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mountain squid
02-05-2007, 19:32
...the Kennebec River, that is?

Having stood on the banks of the Kennebec, I can't believe anyone would attempt to ford it. Besides, the official route is via the canoe. What do you think?

*Note: There is no bridge.

See you on the trail,
mt squid

woodsy
02-05-2007, 19:39
Take the official route and you will be sure to tell your grandkids about it.
This river can kill if you hit it wrong. There are many hours of the day when it is UN-FORDABLE.

TJ aka Teej
02-05-2007, 19:39
Most AT hikers have never forded a river. While fording the Kennebec is possible under the right conditions, it is not the place to risk life limb and hike learning how to ford. Taking aboat across is the traditional way, the trail being routed to the Caratunk ford to take advantage of the existing boat traffic serving the sporting camps.

Jack Tarlin
02-05-2007, 19:42
This has been extensively discussed here on many occasions.

Is the River fordable?

Yup. And plenty of folks do it.

Is it safely fordable?

There are ways to cut down your risk, but the answer is no. The dam upstream discharges water without warning at irregular times. If you're caught out in the river during one of these discharges, you're screwed.

It is the considered opinion of Steve Longley, who knows this stretch of the kennebec River better than anyone alive, that fording is a risky and foolhardy thing to do.

Take the canoe.

mountain squid
02-05-2007, 19:43
You guys answered before I could even finish the poll?!?

See you on the trail,
mt squid

Lone Wolf
02-05-2007, 19:45
i've forded the kennebec 6 times

Bravo
02-05-2007, 19:47
i've forded the kennebec 6 times

Doggy Paddle???:D

rafe
02-05-2007, 19:59
If you walk from Monson to Katahdin or vice versa, you'll have several (smaller) river fordings to look forward to. Fording the Kennebec? Not for me. I'll take the canoe ride.

TJ aka Teej
02-05-2007, 20:10
You guys answered before I could even finish the poll?!?

See you on the trail,
mt squid


My answer isn't up there :D
I've forded, swum, canoed, rowboated, and kayaked across the Kennebec many times and in my opinion AT hikers should take the free canoe ride.

trlhiker
02-05-2007, 20:55
I have heard that thru-hikers have died trying to ford that river.

DavidNH
02-05-2007, 21:07
No way would I want to. There are all those warings and it is nice to get a free canoe ride. I mean that is 1 mile (or 1/2 mile or what ever it is) that you do not have to actually walk!

That said, I did see one guy ford the river. Called him self Number Two I believe. It took him a good half hour to get across. Plus he was spotted by the ferry man Steve Longman and I watched from the opposite shore.

In my personal oppinion it isn't worth it though I guess some like the challenge.

DavidNH (snickers)

ferryman
02-05-2007, 21:08
Ford or Ferry.... For the 21st year, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy will provide a free ferry service across the Kennebec River on the following dates: Friday May 18 thru Thursday July 13, 9:00am to 11:00am; Saturday July 14 thru September 30, 9:00am to 11:00am and 2:00pm to 4:00pm; Finally Monday October 1 to Monday October 8, 10:00am to 12:00pm (Noon). Since 1987, over 20,000 hikers have taken advantage of the free ferry across the Kennebec River! The owner of the two dams located above the Kennebec Crossing, Florida Power and Light, produces hydro-electric power to about 88 million customers yearly mostly for on-demand peak power industrial concerns. For further info, please call me at 207-663-4441. Yours, Steve Longley c/o Rivers and Trails, 1603 US Rt 201, The Forks, Maine 04985. e-mail, ste[email protected] or website, www.riversandtrails.com (http://www.riversandtrails.com)

Jim Adams
02-05-2007, 21:08
I forded in 1990--no big deal!
I canoed in 2002--no big deal!
ANSWER---HOH!
geek

rafe
02-05-2007, 21:12
No way would I want to. There are all those warings and it is nice to get a free canoe ride. I mean that is 1 mile (or 1/2 mile or what ever it is) that you do not have to actually walk!

More like 150 yards, at best.

mountain squid
02-05-2007, 21:13
Ford or Ferry.... For the 21st year, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy will provide a free ferry service across the Kennebec River on the following dates: Friday May 18 thru Thursday July 13, 9:00am to 11:00am; Saturday July 14 thru September 30, 9:00am to 11:00am and 2:00pm to 4:00pm; Finally Monday October 1 to Monday October 8, 10:00am to 12:00pm (Noon). Since 1987, over 20,000 hikers have taken advantage of the free ferry across the Kennebec River! The owner of the two dams located above the Kennebec Crossing, Florida Power and Light, produces hydro-electric power to about 88 million customers yearly mostly for on-demand peak power industrial concerns. For further info, please call me at 207-663-4441. Yours, Steve Longley c/o Rivers and Trails, 1603 US Rt 201, The Forks, Maine 04985. e-mail, [email protected] or website, www.riversandtrails.com (http://www.riversandtrails.com)

Thank-You for your service, Steve.

See you on the trail,
mt squid

SalParadise
02-05-2007, 22:24
yeah, I remember this thread from last year.

I forded in 05 with a group of friends. I have a background in competitive swimming, so I didn't have much of a problem getting across, but my friends had a much harder time, one in particular (he's fine).

I couldn't recommend fording the Kennebec because I've seen how difficult and dangerous it can be when the dam is open.

if i lived closer to the ATC, maybe that would be a recommendation i'd put forward, that the next project could be a tent platform right on the banks of the river. maybe hikers would be more apt to tent there and wait until the next morning for Ferryman and not ford in a race to get to that restaurant.

weary
02-05-2007, 22:47
I forded in 1990--no big deal!
I canoed in 2002--no big deal!
ANSWER---HOH!
geek
Well, it's like fighting to protect the environment. You never finally win. There is always the environment there for someone else to develop. But losing tends to be forever -- something like drowning trying to wade the Kennebec.

The chances of drowning are not great. The dam upstream opens sporadically. As Lone Wolf says, "no big deal," at least until by chance the dam opens and you drown.

If it were strictly a contest of skills, I'd say go for it. I've snowshoed many miles of the AT in Maine in Winter. I've been on Katahdin's tableland a half dozen times in winter -- or the summit once. I like risks that pit me against nature.

But wading the Kennebec isn't like that. Most times most anyone can do it. Occasionally, however, the dam opens and you have a good chance of drowning.

If you think it's fun to play Russian Roulette wade the Kennebec. Afterall in Russian Roulette you have five chances in six of surviving. Your odds of surviving are even better on the Kennebec. But the outcome has little to d0 with physical skills -- just luck.

Weary

Jim Adams
02-05-2007, 22:56
Weary,
I've been a whitewater guide for 30 years. As long as the river level is compatable I wouldn't hesitate fording but that is just me. I also enjoy pitting myself against nature when it is a challenge that I am educated in. I do alot of winter backpacking however Pennsylvania winters are quite abit more mild than Maine. I envy you! I would love to be on the tablelands on snowshoes however that is probably beyond my level of safty. To each his own.
geek

weary
02-05-2007, 23:21
Weary,
I've been a whitewater guide for 30 years. As long as the river level is compatable I wouldn't hesitate fording but that is just me. I also enjoy pitting myself against nature when it is a challenge that I am educated in. I do alot of winter backpacking however Pennsylvania winters are quite abit more mild than Maine. I envy you! I would love to be on the tablelands on snowshoes however that is probably beyond my level of safty. To each his own.
geek
I've always figured that anything humans can do, I probably can do, if I put my mind to it. So over the years I've repaired cars, designed houses, built houses, solicited money to save mountains, written articles to save mountains .... The difference between me and experts is time. All professional auto mechanics, house designers, carpenters are much faster than me.

Climbing Katahdin in February is similar. Pick a good day, know your limitations and just do it. I figured out long ago how to safely cross the Kennebec. Just pick a nice day and sort of swim, walk, dog paddle. and float across.

I just have never figured out how to do it with a heavy pack that keeps trying to drown me when I lose my footing on those slippery rocks.

Weary

Jim Adams
02-05-2007, 23:35
Weary,
Totally understand! Pack all items in your pack inside of a sealed closed trash bag. Do not wear your hip belt. If you fall, slip out of the shoulder straps and just swim with the floating pack in front of you. It may be strenuous, tiring and you may end up further down stream than planned but alive. Just DON'T try to stand up in rapids (much different than riffles) and you should be fine, wet but fine.
geek

emerald
02-06-2007, 02:50
Were I to cross this summer, I'd trust Steve to ferry me across. I really don't see why this perennial discussion comes up, why people consider fording or why someone would recommend it.:rolleyes:

Anyone who for reasons I can't understand sees the need to consider what to do with respect to this issue should just read the recent thread.;)

In attempting to locate what I just suggested, I now realize it would not be simple for most people to find. Click here (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?p=308210#post308210), begin reading at The Old Fhart (post #51) and read through Moxie (post#59). There are some posts between those 2 not related to this discussion that can be ignored.

Sly
02-06-2007, 03:05
Were I to cross this summer, I'd trust Steve to ferry me across. I really don't see why this perennial discussion comes up, why people consider fording or why someone would recommend it.:rolleyes:


I can see a number of reasons why people would be tempted to ford. 1) They're there when the shuttles not. 2) They have experience fording. 3) They're purists, or is it blue blazers, at heart. 4) According to prior deaths (one section hiker) their chances or drowning are slim.

emerald
02-06-2007, 04:04
I can see a number of reasons why people would be tempted to ford. 1) They're there when the shuttles not. 2) They have experience fording. 3) They're purists, or is it blue blazers, at heart. 4) According to prior deaths (one section hiker) their chances or drowning are slim.

Poor planning or lack of self control.:rolleyes:
Won't happen to them.:rolleyes:
Blue-blazers at heart? You mean contrary?:rolleyes:
Doesn't strike me as how to calculate risk here.:rolleyes:It would seem to me that one should maximize one's potential for success and thus not take unecessary risks.

warren doyle
02-06-2007, 09:53
I always ford when it is safe (I have forded the Kennebec at least two dozen times on foot). Looking forward to my next ford in August.

Why? Appalachian Trail = "a footpath" and it is very important to me that I walk under my own power the entire trail between Katahdin and Springer.

Because of this strong belief, I will never take a canoe across the Kennebec.

weary
02-06-2007, 10:32
Were I to cross this summer, I'd trust Steve to ferry me across. I really don't see why this perennial discussion comes up, why people consider fording or why someone would recommend it.:rolleyes:
.....
Well, ponder for a moment why anyone would think of climbing Mt. Washington, when you can drive up or take the train.

Weary

Jimmers
02-06-2007, 10:35
Good for you.
But I believe that swimming doesn't count as walking. Just sayin.:rolleyes:

Seriously, this is silly. Fording downstream of a dam is like walking across an 8 lane highway. Yes it can be done, but why?

vipahman
02-06-2007, 10:53
Having no idea about how deep or wide the Kennebec is, can somebody please give me a idea during regular water levels in summer?

DavidNH
02-06-2007, 10:58
Having no idea about how deep or wide the Kennebec is, can somebody please give me a idea during regular water levels in summer?

Vipahman,

It is a wide river.. (1000 feet plus??). But that is not the issue. The water levels are perhaps knee deep normally but can rise quickly and without warning to waist deep or higher according to all the warning signs. As the signs say....you can not cross the river faster than the water can rise. This is due to releases from a hyro dam up stream. Alos the current can be fairly quick.

Fording is not a safe way to cross. If you DO want to ford.. do it during the hours that the ferry is running so that Steve Longman can spot and watch you. The main reason the ferry service is there in the first place is that fording this river isn't safe.

DavidNH

hiker33
02-06-2007, 11:37
I forded in 1985. There was no ferry operating that year so we had no choice other than a many-miles road walk. The first two channels were fairly easy, but the third one was deeper with stronger current. I lost my footing and was carried downstream a bit. Just as I was about to dump the pack and swim my boots contacted some rocks in chest-deep water and I through sheer luck regained my footing and made it to shore .

The next morning I opened the Portland newspaper and read that a woman had drowned while trying to ford the river. It happened an hour or so after we crossed. It was this fatality that led the ATC and MATC to establish a contracted ferry service. Prior to that it was a very hit-or-miss volunteer operation.

Having forded it once I wouldn't do it again.

vipahman
02-06-2007, 12:09
Vipahman,

It is a wide river.. (1000 feet plus??). But that is not the issue. The water levels are perhaps knee deep normally but can rise quickly and without warning to waist deep or higher according to all the warning signs. As the signs say....you can not cross the river faster than the water can rise. This is due to releases from a hyro dam up stream. Alos the current can be fairly quick.

Fording is not a safe way to cross. If you DO want to ford.. do it during the hours that the ferry is running so that Steve Longman can spot and watch you. The main reason the ferry service is there in the first place is that fording this river isn't safe.

DavidNH
Oh, I was just curious. I hate getting my feet wet. And unlike Warren Doyle, I interpret the AT as a footpath to mean, 'stay out of the water'. Fording downstream of a dam is definitely stupid. :eek:

sirbingo
02-06-2007, 12:56
FNORD!!

Link to Fnord (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fnord)

TJ aka Teej
02-06-2007, 16:22
Doyle is fording with only a daypack, and has a van with dry clothes waiting for him on the far bank. That's not the situation the majority of AT backpackers will find themselves in when they reach the Kennebec.

You risk your gear, your health, and your entire hike by wading into a river you've never seen before.

Take the canoe, it's the traditional way across the Kennbec.

the_iceman
02-06-2007, 16:32
To not take the canoe would disqualify me as a true thru-hiker since the last time I was in the canoe there was a blaze in the boat and NOT in the river. Follow the trail - take the boat.

Bravo
02-06-2007, 16:42
Good for you.
But I believe that swimming doesn't count as walking. Just sayin.:rolleyes:

Seriously, this is silly. Fording downstream of a dam is like walking across an 8 lane highway. Yes it can be done, but why?

To know that you did it.

I hear there's a trail over 2,000 miles that can be walked from ME-GA or GA-ME, but why would anyone do that???:)

Lone Wolf
02-06-2007, 16:42
nah. ford it.

Jack Tarlin
02-06-2007, 16:45
Teej has raised an excellent point above, but can we PLEASE not discuss individuals or Trail personalities here, and instead stick to the question, which was a discussion of fording and the advisability of fording.

