PDA

View Full Version : Shuttle Experience in Damascus



vsiddhartha
01-07-2011, 14:43
I would like to relay a recent unsatisfactory experience I had with Mt Rogers Outfitters (MRO) which wound up becoming a very satisfactory experience with Sundog Outfitters.

My two cousins and I had a backpacking trip planned from Fox Creek to Elk Garden, starting on Dec. 27. Three weeks in advance we arranged a shuttle with MRO to follow us to Elk Garden, where we would drop our car, then take us to Fox Creek. On Dec. 26 MRO called me to say that they “might” not be able to shuttle us the following day due to the impending snowstorm. We had planned this hike for months, so I told MRO we were coming anyways and would work something else out if they couldn’t take us. When we arrived in Damascus on Dec. 27, we walked into MRO. I told the older man behind the counter that we were the guys who needed the shuttle, and he said “Yeah, it ain’t happening.” When pressed for an explanation (there was NO snow on the roads in Damascus at the time), he said his driver came in over the mountain that morning and said the roads were too bad to drive up there. He added that the Elk Garden parking lot would be snowed in and that we probably wouldn’t be able to get up there without 4WD, which we didn’t have. He suggested that we try to take our car to Fox Creek, plow it into the parking lot, and arrange a shuttle with him to pick us up at Elk Garden at the end of our hike. We said no thanks and left.

We drove through town, and most all of the other shuttle services were closed. Then we saw Sundog Outfitter, whom I had called earlier to tell them we might be looking for a shuttle to Fox Creek. We walked in and met Terry (Serial Killer) and told him we needed the shuttle. He practically jumped up, grabbed the keys, and said “Ready when you are!” He led us to Elk Garden (where there was plowed space to park our car, contrary to MRO’s advice), took us to Fox Creek (where there was NO plowed space to park), gave us some advice on a few good blue-blaze trails, and sent us off on our hike. There was less than an inch of slush on the roads, and we had no issues driving up there with our car nor in Sundog’s RWD van.

I’m not trying to diss MRO, just relaying our experience. I’m sure MRO has served many people well, and to be fair, they did notify us of the situation in advance. However, the moral of the story is that when the going got tough (which is a bit of an overstatement), MRO bailed on us and Sundog bailed us out. I know who we’ll be patronizing next time.

P.S. See below photo at Fox Creek dropoff...roads hardly impassable.

wornoutboots
01-07-2011, 15:02
I hope the Hike was Awesome!! that's an Amazing Section & I'm sure even better in the snow!!

vsiddhartha
01-07-2011, 15:55
Thanks, the hike was great. Though it snowed a lot right before we got there, the weather was great during the hike. Pretty cold (10F + wind chill) the first night made for a poor night's rest, but it warmed up a bit each day. Average snow depth was about knee deep, with a few 3 to 4-foot drifts. We were post-holing on undisturbed snow 90% of the time. Need to get snowshoes. The Wilburn Ridge Trail (recommended by Terry at Sundog) was spectacular...our favorite part of the hike.

Skyline
01-07-2011, 16:05
Is it possible that the bad roads earlier in the day had more to do with ice than snow accumulation? Or exaggeration by the MRO driver, anticipating worse conditions later in the day? The High Country there is a beautiful, wonderous place in the winter but driving the roads nearby can be challenging.

In any case kudos to Sundog Outfitters for getting you on the Trail. Post a trip report if you have time.


UPDATE: Oooops! While I was typing you got in ahead of me with a mini-report.

Tennessee Viking
01-07-2011, 16:19
What route did they take you up to Elk Garden? Through Konnarock or Whitetop? Driving up from Konnarock is long and steep.

I prefer going up through Taylors Valley and Green Cove then up US 58 to Whitetop Road because it doesn't require a bunch of braking and not as curvy. But it requires some driving on a stretch of dirt road and is about 5 minutes longer.

But anytime you are traveling through the backroads, such as the Mt Rogers area, in snow...some people are not going to take the risk.

vsiddhartha
01-07-2011, 16:34
What route did they take you up to Elk Garden? Through Konnarock or Whitetop? Driving up from Konnarock is long and steep...
But anytime you are traveling through the backroads, such as the Mt Rogers area, in snow...some people are not going to take the risk.
Terry took us northeast out of Damascus on SR 605, then south on SR 600 to Elk Garden. I asked him why the long way, and he said it was more scenic and just a few minutes longer.

I realize MRO may have been trying to "avoid risk", but they call themselves an outfitter, and as such I would expect them (it is their JOB) to be well aware of the level of risk involved. If risk-avoidance would be their reason for backing out on our shuttle, I would say they made a poor estimate of the level of "risk". They also ought to consider hiring a new driver.

Skyline, I will try to get a longer report up with more photos when I get a chance.

generoll
01-07-2011, 17:08
so had they ended up in a ditch and injured any of their passengers you wouldn't have held them liable?

Jack Tarlin
01-07-2011, 17:18
If you're not trying to "diss" anyone, then why make such an effort to post something so deliberately negative? If most local shuttlers chosenot operating that day (and you said they weren't), maybe there's a good reason for this, after all, I suspect they have a good idea about local weather, road conditions on poor days, etc. MRO has been operating for many years and is indeed aware of risk involved (again, your phrase), and in their opinion, they didn't want to put their patrons, drivers, or vehicles at risk. I'm glad you eventually found a ride, but I think you could have been a bit kinder in speaking about the folks who weren't driving that day, and as you yourself said, MRO was not alone in feeling this way.

You said you drove all thru town and had trouble finding anyone who thought it was worthwhile or safe to drive passengers that day.......instead of cheering the guys willing happily to take your money and haul you out to the boonies on such a bad day, perhaps you should question why so many other people thought this was a poor idea.

vsiddhartha
01-07-2011, 17:21
so had they ended up in a ditch and injured any of their passengers you wouldn't have held them liable?
The way you pose your "question" as a statement followed by a question mark is an attempt to bait me into an argument. That was not the purpose of this thread. Nonetheless, if that was their concern, then requiring passengers to sign a waiver would be an option for them to consider.

