That's all water under the bridge though, all we know for sure is that it's gone for everyone else. Shaw's is still an option and potentially more affordable than Lakeshore if four or more people go in, though arranging to be at a certain time and place to get it sure doesn't fit my hiking style as well.

colorado_rob
10-06-2015, 15:03
Shaw's is still an option and potentially more affordable than Lakeshore if four or more people go in, though arranging to be at a certain time and place to get it sure doesn't fit my hiking style as well.I was nervous at first, but it turned out to be easy timing for us, at least, and by the way, there are some high points along the first 50 miles where you can get cell reception, and Shaw's basically assures you that they will be completely flexible on the drop/meet time if you are running behind or ahead of schedule.

And TD55, I think that is a bit harsh. I actually know pretty much exactly what happened as I was there just before the "event" that caused all of this, but because it involves a great guy, liked by everyone on the trail and a new friend. I won't say anything more, other than his intentions were good, but he was a bit na´ve on his thinking. Perhaps Long Shore should share some of the blame because they obviously supported this, again, acting a bit on the na´ve side of things.

Traveler
10-06-2015, 16:10
Sounds like a commercial enterprise created a problem and created a dump on the trail and is finally being force to cease and desist from profiting from adding to litter on the trail. Is that a harsh judgement?

More like poor parenting

FarmerChef
10-06-2015, 16:13
I took advantage of the drop when I hiked the HM to finish the AT with my wife and kids late this summer. When we got there, there were about 8-10 buckets neatly placed in an out of the way spot and clear directions given to us in writing on how to handle it. We left it nice and tidy. While I'll cede the point about not being bear proof or possibly able to be opened by animals, I do believe that a good resource for hikers has been lost (apparently) due to the actions of another hiker. I'll reserve judgment on motives, reasons, causes, justifications, etc. I wasn't there and don't know the individual(s). If an individual wants to choose to hump all their food for 8 days - rock on! But if the service exists and someone wants to take advantage of it than good on them too! However, (soap box warning) when folk(s) for whatever reason fail to respect the rules and a privilege is lost that is a sad thing to me, if for no other reason than that we have all lost a bit of good will with that landowner through whose property all must pass.

WingedMonkey
10-06-2015, 17:45
Good.....

Less slackers overcrowding Baxter.

:sun

joshuasdad
10-06-2015, 18:51
If you have a car, it is pretty easy to hike the 100 mile wilderness without a drop. Park in the middle of the HMW--for example there is a road fee-free option 45 trail miles from Monson (I made it with a station wagon, but you might want high clearance...)--hike to an end, resupply, shuttle to the other end, then hike back to your car. Section hikers in Maine typically need to park and get a shuttle anyway, so I don't see the need for a drop. Most NOBOs are in shape to do the whole thing without resupply. SOBOs can probably group together a resupply. Less romantic than carrying everything on your back--but if you are considering getting a drop, you are pretty much off of the "unsupported" bandwagon already, and you might as well maximize the enjoyment of the hike.

Here's one option.

Park 55 trail miles south of Abol Bridge.
Hike to Abol Bridge
Shuttle to Shaw's (or the OP if she offers accommodations)
Stay in/near Monson
Slackpack the first 15 miles NOBO from Monson -- that is a miserable section for a full pack
Stay in/near Monson
Backpack the difficult 30 miles (Chairback range...) to the car

Malto
10-06-2015, 19:54
What is the big deal on a 120 mile resupply? It is good training if you ever want to hike one of the other long trails. Leaving food unattended in the wilderness is not a good idea, bucket or not.

rafe
10-06-2015, 20:41
What is the big deal on a 120 mile resupply? It is good training if you ever want to hike one of the other long trails. Leaving food unattended in the wilderness is not a good idea, bucket or not.

Good question. Thru-hikers getting soft? Maybe it says something about the ever-increasing town-stop frequency on the AT, such that 100 miles between resupply is considered daunting.

colorado_rob
10-06-2015, 21:06
What is the big deal on a 120 mile resupply? It is good training if you ever want to hike one of the other long trails. Leaving food unattended in the wilderness is not a good idea, bucket or not.Well, actually it's like 99 miles (right?), and I tend to agree, but it's such a choice, beautiful area, my wife and I appreciated starting out 7 pounds lighter than without a drop. And yeah, agree, leaving food (or trash) unattended is a bad idea, hence why the Shaw's option is so good.

Lone Wolf
10-06-2015, 21:15
What is the big deal on a 120 mile resupply? It is good training if you ever want to hike one of the other long trails. Leaving food unattended in the wilderness is not a good idea, bucket or not.

exactly. and back in the day we all carried our food all the way from monson to abol. this is a non-issue. as always. with todays hikers

rickb
10-06-2015, 21:36
For many year a few people in Monson have been providing bucket drops in the 100 Mile Wilderness to help hikers make it through that stretch. Well, not anymore.
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If they have been doing this for many years, I can't help but wonder if there is more to the story. The part about someone failing to protect the drop's anonymity confuses me.

TD55
10-06-2015, 22:03
Seems like not long ago folks were whining about the prices and limited selections at WHL.

Slo-go'en
10-07-2015, 00:00
If they have been doing this for many years, I can't help but wonder if there is more to the story. The part about someone failing to protect the drop's anonymity confuses me.

This is the first year I've heard of this. I think it's new.

Traveler
10-07-2015, 07:03
Next on Cable 14 "Bucket Wars"

Starchild
10-07-2015, 07:35
If they have been doing this for many years, I can't help but wonder if there is more to the story. The part about someone failing to protect the drop's anonymity confuses me.

Post #9 seems to indicate that there is more to the story. As it stands it is unclear and no speculation should be assumed to be the case.

TD55
10-07-2015, 09:17
I was nervous at first, but it turned out to be easy timing for us, at least, and by the way, there are some high points along the first 50 miles where you can get cell reception, and Shaw's basically assures you that they will be completely flexible on the drop/meet time if you are running behind or ahead of schedule.

And TD55, I think that is a bit harsh. I actually know pretty much exactly what happened as I was there just before the "event" that caused all of this, but because it involves a great guy, liked by everyone on the trail and a new friend. I won't say anything more, other than his intentions were good, but he was a bit na´ve on his thinking. Perhaps Long Shore should share some of the blame because they obviously supported this, again, acting a bit on the na´ve side of things.
OK, so perhaps good intentions gone astray. That sounds like a far more fair and accurate assessment. Maybe a plan like this could work if a little more attention to details and this incident were taken into consideration. Stronger buckets inside a larger container to hold the buckets with a key system perhaps. I never did the 100 mile without WHL being available. Did the section three times and always counted on that lay over with a few hefty meals, a big burger to go and a few days worth of food stuffs to add to the supply.

rafe
10-07-2015, 11:36
There's no way to put the genie back in the bottle, but it seems to me most of the "wilderness" has been sucked out of the HMW by shuttlers and by service providers like the one we're discussing.

