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Jack Tarlin
02-06-2004, 17:53
I have an interesting idea for a new thread: It occurred to me that a lot of us either live IN or very near to trail towns, and it puts us in a unique position to share up-to-date information on new service providers, or on ones no longer in business, etc. I 'm planning to send in a long post about changes and developments in Hanover, NH; maybe other folks can do the same for the communties where they live. For example, maybe Wolf could tell us something about the new supermarket in Damascus, how far it is from town, etc. Or maybe someone in Gorham could tell us about what's going on with the established hostels there and whether or not they'll be open this year. There are Whiteblaze members who live up and down the entire Trail, and it seems to me that if we work together on this, we can exchange a lot of useful information.

I think this can be very useful info that folks can use along with their Thru-Hiker's Companion or Handbook, so if you know of any developments or changes as far as towns, hostels, service providers, etc., please send them along to this thread.

Hammock Hanger
02-06-2004, 18:01
I don't live by the trail but know a lot of you do and Jack's idea is a great one. Jack, will you be on the trail again thi s season??? Hammock Hanger

Jack Tarlin
02-06-2004, 18:05
I'll be around, but not thru-hiking. I hope to be spending the late winter and early spring in North Carolina/Tennessee with an extended stay in Hot Springs; hope to see many of you there as you pass thru town; will most likely be back in Hanover in late summer so may catch some of there as well.

Mike Drinkuth
02-06-2004, 18:59
Jack, I hope I get to meet ya on my way thru. I think the idea for the updates thread is a great one!

Cehoffpauir
02-07-2004, 01:24
There are Whiteblaze members who live up and down the entire Trail, and it seems to me that if we work together on this, we can exchange a lot of useful information.

And even publish a guidebook, to help fund Whiteblaze.

jollies
02-07-2004, 02:31
I think making a guidebook would be a little un-needed. Both of the existing ones are very good. I like the idea of updates coming from along the trail, though Jack.

loonyhiker
02-07-2004, 07:49
Jack,

Hubby and I will be hiking around NC and hot springs this spring and summer too. Can only do weekends because of work, but hope to see you there!:sun

smokymtnsteve
02-07-2004, 09:57
the idea of putting together a new guide book would be great.
include non traditional info about easy slackpacking opportunities
and trail magick dates.

WalkinHome
02-07-2004, 15:09
Excellent idea Jack. Hope you are well. I didn't see Harper's Ferry on your itinerary - change in plans?

A-Train
02-07-2004, 15:10
The Hiawassee Inn is temporarily closed at this point. May open later in the season, but if you are heading, DO NOT send a maildrop here. Instead might wanna: send it to Blueberry Patch, send it to Mulls Motel, send it to Holiday Inn Express, send it to PO or buy at the very large supermarket there.
Got this info from a thru-hiker who was in Hiawassee today

A-Train
02-07-2004, 15:11
Also:

Just remembered. They just finished building a huge Holiday Inn Express in Fort Montgomery NY about a mile or so from the Trail at the Bear Mtn Circle. Sure things will be up and running by thru-hiker season (june-aug)

Jeff
02-07-2004, 16:10
Is Bear Mtn Circle at the bridge crossing the Hudson River?

Jack Tarlin
02-07-2004, 16:43
A-Train----

Your is EXACTLY the kind of information I was hoping to help bring out; thanx for sending it along.

A-Train
02-07-2004, 17:25
Is Bear Mtn Circle at the bridge crossing the Hudson River?


Yep. You leave the zoo and instead of following the blazes over the bridge, go to your left and follow the road. No hitching in NY :(

Brushy Sage
02-07-2004, 20:45
I know this has been mentioned in another forum, but don't know if it got into this year's companion book and other guides: There has been a major change at the Sams Gap crossing (north of Hogback Ridge Shelter, south of Big Bald mountain, NC/TN). The trail crossed U.S. 23 at this point. Now a new interstate highway (I-26) has been built over this trail crossing, and virtually all traffic now runs on the Interstate. The 2003 companion book showed two restaurants down the mountain, 1.9 and 2.8 mi from the crossing, on old U.S. 23. When I was up there a few weeks ago, I saw nothing open except the Little Creek Cafe, at 2.8 mi down mountain. The main problem is that so little traffic now flows on the old road, that hitching will be very difficult. There is a small parking area at the AT trail crossing, on the old highway, and if you happen to meet up with a hiker parked there, a hitch might develop. Summary: the AT goes under I-26 on the old road. There is a small parking area there on the old road. The nearest restaurant is Little Creek Cafe, 2.8 mi down the old road. Hitching will be difficult.