That being said, Teej is 100% correct in stating that crosing the Kennebec in the canoe is traditional, as well as being wise.

mountain squid
02-06-2007, 16:52
Thanks everyone. Great posts so far. Not trying to encourage anyone, but realizing that someone will probably attempt it in the future. For those that have successfully forded it:

What were the conditions?
What time of the day did you ford?
What time of the season did you ford?
How much rain had there been?
How deep was the water?
How swift was the current?
How heavy was your pack? (Thanks TJ)
What did you do with your pack?
Did you have hiking poles/stick?
Did the dam open on you when you were in the middle of the river?
Were you familiar with the river beforehand?
Had you any experience in fording beforehand?
Did you do it alone?
If someone was with you, did you take turns?
Did you realize it was dangerous prior to fording it?
Why did you do it?
Is there any condition, in which you absolutely would not ford?Anything else that you can think of that might help someone prevent a fatal mistake?

Again, NOT encouraging anyone to ford it. Just realizing that someone probably will in the future.

See you on the trail,
mt squid

rafe
02-06-2007, 16:54
Teej's post in Msg #32 suggests a "third way," maybe. If you're a strong swimmer.... let Steve Longley take your pack across along with your hiking boots, poles, etc. Then you ford and/or swim... without pack. It seems to me that a fair amount of the danger is due to the pack dragging you under. Without a pack (and assuming you're a good, strong swimmer) maybe it's OK. Just a thought. PS: if you swim across, do not fight the river's current. Just get yourself across the river, expecting to end up downstream from where you started. Repeat: do not fight the current; that's the way to drown.

Jack Tarlin
02-06-2007, 16:58
Squid's comments above are useful, but the best way to prevent a future tragedy at the Kennebec crossing is if hikers realize that fording will ALWAYS be a dangerous and imprudent thing to do.

He's right, that there will always be people who will ford, and it's best that they have as much information as posible if they choose to do so, but that doesn't negate the fact that fording is dangerous, even life-threatening, and it is not in the interests of the hiking community to encourage fording, or to downplay the risks.

STEVEM
02-06-2007, 17:06
nah. ford it.

Wolf, You're right again, Why die as an 85 year old man of natural causes, when you can kill yourself decades sooner doing something stupid and unnecessary. I've never been there, but I think I'd take the ferry.

Lone Wolf
02-06-2007, 17:07
Wolf, You're right again, Why die as an 85 year old man of natural causes, when you can kill yourself decades sooner doing something stupid and unnecessary. I've never been there, but I think I'd take the ferry.

whatever. it's been way blown out of proportion.

wilderness bob
02-06-2007, 17:36
Water never gets tired, hikers do... foot entrapment is a killer (that and what are called strainers, trees and such). If the service was not available I would ford but, why risk it? Part of the experience IS the canoe ride. Enjoy it... Steve Rocks!! WB

Jimmers
02-06-2007, 18:04
To know that you did it.

I hear there's a trail over 2,000 miles that can be walked from ME-GA or GA-ME, but why would anyone do that???:)

True, but since you're already on the A.T., that doesn't really float as a reason. :rolleyes::D
So you float across a 70 yard river. I like the idea of staying dry from the chest down. Especially in Maine.

joedannajr
02-06-2007, 18:04
This is one river that fording seems to be foolish, especially since there is a classic alternative.

warren doyle
02-06-2007, 20:18
"Doyle is fording with only a daypack, and has a van with dry clothes waiting for him on the far bank. That's not the situation the majority of AT backpackers will find themselves in when they reach the Kennebec."

In 1973, I forded the Kennebec with a full pack (no van on the other side)
In 1975, I forded the Kennebec with a full pack. (no van on the other side)
In 1977, I forded the Kennebec with a full pack. (no van on the other side)
In 1980, I forded the Kennebec with a full pack. (no van on the other side)
In the 1980's, I probably forded the Kennebec about 2-3 times with a full pack with no van on the other side.
In the 1990's, I forded the Kennebec two times with a full pack and no van on the other side.

Litter pick-up completed (hopefully).

woodsy
02-06-2007, 20:27
I always ford when it is safe (I have forded the Kennebec at least two dozen times on foot). Looking forward to my next ford in August.

Why? Appalachian Trail = "a footpath" and it is very important to me that I walk under my own power the entire trail between Katahdin and Springer.

Because of this strong belief, I will never take a canoe across the Kennebec.


"Doyle is fording with only a daypack, and has a van with dry clothes waiting for him on the far bank. That's not the situation the majority of AT backpackers will find themselves in when they reach the Kennebec."

In 1973, I forded the Kennebec with a full pack (no van on the other side)
In 1975, I forded the Kennebec with a full pack. (no van on the other side)
In 1977, I forded the Kennebec with a full pack. (no van on the other side)
In 1980, I forded the Kennebec with a full pack. (no van on the other side)
In the 1980's, I probably forded the Kennebec about 2-3 times with a full pack with no van on the other side.
In the 1990's, I forded the Kennebec two times with a full pack and no van on the other side.

Litter pick-up completed (hopefully).


Hmmmm, First quote says 2 dozen times you've forded

2nd quote adds up to 9 times forded at most

More litter pickup time, lol:rolleyes:

rafe
02-06-2007, 20:35
Hmmmm, First quote says 2 dozen times you've forded

2nd quote adds up to 9 times forded at most

2nd quote is those times "with no van on the other side." (I think to counter Teej's charge...)

warren doyle
02-06-2007, 20:45
That is because I was specifically responding to garbage post #32.

All the other times, I forded the Kennebec with a day pack both with and without a van waiting on the other side (and I have never changed into dry clothes).

This August, I will ford the Kennebec again in the early morning with a day pack (without a change of clothes). I'll be heading south to a car which will be waiting for me at the end of the day at Flagstaff Lake.

Twice, I have had the opportunity to swim across the Kennebec without pack or day pack after the dam release reached the trail crossing. I do not count these 'swimming' crossings in my section hikes.

rafe
02-06-2007, 20:52
I'll be heading south to a car which will be waiting for me at the end of the day at Flagstaff Lake.

Very literal notion of purity, IMO. :rolleyes: Have you ever carried a full pack from one end of the trail to the other?

rickb
02-06-2007, 21:00
Paying a nickle to walk across the Bear Mountain Bridge would be a far greater afront than taking a canoe.

weary
02-06-2007, 21:04
Having no idea about how deep or wide the Kennebec is, can somebody please give me a idea during regular water levels in summer?
That's the issue. There is no "regular water levels in summer." Most of the time the water level is difficult but traversable by strong hikers. Periodically, and without warning, it becomes dangerous to most any hiker, regardless of the strength of the hiker.

Weary

warren doyle
02-06-2007, 21:07
Q: Have you every carried a full pack from one end of the trail to the other?

A: No, I haven't carried a full pack from one end of the trail (Appalachian) to the other (i.e., thru-hike).

However, I have carried a full pack the entire Long Trail four times, the entire Wonderland Trail once, the entire John Muir Trail twice and the entire Pennine Way once.

weary
02-06-2007, 21:21
Teej's post in Msg #32 suggests a "third way," maybe. If you're a strong swimmer.... let Steve Longley take your pack across along with your hiking boots, poles, etc. Then you ford and/or swim... without pack. It seems to me that a fair amount of the danger is due to the pack dragging you under. Without a pack (and assuming you're a good, strong swimmer) maybe it's OK. Just a thought. PS: if you swim across, do not fight the river's current. Just get yourself across the river, expecting to end up downstream from where you started. Repeat: do not fight the current; that's the way to drown.
If I recall, rightly, some time ago, MATC and Steve agreed that packs should not be carried in the canoe, while hikers crossed the river unemcumbered by their packs.

I don't know whether that is still the policy or not. Nor do I particularly care. However, ferrying gear, but not the hiker, simply encourages an irresponsible practice.

Hike the river with your pack, or use the canoe. I can think of no reason for using scarce trail funds for ferrying gear. It's not wet gear that caused us to pay for the ferry service, it is lost lives.

Weary

STEVEM
02-06-2007, 21:21
Warren, I'm a day hiker who hopes to someday attempt a thru hike. In your AT classes what do you tell your students if they ask a question about crossing this river?

woodsy
02-06-2007, 21:25
Slackfording doesn't count as a true ford and if you don't cross directly where the trail hits the water you are blueblazing. I don't think anyone could ford directly where the trail hits the water.

TODAY'S WORD:

Blueblazing Slackforder

rafe
02-06-2007, 21:44
pot calling kettle black? :rolleyes:

Hahdly. I haven't made it from one end to the other yet. ;) Warren's done it many times. I was just curious if Warren's been slackpacking from the get-go, or if that was a "later" development.

I've done very little slackpacking, but I can't say zero. A handful of one-day sections with a day pack, yes indeed.

rafe
02-06-2007, 21:47
If I recall, rightly, some time ago, MATC and Steve agreed that packs should not be carried in the canoe, while hikers crossed the river unemcumbered by their packs.

I was not privy to these discussions. I'm not encouraging fording; I was just thinking out loud about a way of doing it with less risk. I'm done with that section of trail; it's not a concern for me. (Nor did I even realize it was the least bit "controversial" until I came to WhiteBlaze.)

Jimmers
02-06-2007, 21:56
(Nor did I even realize it was the least bit "controversial" until I came to WhiteBlaze.)

Not surprising. I'm sure we'd argue about what color the sky was yesterday if we didn't have anything better to do. Oh, right, some of us don't. :rolleyes:

weary
02-06-2007, 22:18
on a slightly related subject, does anyone know how much the ferryman is paid? Is he paid a salary or is he paid per hiker?
ps. tera too, did you get my pm i sent on sun?
He has a contract for providing the service, May through October. I forget the figure, but it's around $20,000.

Aside from his own ferrying of hikers, he hires others when he can't be around for some reason, plus supplies the canoes, and, I suspect, pays a major liability insurance bill.

The money used to be funneled through MATC. It's now paid by ATC with funds, I think, that are paid by the National Park Service.

Weary

TJ aka Teej
02-06-2007, 22:37
Teej has raised an excellent point above, but can we PLEASE not discuss individuals or Trail personalities here, and instead stick to the question, which was a discussion of fording and the advisability of fording.

That being said, Teej is 100% correct in stating that crosing the Kennebec in the canoe is traditional, as well as being wise.

When you're right, you're right, Jack.
I shouldn't have made specific mention by name of another hiker in my last post.

TJ aka Teej
02-06-2007, 22:45
Just to make a point very clear:
Steve will not ferry your pack across while you ford.

Mags
02-06-2007, 22:46
Not surprising. I'm sure we'd argue about what color the sky was yesterday if we didn't have anything better to do. Oh, right, some of us don't. :rolleyes:

It was lavendar, damn it!

smokymtnsteve
02-06-2007, 22:49
ah the color of the sky, yesterday the sky was a beautiful red-gold of low angle sunshine...looked like a fire burning behind Denali..

while last night the sky was green with northern lights..

ah the color of the sky

Jack Tarlin
02-06-2007, 22:51
Actually, Teej, since that individual has seen fit to come here and defend fording (which he has done many times here at WB) it probably IS all right to point him out by name; I just didn't want this discussion to get personal, as so many similar dialogues have done.

I think that the most illuminating post on this entire thread is by hiker33, who describes a very dangerous fording experience that co-incidentally took place on the same day another hiker was not so lucky.

Everyone should go back and re-read that post.

A very well known hiker has stated here that they only ford the river when it is "safe" to do so.

They are ignoring the simple fact that it is NEVER entirely safe to do so, and to pretend otherwise is simply avoiding the truth.

And while individuals are welcome to take whatever personal risks they wish, it is unconscionable and extraordinarily irresponsible for a seasoned, experienced long-distance hiker to either downplay the risk of, or encourage, an activity known to be dangerous, if not life-threatening.

This is not "education" or trail wisdom.

It is nothing less than rotten, lousy advice, and always will be, no matter how many times it is boasted about here, or advocated.

rafe
02-06-2007, 22:51
Just to make a point very clear:
Steve will not ferry your pack across while you ford.

OK, it was a brain phart on my part. I hadn't thought about the liability issues. :rolleyes:

woodsy
02-06-2007, 22:52
It was lavendar, damn it!

No it was not, it was grey!

smokymtnsteve
02-06-2007, 22:54
No it was not, it was grey!

i'd be safe and warm if I wuz in LA;)

woodsy
02-06-2007, 23:00
Take the canoe, it's fun!

swift
02-07-2007, 00:42
I'm curious, I did stand on the southern bank of the kennebec and think about doing the ford before calling the ferryman. There are so many rivers a lot larger you walk across on bridges without ever considering a ford. This continuing battle on how to get across 150 yards of water after 2,000 miles makes everyone look like a whiny baby that has a strong opinion on it from what I see, let's just get it over with. It really doesnt have anything to do with the river, or how you get across it does it? WHY does your method of getting across that tiny strip of water make you superior to the folks who do it the wrong way?

Jack Tarlin
02-07-2007, 00:47
It's not a question of what is "superior" or better.

It's a question of what is wise.

Nobody is saying that an individual cannot ford if that's what they want to do.

What people are saying, tho, is that fording is inherently dangerous, and for anyone to downplay or minimize this risk, or to try and encourage hikers, especially younger ones, to do something that can get them killed.....well, this is pretty lousy advice.

And it's wrong.

Lone Wolf
02-07-2007, 05:52
WHY does your method of getting across that tiny strip of water make you superior to the folks who do it the wrong way?

there is no wrong way. just an alternative method. I've always forded around 7:00 AM and never had the slightest problem. was quite easy in fact.

woodsy
02-07-2007, 08:34
QUOTE SWIFT:WHY does your method of getting across that tiny strip of water make you superior to the folks who do it the wrong way?

That tiny strip of water, the Kennebec, can turn into a raging torrent in a matter of minutes. So in that regard, it does have a lot to do with the river, and timing.
The majority of people who cross here have little knowledge of the upriver hydro station's water release schedule which can change from day to day,
herin lies the problem/dangers
of fording and encouraging others to ford.

mrc237
02-07-2007, 09:17
Hey, let the guy do his job, why take risks when there is a safe alternative. I worked at a high risk job most of my life, when I was young I took lots of risks as I got older the risks were seldom when I got even older I took none at all. Its foolish to tempt fate! Take the ferry, its cool, and Steve is great company.