There are these scary-sounding signs posted at either end of the HMW warning about the long hike ahead and the need to provision accordingly. These signs are just for show, now. Hey, we fixed that for ya.

I know, I'm sounding like an old phart. Get off my lawn, you kids! I enjoyed the challenge of hiking this stretch in one go, without resupply. It was a bit jarring to encounter a busy trailhead in the middle of it, and hikers in the middle, just out for a morning stroll. What the ... ?

FarmerChef
10-07-2015, 11:53
When we went through the 100mw a couple months ago we too noted the sign at the trailhead northbound. But there are so many road crossings with people on them and day hikers in it that we felt it was far from "wilderness." We had a great time, don't get me wrong but we felt more isolated and alone in parts of Virginia than we did in the 100.

As for it being a new thing, as far as I know LSH has been doing the drops for quite some time without incident. With WHL being gone (as was my understanding over the summer though rumor had it they were back?) the only option is to hump the food for 8-10 days. Not a problem if you're solo or with other adults. But in our case with kids whose food we are carrying to manage their pack weight, that food drop made it so we weren't carrying torturously heavy (for us) packs for the first half of the hike.

And TD55 a better containment system might be the ticket to prevent animals. I don't personally believe it would help with us humans not cleaning up after ourselves or respecting the landowner's wishes however. Education is key but I'm not sure that alone will solve the entitlement attitude among a minority of hikers that is serving to cause angst up and down the trail over the last few years.

mattjv89
10-07-2015, 12:20
There's no way to put the genie back in the bottle, but it seems to me most of the "wilderness" has been sucked out of the HMW by shuttlers and by service providers like the one we're discussing.



Hear hear, i would say 100 Mile Woods is a more accurate term. For me it wasn't so much the resupply thing that detracted from the "wilderness" experience as the sound of jake brakes rumbling through the valley and strong cell service at nearly every major body of water. That's been my typical benchmark, if you have 4G service you're nowhere near the wilderness. Don't get me wrong, it was one of my favorite sections of the trail despite that. The scenery and wildlife were great and people's spirits were soaring with the finish in reach and gorgeous weather every day. Plenty of folks did go through without the resupply but I figured, heck it's the last hurrah of the trail and I've got money to burn might as well do it in comfort. If I went through without the drop I would probably have done it faster than nine days and not been able to soak up some of the amazing campsites as much as I did. To me if you've made it that far you'll finish whether there's 25 or 50 pounds on your back, I wouldn't find any pride or reward in dragging a heavier load along or hiking faster just to say I did it that way.

jred321
10-07-2015, 13:38
due to your current thru-hikers
Why assume it is thru hikers? There are tons of section hikers in this stretch who take advantage of services like this as well. I would hope a thru knows better by the time they're in the HMW, unless they're a SOBO

Boots and Backpacks
10-08-2015, 11:42
Why assume it is thru hikers? There are tons of section hikers in this stretch who take advantage of services like this as well. I would hope a thru knows better by the time they're in the HMW, unless they're a SOBO

You shouldn't assume a thru-hiker would know better. Considering the self entitlement of thru-hikers on the trail now. Why do you think Baxter is having issues with thru-hikers? Because some of them could care less about anything/anyone beside themselves. Plenty of hikers don't care about rules/laws, and this can be seen daily on any section of the trail. We saw first hand a NOBO leaving his resupply box and trash from the Post Office on the trail in NH. We packed his **** out with us for 4 day, and put it in the trash can. Do you ever hear about hostels closing because of section hikers, or even SOBO's? It really seems that 9/10 issues on the trail stem from NOBO's.

I know that the number of good hikers far out way the number of bad hikers. But it only takes one bad hiker to ruin things for all the rest of us.

FarmerChef
10-08-2015, 11:51
I know that the number of good hikers far out way the number of bad hikers. But it only takes one bad hiker to ruin things for all the rest of us.

This. Though I will say that on the summit of Katahdin, we took our photo with several thrus and another section hiker that we had been traveling with for the last 10 days. Up walked a DAY HIKER who offered everyone a cold PBR from his backpack. Some accepted his offer but all refused to consume it on the summit out of deference for the park rules and the controversy over the actions of a few. I reported this to the Ranger at the base station because I was so proud of how everyone had acted and wanted him to know that it was a Day Hiker that had brought the libations up. This is, of course, just one experience. But I put it out there to say that in some cases, it's more than just the thrus responsible for some of the bad feelings up and down the trail.

jred321
10-08-2015, 12:02
In any of the crowded sections, of which the HMW is one, some of the things I saw section hikers do boggled my mind. I generally tried to move through these crowded areas as quickly as possible and get back to the wilderness with people who knew what they were doing. I would think a NOBO, by that point, would have been criticized/chastised by other thrus so they know the right thing to do. I know I had to make a few comments to some people early on, mostly just people who didn't know better yet. Section/SOBOs haven't gone through this period of peer pressure and learning yet.

In any group of people of significant size there are going to be jerks. It's unavoidable really.

colorado_rob
10-08-2015, 12:27
I have to wonder.... have many (or even any) of the cyber-hikers/hiker-wannabes/hiker has-beens here on WB that constantly bash thru hikers, calling them "entitled" and such ever actually hiked a significant portion of the AT? I sincerely doubt that most of these self-righteous p*&^s have.

Anyway, though I only did a long section hike this year (NJ-->Katahdin), I hiked right along with and got to know scores of thru hikers, and quite simply, rude, entitled or just generally poor trail behavior (or even town behavior) was just not present. I'm sure there were isolated instances though, but I never witnessed any. When I did a long section hike (Springer--->mid VA) last year, however, bad behavior was rampant. Quite the contrast.

rafe
10-08-2015, 12:41
CR, I've observed the same thing. You're going to see some of the worst behavior issues down south, close to Springer. Reality will weed out the worst offenders, but not all. Some of it is done out of ignorance rather than malice. (Eg. Katz flinging his excess food on the approach trail.)

I've mostly taken to other trails these last few years but the handful of thrus I met in Maine a few weeks ago were OK folks.