Kozmic Zian
02-16-2004, 11:29
Yea.....Town Info. Like puttin' together a White Blaze Guide To The AT. I have a design background. Bachlors in Ad Design. Would be willing to ad my 2cents worth, to help develope that. Might be able to develope a new product for the Net and be competition for 'Wingnut'....ummmm. Pretty good idea. Wonder what Attroll would think 'bout this? [email protected]

p.s. Great Idea, JT.

Jack Tarlin
02-16-2004, 18:53
Personally, I don't think a new Trail guidebook or handbook is necessary or desireable, as there are already two excellent ones in print.

However, every guidebook has a publication deadline, and every year, there is informtion that is useful and important that doesn't make it into the annual guidebooks for one reason or another, and every year, there are changes or additions to previously existing businesses, service providers, etc.

That's why I think it'd be great if folks sent along interesting and newsworthy items to places such as Whiteblaze and to the ATC, which has a "Thru-Hiker's Companion Up-date" section on their website. Contributing to places like this is a great way to share useful and new information with other hikers, especially those about to hit the Trail.

loonyhiker
02-16-2004, 20:14
Does anyone know about when people may start appearing at this crossing if they start in the middle of March? We travel up that way sometimes on weekends and may try to stop to see if anyone needs a ride. It would help if I knew about when to start looking (cuz hubby sometimes humors me but thinks I'm crazy!). He doesn't mind helping anyone but he is a good hubby and humors me a lot.

There has been a major change at the Sams Gap crossing (north of Hogback Ridge Shelter, south of Big Bald mountain, NC/TN). The trail crossed U.S. 23 at this point... Hitching will be difficult.[/QUOTE]

A-Train
02-16-2004, 20:20
Its 314 miles from Springer. So i'd say it takes the average hiker about a month to hike there. So middle of April. Hikers will be coming thru there everyday from late march until summer.

Skyline
02-16-2004, 21:01
Excellent idea this moving document.

Hikers who want to get off the Trail at US211, Thornton Gap in SNP, sometimes are moved to go east to Sperryville instead of west to Luray because it is closer, mileage-wise. However, Sperryville for all its eclecticness never did have much in the way of hiker amenities--and this year may have even less. Several restaurants and other businesses have recently closed and others are for sale. Better bet is Luray (west) or wait 'til Front Royal/Linden further north.

Also, for those who have old guidebooks, the Panorama Restaurant at Thornton Gap closed in late 2001, never to reopen. A CCC Museum will eventually rise in its place. Last year, ARAMark ran its gift shop in part of the building (minimal selection of snacks and soft drinks) and kept the rest rooms open. Still no official word on 2004 for the gift shop, tho.

Kozmic Zian
02-16-2004, 23:16
Yea.....I was more, less harrassing the 'Wingfloat' lovers. Not really serious 'bout that. Not that it could't be done, though. Requires tremendous input, research and development. So, yea, leave it to ATC and [email protected]

Brushy Sage
02-16-2004, 23:56
Does anyone know about when people may start appearing at this crossing if they start in the middle of March? We travel up that way sometimes on weekends and may try to stop to see if anyone needs a ride. It would help if I knew about when to start looking (cuz hubby sometimes humors me but thinks I'm crazy!). He doesn't mind helping anyone but he is a good hubby and humors me a lot.

There has been a major change at the Sams Gap crossing (north of Hogback Ridge Shelter, south of Big Bald mountain, NC/TN). The trail crossed U.S. 23 at this point... Hitching will be difficult.[/QUOTE]

The best way to get there by car: Take I-26 out of Asheville, toward Tennessee. Get off the interstate at the Wolf Laurel exit, then turn left on old Rte 23 (bottom of ramp) and go up the mountain to the Sams Gap parking area. I'm sure any hikers coming through will be glad to see you!

Jack Tarlin
02-17-2004, 15:08
Sad news: I recently heard that the longtime hostel "The Barn" in Gorham, NH, has recently been sold.

1. I do not know if the new owners plan to continue running a hiker hostel at this location.
2. While the Hiker's Paradise hostel is listed in the 2004 Thru-Hiker's Companion, I am not sure if it'll be open this year; I sure hope it is, but this past summer there was talk on the Trail of the hostel possibly closing. I suggest people find out for sure before sending mail there.
3. If there is no real hiker hostel in Gorham this year, which I hope is not the case, there are several motels where hikers are welcome.
4. If anyone who is reading this lives locally and can provide more information, I invite them to do so, either now or later on in the season, when more information is known.