Jim Adams
02-07-2007, 11:34
common sense people! you have to be aware of your self and your surroundings at all times no matter what your choice for crossing; ie it makes no sense to take the ferry if you get hit by a car crossing the road after the river.
geek

Footslogger
02-07-2007, 11:43
Personally ...I found taking the ferry a GAS. After walking all those miles being carted across a fast moving river was one of the hightlights of my hike.

I was wet enough throughout my thru in 2003 and had no choice about it. A conscious decision to get soaked and possibly to get all my gear soaked in the process just didn't seem like the right thing to do at the time.

Ford if you want ...I'll take the ferry every time !!

'Slogger

warren doyle
02-07-2007, 15:22
http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/images/icons/icon1.gif More info for litter clean-up and bully pacification
Roland and Lone Wolf (and others),
Thank you for your insightful support. I appreciate it.
Below is a copy of an informative post I had on the MS thread.
I imagine I'll keep on posting this particular post if it continues to be warranted.

The charts shows the breakdown of my 14 hikes of the entire AT - it shows that half of my 30,000+ AT miles were day hiked (49.6%) and half of my 30,000+ miles were backpacked (50.4%).

This chart does not show the five times I have done the entire Long Trail (all backpacking); the two times I have done the entire John Muir Trail (all backpacking except one day of day hiking); the entire Wonderland Trail (all backpacking); the entire Pennine Way (all backpacking); and, numerous other weekend/weeklong backpacking experiences primarily in the Northeast.

And yes (again), "I have never backpacked the entire Appalachian Trail!"
...and feel free to quote me on that but only if you include the entire picture.


"Interesting.
I have a question.
I will be 49 when I finally have the opportunity to hike the AT and I was wondering what age were you when you last "backpacked" the "ENTIRE" AT? Was it your first one... second... fourth?
There are a number of reasons I ask but mainly, I'm just curious. :-?
Thanks. :sun"

Mr. Austexs,

Your question deserves a reply since it seems to be asked in a non-mean-spirited, non-hidden-agenda, non-judgmental, non-internegator type of way. Being an educator, I always admire and respond to genuine curiosity.

I have never backpacked the entire trail on any of my 14 treks (8 thru; 6 section). The closest I came was for about 45% of my first thru in 1973 when I did the trail in 66.3 days ( a record that lasted until 1978). My seven other thrus were the Appalachian Trail Circle Expeditions which had a support vehicle. My 6 section hikes also incorporated supported day hiking to some extent.

I have many wonderful memories and gratitude towards the people who shared my hikes with me - my father, my mother (deceased), my first wife, my son, daughter, my students, staff and friends. I can never exhaust the happy recollections.

Below is a table/chart showing what percentage of my hikes were day hiking and what percentage were backpacking. Please note these are approximations since I neither have the time nor the desire right now to go through all my hiking journals. I plan to do that when I retire and cannot walk anymore.

Year-------Type------% day hike----% backpack-----

1973--Thru---66.3 days--55%---------45%
1975--Thru---109 days---75%---------25% circle=19
1977--Thru---109 days---75%---------25%
1980--Thru---110 days---75%---------25% circle=14
1971-81 Section--?-------10%---------90%
early 1980's Section-?-----10%---------90%
late 1980's Section-?------10%---------90%
1990--Thru---127 days---80%---------20% circle=14 (wheel)
1990-1995--Section-? ----10%---------90%
1995--Thru---127 days---80%---------20% circle=11
1995-2000---Section -?---20%---------80%
2000--Thru---127 days---85%---------15% circle=6
2000-2005--Section--?---25%---------75%
2005--Thru---127 days---85%---------15% circle=3

I plan to finish my 15th traverse of the entire AT on Monday afternoon
April 5, 2010 at Elkville, PA. This is a section hike. I have the support/companionship of my wonderful wife Terry. It definitely has been my most enjoyable and fulfilling section hike.

I plan to finish my 16th traverse of the entire AT atop Katahdin on Saturday morning Sept. 4, 2010. This thru-hike will be as a member of the 2010 Appalachian Trail Circle Expedition, the eighth and probably last group I've organized to do the entire trail.

I have backpacked the Long Trail end-to-end five times, the John Muir Trail twice (the latest being last July), the Wonderland Trail, the Pennine Way in England, parts of the Allegheny Trail, and in numerous backcountry areas in the northeast.

When the opportunity is available to day hike, I take that option even if it means doing the Mahoosucs in one day, the Saddleback/Spaulding/Crocker section, the western Smokies, the eastern Smokies, and sections of the 100-mile 'wilderness'.

When the only option is backpacking, I do it. I enjoy both day hiking and backpacking. The only difference it has made to me in the past is how many miles I can expect to cover in a day (i.e. 18-25 mpd backpacking; 20-30 mpd day hiking).

Thanks for asking the question and I hope I answered it with this post.
__________________
Warren Doyle
30,000-miler (and counting)
s for your support
__________________
Warren Doyle
30,000-miler (and counting)
[email protected]

TJ aka Teej
02-07-2007, 15:49
regarding post #78 in this thread about fording the Kennebec:

Nothing in this post mentions fording or the Kennebec.

I'd like to suggest to members that they 1) stay on topic,
and 2) link to old posts that relate to the thread's topic rather than cut & paste entire overly long old posts into new threads.

warren doyle
02-07-2007, 15:55
WHY does your method of getting across that tiny strip of water make you superior to the folks who do it the wrong way?

I do not think that fording the Kennebec is 'superior' to being ferried across. That is your intepretation not mine. In my opinion, there is no common 'right' or 'wrong' way to cross the Kennebec. Individuals have to decide for themselves.

Fording the Kennebec is an important part of my Appalachian Trail experience. It is the 'best/right' way for me.
Fording many snowmelt-swollen creeks on the John Muir Trail in early July was an important part of my JMT experience.
I want to thank the Kennebec of the East for teaching me how to move through the Sierra Nevada waterways of the West.

What appears dangerous to many may appear safe to a few.
There were many who believed if we withdrew from Vietnam that the communists would eventually take over our country. I didn't believe that.
There are many who believe that if we don't fight the 'terrorists' over 'there' we will be fighting them 'here'. I don't believe that either.
I also believe that you don't have to carry water for most of an AT hike.
I also believe you can dayhike the entire Appalachian Trail.
I also believe you don't have to treat your water.
I also believe that it is not illegal to eat leftovers in a restaurant.
I also believe that one should have 'free' access to the Appalachian Trail.
And I could go on and with more unusual beliefs.
Do I consider my beliefs superior?
No. I consider them different.
Because they are different they can be controversial to others who don't share those beliefs.
That is okay with me because "we see with only with what we possess."
Are my beliefs right or wrong? I only report to the man in the mirror and my loved ones.

Jack Tarlin
02-07-2007, 16:15
Actually, Mr. Doyle, you are either being disingenuous or are outright lying when you pretend that you say you are only talking about what is right for YOU in regards to the Kennebec River.

You have repeatedly attempted to influence other hikers, including younger and inexperienced ones, and this includes people who have never seen the Kennebec, have no experience of it, and have no idea whatsoever how to make their ford "safer", i.e. they have no knowledge of where to ford, how to ford, etc.

I have in my possession a full-page register entry of yours from 1995 from the Pierce Pond trail register in which you not only advocate fording, but you make it very clear that those who don't are timid, fearful, and cowardly. You imply that fording is not only the correct way to cross the river, but is the only manly one.

There were several younger hikers present who elected to ford the next day, in no small measure because of your exhortations and urgings; they clearly felt that it was not only the "right" way to cross, but that taking the canoe ferry was somehow a gutless thing to do. You effectively "shamed" these kids into fording.

In other words, Warren, you might say that when you talk about fording, you are talking about only yourself, but this is a patent falsehood. You have for many years, in many places, advocated fording the Kennebec, and have urged people to do so, and have suggested that taking the ferry is a cowardly thing to do.

I have seen this with my own eyes. I have heard it from folks who participated in your alleged "Expeditions." I have heard it from folks who've attended lectures and talks by you at Trail Days, the ALDHA Gathering, and elsewhere.

So stop lying to us here at Whiteblaze about only talking about what is right for you. You not only have influenced many people to do reckless and dangerous things, but you urge and encourage them to do so.

If you wish to put yourself at risk on the Trail, that is entirely your prerogative. But the fact remains that for many, many years, you have continuously advocated a very dangerous practice, i.e. fording a dangerous river, and you have probably "shamed" many people into unnecessarily risking their lives in the process.

You continually describe yoursdelf as an "educator."

Well, in many ways, sir, you are a poor one.

Good teachers don't try to get their charges killed.

warren doyle
02-07-2007, 16:16
Q: Warren, I'm a day hiker who hopes to someday attempt a thru hike. In your AT classes what do you tell your students if they ask a question about crossing this river?

A: At the Appalachian Trail Institute, I go through the entire data book from Georgia to Maine (about a 12-hour process spread over four days). When we come to the Kennebec, I give them two options:

1) the ferry service
2) fording the river (but only when it is safe to ford)

What they decide to do is up to them, not me.

More info on the ATI can be found on my website below. We just had eight people from eight different states attend an ATI session a few days ago. The next one is scheduled the four days prior to Damascus Trail Days.

max patch
02-07-2007, 16:24
I have in my possession a full-page register entry of yours from 1995 from the Pierce Pond trail register in which you not only advocate fording, but you make it very clear that those who don't are timid, fearful, and cowardly. You imply that fording is not only the correct way to cross the river, but is the only manly one.


That would be an awesome document to be scanned and archived here at WB.

warren doyle
02-07-2007, 16:28
Trinity = 4
Bragging Bozo (the common clownish criminal and threat to trail security/safety) = 0

Lone Wolf
02-07-2007, 16:56
Actually, Mr. Doyle, you are either being disingenuous or are outright lying when you pretend that you say you are only talking about what is right for YOU in regards to the Kennebec River.

You have repeatedly attempted to influence other hikers, including younger and inexperienced ones, and this includes people who have never seen the Kennebec, have no experience of it, and have no idea whatsoever how to make their ford "safer", i.e. they have no knowledge of where to ford, how to ford, etc.

I have in my possession a full-page register entry of yours from 1995 from the Pierce Pond trail register in which you not only advocate fording, but you make it very clear that those who don't are timid, fearful, and cowardly. You imply that fording is not only the correct way to cross the river, but is the only manly one.

There were several younger hikers present who elected to ford the next day, in no small measure because of your exhortations and urgings; they clearly felt that it was not only the "right" way to cross, but that taking the canoe ferry was somehow a gutless thing to do. You effectively "shamed" these kids into fording.

In other words, Warren, you might say that when you talk about fording, you are talking about only yourself, but this is a patent falsehood. You have for many years, in many places, advocated fording the Kennebec, and have urged people to do so, and have suggested that taking the ferry is a cowardly thing to do.

I have seen this with my own eyes. I have heard it from folks who participated in your alleged "Expeditions." I have heard it from folks who've attended lectures and talks by you at Trail Days, the ALDHA Gathering, and elsewhere.

So stop lying to us here at Whiteblaze about only talking about what is right for you. You not only have influenced many people to do reckless and dangerous things, but you urge and encourage them to do so.

If you wish to put yourself at risk on the Trail, that is entirely your prerogative. But the fact remains that for many, many years, you have continuously advocated a very dangerous practice, i.e. fording a dangerous river, and you have probably "shamed" many people into unnecessarily risking their lives in the process.

You continually describe yoursdelf as an "educator."

Well, in many ways, sir, you are a poor one.

Good teachers don't try to get their charges killed.

post this 12 year old register entry you claim to have, and what are you doing with it?

swift
02-07-2007, 17:09
LW beat me to it. How did you acquire a page out of a trail register, and why have you kept it so long?

Lone Wolf
02-07-2007, 17:22
20g's aint too bad for paddlin a few hikers across a river for 5 months is it...sound like a fun job..:)
about $45 an hour.

Cookerhiker
02-07-2007, 17:35
Another vote for the canoe, not just for the patently obvius safety reasons but it's also fun. And I'm confident that should I traverse it again, next time Steve won't drop my pack in the river!

All was quickly forgiven:D I stayed at his place that night.

Jim Adams
02-07-2007, 18:06
Steve is a very good guy and provides a good solid service for those who are intimidated by the river but come on people, this is not as dangerous as you all make it out to be!!!! People were fording this river for years prior to the canoe service. Okay, you say yes BUT people have died attempting to ford the river. WELL, more people have died from summer storms in the Whites than have died attempting to cross the Kennebec!. Maybe we should offer a free car ride around the Presidential Range. IT'S OK, WE'LL PAINT A BLAZE ON THE HOOD TO MAKE IT LEGAL!!!!

GEEK

max patch
02-07-2007, 18:07
LW beat me to it. How did you acquire a page out of a trail register, and why have you kept it so long?


post this 12 year old register entry you claim to have, and what are you doing with it?

Dang, the Doyle groupies beating up Jack over a single page in a register.

Hope they don't find out that I've got 2 complete registers from the early 90's that I keep in my office.

Lone Wolf
02-07-2007, 18:10
WELL, more people have died from summer storms in the Whites than have died attempting to cross the Kennebec!.

Only one has drowned. Many more have been raped and murdered on the AT. Best carry a gun.

TJ aka Teej
02-07-2007, 18:21
People were fording this river for years prior to the canoe service.

GEEK

Hi Geek. People were taking boats across the Kennebec for years prior to the ferry service. You're saying Myron Avery and Earl Shaffer were "intimidated" by the river? What makes you say that?

woodsy
02-07-2007, 18:49
Only one has drowned.