We had a campfire one night (which in itself is a bit unusual nowadays.) I saw where one guy used it to melt down and burn a couple of plastic bottles. I personally think that's not cool, but I held my breath and let it go.

mattjv89
10-08-2015, 13:01
Do you ever hear about hostels closing because of section hikers, or even SOBO's? It really seems that 9/10 issues on the trail stem from NOBO's.



That's because 9/10 thru hikers are NOBO, not because SOBO's are angels. I met plenty of hard partying SOBO's when we all overlapped, big groups doing the four day Rutland bender etc. Look at the tagging on shelter walls in Maine, much of it is signed by SOBO's. The bad behavior just blends in more when its not coming 1,000 people at a time.

Water Rat
10-08-2015, 13:38
Doesn't matter if it was a SoBo, NoBo, section hiker, thru-hiker... The fact remains that someone/or a group of people made a choice that lead to the removal of a service on the trail. That is why Rebekah addressed the post to "AT hikers," rather than any one party.

If you did not use that service, or have plans to use that service, then it does not impact you in any way. However, just because you do not need/want it, that does not mean that service is not helpful to others.

If you are someone who was thinking about using that service - Thanks to multiple variables, it is no longer there.

Shaw's does still do drops to the HMW and their method leaves a lot less room for issues. (Not saying this in any way to mean anything negative against Lakeshore House - They offered a service for many years and there were no issues). The AT Lodge also provides food drops.

Would I personally use a food drop? Not at this time, but that is because I have no issues with carrying my food through the HMW. The flip side is that someday when I can still hike...but pack weight is more of an issue on my old joints, a service such as this might my prove useful to me. The service is there because people use it. Doesn't matter their reasons - There is no cause for anyone to begrudge someone else a service just because they don't use it. HYOH, right?

rickb
10-08-2015, 20:37
Is this how they left the buckets?

32230

If so, I cannot imagine relying on the cache for my food.

Lone Wolf
10-08-2015, 20:44
I have to wonder.... have many (or even any) of the cyber-hikers/hiker-wannabes/hiker has-beens here on WB that constantly bash thru hikers, calling them "entitled" and such ever actually hiked a significant portion of the AT? I sincerely doubt that most of these self-righteous p*&^s have.


only 5 complete hikes and 6000 section miles. i'm a self righteous young man

Lone Wolf
10-08-2015, 20:44
I have to wonder.... have many (or even any) of the cyber-hikers/hiker-wannabes/hiker has-beens here on WB that constantly bash thru hikers, calling them "entitled" and such ever actually hiked a significant portion of the AT? I sincerely doubt that most of these self-righteous p*&^s have.


only 5 complete hikes and 6000 section miles. i'm a self righteous young man

rickb
10-08-2015, 20:49
only 5 complete hikes and 6000 section miles. i'm a self righteous young man

CR does have a point, though.

Lone Wolf
10-08-2015, 20:51
CR does have a point, though.

explain......

rickb
10-08-2015, 21:19
explain......

You speak from direct experience, LW.

Many others are like the old men sitting around McDonalds carping about illegal immigration and welfare..

Makes them feel good to bitch whether they have any special insight or not.

Boots and Backpacks
10-09-2015, 10:52
I have to wonder.... have many (or even any) of the cyber-hikers/hiker-wannabes/hiker has-beens here on WB that constantly bash thru hikers, calling them "entitled" and such ever actually hiked a significant portion of the AT? I sincerely doubt that most of these self-righteous p*&^s have.

Most likely the same ones that told me we idiots for starting our thru on 12/30, and the couple that bet we wouldn't make it past the Smoky's.

rafe
10-09-2015, 11:01
Most likely the same ones that told me we idiots for starting our thru on 12/30, and the couple that bet we wouldn't make it past the Smoky's.

I wasn't one of those folks but I can't say as I blame them. Let's just say, 99.9% of the time, it would be "inadvisable" to start a thru on that date. Anyone who doesn't know you personally would be excused for urging extreme caution... and being skeptical of your odds.

Boots and Backpacks
10-09-2015, 11:28
I wasn't one of those folks but I can't say as I blame them. Let's just say, 99.9% of the time, it would be "inadvisable" to start a thru on that date. Anyone who doesn't know you personally would be excused for urging extreme caution... and being skeptical of your odds.

Totally agree. The real issue is that so many prejudge without knowing your personal experience. Some people don't belong on the trail at that time simply due to the lack or experience with hiking in winter conditions.

rafe
10-09-2015, 11:37
Totally agree. The real issue is that so many prejudge without knowing your personal experience. Some people don't belong on the trail at that time simply due to the lack or experience with hiking in winter conditions.

Please excuse our lack of clairvoyance. More apropos to your situation, I just watched "Long Start to the Journey", a great new thru-hiking documentary (highly recommended.) One of the characters ends up having to leave the trail in the Smokies due to severely frostbitten fingertips. (This is in February.) Didn't look like much fun in any case.

Boots and Backpacks
10-09-2015, 11:43
Please excuse our lack of clairvoyance. More apropos to your situation, I just watched "Long Start to the Journey", a great new thru-hiking documentary (highly recommended.) One of the characters ends up having to leave the trail in the Smokies due to severely frostbitten fingertips. (This is in February.) Didn't look like much fun in any case.

Yes, this February was very bad. We were just south of Damascus and encountered a couple nights that were -17. Luckily we were off the trail for those nights, due to the extreme weather. Starting around 2/12 is when it started getting bad, and this weather ran through the end of the month. We were off the trail from 2/12 until 2/28 due to not being able to get back to the trail head. I'm going to have to find that documentary though.

rafe
10-09-2015, 11:48
So you had to take more than two weeks off due to lack of access to the trailhead -- and you still wanna argue it's a good idea?

Boots and Backpacks
10-09-2015, 12:02
So you had to take more than two weeks off due to lack of access to the trailhead -- and you still wanna argue it's a good idea?

Yeah, but I get. Because the roads were bad we shouldn't have been out there hiking. There's a difference between trail conditions not allowing to move, and road conditions not allowing you to move. Had we not been stuck up a .6 mile driveway that was covered in ice we would have been hiking. Road topography and routes play a key role in knowing what you're talking about when it comes to trail access in some sections. There was no safe way to get a car or even a 4wd vehicle on some of the roads. This was due to snow melting during the day, and freezing over the roads at night. Thus, causing pure ice on the road in the mornings. If I had to do it over again, I'd start at the exact same time. Nothing better than not seeing a single person on the trail for 45 days. To each their own, and hike your own hike.

Anyway, back on topic about 100 Mile Wilderness.

tdoczi
10-09-2015, 12:34
You speak from direct experience, LW.