A-Train
02-17-2004, 18:25
I sure hope that either the barn stays open or that there is another cheap alternative. I can personally say that I did NOT have a very positive stay at hikers paradise and that I will definately stay elswhere next time thru.

TJ aka Teej
02-18-2004, 01:46
Sad news: I recently heard that the longtime hostel "The Barn" in Gorham, NH, has recently been sold.
It was posted on the at-l that the new owner, a hiker named Doc, will keep the Barn open and 'running pretty much the same.' The poster also mentioned that he heard Scavenger wasn't kept on. That'd be a shame.

Second/third hand reports, I know... Stay tuned.

Blue Jay
02-18-2004, 08:41
I sure hope that either the barn stays open or that there is another cheap alternative. I can personally say that I did NOT have a very positive stay at hikers paradise and that I will definately stay elswhere next time thru.

I've stayed at Hikers Paradise 6 times, liked it very much. Spent some time at the Barn and it was clearly an excellent place also. Sorry to see it change hands.

azchipka
02-18-2004, 15:10
Visitors to Machester:
<br><br>
I noticed the followign very important places are not listed in the thru-hikers companion so i figured I would put them up here:
<br><br>
1. <i>can't remember the name</i>; second part of northshire bookstore is a used bookstore just around the corner on route 30. Great for paperbacks at a cheap pricce.
<br><br>
2. <i>Owls Nest</i> Art supply store. Located on NE side of Center Hill Road if you are traveling north on US 7a<br><br>
3. <i>Mother Mirricks</i> One of the absolute best chocolate / ice cream / bakeries in southern vermont. Every thing is made fresh right in the same building, nothing is ever over a week old in regards to chocolate or ice cream, backed goods are made daily. Most people in machester dont go to ben and jerries but go here instead
4. <i>Cristos</i> Skip the pizza place on route 30 and 11, instead go up to the northshire and take a right (east) onto 7a about three buildings up on the left is the best pizza spot in town, they also have a full range of dinners and lunchs. On of the best things about this place is if you can think to put it on a pizza chances are they have and will be able to. i have yet to be able to find another pizza place like this one outside of new york or san francisco<br><br>
5. <i> Up For Breakfast </i> Located just past the pizza place, but it is very easy to miss as it is just a set up stairs up to a second level so keep your eyes pealed on the secnd floor and watch for the sign. A local favorite for breakfast, although on the weekends you can expect a wait sometimes in access of an hour. Its a very small place but has some of the best breakfast in town and all there baked goods come from mother mirricks.
<br><br>6. Next to the laundry mat is a liquor store and Mrs Murphys doughnuts. The liquor store is also a deli / short term resupply store. I make a habit of stopping here before hikes to pick up sandwitchs and salad's and stuff for the trail that afternoon.<br><br>In regadrs to manchester if you like shopping do not bring a lot of money to this town or you will leave with none. With 30+ outlet stores its easy to spend much more then planned.

azchipka
02-18-2004, 15:13
Visitors to Machester:

I noticed the following very important places are not listed in the thru-hikers companion so i figured I would put them up here:

1. can't remember the name; second part of northshire bookstore is a used bookstore just around the corner on route 30. Great for paperbacks at a cheap price.

2. Owls Nest Art supply store. Located on NE side of Center Hill Road if you are traveling north on US 7a

3. Mother Mirricks One of the absolute best chocolate / ice cream / bakery in southern vermont. Every thing is made fresh right in the same building, nothing is ever over a week old in regards to chocolate or ice cream, backed goods are made daily. Most people in machester dont go to ben and jerries but go here instead

4. Cristos Skip the pizza place on route 30 and 11, instead go up to the northshire and take a right (east) onto 7a about three buildings up on the left is the best pizza spot in town, they also have a full range of dinners and lunchs. On of the best things about this place is if you can think to put it on a pizza chances are they have and will be able to. i have yet to be able to find another pizza place like this one outside of new york or san francisco

5. Up For Breakfast Located just past the pizza place, but it is very easy to miss as it is just a set up stairs up to a second level so keep your eyes pealed on the secnd floor and watch for the sign. A local favorite for breakfast, although on the weekends you can expect a wait sometimes in access of an hour. Its a very small place but has some of the best breakfast in town and all there baked goods come from mother mirricks.

