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Bone Pac
04-13-2007, 09:23
The coming months look to be very exciting as we welcome many of the hikers trekking the Maryland section of Trail.

The Free State website is now up: www.FreeStateHiker.com (http://www.FreeStateHiker.com)

-Bone Pac

Smile
04-13-2007, 09:48
Thanks Bone Pac, I really enjoyed your journey/journal last year, and have also watched as the whole place has evolved and is now up and running!

You are truly blessed :)

Will visit when I am down the trail!

frieden
04-13-2007, 10:04
Thanks for posting this. I've added it to my book. It looks like everything a thru hiker needs!

rafe
04-13-2007, 10:23
The coming months look to be very exciting as we welcome many of the hikers trekking the Maryland section of Trail.

The Free State website is now up: www.FreeStateHiker.com (http://www.FreeStateHiker.com)

-Bone Pac

I look forward to visiting on my section hike this summer. Looks beautiful.

The Solemates
04-13-2007, 11:03
looks wonderful. a dream come true, I'm sure.

1azarus
03-14-2008, 16:09
Is there a phone number I can use? I think I'll be section hiking there in a week or so...

rafe
03-14-2008, 16:58
I look forward to visiting on my section hike this summer. Looks beautiful.

Belated follow-up, a half year late... I did stay. It was beautiful. Had the place to myself. Thanks for the hospitality, Ken and Janell. Best of luck to both of you.

minnesotasmith
03-14-2008, 18:55
Thanks for posting this. I've added it to my book. It looks like everything a thru hiker needs!

1) Except a 20.00 price tag, standard maximum for hostels south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Why does this place cost motel-level prices to sleep inside rather than hostel-level ones? (Everyone, please don't bother to mention the camping option, as hikers can simply camp on the Trail for free.)

2) The term "Free State" is one that I'd only heard in recent times as associated with the libertarian decision to move to one particular state in order to dominate it politically. That state ended up being chosen by vote to be NH: www.freestateproject.org (http://www.freestateproject.org) . How did that term come to be associated with Maryland, of all places?

Sly
03-14-2008, 19:01
1) Except a 20.00 price tag, standard maximum for hostels south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Why does this place cost motel-level prices to sleep inside rather than hostel-level ones?

It's $30 and includes linens (like motels) free laundry, free long distance phone, showers etc. If you feel it's too expensive move on. No one is forcing anyone to stay there.

aaroniguana
03-14-2008, 19:10
Maryland has been known as the "Free State" since the American Civil War because even though it is south of the Mason-Dixon line it abolished slavery prior to the start of the Civil War. Nice story.

The truth is that NOTHING here is free. Except stealth camping. And stargazing if you can get far enough from the I-95 corridor to actually see anything.

minnesotasmith
03-14-2008, 19:14
It's $30 and includes linens (like motels) free laundry, free long distance phone, showers etc. If you feel it's too expensive move on. No one is forcing anyone to stay there.

Ten bucks to cover laundry and long-distance phone is a bit much, especially with the ubiquity of cell phones. Why not offer a 20.00 bunkhouse option with no sheets (use one's sleeping bag) or covered long-dist phone, and laundry ala carte? Likewise, hikers really trying to save money would be able to just handwash their clothes, saving the 3 bucks or so commercial laundromats would charge them to wash their clothes.

I personally have a decent enough job that if I thruhike again, I could afford to pay the 30 bucks. However, I suspect many hikers will have sticker shock, conclude this place is aimed at high-end hikers (which they aren't), and pass it on by.

minnesotasmith
03-14-2008, 19:24
Maryland has been known as the "Free State" since the American Civil War because even though it is south of the Mason-Dixon line it abolished slavery prior to the start of the Civil War. Nice story.

Looks like Maryland still had legal chattel slavery past the end of the Civil War, until the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ended it nationwide:



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitu tion

Don H
03-14-2008, 21:06
From the Maryland State Archives website:
Free State. The nickname "Free State" was created by Hamilton Owens, editor of the Baltimore Sun. In 1923, Georgia Congressman William D. Upshaw, a firm supporter of Prohibition, denounced Maryland as a traitor to the Union for refusing to pass a State enforcement act. Mr. Owens thereupon wrote a mock-serious editorial entitled "The Maryland Free State," arguing that Maryland should secede from the Union rather than prohibit the sale of liquor. The irony in the editorial was subtle, and Mr. Owens decided not to print it. He popularized the nickname, however, in later editorials.

rafe
03-14-2008, 21:14
1) Except a 20.00 price tag, standard maximum for hostels south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Why does this place cost motel-level prices to sleep inside rather than hostel-level ones? (Everyone, please don't bother to mention the camping option, as hikers can simply camp on the Trail for free.)