But really as far as I'm concerned, it's irrelevant. We just wanted to get a ride. MRO declined to provide the service. Sundog gave us a ride. I didn't post this to argue the merits of either company's decision. I just wanted to share our experience to let people know who they can count on if they need a ride.

RayBan
01-07-2011, 18:01
I didn't post this to argue the merits of either company's decision. I just wanted to share our experience to let people know who they can count on if they need a ride.

Of course you did, as both statements demonstrate to anyone who reads them. Otherwise you wouldn't have posted at all.

Also, "who you can count on" is clearly a judgment YOU'RE making based on YOUR criteria, which may not (and in this case apparently wasn't) shared by whomever.

Bottom line- you got a ride: be happy instead of being critical of a well-respected commercial service whose concerns (i.e., liabliity) are different than yours and who, regardless, is NOT required to give you or anyone else a ride anywhere at all, whether you ask for it or not.

Sly
01-07-2011, 18:04
How much did Sundog charge you?

mweinstone
01-07-2011, 18:19
kepp the eyes. im not tryin to be dianna ross.oooh!lol.lmao

Blissful
01-07-2011, 18:21
Yeah, you ARE dissing them for no reason at all! And THAT is unfair and inexcusable and doing it on this forum. Esp as they believed they were making the right call to safeguard their driver and you, the high and mighty passenger who thinks he knows everything. Nice that Sundog helped you out, but so what? To come on here and accuse someone of having lousy service and trying to damage their hard-earned reputation for helping hikers because they wanted to safeguard passengers and drivers shows total lack of maturity on your part. And if you roll the dice planning your long-awaited hike in winter in an area notorious for harsh weather, it's your problem.

Honestly. Get a life and stop maligning others and their judgment calls. Your judgment call here to post this stinks, imo

fehchet
01-07-2011, 18:31
Offensive posting is not allowed. That includes use of illegal substances, racism, sexism, or posts that ridicule, belittle, taunt, mock, or assault the character of other members. Our policy does not protect people that choose to verbally assault other members that may disagree with them. In essence members can disagree but should remain respectful of the person they disagree with.

mweinstone
01-07-2011, 18:31
yeah, what she or he said. whats maligleing? i like the part where he says they should have just handed out wavers to sign then gone about their merry way to oblivion. and serial could have been killed. and the hikers might have had to leave him and just hike cause they didnt pack scrupples morals or scence.they only had packs full of wine. for wineing.seriously weird post. they must be from a place where stuffs different. hmmm.....

topshelf
01-07-2011, 18:32
I would like to relay a recent unsatisfactory experience I had with Mt Rogers Outfitters (MRO) which wound up becoming a very satisfactory experience with Sundog Outfitters.



On a section hike last year I was sitting at Thomas Knob shelter and a guy came in with his nephew. They had started the day at Elk Garden. They said they had to wait and delay their hike a day because no one wanted to drive and drop them off. And yes they had prearranged their shuttle.

I have never used the shuttle at MRO, but I have had some very bad experiences with them. I often feel when I walk in the store that I am not welcome because I am a local and not a thru-hiker.

It can be almost impossible to get help with questions and the answers are usually short and unhelpful. I was looking at some new boots last year and I asked one of the guys (who was lurking over my shoulder like I was attempting to steal something) for reccomendations and all he replied was "whatever you want."

I have been in the store with a pack in hand and ready to buy and I was completely ignored because thru-hikers walked in the door. After waiting 20-25 minutes I put the pack on the counter and left.

Also Yes sundog is a much more friendly place to get some gear. Only thing is it can be quite crowded on the weekends with all the bike riders on the creeper.

Serial 07
01-07-2011, 18:40
glad to hear that you had a great trip! and thanks for stopping in...

matty, i appreciate that the first thing you'd want are my soccer jerseys! i do have a nice collection going...

vsiddhartha
01-07-2011, 18:42
How much did Sundog charge you?
$60. MRO was going to take us for $50.

Rayban, mweinstone, and Blissful...all I have to say to you guys is that I appear to have touched a nerve. I will refrain from trying to guess why that is. All I did was try to give a factual account. The only one here to have maligned anyone or made a judgement would be mweinstone when he called me a "young, foolish hiker" which does nothing other than demonstrate his own foolishness since he does not know me nor the level of my foolhardiness. Surely he does not mean to imply that merely because someone is "young" that they have less experience than one such as mweinstone my acquire by simply being alive a greater number of years. Ridiculous. Good day.

mweinstone
01-07-2011, 18:45
umm, where to start.......its scientifically impossible to find ill will towards patrons at mro. they are the very benchmark of good. heres what we know. they instill a strickt policy of waiting your turn and being polite while waiting for service so as to never give preferencial treatment to anyone. they belive in providing a safe shopping exsperience by not allowing theft of merchandise witch would mean shopping among dangerouse individuals. they are quiet reserved folks who have worked to the bone for lifetimes providing a unique trail exsperience to visitors to my trail. they treat foks with the respect they deserve and dont appreciate being interuppted while performing their job by rude intrupters .there store isnt a hangout or a place where you go to packsniff and take time from the workers with requests of non hiking natures. the shere volume of hikers they have delt with combined with the high rate of stoned freaks they manage on a daily bassis, has formed some policys. thats how it is jr. its not one merely one good shop. its an instituition and we love the mro family. now get out.

Serial 07
01-07-2011, 18:45
vsidd, i think matty was calling me "young and foolish", not you...he's a great friend of mine... : )

Sly
01-07-2011, 18:46
$60. MRO was going to take us for $50.



