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jburgasser
04-26-2013, 15:52
Does anyone have any experience with Curtis and Maria at Standing Bear Farm just past the northern boundry of the Smokies? Planning on mailing a food drop there and have read...mixed reviews of the personnel there. I guess I just want to hear from anyone who has mailed food there and if there package was there undisturbed when they got there.

Thanks! Ickybod

Mags
04-26-2013, 15:54
I stayed there the night before and the night after my BMT thru. Parked my truck there too.

Good guy and a good stay.

At least from my experience.

Codger
04-26-2013, 16:01
Stayed there on a 2011 hike. Curtis is a great guy, fun place to stay.

jburgasser
04-26-2013, 16:11
Thanks for the quick replies Mags and Codger!

Ickybod

Praha4
04-26-2013, 16:14
Curtis is a great guy, I loved Standing Bear Farm when I stopped there in May 2010. I recently talked with some 2013 nobo thru-hikers who stopped there back in March this year, overall they liked the place but they mentioned a rather colorful character who is working there this season, some talk of this dude being OCD or overly chatty. Geez that's the AT, lots of different personalities.

From my experience the "down to earth" hikers who stop there have no issues, they like the place. I have heard of a few divas who have complained that the place is not up to their standards, perhaps they should have reserved a room at the AT Marriott instead.

Old Hiker
04-26-2013, 16:40
2012 attempt: had a package going there - I beat the package. They told me: it's the mountains - add some time to your expected delivery. It arrived the same day I did. Resupply seemed adequate. Personnel were quirky, but cool. They let me wash some dishes and clean up the dining area in exchange for a shower and to wash and dry my clothes while waiting on my package. Great selection of books, neat shower area, clean looking bunk area, but I pressed on.

Did have 2 MH dinners taken from my pack - my fault for leaving it open and unattended while showering. Live and learn.

Dogwood
04-26-2013, 17:51
+1 Ditto. What they all said

10-K
04-26-2013, 18:06
Had a fine stay.... I actually tented in his front yard because I don't do well in bunkhouses where hikers have gear scattered all over the place - too disorganized for my ADHD self.

VTATHiker
04-26-2013, 18:27
Curtis seemed like a fine guy when I resupplied there in December. Rocket (trail name) was working for them as a caretaker of sorts, and he was fantastic.

Six-Six
04-26-2013, 18:50
Curtis and Rocket - met them both on my hike last year. A couple of nuts. Curtis is a gruff sort at first, but once you get a beer in him he loosens up and it's all good. Spent the night with no troubles. Shower had run out of propane so mine was cold. 30 minutes later Curtis shows up with a full propane tank. I took another shower. :)

bigcranky
04-26-2013, 18:57
I've stayed there, left a truck there, and had Curtis shuttle me a couple of times. Great guy. Quirky place and people. Good conversation.

SouthMark
04-26-2013, 19:14
I have stayed there myself on three different occasions. I have left my car there and had Curtis shuttle me. I mailed a package to my grandson there in 2010 with no problems. It is a great place as someone else said unless you are a diva. They will treat you well and take care of you. Curtis may come across at first as gruff but he really is a good guy.

Lone Wolf
04-26-2013, 19:50
Does anyone have any experience with Curtis and Maria at Standing Bear Farm just past the northern boundry of the Smokies? Planning on mailing a food drop there and have read...mixed reviews of the personnel there. I guess I just want to hear from anyone who has mailed food there and if there package was there undisturbed when they got there.

Thanks! Ickybod
worry about the other hikers stayin there. you've already made up your mind. don't stop there

Chaco Taco
04-26-2013, 22:53
Packages will be just fine. SBF is a great place run by good people

Attila
04-26-2013, 23:32
Mailed food package last fall. Package was undisturbed when we got there. Curtis held it for us and gave it to us first thing upon on our arrival.