The place is new, clean, and spacious. Not the slightest whiff of hiker-stink. It is in fact the entire upper floor of Ken and Janell's house. The hostel has its own separate entrance, at the back of the house. Ken (BonePac) thru-hiked in 2006. He's a physician's assistant.

The bunk room and game room are carpeted. There are about 20 bunks. The game room has tables, games, TV, DVDs, stereo, foosball. The kitchen/sink area has a huge basement-type sink for washing gear; a washer and dryer (not coin-op) and a workstation with a fast internet connection. There's a long distance phone that you're encouraged to use, and it's free. There are shelves loaded with hiker-type food (candy bars, chips, M&Ms, etc.) -- take what you want, leave cash in the jar -- entirely honor system. The fridge is stocked with cold drinks and ice cream bars, again, honor system.

You can call for take-out food (Smithsburg is about 2-3 miles away) or Ken or Janell will shuttle you into town at their convenience. I walked into town, had dinner, and called for a shuttle back to the hostel.

They ought to just call it paradise. ;) The hostel is about 0.3 down the road from the AT -- it's the road crossing just south of Ensign Cowall shelter.

rafe
03-14-2008, 21:23
Is there a phone number I can use? I think I'll be section hiking there in a week or so...

301 824 2407

Sly
03-14-2008, 21:30
Yeah, so if hikers don't want all that or aren't willing to pay the price they shouldn't stop. Sounds simple enough to me. Why MS can't get it through his thick skull is beyond me.



The place is new, clean, and spacious. Not the slightest whiff of hiker-stink. It is in fact the entire upper floor of Ken and Janell's house. The hostel has its own separate entrance, at the back of the house. Ken (BonePac) thru-hiked in 2006. He's a physician's assistant.

The bunk room and game room are carpeted. There are about 20 bunks. The game room has tables, games, TV, DVDs, stereo, foosball. The kitchen/sink area has a huge basement-type sink for washing gear; a washer and dryer (not coin-op) and a workstation with a fast internet connection. There's a long distance phone that you're encouraged to use, and it's free. There are shelves loaded with hiker-type food (candy bars, chips, M&Ms, etc.) -- take what you want, leave cash in the jar -- entirely honor system. The fridge is stocked with cold drinks and ice cream bars, again, honor system.

You can call for take-out food (Smithsburg is about 2-3 miles away) or Ken or Janell will shuttle you into town at their convenience. I walked into town, had dinner, and called for a shuttle back to the hostel.

They ought to just call it paradise. ;) The shuttle is about 0.3 down the road from the AT -- it's the road crossing just south of Ensign Cowall shelter.

aaroniguana
03-14-2008, 22:22
From the Maryland State Archives website:
Free State. The nickname "Free State" was created by Hamilton Owens, editor of the Baltimore Sun. In 1923, Georgia Congressman William D. Upshaw, a firm supporter of Prohibition, denounced Maryland as a traitor to the Union for refusing to pass a State enforcement act. Mr. Owens thereupon wrote a mock-serious editorial entitled "The Maryland Free State," arguing that Maryland should secede from the Union rather than prohibit the sale of liquor. The irony in the editorial was subtle, and Mr. Owens decided not to print it. He popularized the nickname, however, in later editorials.

You mean... they lied to us in school??? ;)

minnesotasmith
03-14-2008, 22:32
Yeah, so if hikers don't want all that or aren't willing to pay the price they shouldn't stop.

The place sounds like a B. & B. at motel prices. Most thruhikers are forced to be sufficiently thrifty that a mere hostel at hostel prices would fit their needs better. I predict that many hikers (not just the "trying to thruhike for under $1000) will hear of the price, and keep going. The philosophy of many thruhikers on lodging is IMO "if the price starts with a three [or higher], it's not for me.".

It's kind of a shame, too. The place sounds nice, and BonePac is undoubtedly someone many aspiring thrus would have a good time meeting.

Sly
03-14-2008, 22:40
No hiker is forced to do anything. If they haven't saved enough money to spend on more expensive accommodations, so be it. Not everybody can afford to let hikes stay for next to nothing. $30 isn't a lot of money.

dessertrat
03-14-2008, 22:48
The place sounds like a B. & B. at motel prices. Most thruhikers are forced to be sufficiently thrifty that a mere hostel at hostel prices would fit their needs better. I predict that many hikers (not just the "trying to thruhike for under $1000) will hear of the price, and keep going. The philosophy of many thruhikers on lodging is IMO "if the price starts with a three [or higher], it's not for me.".

It's kind of a shame, too. The place sounds nice, and BonePac is undoubtedly someone many aspiring thrus would have a good time meeting.

