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View Full Version : 22 hour train ride to Gainesville or 4.5 hour flight to ATL



fastfoxengineering
02-27-2018, 06:05
My best mode of transportation is either to take the Amtrak train from Boston to Gainesville with a switch in New York. It's a long ride but I would be getting into Gainesville at 0630.

My other option is an early morning flight from Logan to ATL. I can get their at either 0930 am or 1230.

The train ride is $180

The flight is $100 including one checked bag.

Which would you rather endure and why?

Let's say I got to ATL at 1230. MARTA to Sandy Springs. Is it better to spent the night somewhere or is it reasonable to get on the trail that same day?

I would need to grab some fuel or go without for a few days.

With the hiker hostel not being what it once was, are there still affordable alternatives? And for those about to say if you can't afford to stay there then your prob not ready for a thru hike. I can. But that doesn't mean it's not pricey.

If I got into Gainesville after a probably exhausting 22 hour train ride, I could probably just hitch or shuttle from there for a nominal fee.

I don't have my AWOLS yet so haven't been able to look into shuttles from there.

Given those two options. What would you do and why?

I don't mind trains, and it could actually be less expensive in the end.

Flying is definitely the fast track to GA. But if I need to spend a night somewhere. I could just spend it sitting on a train. With all my gear.

Any insight is greatly appreciated.



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fastfoxengineering
02-27-2018, 06:07
I should add. I'm weighing my options cause all though a quick flight sounds better than a long train ride. Logistically the whole thing might be easier by getting off right in Gainesville with my pack and no shuffling through the airports then public transportation then a shuttle, etc.



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MuddyWaters
02-27-2018, 06:22
Either one you on trail same day .
Call shuttlers on atc list.

Don't discount a day's eating on train....it's a real travel cost.

Cost is likely a wash , or so close with shuttle, etc it don't matter. Just do what YOU want. Pick one.

Dogwood
02-27-2018, 06:49
After 2-3 wk's on trail either way will be a distant or largely forgotten memory. Just go.


If you use a shuttle service inquire ahead to see if they can supply your fuel or make a quick stop along the way.

Just be glad you didn't take a bus from btown.

Dogwood
02-27-2018, 07:13
I will tell you this. You can tack on another roughly 3- 4hrs from touch down in Atlanta AP, get fuel if you have to buy it along the way, get to N Springs MARTA Sta., and have a shuttle take you to the Approach Tr. or a shuttle from Gville(assuming a bus or train between the AP and Gville).

Dogwood
02-27-2018, 07:27
Either way employing a shuttle eases getting to the trail. Shared shuttle costs especially after a flight to Atlanta cuts that cost.

I'd say most AT shuttlers especially those living in the northern GA area will likely prefer picking you up in Atlanta not during rush hr. Your arrival time probably is more acceptable to them given you get to N. SPRINGS MARTA by 3.

fastfoxengineering
02-27-2018, 07:36
After 2-3 wk's on trail either way will be a distant or largely forgotten memory. Just go.


If you use a shuttle service inquire ahead to see if they can supply your fuel or make a quick stop along the way.

Just be glad you didn't take a bus from btown.I'll never get on a bus again if I can avoid it.

3-4 hours from touching down to Amicalola eh? I think I'd be better off getting on the 0600 flight from Boston then.

I'm getting AWOL and Guthooks. But from your experience, if I start hiking from Amicalola how much hiking do I have until I can camp?

I understand and know the feeling. As soon as you hit trail you forget about all the bs.

I do want to have a solid idea of how my day will be though. I'd rather not get the park late and start off already night hiking lol. Plus number of people starting is making me think about camp spots.

If it's much more reasonable to plan a night in town, I wouldn't be opposed. If it just takes some initiative and determination, I'd like to be on trail same day.





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TheMidlifeHiker
02-27-2018, 07:46
I was weighing the same - train from Boston or Hartford (Iím in Sturbridge) or flight to Atlanta. Hadnít looked into Gainesville by train. Closer to Springer?


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fastfoxengineering
02-27-2018, 07:56
I was weighing the same - train from Boston or Hartford (Iím in Sturbridge) or flight to Atlanta. Hadnít looked into Gainesville by train. Closer to Springer?


Sent from my iPhone using TapatalkYeah it is. The ATC list a bunch of reputable shuttles that'll pick up from either. Most want you to go to north springs on the MARTA which is the farthest north station. When are you planning on going down?

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TheMidlifeHiker
02-27-2018, 08:05
Ah so either way, Marta to North Springs (that was my intent from Atlanta). I leave first week of April - exact date tbd. Thanks!


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fastfoxengineering
02-27-2018, 08:20
Ah so either way, Marta to North Springs (that was my intent from Atlanta). I leave first week of April - exact date tbd. Thanks!


Sent from my iPhone using TapatalkSorry if you go to Gainesville you do not have to go to North Springs. Not what I meant. Only if you fly into the ATL airport.

