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Grandma Dixie
01-17-2007, 23:40
Does anybody have an experience with non- hiker friendly towns? (Any interesting stories?) I'm hiking this spring, and I would like to know which ones aren't "nice." If there are any.

Johnny Swank
01-17-2007, 23:42
I think you kind of make your own luck here in alot of respects, but the area around Elk Park/Roan Mountain isn't known for it's hospitality.

RedneckRye
01-17-2007, 23:44
I've usually found you get what you give. If you show up with an "I'm a thru-hiker, I'm special" attitude, you're likely to have an unfriendly experience. Most time in town people bend over backwards to be friendly and lend hikers a hand.

The Weasel
01-17-2007, 23:45
Cherokee, NC (on the NC side of GSMNP) wasn't very friendly (police hostile to hitching back to the trail, shops not very nice) and Mars Hill (police hostile to hitching) affected me. Hot Springs was wonderful, but Dan Bruce wouldn't answer his door; he's moved, though, I understand; big loss to the town, I know.

The Weasel

The Weasel
01-17-2007, 23:46
I think you kind of make your own luck here in alot of respects, but the area around Elk Park/Roan Mountain isn't known for it's hospitality.

I agree. They weren't particuarly unfriendly, just not very friendly.

The Weasel

Doctari
01-18-2007, 00:22
To me, my experience,
EVERY: hostel, town, shelter, store, campsite, etc. will have someone who had a bad experience there & will say how horrible it is/was, & how badly they were treated.
ALSO
EVERY: hostel, town, shelter, store, campsite, etc. will have someone who had a GREAT experience there. My example, a "town service" in Tenn gets panned alot, I had a FANTASTIC time there.

So, you pay your money, you take your chances :D


Like others have said, a lot depends on how you behave.


Doctari.

The Weasel
01-18-2007, 00:34
Well, I'd equate the question with "Assume Hot Springs/Damascus are the standard, what are the towns furthest away from them in how they treat hikers?" I didn't see any towns that were anti-hiker, but there were some that frankly didn't see any real value in being nice, either. Which, in the southern part of the AT, is incredibly stupid, since hikers generally bring only money and leave only smells.

The Weasel

ed bell
01-18-2007, 01:10
Well, I'd equate the question with "Assume Hot Springs/Damascus are the standard, what are the towns furthest away from them in how they treat hikers?" I didn't see any towns that were anti-hiker, but there were some that frankly didn't see any real value in being nice, either. Which, in the southern part of the AT, is incredibly stupid, since hikers generally bring only money and leave only smells.

The WeaselI take it you are refering to Cherokee and Mars Hill? I'll go out on a limb and say Cherokee (or Gatlinburg, for that matter) could care less about thrifty/cheap/tight hikers. As for Mars Hill, I don't remember that town as being mentioned as a popular stop for long distance hikers. The farther you venture from the corridor, the more likely you may encounter some cold, indifferent attitudes towards backpackers. Vagrants and transients carry backpacks and it's not a stretch for a local to stereotype a hitchhiker.

ed bell
01-18-2007, 02:20
I take it you are refering to Cherokee and Mars Hill? I'll go out on a limb and say Cherokee (or Gatlinburg, for that matter) could care less about thrifty/cheap/tight hikers. As for Mars Hill, I don't remember that town as being mentioned as a popular stop for long distance hikers. The farther you venture from the corridor, the more likely you may encounter some cold, indifferent attitudes towards backpackers. Vagrants and transients carry backpacks and it's not a stretch for a local to stereotype a hitchhiker.Let me add that attitude can have a positive effect on one's experience regardless of stereotyping. I believe someone can go to Mars Hill or Cherokee and find plenty of good folks. These towns are generally "off the path" of thru-hikers.

The Weasel
01-18-2007, 03:27
Let me add that attitude can have a positive effect on one's experience regardless of stereotyping. I believe someone can go to Mars Hill or Cherokee and find plenty of good folks. These towns are generally "off the path" of thru-hikers.

Oh, I found VERY nice people in both, especially Mars Hill. But there are some things that can be very negative and likely to recur, such as police attitudes to thrus, as well as a general indifference (or worse) by the general populace.

Cherokee is a good example: It's no more "off the path" than Gatlinburg, but it's "off the path", I think, because G'burg is more welcoming to thrus, so that's where we/they go.

The Weasel

minnesotasmith
01-18-2007, 03:58
Does anybody have an experience with non- hiker friendly towns? (Any interesting stories?) I'm hiking this spring, and I would like to know which ones aren't "nice." If there are any.

The friendliest Trail towns IMO have an inexpensive (not to exceed $20/night south of NH and $25/night in NH/ME) hostel or free pavilion located in town. As the price rises on lodging, or moves towards being farther away from town and/or open-air tent camping only, the town becomes effectively less friendly. If library internet access is severely rationed and/or is for a fee, if there is no reasonably-priced grocery store, no AYCE, no place to do self-serve laundry at a reasonable price, no full-service outfitter ala Neels Gap/NOC/Damascus/ Hot Springs, town is over a mile (or at least a single not-too-difficult straight shot hitch) off the Trail, etc., the town becomes effectively less and less friendly. (By my reasoning, Baltimore Jack's allowing hikers to tent on his land a mile from town is about half of what makes Hanover a moderately friendly trail town, neither great nor especially bad from a thruhiker POV.)

Why have I not mentioned the locals' typical specific tone of voice, etc., towards hikers as important in rating how friendly the town is?

1) I did not once feel threatened by locals in towns during my 9-month thruhike, if you don't count dogs. I know it's happened, but appears to be very rare.

2) The presence or absence of what a hiker needs in a town largely determines how his experience is likely to go.

3) I take the position that towns that offer a pavilion or tolerate cheap hostels (especially with liberal stay limits) for hikers are doing so in considerable part based upon how well they wish to treat hikers. The ones that want all hikers to cough up >$60 for a single person motel room as the only practical non-trail lodging arrangement are in effect giving hikers an upraised middle finger.

I would also add that my ideal trail town would be sited at close to the same altitude as the surrounding hills, i.e., at 3000'+ in NC/VA, so that the inevitable big climb right after resupply would be alleviated.

Pokey2006
01-18-2007, 05:37
Just about every town had something going for it. Most are friendly, just in varying degrees. However, I have advised skipping over Port Clinton, Pa. Sure, some people have a decent experience here, and there are folks who try to help out the hikers, providing a shelter, etc. But it also garnered the most complaints in a town that I had seen. Hitch to the next town over or hike right through (don't bother with a mail drop, it's safer to hitch).

Blue Jay
01-18-2007, 05:53
Just about every town had something going for it. Most are friendly, just in varying degrees. However, I have advised skipping over Port Clinton, Pa. Sure, some people have a decent experience here, and there are folks who try to help out the hikers, providing a shelter, etc. But it also garnered the most complaints in a town that I had seen. Hitch to the next town over or hike right through (don't bother with a mail drop, it's safer to hitch).

I could not disagree more. I've been through 3 times. Once there was a town paid for cookout for hikers. Once I came in with 7 other hikers. A woman in a station wagon pulled up and started unloading groceries. She told us if we helped her unload she would take us to any store we wanted. She even waited to tsake us back. The third time someone paid my lunch tab, which was considerable. Combine that with Yuingling Beer and it's IMO one of the most friendly towns on the trail. Of course, I say that about all of them.

Pokey2006
01-18-2007, 05:58
Like I said, I'm sure some people had a good experience in Port Clinton. I'm glad you did. But I encountered rudeness bordering on downright hostility, and all you had to do was read the registers in town to see that others had the same -- in some cases much worse -- experience. So why take the chance on having a bad experience when you can make other plans and save yourself the trouble? That's all I'm saying.

Lone Wolf
01-18-2007, 06:47
Does anybody have an experience with non- hiker friendly towns? (Any interesting stories?) I'm hiking this spring, and I would like to know which ones aren't "nice." If there are any.

Hanover, NH. It's not that it's an unfriendly town. It just lacks some services most hikers need like an outfitter, laundry and lodging.

Lone Wolf
01-18-2007, 07:06
I think you kind of make your own luck here in alot of respects, but the area around Elk Park/Roan Mountain isn't known for it's hospitality.

Can't blame the folks around there. The US Forest Service and ATC pretty much stole land to put the AT on.

Marta
01-18-2007, 07:11
However, I have advised skipping over Port Clinton, Pa.

I didn't stay overnight in Port Clinton, but the candy store was my favorite along the Trail. They had so many kinds of licorice that I was, for once, spoiled for choice.

There are a number of towns which are not well laid out for hikers, such as Front Royal, VA. Stores and PO are very spread out, so you end up doing lots of bonus miles just to get your chores done.

The Trail neighbors along 19E are not very hospitable (my hiking partner waved at three passing cars and no one waved back) and they dump trash on the Trail...but we walked along 19E into NC to the convenience store, and the folks there were extremely nice, friendly, and helpful.

I agree that you do, to some extent, make your own luck by having a positive attitude, not being abusive of services, and not being too cheap. Frugal is good, but goods and service providers do have to make a living...

hopefulhiker
01-18-2007, 07:45
In 2005 Kent, CT lacked reasonable public services like a laundrymat or public bathrooms.. I slept next to the cemetary.. I never felt so much like a homeless person. The people were friendly enough and they do have an outfitter...

hopefulhiker
01-18-2007, 07:45
In 2005 Kent, CT lacked reasonable public services like a laundrymat or public bathrooms.. I slept next to the cemetary.. I never felt so much like a homeless person. The people were friendly enough and they do have an outfitter...

Gray Blazer
01-18-2007, 08:52
I think you kind of make your own luck here in alot of respects, but the area around Elk Park/Roan Mountain isn't known for it's hospitality.
Make sure you're wearing a TN Volunteers shirt or hat.

KG4FAM
01-18-2007, 09:10
I didn't really care much for Gorham, NH. They do have good food and everything that you need, but everyone said that the hikers paradise sucked and I wasn't very impressed with the barn. On top of that the town is huge. It kind of felt like Gatlinburg but filled with yankee tourists. If I did it again I would do a mail drop at Pinkham Notch and clean up at Camp Dodge.

mrc237
01-18-2007, 09:41
I really didn't care much for Gatlinburg, Tenn. They have good food and and everything you need, but everyone said that the Grand Prix sucked and I wasn't impressed with the Microtel. On top of that the town is huge. It felt like Gorham but filled with Redneck tourists. If I did it again I'd go to Cherokee! :)

Lone Wolf
01-18-2007, 09:42
Cherokee sucks worse.

Ewker
01-18-2007, 09:49
Cherokee sucks worse.

I agree with that.

Lone Wolf
01-18-2007, 09:50
Cherokee sucks worse.

At least you can buy indian stuff made in Korea.:)

Crazy Larry #1
01-18-2007, 09:59
I agree that you do, to some extent, make your own luck by having a positive attitude, not being abusive of services, and not being too cheap. Frugal is good, but goods and service providers do have to make a living...
very well said and very true........

Crazy Larry #1
01-18-2007, 10:01
In 2005 Kent, CT lacked reasonable public services like a laundrymat or public bathrooms.. I slept next to the cemetary.. I never felt so much like a homeless person. The people were friendly enough and they do have an outfitter...
there has never been much to lure hikers to kent, but i can tell you that i was the guest of a couple there once that treated me as if i were royalty like they lived,,,,,

Crazy Larry #1
01-18-2007, 10:09
On the most part while i was living on the trail between 2000-03 I was well recieved by any town I came to. But I say I didn't demand much or expect much from those who lived there. I accepted them as they were and on the most part were introduced to who it was I was suppose to meet at the time.

As far as buisiness charging me what they charged the general public, I have no problem with that. And there is no real sense in me bad mouthing them for making a living on their terms. However if they choose to be rude to me, then I feel it is my duty to warn other hikers of them.

Tipi Walter
01-18-2007, 10:12
I spoke to the Cherokee tribal chief and he invited me to come to the reservation for a backpacking trip and so I hitchhiked from Boone, NC(spent one night behind a grocery store in Sylva)and got good rides right into the village(seeing a pitiful caged black bear was very sad). My goal was to find an old expert on edible plants and was told to follow a certain river upstream for many miles which I did. I camped here and there on the way and stayed in the woods the whole time. As I neared my apparent destination I topped a little rise and came upon the biggest KOA trailer and RV campground I've ever seen and so in disgust I just got to the closest road and hitched back out to tourist filled Cherokee village.