Many others are like the old men sitting around McDonalds carping about illegal immigration and welfare..

Makes them feel good to bitch whether they have any special insight or not.

somehow related- LW has many many times in other contexts complained about how much he dislikes modern thru hikers and only likes to help section hikers.

some people just like to chime in with a complaint whether it even makes any sense relative to the all the other complaining they usually do.

Lone Wolf
10-09-2015, 12:38
somehow related- LW has many many times in other contexts complained about how much he dislikes modern thru hikers and only likes to help section hikers.


very true....

colorado_rob
10-09-2015, 14:16
only 5 complete hikes and 6000 section miles. i'm a self righteous young manYou're always an exception LW! Still hiking? I bet so. I hope so.

illabelle
10-09-2015, 14:42
I had not considered this option before, but it is appealing. One question: is the middle of the HMW a safe place to leave a vehicle?


If you have a car, it is pretty easy to hike the 100 mile wilderness without a drop. Park in the middle of the HMW--for example there is a road fee-free option 45 trail miles from Monson (I made it with a station wagon, but you might want high clearance...)--hike to an end, resupply, shuttle to the other end, then hike back to your car. Section hikers in Maine typically need to park and get a shuttle anyway, so I don't see the need for a drop. Most NOBOs are in shape to do the whole thing without resupply. SOBOs can probably group together a resupply. Less romantic than carrying everything on your back--but if you are considering getting a drop, you are pretty much off of the "unsupported" bandwagon already, and you might as well maximize the enjoyment of the hike.

Here's one option.

Park 55 trail miles south of Abol Bridge.
Hike to Abol Bridge
Shuttle to Shaw's (or the OP if she offers accommodations)
Stay in/near Monson
Slackpack the first 15 miles NOBO from Monson -- that is a miserable section for a full pack
Stay in/near Monson
Backpack the difficult 30 miles (Chairback range...) to the car

TJ aka Teej
10-09-2015, 15:31
One question: is the middle of the HMW a safe place to leave a vehicle?
Sure is. Just tell the nice lady at the KI gate, or the Scot at Hedgehog Hill, you're leaving your car at the Gulf Hagas parking area, and for how long. Fee at the gates for non-residents.

colorado_rob
10-09-2015, 15:34
I had not considered this option before, but it is appealing. One question: is the middle of the HMW a safe place to leave a vehicle? Perhaps somewhat answering your question, did anyone else on WB run into a guy named "pringles" in this year's hiking? He started at Springer and completed the AT up to well into Maine (last time I saw him, I assume he did finish), slackpacking himself using two vehicles. For someone who wants to see the entire trail without carrying overnight gear this is simply Brilliant! I had never heard of this before. Of course he had to use a start-up shuttle and he would wind up with two vehicles when he finished... he could always get help from a fellow hiker getting both vehicles home (NY maybe? I cannot remember), or just use another shuttle (back to 2nd car).

He did a NOBO, always walking SOBO... he'd drive to a road crossing/trailhead and park his vehicle, them hike SOBO back to his other vehicle, one day south, then he'd drive to a trailhead one day north of the other vehicle, then hike south, repeat, repeat. He either slept in his vehicle or a nearby hostel. There were a few sections that he had to make into two days and carry overnight gear and food/fuel.

I mention this in this thread because he had the HMW mapped out as a complete self-slack-pack. I talked to him a lot and he never mentioned any vehicle vandalism in his 4+ months parking not one, but two vehicles.

Extremely nice guy, he offered pringles to all hikers he'd pass (until he ran out, of course). He was also a great wealth of info to us NOBO's on trail conditions (water sources, primarily) just ahead. I personally was right in phase with him for about 10+ days or so, meaning our paths crossed every day.

illabelle
10-09-2015, 16:35
Thanks Teej and CRob! Just what I was hoping to hear. :)

jred321
10-10-2015, 08:53
He did a NOBO, always walking SOBO... he'd drive to a road crossing/trailhead and park his vehicle, them hike SOBO back to his other vehicle, one day south, then he'd drive to a trailhead one day north of the other vehicle, then hike south, repeat, repeat. He either slept in his vehicle or a nearby hostel. There were a few sections that he had to make into two days and carry overnight gear and food/fuel.


Another woman this year, Warm and Toasty, took the same approach. I didn't see her after Shenandoah but I was moving quickly so it wasn't too surprising. Hopefully she finished. It sounded like a great way to do the trail to me, especially on those cold, rainy nights!

DawnTreader
10-10-2015, 11:45
I, like many who have posted on this thread, are disappointed in the ramifications, not only of the continued abuse of 'trail culture,' 'TRAIL entitlement,' and most importantly accessibility to civilization in the Hundred Mile Wilderness. I have hiked thru the HMW many times, however, this last monson-BigK traverse in September, although extremely gratifying with an emphasis on non-resupply and overall time, was disturbing. Monson to Abol in five days, which was a HUGE accomplishment for this section hiker. I hiked this section with a great friend who was NOBO thru, and his mentality after having made it 2000+ miles into ME was great, however it was a real eye-opener to me in terms of what it means/takes to hike the trail in 2015. I don't carry a cell phone on LDH's. He did. I was aghast to see that he had service daily thru the HMW. I was shocked, had no idea. He actually set up a bucket drop with Rebekah from LSH from the top of Barren Chairback. She was willing to shop for him, and drive the bucket to the road crossing. This was not something that was arranged in Monson. It was all arranged on the trail. This arrangement didn't stop this thru hiker from hitching a ride from pleasant river/gulf hagas into greenville, for more food. My NOBO friend carried a tiny pack, no stove, and ate peanut butter, cheese and torts all day.. no stove. I am in no way saying that he was wrong for the way he chose to rock the trail.. He did it fast, and light. However, even in the purported Hundred Mile Wilderness, where the warning signs used to mean something, it is extremely disappointing, disheartening and discouraging to know that this stretch can be fully supported by outside commercial, slackpacked, car-spotted ect. ect. ect. Far from the reality of my first time thru SOBO when I did carry 10 day's supply, and needed every bit of it. HYOH, but something has been lost in the last few years. It's a shame in my opinion. I'll never say it on trail to hikers, but I will anonymously on the internet. HIKERS WITH CELL PHONES PISS ME OFF... there I said it.. -DT

DavidNH
10-10-2015, 12:29
Is white house landing not still available for food and resupply? assuming it is,then resupply in the 100 mile wilderness is not a problem. If it isn't you can still make it through by taking say six days rather than 10 days (I took 10 days on my trip).

Don H
10-10-2015, 12:58
Years ago we use to have long conversations here on the evils of cell phones and hiking sticks.