IMO is right. Griping over ten bucks? So if it was $29.99, you'd say that was fine?

minnesotasmith
03-14-2008, 22:55
IMO is right. Griping over ten bucks? So if it was $29.99, you'd say that was fine?

It's not that most hikers can't afford to stay at a place for motel prices. It's that they'll very often just make the decision that it's not worth it.

Think of seeing a large pizza priced at 25 bucks. It's apparently a really good pizza. However, choosing one for 11 dollars that's almost as good means you can fill your stomach with pizza on two different occasions. Many people with money limitations (and that's most people) will be drawn towards the 11 buck ones. Same deal.

Another way of looking at it: Wal-Mart makes more money than Tiffany's. There's more money towards the middle of markets than at the narrow extremes is why, hence WM's success.

Nearly Normal
03-15-2008, 02:54
Another way of looking at it: Wal-Mart makes more money than Tiffany's. There's more money towards the middle of markets than at the narrow extremes is why, hence WM's success.


I'm not impressed.
WM's monopoly almost forces you to shop there.
The goods are most likely a product of Red Communist Chinese sweat shop labor.
Products they sell for SLIGHTLY reduced cost to the consumer still represent huge profit margins.
They aint doing you any favor.

Crazy Larry #1
03-15-2008, 07:04
Yeah, so if hikers don't want all that or aren't willing to pay the price they shouldn't stop. Sounds simple enough to me. Why MS can't get it through his thick skull is beyond me.
When you have worked around oil rigs as long as MS has it tends to fume up your brain and slows you down a bit..........

mrc237
03-15-2008, 07:23
I'd rather pay $30.00 at the FS than a $30.00 fleabag Motel!

rafe
03-15-2008, 09:18
re: WalMart:


They aint doing you any favor.

Sadly, most folks don't realize, they're screwing themselves shopping at Wal-Mart.

minnesotasmith
03-15-2008, 09:31
re: WalMart:



Sadly, most folks don't realize, they're screwing themselves shopping at Wal-Mart.

Not only are they "voting" for their jobs to be exported, they're financing the next Soviet Union/Nazi Germany. I wish we had a ban on Chinese imports, til such time as they cease to be expansionist. I predict they'll absorb half or more of Siberia, Taiwan, and attempt to regain all of Indochina, the latter of which they once held. The last will be partly with an eye towards eventually conquering Indonesia and Australia for liebensraum as well as resources (oil, metals, coal, etc.)

rafe
03-15-2008, 09:46
Oy, MS agrees with me. Danger! Will Robinson! I'm not going to "defend" PRC, but I'll just say that the most egregious empire-like behavior these days is coming from the USA. OTOH, it will all work out. Things are evening out. There will be three superpowers, the US, China, and Europe. The USA is being taken down a notch or two. Now all we need to do is survive all those poisoned Chinese imports (pet food, toys, prescription drugs, etc.)

minnesotasmith
03-15-2008, 10:38
Oy, MS agrees with me. Danger! Will Robinson! I'm not going to "defend" PRC, but I'll just say that the most egregious empire-like behavior these days is coming from the USA. OTOH, it will all work out. Things are evening out. There will be three superpowers, the US, China, and Europe. The USA is being taken down a notch or two. Now all we need to do is survive all those poisoned Chinese imports (pet food, toys, prescription drugs, etc.)

Both are financially cratering, with currencies and national treasuries dying as we speak, to say nothing of their demographics. Not only are Europeans not having children for squat, they are rapidly being colonized by Moslems. (Everyone knows how Mexico is well along with annexing much of the U.S., right?) Then, there's the oil access issue; the end of that = the end of our economies as we know it, not to mention our non-leg-infantry militaries...

Tin Man
03-15-2008, 10:41
I thought this was the hostels forum, not the hostiles forum. :-?

Crazy Larry #1
03-15-2008, 11:02
I agree with you Tin Man. MS, once again you demostrate your butchering capabilities again with your so called knowledge of what the average hiker likes and dislikes. I got news for you, if I have the money I will stay in a nice B & B.

So who are you to know so much?

dessertrat
03-15-2008, 11:46
I thought this was the hostels forum, not the hostiles forum. :-?

Thanks for the laugh, Tin Man.

Coosa
03-26-2008, 18:08
For want of a horse a rider was lost

And however it goes.

You guys are sooooo ---- well, you know, guys.

There's no rule that I can locate that states how much a hostel or a motel or a hotel can charge based on where it's located.

What I can find is that the farther North a person travels, property costs more and property taxes are higher. So what criteria do you use to make the decision whether to stay at a hostel or B&B or Motel or Hotel? If you think about it, $30 is extremely reasonable. Especially for what is available. When I look at prices in the NorthEast, $30 is not a lot of money. And I'll bet SoBos are Happy to see a Hostel that charges "only" $30.

