View Full Version : So my brother is getting married 20 days after i start SOBO

Spot In The Sky
02-10-2010, 11:20
Im starting July 1st and my brothers wedding is the 24th and i need to be there on the 22nd. I know i wont be doing high mileage or anything by that time so in my first 21/22 days how far will i realistically get and what is the easiest way to get from whatever town im closest to, to Northern Connecticut? Im extremely fortunate that where he is getting married is only 4 miles from the part of the AT trail in CT so I can hope back on and do the part i skipped later. But basically from these towns off the trail, how do people get to bigger cities that have bus depots? Hitch? Cab?

Mountain Wildman
02-10-2010, 11:26
You could try hitching but Ct. does have Laws.

Pedaling Fool
02-10-2010, 11:41
I would boycot the marriage in protest of this ancient stupid tradition. But if you must (and not knowing your hiking abilities) I'd probably shoot for making Gorham in that time. With a back-up plan of getting off either at Rangeley or Andover, Me.

02-10-2010, 11:46

Get a shuttle to from Stratton to somewhere along I-95 and take the bus.

Blue Jay
02-10-2010, 12:24
This happens ALL the time. As soon as you plan a thru, family and "friends" will do ANYTHING, including dying and serious illnesses to get you back inside the fence. Just a fact of life. Good luck.

02-10-2010, 12:30
Spot In The Sky, my brother got married while I was thru-hiking too. I wanted, and had to, go to the wedding(I was in the wedding party). For me, that occurred when I was starting into The White Mountains going NOBO. I had to get from NH to southern NJ along the NJ shore(he was married on the beach.) I also had to get off the AT in NY near Peekskill NY to get fitted for a wedding TUX somewhere in NY. Even though I was thoroughly into thru-hiker mode at both times when I got off the AT for the wedding I did it because it meant a lot to my brother and me. After having been backpacking for a few months I felt somewhat strange at the wedding since my new lifestyle had changed me so dramatically from what I once was. In some ways I felt privileged to be experiencing a thru-hike.

OK. Some thoughts. First realize, you are only 20 days into your SOBO when you have to get off the AT. If you are like most hikers you will not hit the trail in optimal hiking shape. My thoughts are that you will only begin finding your stride and learning and adapting to the thru-hiking lifestyle when you have to go to the wedding. Couple that thought with the idea that ME is not, IMO, the least strenuous state on the AT to thru-hike. It has several Northeast mountains that need to be crossed and there are plenty of ups and downs. It is also, IMO, one of the more remote least populated less close to bigger cities with many public transportation options than many of the other states on the AT.

Some numbers. Let's say you wind up backpacking 18 of those 20 days and you avg in the range of 15-19 miles per day. You may hike more or less, but again remember you are only starting out on your hike. Besides, ME, IMO, is one of those states you don't want to rush. In ME many AT thru-hikers say it felt most like a true wilderness backpacking experience. I have to agree. OK. Back on track. AVG 15-19 m/d for 18 days gets you into the vicinity of the NH/ME state line(282 miles) to MT Washington, NH(332 miles). Somewhere in that stretch I think you will have to get off the AT.

I would be looking at a possible bus trip from someplace like Gorham or Conway NH or somewhere in the northern Whites(Crawford, Pinkham Notch for example, there are bus routes that visit these places and could possibly get you to a transfer pt to get you to CT) to CT. I'm not familar with all the bus routes in NH, but I would start checking bus routes from buslines like Greyhound and Peter Pan in NH and western ME.

02-10-2010, 12:34
Have you considered hiking a section near VA for 20 days, then heading to Maine, then skipping that section on the main leg of the trip. Could save you quite a bit of traveling.

02-10-2010, 12:47
JustaTouron, he's got to go to CT for the wedding anyway. If he did hike in VA first he would then have to travel to CT and then get onto the AT anyway.

Even though we are not privy to exactly where the OP is going in northern CT, it's not that long or big of a bus ride to get from Gorham or Conway NH, just as two examples of places where Greyhound serves, to get to CT. And he could rather easily pick up his hike where he left off. Personally, I would take the approach of not rushing my hike and be in the position where I could do some easier days once I did get back to the AT. I would figure out ahead of time a few places where I could get off the AT and connect with public transportation all depending on my miles per day

kayak karl
02-10-2010, 12:50
ancient stupid tradition.
LMAO i feel the same way, won't do it a fourth time. :)

02-10-2010, 13:34
Perhaps hike for 3 weeks ending in Northern Conn., then go back to Maine after the wedding.
Or if you're ambitious, hike the Long Trail SOBO before the wedding and start the AT in Maine after the wedding.