I carry a cell phone, in fact I carry a smart phone (the horrors!). I downloaded Baltimore Jack's resupply articles from here.

Bet if you had an emergency on the trail you'd be praying for a cell phone and service.

DawnTreader
10-10-2015, 13:15
Don,
Your right, I bet if I had an emergency on the AT I would be praying for a cell phone and service. What ever did hikers do pre-2000!! They must have died by the thousands!! I choose not to carry a phone for many reasons. Most thru's that I've met refuse to carry adequate first aid and foodstuffs. But they do carry their smartphone and charging accessories! Help! come get me! I'm cold and hungry! I'm not trying to rehash old loaded topics. I'm just observing how the wilderness is changing, and not for the better imo.

rickb
10-10-2015, 15:00
I'm just observing how the wilderness is changing, and not for the better imo.

I definitely get that.

For me, the "holy ****, I am really doing this" feeling when passing the HMW warning sign near Abol Bridge, and the satisfaction of making to Shaws about a week later was even more special than sharing Pat's table eating fried chicken with all the fixings, with pie and whole milk.

Which is to say, perfect.

Don H
10-10-2015, 15:25
Don,
Your right, I bet if I had an emergency on the AT I would be praying for a cell phone and service. What ever did hikers do pre-2000!! They must have died by the thousands!! I choose not to carry a phone for many reasons. Most thru's that I've met refuse to carry adequate first aid and foodstuffs. But they do carry their smartphone and charging accessories! Help! come get me! I'm cold and hungry! I'm not trying to rehash old loaded topics. I'm just observing how the wilderness is changing, and not for the better imo.

Before cell phones we hoped someone came buy and they were willing to hike out for help. I'll carry a cell phone.

My first aid kit weighs maybe 3 ounces, mostly band aid and tape. The most important first aid item I carry weighs nothing but takes a lot of effort to obtain.

Some hikers don't carry maps either but are always interested in looking at someone else's.

DawnTreader
10-10-2015, 16:53
Don,
You are right on about the maps. That pisses me off too! I agree, common sense and experience are the most important thing one can have in their first aid kit. With aid from maps, a hiker needs to go on every trip prepared for self-rescue, a cell phone could be an important part of this, but is not always the safe option. Service, battery, electronics in the elements ect. ect. If hikers were really worried about connectivity for safety reasons, the safe, logical and more efficient tool would not be a cell phone, but a spot gps beacon, or similar.

MamaBear
10-10-2015, 17:29
Another woman this year, Warm and Toasty, took the same approach. I didn't see her after Shenandoah but I was moving quickly so it wasn't too surprising. Hopefully she finished. It sounded like a great way to do the trail to me, especially on those cold, rainy nights!

I'm pretty sure Warm and Toasty finished. She was ahead of us in Maine, although we saw her in NJ/Mass for a while.

jred321
10-10-2015, 23:27
I don't carry a cell phone on LDH's.
...
HIKERS WITH CELL PHONES PISS ME OFF

I would actually say it is a bit foolish not to carry one. Whether you use it or not while you're in the woods is up to you, but I'd say everyone should have one. Hikers talking on the phone on the trail or in camp is what should piss you off because that's poor etiquette but I would advise having a phone.

I carried a smart phone. Because I carried this I did not carry a separate camera, guide book (had AWOL's PDF version), regular book (Kindle app), music player (whole other debate, I only had one ear bud in and kept the volume low so I could still hear what was going on around me) or journal (made a calendar entry every night). Leaving your phone in airplane mode, shutting it off at night and just using it for these functions will easily let it last a week between charges if your battery is still decent. Most of the time you'll hit a town long before a full week goes by so charging shouldn't be an issue. I would occasionally text if I had service but that was a choice I made. The only time I made a call from the trail was in the HMW on White Cap when I called Shaw's to confirm my food drop. I was also able to easily post to my blog when I was in town and even watched some shows on it when I had a hotel or hostel room to myself. And I guess I used it a couple of times in town to call home which means I didn't have to deal with calling cards and actually finding a phone to call from (not as easy as it used to be).

jred321
10-10-2015, 23:30
I'm pretty sure Warm and Toasty finished. She was ahead of us in Maine, although we saw her in NJ/Mass for a while.

Nice! Glad to hear it!

DawnTreader
10-11-2015, 10:15
I would actually say it is a bit foolish not to carry one. Whether you use it or not while you're in the woods is up to you, but I'd say everyone should have one.

Why should EVERYONE carry a cell phone? A cell is not, as I have previously stated, the safest or most reliable method of getting help in the backcountry. Also, there are still those of us out there that choose not to listen to music on the trail, watch youtube videos at night ect, and god forbid, carry these 'hiking for dummy's' step by step guidebooks that are all over the place these days. Old school TOPO's for me, a small notebook and pencil for journaling and maybe a paperback now and then. That's just how I roll. Part of 'Wilderness' imo, is taking a break from these electronics; I guess I just relish my opportunities to take my nose out of the phone for a while. Using it to dictate and direct a LDH is just not my style. To each their own.

Don H
10-11-2015, 11:12
A cell is not, as I have previously stated, the safest or most reliable method of getting help in the backcountry

I had enough signal for a text message almost every evening along the entire trail. Only when I camped down in the gaps did I have trouble getting out. So I would say for an emergency a cell phone is more reliable than the next choice, which is waiting for help and hoping when someone shows up they go for help. Of course a SPOT or similar device would be the most dependable.

Carry one or not, it's up to you (just like maps, first aid kits, water treatment, bear bagging, hiking poles etc.)

TJ aka Teej
10-11-2015, 11:35
Is white house landing not still available for food and resupply?
No longer an option, sold out a few years back.

DawnTreader
10-11-2015, 11:47
. Of course a SPOT or similar device would be the most dependable.

Carry one or not, it's up to you (just like maps, first aid kits, water treatment, bear bagging, hiking poles etc.)

Yes. This was my original point. Carrying a cell for emergency purposes is foolish, for all the reasons I previously listed. See above posts. 'a spot or similar device would be most dependable.' see above posts. Thus negating the necessity, not like there ever was one, of a cell phone in the backcountry.

MuddyWaters
10-11-2015, 13:53
Id say the outcome of this was able to be anticipated.

Some SOBOs are still discarding crap on trail in the south. Ask the people that maintain the shelters, 1800 miles doesnt turn everyone into saints.still a great deal of people too self centered to haul their trash if they expect someone else will do it. It might only be one in 10, or 20, but thats all it takes when you have hundreds.

I talked to a flip flop the other day in NC who found another hikers small towel they recognized at a shelter. They figured it was forgotten, and carried it several days till they caught up to the other hiker. Only to find out...it was left on purpose because it was wet and heavy.

Aside note, encountered more flip flops and sobos than I ever have on a fall hike. Could have been stacked up from hurricane though.

jred321
10-11-2015, 15:48
Why should EVERYONE carry a cell phone? A cell is not, as I have previously stated, the safest or most reliable method of getting help in the backcountry.
It's lighter and can be cheaper than a SPOT, allows 2 way communication, and is the first thing a loved one is going to think of calling if there is an issue. In the mountains even GPS based devices can have issues (see the woman who died on Washington this winter and where her transponder said she was). Two way communication is important. Plus there can be emergencies that are not yours that can alter your hike - parents, grandparents, siblings, etc..., all could have issues over the course of your hike that you need to do something about. They can't reach you on a SPOT. If you're going out for a few days that's one thing (although it's easy to just let people know to only contact you in case of an emergency). If you're out for a thru that's another story. Not to mention most people who carry a SPOT carry it on their packs where it can be hard or impossible to reach in an emergency. A cell fits in a hip belt pocket. Not bringing a cell to me is like when you see people at a ski resort nowadays without a helmet on. Why not bring one?


Old school TOPO's for me
You brought TOPOs on a thru?


Part of 'Wilderness' imo, is taking a break from these electronics; I guess I just relish my opportunities to take my nose out of the phone for a while.
Not using it and not having it are two different things. Perhaps learning the self control to have it and not use it would help translate to life outside of the trail.

In the end, if it works for you then do your thing. I just don't understand the logic behind not bringing a cell on a east coast hike, especially since it can be used to save weight for most people.

rickb
10-11-2015, 18:44
Not using it and not having it are two different things. Perhaps learning the self control to have it and not use it would help translate to life outside of the trail.

Sensibilities change, but there was once a well-reasoned school of though that simply having a phone could have a negative impact on "the spirit of wildness" that some thought so important.

http://www.wilderness.net/library/documents/Aug03_Waterman.pdf

jred321
10-11-2015, 20:47
There was a lot in that article that I won't touch, but I would say that guy who made the call on the remote summit was behaving rudely, remote summit or not. I will caveat this with my view that talking on a phone in public in general is rude. When you're with one group of people it is rude to disengage from them and engage with someone else. Nature, in that case, was one of the parties he was disengaging from to make this call. And because it was a call, it had an impact on those around him. Had he either texted (may not have existed back then), taken the phone out to take a picture, or just left his phone in his pocket altogether, there wouldn't have been any impact on others' experiences and he wouldn't have needed to fully disengage from his present. So to me it's not that he had the phone, it's how he chose to use it.

Slo-go'en
10-11-2015, 21:39
I think the cell phone debate has been pretty well hashed out some time ago. When cell phones evolved into multifunctional smart phones, their place inside the pack was assured. But what is remarkable is that fairly reliable coverage is now apparently available through the HMW. I suppose it was inevitable. Coverage can still be spotty along the Maine AT corridor in general, but not nearly as spotty as it was just a few years ago.

MuddyWaters
10-11-2015, 21:45
I think the cell phone debate has been pretty well hashed out some time ago. When cell phones evolved into multifunctional smart phones, their place inside the pack was assured. But what is remarkable is that fairly reliable coverage is now apparently available through the HMW. I suppose it was inevitable. Coverage can still be spotty along the Maine AT corridor in general, but not nearly as spotty as it was just a few years ago.


Agree. I eschewed phones as long as possible. Still kind of do. I contact wife/kids once per day usually with text msg.

But having an emergency GPS and map source, along with ability to make travelling reservations, and check weather forecasts, simply makes a smart phone a very functional thing to bring along, even if you dont use it for posting stupid facebook updates.

Hell, the cell phone issue went away because NO ONE under maybe 40 actually TALKS on phones anymore.

jred321
10-11-2015, 23:45
But what is remarkable is that fairly reliable coverage is now apparently available through the HMW.

Coverage isn't that good. You get it right out of Monson, then on the tops of the Chairback and White Cap ranges, then it kind of goes away until you get high on Katahdin from what I remember. Maybe there was some signal at Antlers too. I didn't check that frequently though so maybe there was more. It definitely wasn't signal like you get in civilization but there was some, especially in the first half.

colorado_rob
10-12-2015, 08:45
Coverage isn't that good. You get it right out of Monson, then on the tops of the Chairback and White Cap ranges, then it kind of goes away until you get high on Katahdin from what I remember. Maybe there was some signal at Antlers too. I didn't check that frequently though so maybe there was more. It definitely wasn't signal like you get in civilization but there was some, especially in the first half.We were just there, and this was our exact experience for Verizon coverage, at least.

We did indeed have some coverage at Antlers. We were at Antlers this Oct 27th, the night of the total lunar eclipse... but a guy we met on the trail that day told us that the eclipse was on the 28th, the next day. Well, it was on the 28th Universal Time (London), but was in fact that evening (Sunday night) local time. I was able to find this out using my cell at Antlers, along with the time of the eclipse (totality starting something like 9:15pm). Kudos to cell phones! We went to sleep at 7pm, set an alarm (on a phone, of course), then got up and thoroughly enjoyed watching the entire celestial event. Wouldn't have happened w/o my cell phone!

I did at one time have the same attitude towards cell conversations in the wild as that article, but got over it eventually when I realized: what is the difference between a person having a voice conversation with a person standing next to them vs. have a voice conversation with a loved one 2000 miles away using a modern device? None, effectively. The only abuse I see with cell phones is when a group is together, say at a dinner out, and everyone is buried in their phone and not interacting among themselves. Kinda weird and borderline pathetic, IMHO.

I also read about a book a week on my phone in the evenings after dark in my tent or shelter... Very nice. Not very practical to read that much on the trail with physical books.

So lets see: communication device for occasional call/text to/from loved ones, built in maps (goole maps even show AT when zoomed in) with accurate GPS, book reader, holds maps and other trail guide info, alarm clock (some days I found a need to get hiking super early), pretty decent camera, all for about 6 ounces of weight? (plus I carry 3 extra batteries at 0.7 oz each). Modern cell phones are amazing devices. Phooey on those (maybe 3% of the trail population?) that eschew them on the trail.

Traveler
10-12-2015, 09:54
This is one of those etiquette issues that not everyone will agree with, but has some generalized rules. Cell phones have technology that has evolved to provide a huge variety of useful tools well suited for modern life and in many instances, in trail life. Bringing that technology into a wilderness setting can be an annoyance for some folks, which is understandable given the circumstances. However like many other things in society, etiquette can be observed which lessens the impact or disturbance of those around you.

Few people will have negative things to say when using cell phones if some basic etiquette is observed. For example, much like use in restaurants, if you need to use a cell phone for a conversation its just polite to move away from other patrons to do so. Its demonstration of respect for those around you. There is nothing wrong in moving away from others, nor is there anything wrong in that expectation others may have of cell phone users. A similar issue is smoking, most smokers observe the etiquette of moving away from others to smoke, which has also become a social expectation.

Clearly not everyone will abide by social etiquette either out of ignorance or the desire to be disruptive. Being sensitive to those nearby is never a bad thing and is typically well appreciated even if no one says anything.

rafe
10-12-2015, 10:14
I got a weird surprise one day at a shelter this summer. I was texting my wife (it is my duty to contact her from time to time when I'm on the trail) and in the middle of that, she called me. I'm not used to receiving calls while on the trail so it caught me off guard. I took the call while doing my best to walk quickly away from the shelter. It was a bit weird.

My cell got me out of a little jam on the Tully trail this weekend. I'd missed a turn in the trail and found myself at a road crossing. I wasn't quite sure which road, so I used my phone's GPS to find out. From there it was clear how best to reconnect with the trail. Hardly life-or-death, but saved me from either backtracking (to my missed turn-off) or walking down the wrong road. A useful time saver, with sunset two hours away.

DawnTreader
10-12-2015, 11:03
It's lighter and can be cheaper than a SPOT, allows 2 way communication, and is the first thing a loved one is going to think of calling if there is an issue. In the mountains even GPS based devices can have issues (see the woman who died on Washington this winter and where her transponder said she was). Two way communication is important. Plus there can be emergencies that are not yours that can alter your hike - parents, grandparents, siblings, etc..., all could have issues over the course of your hike that you need to do something about. They can't reach you on a SPOT. If you're going out for a few days that's one thing (although it's easy to just let people know to only contact you in case of an emergency). If you're out for a thru that's another story. Not to mention most people who carry a SPOT carry it on their packs where it can be hard or impossible to reach in an emergency. A cell fits in a hip belt pocket. Not bringing a cell to me is like when you see people at a ski resort nowadays without a helmet on. Why not bring one?

You brought TOPOs on a thru?


Not using it and not having it are two different things. Perhaps learning the self control to have it and not use it would help translate to life outside of the trail.

In the end, if it works for you then do your thing. I just don't understand the logic behind not bringing a cell on a east coast hike, especially since it can be used to save weight for most people.

Yes, there are benefits of carrying a cell. I get that. I have to admit, I'm a no cell guy on and off the trail. Snail mail, home phone, and PC for email/internet connection. No, I'm not a thru hiker. Just a section hiker who is really into cartography, observation and an interest in where he is and what he is looking at. Hence the TOPOS. For myself, and others, I would hope, no cell/electronics is a great way to experience the trail, and sadly, in this day and age, an alternative way to experience the trail. Although I do realize that this loaded issue has been played out over the years on this site, as I have been a member for most of the sites existence. It is still relevant, as our eastern backcountry has become more accessible and connectivity has increased exponentially. Again, it's now become a philosophy, albeit old-school. How does a cell phone save weight if your not carrying the alternatives to begin with? You say 'You carry Topos?' I say, 'You carry electronics?' As my signature has suggested for 10+ years, simplify. Minimize risk, experience, philosophy, and dare I say HYOH. P.s. I'm assuming your are referring to Kate Matrosova when you talk about the person who died on Washington. She actually perished on Mt. Madison, just north of Star Lake, and although her transponder pinged multiple different positions, it turned out that the first ping was the correct location, and in the conditions she decided to hike in, no correct ping would have mattered in the long run, imo. -DT

Water Rat
10-12-2015, 13:36
"Simplify your life" can mean different things, to different people. Some people can simplify by getting rid of objects. To others, that definition could mean cutting mental weight from their lives. The electronics themselves are just objects - It is how people use them that is the real issue.

Nobody should rely on any one "thing" to get them out of a jam. If we put ourselves out there, we should be responsible for taking all precautions to avoid putting ourselves in bad situations. We can arm ourselves with knowledge of the area and knowledge of first aid. We can also arm ourselves with tools to get out of situations. The tools can be maps, compass, gps, phones....they are all tools. It is up to the person carrying the tools to decide what they want to carry - We will all have our own definitions of what we are willing to carry. All can be useful.

I hate phones and rarely talk on them no matter where I am. I do have a cell phone, but that is mostly so that I am available in case one of my family members has an emergency, or in case I have an emergency. Do I rely on the cell phone? Nope. I make sure to know where I am and where my bailouts points are located. There are situations where it is not an emergency that would require a medical evacuation, but a cell phone could sure line-up a ride and make life a heck of a lot less painful.

I dislocated my shoulder on the trail a couple of years ago. It's my bad shoulder and it thankfully popped back in place. I was not incapacitated, but it did hurt like.... Well, it was a painful experience. This is not a situation where I would have chosen to activate a SPOT. I knew where I was, I could walk, I knew where the next road was... I got myself to a location (in the HMW) where I knew there to be cell coverage and was able to text a friend to pick me up and give me a ride. I then hiked to the road and waited. That particular situation would have been a lot more painful if I did not have my phone with me because I would have had to hitch out of the area and figure out a way to get home. I had a couple of plans in place, but that's just me and that is how I hike - I always have a backup plan. Sure made my life a lot simpler to have the phone with me and to be able to choose when I wanted to use it. It was also a lot less stressful to know that a ride was on their way. That way I was able to concentrate on safely getting myself to the meeting spot.

To each there own.

My carrying a cell phone will in no way impact your hike, unless I find you lying unconscious on the trail and am able to call for help. That would sure make things a lot simpler for you in that situation. ;)

rickb
10-12-2015, 16:52
My carrying a cell phone will in no way impact your hike, unless I find you lying unconscious on the trail and am able to call for help. That would sure make things a lot simpler for you in that situation. ;)Agreed, but only because phones are everywhere. Whithout saying they are good, bad or excellent in the backcountry (people have already "voted" on that with their own choices) the fact they are out there has changed everyone's hikes.I think the HMW is a bit less "wild" because of them, just as it is a bit less "wild" because you can so easily resupply in the middle of it.Again, not saying that is good or bad -- and any single individual's choices hardly have an impact on thet sense of "wildness". Not my place to pass judgement (the ultimate sin these days) on that But the HMW has changed, and will change even more in the years to come.

joshuasdad
10-13-2015, 11:05
Sure is. Just tell the nice lady at the KI gate, or the Scot at Hedgehog Hill, you're leaving your car at the Gulf Hagas parking area, and for how long. Fee at the gates for non-residents.