Fair enough. Better than being stuck by the side of the road, or hitching!

vsiddhartha
01-07-2011, 19:01
vsidd, i think matty was calling me "young and foolish", not you...he's a great friend of mine... : )
Ah, I see now. :rolleyes: Quite the king of sarcasm...

Just so you know we would not have left you! We packed plenty of sense and scruples. Morals...debatable. But we would have shared our wine!

Thanks for the ride man. Pleasure to meet you.

topshelf
01-07-2011, 19:05
mweinstone, how is it that you know of vsiddartha and my own experiences? Were you there?

Let's get something straight. It is not your AT, it's OURS. You don't own it.

If someone is standing at your counter and is ready to spend $200+, you stop shootin' the breeze about trail conditions in TN and go help them. I am a customer, not a rude interupter.

mweinstone
01-07-2011, 19:13
if your standing there ready to just ask trail conditions in east jabip and the clerk is with another customer, who is buying the taj mahal, i belive the clerk should stop shooting the breeze with the rich guy and help the guy who wants to chat for a while about trail.

and if the richest man in the world walks in and wants to buy everything in the store but stupid old matthewski is telling a long and boreing joke to his friend packrat or jeff or dave who should be working, i think the rich man should pause to hear the joke.

topshelf
01-07-2011, 19:17
You're right. forget the paying customers, let's tell jokes

mweinstone
01-07-2011, 19:18
we have established who here thaught matthewski was a problem hustan.

my trail. my shelters. my blazes. ownership mine. all inclusive. deal. i own everything. the power of rant is mine alone. your booze cannot help you now. matthewski, owner oporator king and lord of appalachia has spoken. so shall it be.

topshelf
01-07-2011, 19:23
I guess I must bow

Lone Wolf
01-07-2011, 19:24
i give shuttles too. cheapest in the damascus area :cool:

HiKen2011
01-07-2011, 19:27
i give shuttles too. cheapest in the damascus area :cool:

Seriously? If so great to know!!!!

Sly
01-07-2011, 19:28
Seriously? If so great to know!!!!

Unfortunately, in order to get a shuttle from Lone Wolf you need to be riding in the back of an ambulance. :(

HiKen2011
01-07-2011, 19:28
Seriously? If so great to know!!!!

And are they on your hog?;)

Lone Wolf
01-07-2011, 19:28
Seriously? If so great to know!!!!

serious as a heart attack and i had a major one less than 2 years ago :)

HiKen2011
01-07-2011, 19:34
serious as a heart attack and i had a major one less than 2 years ago :)

I remember, we talked briefly about that last year (through PM), hope you're doing well, I'm sure you are. I know you still work out alot!

10-K
01-07-2011, 19:44
i give shuttles too. cheapest in the damascus area :cool:

I'm pretty sure you're the only person I got a shuttle from that offered to buy *me* a cup of coffee. :)

mweinstone
01-07-2011, 19:47
the lwolf shuttle exsperience is the very finest riding trip one can afford. beginning with prompt pickup the passenger has his or her option of dead scilence , dead baby jokes or somethings dead under my seat smell. after stopping at the post office to get gypsys mail lwolf would be pleased to acompany you to the trailhead or town of your choice. trailheads and townds included are, damascus and the surrounding 5 states. for snacks lwolf features the finest gatoraids and heart healty bowling foods such as tropical morrocan almonds and hazelnut palm heart snaps. for a small additional fee a snippit of lwolfs beard can be a wonderful keepsake for the mantle of your journey. stops localy include, tows house, just to see what hes up to. cowboys, and mro. points of interest include the porch on daves and the place, wher lucky hikers may see lwolf politly tell someone to leave. the excitement is ongoing. see damascus. see wolf.

lwolf shuttles may exsplode with warning. pancakes and beer free every ride. go to www.lwolf free shuttles.org

10-K
01-07-2011, 19:56
the lwolf shuttle exsperience is the very finest riding trip one can afford. beginning with prompt pickup the passenger has his or her option of dead scilence , dead baby jokes or somethings dead under my seat smell. after stopping at the post office to get gypsys mail lwolf would be pleased to acompany you to the trailhead or town of your choice. trailheads and townds included are, damascus and the surrounding 5 states. for snacks lwolf features the finest gatoraids and heart healty bowling foods such as tropical morrocan almonds and hazelnut palm heart snaps. for a small additional fee a snippit of lwolfs beard can be a wonderful keepsake for the mantle of your journey. stops localy include, tows house, just to see what hes up to. cowboys, and mro. points of interest include the porch on daves and the place, wher lucky hikers may see lwolf politly tell someone to leave. the excitement is ongoing. see damascus. see wolf.lwolf shuttles may exsplode with warning. pancakes and beer free every ride. go to www.lwolf (http://www.lwolf) free shuttles.org

AND!!! He's buying a catfish farm!!!

Cookerhiker
01-07-2011, 20:50
I'm pretty sure you're the only person I got a shuttle from that offered to buy *me* a cup of coffee. :)

And he bought me one too.

Bearpaw
01-07-2011, 21:03
I get all my shuttles in the Damascus area from Lone Wolf. Just contact him ahead of time to make sure he's available. If he's not driving hiker shuttles, he's either driving an ambulance or bicycle shuttles. And he knows the local trails like no other.

just dad
01-07-2011, 21:11
The people at MRO are some of the finest people I have met on the Trail. They have shuttled me twice, and they were ready to help me with a long distance shuttle well beyond their area when another shuttle driver dropped the ball. There is nothing wrong with using good judgment when road conditions are bad.

Lugnut
01-07-2011, 21:12
I get all my shuttles in the Damascus area from Lone Wolf. Just contact him ahead of time to make sure he's available. If he's not driving hiker shuttles, he's either driving an ambulance or bicycle shuttles. And he knows the local trails like no other.