Transportation in northern New England is a bit of a pain, and you're going to have to do it 3 times in 3 weeks.

02-10-2010, 13:59
Can someone from home come to get you, then take you back? Tell them they can count it as a wedding gift.

Not mentioned, but have you considered delaying your hike till after the wedding? Or ask them to move the date up so you can go to the wedding then do the hike. Split the difference?

02-10-2010, 14:11
Start at DWG. Hike to CT. After the wedding, continue on to ME. Flip back to DWG. Hike south.

02-10-2010, 14:14
Or ask them to move the date up so you can go to the wedding then do the hike. Split the difference?

Are you kidding? Move a wedding date for someone's hike? With all the details that have to be planned and places and people that have to be booked months ahead of time. ???? Not sure whether I should laugh. :eek::eek::D

02-10-2010, 14:30
I would be looking at a possible bus trip from someplace like Gorham or Conway NH

There is also car rental available in Gorham (I know for sure cause I rented one there in 07) and probably Conway too.

Spot In The Sky
02-10-2010, 14:31
My brother knew i was doing the hike july 1st but still set it on the 24th, it cant be moved, believe me. The thing is Ill be leaving for the hike out of NY to go to ME, not VA. I have considered starting closer but it feels so weird to not start my thru hike at either of the main starting points. my plan was to go as far south as i could, get off, get to CT for the wedding and pick up the trail from there and either continue south and a) skip the part i skipped all together, or b) go up and to cover the part i missed and then get back down somewhere. The place where the wedding is, is RIGHT by the trail crossing in CT which I know is a fairly small section so it makes most sense to just continue from there going south and worry about the part i skipped later. I think i could ask my dad or friend to come pick me up i guess from a town, probably cheapest, and quickest. Thanks for the names of places though- thats most helpful.

02-10-2010, 14:44
.... a) skip the part i skipped all together, .....

Hate to see you take this option because you'd miss the White Mountains & Mahoosuc Notch. I know you're reluctant to start at a point other than the terminus but consider starting in Vermont at Rt. 4/Sherburne Pass or in Hanover and hiking south to CT. Both Rutland and Hanover are accessible via public transporation.

After the wedding, go up to Katahdin, hike south to where you started, and then get a shuttle. I think hiking through Maine starting around July 25 is better than July 1 anyway.

The Solemates
02-10-2010, 16:43
why dont you just start 3 weeks later and support your brother? that seems the most logical to me...

02-10-2010, 17:10
I don't know about your hiking speed, but I would plan on being on either side of the Saddleback Range.
I can't help with the shuttling question.

02-10-2010, 17:44
I'm with CookerHiker. The Whites are not a section to miss and perhaps, makes for a lengthier travel to return to hike the Whites from someplace further south, even that much more so if you plan on going back to your home in VA after the hike. Makes it even harder if you finish late in the south and need to come back to the Whites when you have a greater chance of being unable to hike the Whites because of inclement fall weather. If you were then to successfully complete your thru-hike this way and in the Whites you then would have to travel back to VA. Seems like an awful lot of running up and down the eastcoast and you will have weather working against you not for you.

I've had to go back to sections that I missed on long hikes. It can be impossible to a PITA.

Go back to where you left the AT the first time for the wedding and continue hiking SOBO and have all this jumping around finished with or hike the section from CT near your brother's house NOBO up to where you left the AT while hiking SOBO near the NH/ME border and then continue back SOBO in CT.

Jack Tarlin
02-10-2010, 17:44
Instead of starting your hike later, I'd try and start a week or so earlier if possible. This would enable you to get all the way to Gorham NH which is a good sized town. You could then clean up and either rent a car or catch a bus to points South, i.e. to Boston, etc. Or if you wanted to not deal with Boston, get to Hanover NH which is just off of Interstate 91, meaning there's regular reliable bus service south to Connecticut. Also, Amtrak stops in White River Junction VT, which is very close to Hanover, and there is Train service from there to Connecticut.