Montana Mac
04-27-2013, 07:50
You know what – Standing Bear has been around a long time – if it was a bad place that didn’t treat hikers fairly it would be out of business.
I mailed a drop box there in 09 and no problems. Left a truck there in 07, again no problem.

Montana Mac
04-27-2013, 07:52
You know what – Standing Bear has been around a long time – if it was a bad place that didn’t treat hikers fairly it would be out of business.
I mailed a drop box there in 09 and no problems. Left a truck there in 07, again no problem.

Lilred
04-27-2013, 10:05
Loved Standing Bear. There was only one other hiker there when I stayed and we splurged on the cottage that straddled the creek. Curtis was very nice. This was a while ago though, early 2000s

RED-DOG
04-27-2013, 11:41
I have stayed their each time i have gone thru there and curtis is a cool guy.

Jack Tarlin
04-27-2013, 12:41
I can't imagine why you'd have any fears or worries about your mail being "disturbed." This is a fine place with fine people running it. Don't believe everything your hear from nameless voices on-line.

FarmerChef
12-02-2013, 14:23
Stayed here this past week and left a resupply box awaiting our return. Curtis provided us with a shuttle to the top end of our hike and watched our car while we were gone. All was ok. He did right by us and we enjoyed our stay. Would stay there again in the future.

HikerMom58
12-02-2013, 14:30
Stayed here this past week and left a resupply box awaiting our return. Curtis provided us with a shuttle to the top end of our hike and watched our car while we were gone. All was ok. He did right by us and we enjoyed our stay. Would stay there again in the future.

Good to know!!

swamp dawg
12-02-2013, 16:16
Curtis and Maria have created a very special place to crash and restock on your AT adventure. It is real quaint hostel with a rustic look and atmosphere. Curtis will go out of his way to assist you if you have a problem or need. It not the Ritz but do not miss this special place on your hike.

Toon
12-03-2013, 00:14
Is rocket still there?

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Praha4
12-03-2013, 02:48
Rocket was still there about a month ago when I stayed at SBF. Curtis and his folks were all good people, got a shuttle and left my car there 5 days.

kofritz
12-03-2013, 17:36
standing bear is referenced in 'becoming odessa' book. no negative, only positive comments were made. she did note "quirky personnel" story...

Teacher & Snacktime
12-03-2013, 19:39
Buddy Backpacker just finished up his stay there.....only wonderful things to say (from the folks of course....Buddy loves everyone and everything)

FarmerChef
12-03-2013, 22:16
Buddy Backpacker just finished up his stay there.....only wonderful things to say (from the folks of course....Buddy loves everyone and everything)

Saw BB's mom there as we were fixing to pull out. Gave Rocket some cookies we didn't need from our resupply box.

Dakota Joe
06-14-2014, 07:37
worry about the other hikers stayin there. you've already made up your mind. don't stop there

Listen to the Wolf! Curtis says " I root out the dumb @** " like he us providing a great service in psychological evaluation. I didnt mind standing bear, but I wouldnt go back.


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RockDoc
06-14-2014, 13:03
When I was there they were selling off stuff from packages that had not been picked up. Down vests for $20…
I don't know why they didn't think of mailing them back to the owner… Oh, yes that would cost money.

FWIW I did not have a good impression of Standing Bear. I did not like them or trust them, and I saw a lot of drinking and drug use going on, encouraged by the management.

RED-DOG
06-14-2014, 15:27
When I was there they were selling off stuff from packages that had not been picked up. Down vests for $20…
I don't know why they didn't think of mailing them back to the owner… Oh, yes that would cost money.

FWIW I did not have a good impression of Standing Bear. I did not like them or trust them, and I saw a lot of drinking and drug use going on, encouraged by the management.
Every Hostel i know has the same rules about abandoned packages they either put them in the hiker Boxes or sell the stuff, they all give the package owner atleast 30 days to pick it up.
Live and Let Live.