Gainesville is even farther north, but the Amtrak goes to it.

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Dogwood
02-27-2018, 08:28
3-4 hours from touching down to Amicalola eh? I think I'd be better off getting on the 0600 flight from Boston then.

That's a mentally long first day. You should sleep that night...if you indulge in some chamomile tea or melatonin.

I'm getting AWOL and Guthooks. But from your experience, if I start hiking from Amicalola how much hiking do I have until I can camp?

ZERO. You can camp at Amicalola. Some spots on the Approach Tr too.

Your materials will describe these options

Dogwood
02-27-2018, 08:32
I was weighing the same - train from Boston or Hartford (Iím in Sturbridge) or flight to Atlanta. Hadnít looked into Gainesville by train. Closer to Springer?


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Yes Gville is closer to Springer and a shorter distance and time to drive than Atlanta or N Springs MARTA. Traffic plays a role

Dogwood
02-27-2018, 08:52
That first night can have you zonking out from the mini journey of traveling from the northeast or starry eyed mind racing like a kid anticipating that long awaited new bike under the tree on Christmas morn.

And, that's the way you'll eventually see it in hind sight - a mini journey - incomparable to standing atop Mt K several months later.

Embrace every darn moment of it because while in the midst of it it may seem it will last forever, and in some ways it does, but then you eventually go back physically to the location where you started. Psychologically and emotionally that will be impossible though.

fastfoxengineering
02-27-2018, 09:04
That first night can have you zonking out from the mini journey of traveling from the northeast or starry eyed mind racing like a kid anticipating that long awaited new bike under the tree on Christmas morn.

And, that's the way you'll eventually see it in hind sight - a mini journey - incomparable to standing atop Mt K several months later.

Embrace every darn moment of it because while in the midst of it it may seem it will last forever, and in some ways it does, but then you eventually go back physically to the location where you started. Psychologically and emotionally that will be impossible though.I'm already having a hard time sleeping with the pre hike jitters. And I'm still a month out.

I got quoted $130 for a ride from north springs to Amicalola from one of the ATC listed shuttlers.

It can be split up to three ways.

I know.. I know. Get my damn AWOL guide. But what's the camping situation like at the state park? You said ZERO hiking miles in. I know there's a shelter. But if I wanted to set up my tent, do I need to make reservations which I'm sure would be booked full. A quick Google mentioned tent pads, a shelter, and primitive sights up the trail.

Any more info on that? Thanks for all your help, I truly appreciate it.



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MuddyWaters
02-27-2018, 09:17
There's a thruhikers shelter at start of trail.
Another about just before springer

And campsites . Just Google amicalola camping.

JC13
02-27-2018, 09:28
I'm already having a hard time sleeping with the pre hike jitters. And I'm still a month out.
I got quoted $130 for a ride from north springs to Amicalola from one of the ATC listed shuttlers.
It can be split up to three ways.
I know.. I know. Get my damn AWOL guide. But what's the camping situation like at the state park? You said ZERO hiking miles in. I know there's a shelter. But if I wanted to set up my tent, do I need to make reservations which I'm sure would be booked full. A quick Google mentioned tent pads, a shelter, and primitive sights up the trail.
Any more info on that? Thanks for all your help, I truly appreciate it.
Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using TapatalkYou do need reservations if you camp in the park proper. There is a tent site listed at 1.6 miles up the Approach Trail and 2-3 more after that. None of those will require reservations, although the chance that someone else already grabbed it is there. If you are buying Guthooks, go ahead and download it as it has the Approach Trail included in the free initial download of the app.

colorado_rob
02-27-2018, 10:31
Not sure if you've decided, OP, on the plane vs. train thing yet, quick glance, I don't see a decision....

So, FWIW, as much of a plane-protagonist that I am, I fly to various trails/climbs out of necessity usually, being in the middle of the country, trains aren't much of an option for most of our travel. For example, Denver to Gainsville is a 57 hour ride on Amtrak, as everthing from here goes through Chicago.

So, If I had a relatively direct train ride from NH to GA at 22 hours, I'd personally consider it. The total hours it takes flying can be deceiving, given the time it takes at airports on both ends, you say "4.5 hour flight", does that include all the time on both ends? Sure, train travel has some time on both ends, but not as much. I personally think I'd rather enjoy a train ride from NH to GA. But I read a lot, and that activity would sure soak up a lot of those 22 hours.

Without checking, IIRC, you mentioned buying fuel if you fly... there is an REI very close to the north end of MARTA, last time we went to springer we rode MARTA, got off walked a few blocks to REI, bought fuel, ate lunch, walked another couple blocks to where the shuttle picks up, easy as cake.

Just another opinion. AS I've said before, flying to hikes is easy-peasy, there really is practically zero hassle checking a pack, etc, but OTOH, a "road trip" on rails down the east coast of our great USA sounds appealing to me.