In any case all sorts of options, but it'd be a lot easier for you to leave the Trail from Gorham rather than one of the smaller towns in Maine where'd you'd almost certainly have to do some hitching or pay a good deal for a shuttle ride to somewhere larger.

Also, after the wedding I'd try and return to the point where you got off the Trail; you really don't want to miss anything in NH and Vermont. That's some pretty spectacular stuff you'd be skipping.

02-10-2010, 18:09
Just to give an idea of what I went through having to go back to make up my skipped 187 miles of AT in 4 different states on my AT thru-hike I spent nearly 3 whole wks after summitting Mt Katahdin. More than 1 wk of that involved traveling back to all those different places I had missed miles.

I'll also tell you that once you start skipping miles for any reason it makes it more justifiable to start skipping even more miles. I had estimated that I had missed less than 90 total AT miles, but when I added up the numbers I was surprised to learn that I had actually missed 187 miles of the AT. I asked myself, "can I honestly admit to myself and others that I thru-hiked the whole AT?" My heart told me"NO."

Since having made the mistake of skipping miles on the AT, I now do everything possible to avoid this kind of hassle again.

My advice is to get off in a place where it's easy to do so and get back on after the wedding. It's probably easier that way!

02-10-2010, 18:47
Can someone from home come to get you, then take you back?

Best plan I figure. Simple enough for you to get to rt 2. You must have some deranged friends who would jump at an excuse for a road trip.

Spot In The Sky
02-10-2010, 19:57
The thing is, I am doing the Anchorage, AK marathon on the 19th, gettin gback to NY on the night of the 22nd. I guess I could leave shortly after that but I wonder how much more time that ll really get me? I suppose there is no sense in waiting, but I know my knees need at least 2-3 days to recover...so maybe Ill head out a few days earlier? Ah well- sounds like getting to Gorham is the best bet-but either way going back to where I started when I got off so as to not miss anything. I think id feel weird going north for a couple hundred miles so Ill find a ride back up. Thank you guys so much for helping me plan this!

Jack Tarlin
02-10-2010, 20:01
If it looks like you can't get all the way to Gorham, keep this #:

Earl Towne lives in East Andover and is a great friend to hikers. If he's around, I'm sure he could provide a reasonably priced shuttle to Gorham.
You can reach him at (207)392-1333 or thecabin@megalink.net

02-10-2010, 21:20
Why not start your hike after the wedding? If the place they're getting married at is so close to the trail you could start from there, go north to Maine then find a ride back to the place you started to go south?

02-10-2010, 21:31
Start at DWG. Hike to CT. After the wedding, continue on to ME. Flip back to DWG. Hike south.

This could be a real winner if you have family and friends near the wedding place. Take some time shaking out your gear and getting some legs. Spend some time with family and see if you can catch a ride north and start heading south. When you get to Conn. again you can have another visit and catch a ride to DWG. Or, like Bllissful said. Just get back on the trail north after the wedding. What ever you do, have a great hike.

02-10-2010, 21:47
Sounds like Gorham should be no problem, no more than 24 days. Also note, that there was also a bus thru Franconia Notch, and an AMC shuttle all over the place in between.

Spot In The Sky
02-10-2010, 21:54
Sounds like Gorham should be no problem, no more than 24 days. Also note, that there was also a bus thru Franconia Notch, and an AMC shuttle all over the place in between.
Im looking now at moving my start date from July 1st to June 27th, Sunday- so 24 days sounds perfect!

Spot In The Sky
02-10-2010, 22:20
After more research about Gorham, NH- it appears there is an Enterprise and I put in the dates Id be gone- around July 22 returning 25 or 26- and its only pretty cheap so it looks like that may be my best option if I can make it to Gorham starting June 27, in Gorham by July 22nd.

02-10-2010, 22:30
... but I know my knees need at least 2-3 days to recover....

On the one hand as a marathon runner you're in excellent shape for starting a thruhike.

On the other hand, starting a hike in Maine isn't exactly friendly to the knees, even in the relatively easy 100 mile wilderness.

But I'm sure you'll do fine! Have a good hike and enjoy the wedding.

singing wind
02-10-2010, 23:49
Say, good luck whatever you decide to do. BTW, the Concord Trailways bus line also provides service near the some of areas in ME and NH you've mentioned and they have a terminal next to the Boston Amtrak station.

If you like, check out http://www.concordtrailways.com/.

Hope you have a wonderful hike!