Thanks in part to the Ferryman!:)

Jim Adams
02-07-2007, 18:50
Hi Geek. People were taking boats across the Kennebec for years prior to the ferry service. You're saying Myron Avery and Earl Shaffer were "intimidated" by the river? What makes you say that?
:-? No, not at all. I said that Steve offers a great service for people who may be intimidated by the river. Surely there are people out there that can't swim, maybe had a past bad experience with water or the water is simply too high or too cold (no one's mentioned the canoe as an alternative to hypothermia!). These reasons would definitely be solved by Steve's services. What I am saying is that the "danger" is being blown WAY out of proportion. You are walking a trail in all weather conditions, at all altitudes, in all climate zones, in a large variety of wildlife for 6 months and attempting to convince people that the most dangerous thing out there is the Kennebec River! It's like saying that early starters should bypass the Smokies because they MAY get caught in bad weather, DON'T cross over any peaks because you MAY get struck by lightening, bypass Pennsylvania because you MAY fracture and ankle on the rocks or get bitten by a rattle snake, bypass New Jersey because you MAY run into too many bears, bypass New York because you MAY get struck by a car, stay out of Conneticut because you MAY get your feelings hurt by the yuppies, stay away from the Whites for the above mentioned and last but not least, DON'T EVER CLIMB KATAHDIN BECAUSE THE WEATHER CAN CHANGE TOO QUICKLY. Come on people, RULE #1---HYOH!!!!! Don't give grief to those with the nads to ford and don't give grief to those that think the canoe is the answer to their current abilities.
geek
ps. did I mention getting struck by a car in New York?:eek:

Jack Tarlin
02-07-2007, 18:56
Geek:

I have to object to your last post.

Most folks don't take the canoe because they are intimidated or scared by the river.

They take it not out of fear, but out of wisdom. They take it because they think fording is a foolish and unnecessary risk.

And as to you invoking the "Hike Your Own Hike" mantra, well you need to re-read my posts again. People absolutely have the right to do what they want on their own hikes, at least as far as putting themselves at risk is concerned.

But encouraging others, or shaming others into doing likewise has nothing to do with "HYOH."

If people want to get themselves killed, more power to 'em, but when they encourage other people to join them, that's when it stops being Hiking One's Own Hike, and starts becoming an unhealthy influence on somebody else's.

Sly
02-07-2007, 18:56
I can't swim, but it hasn't stopped me from fording many rivers/streams out West, some of which were quite deep and/or swift.

woodsy
02-07-2007, 19:04
Why do y'all suppose the ATC pays someone to provide this ferry service on the Kennebec? Cause they don't want hikers to get their feet wet crossing or cause they don't want hikers to drown trying to cross???????

Jim Adams
02-07-2007, 19:16
Geek:

I have to object to your last post.

Most folks don't take the canoe because they are intimidated or scared by the river.

They take it not out of fear, but out of wisdom. They take it because they think fording is a foolish and unnecessary risk.

And as to you invoking the "Hike Your Own Hike" mantra, well you need to re-read my posts again. People absolutely have the right to do what they want on their own hikes, at least as far as putting themselves at risk is concerned.

But encouraging others, or shaming others into doing likewise has nothing to do with "HYOH."

If people want to get themselves killed, more power to 'em, but when they encourage other people to join them, that's when it stops being Hiking One's Own Hike, and starts becoming an unhealthy influence on somebody else's.

Jack,
I'm sorry that you interpreted my message that way. I DO NOT WANT PEOPLE FORDING THE RIVER BECAUSE SOMEONE SAYS THAT THEY SHOULD!
My objection was just the opposite. It is no more dangerous than most other parts of the trail. I used the canoe service in 2002 and enjoyed it immensely and thanked Steve for the ride. My point is to NOT CALL HIKERS STUPID FOR DECIDING TO CROSS IN A TRADITIONAL MANOR!!!!!:-?
geek

Jack Tarlin
02-07-2007, 19:26
Geek:

You're missing the point. As Teej, Weary, and others have pointed out many times, the "traditional" way to cross the Kennebec River is by canoe.

So I'm not calling anyone "stupid" because they are allegedly following a tradition......which, incidentally they are not.

I am merely questioning the wisdom of downplaying an activity that is provably dangeous; I find it troubling that some folks who should know better continually encourage other folks to engage in potentially life-threatening activity, and it's really out of line to tell people they lack fortitude or guts (or nads, your term) if they refrain from fording. Goading and teasing of this sort is precisely the sort of behavior that encourages folks, particularly younger ones, to engage in really stupid activity.

I can't help but wonder if the poor soul who drowned fording the river did so after being repeatedly told it was "safe", or being told that it was "traditional" to ford, or that only the cowardly refrained.

I appreciate and respect your sentiments and opinions, Geek, but would they stay the same if another young person died here because a well-known, veteran hiker convinced them that fording was the cool thing to do?

And THAT's what I object to. If one wants to put ONE'S SELF at risk, fine. Have at it. But to encourage others to do likewise is just wrong.

Lone Wolf
02-07-2007, 19:28
Geek:

You're missing the point. As Teej, Weary, and others have pointed out many times, the "traditional" way to cross the Kennebec River is by canoe.

So I'm not calling anyone "stupid" because they are allegedly following a tradition......which, incidentally they are not.

I am merely questioning the wisdom of downplaying an activity that is provably dangeous; I find it troubling that some folks who should know better continually encourage other folks to engage in potentially life-threatening activity, and it's really out of line to tell people they lack fortitude or guts (or nads, your term) if they refrain from fording. Goading and teasing of this sort is precisely the sort of behavior that encourages folks, particularly younger ones, to engage in really stupid activity.

I can't help but wonder if the poor soul who drowned fording the river did so after being repeatedly told it was "safe", or being told that it was "traditional" to ford, or that only the cowardly refrained.

I appreciate and respect your sentiments and opinions, Geek, but would they stay the same if another young person died here because a well-known, veteran hiker convinced them that fording was the cool thing to do?

And THAT's what I object to. If one wants to put ONE'S SELF at risk, fine. Have at it. But to encourage others to do likewise is just wrong.

where is this register page you have that says warren goaded and teased to ford?

Jim Adams
02-07-2007, 19:37
Jack,
Yes you are right, that complete sentence about the "nads" was uncalled for and I do appologize. I am not encouraging anyone to ford the river, but lately I have been real pissed off about the politically correct Bulls**t. I also was not aware that boats had been used for so long--sorry Teej.
I guess that my main objection was that it is just not any more dangerous than alot of the other parts of the trail ie; re-read #96.
geek

TJ aka Teej
02-07-2007, 19:38
Don't give grief to those with the nads to ford...

Fording means you have courage?
You need to overcome your fear of small watercraft, Geek! :D

Jack Tarlin
02-07-2007, 19:41
It's out in the barn in a box, Wolf. I tore it out of the register because it was so outrageous I didn't think other hikers, especially younger ones, should be exposed to it. I was planning to send it along to the ATC so they could have a look at it, in case they wanted to stop carrying Doyle's videos as a result. I never did this as it didn't seem worth the trouble.

But it's there all right.

Now here's a prediction: Wolf will call me a BSer on this and accuse me of making the whole thing up, tho he's known me long enough to know I don't lie.

At some point, I probably will go thru the barn and dig it up and show it to Wolf, and when I do, he can come back here and publicly acknowledge that I was right.

But you know what? If Wolf REALLY wants this published, where anyone in the Trail community can see it, then I'll take a few hours and dig it out. But is that what Wolf really wants? Is it what Doyle really wants?

I'd like to see Doyle himself deny that he's put stuff like this in registers. Cuz if he does THAT, you better believe I'll dig this out, prove him a liar, and destroy his credibility on this matter for all time.

But ya know what? I don't expect him to do this, because he knows EXACTLY what sort of foolish stuff he's been puting in registers for years and years.

And so do YOU, Wolf.

Lone Wolf
02-07-2007, 19:44
It's out in the barn in a box, Wolf. I tore it out of the register because it was so outrageous I didn't think other hikers, especially younger ones, should be exposed to it. I was planning to send it along to the ATC so they could have a look at it, in case they wanted to stop carrying Doyle's videos as a result. I never did this as it didn't seem worth the trouble.

But it's there all right.

Now here's a prediction: Wolf will call me a BSer on this and accuse me of making the whole thing up, tho he's known me long enough to know I don't lie.

At some point, I probably will go thru the barn and dig it up and show it to Wolf, and when I do, he can come back here and publicly acknowledge that I was right.

But you know what? If Wolf REALLY wants this published, where anyone in the Trail community can see it, then I'll take a few hours and dig it out. But is that what Wolf really wants? Is it what Doyle really wants?

I'd like to see Doyle himself deny that he's put stuff like this in registers. Cuz if he does THAT, you better believe I'll dig this out, prove him a liar, and destroy his credibility on this matter for all time.

But ya know what? I don't expect him to do this, because he knows EXACTLY what sort of foolish stuff he's been puting in registers for years and years.

And so do YOU, Wolf.

take a photo of it and post it, i want to see the exact words

Jack Tarlin
02-07-2007, 19:46
Geek:

You are right, there are all sorts of dangers on the Trail......it's dangerous to hike thru central PA with headpones on; it's dangerous to tease rattlesnakes; it's dangerous to be on Franconia Ridge during a lightning storm; it's dangerous to hike the Whites without proper gear and clothing.

There are all sorts of risks and dangers, and you may well be right when you say that there are things on the Trail that are as, or even more dangerous than fording the Kennebec.

But the big difference, Geek, is nobody here is downplaying those other dangers or telling people to ignore them. Nobody else is coming here and saying "The risks of not bear-bagging in Shenandoah Park are greatly exaggerated" or telling newbies that picking up rattlers is easy if you know the "safe" way to do it.

There is no "safe" way to do something that is fundamentally unsafe, Geek, and nothing can change that.

And that's the point I've been trying to make here today.

Lone Wolf
02-07-2007, 19:47
it's not unsafe if done early in the morning

Jack Tarlin
02-07-2007, 19:50
As I said, Wolf, if that's what you really want.

But first let's see if Doyle wants it published, OK?

If so, I'll very happily accomodate him, tho it may be awhile til I get out to the barn.

Unlike you, Wolf, I work seven days a week and have demands on my time. :D

But if you really want this to happen, fine.

It might actually put an end to your cheerleading, and that wouold be a most welcome thing.

Jim Adams
02-07-2007, 19:52
Fording means you have courage?
You need to overcome your fear of small watercraft, Geek! :D

Thanks Teej! I don't think that I've ever met you but I would like to. You seem like a very interesting and good person. I do hope to meet you sometime and also Weary. I think that both meetings would be a good time.:sun
geek
PS. I have 27,000 miles of canoeing under my belt from the 2,022 miles of Pennsylvania to New Orleans, inside the Arctic Circle twice and numerous class 5 and one class 6 rapid.:D

TJ aka Teej
02-07-2007, 19:56
it's not unsafe if done early in the morning

That's really out of date information.

Jim Adams
02-07-2007, 19:57
Geek:



There is no "safe" way to do something that is fundamentally unsafe, Geek, and nothing can change that.

And that's the point I've been trying to make here today.

:confused: ME TOO JACK!
geek

Jack Tarlin
02-07-2007, 19:59
According to Steve Longley, Wolf, water is released upstream at different times, and these releases are NOT always pre-publicized.

It can happen in the morning, too.

Steve thinks that fording is a foolish thing to do, and considering his knowledge of, and experience with the river, I'm gonna have to defer to him on this one.

Steve Longley is about the steadiest man I've ever met.

If he says something is true, you can take it to the bank.

If he says something is foolish, I'm inclined to agree with him.

If he says something is dangerous, then I believe him.

Lone Wolf
02-07-2007, 20:03
As I said, Wolf, if that's what you really want.

But first let's see if Doyle wants it published, OK?

If so, I'll very happily accomodate him, tho it may be awhile til I get out to the barn.

Unlike you, Wolf, I work seven days a week and have demands on my time. :D

But if you really want this to happen, fine.

It might actually put an end to your cheerleading, and that wouold be a most welcome thing.

i'm not cheerleading anybody. you brought it up in post 81. prove it. and the end of your extreme f cking obsession with warren would be a most welcome thing.

Jack Tarlin
02-07-2007, 20:08
I just sent Wolf an extended private message regarding this matter, I'll wait til he reads it.

But if he wants this document publicly aired, I'll accomodate him, or more likely, I'll share it with HIM personally, and he can then retract his last few posts.

But yeah, I still want to see Warren come on here and tell us he's NEVER, ever written anything like this is a register, and therefore there's no way this document exists.

I'd really like to see him say that, cuz if there's anything that would inspire me to go out to the barn and root thru boxes for six hours, that'll do it. :rolleyes:

STEVEM
02-07-2007, 20:14
Here's a journal entry discussing the crossing. I think its worth reading.

http://runtrails.net/journal/day_137.htm

Lone Wolf
02-07-2007, 20:15
I just sent Wolf an extended private message regarding this matter, I'll wait til he reads it.

But if he wants this document publicly aired, I'll accomodate him, or more likely, I'll share it with HIM personally, and he can then retract his last few posts.


retract what? you said you had proof he was calling folks pussies or sissies or whatever for not fording. i asked you to prove it. now you're backpedaling and making excuses for not producing it. take a picture of it and post it here for all to see.

Jack Tarlin
02-07-2007, 20:20
I'm not backpedaling a bit, Wolf. I told you where it was. I'll dig it out if you want, but it won't be today, and maybe not tomorrow, Wolf. Some of us work for a living.

But when you see it, we'll see who'll be backpedaling then.

You really should be more circumspect when you call someone a liar, unless you REALLY want to embarass yourself.

Now, in that the library's closing in forty minutes, I'm gonna send Wolf one last personal message and then move on to other things.

TJ aka Teej
02-07-2007, 20:22
I have 27,000 miles of canoeing under my belt from the 2,022 miles of Pennsylvania to New Orleans, inside the Arctic Circle twice and numerous class 5 and one class 6 rapid.:D
Well there you go - with that kind of experience of course you'd see the Caratunk ford as no big deal for you to ford, especially the second time.
But also, with that kind of experience, wouldn't you agree that unknown rivers are dangerous to wade into? Especially if you've never forded one before and are carrying a backpack?

I think the responsible advice to give ATers wondering about the ford is to tell them to take the canoe.

rickb
02-07-2007, 20:24
There are times I take delight in challenging Jack Tarlin's wisdom. So its hard for me to say this.

He is 100% right regarding the ford, and in his condemnation of those who promote it.

Even a blind squirrel...