Except the Iron Mt. Trailhead on Rt. 16. :D

vango387
01-07-2011, 21:37
So many people keep talking about how MRO "excercised good judgement." But that is not necessarily true. Nothing MRO said about the road conditions turned out to be the case. MRO was certainly more cautious but that does not mean they made an accurate risk assessment.

Lone Wolf
01-07-2011, 21:47
Except the Iron Mt. Trailhead on Rt. 16. :D

no doubt!. i know where it is now. dropped hooch there

vango387
01-07-2011, 21:55
I forgot to mention that I was on the adventure that got this thread started.

Old Hiker
01-07-2011, 21:57
the lwolf shuttle exsperience is the very finest riding trip one can afford. beginning with prompt pickup the passenger has his or her option of dead scilence , dead baby jokes or somethings dead under my seat smell. after stopping at the post office to get gypsys mail lwolf would be pleased to acompany you to the trailhead or town of your choice. trailheads and townds included are, damascus and the surrounding 5 states. for snacks lwolf features the finest gatoraids and heart healty bowling foods such as tropical morrocan almonds and hazelnut palm heart snaps. for a small additional fee a snippit of lwolfs beard can be a wonderful keepsake for the mantle of your journey. stops localy include, tows house, just to see what hes up to. cowboys, and mro. points of interest include the porch on daves and the place, wher lucky hikers may see lwolf politly tell someone to leave. the excitement is ongoing. see damascus. see wolf.

lwolf shuttles may exsplode with warning. pancakes and beer free every ride. go to www.lwolf (http://www.lwolf) free shuttles.org

I'm wondering: went to http://www.lwolf.com/. Is THAT Lone Wolf????? Not quite what I had imagined from the posts here on WB. :eek:

Pony
01-07-2011, 21:58
So, they called you in advance to tell you they may not be able take you. You said you were coming anyway and that you would work something out. When you got there they said they wouldn't do it, and you went to Sundog. Not sure what the problem is.

I've dealt with MRO a few times, including a shuttle, and never had a problem. I'd be curious to know your demeanor during the conversation you had with MRO.

Roland
01-07-2011, 21:59
I'm wondering: went to http://www.lwolf.com/. Is THAT Lone Wolf????? Not quite what I had imagined from the posts here on WB. :eek:

When did he shave?

Lugnut
01-07-2011, 22:11
I'm wondering: went to http://www.lwolf.com/. Is THAT Lone Wolf????? Not quite what I had imagined from the posts here on WB. :eek:

He's not THAT attractive in person!

vango387
01-07-2011, 22:20
Really, they did call and warn us that they might not be able to take us. We went into MRO and said something like "hey, we are the guys who called about the shuttle" to which the clerk replied, "yeah, that aint happn'n." The "problem" is that we had arranged for a shuttle and when the time came, that arrangement was not upheld. On top of that the clerk was pretty rude about it. Ok, maybe they were just being cautios but the clerk's demeanor left us less than willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. We have no reason to launch a personal attack on MRO we are just stating the facts.

Smile
01-07-2011, 22:35
I get all my shuttles in the Damascus area from Lone Wolf. Just contact him ahead of time to make sure he's available. If he's not driving hiker shuttles, he's either driving an ambulance or bicycle shuttles. And he knows the local trails like no other.

Yes, a great driver :)


Too bad you feel it was a bad experience, MRO has always been a great place to visit and buy gear.... I've never had any problem with them, always super helpful and a great selection of cookstuff and books :)

mweinstone
01-07-2011, 22:46
"hi! were the guys who called about the shuttle."

" im terribly sorry you came all this way. we have temporarely suspended shuttles due to weather concerns."" you were told there was a possibility the shuttle would be unavailable, correct?"

"yes"

"yeah, it can get nasty quick and we er on the side of caution in order to ensure the highest level of saftey""im real sorry kid""try sundog, they may be running today"

"thanks."




if you had received this responce, what would your thinking be please.

mweinstone
01-07-2011, 22:52
i walked in sundog and was acosted. right in front of the owner and employees. no one moved or responded to the ofender. i almost died that day. they could have cared less. they were laughing as i was choked and nearly died of efixiation,if not for the fact that as i was passing out from the ofender choking me i fell out the door, i wuld now be dead. this is a tru story and they will tell you themselves it is. as anyone in damascus if baltimore jack tarlin did or didnt ofend me with weaponized gas to the point of near death in sundogs. he had chilli and beer for breakfast and farted so close to me i got a straight undiluted shot in the head and fell. they all laughed. those sundoggers are a bunch of clowns. that i like very much.lol.

Roland
01-07-2011, 22:59
~ i got a straight undiluted shot in the head and fell. ~.

Where exactly was your head located, Matty? lol

mweinstone
01-07-2011, 23:03
a short discussion on the merits and dangers of bustung in the outfitters and havin a hiker shower.sundog vs mro

mro's bathroom is harder to sneak in and out of unseen
sundogs boss lets less hikers ues theres

mrs has organic soap and nice acutraments
sundog has flowers

mro bans you for life the first ofence
sundog kicks your ass

mro lets friends and customers use the bathroom
sundog lets anyone use it so its dirtyer

the sink in mro is hard to wash your butt in
the sink in sundog is easy to wash your butt in

mro recycles so getting the papergoods u wasted drying off, out is hard. the cans up front.
sundog is vast and no employee can watch it all so the floor is your can.

all in all the best stolen hiker shower in a dangerously over secured area ,......is....the laundrymat. folks exspect it there.there askin for it! they want you to.lol.lmao

Blissful
01-07-2011, 23:17
Really, they did call and warn us that they might not be able to take us. We went into MRO and said something like "hey, we are the guys who called about the shuttle" to which the clerk replied, "yeah, that aint happn'n." The "problem" is that we had arranged for a shuttle and when the time came, that arrangement was not upheld. On top of that the clerk was pretty rude about it. Ok, maybe they were just being cautios but the clerk's demeanor left us less than willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. We have no reason to launch a personal attack on MRO we are just stating the facts.