While in town I decided to play a little clarinet street music and so I put out my hat and this irate white shop owner ran out and told me to move on, NOW! A Cherokee man in full Indian dress with a feather headdress came over(he was paid a dollar per photograph by the tourists)and laughed and told me to get the hell out while I had the chance.

I did, I packed up the horn and thumbed out with another white store owner in a Corvette who told me how great tourism is for the Cherokee people.

And yet Gatlinburg is worse, if you can believe it. It is Syphilization at its best, and if you like hordes of Night Of The Living Dead types shuffling pointlessly up and down sidewalks, this is the town for you. The only good thing is that the backpacking store is right on the edge of town and so a quick in and out is possible.

Marta
01-18-2007, 10:39
Re: Kent, CT

You can sleep in Mt. Algo Shelter--which is only 0.3 miles from the road to Kent--and go into Kent for food and goodies. I spent a nero at Mt. Algo during a nasty rainstorm. There were several SOBOs and section-hikers also taking shelter. Fishy T took orders for subs, and came back with food, beer, and icecream. It was a great time...

Gray Blazer
01-18-2007, 10:40
I spoke to the Cherokee tribal chief and he invited me to come to the reservation for a backpacking trip and so I hitchhiked from Boone, NC(spent one night behind a grocery store in Sylva)and got good rides right into the village(seeing a pitiful caged black bear was very sad). My goal was to find an old expert on edible plants and was told to follow a certain river upstream for many miles which I did. I camped here and there on the way and stayed in the woods the whole time. As I neared my apparent destination I topped a little rise and came upon the biggest KOA trailer and RV campground I've ever seen and so in disgust I just got to the closest road and hitched back out to tourist filled Cherokee village.

While in town I decided to play a little clarinet street music and so I put out my hat and this irate white shop owner ran out and told me to move on, NOW! A Cherokee man in full Indian dress with a feather headdress came over(he was paid a dollar per photograph by the tourists)and laughed and told me to get the hell out while I had the chance.

I did, I packed up the horn and thumbed out with another white store owner in a Corvette who told me how great tourism is for the Cherokee people.

And yet Gatlinburg is worse, if you can believe it. It is Syphilization at its best, and if you like hordes of Night Of The Living Dead types shuffling pointlessly up and down sidewalks, this is the town for you. The only good thing is that the backpacking store is right on the edge of town and so a quick in and out is possible.I hate to talk bad about a president, but, Andrew Jackson and his ilk really messed things up for the Cherokee people who, it could be argued, were a whole lot more civilized than a lot of the european settlers of the time. Someday when the world has learned, Cherokee Indian will return. Someday I'll be living near the trail in a trail town. I'll do my best to make it a good one. No white guilt here.

Lone Wolf
01-18-2007, 10:42
Someday when the world has learned, Cherokee Indian will return....

... with s**tloads of highrise casinos.

Gray Blazer
01-18-2007, 11:44
... with s**tloads of highrise casinos.Ha Ha Ha! Where's my casino?

weary
01-18-2007, 11:45
Can't blame the folks around there. The US Forest Service and ATC pretty much stole land to put the AT on.
Yup. It was one of the great services these agencies perform.

DawnTreader
01-18-2007, 11:55
I had bad times with locals and hostel owners in Gorham NH. as stated earlier, the town is a tourist trap..

Footslogger
01-18-2007, 12:18
Based on the posts to date I guess my experience was pretty unique ...but I honestly did not find a single town that I visited during my 2003 thru to be "unfriendly".

Now, some towns offered more than others and a few, in retrospect, weren't worth the energy it took to walk/hitch to ...but I generally got my needs met and often even then some.

Memory is selective but I don't recall a single instance in which I was treated in an unfriendly manner by the locals in any town I visited. Maybe I missed the "unfriendly" ones ??

'Slogger

dperry
01-18-2007, 12:54
I hate to talk bad about a president, but, Andrew Jackson and his ilk really messed things up for the Cherokee people who, it could be argued, were a whole lot more civilized than a lot of the european settlers of the time. Someday when the world has learned, Cherokee Indian will return. Someday I'll be living near the trail in a trail town. I'll do my best to make it a good one. No white guilt here.

I've heard it said (though I have no reliable confirmation) that there was serious consideration given in the early 19th century towards admitting some area dominated by Cherokees as a state.

Sly
01-18-2007, 14:26
Can't blame the folks around there. The US Forest Service and ATC pretty much stole land to put the AT on.

Ah ha, and who stole the land before them? Some doof and their family from Europe. :p

Nean
01-18-2007, 16:45
I had bad times with locals and hostel owners in Gorham NH. as stated earlier, the town is a tourist trap..

I always loved Gorham.:confused: My money was never any good at Hikers Paradise :-? and I'd spend too much time hanging w/ Paul and Scavenger down at the Barn.:D I once spent 8 days there waiting for a package and ate 32 Whoppers.:eek:

bfitz
01-18-2007, 18:18
Port Clinton is very small, but very hiker friendly. The PC hotel is cheap, hiker friendly and serves good food and beverages.

Hiker's paradise in Gorham was great! It's not hippie's paradise, though. That's up the street.

Jester2000
01-18-2007, 18:21
Couple of things:

1) Had possibly my best experience in a town in Elk Park. Can you believe that? Turns out that sometimes bad things that have happened in the past stay there.

2) I really, really, do not recommend trying to hitch into Hamburg from Port Clinton. That road is very dangerous -- it's pretty much a highway. Better to go into the Port Clinton Hotel and ask if anyone's heading that way, or hang out at the pavillion and see who comes by. There's also been a shuttle the past couple of years to the monument to killing things they call an outfitter. I imagine they might drop you in Hamburg.

3) Generally speaking, I echo what others have said about attitude and what a positive one can bring you. I've had great experiences in towns that I was told were "unfriendly," including Elk Park and Great Barrington. That said, my town, just outside of Philly, probably wouldn't be that welcoming. Plus you'd have a hard time getting back to the trail.

ed bell
01-18-2007, 18:34
Cherokee, NC (on the NC side of GSMNP) wasn't very friendly (police hostile to hitching back to the trail, shops not very nice) and Mars Hill (police hostile to hitching) affected me. Hot Springs was wonderful, but Dan Bruce wouldn't answer his door; he's moved, though, I understand; big loss to the town, I know.

The WeaselJust a quick note, Mars Hill is East of the AT off Interstate 26. When you hiked the road was a highway. Since it's an Interstate now, hitching is illegal the whole way from town back up to Sam's Gap. I'm not sure, but I think foot travel on the shoulder of Interstate Highways is prohibited as well.

Bloodroot
01-18-2007, 22:43
I really didn't think any town in particular was not 'hiker friendly'. It takes all kinds of people to make up a town. One or a couple bad experiences can taint someones view of the town as a whole.

Personally, I didn't have a problem with any town. But the only one that stood out the most was Bland, Va. Reason being it took so loooooong to get a hitch into town. We sat at the church for every bit of two hours before any of use got a ride. Then when we resupplied at ate at D.Q we had an even rougher time getting a ride back. When we got the ride the lady (driving a red F-150) expected payment upon arriving back at the church.

Jan LiteShoe
01-18-2007, 22:59
Based on the posts to date I guess my experience was pretty unique ...but I honestly did not find a single town that I visited during my 2003 thru to be "unfriendly".

Now, some towns offered more than others and a few, in retrospect, weren't worth the energy it took to walk/hitch to ...but I generally got my needs met and often even then some.

Memory is selective but I don't recall a single instance in which I was treated in an unfriendly manner by the locals in any town I visited. Maybe I missed the "unfriendly" ones ??

'Slogger

Someone is bound to mention Manchester Center in Vermont, but I had a good time both times I went through there as a hiker.

On one of those times, my hiking partner couldn't say enough bad about the place.
:)

Just goes to show, there will always be a variety of experiences.

rafe
01-18-2007, 23:19
Someone is bound to mention Manchester Center in Vermont, but I had a good time both times I went through there as a hiker.


I stayed at Frank Sutton's place, it was nice. The town got boring in a hurry. I got in on Saturday afternoon, had to wait for a mail drop Monday AM. Now that I think of it, that was my last maildrop, ever.

Jack Tarlin
01-19-2007, 00:22
Geez, there's a great bakery, some cool coffee shops, two good Outfitters, a movie theater, the absolute best bookstore on the Trail with free Internet, any number of pubs, and only around sixty-five places to eat.

I don't think Manchester Center is boring at all.

But that's just me. :-?

astrogirl
01-19-2007, 00:29
There are a number of towns which are not well laid out for hikers, such as Front Royal, VA. Stores and PO are very spread out, so you end up doing lots of bonus miles just to get your chores done.


I'm going to have to stick up for my home town a little bit here. :)

Marta's right, it's not laid out well for hikers or those who are unfamiliar with the town (as 99% of thrus are). If you stay at the Quality Inn, you're near all kinds of food, beer, laundry, the outfitter, the PO and the grocery stores.

Has anyone hitched in? Is it easy? *Anyone* going north on 522 is going to Front Royal, so this is more about if people pick up hitch hikers or not because they are *all* going your way!

Weasel Creek Outfitters is run by some really nice people, and they can help you out with suggestions if you phone ahead. There is Terrapin Station Hostel near the end of SNP (for a NOBO), and they will run you into town for stuff you might need. You can mail stuff 24 hours a day in Front Royal, so you can bounce your box anytime since there's a postage machine with the P.O. Boxes. Obviously, you need the PO employees to get your drop.

Front Royal does have damn near everything a hiker could need, which is more than I can say for Harper's Ferry.

Harper's Ferry is one hell of a lot more scenic though. :D

Jack Tarlin
01-19-2007, 00:35
I kinda like Front Royal, tho it IS spread out, and sort of a hard hitch.

I remember spending a couple of hours exploring the town while my friends were at some awful movie, Ausin Powers maybe. I ended up in an old cemetery (visiting cemeteries is one of my odder habits; there's always a lot of local history there if you know what to look for). Ended up discovering a very interesting monument to seven of Colonel John S. Mosby's cavalrymen, who'd been captured and hung without trial by none other than George A. Custer. I read up on the story later. But sometimes, the things you find by accident in Trail towns are among the most interesting.

Blissful
01-19-2007, 00:43
I ended up in an old cemetery (visiting cemeteries is one of my odder habits; there's always a lot of local history there if you know what to look for). Ended up discovering a very interesting monument to seven of Colonel John S. Mosby's cavalrymen, who'd been captured and hung without trial by none other than George A. Custer. I read up on the story later. But sometimes, the things you find by accident in Trail towns are among the most interesting.

Interesting - I like to visit cemeteries too - always thought people would think it a strange thing to do, but I like to see when people lived, when they died, the years and what was happening in history during that time. I've come across a lot of old cemeteries in SNP on side trails. I know there are some monuments and a few areas on the AT to explore and ponder.

rafe
01-19-2007, 00:45
I don't think Manchester Center is boring at all.


Too yuppified for me. I guess as a section hiker, a full zero day feels really wasteful. If you've been in the woods for months, I can see where Manchester might seem more appealing. I enjoyed the first half-day. The second half I just wanted to break into the PO, steal my package, and head up the trail. ;) I did catch a glorious sunset from Stratton on Monday, so it wasn't a complete loss.

Gray Blazer
01-19-2007, 08:12
I kinda like Front Royal, tho it IS spread out, and sort of a hard hitch.

I remember spending a couple of hours exploring the town while my friends were at some awful movie, Ausin Powers maybe. I ended up in an old cemetery (visiting cemeteries is one of my odder habits; there's always a lot of local history there if you know what to look for). Ended up discovering a very interesting monument to seven of Colonel John S. Mosby's cavalrymen, who'd been captured and hung without trial by none other than George A. Custer. I read up on the story later. But sometimes, the things you find by accident in Trail towns are among the most interesting.Custer got his later when he invented the arrow shirt.:D

Tipi Walter
01-19-2007, 08:41
I did the Shenandoah section of the AT north up to Front Royal and spent the day at the public library afterwhich I hitched east to a 400 acre yoga center in a place on the map called the Valley of Retreat. Astrogirl: Are you familiar with it? Behind it even further used to be a holding area for the Washington DC zoo with many different kind of African animals. I'm probably one of the few backpackers ever to be hiking in the woods and seeing a zebra and a giraffe along the way.