Lone Wolf
02-07-2007, 20:24
I'm not backpedaling a bit, Wolf. I told you where it was. I'll dig it out if you want, but it won't be today, and maybe not tomorrow, Wolf. Some of us work for a living.

But when you see it, we'll see who'll be backpedaling then.

You really should be more circumspect when you call someone a liar, unless you REALLY want to embarass yourself.

Now, in that the library's closing in forty minutes, I'm gonna send Wolf one last personal message and then move on to other things.

i'm not calling anyone a liar, *******, i'm just asking you to produce this log entry you brought up. i could care one way or the other. YOU are the one accusing, YOU have the burden of proof

Jack Tarlin
02-07-2007, 20:26
Read your PM's and shut up. I'm outta here.

Lone Wolf
02-07-2007, 20:30
Read your PM's and shut up. I'm outta here.

i read your f cking PMs. you're an *******.there's not one post in this thread where i called you a "LIAR". i said produce this document. that's all.

Jack Tarlin
02-07-2007, 20:34
You're doubting my word, which to me, is considered the same thing.

I look forward to proving you wrong, so spare me and the rest of us your vulgarities.

I tried very hard to keep this a personal matter between us, but you evidently don't want it that way. You and Warren may well end up regretting this day, but the fault is not mine.

Good night.

Lone Wolf
02-07-2007, 20:42
You're doubting my word, which to me, is considered the same thing.

I look forward to proving you wrong, so spare me and the rest of us your vulgarities.

I tried very hard to keep this a personal matter between us, but you evidently don't want it that way. You and Warren may well end up regretting this day, but the fault is not mine.

Good night.

you brought it up on a very public forum and i asked you to post it here for the public to see. i don't doubt you have the page but i doubt you can recall exactly what he wrote 12 years ago. and i bet it's not as bad as you say. others besides you need to interpret it. and why should i regret anything? :-?
you're the one that brought this crap up.
Sorry I won't see you dixicritter and Rock. Jack took back my invite to have dinner with y'all at Miss Janet's.:rolleyes:

saimyoji
02-07-2007, 20:43
Hey, wait a mintue while I go pop some pop corn and grab a beer...I don't wanna miss anything.... :D

::gets ready for another episode of "As the Trail Turns":: :D

Jack Tarlin
02-07-2007, 20:44
Actually, sitting here in the library, I just realized my memory is off.

I busted three ribs near Crawford Notch and got off the Trail near Andover, Maine that year, so I wasn't at Pierce Pond in 1995.

But while my memory of the year is wrong, my memory of the note and what it said is not. It was either '96, when I went from Andover to Katahdin, or '97when I hiked the entire Trail.

I regret the error, but this was, after all, a decade ago. And the year isn't as important as the note itself.

I'll have some time off after Winter Carnival Weekend here in Hanover, and will make a point of getting out to the barn and going thru some boxes. I look forward very much to finding this thing, and sharing it with Wolf.

Lone Wolf
02-07-2007, 20:47
I'll have some time off after Winter Carnival Weekend here in Hanover, and will make a point of getting out to the barn and going thru some boxes. I look forward very much to finding this thing, and sharing it with Wolf.

share it with all of WHITEBLAZE. let everybody make they're own minds up.

Lone Wolf
02-07-2007, 20:48
Hey, wait a mintue while I go pop some pop corn and grab a beer...I don't wanna miss anything.... :D

::gets ready for another episode of "As the Trail Turns":: :D

he's the drama queen. i just ask ???

Jack Tarlin
02-07-2007, 20:49
Gee, Wolf, that's REALLY adult of you to disclose private correspondence here in a public forum.

Really classy.

But yeah, since he wants to talk about it, I did indeed withdraw Wolf's invitation to dinner. I did this in private correspondence.

I like Wolf, he's an old friend. It's just that I don't feel the need to shop for, cook for, or dine with someone who publicly doubts my word.

I'm sorry you won't be there, too, but this dinner is for my friends, none of whom think of me as an embellisher, exaggerator, or liar.

And I think that's enough of this complete BS for one night. The library is about to close, and for this I am grateful.

When I'm done in the barn Wolf, I'll get back to you.

Lone Wolf
02-07-2007, 20:53
When I'm done in the barn Wolf, I'll get back to you.

like i said, post it here where you brought it up. don't PM me or come near me if you're gonna be a sniveling baby.

Skidsteer
02-07-2007, 20:54
For cryin' out loud!

If he's an 'old friend' Jack, why toss him to the side over an internet squabble? Wouldn't it be better to hash it out in person?:rolleyes:

Jack Tarlin
02-07-2007, 20:57
We will hash it out in person! I just wrote him back, re-invited him to dinner, and look forward very much to seeing him! Life's too short.

And when I find this stupid register thing, we'll laugh at it, forget about it, have a couple of drinks with Rock, and move on to something more worth of discussion than the Kennebec River.

That's it, I'm DONE with this for the night!

Mags
02-07-2007, 20:58
The day before the ford, I slipped and fell. A rock tore up my arm and gashed it out quite deeply. I was able to patch it up with a 4x4 gauze pad (folded over) and some duct tape. The scars are still on my forearm (I just looked. Yep, still there).

I took the canoe. I also got a pint of Ben and Jerry's afterwards.

No point to this story. Other than that I just remember crossing the Kennebec, and getting my Ben and Jerry's, as a great memory on a wonderful trip.

Who really gives a flying f... what another person's opinion may be. The key to remember for ANY advice is to remember what works for someone may not work for you. And they because your way of doing something is the way you want to do it, it is not necc. the best way for everyone.

Then again, I'm a wimp. But, that ice cream sure did taste good!

Skidsteer
02-07-2007, 20:59
We will hash it out in person! I just wrote him back, re-invited him to dinner, and look forward very much to seeing him! Life's too short.

And when I find this stupid register thing, we'll laugh at it, forget about it, have a couple of drinks with Rock, and move on to something more worth of discussion than the Kennebec River.

That's it, I'm DONE with this for the night!

That's more like it. :D Good show.

Heater
02-07-2007, 21:02
Come on people, RULE #1---HYOH!!!!! Don't give grief to those with the nads to ford and don't give grief to those that think the canoe is the answer to their current abilities.
geek
ps. did I mention getting struck by a car in New York?:eek:


Jack,
I'm sorry that you interpreted my message that way. I DO NOT WANT PEOPLE FORDING THE RIVER BECAUSE SOMEONE SAYS THAT THEY SHOULD!
My objection was just the opposite. It is no more dangerous than most other parts of the trail. I used the canoe service in 2002 and enjoyed it immensely and thanked Steve for the ride. My point is to NOT CALL HIKERS STUPID FOR DECIDING TO CROSS IN A TRADITIONAL MANOR!!!!!:-?
geek

And don't give grief to those without "the nads to ford" either... which is exactly what you do with that comment. (gave grief to those that "sensibly" choose to take the ferry)

Jim Adams
02-07-2007, 22:20
The key to remember for ANY advice is to remember what works for someone may not work for you. And they because your way of doing something is the way you want to do it, it is not necc. the best way for everyone.

Then again, I'm a wimp. But, that ice cream sure did taste good!

Mags,
You are not a wimp. You pointed out exactly what I was trying to get across. You made your own decision.


Austex,
Obviously you missed my appollogie for such a poor choice of words. Other than that, see my response to Mags above.
geek

Sly
02-07-2007, 22:25
Sorry I won't see you dixicritter and Rock. Jack took back my invite to have dinner with y'all at Miss Janet's.:rolleyes:

At least you GOT an invitation! :mad:

warren doyle
02-07-2007, 22:44
I love a parade, and we had a humdinger this evening, but I think a lullaby is now in order:

"The water is wide, we cannot get o'er.
And neither have we wings to fly
Give us a boat, that will carrry two
And both shall row, my love and I."
(but only when we are not walking the entire Appalachian Trail)

Sleep well,
from an unhealthy influence

PS: I will dream about my past Pierce Pond LT register entries (post 1985) and it will cause a smile to appear on my sleeping Bozoian countenance.

Bravo
02-07-2007, 23:35
Hey, wait a mintue while I go pop some pop corn and grab a beer...I don't wanna miss anything.... :D

::gets ready for another episode of "As the Trail Turns":: :D


I've learned so much about the Trail here on WB. This is the best though. Who the hell needs TV???:D

Mags
02-07-2007, 23:55
Mags,
You are not a wimp.

You do not know me well, then.

I carry as little as possible.
I stay in huts during the winter and drink my vino.
I walk because I am too afraid to rock climb.

Yes..I am not a burly, Mountain Dew kind of guy.

I admit to being a wimp...and I am darn proud of it.

:)

Lone Wolf
02-08-2007, 08:23
At least you GOT an invitation! :mad:

you can go in my place. i don't eat lasagna anyway. didn't know it was invite only. i'll see sgt. rock some other time

Jack Tarlin
02-08-2007, 15:05
Knowing your odd aversion to all things cheese, you were actually gonna get a personal rib-eye, so I hope you reserve the right to change your mind!

And Sly of course is welcome, if it's not too far to travel.

He eats anything!! :D

Sly
02-08-2007, 15:10
Cool. You'll have to let me know when it is. I'll be leaving the East to head out West without a definite date, but sometime before April, and can hook up with I-40 up there.

Sly
02-08-2007, 15:12
He eats anything!! :D

If you only knew! :eek: :datz :D

icemanat95
02-08-2007, 18:08
I did not ford because the canoe is the official route, and things were colder than all get out when I got there.

I have forded rivers before, including a fairly nasty one on the North Side of Katahdin during a weekend trip a few years before doing the AT. I scouted the ford and guided several people in our party across the ford carrying their packs. The water on that particular ford was hip deep on me, which would make it chest deep or higher on the shorter people in the group and VERY fast moving as the stream was pouring off the mountain itself. It was fun in July when the air was hot, and it still took more than an hour to get full feeling back into my feet. Having been there and done that (seven times that day), I did not feel compelled to revisit the experience on the AT when the official route was a warm(ish) safe canoe ride.

Further, having experienced how difficult and frightening a ford can be, I wouldn't ask, cajole, badger, browbeat or try to shame anyone into attempting it, especially with un-certain release schedules.

I don't specifically remember a shelter log entry by Warren, in 1995 calling anyone a wimp for not attempting a ford of the Kennebec...I think I do, but I can't recall after 11 years now, however, I knew then exactly what Warren's opinion was. I had heard it from him during a Gathering before my attempt, had read it somewhere else and had heard him mention it on the trail when I spent a couple days with and around the Expedition in 1995 down in Virginia.

What I find interesting is that Warren, whose groups hike about as untraditionally as is possible without actually being carried, makes such a big deal about fording the Kennebec. If you want to make claims about fording being the only way to do the thing, or the only gutsy way of doing it, and put tremendous peer pressure on people to do it that way, you should at least be willing to hump your own load up the trail rather than hiring a van to do it for you.

The reality is that Warren's whole schtick with the Expeditions is about peer pressure. It's the big motivating factor that allows a bunch of folks of different ages and physicalities to travel the distance in the time allowed. It works, but it is NOT appropriate to push that same hardline crap outside of the Expedition. We constantly hear the old mantra about hiking our own hikes, often from Warren, but on this issue,we get the opposite message from him in no uncertain terms....do it HIS way. Well, Maybe dictating the program for the Expeditions has gotten to be too much of a habit.

ed bell
02-08-2007, 18:31
Excellent post icemanat95.

Lone Wolf
02-08-2007, 18:33
fording is fun and safe when done right.

mrc237
02-08-2007, 19:39
I"m too ascared to ford :eek: I wanna live long enough to have some of Baltimore Jack's Lasagne. ;)

smokymtnsteve
02-08-2007, 19:59
what about the destruction/theft of trail/shelter registers??

what about free speech???

who elected/appointed anyone to be trail censor??

return the stolen property!!!!

icemanat95
02-08-2007, 20:19
fording is fun and safe when done right.

And that's your risk to take Wolf.

The problem arises when a person of some prominence like Warren, starts loading the pressure on impressionable newbies with nothing like your experiences both in and out of the trail community to draw on. The simple fact that you are a retired Marine puts you in a different class from most folks as far as mental attitude goes.

Warren advocates and pressures new people toward fording the Kennebec. He provides no information about how to do it safely, he's not there to help people do it, nor would he accept a stitch of the responsibility if someone took his advice and got swept away. The adventurous and confident are going to ford the river whether Warren, or Jack or I or anyone else tells them not to. What Jack and I are saying is that the responsible way to go is to tell people that the official path is by the ferry and that fording, while possible, is dangerous and completely at your own risk.

You can disagree and go your own way, that is what it's all about, but for someone with as much visibility as Warren to go out and browbeat people and pressure them and call into question their personal courage if they don't ford, is plain irresponsible.

I've said my peace here.

Lone Wolf
02-08-2007, 20:41
The problem arises when a person of some prominence like Warren, starts loading the pressure on impressionable newbies

Warren advocates and pressures new people toward fording the Kennebec. He provides no information about how to do it safely, he's not there to help people do it, nor would he accept a stitch of the responsibility if someone took his advice and got swept away.

You can disagree and go your own way, that is what it's all about, but for someone with as much visibility as Warren to go out and browbeat people and pressure them and call into question their personal courage if they don't ford, is plain irresponsible.


none of what is said about warren has been proven as far as fording. i've never heard of it from anyone except you and jack and you claim it was 11 years or so ago.

rafe
02-08-2007, 20:45
none of what is said about warren has been proven as far as fording. i've never heard of it from anyone except you and jack and you claim it was 11 years or so ago.

Hmm.. there are Warren's own posts in this thread. IIRC, one of which strongly insinuated that fording was the right and proper way to cross (viz., that a proper thru hike meant Springer to Katahdin by foot travel, which precludes a canoe ride.)

Lone Wolf
02-08-2007, 20:59
i'm talkin about THE register entry.

smokymtnsteve
02-08-2007, 21:04
i'm talkin about THE register entry.


aka as the stolen property,,,vandalism

woodsy
02-08-2007, 21:06
i'm talkin about THE register entry.

Jack ain't showed up yet, bet he's in the barn digging it out, meantime I got the corn poppin and the woodstove stoked, I'm ready tonight!