6. Next to the laundry mat is a liquor store and Mrs Murphys doughnuts. The liquor store is also a deli / short term resupply store. I make a habit of stopping here before hikes to pick up sandwitchs and salad's and stuff for the trail that afternoon.

In regards to manchester if you like shopping do not bring a lot of money to this town or you will leave with none. With 30+ outlet stores its easy to spend much more then planned.

Blue Jay
02-18-2004, 15:31
The used bookstore is now on the second floor of the regular bookstore with the childrens books.

Jack Tarlin
02-18-2004, 17:14
Am VERY glad to hear that the Barn may well be continuing on as a hiker hostel; will post more info here if and when I find out more.

bearbait2k4
02-19-2004, 03:48
Inn 230, which was located near the C&O Canal Towpath, just outside of Harpers Ferry, no longer exists.

I don't live in the area, but was coming through VERY late in the season, and the property had just been sold, and the owners were in the process of getting out, and it did not sound like it was sold to people willing to continue a hostel. That was a great hostel, too.

Jack Tarlin
02-20-2004, 17:56
Many thanx to the folks who've sent along Trail News for 2004.

This week I'm going to send along a post on Hanover updates, changes, and a few corrections to the the 2004 Companion, which unfortunately included a few mistakes on its Hanover page.

Once again, if any of you live IN or NEAR a trail town, please take a minute and tell us about anything new and different that you're aware of for this year. If you've got the new Companion or Handbook, and if you see any important omissions or errors, send them along. You might also want to report significant corrections or new updates to the ATC website (www.atconf.org), which has a section devoted to precisely this sort of information.

The more folks who take part in this, the more good information we can get out to folks who might need it.

Jack Tarlin
02-23-2004, 20:24
There is some VERY interesting information on a new hiker service (i.e. an Outfitter) at Rainbow Springs Campground in North Carolina; you can find more about this on a thread on the A.T. Forums at www.trailjournals.com.

The gist of this is that it seems that the very fine folks from the Walasi-Yi Center (Neels Gap, Georgia) will be setting up a small outfitter post at R.S. this year, which might come in very handy for folks having early gear issues.

(Keep in mind that there are also excellent Outfitters after this in Gatlinburg, Hot Springs, Johnson City (near Erwin----Miss Janet will happily take you there), and Damascus, VA.)

Folks planning to go into Franklin might want to stay on the Trail and just check out Rainbow Springs as it looks like there'll be some major changes and improvements there this year. The possibility of this new Outfitter was mentioned in the 2004 Thru-Hiker's Handbook but not the Companion; it does seem to look like it will in fact be happening.

chigger
02-26-2004, 22:19
Looking through this year's companion, I noticed they got the address change of Oasis Sports right, but not the location. Oasis (a small but friendly and well stocked outfitter) moved over a year ago from Clarendon, where it is still listed in the companion, to Route 4, on the edge of Rutland (near Mountain Travelers, etc.) I am sure it could still be reached from Clarendon, but it is now much further than the 1 mile listed, and would be much easier to get to from Killington..

TJ aka Teej
03-01-2004, 21:18
As listed in the 2004 ALDHA Companion, the Caratunk House will be closed this season.

Jack Tarlin
03-02-2004, 15:21
If this is the case, I hope folks will consider staying at Steve Longley's place, which is a very short walk from the river crosing.

Steve is the former Kennebec River Ferryman; he helped THOUSANDS of thru-hikers over the years, and in the process, probably helped save a few lives or prevented a few tragedies.

He's a great great guy and I hope a lot of the 2004 folks get to meet him.

(And even if you don't overnight there, you'll probably want to re-supply there, as he has all you'll need to get to Monson, the next real trail town).

Jack Tarlin
03-13-2004, 18:18
Here's the Hanover news.......

The map in the 2004 Thru-Hiker's Companion has several errors: The P&C market has long since closed, as has the "tavern" shown across the street from the Post Office. So has "Mojo's Bistro" on Main Street.

There are several new businesses in town: Mojo's has been replaced by "The Canoe Club" which, in addition to very good food, has live music nightly, almost always without a cover charge. This is a very pleasant place and somewhat pricey by hiker standards, but is quite nice and very friendly; there are several former thru-hikers on staff. You might wanna clean up first, tho!

There's a brand-new burrito/light food place on Main St. very close to Town Hall called "The Wrap" which has good, reasonably priced food. It is NOT to be confused by another local place called "The WRAP" which is actually a strip club in White River, Vermont. The place in White River is NOT the place to go for a burrito.

Just around the corner and across the street from the Post office is another Indian restaurant, called the India Queen, which is very friendly and reasonably priced.