I hitched several times in and around Front Royal and always got good rides, especially with older Korean War type vets.

Gray Blazer
01-19-2007, 09:00
I'm going to have to stick up for my home town a little bit here. :)

Marta's right, it's not laid out well for hikers or those who are unfamiliar with the town (as 99% of thrus are). If you stay at the Quality Inn, you're near all kinds of food, beer, laundry, the outfitter, the PO and the grocery stores.

Has anyone hitched in? Is it easy? *Anyone* going north on 522 is going to Front Royal, so this is more about if people pick up hitch hikers or not because they are *all* going your way!

Weasel Creek Outfitters is run by some really nice people, and they can help you out with suggestions if you phone ahead. There is Terrapin Station Hostel near the end of SNP (for a NOBO), and they will run you into town for stuff you might need. You can mail stuff 24 hours a day in Front Royal, so you can bounce your box anytime since there's a postage machine with the P.O. Boxes. Obviously, you need the PO employees to get your drop.

Front Royal does have damn near everything a hiker could need, which is more than I can say for Harper's Ferry.

Harper's Ferry is one hell of a lot more scenic though. :DGotta love Front Royal. My oldest boy lives in Strasburg and my second oldest lives about a mile off the trail on the NE side of SNP. I always thought the trail ran near that 7-11 because I would always see hikers there. I guess they come straight out of the park on the Skyline Dr.

Crazy Larry #1
01-19-2007, 09:14
And yet Gatlinburg is worse, if you can believe it. It is Syphilization at its best, and if you like hordes of Night Of The Living Dead types shuffling pointlessly up and down sidewalks, this is the town for you. The only good thing is that the backpacking store is right on the edge of town and so a quick in and out is possible.
That ain't no lie, that is the best discription of what Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge seemed to me at the time.............

wing it
01-19-2007, 14:15
I'd have to say I felt the least welcome in Kent. Talking with the locals, they see it as mostly a richy/touristy town, and seem to feel the same way as a lot of hikers. Then again, the local laundry mat owner had recently died, and so all we could do was stink, eat lots of good food, check out the outfitter, and stink some more. But they do have some good (though overpriced) food in that town.

Otherwise, if you're polite and respectful, I've never seen anyone have any real problems with towns, just select individuals within them.

Lone Wolf
01-19-2007, 14:18
Harpers Ferry is at the bottom of the list as far as good trail towns. Not much to offer there.

Gray Blazer
01-19-2007, 15:11
Behind it even further used to be a holding area for the Washington DC zoo with many different kind of African animals. I'm probably one of the few backpackers ever to be hiking in the woods and seeing a zebra and a giraffe along the way.

Scary walking by there and seeing trees that had knocked the fences down.:eek:

spittinpigeon
01-19-2007, 15:22
Am I the first to mention Peekskill NY?
The place is really dumpy, ghetto and spread out. However Fishy-T and I had the best luck there. After we finished our internet stuff, we sat outside the library and this woman and her beautiful 2 year old daughter (Sage) asked us if we needed anything, and proceeded to list off a bunch of things but all I heard was SHOWER.
She made me us tons of food, and a custom vege meal for me. Internet, hot tub, beer, separate bedrooms for each of us. I haven't written her a status letter yet. I'll have to get on that.

neo
01-19-2007, 15:47
:) what a bout favorite trail towns:cool: neo

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=20749

Old Grouse
01-19-2007, 15:51
Poor Kent. In fairness, the old timers have been overwhelmed in the last few years by NY money coming in to buy weekend places - a trend endemic to that whole northwestern part of Connecticut through which the AT passes. I know it's probably cold comfort, but just remember - the snobs you meet in Kent probably haven't been in town a whole lot longer than you have.

Grandma Dixie
01-19-2007, 16:01
It seems to me whenever anyone mentions a bad experience in a town, somebody else defends it by giving it praise, or the vice-versa.

rafe
01-19-2007, 16:05
It seems to me whenever anyone mentions a bad experience in a town, somebody else defends it by giving it praise, or the vice-versa.

Why is that surprising?

neo
01-19-2007, 16:05
It seems to me whenever anyone mentions a bad experience in a town, somebody else defends it by giving it praise, or the vice-versa.
:) maybe good and bad everywere:cool: neo

Grandma Dixie
01-19-2007, 16:05
I meant vice - versa, not the vice-versa. (Dont want you guys to think of me as an idiot :^P)

Desert Lobster
01-19-2007, 16:12
I like gravestone reading also. In Maine there are lots of stones with "died at sea" , which regiment the guy was in during the Civil War, etc. Also, very nice poetry.

Grampie
01-19-2007, 16:37
I slept next to the cemetary.. I never felt so much like a homeless person. The people were friendly enough and they do have an outfitter...

If doing a thru-hike doesn't make you feel like a homeless person, nothing but the real thing would.;)

Jack Tarlin
01-19-2007, 17:19
G. Dixie raised an interesting point. Seems that there isn't a place out there that someone hasn't managed to bitch about, even if we're talking about some of the most popular places on the Trail. I know folks who've complained about Kincora for example, and last year, some guy was whining on his journal about what a lousy time he'd had at Miss Janet's. To me, it boggles the mind that anyone could complain about either place, but that's just me. But the fact is, there's ALWAYS someone out there who'll find fault with a place for whatever reasons, just as there are people who seem to have a great time at places that many people hate. Go figure.

The good news is that the folks who complain about the good places are very few in number, and most of them don't finish the Trail.

And likewise, the places that generate a lot of complaints are pretty few in number as well.

Jester2000
01-19-2007, 18:13
She's 17. :-?

She's 17 and she's a grandma?!?

Just remembered. Had a frustrating time in Buchanan. Punished them for that and their inability to pronounce "Buchanan" by calling down a storm upon them that destroyed half of the houses in town.

Old Grouse
01-19-2007, 18:17
And her profile says her name is Dan.

Jester2000
01-19-2007, 18:40
And her profile says her name is Dan.

Well, maybe her name was something different before the operation.

And I hope whoever it is knows I'm just playing around.

Oh, I also had a great time in Washington, DC, which a lot of people say is a terrible trail town. I found it to be friendly, charming, and a surprisingly easy hitch. Oh, and there's a cemetery close by in Arlington for all of you creepy gravestone readin' freaks.

Gray Blazer
01-19-2007, 22:06
And her profile says her name is Dan.:banana :banana She's his own grandpa....I've been waiting to say that.:banana :banana

Grandma Dixie
01-20-2007, 02:42
She's 17. :-?

She's a he. :^P

Heater
01-20-2007, 03:10
Couple of things:

1) Had possibly my best experience in a town in Elk Park. Can you believe that? Turns out that sometimes bad things that have happened in the past stay there.

2) I really, really, do not recommend trying to hitch into Hamburg from Port Clinton. That road is very dangerous -- it's pretty much a highway. Better to go into the Port Clinton Hotel and ask if anyone's heading that way, or hang out at the pavillion and see who comes by. There's also been a shuttle the past couple of years to the monument to killing things they call an outfitter. I imagine they might drop you in Hamburg.

3) Generally speaking, I echo what others have said about attitude and what a positive one can bring you. I've had great experiences in towns that I was told were "unfriendly," including Elk Park and Great Barrington. That said, my town, just outside of Philly, probably wouldn't be that welcoming. Plus you'd have a hard time getting back to the trail.

That was three things. :p

aaronthebugbuffet
01-20-2007, 03:43
That was three things. :p
According to Webster's, a couple of, means more than two, but not many of; a small number of; a few.:p

Heater
01-20-2007, 04:06
According to Webster's, a couple of, means more than two, but not many of; a small number of; a few.

So, If I have two girlfriends the three of us are still a "couple"?!! :confused:

Cool! :cool: :cool:

:p

aaronthebugbuffet
01-20-2007, 04:42
So, If I have two girlfriends the three of us are still a "couple"?!! :confused:

Cool!

:p
no but if you had 3 girlfriends you could say you had a couple of girlfriends;)

Pokey2006
01-20-2007, 06:25
Sorry, back to the subject at hand for just a sec.....I agree with Jack that it's almost impossible to find a place that gets unanimous votes for being unfriendly. You can always find SOMEONE who had a good stay in even the most hostile town. I tend to look at how many complaints a place gets, and who is complaining about them. So take all complaints, even the one coming from me, with a grain of salt.

A town isn't unfriendly simply because it doesn't offer services for hikers. These towns aren't there just for hikers. We need to think of them for what they are.

For example, Kent is NOT a great place to spend the night, take zero days, hang out at the bar, etc. However, it IS a great place to grab lunch, fill up on fuel and buy new wool socks at the outfitter, and hit the grocery store before hiking on. Nothing more, nothing less. If you try to think of Kent as another Hot Springs or Damascus, of course you'll be disapponted. But Kent is not another Port Clinton, either. I had a very nice experience in Kent. And some of the best coffee on the trail, too.

Then again, I am a New England girl, so I feel right at home in the north. Southern folks might be a little more put out by the northern way of things, which I can certainly understand. We are a chilly bunch sometimes!

Appalachian Tater
01-20-2007, 12:01
A town isn't unfriendly simply because it doesn't offer services for hikers.

Yes, that's true.

Kent has public benches at strategic places where you can eat lunch while waiting for the P.O. to open. That's an official "friendly service" gesture on the part of the town.

There were no "unfriendly" trail towns. I met three, maybe four unfriendly people or groups of people my entire hike and can only remember two of the encounters. I have no doubt that they were unfriendly to everyone, not just to me, or just to hikers. That's a better score over 5 1/2 months than I usually get in one day at home. And the very friendly people along the way more than made up for them.

My experience is that if you are friendly to people, they'll be friendly to you, and that's true even in places where they "officially" hate Americans or one of whatever classifications you happen to find yourself in by birth. If you encounter repeated unfriendliness on a through-hike, you likely need to look at yourself as the cause. I am surprised there is not more unfriendliness towards hikers considering some of the hiker behavior I witnessed .

rafe
01-20-2007, 12:07
Most of my town experiences have been positive. Some held my interest better than others. Long as I can get a shower and a decent meal, any town is good. Having a laundromat makes it better (my main complaint with Kent or Salisbury CT.) Gatlinburg was just whacked, I'm guessing it's just the southern version of Niagara Falls or something. Hot Springs and Damascus will always be special. Andover ME is nice, too. They're all good!

ed bell
01-20-2007, 12:19
Gatlinburg was just whacked, I'm guessing it's just the southern version of Niagara Falls or something. The Myrtle Beach of the Mountains! Helen, Ga also has a little bit of that vibe going, but it's a little less sensory overload.:sun Strange places, but the people watching is world class.

Desert Lobster
01-20-2007, 13:04
Watching the Fat People in Gatlinburg is so much fun! Blubber capital of the world??

Tipi Walter
01-20-2007, 13:19
Watching the Fat People in Gatlinburg is so much fun! Blubber capital of the world??

I like watching the 60 year old women walk by in their skimpy hot shorts and halter tops with a new husband in tow on their honeymoons. It's creepy.

Just about the time that view settles in a miscreant in a souped up exhaust-spewing big-tire truck drives by and guns his engine. What? Say WHAT?? People actually set aside vacation time and get giddy at the thought of a week in Gatlinburg.

generoll
01-20-2007, 14:47
yeah, G'burg has to be seen to be believed. And these are the people who tamed a wilderness and settled a continent?

Jack Tarlin
01-20-2007, 15:23
It is my considered opinion that Pokey2006 has had some of the most sensible and thoughtful posts on this site in recent weeks and should post a whole lot more often.

Anyone with me on that?

Tipi Walter
01-20-2007, 17:06
It is my considered opinion that Pokey2006 has had some of the most sensible and thoughtful posts on this site in recent weeks and should post a whole lot more often.

Anyone with me on that?

Yes, you could be right, but in 24 hours her General Forum posts will be buried in new threads and left largely unseen.

The Weasel
01-20-2007, 18:41
Cherokee sucks worse.


I agree with that.


no but if you had 3 girlfriends you could say you had a couple of girlfriends;)

If you had 3 girlfriends, you could also say that you were in danger of imminent death, too. A couple of times.

The Weasel

The Weasel
01-20-2007, 18:42
yeah, G'burg has to be seen to be believed. And these are the people who tamed a wilderness and settled a continent?
No, they're the people who tamed The Grand Ol' Opry and settled the GSMNP boundary.

The Weasel

Jester2000
01-20-2007, 19:32
So, If I have two girlfriends the three of us are still a "couple"?!! :confused:

If you have three girlfriends you're dreaming. WAKE UP!

:p


It is my considered opinion that Pokey2006 has had some of the most sensible and thoughtful posts on this site in recent weeks and should post a whole lot more often.


It is my considered opinion that Jack is angling for a date. . .

Jack Tarlin
01-20-2007, 19:49
Nah, Jester, she's too old for me, unfortunately.

Hell, she's almost as old as YOU! :D

bfitz
01-20-2007, 20:25
It is my considered opinion that Pokey2006 has had some of the most sensible and thoughtful posts on this site in recent weeks and should post a whole lot more often.

Anyone with me on that?

Seconded. One of the few that listens to and responds to the actual argument you are making. That's rare.

Jack Tarlin
01-20-2007, 20:27
bfitz:

Are you referring to people on Whiteblaze or are you referring to women in general?

With you, it's hard to tell. :D

Jester2000
01-20-2007, 20:29
Seconded. One of the few that listens to and responds to the actual argument you are making. That's rare.

What's with the Pokey lovefest? Now bfitz is trying to score. What happened to the trail town discussion?

Speaking of which, I'm in the Doyle Hotel right now, one of the best bars in one of the best towns north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Or as I like to call it, the Waffle House-IHOP Line.

bfitz
01-20-2007, 20:33
bfitz:

Are you referring to people on Whiteblaze or are you referring to women in general?

With you, it's hard to tell. :DUnwittingly, both.

bfitz
01-20-2007, 20:34
....the Pokey lovefest...Isn't that the name of your boy-band?

bfitz
01-20-2007, 20:34
Sorry pokey.

Pokey2006
02-05-2008, 01:54
No, Pokey's the one who's sorry -- for missing that "Pokey love fest."

I'd post more often, but I'm usually too busy doing things like, well, hiking. But thanks for the nice thoughts.

Tennessee Viking
02-05-2008, 02:34
Sure ironic that one of the most famous trail towns, Roan Mountain is one of the most unfriendly. It really resides in private property issues. Trail travels behind farms and behind houses around the Buck Mtn area.

One of the most famous disputes can be seen at the Bear Branch Road crossing.

Then Apple House Shelter brings in a lot of partiers.

I heard stories of the Hampton restaurants giving hikers the brush off because they just came off the trail.

Then Beauty Spot was known for some lude conduct at one time. Then it moved to Buffalo Mountain.

But stories of fish hooks are no longer.

Jim Adams
02-05-2008, 02:38
Boiling Springs, Pa.

geek

Tennessee Viking
02-05-2008, 02:44
I like watching the 60 year old women walk by in their skimpy hot shorts and halter tops with a new husband in tow on their honeymoons. It's creepy.

Just about the time that view settles in a miscreant in a souped up exhaust-spewing big-tire truck drives by and guns his engine. What? Say WHAT?? People actually set aside vacation time and get giddy at the thought of a week in Gatlinburg.
With all restaurants, nic-nac shops, helicopter pads, wedding chapels, and traffic; I consider it the 7th layer of hell. I was down in Gatlinburg at the start of Winterfest for a wedding, took an hour to get from Sevierville to Gatlinburg. And on the way back home, I had to go by Douglas Lake because Sevierville traffic came to a standstill.

People say Gatlinburg cleaned itself up...yeah right. Then I can remember Pigeon Forge being mostly farmland, but now its all dinner theaters and hotels.

My ideal town near a park is not a tacky town that sells mountain crafts made in India or China.

Pokey2006
02-05-2008, 02:46
There is something about PA. Maybe because it's the first taste of the northern way after months of southern hospitality. I found it a little jarring, even though, as a Yankee, I should be used to it.

I feel a little bad resurrecting an old thread, but now that I have, I am curious about the experiences of last year's hikers. Are there new "unfriendly" towns? Or have past "unfriendly" towns gotten any better? Sometimes it takes just one hostel owner or trail angel to make a difference, either way.

Panzer1
02-05-2008, 03:05
Can't blame the folks around there. The US Forest Service and ATC pretty much stole land to put the AT on.

The government steals a lot of land. That's how they got all the roads we have today.

Panzer

Darwin again
02-05-2008, 10:40
There is something about PA. Maybe because it's the first taste of the northern way after months of southern hospitality. I found it a little jarring, even though, as a Yankee, I should be used to it.


I'm from the same northeast region and I found Pennsylvania a little jarring in its grunge. Everyone seemed to smoke, including young women with babies, drove crappy cars, etc. Not so pleasant for some odd reason. I took to calling it Pennsyltucky. In the south, I never met a rude person in a town and the apparent poverty seemed mixed, not crushing and prevalent. I'm no stranger to post-industrial blight, either.

That said, how you're treated by any folks often depends largely and directly upon how you treat them.

ATSeamstress
02-05-2008, 12:07
Not a trail town, but the guy at Joe to Go at Culver's Gap was really unfriendly! He had a nasty sign on the door saying to leave packs outside, which we had done anyway. (He has a nice bench on the side of the building.) We were the only people there, and he gruntingly took our order. Just as he started to prepare our order, some locals came in. He greeted them very warmly and took their order and prepared it BEFORE ours! He had a sign on the restroom saying to ask permission before using it. I declined the coffee with my breakfast sandwich because I don't like coffee. My friend didn't get coffee because she ordered a sandwich without meat. When she asked him why she didn't get her free coffee, he rudely said "your sandwich doesn't come with coffee, read the board!" He could have just given her mine. Instead, she had to pay for coffee. Thirty minutes later, when we finally got our breakfast sandwiches, I will say they were delicious. This man has apparently had a bad experience with hikers and just doesn't want their business. I noticed he declined to be included in the new Appalachian Pages. It's a shame, because he has a nice selection of sandwiches, sodas, gatorade, cookies and brownies, chips, juice, etc. It could be a win-win situation because its so convenient for hikers and could give his business a boost.

Lone Wolf
02-05-2008, 12:09
Not a trail town, but the guy at Joe to Go at Culver's Gap was really unfriendly! He had a nasty sign on the door saying to leave packs outside, which we had done anyway. (He has a nice bench on the side of the building.) We were the only people there, and he gruntingly took our order. Just as he started to prepare our order, some locals came in. He greeted them very warmly and took their order and prepared it BEFORE ours! He had a sign on the restroom saying to ask permission before using it. I declined the coffee with my breakfast sandwich because I don't like coffee. My friend didn't get coffee because she ordered a sandwich without meat. When she asked him why she didn't get her free coffee, he rudely said "your sandwich doesn't come with coffee, read the board!" He could have just given her mine. Instead, she had to pay for coffee. Thirty minutes later, when we finally got our breakfast sandwiches, I will say they were delicious. This man has apparently had a bad experience with hikers and just doesn't want their business. I noticed he declined to be included in the new Appalachian Pages. It's a shame, because he has a nice selection of sandwiches, sodas, gatorade, cookies and brownies, chips, juice, etc. It could be a win-win situation because its so convenient for hikers and could give his business a boost.

probably cuz hikers before you **cked it up. happens all the time

ScottP
02-05-2008, 12:24
when I was on the PCT I was treated rudely in several spots until I passed the herd. People get tired of dirty, demanding, low-tipping groups very quickly. The only thing you can do is be very polite, patient, and tip well. Also, go into the bathroom and try to clean up as much as you can (and make sure to clean the bathroom up after yourself). If you have the opportunity to shower before you go eat/shop, take it.

Once I passed the herd I didn't have a single unfriendly experience. Like L wolf says, hikers before me F***ing it up.

The Weasel
02-05-2008, 12:28
Not a trail town, but the guy at Joe to Go at Culver's Gap was really unfriendly! He had a nasty sign on the door saying to leave packs outside, which we had done anyway. (He has a nice bench on the side of the building.) We were the only people there, and he gruntingly took our order. Just as he started to prepare our order, some locals came in. He greeted them very warmly and took their order and prepared it BEFORE ours! He had a sign on the restroom saying to ask permission before using it. I declined the coffee with my breakfast sandwich because I don't like coffee. My friend didn't get coffee because she ordered a sandwich without meat. When she asked him why she didn't get her free coffee, he rudely said "your sandwich doesn't come with coffee, read the board!" He could have just given her mine. Instead, she had to pay for coffee. Thirty minutes later, when we finally got our breakfast sandwiches, I will say they were delicious. This man has apparently had a bad experience with hikers and just doesn't want their business. I noticed he declined to be included in the new Appalachian Pages. It's a shame, because he has a nice selection of sandwiches, sodas, gatorade, cookies and brownies, chips, juice, etc. It could be a win-win situation because its so convenient for hikers and could give his business a boost.

Rag --

I think you're overboard and overly sensitive: Let me see if I have it right: He is unfriendly and nasty because he has a reasonable sign in place about packs staiying outside, he didn't give your friends something for free, and he is nice to regular customers who he recognizes. And then he gave you what you paid for, and they were 'delicious'. Worst of all, he doesn't go out and hustle for 'hiker business' for people like you who want to bring their packs inside, be treated as if you've done him a huge favor by being there, and who expect free stuff. Frankly, I think Wolf is right, but only in part: You're part of the hikers who have messed up the welcome by your "I am hiker, hear me whine" screed.

Hikers - even thrus - aren't entitled to some kind of "Yes, your Lordship and Ladyship" grovelling by service providers. We're not heroes or more worthy than anyone else, and, compared to regular, dedicated customers, not even as much sometimes. When we get more, it's a nice thing, but someone isn't "unfriendly" and "nasty" for providing a "delicious" product for no less than the stated price.

Sorry. You're wrong.

TW

earlyriser26
02-05-2008, 12:34
We hikers need to be aware how we are preceived. Lone Wolf is correct. Hikers will mess it up for you even when you do nothing wrong. Don't forget to tip well and keep your demands within reason. When I eat at a resturaunt on the trail I always leave a tip twice as big as I normally would. You need to leave some good impressions to go with the bad.

earlyriser26
02-05-2008, 12:37
Rag --

I think you're overboard and overly sensitive: Let me see if I have it right: He is unfriendly and nasty because he has a reasonable sign in place about packs staiying outside, he didn't give your friends something for free, and he is nice to regular customers who he recognizes. And then he gave you what you paid for, and they were 'delicious'. Worst of all, he doesn't go out and hustle for 'hiker business' for people like you who want to bring their packs inside, be treated as if you've done him a huge favor by being there, and who expect free stuff. Frankly, I think Wolf is right, but only in part: You're part of the hikers who have messed up the welcome by your "I am hiker, hear me whine" screed.

Hikers - even thrus - aren't entitled to some kind of "Yes, your Lordship and Ladyship" grovelling by service providers. We're not heroes or more worthy than anyone else, and, compared to regular, dedicated customers, not even as much sometimes. When we get more, it's a nice thing, but someone isn't "unfriendly" and "nasty" for providing a "delicious" product for no less than the stated price.

Sorry. You're wrong.

TW
I'm always amazed by what some hikers believe to be terrible treatment.

OregonHiker
02-05-2008, 12:37
Rag --

I think you're overboard and overly sensitive: Let me see if I have it right: He is unfriendly and nasty because he has a reasonable sign in place about packs staiying outside, he didn't give your friends something for free, and he is nice to regular customers who he recognizes. And then he gave you what you paid for, and they were 'delicious'. Worst of all, he doesn't go out and hustle for 'hiker business' for people like you who want to bring their packs inside, be treated as if you've done him a huge favor by being there, and who expect free stuff. Frankly, I think Wolf is right, but only in part: You're part of the hikers who have messed up the welcome by your "I am hiker, hear me whine" screed.

Hikers - even thrus - aren't entitled to some kind of "Yes, your Lordship and Ladyship" grovelling by service providers. We're not heroes or more worthy than anyone else, and, compared to regular, dedicated customers, not even as much sometimes. When we get more, it's a nice thing, but someone isn't "unfriendly" and "nasty" for providing a "delicious" product for no less than the stated price.

Sorry. You're wrong.

TW

I have also seen the nasty side of the local vs tourist treatment. Stand in line and wait your turn. Local gets a seat and doesn't have to wait. Now it's our turn. Next group of four behind us gets the next table. Ask waitress what gives? We don't have a table for just the three of you. We only have tables for four.

I suppose it's not illegal, but it's not right.

earlyriser26
02-05-2008, 12:43
I think we all would do better in life if we are less easily offended.:banana

Appalachian Tater
02-05-2008, 13:18
Not a trail town, but the guy at Joe to Go at Culver's Gap was really unfriendly! He had a nasty sign on the door saying to leave packs outside, which we had done anyway. (He has a nice bench on the side of the building.) We were the only people there, and he gruntingly took our order. Just as he started to prepare our order, some locals came in. He greeted them very warmly and took their order and prepared it BEFORE ours! He had a sign on the restroom saying to ask permission before using it. I declined the coffee with my breakfast sandwich because I don't like coffee. My friend didn't get coffee because she ordered a sandwich without meat. When she asked him why she didn't get her free coffee, he rudely said "your sandwich doesn't come with coffee, read the board!" He could have just given her mine. Instead, she had to pay for coffee. Thirty minutes later, when we finally got our breakfast sandwiches, I will say they were delicious. This man has apparently had a bad experience with hikers and just doesn't want their business. I noticed he declined to be included in the new Appalachian Pages. It's a shame, because he has a nice selection of sandwiches, sodas, gatorade, cookies and brownies, chips, juice, etc. It could be a win-win situation because its so convenient for hikers and could give his business a boost.


Rag --

I think you're overboard and overly sensitive: Let me see if I have it right: He is unfriendly and nasty because he has a reasonable sign in place about packs staiying outside, he didn't give your friends something for free, and he is nice to regular customers who he recognizes. And then he gave you what you paid for, and they were 'delicious'. Worst of all, he doesn't go out and hustle for 'hiker business' for people like you who want to bring their packs inside, be treated as if you've done him a huge favor by being there, and who expect free stuff.

In 2006, the police were called because he physically attacked a hiker. I do not remember the details but he was in the wrong.

Some of the so-called "friendly" towns such as Damascus have hateful bigots living there as well as thieves about. No place is perfect.

Lone Wolf
02-05-2008, 13:25
Some of the so-called "friendly" towns such as Damascus have hateful bigots living there

oh come on, honey. you're not still mad at me for that Dave's Place thread are you? such a sensitive child you are. surely you don't think i'm a hateful bigot? take me off ignore and let's play :D

Appalachian Tater
02-05-2008, 14:09
Here's another example of the type of stuff that goes on in "good" trail towns:

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=32604

Burnt Boots
02-05-2008, 15:14
Here's another example of the type of stuff that goes on in "good" trail towns:

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=32604For some reason this site won't let me access that, is this one of those "must be subscribed" forums?

Appalachian Tater
02-05-2008, 15:23
Yes, it's the "Non-AT discussion" forum. Maybe this link will work for you to subscribe: http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/profile.php?do=editusergroups

Bare Bear
02-05-2008, 16:00
Yeah it is about time we got to complain about the Trail Towns!
I recall the guy that called in his doctor on a Saturday for xrays and diagnosis of my stress fractures had the gall to charge me nearly $300.After he drove me into the church hostel, laundry, library, back to the hostel. He spent four hours bothering me with his 'help'.
And that cop that gave me a ride into town in NY to the outfitters for new boots told me it was illegal to hitch in NY. And I think he was impatient waiting that 45 minutes to drive me back to the Trail too. The nerve!
And Kent..don't get me started. The lady that let several of us sleep in the ac office she had. We had to sleep on the couch and floors....and there was no bath (under construction) so we had to use the old towels and sink she provided. Pretty rustic!
And that lady in CT that spent an hour showing us her town with such pride, taking us to the grocery then to the motel. And bothering us by asking if we would need a ride in the morning to get back to the Trail. Some people!
And ........I hope you got my point. I never found anything but kindness and all they asked was to tell the hiker story--again.I felt bad turning down two ladies near Bemis who offerred not only dinner but laundry, rides into and out of town, a ac place to sleep overnight, etc.
I have not enough words to praise those that take care of us hikers. Thank you Mary, Jack, Bob, Janet, et al.
I may just do it again this year just to anger those do gooders!

ATSeamstress
02-05-2008, 16:31
Rag --


Sorry. You're wrong.

TW


TW,

I'm so sorry, I believe I left out part of my story. When we arrived we immediately put our packs on the bench on the side of the building. We checked our shoes to make sure they weren't muddy. We were greeted by a sign that LOOKED LIKE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LEAVE YOUR PACKS OUTSIDE!!!!!

I smiled at the gentleman and said "Good Morning!" He didn't respond, just threw his order pad on the counter and grabbed his pen and looked at me. I didn't expect prima donna treatment, only "may I help you?"

I did nicely ask if I could use his restroom, to which he just pointed at it. I left it cleaner than I found it, wiping up existing spills and picking up scraps of paper off the floor.

Where I work, orders and trouble tickets have different priorities. I work things in the order they came in, unless one has a higher priority. If this man had said to us, "these customers are on their way to work and they are on a time schedule, would you mind if I make their sandwiches first?" I would have understood. I know what it's like to work for a living, I've been doing it for 34 years.

As far as the coffee, I thought of telling him that I'd changed my mind, that I decided I did want my free coffee, which I was entitled to according to the menu, and which I originally declined. I would have given to my friend. But I didn't. I didn't want to appear to be a demanding hiker. But it would have been nice of him to offer her my coffee since I didn't want it. But he was in no way obligated to. He could have been more polite in his response to her and answered her question, instead of READ THE BOARD!!!!

Finally, after we finished our sandwiches, I went back inside and and purchased a Gatorade and a bottle of water. Yes, water. I didn't expect him to fill up my water bottle for me. I was very polite to him and even put a couple of dollars in his tip jar, and told him to have a nice day, which I sincerely meant.

So, I was trying very hard to be part of the solution, not the problem. I do this in every trail town or establishment I visit. I never short-change anyone and always tip. I try to be as polite as possible and make sure my grooming is as good as can be expected.

I guess responding to this thread in the first place was a bad idea. I've just always wondered what happened in the past and I thought someone might respond, which Tater did. Thanks for the info, Tater.

Don't think I'm being over-sensitive, I was just responding to a question.

Respectfully,
Kathy

Jack Tarlin
02-05-2008, 16:35
Weasel has a point about hikers getting kind of demanding, but truth be told, several hikers have reported problems with this place.

There's a simple expedient: Hiker money is as good as anyone else's, but if it appears that a place of business isn't interested in having hikers as patrons, then hikers can choose to spend their money elsewhere.

ATSeamstress
02-05-2008, 16:35
Yeah it is about time we got to complain about the Trail Towns!
I have not enough words to praise those that take care of us hikers. Thank you Mary, Jack, Bob, Janet, et al.
I may just do it again this year just to anger those do gooders!

Thanks, Bear. We (myself included) should be telling those stories and not the others.

ATSeamstress
02-05-2008, 16:37
Weasel has a point about hikers getting kind of demanding, but truth be told, several hikers have reported problems with this place.

There's a simple expedient: Hiker money is as good as anyone else's, but if it appears that a place of business isn't interested in having hikers as patrons, then hikers can choose to spend their money elsewhere.

Thanks, Jack! I talked to other hikers later that week who walked out and went over to Gyp's.

Appalachian Tater
02-05-2008, 16:39
If I remember correctly, someone took a wooden hiking pole in the coffee shop and he snatched it, broke it in half, and threw it at them and it hit them, but I may be wrong about the details. The police were called but in the end the hiker did not want to have him arrested.

The restaurant/bar just past the coffee shop is a much better choice if it is open.

Terry7
02-05-2008, 16:52
Where is this place and what is the name of this place?

MOWGLI
02-05-2008, 17:02
Where is this place and what is the name of this place?

Joe to Go
Culvers Gap in New Jersey.

Appalachian Tater
02-05-2008, 17:03
Joe to Go on Route 206, Culver's Gap, NJ.

Phlashlite
02-05-2008, 17:07
Kent now has a laundromat, across from the post office. The town was ok, just not my favorite. The shelter is close to town so you can just walk in.

double d
02-05-2008, 17:12
Trail towns seem to me alot like college towns, the people who live there like the money the hikers (college students) bring in, but they can act (both sides) like as*** from time to time. I have not thru hiked yet, so I do not have the same level of experience as many others do on WB, but it does seem to me that might be the case.

warraghiyagey
02-05-2008, 17:13
Gorham with a caveat. It's not really a trail town. More of an RV town.

Jack Tarlin
02-05-2008, 17:18
Of course Gorham is a Trail town, and provided you're smart enough to stay in a motel, it's a good one.

warraghiyagey
02-05-2008, 17:18
Of course Gorham is a Trail town, and provided you're smart enough to stay in a motel, it's a good one.
Not everyone has the budget to stay in hotels.

wakapak
02-05-2008, 17:19
Gorham with a caveat. It's not really a trail town. More of an RV town.

Probably cause they get more of their business from the RV tourist than thru-hikers.

Like Pokey2006 said earlier in the thread, it's all what you make of it. many others have said it too....it's what you expect from the town, and the attitude you walk in with. I remember on my first thru in 99, a few weeks after i went into Manchester Center, VT, they closed the church hostel there. Seems like that is happening more and more, and all b/c some hikers F*** it up thinking they can act any way they want. It was sad to hear it closing, cause it was such a great place to stay, and pretty central to a lot of the thing in that town.

but again, just like anything in life, it's all about one's perspective in the moment of it.

Jack Tarlin
02-05-2008, 17:22
Right, everyone is budgeted differently, but if a hiker were to split a motel in Gorham with a couple of friends, he'd pay about the same as he'd be paying for a bunk and shared bath in a hostel. And he'd have a much better stay.

warraghiyagey
02-05-2008, 17:24
Right, everyone is budgeted differently, but if a hiker were to split a motel in Gorham with a couple of friends, he'd pay about the same as he'd be paying for a bunk and shared bath in a hostel. And he'd have a much better stay.
True. I did that in Bennington. Not a trail town but I wanted some Woodchuck Cider - they make it there.

rafe
02-05-2008, 17:33
I don't recall any unfriendly trail towns, offhand. I do recall a very nasty pack of snarling dogs, coming off the trail into Pearisburg. I recall some towns being more useful than others. Etc. etc. But no real nastiness to speak of, except those dogs.

Jack Tarlin
02-05-2008, 17:34
It's actually made in Middlebury, but your heart's in the right place.

warraghiyagey
02-05-2008, 17:36
It's actually made in Middlebury, but your heart's in the right place.
I used to get it at the Cerniglia Wine place and was under the impression that it was made there. Of course that was a few years ago and I had heard they were moving the operation - either that or I just tested to much wine while I was there.:rolleyes:

Phlashlite
02-05-2008, 18:15
Joe's To Go was great to us on our thru. It's just like people say you get what you give.

rafe
02-05-2008, 18:24
Joe's To Go was great to us on our thru. It's just like people say you get what you give.

I've heard a number of complaints about Joe's. When I arrived there I looked inside and saw no tables, so I moved on. I walked down the road a couple of minutes to that pub, I forget the name. Had a good cheeseburger and beer there. Nice view, too, from the back porch:

http://www.terrapinphoto.com/cpg143/albums/userpics/10001/normal_IMG_0196.jpg

Crazy Larry #1
02-05-2008, 18:51
Here's another example of the type of stuff that goes on in "good" trail towns:

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=32604
That's pretty low down way of making your point. I have lived here for two years now and have a business and I am not considered a hiker anymore. Damascus is a great trail town!

Appalachian Tater
02-05-2008, 19:15
That's pretty low down way of making your point. I have lived here for two years now and have a business and I am not considered a hiker anymore. Damascus is a great trail town!

Damascus is a great little trail town but, as I pointed out, it's not perfect.

It is frequented by thieves (especially during Trail Days), there are bigots there, including yourself*, and, according to you, drunks who push their way into peoples' homes, inducing the owner to draw a weapon.

Apparently you're not the only person who lives there who feels the need to arm themselves.


*You have personally made at least one really nasty post, filled with bigoted slurs, on this website, but it has since been removed by administrators.

Jack Tarlin
02-05-2008, 19:19
Geez, Tater, millions of law-abiding citizens arm themselves, in order to defend and protect their businesses, property, or more likely, themselves, their families, and their neighbors.

This doesn't mean they're bad people or that they live in bad towns, either.

Appalachian Tater
02-05-2008, 19:21
Geez, Tater, millions of law-abiding citizens arm themselves, in order to defend and protect their businesses, property, or more likely, themselves, their families, and their neighbors.

This doesn't mean they're bad people or that they live in bad towns, either.

It does mean they're not perfect, which is what I said.

OregonHiker
02-05-2008, 19:42
[quote=Appalachian Tater;525067\
*You have personally made at least one really nasty post, filled with bigoted slurs, on this website, but it has since been removed by administrators.[/quote]

I'd like to hear more about this.. Also the felon part too.

Appalachian Tater
02-05-2008, 19:44
I'd like to hear more about this.. Also the felon part too. If you want to know more about his bigoted post, then PM him.

Lone Wolf
02-05-2008, 19:48
If you want to know more about his bigoted post, then PM him.

you're FOS. he never said anything bigoted

Blissful
02-05-2008, 20:17
Some people mentioned PA - I liked PA and the people except for the nasty gal at the Port Clinton PO - maybe got up on the wrong side of the bed. But some great people gave us rides there. Palmerton was a great and memorable town.

Trying to think of unfriendly towns. None come to mind. Salisbury CT the peope were aloof, but we did find some that talked to us. So not really unfriendly. Just not sure what to do about hikers, but there are alot of tourists there.

What I found unfriendly of thru hikers, but really depending on the croo at that time, were some of the huts in the Whites. Carter Notch last year comes to mind. The head hut guy was not friendly at all. Galehead was the friendliest.

I talk a lot about the town services in 2007 - what we liked and didn't like, on my hiking blog (http://blissfulhiking.blogspot.com/). Split it up into three entries.

Wilson
02-05-2008, 20:50
Tater, have you not used terms like redneck and white trash and maybe a few others?
If you have, that makes you as much of a bigot if you say equally hatefull things about blacks, hispanics, or any group of people.

OregonHiker
02-05-2008, 20:53
If you want to know more about his bigoted post, then PM him.

Let him speak

Kirby
02-05-2008, 20:55
Let him speak

PM him, no need to have him publicly discuss something like that, calling for something like that is unjust and irrational.

Kirby

Appalachian Tater
02-05-2008, 20:57
Tater, have you not used terms like redneck and white trash and maybe a few others?
If you have, that makes you as much of a bigot if you say equally hatefull things about blacks, hispanics, or any group of people.

A Google search of this website shows that I have indeed used the phrase "white trash" to refer to my stove made out of a vienna sausage can. Google does not index all areas of this website, so it is possible I used the term "redneck" or "white trash" and it wasn't catalogued.

Pokey2006
02-05-2008, 20:59
No, the PO lady was just nasty. She doesn't like hikers. Others in town were just, well, kinda weird. I went through there at the back of the pack, so maybe they had just had enough by the time I came along. But the good news is Port Clinton has an outfitter now -- maybe that'll make a difference.

OregonHiker
02-05-2008, 21:03
PM him, no need to have him publicly discuss something like that, calling for something like that is unjust and irrational.

Kirby

You are an ass sniffing douche bag

Lone Wolf
02-05-2008, 21:04
ignore the drunk troll, kirby

OregonHiker
02-05-2008, 21:06
ignore the drunk troll, kirby

Yes LW is irrelevant:)

Bearpaw
02-05-2008, 21:42
I didn't visit a single unfriendly trail town on my thru-hike. I did have some interesting encounters in Duncannon, PA. When I arrived on Sunday at noon, the Doyle Hotel was closed!? It turned out a gentleman had died five days earlier, but had not been discovered until the previous day (by Baltimore Jack of all people). I had to wait until the Doyle re-opened again, an hour or so, in order to get my maildrop there. The room that night was very stuffy and uncomfortable.

The next day on the way out, I was leaving the PO, where I had sent some stuff home, and a man was berating a thru-hiker whose pad had slid onto a bit of the sidewalk. It was a crappy note to leave town on.

But was Duncannon an "unfriendly town"? Not at all. While I waited that hour, the elderly lady across offered me a lawn chair and a soda and called to see if the Doyle would open. When she said it would, I offered to help her with any chores for her kindness. She just replied that there was no need to work on a lazy Sunday afternoon. She was just plain charming.

The folks in town were as courteous as one could hope for.

PA in general was friendly IMO, with folks opening up their garages as shelters (i. e. FREE hostels), and despite the pain of the rocks, the people were great. I always felt like I had a friend in Pennsylvania. ;)

slow
02-05-2008, 22:21
You are an ass sniffing douche bag

That was very wrong of you.:mad:

The Weasel
02-05-2008, 22:34
I have also seen the nasty side of the local vs tourist treatment. Stand in line and wait your turn. Local gets a seat and doesn't have to wait. Now it's our turn. Next group of four behind us gets the next table. Ask waitress what gives? We don't have a table for just the three of you. We only have tables for four.

I suppose it's not illegal, but it's not right.

And why isn't it right? Local is clean, presentable, polite, known to the waitress and staff and is going to come back. The hiker before you - and ones after - were dirty, smelled, acted like they were in a town for the first time, and left a dime tip. You don't own the place, and if you're not seated fast enough, feel free to leave. Or you could make sure you come in clean, polite, and friendly. Even then, locals rate higher than you. Sorry. Part of the experience. Humility comes hard.

By the way, now you know how the homeless feel. Learn some empathy, too.

TW

The Weasel
02-05-2008, 22:42
TW,

I'm so sorry, I believe I left out part of my story. When we arrived we immediately put our packs on the bench on the side of the building. We checked our shoes to make sure they weren't muddy. We were greeted by a sign that LOOKED LIKE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LEAVE YOUR PACKS OUTSIDE!!!!!

I smiled at the gentleman and said "Good Morning!" He didn't respond, just threw his order pad on the counter and grabbed his pen and looked at me. I didn't expect prima donna treatment, only "may I help you?"

I did nicely ask if I could use his restroom, to which he just pointed at it. I left it cleaner than I found it, wiping up existing spills and picking up scraps of paper off the floor.

Where I work, orders and trouble tickets have different priorities. I work things in the order they came in, unless one has a higher priority. If this man had said to us, "these customers are on their way to work and they are on a time schedule, would you mind if I make their sandwiches first?" I would have understood. I know what it's like to work for a living, I've been doing it for 34 years.

As far as the coffee, I thought of telling him that I'd changed my mind, that I decided I did want my free coffee, which I was entitled to according to the menu, and which I originally declined. I would have given to my friend. But I didn't. I didn't want to appear to be a demanding hiker. But it would have been nice of him to offer her my coffee since I didn't want it. But he was in no way obligated to. He could have been more polite in his response to her and answered her question, instead of READ THE BOARD!!!!

Finally, after we finished our sandwiches, I went back inside and and purchased a Gatorade and a bottle of water. Yes, water. I didn't expect him to fill up my water bottle for me. I was very polite to him and even put a couple of dollars in his tip jar, and told him to have a nice day, which I sincerely meant.

So, I was trying very hard to be part of the solution, not the problem. I do this in every trail town or establishment I visit. I never short-change anyone and always tip. I try to be as polite as possible and make sure my grooming is as good as can be expected.

I guess responding to this thread in the first place was a bad idea. I've just always wondered what happened in the past and I thought someone might respond, which Tater did. Thanks for the info, Tater.

Don't think I'm being over-sensitive, I was just responding to a question.

Respectfully,
Kathy

Kathy:

I'm sorry to be harsh, but your latest post, while more sensitive than the first one, still misses the point: It's not your restaurant. It's not even your community.

People operating restaurants - or other services - aren't obligated to like you. I'm sorry. It's wonderful when they get all kind and cuddly, but he wasn't selling love and affection: He was selling - as you described it - delicious sandwiches. And you seem to think he should have given out free coffee to someone else for something YOU bought, when you didn't think to ask your friend if she wanted your coffee. (If I were your friend, I'd be more irked with you than with Mean Joe). I'm sorry; that's not on the menu and yes, "it's on the board."

Kathy, you went in with a friend; presumably that was your companionship fix for the day, not him. He did what he was supposed to do, in the face of what still sounds like a petulant child - "Mommie! The man wasn't nice to me!" - instead of a responsible adult. If that's what makes you think a town is unfriendly, well, you will rarely find a place that makes you happy.

I'm sorry. Next time, enjoy the sandwich. It was delicious.

TW

Pokey2006
02-05-2008, 22:48
Encounters with unfriendly people are what make a town unfriendly -- or at least make a town SEEM unfriendly. If someone is unfriendly, even nasty, I think the person on the receiving end has every right to complain about being treated that way, smelly hiker or no. The service in that store sounded like it was very unfriendly. I'd complain, too.

CaseyB
02-05-2008, 22:50
Trail town or not, hiker or not, sounds like crappy service to me. My $0.02

edit-reference to TW vs. Ragamuffin above. Pokey posted before I finished typing

A-Train
02-05-2008, 23:29
There is something about PA. Maybe because it's the first taste of the northern way after months of southern hospitality. I found it a little jarring, even though, as a Yankee, I should be used to it.

I feel a little bad resurrecting an old thread, but now that I have, I am curious about the experiences of last year's hikers. Are there new "unfriendly" towns? Or have past "unfriendly" towns gotten any better? Sometimes it takes just one hostel owner or trail angel to make a difference, either way.

I often felt that Pennsylvania suffers from identity issues. They don't know whether they're north or south.

However, my experiences in PA towns were always pretty positive.

Alligator
02-05-2008, 23:41
People operating restaurants are obligated to serve you. If they are going to be grumpy about it, they are going to lose customers. If the guy behind the counter isn't going to be pleasant, screw him, it's a service industry. Grumpy, nasty service people make ****ty tips for a reason. The guy has a tip jar out, that means work for it.

For ATRagamuffin to wait 30 minutes for a breakfast sandwich is beyond slow given no one was there before them. That's an atrocious ticket time. Her having to wait for the locals to be served first is demeaning. Hikers aren't second class citizens. There's nothing wrong with expecting to be served first when she was there first. Her money is as green as the next customer.

The guy should have given her friend the coffee. Not because she was a hiker, but because it was just a cup of coffee, he'd already saved one already, and it simply would have been smart business practice. Duh. Her friend was not entitled to it by any means though, if that's what the board said.

Jim Adams
02-05-2008, 23:44
Tater, have you not used terms like redneck and white trash and maybe a few others?
If you have, that makes you as much of a bigot if you say equally hatefull things about blacks, hispanics, or any group of people.


You are a bigot if you use terms like white trash and redneck????!!!!

Just today at lunch, in the entrance to a restaurant I saw a kids vending machine that was vending "collectables" (figurines)of "Redneck Trailer Trash".
This is no joke, and yes it was hilarious.
I think that if you are offended by the term redneck or white trash...you are a little TOO PC!
:-?

geek

Appalachian Tater
02-05-2008, 23:46
Encounters with unfriendly people are what make a town unfriendly -- or at least make a town SEEM unfriendly. If someone is unfriendly, even nasty, I think the person on the receiving end has every right to complain about being treated that way, smelly hiker or no. The service in that store sounded like it was very unfriendly. I'd complain, too. I agree. If he doesn't want to serve hikers, put up a sign, "No hikers please." He certainly has that right. But if he wants business from hikers, he should treat them as he does the rest of his customers. He shouldn't both take their money and treat them poorly.

Jim Adams
02-05-2008, 23:49
Geez, Tater, millions of law-abiding citizens arm themselves, in order to defend and protect their businesses, property, or more likely, themselves, their families, and their neighbors.

This doesn't mean they're bad people or that they live in bad towns, either.

Good point Jack...I am TOTALLY against carrying firearms on the trail BUT...don't come into my house uninvited!:eek:

geek

OregonHiker
02-05-2008, 23:53
And why isn't it right? Local is clean, presentable, polite, known to the waitress and staff and is going to come back. The hiker before you - and ones after - were dirty, smelled, acted like they were in a town for the first time, and left a dime tip. You don't own the place, and if you're not seated fast enough, feel free to leave. Or you could make sure you come in clean, polite, and friendly. Even then, locals rate higher than you. Sorry. Part of the experience. Humility comes hard.