Sarcasm the elf
02-27-2018, 10:43
Regarding shuttle info, whiteblaze maintains a good list of available shuttlers:

https://whiteblaze.net/forum/shuttles-2017.php

BuckeyeBill
02-27-2018, 11:14
I personally would fly and catch a shuttle from either the airport or the MARTA North Springfield Station. A few of the shuttle drivers will stop for fuel and/or food. The $80.00 saved by flying can be put towards the shuttle cost. Who knows, you may be able to hook up with a few other hikers and save some cash. You can have the same shuttle driver take you to the trail 1 mile south of Springer Terminus. Walk south for 1 mile and you can set up camp and get a good night's sleep. If your plans called for doing the Approach Trail, you would need to hike 8.8 miles with an elevation change of 1982 feet including 604 steps. If you can gut that you may be able to find some good equipment, as people start dumping stuff all along the trail. YMMV HYOH

Slo-go'en
02-27-2018, 11:33
Personally, I refuse to fly any more. (unless I really have too). It's such a damn hassle these days. But it does get you there in a few hours, mostly refreshed. I don't get much sleep on the train, so I'm pretty groggy when I arrive someplace.

I'm leaving Gorham, NH in the middle of April and going to Florida to visit my Dad for his birthday(he'll be 95!) before I head out to go hiking. Since I don't fly, I first need to take the bus from Gorham to Boston. The bus leaves Gorham about 8 AM, arrives Boston at noon. I will then wait until 11PM and take a MEGA bus to Washington DC which arrives at 10AM. I will then wait until 3PM to get the train to Tampa. Which reminds me, I need to buy my tickets soon.

The reason for this crazy scheme is the train to Florida (or GA) leaves Boston at 6AM. The only way I can catch the 6AM train is to spend the night in Boston. Even the earliest bus from Concord (5 AM) doesn't get to Boston in time to catch the train. (it would be cheaper to spend the night in Concord then Boston).

The cheapest place to spend the night in Boston is the Youth Hostel (about a 15 minute walk to the train station) which runs about $80 a night. A hotel would cost at least twice that. Spending the night in the bus or train station is not an good option. Sleeping outside in the bushes with the homeless isn't a good option in Boston in April, but I once found a nice spot under the highway on ramp not far from the train station. But that was summer time.

By taking the Bus to DC first, I can spend the day in Boston, get some sleep on the bus overnight (I actually sleep better on the bus then on the train), then get to spend some time in DC. I think I will invest in one of those U shaped neck pillows and a travel blanket for this trip. If it lets me get some better sleep, it will be worth the $10. I'll abandon them on the train when I get back to DC to start my hike at Harpers Ferry.

dbfl87
02-27-2018, 12:46
Amtrak is cool because you can move about / sit almost anywhere on the train and some areas have nice scenery. You also have electric hookup and wifi so you can watch youtube and message people. You will need to eat so pack your own food to save $. The train provides free HOT water in the dining car (usually).

The fact that i'm not stuck behind or in front of the coughers, farters, and screaming kids for hours is worth it to me.

Dogwood
02-27-2018, 13:34
If you decide train I'd bring my iso can or alchy fuel, pocket knife, and trekking poles still being discrete and considering safely doing it.
It's not like going through TSA at APs. I assume youre not a terrorist, on a watch list, mentally stable, or carrying.

Cheyou
02-27-2018, 14:13
Personally, I refuse to fly any more. (unless I really have too). It's such a damn hassle these days. But it does get you there in a few hours, mostly refreshed. I don't get much sleep on the train, so I'm pretty groggy when I arrive someplace.

I'm leaving Gorham, NH in the middle of April and going to Florida to visit my Dad for his birthday(he'll be 95!) before I head out to go hiking. Since I don't fly, I first need to take the bus from Gorham to Boston. The bus leaves Gorham about 8 AM, arrives Boston at noon. I will then wait until 11PM and take a MEGA bus to Washington DC which arrives at 10AM. I will then wait until 3PM to get the train to Tampa. Which reminds me, I need to buy my tickets soon.

The reason for this crazy scheme is the train to Florida (or GA) leaves Boston at 6AM. The only way I can catch the 6AM train is to spend the night in Boston. Even the earliest bus from Concord (5 AM) doesn't get to Boston in time to catch the train. (it would be cheaper to spend the night in Concord then Boston).

The cheapest place to spend the night in Boston is the Youth Hostel (about a 15 minute walk to the train station) which runs about $80 a night. A hotel would cost at least twice that. Spending the night in the bus or train station is not an good option. Sleeping outside in the bushes with the homeless isn't a good option in Boston in April, but I once found a nice spot under the highway on ramp not far from the train station. But that was summer time.

By taking the Bus to DC first, I can spend the day in Boston, get some sleep on the bus overnight (I actually sleep better on the bus then on the train), then get to spend some time in DC. I think I will invest in one of those U shaped neck pillows and a travel blanket for this trip. If it lets me get some better sleep, it will be worth the $10. I'll abandon them on the train when I get back to DC to start my hike at Harpers Ferry.