Coffee
06-14-2014, 16:01
It would be useful to have a way of knowing which hostels are "dry" and which are party locations. Some hostels in the guidebook are listed as no alcohol but in many cases the book is silent on the topic. I would personally favor dry hostels and would be willing to pay more to avoid the party scene. I'm sure I would have had the opposite attitude in my 20s so having that info would help either way.

Berry Belle
08-01-2015, 09:17
In my experience, if the book is silent, the hostel is not dry. I've found church related hostels the most likely--notice, I said "likely"-- to be alcohol and drug free. As a non-Christian, my other concern has been the possibility of getting preached at. I've been pleasantly surprised at the lack of proselytizing at the church hostels where I've stayed.

curtisvowen
01-30-2016, 03:40
When I was there they were selling off stuff from packages that had not been picked up. Down vests for $20…
I don't know why they didn't think of mailing them back to the owner… Oh, yes that would cost money.

FWIW I did not have a good impression of Standing Bear. I did not like them or trust them, and I saw a lot of drinking and drug use going on, encouraged by the management.

Maria here, owner of Standing Bear Farm. Let's get some things straight: I hold packages for three months, after that I put the contents in the free hiker box, 99.9% is food. We used to spend hours tracking the owners of these packages; almost always the owners would have us open them & put the contents in the hiker box anyway. Most hikers that have an expensive gear item in a box call about it & yes, we do send it back to them- always. You must be referring to my resupply which I sell all my gear for $5.00 (Not $20) including brands such as Columbia and Patagonia. I am an avid resale shopper and I hand pick each and every item I sell; I do this as a service for my hikers. Sorry if that upsets you and/or causes you to jump to erroneous conclusions.
Yes, we do have a beer license and sometimes hikers do drink beer. I'm a single mom and am trying to raise my children while doing the best job I can at the running of my hostel. While my prices are affordable, I still need to make a living. Sorry if that upsets you.
Finally, I do not like you or trust you either. You have already lied about me and my business and I don't even know you, but you seem kinda miserable. Maybe you need to get out in nature again, but please don't come here.

TroutknuT
01-30-2016, 08:52
Best of stays so far. On my way to section hike the GSMNP I ran over a pallet an hour out of Standing Bear. After getting a great shuttled by Curtis's son and hiking back to Sanding Bear I had two flat tiers. Curtis said he noticed the flats the first morning of my hike. Next thing I know he has a floor jack out helped pull the tiers and pluged both tiers. Curtis refused any kind of payment, but did ask me to get my car with five plugs in the tiers off his property. He whent way out of his way to get me on his way. I think he needed my car off his property so he could put his electic air pump away. This was a good man that will be missed.

Gambit McCrae
01-30-2016, 08:58
Man I miss Curtis, I used to stay here while section hiking and Curtis would sit on the porch and we would just laugh and laugh, taking turns tellin lies. Maria keep on keepin on your doin a great job, I know its hard without Curtis there.

Lyle
01-30-2016, 09:16
Maria, I stayed at SBF a number of years ago, when Curtis was still with us. Excellent stay, with good service from your staff. My hiking partner and I chose to stay in the cabin for a little more "quiet" than the bunk house would afford, but there was very little disturbance anywhere that evening. Curtis did come down and "party" a little, but NOTHING that was offensive or over the top, a few beers and great conversation. Prices were very reasonable.

Prior to that stay, on a different trip, I had sent a food re-supply to you for my anticipated hike. During the hike, I found I had to cut it short, so would not need the re-supply. I contacted you to let you know that I would not be picking up the package, and instructed you to open and do what you thought best with the contents - sell, hiker box, trash. I had no problem with SBF selling what they could to help them support their endeavor.

Thank you Maria for continuing the great services you offer.

SouthMark
01-30-2016, 10:44
There are just some people that will always bitch. As a friend of mine likes to say "you could not make them happy if you hung them with a new rope".


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Rain Man
01-30-2016, 12:26
Maria here, owner of Standing Bear Farm. Let's get some things straight: ....