Who cares? This is ridiculous.

On a scale of one to ten with the problems in this world, this ranks negative 10,000.

So they didn't give you a ride because they felt it was unsafe. Did it kill your hike? Not a bit. You used your God-given creativity and found another ride and, I'm guessing, since nothing else has been said about the hike except to rank on MRO, how awful the clerk is (and I'm sure you're nice too, as this thread proves) and post a picture that PROVES YOU were right - right - right about the snow, through all the absolutely horrid experience you had at MRO (how dare they cancel a shuttle because of safety issues, even though they did call to warn us it might happen - and maybe we should have been thinking alternate plans then...) you all still had a good hike out there.

Why don't you put your creative writing energies into a nice piece about your hike up on the member trip forum and kindly ask the moderator to delete this thread.

Take time instead to take stock and be extremely thankful you can walk and enjoy a hike on the AT (many can't and would love to).

vsiddhartha
01-07-2011, 23:19
"hi! were the guys who called about the shuttle."

" im terribly sorry you came all this way. we have temporarely suspended shuttles due to weather concerns."" you were told there was a possibility the shuttle would be unavailable, correct?"

"yes"

"yeah, it can get nasty quick and we er on the side of caution in order to ensure the highest level of saftey""im real sorry kid""try sundog, they may be running today"

"thanks."




if you had received this responce, what would your thinking be please.
Same as it is now. MRO wouldn't drive us. Sundog did. That's all I ever said. Read my posts. Never said anything nasty about MRO. Promise.

As it was, the gentleman at MRO barely looked up from what he was reading for more than 5 seconds. No one else in the store. No apologies. No advice to seek a ride elsewhere. Actually, the only advice he did give us (that Elk Garden would not be plowed, that Fox Creek "might", and that the roads would likely be impassable in our FWD car and a RWD van) was all dead wrong...

We can debate the "merits" of MRO's decision to death and not get anywhere. The simple fact remains that if you want a shuttle, and the conditions are anything less than perfect, in my experience you would have more luck with Sundog...OK with that?

vsiddhartha
01-07-2011, 23:26
Who cares? This is ridiculous.

On a scale of one to ten with the problems in this world, this ranks negative 10,000.
Apparently you care enough to post twice to the thread...if this is so unimportant then what does it say about the value of your time?! Really no one is talking trash here. No value judgments, no insults, just facts that speak for themselves.

bullseye
01-07-2011, 23:31
[QUOTE=vango387;1090355]The "problem" is that we had arranged for a shuttle and when the time came, that arrangement was not upheld./QUOTE]

Actually, the "problem" is that you were told ahead of time that it was very likely you would NOT get a shuttle, and you came expecting it anyway. Give MRO some credit for calling you and telling as much ahead of time. I wonder how many times they don't get the same courtesy from the folks they are shuttling. I'm sure Sundog is a good outfitter, but MRO is also a top notch provider. If MRO's info was bad they have no way of knowing that. You assume that b/c they are local they should have the exact conditions of every trailhead and road. More than likely it's b/c they are local and understand the weather in their region that they decided to err on the side of caution with the info they had.

Actually it's probably Matty's fault since I heard he was in charge of the parking lot cams being installed this winter:rolleyes:.

vsiddhartha
01-07-2011, 23:38
Actually, the "problem" is that you were told ahead of time that it was very likely you would NOT get a shuttle, and you came expecting it anyway. Give MRO some credit for calling you and telling as much ahead of time.
Hold on there Bulldog you're getting ahead of yourself and mixing things up. They did NOT tell us that it was "very likely" we wouldn't get a ride. They said they "might" not be able to take us and that if they couldn't, they'd try to work something else out with us. As for giving credit for to them for calling us ahead of time, I DID THAT IN THE OP. So please read before posting.

mweinstone
01-07-2011, 23:44
this thread is funny.
your case has been thrown out. you are guilty of trivial persuit.your defence of just pointing out facts rejected. the court issues you a permit to bash whiteblaze. your permit to bash mro is revoked.the story of your hike is what we want. out with it....balif.

Slo-go'en
01-07-2011, 23:44
When you plan a hike in the winter months in advance, you need to be flexable. There is no telling in advance what the weather conditions will be for those days and you have to be able to adjust as required. What would you have done if Sundog had also decided conditions weren't worth the risk? Sounds like you had no plan "B" and were darn lucky the guy at Sundog decided to take a risk and it worked out.

bullseye
01-07-2011, 23:46
Hold on there Bulldog

Yeah, I guess I should read before posting:rolleyes:.

Hikerhead
01-07-2011, 23:47
I would like to relay a recent unsatisfactory experience I had with Mt Rogers Outfitters (MRO) which wound up becoming a very satisfactory experience with Sundog Outfitters.

My two cousins and I had a backpacking trip planned from Fox Creek to Elk Garden, starting on Dec. 27. Three weeks in advance we arranged a shuttle with MRO to follow us to Elk Garden, where we would drop our car, then take us to Fox Creek. On Dec. 26 MRO called me to say that they “might” not be able to shuttle us the following day due to the impending snowstorm. We had planned this hike for months, so I told MRO we were coming anyways and would work something else out if they couldn’t take us. When we arrived in Damascus on Dec. 27, we walked into MRO. I told the older man behind the counter that we were the guys who needed the shuttle, and he said “Yeah, it ain’t happening.” When pressed for an explanation (there was NO snow on the roads in Damascus at the time), he said his driver came in over the mountain that morning and said the roads were too bad to drive up there. He added that the Elk Garden parking lot would be snowed in and that we probably wouldn’t be able to get up there without 4WD, which we didn’t have. He suggested that we try to take our car to Fox Creek, plow it into the parking lot, and arrange a shuttle with him to pick us up at Elk Garden at the end of our hike. We said no thanks and left.