Youth hostle $80. Wow

fastfoxengineering
02-27-2018, 14:28
Personally, I refuse to fly any more. (unless I really have too). It's such a damn hassle these days. But it does get you there in a few hours, mostly refreshed. I don't get much sleep on the train, so I'm pretty groggy when I arrive someplace.

I'm leaving Gorham, NH in the middle of April and going to Florida to visit my Dad for his birthday(he'll be 95!) before I head out to go hiking. Since I don't fly, I first need to take the bus from Gorham to Boston. The bus leaves Gorham about 8 AM, arrives Boston at noon. I will then wait until 11PM and take a MEGA bus to Washington DC which arrives at 10AM. I will then wait until 3PM to get the train to Tampa. Which reminds me, I need to buy my tickets soon.

The reason for this crazy scheme is the train to Florida (or GA) leaves Boston at 6AM. The only way I can catch the 6AM train is to spend the night in Boston. Even the earliest bus from Concord (5 AM) doesn't get to Boston in time to catch the train. (it would be cheaper to spend the night in Concord then Boston).

The cheapest place to spend the night in Boston is the Youth Hostel (about a 15 minute walk to the train station) which runs about $80 a night. A hotel would cost at least twice that. Spending the night in the bus or train station is not an good option. Sleeping outside in the bushes with the homeless isn't a good option in Boston in April, but I once found a nice spot under the highway on ramp not far from the train station. But that was summer time.

By taking the Bus to DC first, I can spend the day in Boston, get some sleep on the bus overnight (I actually sleep better on the bus then on the train), then get to spend some time in DC. I think I will invest in one of those U shaped neck pillows and a travel blanket for this trip. If it lets me get some better sleep, it will be worth the $10. I'll abandon them on the train when I get back to DC to start my hike at Harpers Ferry.Have you looked into taking the T from Lowell? Goes right to north station.

Not sure the earliest or latest rides anymore but they do run late/early. I use to take it all the time around midnight

Might work for you. Pretty sure there is a bus from Concord to Lowell.

Thanks for your insight


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fastfoxengineering
02-27-2018, 14:39
I personally would fly and catch a shuttle from either the airport or the MARTA North Springfield Station. A few of the shuttle drivers will stop for fuel and/or food. The $80.00 saved by flying can be put towards the shuttle cost. Who knows, you may be able to hook up with a few other hikers and save some cash. You can have the same shuttle driver take you to the trail 1 mile south of Springer Terminus. Walk south for 1 mile and you can set up camp and get a good night's sleep. If your plans called for doing the Approach Trail, you would need to hike 8.8 miles with an elevation change of 1982 feet including 604 steps. If you can gut that you may be able to find some good equipment, as people start dumping stuff all along the trail. YMMV HYOHLol I'm not worried about hiking the approach trail. I've read the comical threads about it too.

I think I'm kind of set on flying at the moment, there are just not too too many flights that have good times.

Boston to ATL is non stop. But I also have a decent ways to get to Boston. 2 hours. I'm considering the more relaxed version and going out of Manchester, NH. Which is an hour from me. Everything out of Manchester is not non stop though. 1 or 2 connecting flights.

Gonna be a long day either way. I suppose I'm used to it.

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Dogwood
02-27-2018, 16:53
Youth hostle $80. Wow

+100 Steepest youth hostel one day cost I've ever heard quoted unless it's a private room. I've stayed at a good #.

fastfoxengineering
02-27-2018, 17:09
+100 Steepest youth hostel one day cost I've ever heard quoted unless it's a private room. I've stayed at a good #.I've walked by that hostel in Boston a few times. From the outside it's not what I think of when I think hostel. It's modern looks like a hotel

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Slo-go'en
02-27-2018, 17:38
I've walked by that hostel in Boston a few times. From the outside it's not what I think of when I think hostel. It's modern looks like a hotel

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It is much like a hotel. $80 is pretty cheap considering it's down town Boston in the theater district and not far from all the landmarks. But it's still a hostel.

As far as I know, there is no way to get to Lowell from Concord. I used to ride the train from Lowell to work in Cambridge for a few years. I used to have a friend who lived on a boat in Constitution marina and could crash there while coming and going from Boston. That was nice while it lasted.

jigsaw
02-27-2018, 18:08
im taking the 6 am flight from boston on 4-10 landing at 9:30 shuttle from airport to amicalola and im gone baby.
contact erik jarvi from the atc shuttle list. he quoted me a fair price.

TheMidlifeHiker
02-27-2018, 21:43
Sorry if you go to Gainesville you do not have to go to North Springs. Not what I meant. Only if you fly into the ATL airport.

Gainesville is even farther north, but the Amtrak goes to it.

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Cool, thanks for straightening me out!

Dogwood
02-27-2018, 21:57
Amtrak is cool because you can move about / sit almost anywhere on the train and some areas have nice scenery. You also have electric hookup and wifi so you can watch youtube and message people. You will need to eat so pack your own food to save $. The train provides free HOT water in the dining car (usually).

The fact that i'm not stuck behind or in front of the coughers, farters, and screaming kids for hours is worth it to me.

Valid pts, I can enjoy a train ride too, but 57 hrs on a train like Colorado Rob spoke about that's going to test my patience knowing I could have taken a 3-4 hr flight.

Singto
02-27-2018, 23:07
Easy choice for me, I'd fly for sure. I live about 7 hours drive from Harpers but I'm flying to DCA, taking subway and then Amtrak from Union Station because it's cheaper and less of a logistics burden for whomever (parents) who might be willing to drive me to HF. Total cost will be $100 including a couple meals for me. It's about 14 hours RT driving, food and gas in a day or a hotel bill added to that and more food costs to break it up into two days driving. If my buddy meets me for the SOBO part, then driving to HF might be economical with 2 people splitting the expenses as opposed to just me.

wordstew
02-28-2018, 11:54
For 80 bucks or less you can probably get yourself a decent Air BnB room near the airport or save a few bucks and look to couch surf somewhere. Also if considering the train look to hook up with a few folks and split a sleeper car also if anyone is a Vet I think you can get like a %15 discount on the train.

Personally I would consider finding a few mates, fly out of Bos direct to Atl. Once at Atl pitch in with a few folks for shuttle, bus or Uber in the direction of Springer stop at a cheapest hotel for the night between Atl and Springer then the next day after your rested and have provisions get a shuttle/bus or Uber the rest of the way to Spinger

glenlawson
02-28-2018, 14:13
If you fly into Atlanta, you can take the Marta train to the Sandy Springs Marta station and there is an REI in under a half mile. It is about 1.5 miles from the North Springs Marta station. GA 400 north, the highway that takes you towards Amicalola has a local outfitter called Outdoor World and a Walmart both in Dawsonville. There is a motel in Dawsonville called Village Inn which has a fairly good reputation.

If you take the train into Gainesville, there is a Walmart and a Dick's Sporting Goods and an Academy Sports as well as Kroger and Publix grocery stores on the way to Amicalola.

The shuttlers are always good sources of info about how to get those 5 more things you need to pick up.

fastfoxengineering
02-28-2018, 16:50
Just scored a $130 flight from Manchester NH to Atlanta on April 4th. 0600-0930. Nonstop. Delta economy

Doesn't get any better than that.

My coworker will give me a lift to the airport that am for the low cost of a Dunkin donuts breakfast lol

I'll MARTA and shuttle to the AT once in GA.

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Dogwood
02-28-2018, 16:54
I've walked by that hostel in Boston a few times. From the outside it's not what I think of when I think hostel. It's modern looks like a hotel

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Yeah, but who and what is inside? lots of cute European and S. American lonely away from their bf's women? clean kitchen, bed, and bathroom privledges?



It is much like a hotel. $80 is pretty cheap considering it's down town Boston in the theater district and not far from all the landmarks. But it's still a hostel. ..

I've stayed at many down town big city hostels close to all manner of experiences.ie; Manhattan, Chicago, San Diego, LA, Houston, Portland OR and ME, Minneapolis, Miami, Washington DC, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, etc They didn't cost $80 a night unless it was a private room or cabin.

Dogwood
02-28-2018, 16:58
Just scored a $130 flight from Manchester NH to Atlanta on April 4th. 0600-0930. Nonstop. Delta economy

Doesn't get any better than that.

My coworker will give me a lift to the airport that am for the low cost of a Dunkin donuts breakfast lol

I'll MARTA and shuttle to the AT once in GA.

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What about TSA no no's? How about mailing that stuff ahead to the shuttler? It would be more convenient going through TSA check pts and traveling with a lighter less bulkier load. I know some trail shuttle folks do that for hikers on the AT. :-?

fastfoxengineering
02-28-2018, 17:04
What about TSA no no's? How about mailing that stuff ahead to the shuttler? It would be more convenient going through TSA check pts and traveling with a lighter less bulkier load. I know some trail shuttle folks do that for hikers on the AT. :-?I've been on about a dozen planes in my life. Never have I ever checked a bag so this will be a first.

Was planning on carrying on my quilt and duplex. Was gonna check the rest.

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Dogwood
02-28-2018, 17:04
If you fly into Atlanta, you can take the Marta train to the Sandy Springs Marta station and there is an REI in under a half mile. It is about 1.5 miles from the North Springs Marta station. GA 400 north, the highway that takes you towards Amicalola has a local outfitter called Outdoor World and a Walmart both in Dawsonville. There is a motel in Dawsonville called Village Inn which has a fairly good reputation.

If you take the train into Gainesville, there is a Walmart and a Dick's Sporting Goods and an Academy Sports as well as Kroger and Publix grocery stores on the way to Amicalola.

The shuttlers are always good sources of info about how to get those 5 more things you need to pick up.

That Sandy Springs REI is like 1/2 a block from the Sandy Springs MARTA Station. You can get fuel and be back on the MARTA train to one stop north to N Springs in about 30 mins; I've done this more times than I can recall. That REI I think also offers a shuttle to the AT. Call them. I've never used their shuttle service though. It may be pricey but less so if you arrange for a group rate.

https://georgia-atclub.org/hike-the-a-t/hike-the-georgia-appalachian-trail/directions-shuttles-parking

Dogwood
02-28-2018, 17:05
I've been on about a dozen planes in my life. Never have I ever checked a bag so this will be a first.

Was planning on carrying on my quilt and duplex. Was gonna check the rest.

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You still cant check fuel.

fastfoxengineering
02-28-2018, 17:15
You still cant check fuel.I'm aware. But that's the only thing I can't really bring. I'll grab a lighter in GA.

Is it a bad idea to check unlabeled dried foods?



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TNhiker
02-28-2018, 17:19
I'll grab a lighter in GA.



you can take a lighter on a plane.....

Dogwood
02-28-2018, 17:51
I'm aware. But that's the only thing I can't really bring. I'll grab a lighter in GA.

Is it a bad idea to check unlabeled dried foods?



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From many past experiences if you had asked me 12 months ago I'd say don't overly concern yourself about checking unlabeled dried foods. Recently though I was detained at one major AP - the SunPort in Albuquerque for 25 mins by very hardline militarized TSA upper management who deliberately staunchly threatened me with making me missing my flight because of opened(not in original packaging, self made dried food in clear Ziplocs). There was a definite negative stereotyping of having a backpack. I looked fine. Another clean cut young professional person in line with me with a backpack had the same experience. After inappropriately roughly grabbing my backpack by the shoulder strap instead of the grab loop almost fully tearing the shoulder strap from the body of the pack, they made me, actually they, emptied my entire backpack and then inappropriately jammed the contents back in. The stop included a thorough examination of my entire food bag choices asking me about the food in the Ziplocs despite every Ziploc having a post it note in it clearly stating what was in each Ziploc. One might say they were looking for drugs because that AP can have that issue but they said nothing, nada, zero about my large bag of vitamins and supplements in a larger clear Ziploc that weren't and couldn't be in their original packaging and easily mistaken for illicit drug contraband also in the food bag.

Two TSA Agents, to the TSA's credit, said what I might do in the future to avoid such stops. One was checking these food items. At my suggestion, and to which they agreed, leaving food in the original packaging as much as possible and opened only once flights are completed was another solution.


By far far and away its best to cooperate with TSA than attempt to simply bitch about the agency or its policies or exhibit an attitude. However, I'm not gonna let them abuse that authority or my kit either even if they make me miss a flight out of misplaced authoritarian spiteful retribution!

Dogwood
02-28-2018, 18:00
Another option, which I regularly employ, is mailing ahead trail food, pocket knife, fuel, etc. Since my backpack is my luggage - I'm living and surviving totally out of it - both on trail and very often on biz trips, I much prefer always having it personally on me. I prefer also to have some food and drink to eat that I brought not what they offer that I additionally have to purchase.


Next time at the AP, Amtrak, or Ghound Station watch the baggage handlers mismanaging backpacks. Its customary! And, consider some of us have UL kits.

Slo-go'en
02-28-2018, 21:29
Next time at the AP, Amtrak, or Ghound Station watch the baggage handlers mismanaging backpacks. Its customary! And, consider some of us have UL kits.

I wrap my straps around the back of the pack and clip them as tight as possible. Belt and chest. They help secure the poles to the sides of the pack too. The poles are the only things outside the pack. I tape up the pointy ends of the hiking poles so they don't snag someone else's luggage. The trick is to minimize the number of places something can snag the pack. Or, just put it in a cheap duffle bag.

fastfoxengineering
02-28-2018, 23:26
I wrap my straps around the back of the pack and clip them as tight as possible. Belt and chest. They help secure the poles to the sides of the pack too. The poles are the only things outside the pack. I tape up the pointy ends of the hiking poles so they don't snag someone else's luggage. The trick is to minimize the number of places something can snag the pack. Or, just put it in a cheap duffle bag.Gonna rock the cheap duffle bag. I have a new Zpacks Arc Haul that I'd be really upset if it got torn up somehow.



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Dogwood
03-01-2018, 00:58
I wrap my straps around the back of the pack and clip them as tight as possible. Belt and chest. They help secure the poles to the sides of the pack too. The poles are the only things outside the pack. I tape up the pointy ends of the hiking poles so they don't snag someone else's luggage. The trick is to minimize the number of places something can snag the pack. Or, just put it in a cheap duffle bag.