All well said, Maria! I've stayed at SBF at least three times over the last decade, once with my wife on our 30th anniversary. Curtis and Maria were/have been/are always great to deal with, offered superb personalized service upon request, had good re-supply, great shuttle service, and are located where no other service-providers are nearby. I never did stay in the bunkhouse, so in the interest of full disclosure can't speak to that.

Maria, thanks for keeping your chin up!

Rain Man

.

John B
01-30-2016, 15:20
Stayed on two separate occasions -- once with a hike ending at SB, the other starting from there and going NB. Used shuttle service each time, left a car there once. Everything was fair, upfront, and just fine. Two complaints -- they had a giant Rotweiller, and when I went to the privy late at night, I saw that thing walking toward me, thought it was a bear, and damned nearly sharted my pants (in point of fact, it was a nice dog). Second time, a guy in the bunk house snored like a chainsaw -- so I wished Curtis would have left an axe and a shovel so I could have killed the dude and buried the body.

I've only done a little over 1/3 of the AT, but SB's one of my favorite places to stay.

Sandy of PA
01-31-2016, 10:57
I really enjoyed my stay last year in the private little treehouse. No snoring, just the creek singing to me all night!

QiWiz
02-01-2016, 16:37
I mailed a resupply there and stayed a night there in 2010 when Curtis was still alive. Got a hot shower too! No problems. I was very happy that SB was where it was, right after coming out of the Smokies NOBO. Hope the business continues to be successful for many more years as it's a great boon to hikers.

Buttcrack Johnson
02-01-2016, 19:21
I have stayed there several times, I miss Curtiss, Semper Fi and RIP, he was a true salt of the earth. I will be back in the spring for a hike to Hot Springs. Marie, I'll bring you some more of those jumbo south Florida Avocados. Does Rocket and Lumpy still reside there?

Jack Tarlin
03-06-2016, 14:47
The first anniversary of Curtis' death was just a few days ago. The hostel is indeed very much open for the 2016 season, and they expect a really big season. Maria (Curtis' wife) still runs the place; the always helpful Lumpy is the Caretaker; they still hold mail, do shuttles, and are dog friendly. More more information about this great place, check in your Companion or AWOL guidebook. Oh, they also have adequate re-supply to get you to nearby Hot Springs, as well as offering all sorts of food and drink you can prepare and enjoy on the premises.

Doctari
06-07-2016, 09:35
I stayed there once' I think it was the 1 st or 2nd year. I enjoyed my stay, got refreshed & had a great time with the other guests! Years later while driving to a wedding my wife & I stopped so she could see a hostel, my non hiking wife was very impressed,,, there is the best recommendation I can give! My WIFE Liked SBF!!!

moytoy
06-07-2016, 11:18
35127351283512935130
I was there last week and Maria seemed to be doing just fine. I don't think she will mind if I post a couple of pic.

pilgrimskywheel
06-08-2016, 09:19
Best daggum hostel on the trail! Followed closely by Four Pines. I've had the great pleasure to work and stay there 2012, 2013, 2014. NOBODY works harder and takes better care of hikers than Maria Guzman - I don't care what you "heard". I miss you Curtis, Rockit, and Old Jack too. Hi lumpy.

pilgrimskywheel
06-08-2016, 09:25
"All my heroes are dead or in prison." 3513435135

shelb
06-08-2016, 23:06
Maria here, owner of Standing Bear Farm. Let's get some things straight: I am an avid resale shopper and I hand pick each and every item I sell; I do this as a service for my hikers.


Maria,

First, my condolences on the loss of your husband.

It is so impressive that you scope out the resale shops looking for great deals to pass on to your guests! That is so considerate of you! Please, do not apologize for needing to "make a living." Obviously, that is a necessity.

While I rarely stay in hostels on my yearly 100-200 mile section hikes, I plan to visit your hostel in the next month. I look forward to meeting you!