We drove through town, and most all of the other shuttle services were closed. Then we saw Sundog Outfitter, whom I had called earlier to tell them we might be looking for a shuttle to Fox Creek. We walked in and met Terry (Serial Killer) and told him we needed the shuttle. He practically jumped up, grabbed the keys, and said “Ready when you are!” He led us to Elk Garden (where there was plowed space to park our car, contrary to MRO’s advice), took us to Fox Creek (where there was NO plowed space to park), gave us some advice on a few good blue-blaze trails, and sent us off on our hike. There was less than an inch of slush on the roads, and we had no issues driving up there with our car nor in Sundog’s RWD van.

I’m not trying to diss MRO, just relaying our experience. I’m sure MRO has served many people well, and to be fair, they did notify us of the situation in advance. However, the moral of the story is that when the going got tough (which is a bit of an overstatement), MRO bailed on us and Sundog bailed us out. I know who we’ll be patronizing next time.

P.S. See below photo at Fox Creek dropoff...roads hardly impassable.

I don't see the fault with anybody. MRO had the right not to drive if they believed it's not safe, the same as anybody else. Sundog said it was ok with them and you got your ride. You've reserved your right not to use MRO in the future. Sounds like everybody ended up happy:)

mweinstone
01-07-2011, 23:48
yoou dont know how weird that photo is of you guys all outta place in the pic you posted.reminds me of kids looking for a new fort to play in.so ya went in the woods to trip.sorry, on a trip. what happened next....lol

mweinstone
01-07-2011, 23:51
the guy in the middle has a really big head.lollooks like ab baracuss on helium.(a hiker)

mweinstone
01-07-2011, 23:53
look.................its on the first post page one

Desert Reprobate
01-08-2011, 00:08
I'm wondering: went to http://www.lwolf.com/. Is THAT Lone Wolf????? Not quite what I had imagined from the posts here on WB. :eek:

That was before he grew the beard

mweinstone
01-08-2011, 00:17
of all the weird things go on over the miles,...anyfool ever called lwolfs ambulence for a shuttle?lol.

Mags
01-08-2011, 00:25
I don't see the fault with anybody. MRO had the right not to drive if they believed it's not safe, the same as anybody else. Sundog said it was ok with them and you got your ride. You've reserved your right not to use MRO in the future. Sounds like everybody ended up happy:)


..and does anymore really need to be said than that? :sun

mweinstone
01-08-2011, 00:27
my beloved core groupe of shuttle drivers are the bush pilots of the trail. they know things. things ordinary drivers cant. things like,.:

this guy up here in front stinks worse than any hiker dead or alive. this guys eye tearing at fifty yards.this guys waft is like a comets tail.


man, thats all she hikes in?,...man...


who the hell hikes with a tuba?


is that matthewski with his thumb out up there?.....just look the other way .....


oh god hes still there....thank god im going the oposite way.....hey matty!......wave ...

mweinstone
01-08-2011, 00:30
serial got fired for rideing them.

Serial 07
01-08-2011, 00:42
huh???????? :eek: :(

vsiddhartha
01-08-2011, 00:48
yoou dont know how weird that photo is of you guys all outta place in the pic you posted.reminds me of kids looking for a new fort to play in.so ya went in the woods to trip.sorry, on a trip. what happened next....lol
Laughable elitist hiker BS...let me get this straight. Someone 20 years your junior without a 2-foot beard must be a kid tripping in the woods. Now you're making fun of people's heads??! Just because the reason matthewski goes to the trail is to get high and goof off doesn't mean it's the same for everyone else. Get over yourself and get a life. Unbelievable.


..and does anymore really need to be said than that? :sun
Amen. Pretty much sums up my OP.

vango387
01-08-2011, 11:23
Who cares? This is ridiculous.

On a scale of one to ten with the problems in this world, this ranks negative 10,000.

So they didn't give you a ride because they felt it was unsafe. Did it kill your hike? Not a bit. You used your God-given creativity and found another ride and, I'm guessing, since nothing else has been said about the hike except to rank on MRO, how awful the clerk is (and I'm sure you're nice too, as this thread proves) and post a picture that PROVES YOU were right - right - right about the snow, through all the absolutely horrid experience you had at MRO (how dare they cancel a shuttle because of safety issues, even though they did call to warn us it might happen - and maybe we should have been thinking alternate plans then...) you all still had a good hike out there.

Why don't you put your creative writing energies into a nice piece about your hike up on the member trip forum and kindly ask the moderator to delete this thread.

Take time instead to take stock and be extremely thankful you can walk and enjoy a hike on the AT (many can't and would love to).
I don't understand. Negative 10,000 is not within the specified range of 1 to 10.

vango387
01-08-2011, 11:35
This is a picture of us at MRO.

SouthMark
01-08-2011, 11:51
I would like to relay a recent unsatisfactory experience I had with Mt Rogers Outfitters (MRO) which wound up becoming a very satisfactory experience with Sundog Outfitters.

My two cousins and I had a backpacking trip planned from Fox Creek to Elk Garden, starting on Dec. 27. Three weeks in advance we arranged a shuttle with MRO to follow us to Elk Garden, where we would drop our car, then take us to Fox Creek. On Dec. 26 MRO called me to say that they “might” not be able to shuttle us the following day due to the impending snowstorm. We had planned this hike for months, so I told MRO we were coming anyways and would work something else out if they couldn’t take us. When we arrived in Damascus on Dec. 27, we walked into MRO. I told the older man behind the counter that we were the guys who needed the shuttle, and he said “Yeah, it ain’t happening.” When pressed for an explanation (there was NO snow on the roads in Damascus at the time), he said his driver came in over the mountain that morning and said the roads were too bad to drive up there. He added that the Elk Garden parking lot would be snowed in and that we probably wouldn’t be able to get up there without 4WD, which we didn’t have. He suggested that we try to take our car to Fox Creek, plow it into the parking lot, and arrange a shuttle with him to pick us up at Elk Garden at the end of our hike. We said no thanks and left.