I wasn't checking my pack. I had no known current TSA no no's. TSA told me they hadn't flagged me for anything else. It was the opened actually Ziploc-ed, rolled, and rubber banded self made food. I was carrying it going through the TSA checkpt. Nothing was on the outside of the ULA CDT. Nor did I have trekking poles.I do as you suggested when putting my pack through the x-ray and "sniffer" testing equipment. It was the food and only the food or so TSA stated. In hindsight, I was acting antsy, nervous like, fidgety in the que which is a tell for those trying to hide something which I think TSA noticed. I was acting that way because I was really spent from pushing it on strenuous terrain compunded by too much coffee and getting to the AP later than hoped.

MuddyWaters
03-01-2018, 04:37
By far far and away its best to cooperate with TSA than attempt to simply bitch about the agency or its policies or exhibit an attitude. However, I'm not gonna let them abuse that authority or my kit either even if they make me miss a flight out of misplaced authoritarian spiteful retribution!
Yup.

I'm back in US after a couple months in the hole.
On my return, where coming from it's a bit more stringent than US. (Flights to US meet tsa requirements). A second screening is done at gate before departure. All carry on are hand searched/emptied and you are patted down. This is in addition to first x-ray, etc to get onto concourse.

They took $12 of rechargeable AA batteries (not Li, hybrid NiMH in protective storage case. Of course my 20,000 mAh Li phone charger battery was fine .
Seriously questioned my little zebralight h52 ,but eventually a supervisor let it go.
And, took a paper clip.
A ....paper....clip.
It was bent open to use to extract sim card holder from phone to change sim between foreign and US.

"Not allowed"

My unbent paperclips....were fine.

Thank goodness they missed the little pocket with my tiny eyeglass screwdriver kit.

Always interesting.

fastfoxengineering
03-01-2018, 05:07
Yup.

I'm back in US after a couple months in the hole.
On my return, where coming from it's a bit more stringent than US. (Flights to US meet tsa requirements). A second screening is done at gate before departure. All carry on are hand searched/emptied and you are patted down. This is in addition to first x-ray, etc to get onto concourse.

They took $12 of rechargeable AA batteries (not Li, hybrid NiMH in protective storage case. Of course my 20,000 mAh Li phone charger battery was fine .
Seriously questioned my little zebralight h52 ,but eventually a supervisor let it go.
And, took a paper clip.
A ....paper....clip.
It was bent open to use to extract sim card holder from phone to change sim between foreign and US.

"Not allowed"

My unbent paperclips....were fine.

Thank goodness they missed the little pocket with my tiny eyeglass screwdriver kit.

Always interesting.Other countries are definitely different. I was just reading a hiker blog about how they caught a red eye from Portland Oregon to Atlanta and got on board with tent stakes, a pocket knife, and trekking poles. Couple years back.


How's the MARTA? Any tips and tricks for navigating that



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Gambit McCrae
03-01-2018, 09:09
My blunt response is going to sound rude, it isn't meant to be...

How is this not a no brainer? Buy your plane ticket good sir lol

22 hours on a train is gunna be real not fun lol

Ron Brown is a great shuttle driver if you are still looking

MuddyWaters
03-01-2018, 09:28
i subscribe to the " getting there is half the fun" philosophy. As long as not in hurry, travel by all kinds of options can be.....interesting. some people like booking ocean passage on freighters (yep, it's a thang)

Lone Wolf
03-01-2018, 09:38
i took the train to gainesville 10 years in a row. had a single sleeper. it's the way to go

fastfoxengineering
03-01-2018, 15:04
My blunt response is going to sound rude, it isn't meant to be...

How is this not a no brainer? Buy your plane ticket good sir lol

22 hours on a train is gunna be real not fun lol

Ron Brown is a great shuttle driver if you are still lookingYou must of missed my post about the purchase of my plane ticket

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Dogwood
03-01-2018, 16:12
Well, bent paper clips are the number one weapon terrorists employ according to... always on top of it Homeland Security and FBI...to clean their finger nails?

TSA will take my small Swiss Army knife yet allow me to carry on sharp spiked thick metal tent stakes. I call them my stabbing stakes. :) Why doesnt TSA see stakes and the rope I'm carrying as weapons or taking a steel tipped boot or shoe off as a clubbing weapon?

News flash. A Southwest flight was just jacked. Witnesses said the hi jacker threatened the crew and facilitated the take over with a steel tipped alligator skin cowboy boot. After much threatening of boycotting air travel from those in FL, TX, LOAuthorities have now added such boots to the banned caary on a flight list. Authorities did say such boots can be checked...for a $50 checked bag fee.

Just Bill
03-01-2018, 16:26
Looks like yer done but....

I like the train. You have your pack with you, no checked luggage issues or mysteries (or risking lost irreplaceable gear ). The fuel is a solvable issue, but one more thing to deal with on arrival.
Part of travel is seeing the country too... trains can provide that sight seeing experience that further helps.

I also like the train as a pre-trip winddown. Air travel is hectic and stressful. Even if you get there a hair faster there's the mental rush of it and then you're dumped on the trail.
If time isn't ultra tight... the train makes for a good transition mentally to sit back and soak in the transition.
Not that it's monster enough for jet lag... but flying is a wham bam here you are thing.

The train or bus is a process or transition that leaves me feeling ready to roll.

fastfoxengineering
03-01-2018, 17:03
Well, bent paper clips are the number one weapon terrorists employ according to... always on top of it Homeland Security and FBI...to clean their finger nails?

TSA will take my small Swiss Army knife yet allow me to carry on sharp spiked thick metal tent stakes. I call them my stabbing stakes. :) Why doesnt TSA see stakes and the rope I'm carrying as weapons or taking a steel tipped boot or shoe off as a clubbing weapon?

News flash. A Southwest flight was just jacked. Witnesses said the hi jacker threatened the crew and facilitated the take over with a steel tipped alligator skin cowboy boot. After much threatening of boycotting air travel from those in FL, TX, LOAuthorities have now added such boots to the banned caary on a flight list. Authorities did say such boots can be checked...for a $50 checked bag fee.Trust me...

I work in the firearms industry and have heard horror stories from people I work with and there experiences with TSA.

Luckily they typically don't make you take out and show off all your interesting goodies to the public anymore.

And yeah I always thought it was interesting that I can't bring my tiny little folder on but a long screw driver is cool.

Huh.




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fastfoxengineering
03-01-2018, 17:05
Looks like yer done but....

I like the train. You have your pack with you, no checked luggage issues or mysteries (or risking lost irreplaceable gear ). The fuel is a solvable issue, but one more thing to deal with on arrival.
Part of travel is seeing the country too... trains can provide that sight seeing experience that further helps.

I also like the train as a pre-trip winddown. Air travel is hectic and stressful. Even if you get there a hair faster there's the mental rush of it and then you're dumped on the trail.
If time isn't ultra tight... the train makes for a good transition mentally to sit back and soak in the transition.
Not that it's monster enough for jet lag... but flying is a wham bam here you are thing.

The train or bus is a process or transition that leaves me feeling ready to roll.Completely get where you are coming from. Logistically a plane was easier for everyone involved on my end.

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johnacraft
03-07-2018, 18:03
How's the MARTA? Any tips and tricks for navigating that

It's easy. You'll come up the escalators into the domestic terminal. The station is at the end of the building, you'll make a few turns to get there.

If you need to make a stop somewhere for e.g. fuel, buy a "One Day Breeze Ticket (http://itsmarta.com/breeze-tickets.aspx)" from either a ticket machine or the ticket window. Otherwise, just get a single use ticket.

North Springs is at the north end of the Red Line. The Gold Line also serves the Airport but goes to Doraville.

Coffee
03-07-2018, 22:43
I spent nearly 24 hours on a train from Chicago to New Orleans in December (several hours late) and thankfully I had a sleeper car. It would have been misery without it. I think that it is worth taking a long distance Amtrak train just to have the experience while we still have long distance trains (they lose boatloads of money) but I wouldn't use one if I was on a schedule. As things stood, I barely got home before 9pm on Christmas Eve ... several hours later than I expected to.

For short hauls, Amtrak works better. I've used Amtrak to get from San Francisco/Oakland to Yosemite. I'd do that for hiking, but not a 24 hour trip.

El JP
03-08-2018, 05:28
I spent nearly 24 hours on a train from Chicago to New Orleans in December (several hours late) and thankfully I had a sleeper car. It would have been misery without it. I think that it is worth taking a long distance Amtrak train just to have the experience while we still have long distance trains (they lose boatloads of money) but I wouldn't use one if I was on a schedule. As things stood, I barely got home before 9pm on Christmas Eve ... several hours later than I expected to.

For short hauls, Amtrak works better. I've used Amtrak to get from San Francisco/Oakland to Yosemite. I'd do that for hiking, but not a 24 hour trip.

It all depends.

Since the early 80s i've been 1000/2000 mile plus trips via Greyhound about 20 times or so. Took Amtrak twice on shorter stints from VA to NYC and it was a world of difference. The 20 hour trip i got to Gainesville will be paradise in comparison.

Don't sell the train short.

bigcranky
03-08-2018, 08:12
We did the train to Vermont for the Long Trail from Union Station in DC. Got off in Massachusetts, got a ride to the southern terminus of the LT, walked to Canada, got a ride to St Albans, got on the train and came home. Easy. I will say that on a long train ride the last few hours can get a little uncomfortable. For anything overnight I think I'd go for the sleeper room just for the privacy and comfort, though they can get expensive.

Hope your flight is easy, it sounds like a great deal and very convenient. Have a great hike.

Coffee
03-08-2018, 10:53
It all depends.

Since the early 80s i've been 1000/2000 mile plus trips via Greyhound about 20 times or so. Took Amtrak twice on shorter stints from VA to NYC and it was a world of difference. The 20 hour trip i got to Gainesville will be paradise in comparison.

Don't sell the train short.
Oh no doubt the train is better than the bus. I've only taken greyhound for shorter trips and it's sometimes been ... Interesting. The train is more predictable than the bus.