There will probably be a brand-new large discount drugstore in town by the time hikers arrive; it's on Main Street on the old Grand Union/P&C Supermarket site, next to the "Foodstop" 24-Hour convenience store. If it's open, this will be THE place to buy First Aid; Health and Personal Care products, etc. The pharmacy on Main St. will probably close shortly after this place opens. If it's not open, the best place to buy these items is at the Food Co-Op.

The Dartmouth Bookstore, regrettably is up for sale, but will hopefully still be open when you arrive in town.

If you need Bus tickets, the place to buy them is at the travel agency next to Five Olde Nugget Alley tavern, just off of Main St. There is Amtrak service from near-by White River, VT.

There's a brand new L.L. Bean store in nearby West Lebanon, in the same shopping plaza as the Eastern Mountain Sports store; between these 2 places, you should be able to find anything you need. There is still bus service between Hanover and West Lebanon; the stop is in front of the bookstore (corner of Main and Allen Streets).

Things that haven't changed much:

Best Bar/Restaurant is still Five Olde Nugget Alley(known locally as "5-Olde"); great burgers and other stuff. Back dining room is smoke free; the bar-room is the ONLY place in town you can have a drink and a smoke. This is UNDOUBTEDLY the most hiker-friendly place in town, and one of the best bars on the entire A.T.
Best Breakfast place is Lou's except on Sunday when EBA's has a killer brunch.
Best coffee shop/baked goods is the Dirt Cowboy Cafe on Main Street.
Best simple breakfast place is the Bagel Basement
Best pizza is Ramunto's, hands down.
Best place to get beer/tobacco products is Stinson's on Allen St., across from EBA's. Also very good deli sandwhiches made to order. Truly mind-boggling beer selection for such a small store.
High speed Internet access available at Hanover Public library; better to go here rather than use terminals on Dartmouth Campus.
Best market/resupply is still the Food Co-op; there are also major supermarkets in West Lebanon if you get out there; if you go to West Leb. to shop, skip "Shaw's" plaza and go to next bus stop, where there's a "Price Chopper" Superstore, as well as a Borders books and a Wal-Mart.

As for lodging, almost certainly there will NOT be a Dartmouth dorm or frat house taking in hikers, so there's probably no point in stopping by Tabard, Alpha Theta, or Panarchy, as the Thru-Hiker's Handbook suggests. Also, the folks at the DOC office will probably not be much help either. Your best bet is to quiz Southbounders as you approach town and ask them where, if anywhere, hikers were staying; you should also look for comments in Trail registers close to town. Most years, there's a friendly local or two who lets folks pitch on their lawn, but this changes from year to year; if you see other hikers on the street who got to town before you, you might wanna ask them if they know anything about this. If you're going to tent out, DO NOT stealth camp on campus, in Wheelock cemetery, or any other obviously un-legit place; you WILL get rousted out by police or campus security. Likewise, DO NOT overnight in any Dartmouth building (like the Outing Club building), and DO NOT try and do your laundry or grab a shower in any of the dorms without express prior permission of a resident; this is a very good way to get arrested. Due to a few unpleasant incidents in recent years (that did NOT involve hikers by the way), the college is much more security-conscious than it used to be.

If you follow the Trail thru town, you can camp in the woods at the end of the soccer field by the Food Co-op; this is less than 5 minutes walk from Downtown, just follow the blazes North. However, be cool about noise if you stay here as there are nearby houses; do NOT pitch on the soccer field itself, and don't leave your stuff untended if you're gonna zero in town; break camp in the morning and keep your stuff with you as this is kind of a "high-use" area. Likewise, do NOT leave your pack or other gear untended for any period of time at the Outing Club building as the Thru-Hiker's Handbook suggests; I know of at least 3 follks who've had stuff lost/stolen here.

TJ aka Teej
03-13-2004, 21:10
Hello hikers,
I've communicated with the ATC's Laurie Potteiger and Baxter State Park's
Jean Hoekwater about a new program that will benefit all visitors and especially
A.T. hikers. Here's what we think you need to know:

This year Baxter Park is testing a new reservation system that will allow
visitors to reserve regular campground sites (not the Birches Long Distance
Hiker Site) by phone with a credit card 10 days or fewer prior to their stay.
Hikers will need to call Park Headquarters during business hours at 1-207-723-5140 with their credit card number handy. Important - Ranger Stations inside the Park do not accept credit cards! This program will be tested in the 2004 season with the new Rolling Reservation system trial beginning in 2005.
Southbounders can now wait until they hear weather and trail updates, and
then finalize their start dates over the phone.
Northbounders can call ahead from Monson or from the new pay cell phone at
Abol Bridge to reserve at Katahdin Stream or Abol Campgrounds. If northbounders plan on going over the Knife Edge, they will be able to find out if sites are available at Chimney Pond or Roaring Brook Campgrounds. A reminder: capacity at the Birches continues to be limited to twelve and groups of thirteen or more people will be assigned to BSP group areas when requesting reservations -Foster Field is the one closest to Katahdin Stream.
(this is also posted in the Baxter Park folder)

TJ
ALDHA Companion volunteer Caratunk>Katahdin

oruoja
03-13-2004, 22:42
I used to live in NH from '76 to '83 and the warnings of what you can and can't do in the Hanover/Dartmouth are are really ominous. Almost sounds like the stereotypical towns of the south in the 50's and 60's with being under the threat of arrest for this and that. I did my time in Anniston, Alabama back in the service as well as being in law enforcement for 23 years, so I'm not just spouting off from being well read and nothing else. As far as NH goes it's too bad it has come to this as the area back in my day was a really a laid back and friendly place. The irony of it all is that I left NYC way back to get out of such an environment. I guess the times are really "a changin". Hope to get through the area in a few years and meet some of the decent folks.

Jack Tarlin
03-13-2004, 22:56
Hanover is still a very friendly place.......I don't think ANYWHERE is as "laid back" as it was 25 years ago. But there's nothing "ominous" about the police presence in Hanover; I know most of the town cops, many of them are perfectly cool. Many of them hike. None of them have a problem with hikers.

They do, however, have a problem with idiots, especially drunk ones, which is why it's not cool to get out of hand at the soccer field tentsite which is close to several houses, etc. As for on campus, I suspect this has a lot to do with the fear of lawsuits---there have been a few unpleasant on-campus incidents in recent years involving intruders, non-students, peepers or worse, etc.,---this means they've tightened things up re. obvious non-students entering college buildings, dorms, etc.---they have a genuine concern and a genuine need to upgrade their security, partly out of fear of being sued, and partly because there have been a few very real incidents, NONE of them involving hikers, but nevertheless, town and campus security/law enforcement people are concerned. This is why it's totally uncool to walk into a dorm and do your laundry, take a shower, whatever, even if the building is wide open.

But this has nothing to do with the town being unfriendly or there being an overly strong or over-bearing police presence.

The world has changed in twenty years, and town and campus officials have recognized this reality. Prudent hikers will do likewise.

MedicineMan
03-13-2004, 23:17
This takes Whiteblaze a further notch up on the practical info dispensory I believe.....members here could also 'volunteer' to monitor sections of the trail and periodically give reports on that section---section meaning what Jack listed as important including services, hitches, and so on....Who knows, this made lead some members to move on to the next step and volunteer to maintain a certain section of trail......
And another thought....do we here at Whiteblaze have a link page to all the official ATC approved (for lack of a better term) clubs that do maintain the trail?

oruoja
03-13-2004, 23:21
Sorry, didn't mean to imply the local Hanover PD was a jackboot squad. I truly understand the implication of litigation and how it has shaped our society today. As I mentioned I did over 20 in law enforcement and am glad I made it through without being sued for something or other. One can't be too cautious. I guess I was just lost in my daydreams of the past, but on the otherhand I was younger and more naive in those days and perhaps I have become a tad bit more suspicious and cynical. Anyway, hope the '04 hikers behave and appreciate the benefits of the towns and the folks who live and work in them.

jlb2012
03-23-2004, 21:54
Item noted over on PATC's forum: "The only store / water point off the AT at Keys Gap is only to the West (into WV) along Rt. 9. The little market/gas station to the East is closed down now."

context: PATC Forum link (http://www.hypernews.org/HyperNews/get/trails/PATC/4650/2/3/1/1/1.html)

note PATC forum postings are purged after about a month so don't be surprised if the link does not work after some time.

TJ aka Teej
03-23-2004, 22:10
And another thought....do we here at Whiteblaze have a link page to all the official ATC approved (for lack of a better term) clubs that do maintain the trail?

Hiking and Trail Maintaining Clubs
The Appalachian Trail is maintained by 31 independent volunteer organizations. If you are interested in joining local hikes or lending a hand on trail worktrips, check out the clubs near you.

http://www.appalachiantrail.org/hike/dbase1.html

Moon Monster
03-24-2004, 16:14
Gone is the Chinese buffet that was beside the Pizza Hut within sight of the AT crossing in the 220 interchange area of Troutville/Daleville, VA. This is a shame, because they had real lemonade and a great buffet that even had sushi rolls and lots of seafood. It has been replaced by a Mexican restaurant that was still in rennovation as of March 15. The new Mexican place looks like it will be open before NOBOs get there in 2004, but I'd bet it won't have a buffet.

I drove through the entire interchange area here 10 days ago, and everything else looks the same as in 2003 and as it is represented in the guidebooks.

A-Train
03-24-2004, 18:31
Gone is the Chinese buffet that was beside the Pizza Hut within sight of the AT crossing in the 220 interchange area of Troutville/Daleville, VA. This is a shame, because they had real lemonade and a great buffet that even had sushi rolls and lots of seafood. It has been replaced by a Mexican restaurant that was still in rennovation as of March 15. The new Mexican place looks like it will be open before NOBOs get there in 2004, but I'd bet it won't have a buffet.

I drove through the entire interchange area here 10 days ago, and everything else looks the same as in 2003 and as it is represented in the guidebooks.


Thats too bad. The chinese buffet was pretty darn tasty and had great soft serve ice cream that I alternated between main courses! Nice people who own it too. At least its a mexican restraunt moving in. Certainly one genre of food I REALLY missed out on the Trail.

Red Hat
03-25-2004, 17:04
I called the Hiawassee Inn on Thursday March 18th and they were gracious enough to pick me up at Unicoi Gap. They were officially closed, but did not want to leave me stranded. I was the first official hiker to stay at the New Hiawassee Inn. (new management) The next night there were almost 20 folks there! Ron and Sam (the new owners) are great and are looking forward to helping hikers as much as they can. I highly recommend them.

TJ aka Teej
03-25-2004, 17:43
I called the Hiawassee Inn on Thursday March 18th and they were gracious enough to pick me up at Unicoi Gap. They were officially closed, but did not want to leave me stranded. I was the first official hiker to stay at the New Hiawassee Inn. (new management) The next night there were almost 20 folks there! Ron and Sam (the new owners) are great and are looking forward to helping hikers as much as they can. I highly recommend them.

Super report, thanks for letting us know! Sounds like great news for this year's through hikers, OldKathy!

Jack Tarlin
03-26-2004, 15:16
Here's some current news on one of my favorite Trail towns (and temporary residence!)

A few minor errors/omissions in the 2004 Thru-Hiker's Companion:

* Tentsites at the Duckett House Inn are $8 for one person; $10 for two
folks in the same tent; showers are $1.00 extra. You can usually tent on
the main lawn, but I suggest you go down to the brook below the house,
where there are a couple of great sites. Work-stay is sometimes available
here; ask Brian or Frank for details. This is also one of the only places in
town where you can stay (in your tent) with your dog, tho you've got to
keep them leashed as they have cats and chickens on the property. If
you're going to bring a dog, tho, or if you're counting on the work-stay,
it might be best to call ahead (828) 622-7621 to be sure.

* Some of the posted prices of lodging places in the Companion have gone
up a few dollars, and some places' rates change after 1 April, so don't be
outraged if some of the places listed in the book charge a few dollars
more than you've expected.

* The Cody House Hostel is briefly mentioned in the Companion. This is a
small house directly on the Trail; it has beds/bunks for up to six people,
plus bath and small kitchenette. The house is spotless and just minutes
from downtown, the Diner, the P.O., Outfitter, etc. Also, they have full
satellite TV as well as a VCR and DVD player; this is THE place to stay if
there's something you simply must watch on TV. For rental details, ask
Wayne at the Outfitter's. For $15.00 a night, this is a nice place and a
good deal.

* The Cabins at the Campground are a good deal for groups who want to
stay together; 5 or 6 folks can stay at one of the large cabins for some-
thing like 10 bucks apiece plus tax; the campstore there has great grill
food; burgers, etc.

* The Alpine Motel is the best place to stay if you want to be alone; for
couples, I'd suggest getting a double room at the Duckett House or Elmer's.

* Creekside Inn rooms are the place to be if you want to be close to the Pub!

* Re. Re-supply: Bluff Mountain Outfitters is still the place to start your
shopping; their food selection is geared towards thru-hikers and gets
better each year; also, very reasonable prices for being such a small mar-
ket. You can fill in if necessary from the two small grocery stores.

* Dining: Cheapest places are the Diner (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) and the
campstore at the Campground. The Bridge St. Cafe has excellent food; is
presently open for dinner only Thur.-Sunday, but this will probably change
as things get busier in town with more folks arriving. The Paddler's Pub has
greatly expanded its menu and beer list; like the Cafe, it has outdoor dining
which is very pleasant. Very friendly staff, very cordial to hikers, tho we'd
probably be more welcome here as elsewhere if folks remembered to try
and clean up a bit first, and watch out for language and boisterousness;
remember,when you go to a nice place---or any place for that matter, not
everyone there is a thru-hiker! Also, remember that restaurants don't
appreciate your bringing your own food or food from other places into
their establishment; also, if you're dining right after you come off the Trail,
keep your pack and gear outta people's way, and remember, not every
place, especially restaurants, is cool about bringing your pack inside.
Lastly, and this applies to EVERYWHERE, not just here, remember to tip
your servers. First off, they deserve it, and secondly, it makes the staff at
restaurants and bars MUCH more friendly towards hikers. And a tip, by
the way, should not merely be a grubby handful of the loose change in
your pocket that that you wanna lose in order to drop a few ounces of
weight: If you can afford to eat out, you can afford to tip, so please
remember to do this, and if you see a friend stiffing a waiter or bartender,
make sure you set 'em straight!

* Gear. The Outfitter is one of the best on the Trail; excellent place to
swap out some gear, switch to a lightweight pack, etc. Right now, they
have some excellent summer weight sleeping bags/liners available, and
while you'll want to hold on to your warmer bag til at least Damascus,
you might want to plan ahead and get your lightweight bag here and ship it
ahead to Damascus, Bland, Pearisburg or wherever; also, if your total pur-
chases are greater than $100.00, they ship out for free. Also, you
can receive and send out UPS here which is cheaper and more con-
venient than USPS. (I'm admittedly biased about this place as the
owners are friends of mine and I'll be working there for a few weeks
during the height of hiker season, but, along with Neels Gap, Mt.
Rogers in Damascus, and especially The Outfitter at Harper's
Ferry, Bluff Mountain is one of the all-time best Outfitters on the Trail. Oh,
they also do shuttles/slacks anywhere you want to go, just ask about
availability and prices).

* Other stuff: Internet access can be found at the Public Library (Open 1-6
Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays; 10-5 Tuesday; closed Wednesdays, Satur-
days and Sundays) You can use the computer at the Outfitter for free
for 15 minutes or so; it's six dollars an hour after that. That had to
institute a fee as hikers, especially Internet journalists and diarists were
starting to take advantage; remember here, in the Library, and elsewhere
on the Trail, to be considerate, especially when others are obviously
waiting; this is ESPECIALLY true in public libraries; remember, these places
put in computers to serve their own residents; don't take advantage of
your "guest" privileges.

* The White House Antiques shop has been closed for a very long time; I'm
not sure when the North Carolina Companion editor was last here! In any
case, they no longer have an ATM; try the Outfitter's instead. Likewise,
the Outfitter's is the best place to go for White Gas or Denatured alcohol.


Anyway, that covers Hot Springs. I'll be checking out the 2004 Thruhiker's Handbook as well and will send along any notable errors or omissions in a
future post.

Jack Tarlin
04-10-2004, 07:51
Notable error in 2004 Companion:

The Creekside Cabins in Hot Springs do NOT offer five dollar tentsites. If you want to tent while you're in town, either because you prefer to, or more likely, to save money, there are two places to do it: The Hot Springs Campground has nice sites (with use of bath-house) for five dollars a night; the Duckett House B&B offers beautiful spots (with shower) for $8 a person or $10 if there are two of you.

These are also just about the only places to stay in town if you have a dog, tho the Duckett asks that you keep it on a leash as they have cats and chickens and don't want either disturbed or eaten.

Free camping is available along the banks of the French Broad River if you follow the Trail about .4 North out of town.

Jaybird
04-10-2004, 09:48
I have an interesting idea for a new thread: It occurred to me that a lot of us either live IN or very near to trail towns, and it puts us in a unique position to share up-to-date information on new service providers, or on ones no longer in business, etc. I 'm planning to send in a long post about changes and developments in Hanover, NH; maybe other folks can do the same for the communties where they live. .................................................. ................................................it seems to me that if we work together on this, we can exchange a lot of useful information. .................................................. ................


GREAT idea Jack! see you in Hot Springs in May!

If not....we'll see you @TRAIL DAYS 2004 :D