Lone Wolf
02-08-2007, 21:07
aka as the stolen property,,,vandalism

whatchoo talkin' about? i got 10 different pages from Earl's famous 98 hike. gonna sell em' on e-bay.

smokymtnsteve
02-08-2007, 21:09
whatchoo talkin' about? i got 10 different pages from Earl's famous 98 hike. gonna sell em' on e-bay.

return to sender??;)

I thunk U already had plenty of $$$..or is dat ex-on stock not paying well?

smokymtnsteve
02-08-2007, 21:13
do not destroy shelter registers..folks should leave them alone for other hikers to read and enjoy.

Jester2000
02-08-2007, 21:27
Are my beliefs right or wrong? I only report to the man in the mirror . . .

You report to Michael Jackson?!?



Trinity = 4
Bragging Bozo (the common clownish criminal and threat to trail security/safety) = 0

Um, what?


Maybe we should offer a free car ride around the Presidential Range. IT'S OK, WE'LL PAINT A BLAZE ON THE HOOD TO MAKE IT LEGAL!!!!
GEEK

I'll pay for the paint & half the gas.


I can't swim, but it hasn't stopped me from fording many rivers/streams out West, some of which were quite deep and/or swift.

Sly, you know that's because you're a complete nutjob.


fording is fun and safe when done right.

Yeah, someone told me that about sex once, and look how everything's turned out. . .


:-? No, not at all. I said that [the bridge over the Hudson] offers a great service for people who may be intimidated by the river. Surely there are people out there that can't swim, maybe had a past bad experience with water . . . These reasons would definitely be solved by [the bridge] services. What I am saying is that the "danger" is being blown WAY out of proportion. You are walking a trail in all weather conditions, at all altitudes, in all climate zones, [through a zoo], in a large variety of wildlife for 6 months and attempting to convince people that the most dangerous thing out there is the [Hudson]! . . . Come on people, RULE #1---HYOH!!!!! Don't give grief to those with the nads to ford and don't give grief to those that think [the bridge] is the answer to their current abilities.
geek


I have altered your quote so that I can agree with you that we should all be FORDING THE HUDSON! Don't take the stupid bridge! I have posted this suggestion before, and I have no fear of mocking those who would use this man-made horror! Here is my previous quote:

"I, a somewhat known and not at all respected member of whatever this is, have decided that, for me, just me, not anyone else, the use of man made bridges to cross rivers is for pansies. I will be swimming the Hudson on all subsequent hikes, and I will wear my pack while I do it, as I feel this is a more appropriate way to do it than the way that those with common sense choose. Who will join me for some Sunday in the far future? My only regret is that they have stopped charging a toll to cross the bridge, as the sign I was going to wear on my pack, "Screw You, Tollbooth Guy!" is, I fear, a bit outdated."

Note that I call people who use bridges "pansies," ya pansies.

DavidNH
02-08-2007, 21:51
Hey, pass the popcorn please!

T'is quite a tussel happening here.

From a personal perspective..I don't see any advanatge of fording the kenebec. It would be like fording the Hudson River. Unnecessary and really not smart. Why do some folks have to turn an AT thru hike into so much machismo?!

And Lone Wolfe.. you might as well give up trying to get Jack to back down... he never does and sure isn't about to on this. I am sure he will produce that document in time.


What I would love to see here is a Warren and Jack thread... they go at it and the rest of us just look on...perhaps with one or two choice comments from the peanut gallery along the way!!!

DavidNH

smokymtnsteve
02-08-2007, 21:53
thou shalt not steal

Jester2000
02-08-2007, 21:54
What I would love to see here is a Warren and Jack thread...
DavidNH

No Jester? How could you?

smokymtnsteve
02-08-2007, 21:56
with THE WEASEL as moderator and legal consul

DavidNH
02-08-2007, 22:00
No Jester? How could you?

OK Jester.. throw in your two cents by all means.

I only mean to say that Warren and Jack are a bread apart as it were. Is there any example of any other two people who could be so polar opposite never back down and ready to hang it all out? And each with an inexhaustable supply of facts, cetainties and energy to prove their point! This is like the world championship heavy weight!

DavidNH.

Lone Wolf
02-08-2007, 22:04
From a personal perspective..I don't see any advanatge of fording the kenebec. It would be like fording the Hudson River. Unnecessary and really not smart. Why do some folks have to turn an AT thru hike into so much machismo

fording is fun davey. you oughta try it

smokymtnsteve
02-08-2007, 22:08
yea davy,,be easier jist to watch the movie

rafe
02-08-2007, 22:09
Is there any example of any other two people who could be so polar opposite never back down and ready to hang it all out?

Wolf and Jack polar opposites? On this issue, sure. In general... not.

ed bell
02-08-2007, 22:11
I have altered your quote so that I can agree with you that we should all be FORDING THE HUDSON! Don't take the stupid bridge! I have posted this suggestion before, and I have no fear of mocking those who would use this man-made horror! Here is my previous quote:

"I, a somewhat known and not at all respected member of whatever this is, have decided that, for me, just me, not anyone else, the use of man made bridges to cross rivers is for pansies. I will be swimming the Hudson on all subsequent hikes, and I will wear my pack while I do it, as I feel this is a more appropriate way to do it than the way that those with common sense choose. Who will join me for some Sunday in the far future? My only regret is that they have stopped charging a toll to cross the bridge, as the sign I was going to wear on my pack, "Screw You, Tollbooth Guy!" is, I fear, a bit outdated."

Note that I call people who use bridges "pansies," ya pansies.Now we are getting to the true heart of the matter.:cool: Question: How many man made structures are used along the length of the trail? Wooden footbridges will be discussed later.:D

rafe
02-08-2007, 22:14
Now we are getting to the true heart of the matter.:cool: Question: How many man made structures are used along the length of the trail? Wooden footbridges will be discussed later.:D


*****tloads. Particularly enjoyed the "wilderness experience" crossing the Delaware. :rolleyes:

smokymtnsteve
02-08-2007, 22:20
return the stolen property

Jester2000
02-08-2007, 22:25
Wolf and Jack polar opposites? On this issue, sure. In general... not.

Um, no. Warren & Jack are the lovely couple being compared.


I only mean to say that Warren and Jack are a bread apart as it were. Is there any example of any other two people who could be so polar opposite never back down and ready to hang it all out?

DavidNH.

Um, James II and William III? Idi Amin and his dinner? Galileo and all the Popes from the 1590's 'til 1993?

I'm less interested in the personalities than in what they have to say.


Now we are getting to the true heart of the matter.:cool: Question: How many man made structures are used along the length of the trail? Wooden footbridges will be discussed later.:D

The trail is a man made structure.


*****tloads. Particularly enjoyed the "wilderness experience" crossing the Delaware. :rolleyes:

Crossing that bridge is ALSO for pansies. SWIM THE DELAWARE! It's fun! It'll cool you off in July!

Sly
02-08-2007, 22:28
I can't swim, but it hasn't stopped me from fording many rivers/streams out West, some of which were quite deep and/or swift.




Sly, you know that's because you're a complete nutjob.


That, and I hate retracing my steps.... :p

Bravo
02-08-2007, 22:48
F*** it! After all this I've gotta ford and then take the ferry across and back. Just to see what all the fuss is about.:eek:

I've been bounced around in enough whitewater to know if I'll make it. If I don't, well hell I can think of a lot worse places and ways to die.

Oh...hey...pass the popcorn.:D

emerald
02-08-2007, 22:58
"I, a somewhat known and not at all respected member of whatever this is, have decided that, for me, just me, not anyone else, the use of man made bridges to cross rivers is for pansies ....

That should be a concept dear to the hearts of all white-blooded purists. I would think they should seek to avoid all such improvements as they are no less than affronts to their manliness or else monuments to their manliness which may or may not be related to oxliness -- I'm not sure.:confused:

ed bell
02-08-2007, 23:06
The trail is a man made structure.While I understand where you are comming from, I meant "structure" in a nuts and bolts sense.;) Other than that my question was meant facetiously. A "pure" bridge seems funny to me in relation to a canoe ride, as Jester has illustrated.:)

Heater
02-08-2007, 23:06
That should be a concept dear to the hearts of all white-blooded purists. I would think they should seek to avoid all such improvements as they are no less than affronts to their manliness or else monuments to their manliness which may or may not be related to oxliness -- I'm not sure.:confused:

Would using one of these to float across improve the image of manliness.
Maybe Skidsteer will weigh in on this one. :D

http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/yhst-18613214318518_1934_1745451

Is that a pic of Skidsteer as a child? :-?

warren doyle
02-08-2007, 23:08
One of my fondest memories of the 1980 Appalachian Trail Expedition centered around a small group of folks in the group who decided to ford (without packs of course) many of the rivers in the northern half of the trail (in addition to following the trail over the bridges).
We started with fording the Shenandoah and the Potomac (a swim) around Harpers Ferry; the Susquehanna at the Clarks Ferry Bridge was a formidable ford/swim; the Lehigh and the Delaware (the latter being an enjoyable body surf); we deemed the Hudson to be beyond our capabilities and thus too dangerous to swim across; we forded/swam the Housatonic several times (Cornwall Bridge; Falls Village; Rt. 7 in MA); we swam the White in West Hartford VT and the Connecticut near Hanover (both of these offered great bridge jumping as well!). We did not attempt the Androscoggin because the smell and foam were not too inviting. We played a hand of 'Hearts' in the middle of the Kennebec (got a great picture of it). The Penobscot at Abol Bridge was an exciting body surf.

emerald
02-08-2007, 23:10
Warren, what is your opinion concerning the fordablity of the Susquehanna River? Where would you place it relative to the Lehigh and the Potomac Rivers? I'm considering a bridgeless thru-hike next year. What do you think of this idea?

emerald
02-08-2007, 23:11
Dam it! I knew you had to be thinking that. You posted faster than me. Imagine my reaction when I saw my post appear below yours.;)

Skidsteer
02-08-2007, 23:16
Would using one of these to float across improve the image of manliness.
Maybe Skidsteer will weigh in on this one. :D

http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/yhst-18613214318518_1934_1745451

Is that a pic of Skidsteer as a child? :-?

Probably.

That's about how old I was when I started working. Wait a minute! What are those dark objects in the bottom of the pool?

Turdy! Turdy! Turdy! :eek:

The Old Fhart
02-08-2007, 23:20
Lone Wolf-"none of what is said about warren has been proven as far as fording. i've never heard of it from anyone except you and jack and you claim it was 11 years or so ago."As far as believing anything Warren says about fording the Kennebec, don't you remember how Warren went on and on about how fording was the 'traditional' way to cross the Kennebec until I posted quotes from many of the hikers from Earl Shaffer on who all said they took a canoe, raft, boat etc.. I also posted excerpts from the early Maine A.T. guidebooks back to 1936 that I have that clearly state that some form of ferry service has always been used.

When it was shown beyond any doubt that Warren's claim that fording was the 'traditional' way to cross was a complete and absolute lie, he stopped mentioning that so-called 'fact'. Bozo -still zero.:D

emerald
02-08-2007, 23:34
The trail is a man made structure.

Are not also footbridges that provide a means of crossing interstate highways?;)

Heater
02-08-2007, 23:37
Here's one for FD.

http://us.st11.yimg.com/us.st.yimg.com/I/yhst-18613214318518_1934_10094004

warren doyle
02-08-2007, 23:46
Q: Warren, what is your opinion concerning the fordablity of the Susquehanna River? Where would you place it relative to the Lehigh and the Potomac Rivers? I'm considering a bridgeless thru-hike next year. What do you think of this idea?

A: Some disclaimers before I answer. I have only forded/swam the following rivers once: Potomac, Susquehanna, Lehigh. I forded/swam them in July when the weather was warm and the water level seemed normal. So my advice is grounded on my limited experience on these three rivers (compared to the Kennebec in the summer months).

I recommend fording/swimming them one way and packless and then returning back on the trail across the bridge (traversing the river three times - one by ford/swim and two by bridge).

You must be confident about your swimming abilities and must be cautious about getting your feet caught in a upstream-facing riverbedrock 'keeper', which all three rivers have. Go with the current and be careful about ramming your knees on large rocks underwater. Start upstream from where you eventually want to 'beach' on the other side. Float and stroke shallow. Footwear highly recommended. On the Susquehanna, we swam from bridge pylon to bridge pylon working as a team always sending the strongest swimmer first to 'catch' the others with an extended ski pole before they were taken downriver by the strong current. However, that was the old Clarks Ferry Bridge. I don't have any knowledge of how the bridge pylons under the new bridge look.

My river-fording days of these particular rivers on the Appalachian Trail are over since I have no desire/need to ford/swim them again (and there are bridges).

I will continue to ford the Kennebec though as long as I consider the conditions to be safe for me (and there is no bridge). My desire and need to ford the Kennebec under my own leg/foot power is still strong within my heart and mind.

warren doyle
02-08-2007, 23:49
Trinity - 5
Bozo - 0

Jack Tarlin
02-08-2007, 23:57
For the record, fording the Shenandoah can be extremely dangerous. Laura Wright, who has lived in Harpers Ferry for many, many years, and owns the Outfitter shop there, will confirm that there are drownings there almost every year.

There is no "safe" way to ford the Shenandoah, as fording it is an inherently dangerous activity.

As is fording the Kennebec.

ed bell
02-09-2007, 00:15
My river-fording days of these particular rivers on the Appalachian Trail are over since I have no desire/need to ford/swim them again (and there are bridges).

I will continue to ford the Kennebec though as long as I consider the conditions to be safe for me (and there is no bridge). My desire and need to ford the Kennebec under my own leg/foot power is still strong within my heart and mind.Warren, in the interest of getting this whole deal straight, are you saying that a footbridge over the Kennebec would abate your desire to ford the river? With all due respect, a canoe ride is a much more desireable an alternative to me. My .02 on this, and it is in all likelyhood worth far less considering that I have never seen the Kennebec.:cool:

rafe
02-09-2007, 00:22
My .02 on this, and it is in all likelyhood worth far less considering that I have never seen the Kennebec.:cool:


Here's (http://www.terrapinphoto.com/kennebec.jpg) the view we had while waiting for the ferryman, from the south (err... western) shore.

ed bell
02-09-2007, 00:38
Here's (http://www.terrapinphoto.com/kennebec.jpg) the view we had while waiting for the ferryman, from the south (err... western) shore.Thanks for spoiling it.:sun

TJ aka Teej
02-09-2007, 00:40
As far as believing anything Warren says about fording the Kennebec, don't you remember how Warren went on and on about how fording was the 'traditional' way to cross the Kennebec until I posted quotes from many of the hikers from Earl Shaffer on who all said they took a canoe, raft, boat etc.. I also posted excerpts from the early Maine A.T. guidebooks back to 1936 that I have that clearly state that some form of ferry service has always been used.

When it was shown beyond any doubt that Warren's claim that fording was the 'traditional' way to cross was a complete and absolute lie, he stopped mentioning that so-called 'fact'. Bozo -still zero.:D

The first time Warren attacked me on the Information Superhighway was over this issue - I had mentioned that boats were available at Caratunk long before the canoe ferry was established, and he absolutely flipped out - typing away that he knew better because (quoting Doyle here) "I WAS THERE and YOU WERE NOT!" It seems hard to believe that someone claiming to have been at the Caratunk crossing in (quoting Doyle here)"1973;75;77;80;" could have been completely unaware of any of the boat traffic to and fro across the Kennebec. How could someone never have met a single aware hiker, never have read any history, never read any guidebook, never have spoken with locals, or have missed all the postings in the shelters, the camps, or at the Caratunk post office/store on four seperate visits? It seems, to me at least, to be very hard to believe.

Bravo
02-09-2007, 00:45
Here's (http://www.terrapinphoto.com/kennebec.jpg) the view we had while waiting for the ferryman, from the south (err... western) shore.


That's it??? Are you kidding. What is all the fuss about? I'm fording for sure now.

emerald
02-09-2007, 00:46
For all who responded, I don't know. I'll cross that bridge* when I get to it or think that may be a wise course of action:

:-? What do you expect to learn at that time that you do not already know and how will you go about using the information you gather to make an informed decision about whether to ford?

warren doyle
02-09-2007, 00:46
Q: Warren, in the interest of getting this whole deal straight, are you saying that a footbridge over the Kennebec would abate your desire to ford the river?

A: In keeping to what I have said before (that I have a desire/need to walk under my own power the entire Appalachian Trail between Springer and Katahdin),that if there was a bridge across the Kennebec, and it had white blazes on it, than that is what I would use to cross the Kennebec.

As of now, there is no bridge across the Kennebec. As long as it is safe, I figure that if my legs can get me the entire distance of the trail surely they can get me across the Kennebec as well (and they will).

ed bell
02-09-2007, 00:48
Q: Warren, in the interest of getting this whole deal straight, are you saying that a footbridge over the Kennebec would abate your desire to ford the river?

A: In keeping to what I have said before (that I have a desire/need to walk under my own power the entire Appalachian Trail between Springer and Katahdin),that if there was a bridge across the Kennebec, and it had white blazes on it, than that is what I would use to cross the Kennebec.

As of now, there is no bridge across the Kennebec. As long as it is safe, I figure that if my legs can get me the entire distance of the trail surely they can get me across the Kennebec as well (and they will).Fair enough, Thanks for the reply, Warren.

Bravo
02-09-2007, 00:48
For all who responded, I don't know. I'll cross that bridge* when I get to it or think that may be a wise course of action:

:-? What do you expect to learn at that time that you do not already know and how will you go about using the information you gather to make an informed decision about whether to ford?

I'll look at it. Read the water. Decide to go or not. After seeing that last picture though I'm pretty sure I'm fording. I used to swim in much much worse just for fun.

warren doyle
02-09-2007, 00:49
Trinity = 6
Bozo = 0

rafe
02-09-2007, 00:51
That's it??? Are you kidding. What is all the fuss about? I'm fording for sure now.

The Hudson, it's not. :)

I remember being a happy camper when that photo was taken. We'd had a nice night at the most beautiful shelter on the AT (Pierce Pond) and our section was almost over -- our car was waiting for us at Caratunk.

emerald
02-09-2007, 00:51
That's it??? Are you kidding. What is all the fuss about? I'm fording for sure now.

Correct me if I'm wrong terrapin_too. Your photo is looking downstream, not across the river.

Sly
02-09-2007, 00:53
Thanks for spoiling it.:sun

He didn't. If the river runs north to south, that picture is looking a bit southeast, the fording area is to the north, 50 yards or so up from where the ferry crosses.

Bravo
02-09-2007, 00:53
The Hudson, it's not. :)

I'm sure. That's what bridges are for right.

rafe
02-09-2007, 00:55
Correct me if I'm wrong terrapin_too. Your photo is looking downstream, not across the river.

That is correct.

rafe
02-09-2007, 01:10
I'll look at it. Read the water. Decide to go or not. After seeing that last picture though I'm pretty sure I'm fording. I used to swim in much much worse just for fun.

For sure, I don't see what the fuss is about, really. But it's hard to know just how deep the water is, eh? Sure I could swim, but what about the pack? Just seemed easier and more sensible to hang out and wait for the canoe. Plus, I was hiking with my nephew from Hawaii, and even though he's a born swimmer, he has serious issues with cold New England water. (Says he, "my heart might sieze up and I might die...")

Bravo
02-09-2007, 01:16
For sure, I don't see what the fuss is about, really. But it's hard to know just how deep the water is, eh? Sure I could swim, but what about the pack? Just seemed easier and more sensible to hang out and wait for the canoe. Plus, I was hiking with my nephew from Hawaii, and even though he's a born swimmer, he has serious issues with cold New England water. (Says he, "my heart might sieze up and I might die...")

And he might. I'd tell anyone that's unsure to take the boat for sure.

I like a little challenge and possible excitement.

My friends and I used to jump into rapids with chunks of ice floating by to see if we would make it across. Stupid maybe but fun none the less. The boat maybe smart but no one every accused me of anything near smart.:D

Maybe that's why I'm choosing to walk nearly 2200 miles for no reason other than to do it.

rafe
02-09-2007, 01:23
And he might. I'd tell anyone that's unsure to take the boat for sure.

I like a little challenge and possible excitement.

Me too. All through Maine, weather permitting, I swam at every lake or pond that was big enough and easily accessible from the trail. Nephew thought I was nuts. But I had a nice swim in Pierce Pond the night before... no real need for another one the next morning. I was thinking more in terms of a nice hot breakfast and a cuppa Joe.

Jimmers
02-09-2007, 01:24
Anyone happen to read Stephen Longley's final report for the year?

http://www.riversandtrails.com/2006kennebecferry.html

It seems over the past three years he's ferried over 3700 hikers across. Fewer than 40 have forded. My math's getting rusty, but I believe that's about 1%.
Seems like most people prefer a nice safe canoe ride. Unless there's a mad rush of pre-dawn forders Stephen never sees, I doubt the numbers would go up much.

Oh, yeah. It's so difficult to keep score without a program, but which side is Bozo and which is the Trinity? The only Trinity I know I learned about in Catholic school. And there's that really hot chick in The Matrix movies, but I don't think she's a hiker. Too much chafing with all that black leather.

emerald
02-09-2007, 01:26
In 1980, I forded. I was 19 and hadn't really thought ahead or planned as well as I might have. I hiked northbound.

I remember the water being deepest near the far shore. If that is still so, a decision to abort at that time would require an about-face and recrossing much of the river.

If the water would be rising at the time one fords, this would not be a situation I would wish upon anyone, especially someone with a full pack on his or her back.

Please consider what I have just said and ask yourself is it worth it the risk and what would be gained by fording versus taking the canoe?

Jim Adams
02-09-2007, 01:26
He didn't. If the river runs north to south, that picture is looking a bit southeast, the fording area is to the north, 50 yards or so up from where the ferry crosses.
:-?
Actually the best place to cross is about 200 yrds upstream from the photo where the water is riffles. If the water level is low, there are several gravel bars present above water and you kinda ford from bar to bar. When I forded in 1990, the water was never deeper than mid thigh and I'm only 5'6" tall. Yes the current can be strong but using walking sticks or poles offers far better balance.
The water was low and the gravel bars were also present when I took the canoe ride in 2002 and although I love canoeing ( my trail name is due to canoeing), I felt as though I missed something by taking the canoe.
To each his own.
By the way, in 1990 I was carrying a book called the PHILOSEPHER"S GUIDE and it describes in great detail how to ford the river safely because it was such a hassel waiting for the limited ferry times offered back then.:-?

geek

Jim Adams
02-09-2007, 01:42
[quote=Jester2000;318985



I'll pay for the paint & half the gas



I have altered your quote so that I can agree with you that we should all be FORDING THE HUDSON! Don't take the stupid bridge!

:confused: Has anyone out there read a book called NOT WITHOUT PERIL? Of all the literature that I've read about the trail, everything points to the White's as being the most formitable and dangerous object on the trail. Now, take the writings here that condemn fording and replace the words fording with hike, the word Kennebec with White Mts, and the word current with storms. Oops! same danger , different topic yet no one on WB would consider advising hikers to bypass the Whites for safety's sake. I am not telling people to ford! I am asking people to let each hiker view the crossing, the distance, the level and current strength, their own abilities and then make there own decision as to fording. It is simply no more dangerous than doing a 2,165 mile hike!
geek

ed bell
02-09-2007, 01:48
Oh, yeah. It's so difficult to keep score without a program, but which side is Bozo and which is the Trinity? The only Trinity I know I learned about in Catholic school. And there's that really hot chick in The Matrix movies, but I don't think she's a hiker. Too much chafing with all that black leather.I'm not sure where I fit in, but this is the Trinity that comes to mind with this discussion.:cool:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067355/

emerald
02-09-2007, 01:49
Has anyone out there read a book called NOT WITHOUT PERIL? Of all the literature that I've read about the trail, everything points to the White's as being the most formitable and dangerous object on the trail. Now, take the writings here that condemn fording and replace the words fording with hike, the word Kennebec with White Mts, and the word current with storms. Oops! same danger , different topic yet no one on WB would consider advising hikers to bypass the Whites for safety's sake. I am not telling people to ford! I am asking people to let each hiker view the crossing, the distance, the level and current strength, their own abilities and then make there own decision as to fording. It is simply no more dangerous than doing a 2,165 mile hike!
geek

Did not Earl Shaffer, the most celebrated thru-hiker of all time, skip the Northern Presidentials on his 3rd hike?

Sly
02-09-2007, 02:14
It seems over the past three years he's ferried over 3700 hikers across. Fewer than 40 have forded. My math's getting rusty, but I believe that's about 1%.



Unless someone was there the whole time watching that's only an estimate. I would think a few more than that may have forded when Steve wasn't there to count.

Sly
02-09-2007, 02:16
Did not Earl Shaffer, the most celebrated thru-hiker of all time, skip the Northern Presidentials on his 3rd hike?

Your point?

emerald
02-09-2007, 02:26
Your point?

He gave the issue careful consideration and under the circumstances thought it was the wise thing to do.

Sly
02-09-2007, 02:35
He gave the issue careful consideration and under the circumstances thought it was the wise thing to do.

Right, and he was 79 years old at the time! :rolleyes:

emerald
02-09-2007, 03:27
Right, and he was 79 years old at the time! :rolleyes:

That no doubt was one of many things he took into consideration. I expect it took a certain amount of courage to swallow his pride and do as he did and in no way does that disqualify him as a 3-time 2000 miler per ATC's policy or diminish his accomplishment in my opinion.

Now I'm really going to bed.:rolleyes: Good night, Sly!

Sly
02-09-2007, 03:50
That no doubt was one of many things he took into consideration. I expect it took a certain amount of courage to swallow his pride and do as he did and in no way does that disqualify him as a 3-time 2000 miler per ATC's policy or diminish his accomplishment in my opinion.
Sly!

Yup, and sometimes some will swallow their pride and take the ferry. :p

Frolicking Dinosaurs
02-09-2007, 06:46
Know why AT hikers as a group are smarter than than average? The Kennebec River acts as a Darwinian force ... natural selection.... survivial of the smartest....

Lone Wolf
02-09-2007, 08:25
fording is fun and natural. i highly reccomend doing it.

rafe
02-09-2007, 08:25
I'm not sure where I fit in, but this is the Trinity that comes to mind with this discussion.:cool:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067355/


IIRC -- Trinity was also used as a code name for the first atom bomb, designed and built in New Mexico during WW II.

rafe
02-09-2007, 08:27
Yup, and sometimes some will swallow their pride and take the ferry. :p

What pride? It's just a friggin' river. I'm supposed to feel inferior to the handful of folks that ford the river? Not. :rolleyes:

Frolicking Dinosaurs
02-09-2007, 08:31
fording is fun and natural. i highly reccomend doing it.Even for dinos with a bad leg? ::: swims under water to bite LW on the paw :::

woodsy
02-09-2007, 08:32
fording is fun and natural. i highly reccomend doing it.

Don't let the Sunami hit you in the ass:rolleyes:

Lone Wolf
02-09-2007, 08:33
[I] I'm supposed to feel inferior to the handful of folks that ford the river?

yup. you lack a sense of adventure. you're a sheeple.:)

The Old Fhart
02-09-2007, 09:26
Warren Doyle-".........if there was a bridge across the Kennebec, and it had white blazes on it, than that is what I would use to cross the Kennebec."There is a canoe that crosses the kennebec, and it had white blazes on it, then why don't you use it.:-? Bozo -1

STEVEM
02-09-2007, 09:27
What pride? It's just a friggin' river. I'm supposed to feel inferior to the handful of folks that ford the river? Not. :rolleyes:

Terrapin, Seems to me that crossing the road would be a bigger issue to you than crossing a river.
http://www.neoterrapin.com/humor/

Jimmers
02-09-2007, 09:27
IIRC -- Trinity was also used as a code name for the first atom bomb, designed and built in New Mexico during WW II.

Hmmm, possibly very appropriate here as well then.:D

rafe
02-09-2007, 09:52
Terrapin, Seems to me that crossing the road would be a bigger issue to you than crossing a river.
http://www.neoterrapin.com/humor/

Cool, thanks for that link.

I agree! Some of the spookiest moments I've had on the AT have been road crossings. Walasi-Yi comes to mind, as does the crossing at Maine Highway 17. It's that radical shift in mindset that adds to the danger -- after days in the woods, you aren't really thinking much about the routine dangers of "the real world."

mudhead
02-09-2007, 10:19
Here's (http://www.terrapinphoto.com/kennebec.jpg) the view we had while waiting for the ferryman, from the south (err... western) shore.

Now cover that vegetation with water... Black oily water. While no one is required to protect others from themselves, imagine peeing on a horse fence with someone standing by the switch.

Enjoy.

Jim Adams
02-09-2007, 10:21
Terrapin, Seems to me that crossing the road would be a bigger issue to you than crossing a river.
http://www.neoterrapin.com/humor/
Statistically the road crossing is more dangerous!:eek:
geek

mountain squid
02-09-2007, 13:16
Things to "re-consider" if you are still uncertain (highlights mine):

SalParadise, post#16:
I forded in 05 with a group of friends. I have a background in competitive swimming, so I didn't have much of a problem getting across, but my friends had a much harder time, one in particular (he's fine).


Jim Adams, post#20:
Totally understand! Pack all items in your pack inside of a sealed closed trash bag. Do not wear your hip belt. If you fall, slip out of the shoulder straps and just swim with the floating pack in front of you. It may be strenuous, tiring and you may end up further down stream than planned but alive. Just DON'T try to stand up in rapids (much different than riffles) and you should be fine, wet but fine.


hiker33, post#29:
I forded in 1985. There was no ferry operating that year so we had no choice other than a many-miles road walk. The first two channels were fairly easy, but the third one was deeper with stronger current. I lost my footing and was carried downstream a bit. Just as I was about to dump the pack and swim my boots contacted some rocks in chest-deep water and I through sheer luck regained my footing and made it to shore .

The next morning I opened the Portland newspaper and read that a woman had drowned while trying to ford the river. It happened an hour or so after we crossed. It was this fatality that led the ATC and MATC to establish a contracted ferry service. Prior to that it was a very hit-or-miss volunteer operation.

Shades of Gray, post#207:
In 1980, I forded. I was 19 and hadn't really thought ahead or planned as well as I might have. I hiked northbound.

I remember the water being deepest near the far shore. If that is still so, a decision to abort at that time would require an about-face and recrossing much of the river.

If the water would be rising at the time one fords, this would not be a situation I would wish upon anyone, especially someone with a full pack on his or her back.

Jim Adams, post#208:
Actually the best place to cross is about 200 yrds upstream from the photo where the water is riffles. If the water level is low, there are several gravel bars present above water and you kinda ford from bar to bar. When I forded in 1990, the water was never deeper than mid thigh and I'm only 5'6" tall. Yes the current can be strong but using walking sticks or poles offers far better balance...

...By the way, in 1990 I was carrying a book called the PHILOSEPHER"S GUIDE and it describes in great detail how to ford the river safely because it was such a hassel waiting for the limited ferry times offered back then.


Just some nuggets from those that have forded the Kennebec River, reposted here in case you glossed over them when originally posted.

See you on the trail,
mt squid

weary
02-09-2007, 14:04
Things to "re-consider" if you are still uncertain (highlights mine):

SalParadise, post#16:
I forded in 05 with a group of friends. I have a background in competitive swimming, so I didn't have much of a problem getting across, but my friends had a much harder time, one in particular (he's fine).


Jim Adams, post#20:
Totally understand! Pack all items in your pack inside of a sealed closed trash bag. Do not wear your hip belt. If you fall, slip out of the shoulder straps and just swim with the floating pack in front of you. It may be strenuous, tiring and you may end up further down stream than planned but alive. Just DON'T try to stand up in rapids (much different than riffles) and you should be fine, wet but fine.


hiker33, post#29:
I forded in 1985. There was no ferry operating that year so we had no choice other than a many-miles road walk. The first two channels were fairly easy, but the third one was deeper with stronger current. I lost my footing and was carried downstream a bit. Just as I was about to dump the pack and swim my boots contacted some rocks in chest-deep water and I through sheer luck regained my footing and made it to shore .

The next morning I opened the Portland newspaper and read that a woman had drowned while trying to ford the river. It happened an hour or so after we crossed. It was this fatality that led the ATC and MATC to establish a contracted ferry service. Prior to that it was a very hit-or-miss volunteer operation.

Shades of Gray, post#207:
In 1980, I forded. I was 19 and hadn't really thought ahead or planned as well as I might have. I hiked northbound.

I remember the water being deepest near the far shore. If that is still so, a decision to abort at that time would require an about-face and recrossing much of the river.

If the water would be rising at the time one fords, this would not be a situation I would wish upon anyone, especially someone with a full pack on his or her back.

Jim Adams, post#208:
Actually the best place to cross is about 200 yrds upstream from the photo where the water is riffles. If the water level is low, there are several gravel bars present above water and you kinda ford from bar to bar. When I forded in 1990, the water was never deeper than mid thigh and I'm only 5'6" tall. Yes the current can be strong but using walking sticks or poles offers far better balance...

...By the way, in 1990 I was carrying a book called the PHILOSEPHER"S GUIDE and it describes in great detail how to ford the river safely because it was such a hassel waiting for the limited ferry times offered back then.


Just some nuggets from those that have forded the Kennebec River, reposted here in case you glossed over them when originally posted.

See you on the trail,
mt squid
Many thanks for taking the time to summarize the important posts. Hikers have to make their own decisions, but these decisions need to be tempered by the experiences of real people, as well as a realistic analysis of their own physical condition.

I don't criticize anyone who chooses to wade the Kennebec. I do criticize calling those who don't "sheepies." I'm not a sheep. I have waded enough rivers to know my limitations -- limitations that for some reason seem to increase as the years wear on.

Weary

warren doyle
02-09-2007, 15:11
Very good information on the Kennebec crossing, especially from Jim Adams.
This reminds me on how fellow thru-hikers of the 1970's and early 1980's educated each other, through word of mouth and register entries, on how to ford the Kennebec safely.
I had heard that the victim in the 1985 did not unbuckle their waistbelt and loosen their shoulder straps before attempting the ford. Also, I heard they attempted to ford without the rock bars being visible upstream.

Some facts about fording the Kennebec 'safely' - these facts are based on normal low water levels usually experienced before 8am (when the dam upriver is not releasing water) and/or when there hasn't been recent heavy rainfall in the upriver watershed. These facts are based on the months of June to mid-Sept.

1) Do not attempt to ford if the rock bars upsteam from the ferry crossing are not visible.
2) Ford along the rockbars.
3) You will need a hiking pole/staff and sturdy footwear (crocs/sandals not recommended).
4) Make sure everything in your pack is waterproofed.
5) Before you ford, unbuckle your waistbelt and loosen your shoulder straps.

For me, I don't agree with the folks that say that fording the Kennebec is unsafe all the time. This frame of thought goes against the collective consciousness shared by the majority of thru-hikers from the early 70's to the mid-80's which I observed duirng my six AT hikes from 1973-1986.

I put these 'fearmongers' in the same category of people who said that we would be fighting the Communists here if Vietnam fell and now are telling us that we will be fighting the terrorists here if we don't fight them there.

I don't agree with those that tell us to 'duck and cover'; to buy duct tape and plastic wrapping; who put up orange/yellow alerts; who say 'treat all water'; and say 'leave no trace'; and on and on...

I guess the precious gift of freedom I have received from the trail included freedom from those who project their fears and inadequacies unto others by saying blanket statements that the Kennebec is unsafe to cross at any time and those that attempt to ford are fools.

I feel this attitude is a slap in the face to the hundreds of AT hikers who have forded the Kennebec safely in the past - especially before 1985.

Perhaps this overreaction to the 1985 drowning is just a reflection or our national overreaction to 9/11. I guess I refuse to be part of that team.

Happy free from fear trails!

rafe
02-09-2007, 15:14
I feel this attitude is a slap in the face to the hundreds of AT hikers who have forded the Kennebec safely in the past - especially before 1985.

You poor thing, you. :rolleyes:

Lone Wolf
02-09-2007, 15:15
ford on hiker trash!!:banana

Lone Wolf
02-09-2007, 15:16
You poor thing, you. :rolleyes:

pipe down sheeple.

Fannypack
02-09-2007, 15:50
Down thru these words, duirng my six AT hikes from 1973-1986. , I feel very appreciative of the effort u made to give me the safety precautions for crossing the Kennebec.

IMO, I don't feel for a post to be good that it has to attack another person's position or resort to name-calling.

Again, I thank u, Warren, for taking the time to educate me on the safety precautions for crossing the Kennebec.

I hope the back and forth on this issue can be put to rest w/o it being necessary to have any further personal attacks. To all, Pls just state the facts.


Very good information on the Kennebec crossing, especially from Jim Adams.
This reminds me on how fellow thru-hikers of the 1970's and early 1980's educated each other, through word of mouth and register entries, on how to ford the Kennebec safely.
I had heard that the victim in the 1985 did not unbuckle their waistbelt and loosen their shoulder straps before attempting the ford. Also, I heard they attempted to ford without the rock bars being visible upstream.

Some facts about fording the Kennebec 'safely' - these facts are based on normal low water levels usually experienced before 8am (when the dam upriver is not releasing water) and/or when there hasn't been recent heavy rainfall in the upriver watershed. These facts are based on the months of June to mid-Sept.

1) Do not attempt to ford if the rock bars upsteam from the ferry crossing are not visible.
2) Ford along the rockbars.
3) You will need a hiking pole/staff and sturdy footwear (crocs/sandals not recommended).
4) Make sure everything in your pack is waterproofed.
5) Before you ford, unbuckle your waistbelt and loosen your shoulder straps.

For me, I don't agree with the folks that say that fording the Kennebec is unsafe all the time. This frame of thought goes against the collective consciousness shared by the majority of thru-hikers from the early 70's to the mid-80's which I observed duirng my six AT hikes from 1973-1986.

I put these 'fearmongers' in the same category of people who said that we would be fighting the Communists here if Vietnam fell and now are telling us that we will be fighting the terrorists here if we don't fight them there.

I don't agree with those that tell us to 'duck and cover'; to buy duct tape and plastic wrapping; who put up orange/yellow alerts; who say 'treat all water'; and say 'leave no trace'; and on and on...

I guess the precious gift of freedom I have received from the trail included freedom from those who project their fears and inadequacies unto others by saying blanket statements that the Kennebec is unsafe to cross at any time and those that attempt to ford are fools.

I feel this attitude is a slap in the face to the hundreds of AT hikers who have forded the Kennebec safely in the past - especially before 1985.

Perhaps this overreaction to the 1985 drowning is just a reflection or our national overreaction to 9/11. I guess I refuse to be part of that team.

Happy free from fear trails!

saimyoji
02-09-2007, 16:05
I put these 'fearmongers' in the same category of people who said that we would be fighting the Communists here if Vietnam fell and now are telling us that we will be fighting the terrorists here if we don't fight them there.


Uhhh....last time I checked the terrorists had already attacked us here....:-?

The Old Fhart
02-09-2007, 16:22
WD-"This frame of thought goes against the collective consciousness shared by the majority of thru-hikers from the early 70's to the mid-80's which I observed duirng my six AT hikes from 1973-1986."So when the evidence clearly shows that fording was NOT the traditional way to cross the Kennebec dispite your obvious lie and claims of "I WAS THERE and YOU WERE NOT!", you claim the 'silent majority', or your collective unconsciousness, has channeled that the facts don't apply to your little universe!:rolleyes:

Oh, and please make yourself clear; when you say "I put these 'fearmongers' in the same category of people who said that we would be fighting the Communists here if Vietnam fell and now are telling us that we will be fighting the terrorists here if we don't fight them there." Are you implying the people who ford are the communist dupes, or the canoe people?:D

Try not to drift off and ramble pointlessly while your talking about the Kennebec.

Lone Wolf
02-09-2007, 16:25
not-so-swift boat people

woodsy
02-09-2007, 16:31
Majority rules......take the canoe!:D

warren doyle
02-09-2007, 16:32
...and not as swift as the Kennebec either.

Trinity = 6
Bozo = 0

The Old Fhart
02-09-2007, 16:33
Lone Wolf-"not-so-swift boat people"I was going to say that instead of 'canoe people' but i thought everyone would understand.;)

rafe
02-09-2007, 16:47
not-so-swift boat people

Ah, so now you malign 99% of all thru-hikers and Steve Longley as well. Nicely done, Wolf. You're a real piece of work.

Lone Wolf
02-09-2007, 16:48
Ah, so now you malign 99% of all thru-hikers and Steve Longley as well. Nicely done, Wolf. You're a real piece of work.

you need a sense of humor there bozo.:rolleyes: and have i mentioned how fun fording is?:banana

woodsy
02-09-2007, 17:05
I'm planning to cross the Kennebec in the mid afternoon in late July this year.
Could one of you fording experts stop by and show me how its done?
Thanks

Lone Wolf
02-09-2007, 17:07
I'm planning to cross the Kennebec in the mid afternoon in late July this year.
Could one of you fording experts stop by and show me how its done?
Thanks

i only ford before 7:30 AM. i could teach you to swim mid-afternoon

woodsy
02-09-2007, 17:10
i only ford before 7:30 AM. i could teach you to swim mid-afternoon

Swimming isn't fording is it? Are you saying it's unfordable mid afternoon?:-?

Lone Wolf
02-09-2007, 17:12
Swimming isn't fording is it? Are you saying it's unfordable mid afternoon?:-?

totally unfordable in the afternoon. that's why that poor woman drowned.

woodsy
02-09-2007, 17:18
totally unfordable in the afternoon. that's why that poor woman drowned.

Guess I had better take the CANOE !:banana

Lone Wolf
02-09-2007, 17:41
Guess I had better take the CANOE !:banana

i would and have.

Jester2000
02-09-2007, 18:03
Can I be in this Trinity thing I keep hearing so much about?

Fannypack
02-09-2007, 18:06
Can I be in this Trinity thing I keep hearing so much about?
NO because:
u don't lie,
u are too young
and u too literate

woodsy
02-09-2007, 18:08
If I were standing in the middle of the Kennebec attempting to ford and the water suddenly started rising, what should I do?
1.Holler as loud as I can for the ferryman
2.Yell HELP
3.Ditch the pack and attempt to swim to the nearest shore.
4.Prepare to drown
5.prepare to become a source of power as I go through the turbines at the next hydro facility downstream