When I go to a motel on the way to my parents or my kids, I don't use the game room, and I don't use the swimming pool, and I don't use the sauna, and I don't use the free WiFi, but I still pay $59 (or whatever) a night because that's what is charged for the room. And if I had to travel to Maine, the motels on the way would cost twice more than $59.

The old "$1" a mile has been spouted for at least twenty-five years and is out of date. YES, you CAN hike on a budget, maybe spending "only" a dollar a mile. But if you add in all the gear and all the food preparation and mail costs, I don't think you could brag of a dollar a mile. Even those saying $1000 Thru Hike have forgotten to add in ALL the costs. Including the power bill to pay for hooking up your computer so that you could follow this thread on Whiteblaze. Add in the cost of the ISP, too. A dollar and a half a mile Thru Hike is more reasonable and a two to two and a half dollar a mile is very likely what it costs today, on average.

So, your assignment, students of hiking, is to start at the beginning and add in ALL your gear costs, including the heavy stuff you've given away or sold (minus what you got for it), all the ISP, phone, power, dehydrator, etc, etc, costs to which you add your current gear costs (including what's in that box of gear you "might need" at some time), and start with that number in your data base. To that number, you can add what you spent on your Thru Hike and come up with a more accurate figure of what a Thru Hike REALLY costs.

Okay? Begin . . . .
Coosa:D

Yahtzee
03-26-2008, 20:26
I'm not impressed.
WM's monopoly almost forces you to shop there.
The goods are most likely a product of Red Communist Chinese sweat shop labor.
Products they sell for SLIGHTLY reduced cost to the consumer still represent huge profit margins.
They aint doing you any favor.

WalMart is, in fact, a monopsony. One seller/Competing Producers.

WalMart, by any economic measurement, does the consumer a favor. It requires the producer to meet its price. This enables WalMart to sell at a price that beats its competitors and which its consumers can afford.

In a world of free men and women, no corporation, especially a retailer, can impose its will on the people. It does so with the people's explicit consent. What's that mean? If you don't like it, don't shop there. Walmart doesn't drive Mom and Pops out of business, consumers do. WalMart created a superior business model to its competitors and is reaping the rewards. Any general blame directed at WalMart for its operations must first be leveled at those who shop there.

I love it! Sometimes I go just to watch the people. It's the modern day town square. All walks of life.

If Walt Whitman were alive, he would have written about WalMart.

aaroniguana
03-26-2008, 20:37
I shop very little at WalMart. I live such a spartan lifestyle that I could legitimately be called a socialist. I don;t need their crap but they have some nice individual items that are useful when hiking.

This thread is funny. What makes me laugh is people who use the highly politically conservative and antiquated term "Red Communist Chinese" and then take the liberal stance to badmouth an American business institution. In the same paragraph. Methinks someone be confused. :)

10-K
06-11-2009, 16:56
1. Looking forward to checking out the hostel this weekend, it's located 10 miles or so from where we're starting and that sounds like break time to me.

2. Wal-Mart - totally agree with Yatzee. Last I checked, no one was forced to shop there. If you've got a problem with Wal-Mart, take it up with the people who patronize the place. I haven't been in a Wal-Mart in months myself.

Nearly Normal
06-11-2009, 18:25
Looks like Maryland still had legal chattel slavery past the end of the Civil War, until the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ended it nationwide:

We will expect and applaud your boycott.

Jeff
06-11-2009, 20:07
Wow, this thread is from way back in time.

I have been to The Free State and can say it is one of the top hostels along the AT. Clean, quiet and well thought out.

Bonepac was a valuable resource to me as our family planned and opened our hostel in Manchester Center, VT.

flemdawg1
02-28-2011, 11:21
Stayed there last week and had a great experience. Had the place all to myself and got a ride to the convenience store/Subway for some foods and other items. A very clean place and very gracious hosts.

Cookerhiker
04-24-2011, 21:30
I reveled in my stay there on a rainy night during my Duncannon-to-Harpers Ferry section hike. Comfortable beds, internet, laundry, great hosts. Was able to order pizza which arrived in half the time promised.

A hiker self-service kitchen or at least a stove in addition to the microwave & fridge would be nice but can't expect everything.

CowHead
04-25-2011, 16:17
Maryland has been known as the "Free State" since the American Civil War because even though it is south of the Mason-Dixon line it abolished slavery prior to the start of the Civil War. Nice story.

The truth is that NOTHING here is free. Except stealth camping. And stargazing if you can get far enough from the I-95 corridor to actually see anything.

Amen So True living here they even tax the bears :eek: