View Full Version : more sobo questions???

03-27-2004, 19:41
When you sobo thru hiked, when did you start and finish? Dates please? Also what is the most common leave date for a sobo thru hiker? I was always under the impression it was july. Is that true? I was planning on a nobo this year but decided to do a sobo instead because I could not get away from work. Also I've nobo thru hiked a few years ago and thought it would be less crowded at start and a different hike. Any tips on a leave date from a former sobo thru hiker will be great thanks. :)

03-27-2004, 20:33
I'm not a sobo thru-hiker, but I considered it. From the 2004 Companion--

" 'Weather permitting,' you can begin a southbound hike as early as May 31."

TJ aka Teej
03-27-2004, 21:35
Also what is the most common leave date for a sobo thru hiker? I was always under the impression it was july

You can count on the AT up Katahdin being open by Memorial Day weekend. Last year it opened on May 24th, and by the first week in June 70 GAMErs were headed south into the 100 Mile Wilderness. June is the month most southbound hikers start.

ALDHA Companion volunteer Caratunk > Katahdin

steve hiker
03-27-2004, 22:23
Many SOBOs wait until July to avoid the black flies.

03-28-2004, 11:05
I started on June 10th and the Black Flies were a nightmare.

03-28-2004, 12:27
The black flies in Maine are at their prime in June. They are still around in July but are not as thick as they are in June. Your biggest problem area for the black flies will be in the 100 miles wilderness area. Half of that is all flat land and the woods are thick. Once you get into the higher elevation they will not be as bad.

03-28-2004, 15:23
I started May 30th and finished Nov. 17th.

Black flies were attrocious but I also did not have to deal with the bad weather of December. So it can be a trade off. If you want to avoid a "crowd" don't start June 1st. I started May 30th and was alone for the first 10 days. On June 1st however nine people started.

steve hiker
03-28-2004, 16:11
If you want to avoid a "crowd" don't start June 1st. On the other hand I've heard you can have the problem of hiking alone for long stretches. This past December I ran into John Galt in TN, who was trying to catch up to a cluster of SOBOs a day or two ahead of him. He said if he hadn't been hiking with a certain group (don't know if it was the same one), he would have hiked alone all through Virginia.

03-29-2004, 13:26
We left June 12th and finished nov 5th. 6 others left the same day we did and we caught up with many more along the way. There was also a good bunch behind us.

You need bug protection in Maine. The mosquitos were a huge nuissance until Cooper's Brook Leanto. After that the black flies are a little worse.

We hiked on and off with people all the way to GA. We spent a good 3 weeks of PA alone though.

In terms of copmparing it to your NOBO hike... I just don't think it will be as social of an experience though you will certainly have your own community.

03-30-2004, 09:00
Steve Longley, the now-retired but long-time ferryman at the Kennebeck River still has a chart on line showing when SOBOs (and everyone else for that matter) crossed the river in 2002:


It only breaks things down by month, but it might help give you some idea of the big picture.

I hiked 7/12/83 => 12/1/83, and may have been the last that year. I only came across one other southbounder along the way, just north of Perrisburg. That, was an exciting day! We camped together fora few nights. Redman, the pressman from Monokoto, WY (?) are you out there?

Rick B

04-30-2004, 16:13
Found out today, that you cannot buy tickets on Vermont Transit or Cyr Bus Lines in advance. Just show up and purchase your ticket from the driver, is what I was told. How is the best way (Taxi?) to get from Logan Intl. Airport to South Station Terminal in Boston? And how far? I have approximately 2 hours, between flight arrival and bus departure.

Bob McCaw
05-01-2004, 11:21
You can get a taxi from Logan to South Station easily enough. It shouldn't take you more than about 15 minutes at the outside. You'd probably be looking at a fare approaching $20.

If you have the time, I'd advise taking public transportation (the T) for $1.25. Not only is it cheap, it's kind of fun. There's a shuttle at the airport to the "blue line" T station. Take the blue line inbound to Government Center, then the green line to Park Street, then the red line to South Station. Not as complicated as it sounds. I'd allow an hour or so, door to door. (I take the Boston subway every day and it will probably actually take less time -- the hour allows for bad timing, confusion, etc.)

05-01-2004, 13:25

05-01-2004, 14:10
Rick, Thanks!

06-08-2004, 12:59
We started on July 18, 2000 and finished December 20, 2000. The plan was to miss the black flies and most of the mud...and it worked! I received only ONE blackfly bite and even the mosquitos weren't a big issue.

We didn't meet our first fellow SOBO until just before Stratton, and once the crowds of NOBOs passed we had the trail pretty much to ourselves (we did hit the main body of NOBOs in New Hampshire, so that area was very crowded).

When the springs start to dry up in the fall, we were still able to find water...sometimes we just had to travel a little farther downstream.

A definite advantage to this time frame is that the hazy skies become much crisper as winter approaches, and the snow in the southern mountains is usually drier and fluffier that time of year than in the Spring.

It seemed that we started quite a bit later than most of the SOBOs that year, but we were very happy with our decision!

Good Luck!

johnny quest
06-30-2004, 13:06
what about amtrak? how close does it get to katahdin? anyone ever use it? i went to their website but it seems you need to know where you want to go to find out. they seem to go to portland me

Mr. Clean
07-01-2004, 07:59
Pretty sure Portland is as far as the train (Amtrak) goes. You could hop a bus from the transportation center to Millinocket, though.