By the way, now you know how the homeless feel. Learn some empathy, too.

TW

I wasn't hiking..we were near a National park wife, me and a 7 y/o. Don't know how you invented the rest.

If the glove doesn't fit you must acquit..or at least pay lots of lawyer fees

OregonHiker
02-06-2008, 00:24
PM him, no need to have him publicly discuss something like that, calling for something like that is unjust and irrational.

Kirby

You're funny.

OregonHiker
02-06-2008, 00:26
And why isn't it right? Local is clean, presentable, polite, known to the waitress and staff and is going to come back. The hiker before you - and ones after - were dirty, smelled, acted like they were in a town for the first time, and left a dime tip. You don't own the place, and if you're not seated fast enough, feel free to leave. Or you could make sure you come in clean, polite, and friendly. Even then, locals rate higher than you. Sorry. Part of the experience. Humility comes hard.

By the way, now you know how the homeless feel. Learn some empathy, too.

TW

Thanks for affirming the value of your moniker...Weasel:(

Crazy Larry #1
02-06-2008, 05:54
*You have personally made at least one really nasty post, filled with bigoted slurs, on this website, but it has since been removed by administrators.
Well can you quote close to what it is I said? Then we'll discuss this........

gldwings1
02-06-2008, 06:43
I lived in Asheville and worked in Jackson County during and after college. Cherokee is unfriendly to most b/c as someone said; The Europeans came and graciously let them know that they were on someone else's land and needed to move to Oklahoma. What great people the white man was. That being said, I am not sure about the disbursement of the "Casino money", but what are they bitching about? How cool is it to get to be a Blackjack dealer making $10/hr to be treated like **** by low rent to high rent tourists hoping to make a million at Keno in the only decent hotel west of Asheville. And just because you lettered at Cherokee Indian HS in Drinking games because there was nothing else to do, why should you be bitter? I mean seriously, you have the Casino in exchange for losing most of your land and your family being marched west by one of the most powerful armies in the world during one of the harshest winters you have ever encountered. And don't forget what a great friend Andy Jackson was to the Indians. Promising the Creek he wouldn't mess with them if they fought the Cherokee after he promised the Cherokee he wouldn't mess with them if they fought the British. I can't understand why a Cherokee wouldn't embrace the white man. And let's not forget how much of an honor it must be for a grown man to make a living wearing what stupid tourists expect of "an indian" for pay per photo. I think if you will check, the dress that the men are wearing is not traditional Cherokee, but rather what people are willing to pay for. Sorry for ranting.

Lone Wolf
02-06-2008, 06:47
cherokee ain't a trail town :-? they got cool moccasins and tomahawks. made in china. good stuff

Crazy Larry #1
02-06-2008, 06:48
Sorry for ranting.
Well, I guess...........

And what has this got to do with unfriendly trail towns........:confused:

GGS2
02-06-2008, 08:45
Well, I guess...........

And what has this got to do with unfriendly trail towns........:confused:

And what has that to do with a good rant?

minnesotasmith
02-06-2008, 09:06
The Indians (I prefer the term "American aborigines") lost in war. A common result of this is to lose territory.

Had they lost in war to any number of non-European cultures, they would have likely been forcibly assimilated at best, exterminated to a man at worst. Look up Tamerlane the Conqueror (reputedly left a pile of a million prisoners' skulls), the Japanese WWII Rape of Nanking, or watch the excellent Mel Gibson movie "Apocalypto" (about the Aztecs) for a quick idea of how much more brutal other cultures tend to be.

Jim Adams
02-06-2008, 09:07
cherokee ain't a trail town :-? they got cool moccasins and tomahawks. made in china. good stuff

LW,
just finished a 24 hour shift and then read this. LMAO! thanks dude, you made my day.:cool:

geek

d'shadow
02-06-2008, 15:36
The North Carolina Cherokee did not participate in the forced march west, they never left Western North Carolina.
They have a down town that rakes in millions, a casino that rakes in millions, and the majority of casino employees are white, most of the customers are non-indian. And they are laughing all the way to the bank.
So, don't worry about these Cherokee too much. They bring in to mind the old saying: "Don't get mad, get even"

dixicritter
02-06-2008, 15:45
cherokee ain't a trail town :-? they got cool moccasins and tomahawks. made in china. good stuff

Actually that depends on the trail. ;) The BMT Runs fairly close to Cherokee, that's where I took Rock to resupply yesterday. :p

The Weasel
02-06-2008, 15:50
Actually, Cherokee is - or should be - as much a 'trail town' as Gatlinburg. It's the same distance basically as G'burg from the Gap (other direction), has inexpensive places to stay and eat, isn't crazy, and, at least in '00 it had a good small outfitter (not sure if they are still there but they were very nice). The Tribal Police are strict on hitchhiking until you get to the city limits, but that's understandable.

TW

dixicritter
02-06-2008, 15:52
Outfitter is still there but was closed for the season right now.

The Weasel
02-06-2008, 15:55
Perhaps the issue of Cherokee is something that the ALDHA and Bob McCaw might consider. There is everything necessary for resupply and recovery in Cherokee that anyone would want. Maybe if there were more awareness by the hiking communitgy there would be more open year round.

TW

leeki pole
02-06-2008, 16:24
Tater, have you not used terms like redneck and white trash and maybe a few others?
If you have, that makes you as much of a bigot if you say equally hatefull things about blacks, hispanics, or any group of people.
Heck, Willie, I'm a redneck and white trash, I'll admit it. If he said it, Tater didn't mean nuthin hateful, just speakin' the truth. Wouldn't offend me, and it wouldn't if he said it to me in person. I'd probably buy him a beer and we could shoot the s*it. Dern, most of us rednecks consider it a compliment. Maybe if we all backed off this PC c*ap, this would be a lot better world to live in.

Appalachian Tater
02-06-2008, 16:27
Well can you quote close to what it is I said? Then we'll discuss this........

I have no desire to even try to approximate the hateful language you used nor to discuss it in depth.

It was during the discussion about an employee at a local outfitter named Wally slurring someone who was Jewish. One of the posters attacking Wally is well known for his own problems with using hateful, bigoted language. You seemed to think my complaint about that funny and made a post using multiple foul, hateful, bigoted terms topped off by a smiley face or two. Your nastiness was quickly deleted by an administrator but I saw it before it was deleted.

Hope this helps.

Appalachian Tater
02-06-2008, 16:29
Heck, Willie, I'm a redneck and white trash, I'll admit it. If he said it, Tater didn't mean nuthin hateful, just speakin' the truth. Wouldn't offend me, and it wouldn't if he said it to me in person. I'd probably buy him a beer and we could shoot the s*it. Dern, most of us rednecks consider it a compliment. Maybe if we all backed off this PC c*ap, this would be a lot better world to live in.

I have indeed used the term "white trash" to refer to my Vienna sausage can stove. I myself have been called a "cracker" on more than one occasion.

Lone Wolf
02-06-2008, 17:00
Perhaps the issue of Cherokee is something that the ALDHA and Bob McCaw might consider. There is everything necessary for resupply and recovery in Cherokee that anyone would want. Maybe if there were more awareness by the hiking communitgy there would be more open year round.

TW

it ain't got beer. it's spread out. gatlinburg is 10 times better

The Weasel
02-06-2008, 17:14
The lack of alcohol is a bonus for some, to be honest. It's a nice little town.

TW

Jack Tarlin
02-06-2008, 17:20
Weasel:

I've never been to Cherokee, so here are a few questions:

*Is there a full-service Outfitter there?
*Is there a large, modern public library?
*Is there a full sized supermarket?
*Does it have as many motel options as Gatlinburg?
*Does it have as many restaurants, including buffets?
*Are prices (meals/lodging) comparable to Gatlinburg?
*Are there motels that have welcomed hikers for years? Names, please.
*Is there a bus service so folks can get around?

I'm sure Cherokee is a "nice little town" but from everything I've heard, the different kinds of businesses and services offered in Gatlinburg would seem to make Gat a more attractive option for hikers. Plus, as it's the bigger place, I should think there's more traffic going to and from Gatlinburg, making it easier for hikers to get in and out, especially if they're hitching.

Lone Wolf
02-06-2008, 17:23
cherokee is no where near as good as gatlinburg. i've been there. not a good option for a carless hiker

A-Train
02-06-2008, 17:47
I had a nice afternoon in Gatlinburg, and was able to get in and out without lodging in a couple hours. The hitch out can be hard. I don't recommend it in late afternoon. Most tourists seem to be going up the mountain early.

I think i'd only go back there if the weather had turned bad in the Smokies, otherwise Fontana to Standing Bear would be no big thang.

max patch
02-06-2008, 17:59
I think weazie forgot what he said a year ago in the "Unfriendly Trail Towns" thread:

"Cherokee, NC (on the NC side of GSMNP) wasn't very friendly (police hostile to hitching back to the trail, shops not very nice)"

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showpost.php?p=305114&postcount=4

NativePennsylvanian
02-06-2008, 18:15
For the record the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania doesn't suffer from an identity complex. We don't say "ma daddy", drink or serve seet tea nor will any of us refer to the civil war as the war of 'northern aggression.'

That said, we always bring enough beer to share and don't mind packing out your trash. Just keep any vagrants moving if you see them around.

Crazy Larry #1
02-06-2008, 18:23
I have no desire to even try to approximate the hateful language you used nor to discuss it in depth.

It was during the discussion about an employee at a local outfitter named Wally slurring someone who was Jewish. One of the posters attacking Wally is well known for his own problems with using hateful, bigoted language. You seemed to think my complaint about that funny and made a post using multiple foul, hateful, bigoted terms topped off by a smiley face or two. Your nastiness was quickly deleted by an administrator but I saw it before it was deleted.

Hope this helps.
Well I hope we can come up with what "You think was written" because I am calling you a down and out liar right now! If I recall correctly, none of my posts in that thread were deleted and besides if I recall more correctly I simply stood in Jeffs corner but agreed that Wally had an issue to overcome.

OregonHiker
02-06-2008, 18:26
I think weazie forgot what he said a year ago in the "Unfriendly Trail Towns" thread:

"Cherokee, NC (on the NC side of GSMNP) wasn't very friendly (police hostile to hitching back to the trail, shops not very nice)"

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showpost.php?p=305114&postcount=4

Maybe he now represents the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce

Crazy Larry #1
02-06-2008, 18:42
This is page three of that thread that you are accusing me of bigotry, maybe you should check the whole thread out to see if any of my posts were deleted...........
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1050&page=3

The Weasel
02-06-2008, 19:05
Weasel:

I've never been to Cherokee, so here are a few questions:

*Is there a full-service Outfitter there?
*Is there a large, modern public library?
*Is there a full sized supermarket?
*Does it have as many motel options as Gatlinburg?
*Does it have as many restaurants, including buffets?
*Are prices (meals/lodging) comparable to Gatlinburg?
*Are there motels that have welcomed hikers for years? Names, please.
*Is there a bus service so folks can get around?

I'm sure Cherokee is a "nice little town" but from everything I've heard, the different kinds of businesses and services offered in Gatlinburg would seem to make Gat a more attractive option for hikers. Plus, as it's the bigger place, I should think there's more traffic going to and from Gatlinburg, making it easier for hikers to get in and out, especially if they're hitching.


cherokee is no where near as good as gatlinburg. i've been there. not a good option for a carless hiker

Yes, there is an outfitter, and yes there are restaurants and motels and other facilities It is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy that they don't have many hikers, since there is little orientation by the guidebooks towarfds the town. In terms of trail access, I found it fast, though, since there is a lot of traffic going into the park and to Gatlinburg from the east.

But I found Gatlinburg very off-putting in its Atlantic-City-Goes-Tacky-In-The-Mountains approach, loaded with tee shirt shops and all the rst of tackiness. Some people enjoy that; others don't. I, for instance, far preferred Erwin, TN to a hitch (no further away than G'burg) to Johnson City, even though it had more shops, outfitter, motels, and all the rest. Choice is good, generally, and I maintain that Cherokee is a good choice for many hikers, and one that if more knew about, they would go for.

TW

Lone Wolf
02-06-2008, 19:06
This is page three of that thread that you are accusing me of bigotry, maybe you should check the whole thread out to see if any of my posts were deleted...........
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1050&page=3

just put him on ignore. he's the biggest baby on whiteblaze

rafe
02-06-2008, 19:54
But I found Gatlinburg very off-putting in its Atlantic-City-Goes-Tacky-In-The-Mountains approach...

It's a trip, for sure. But you know, after three weeks in the woods, it's not all bad, and upon leaving Gatlinburg, you have a better appreciation of the woods. ;)

warraghiyagey
02-06-2008, 21:51
just put him on ignore. he's the biggest baby on whiteblaze
Maybe he just needs to know that someone cares about him.

warraghiyagey
02-06-2008, 21:51
http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/laughing001.gif

Pokey2006
02-07-2008, 05:29
Simple solution to the Gatlinburg vs. Cherokee debate: don't go to either one.

ki0eh
02-11-2008, 16:08
For the record the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania doesn't suffer from an identity complex. We don't * * * drink or serve seet tea * * *

My wife, descended directly from a signer of the first Constitution of Pennsylvania as a delegate from the same county she grew up in, drinks sweet tea, and south of Harrisburg often gets it without asking. :D As a non-native myself I've observed tremendous diversity across PA and perhaps a bit of identity muddling too...

ki0eh
02-11-2008, 16:11
Boiling Springs, Pa.

geek

Why say you?

SmokyMtn Hiker
02-11-2008, 16:31
I think you kind of make your own luck here in alot of respects, but the area around Elk Park/Roan Mountain isn't known for it's hospitality.

I have a friend who lives in Elk Park and I told her this weekend about how unfriendly her town is to AT hikers and she gave a good explanation. For many, many years her mother was the postmaster there and would go out of her way to see that thru-hikers got there resupply, letters & etc. She would put a note on the front door of the PO with her home # and to call her no matter what day of the week it was and she would be right over. The postmaster now could give a rat's a$$ about thru-hikers and the trouble of dealing with their resupply. I hope someone on Whiteblaze has met her, I don't know her name but it would have been many years ago, and recall how nice some people can be and understand why we do what we do.

troutseeker
02-17-2008, 12:59
Gotta love Front Royal. My oldest boy lives in Strasburg and my second oldest lives about a mile off the trail on the NE side of SNP. I always thought the trail ran near that 7-11 because I would always see hikers there. I guess they come straight out of the park on the Skyline Dr.

I know that 7-11 and you are right! I must live VERY close to your second oldest.

As far as Front Royal, a second vote for Weasel Creek Outfitters. You could not ask for better people to help you if you need anything.

cracker1943
05-11-2008, 17:35
We got off a section hike due to heavy rain, wind and cold. Hypothermia had become a potential problem. We got off trail at Culvers Gap, PA (US206). We went to the old Worthington Bakery just west off trail. The owner was rude and clearly did not want hiker business. We left and hiked about 45 minutes east to the Yellow Cottage Deli and Bakery. Their reception was friendly and helpful. Their sandwiches and pasteries were excellent. They had one of the best dark birch beers that I ever had. We ate and drank hot teas and soda and warmed up while dripping water on their floor. I recommend Yellow Cottage and plan to stop in again when we section hike from Culvers Gap on. They deserve hiker business.

Cookerhiker
05-11-2008, 18:02
We got off a section hike due to heavy rain, wind and cold. Hypothermia had become a potential problem. We got off trail at Culvers Gap, PA (US206). We went to the old Worthington Bakery just west off trail. The owner was rude and clearly did not want hiker business. We left and hiked about 45 minutes east to the Yellow Cottage Deli and Bakery. Their reception was friendly and helpful. Their sandwiches and pasteries were excellent. They had one of the best dark birch beers that I ever had. We ate and drank hot teas and soda and warmed up while dripping water on their floor. I recommend Yellow Cottage and plan to stop in again when we section hike from Culvers Gap on. They deserve hiker business.

Culvers Gap is in NJ, not PA.

Mrs Baggins
05-11-2008, 19:49
Cherokee, NC (on the NC side of GSMNP) wasn't very friendly (police hostile to hitching back to the trail, shops not very nice) and Mars Hill (police hostile to hitching) affected me. Hot Springs was wonderful, but Dan Bruce wouldn't answer his door; he's moved, though, I understand; big loss to the town, I know.

The Weasel

He probably knew you posted on White Blaze.................we had our share of run ins.

Wise Old Owl
05-11-2008, 20:19
Just about every town had something going for it. Most are friendly, just in varying degrees. However, I have advised skipping over Port Clinton, Pa. Sure, some people have a decent experience here, and there are folks who try to help out the hikers, providing a shelter, etc. But it also garnered the most complaints in a town that I had seen. Hitch to the next town over or hike right through (don't bother with a mail drop, it's safer to hitch).

Funny I have had a great time with the folks there - the Outfitter was well stocked, in spite of being a mile or two from Cabelas... The trouble in the past has been some quirky guy working at the local hotel. - Kind of set off the women hilkers for learing.

Wise Old Owl
05-11-2008, 20:35
Harpers Ferry is at the bottom of the list as far as good trail towns. Not much to offer there.


http://members.aol.com/hiyb/hostel.html:-?

http://www.harpersferryhostel.org/

Wise Old Owl
05-11-2008, 20:51
I'm from the same northeast region and I found Pennsylvania a little jarring in its grunge. Everyone seemed to smoke, including young women with babies, drove crappy cars, etc. Not so pleasant for some odd reason. I took to calling it Pennsyltucky. In the south, I never met a rude person in a town and the apparent poverty seemed mixed, not crushing and prevalent. I'm no stranger to post-industrial blight, either.

That said, how you're treated by any folks often depends largely and directly upon how you treat them.

When did you thru? about ten years ago? Yes ten years ago I would have agreed with you. Now you can't drive a car with visable rust, People in the coal towns have cleaned up - stuffs lookin better, the pride is back. I have to drive thru thru the towns to get to the remote area's I want to hike and from a job that I had some 15 years ago I can tell most places are on the mend.

That said, how you're treated by any folks often depends largely and directly upon how you treat them...Well said.

Lone Wolf
05-11-2008, 23:20
http://members.aol.com/hiyb/hostel.html:-?

http://www.harpersferryhostel.org/

like i said, harpers ferry has nothing to offer

sofaking
05-11-2008, 23:26
like i said, harpers ferry has nothing to offer
it's a nice place to hike through at 4 a.m.

Appalachian Tater
05-12-2008, 00:49
There are no unfriendly trail towns, only some unfriendly people in trail towns.

sasquatch2014
05-12-2008, 08:19
My wife, descended directly from a signer of the first Constitution of Pennsylvania as a delegate from the same county she grew up in, drinks sweet tea, and south of Harrisburg often gets it without asking. :D As a non-native myself I've observed tremendous diversity across PA and perhaps a bit of identity muddling too...

As a native of the state of Pa who escaped only to marry another native of the state I can say that there is vast idenity confusion in the state. I grew up in an area nother of Pittsburgh. Over there they do not know if they are A Mid-Atlantic state a Southern State or a Mid-Western state as they are 45 min from both the Ohio border and the Mason Dixion line is some places.

My wife came from Lancaster County Pa. I lovingly refer to this area as Pennsyltucky. They drink their tea sweet among other things. There are other examples as well the state is very regionalized to say the least. But hey a state that loves their cased meat products that much can't be all bad right:banana

ki0eh
05-12-2008, 08:26
But hey a state that loves their cased meat products that much can't be all bad right

What goes in the casing sure varies. My wife can't stand the sweet "Lebanon Bologna" style but people around here run from her folks' garlicky venison bologna from Bedford County.

ki0eh
05-12-2008, 08:30
Forgot to mention earlier, and to get back on topic: There's a back road from Port Clinton to Hamburg, if you're NOBO you cross this road just after going under the PA 61 bridge, about a half mile after you think you've left Port Clinton behind. That's a shorter way to the food market, post office, and the town of Hamburg itself, on the east side of the Schuylkill staying away from the crazy four lane PA 61.

But I haven't been up to see the new rail trail yet - does that help matters for those who walk as opposed to hoping for a hitch?

sofaking
05-12-2008, 08:49
i have a friend that grew up in wyalusing pa, he refers to pennsyltucky a lot too...

YeOldeBackpacker
05-12-2008, 09:43
It's 2.5 miles to the mini market from that point. just took a nobo there yesterday. the Bartram (rail to trails) follows the old Pa Railroad bed which runs along the Schuylkill river, you need to access the Bartram on the south side of Port Clinton before the railroad yard, where it crosses AT,that will cross Kernsville Road at that point if you turn right you are within a mile or so of Microtel etc.. kind of a real round about way to go to Hamburg, but to each his own. it is about 4 to 5 miles on the Bartram to get into Hamburg.

I think the key which so many of you have already found to trail towns is if you act like an mature adult to the local people you will recieve the same in return, for example a few weeks ago, we had a cold front with driving rain, we had a thru hiker that really needed a dry warm place to be for the night, Both the Hotel and the Union House are closed on Mondays, but,the owner of the Union House which was closed, opened his B&B cooked the hiker a nice dinner and left him stay there that night do his laundry, dry his gear, etc..


Forgot to mention earlier, and to get back on topic: There's a back road from Port Clinton to Hamburg, if you're NOBO you cross this road just after going under the PA 61 bridge, about a half mile after you think you've left Port Clinton behind. That's a shorter way to the food market, post office, and the town of Hamburg itself, on the east side of the Schuylkill staying away from the crazy four lane PA 61.

But I haven't been up to see the new rail trail yet - does that help matters for those who walk as opposed to hoping for a hitch?

k-n
05-12-2008, 09:52
i'm a section hiker who has been as far north as new hampshire and as far south as virginia. from all these comments it sure makes it seem as if the southern a.t. is not so hospitable,although not deliverance-like.i have a feeling i'm gonna do the northern a.t. first and save the "worst" for last, if at all.

DiamondDoug
05-12-2008, 09:56
I had a hard time getting back to the trail from Cherokee. I ended up walking to the National Park Service welcome center at the entrance to the GSMNP and asking people in the parking lot there for a ride. It was the toughest hitch of my entire thru.

My unofficial research shows that locals will give you a ride back to the trail faster than tourists. Further, not many folks going from Cherokee to Newfound Gap are locals, it's mostly tourists on their way to Clingman's Dome or Dollywood. Therefore; difficult hitch.

My $0.02.

weary
05-12-2008, 11:34
I think you kind of make your own luck here in alot of respects, but the area around Elk Park/Roan Mountain isn't known for it's hospitality.
I was picked up by a car full of intoxicated people at Roan Mountain. They drove me to the post office in Elk Park, which was closed for lunch. They insisted on waiting an hour so they could drive me back to the trail. I finally lied that I was meeting someone in three hours and that I didn't need any more rides. They acted disappointed. I waited a couple of hours before walking back to the trail. I figured they would be sleeping it off by then and wouldn't offer any more rides.

Then in Troutsville, I asked a guy "what's the quickest way back to the trail?

He replied, "Don't you have anything better to do with your life?"

Weary

Jason of the Woods
05-12-2008, 11:42
The NOC wasn't my favorite place in the world. I felt that hikers weren't as valued as there precious paddlers....

Wise Old Owl
05-12-2008, 12:16
Great thead .... For those that remember the Hobo's of the thirties, they had a marking system to tell others what to expect should they knock on doors in unfamiliar towns. Take a look it's kind of interesting.

http://www.slackaction.com/signroll.htm

Flush2wice
05-12-2008, 13:21
I was picked up by a car full of intoxicated people at Roan Mountain. They drove me to the post office in Elk Park, which was closed for lunch. They insisted on waiting an hour so they could drive me back to the trail. I finally lied that I was meeting someone in three hours and that I didn't need any more rides. They acted disappointed. I waited a couple of hours before walking back to the trail. I figured they would be sleeping it off by then and wouldn't offer any more rides.


Weary
I got a ride at 19E by 2 drunk guys too. When I got into the backseat there were so many empties on the floor there was nowhere to put my feet. My vehicle was in Roan Mt. It was freezing cold and my buddy was hypothermic and still on the mountain, otherwise I would have waited for another ride.

sloopjonboswell
05-12-2008, 21:33
whew. what an interesting read. every town was awesome in my opinion. except maybe luray, va. but you know. we made that one fun too.