We drove through town, and most all of the other shuttle services were closed. Then we saw Sundog Outfitter, whom I had called earlier to tell them we might be looking for a shuttle to Fox Creek. We walked in and met Terry (Serial Killer) and told him we needed the shuttle. He practically jumped up, grabbed the keys, and said “Ready when you are!” He led us to Elk Garden (where there was plowed space to park our car, contrary to MRO’s advice), took us to Fox Creek (where there was NO plowed space to park), gave us some advice on a few good blue-blaze trails, and sent us off on our hike. There was less than an inch of slush on the roads, and we had no issues driving up there with our car nor in Sundog’s RWD van.

I’m not trying to diss MRO, just relaying our experience. I’m sure MRO has served many people well, and to be fair, they did notify us of the situation in advance. However, the moral of the story is that when the going got tough (which is a bit of an overstatement), MRO bailed on us and Sundog bailed us out. I know who we’ll be patronizing next time.

P.S. See below photo at Fox Creek dropoff...roads hardly impassable.

Hold on a minute! Not a negative post? Not trying to diss MRO?

1. "unsatisfactory experience I had with MRO" - negative and dissing
2. " (where there was plowed space to park our car, contrary to MRO’s advice), took us to Fox Creek (where there was NO plowed space to park)" - dissing
3. "when the going got tough (which is a bit of an overstatement), MRO bailed on us" - negative and dissing
4. "See below photo at Fox Creek dropoff...roads hardly impassable." - negative and dissing
5. "He suggested that we try to take our car to Fox Creek, plow it into the parking lot, and arrange a shuttle with him to pick us up at Elk Garden at the end of our hike. We said no thanks and left." - you were offered an option and you turned it down

The only reason that you made this post was to vent your anger at not getting everything the way you wanted. Now go to your room and stay there until mommy and daddy say it is ok to come out.

vsiddhartha
01-08-2011, 14:33
Never said it wasn't a negative post. It most certainly was. How else is one to describe a negative experience other than by using negative language? On the other hand, the experience at Sundog was very positive!

And to say something negative is not the same as "dissing", which implies insulting, rudeness, or disrespect.

Crazy Larry #1
01-08-2011, 14:46
I would like to relay a recent unsatisfactory experience I had with Mt Rogers Outfitters (MRO) which wound up becoming a very satisfactory experience with Sundog Outfitters.

My two cousins and I had a backpacking trip planned from Fox Creek to Elk Garden, starting on Dec. 27. Three weeks in advance we arranged a shuttle with MRO to follow us to Elk Garden, where we would drop our car, then take us to Fox Creek. On Dec. 26 MRO called me to say that they “might” not be able to shuttle us the following day due to the impending snowstorm. We had planned this hike for months, so I told MRO we were coming anyways and would work something else out if they couldn’t take us. When we arrived in Damascus on Dec. 27, we walked into MRO. I told the older man behind the counter that we were the guys who needed the shuttle, and he said “Yeah, it ain’t happening.” When pressed for an explanation (there was NO snow on the roads in Damascus at the time), he said his driver came in over the mountain that morning and said the roads were too bad to drive up there. He added that the Elk Garden parking lot would be snowed in and that we probably wouldn’t be able to get up there without 4WD, which we didn’t have. He suggested that we try to take our car to Fox Creek, plow it into the parking lot, and arrange a shuttle with him to pick us up at Elk Garden at the end of our hike. We said no thanks and left.

We drove through town, and most all of the other shuttle services were closed. Then we saw Sundog Outfitter, whom I had called earlier to tell them we might be looking for a shuttle to Fox Creek. We walked in and met Terry (Serial Killer) and told him we needed the shuttle. He practically jumped up, grabbed the keys, and said “Ready when you are!” He led us to Elk Garden (where there was plowed space to park our car, contrary to MRO’s advice), took us to Fox Creek (where there was NO plowed space to park), gave us some advice on a few good blue-blaze trails, and sent us off on our hike. There was less than an inch of slush on the roads, and we had no issues driving up there with our car nor in Sundog’s RWD van.

I’m not trying to diss MRO, just relaying our experience. I’m sure MRO has served many people well, and to be fair, they did notify us of the situation in advance. However, the moral of the story is that when the going got tough (which is a bit of an overstatement), MRO bailed on us and Sundog bailed us out. I know who we’ll be patronizing next time.

P.S. See below photo at Fox Creek dropoff...roads hardly impassable.
Horsecrap! Who cares anyway?

Crazy Larry #1
01-08-2011, 14:52
Never said it wasn't a negative post. It most certainly was. How else is one to describe a negative experience other than by using negative language? On the other hand, the experience at Sundog was very positive!

And to say something negative is not the same as "dissing", which implies insulting, rudeness, or disrespect.
I think you implied all of that.........

I have had bad experiences with many a out of town folk who come here to hike that are well known in some circles of the trail community. What's the point of me getting on here and telling the whole hiking community about it other than trying to get you onto my or another's side? Heck fire there are some of those folk who are going to read this will tell you they don't have a care in the world for me nor do I have a care in the world for them. But tell me one good reason why we should get on here to let "YOU" know all about it?

It is plain horse crap what you said........

Crazy Larry #1
01-08-2011, 15:06
You're right. forget the paying customers, let's tell jokes
that's my policy and i am in business here in Damascus as well......:banana

Crazy Larry #1
01-08-2011, 15:08
I guess I must bow
me too, i'll walk you the entire width of the trail.........but it'll cost you!

topshelf
01-08-2011, 15:12
I now have a shrine in my livin' room devoted to mweinstone.


I just want to apologize about my harsh words towards MRO. I guess according to everyone my experiences are somehow incorrect and false. I'll do as mweinstone has suggested and declare myself unable to enter the premises known as MRO.

Crazy Larry #1
01-08-2011, 15:12
He's not THAT attractive in person!
depends on what mood he's in and whether gypsy gave him permission to dress in drag that day.......

Crazy Larry #1
01-08-2011, 15:14
i walked in sundog and was acosted. right in front of the owner and employees. no one moved or responded to the ofender. i almost died that day. they could have cared less. they were laughing as i was choked and nearly died of efixiation,if not for the fact that as i was passing out from the ofender choking me i fell out the door, i wuld now be dead. this is a tru story and they will tell you themselves it is. as anyone in damascus if baltimore jack tarlin did or didnt ofend me with weaponized gas to the point of near death in sundogs. he had chilli and beer for breakfast and farted so close to me i got a straight undiluted shot in the head and fell. they all laughed. those sundoggers are a bunch of clowns. that i like very much.lol.
i heard about that, i wished i had been there i would have laughed too!

Jack Tarlin
01-08-2011, 16:22
The original poster claims that while their original post was absolutely meant to be negative, it wasn't meant to "dis" anyone.

Actually, in terms of showing scorn, insult, enmity, and dis-respect, that's exactly what it did do, and I suspect that's what it was entirely meant to do.

The original post was sent along here in order to make MRO look bad, simply because they made a judgment call about giving this guy a ride on a day when other businesses made precisely the same judgment.

The original post absolutely meant to "dis" this business, to demean and diminish them, and to malign their good name and reputation on a popular Trail forum.

Let the record show that this attempt singularly failed, and on that note, I think this unfortunate thread has about run its course.

wornoutboots
01-08-2011, 17:16
I've had really good experiences in Damascus with shuttles, whether it was with Lonewolf, MRO or Zeke, These mountains roads can be crazy in the winter & some are comfortable driving the roads, some love driving the roads & some will not drive the roads, in the Winter the shuttlee just needs extra patience & must trust the driver. Sory it wasnt the experieince you had dreamt about but again so glad you got the lay fresh traks in that amazing section! I got shuttled out of Hemlock Hollow this winter & that drive down the mountian was by far the worst experience I had on that trip even after walking through blizzard like conditions for a few days. The one thing I think we all can agree on is that everytime we head out for an adventure there are things we learn that will help us the next time out. Happy Hiking!!

deadhorsejoe
01-08-2011, 18:18
My one and only experience with MRO could not have been more pleasant. In fact the whole Damascus experience was great. My son and I got a shuttle from MRO up to Fox Creek for our hike thru the Highlands to Damascus. (Highly recommend the hike by the way.) The owner of MRO (the father) shuttled us and was a great guy to talk to. His son treated us like old friends at MRO and we had never been there before. Susan at the Hiker's Inn was a great when we stayed there the night before the hike. Just my experience and I cant imagine these guys not being nice to everyone.

copperjohn
01-08-2011, 19:14
I don't want to be criticized for my accounts but I have had many experiences with MRO. I live near Dickey Gap and MRO is one of the closest outfitters to where I live.

I have had both great and not so great experiences with MRO. I think there are some great workers in MRO. Most times you can enter the shop and they will be quite friendly and very helpful. Even on the busiest of days.

But not all employees are quite so helpful. There is one guy that I won't mention by name or his identifying characteristics. He doesn't seem to be very friendly with anyone except his closest of friends who are often at the counter with him. i have asked for help with a boot and he said he would be right there and he never came over. I went and asked again and he said he was busy. Maybe they were talking business, I dunno.

My one really negative experience with MRO was on a shuttle trip. My girlfriend scheduled a shuttled trip(as a gift) to Fox Creek at the beginning of last August for her and I. When we arrived at MRO we were told that they were too busy to shuttle us to Fox Creek. I asked if it was all day or just temporarily and he said just right now. So we went down the street to get a pizza at Quincey's. We came back about an hour later and he said they were still busy. We sat at the table and waited and waited and waited. We were the only two in the store. There were three guys standing at the counter talking. After sitting there a while I got up and spoke to the guy again and his response was hey man we are busy. I asked him if he could tell me what he was busy doing and he said workin on something important. I asked if we were going to be shuttled out and he responded, not by any of us. I told him we had prearranged the shuttle and he said that really doesn't matter, things happen and things change. I asked him where we could get a shuttle and he said we should just drive ourselves and forget a shuttle. We then left and our entire trip had to be changed.

I do understand that things happen such as weather but on a perfect August day when hardly anyone entered the store we should have been shuttled. The fact that there are three accounts here of this happening should mean something.

I still go in to this store often and whenever I need some gear and they still have given me pretty much great service. We just will not use their shuttle service again. I will not let this one experience stop my from using this store.

I like sundog also, but you can be ran over by bike riders if you're not careful.

vsiddhartha
01-08-2011, 20:51
I don't want to be criticized for my accounts ...
Now I know how to preface all my future posts!

Mags
01-08-2011, 21:09
I think this unfortunate thread has about run its course.

Yep. It was one step above "You are all big poo poo heads".

:D

To sum up this thread (tip of my wool ski hat that I am still wearing....damn, what a great day..to Hiker Head)
Originally Posted by Hikerhead http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/wb_style/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?p=1090416#post1090416)
I don't see the fault with anybody. MRO had the right not to drive if they believed it's not safe, the same as anybody else. Sundog said it was ok with them and you got your ride. You've reserved your right not to use MRO in the future. Sounds like everybody ended up happy:)