As an FYI, I parked outside of the HMW (for free) for 4 days at West Branch Pond Road -- I wouldn't be surprised if this the location of the OP's drop. It is a deserted area, but had no issues. KI road and Jo Mary Road also has good parking, but KI road seemed to have a bit more activity, owing to nearby camping area.

Here's the directions to West Branch Pond Road from http://appalachiantrail.rohland.org/.

From Greenville.... Take the Lily Bay road towards Kokadjo, Maine Atlas page 41.
Just before Kokadjo, take a right on the Frenchtown Road.
Follow Frenchtown Road approx 10 miles to West Branch Pond Camps.
Reset odometer at the driveway for West Branch Pond Camps and proceed as follows.
0.2 miles continue straight ahead.
0.8 miles bear right.
1.1 miles cross bridge at 3rd West Branch Pond.
1.5 miles continue straight ahead, DON'T follow main road which bears right here. Rough road ahead to Slaughter Brook.
2.2 miles Cross Slaughter Brook
2.4 miles bear right
3.5 miles Reach gate. Be sure to park OUTSIDE the gate, even if it's opened. It DOES get locked daily. Walk 0.4 miles to the AT crossing.

joshuasdad
10-13-2015, 11:15
Perhaps somewhat answering your question, did anyone else on WB run into a guy named "pringles" in this year's hiking? He started at Springer and completed the AT up to well into Maine (last time I saw him, I assume he did finish), slackpacking himself using two vehicles. For someone who wants to see the entire trail without carrying overnight gear this is simply Brilliant! I had never heard of this before. Of course he had to use a start-up shuttle and he would wind up with two vehicles when he finished... he could always get help from a fellow hiker getting both vehicles home (NY maybe? I cannot remember), or just use another shuttle (back to 2nd car).

He did a NOBO, always walking SOBO... he'd drive to a road crossing/trailhead and park his vehicle, them hike SOBO back to his other vehicle, one day south, then he'd drive to a trailhead one day north of the other vehicle, then hike south, repeat, repeat. He either slept in his vehicle or a nearby hostel. There were a few sections that he had to make into two days and carry overnight gear and food/fuel.

I mention this in this thread because he had the HMW mapped out as a complete self-slack-pack. I talked to him a lot and he never mentioned any vehicle vandalism in his 4+ months parking not one, but two vehicles.

Extremely nice guy, he offered pringles to all hikers he'd pass (until he ran out, of course). He was also a great wealth of info to us NOBO's on trail conditions (water sources, primarily) just ahead. I personally was right in phase with him for about 10+ days or so, meaning our paths crossed every day.

I used this method a lot, though not in Maine -- I used a shuttle as my second car there. It was nice ending at a point with which you were familiar. Furthermore, if I was hiking supported, my wife would be familiar with the pickup point, as she would have dropped me off at that point on an earlier hike. It was really fun passing thru hikers leaving from Trail Days or elsewhere, as I would see them for consecutive days while I was hiking south to go north.

wormer
10-13-2015, 13:54
Joshuasdad great directions.
I was here two weeks ago and it's a good place to park w/o paying the $7 per person per day gate fee at Jo Mary Checkpoint. Another good parking place north is the Pollywog Stream parking area at the head of Nahmakanta Lake. If you come in from Lilly Bay Road at Kokadjo you can avoid the $7 day person gate fees that are charged at the gates. From Kokadjo travel north off the pavement 1 mile until you see a dirt road Namakanta Road on the right. Travel about 5 miles until you see a dirt road on the left with a blue Maine Public Reserve sign, turn here. At this point follow the Maine Public Reserve signs (MPRL) 6 miles until you see the parking area above Nahmakanta Lake. The best part is the camping (1st come) and parking in the area are both free. These roads might be a problem for a low to the ground vehicle, due to clearance

Water Rat
10-13-2015, 15:00
Agreed, but only because phones are everywhere. Whithout saying they are good, bad or excellent in the backcountry (people have already "voted" on that with their own choices) the fact they are out there has changed everyone's hikes.I think the HMW is a bit less "wild" because of them, just as it is a bit less "wild" because you can so easily resupply in the middle of it.Again, not saying that is good or bad -- and any single individual's choices hardly have an impact on thet sense of "wildness". Not my place to pass judgement (the ultimate sin these days) on that But the HMW has changed, and will change even more in the years to come.

Oh, I completely agree that they are everywhere. I just know that my personal cell phone will not impact anyone else's hike because it only comes out a maximum of 2 times a day (morning and night) to check in. If I am in an area with cell reception, this is done in my tent. If not, then I make sure nobody is around. Like I said - I personally cannot stand phones. Still, my ability to send 2 quick texts to check in really saves my loved ones from having to wonder where the heck I am. In the event of an actual emergency, it also lets searchers know where to start looking. Outside of those 2 texts, my phone is not going to ring (I keep it on silent mode) or even be visible.

If the weight of carrying a cell phone ever gets to be too much, I'll just carry one less snack and that should balance things out quite nicely. My carrying it saves loved ones from worrying, it can be a useful tool, and I have personally used it in a non-emergency situation (but it certainly kept me from having to endure a long walk with a pack).

Yes, the AT is ever evolving and certainly losing its "wanna get away" status. The flip side to that is that easier access to services will mean that I will still be able to get out there and hike when I am a lot older than I am now. I think that is a good thing as the current generations of WBers age. That means we can all choose to get out there and there is the ability to still hike. Had we lived closer to the AT, I have no doubts my grandmother would have loved to have kept backpacking even into her early 90s. As it was she only slowed down hiking portions of the PCT when she was 86. That was because of pack weight. After that, it became more frequent day trips.

It might not be backpacking as it once was (things will not go back to what they once were for the AT), but these types of services might be useful in assisting us in getting out there(for longer stretches) later in life. I sure hope so. The thought of sitting on the couch does absolutely nothing for me.

TexasBob
10-24-2015, 11:06
Being a very recently retired high school teacher, I can tell you that for anyone under the age of 25 being without their cell phone is unthinkable. Cell phones are like electronic crack to that age group. They are addicted. You may say I am exaggerating but believe me I am not. Thinking they would leave their phone at home and not bring it (and use it a lot) on the AT is unrealistic. Whether that is good or bad is a different issue.