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  1. #1
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    Default Is Independence day a Good day to start Sobo?

    Will I miss the black fly's, mosquito's & high water leaving this date? What Pro's & Con's are there for leaving on Independence Day?

    ~Boots~
    Take Time to Watch the Trees Dance with The Wind........Then Join In........

  2. #2

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    Every year is different, but in a typical year you will have significantly less trouble with mosquitoes and black flies and somewhat less trouble with high water at stream crossings leaving July 4th than, say, mid-June. The main drawback is that you would experience three more weeks of late Fall/early Winter hiking in the southern Appalachians with potential snow/ice at high elevations some days. Some of that depends on how quick you hike.

    Since a SOBO thru is something I contemplate for myself, I have often thought that it would be advantageous to wait for a lower than average snow year in Maine to attempt a thru. But I know most people don't have the luxury of waiting for the right conditions (I would since I would be retired).
    Last edited by map man; 10-27-2014 at 12:26.

  3. #3
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    We started our Long Trail hike on July 4th this year. It was the perfect time to hike in New England -- warm days, cool nights, no bugs (well, not many), and plenty of water.

    Yes, you'll be in the South later in the fall, but I hike down here all the time in the fall and winter and it's beautiful. My favorite time to hike around here.

    I expect Baxter will be full that weekend, so make your reservation early.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

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    Nice, that's exactly what I was thinking about less bugs & cooler temps. I'm all good with the Southern cold weather, I've hiked the southern 800 in the later Fall & Winter.

    Thanks!!
    Take Time to Watch the Trees Dance with The Wind........Then Join In........

  5. #5
    Registered User quasarr's Avatar
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    In 2008, my boyfriend at the time and I started a SOBO hike July 1. The conditions can vary by year, as others mentioned. We had an exceptionally rainy summer, so there was one problem with high water (at Oberton "Stream," which had swelled into a raging river, chest-deep in the center) The mud was pretty bad in the 100 Mile Wilderness, although I think it is always like that And remember, "less bugs" doesn't mean "no bugs." The mosquitoes were pretty bad at times (like, you have to fan your butt while using the bathroom to keep from getting bit) and the black flies showed up occasionally. My ear swelled up to 2x normal after some mystery bite. On a good note, it looked pretty funny ha ha!!

    So definitely bring your head net, and some DEET! I started out with some "natural" bug repellent and the bugs were not the least bit repelled by it Those Maine skeeters only respect DEET!!

  6. #6
    Registered User quasarr's Avatar
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    Oh I forgot to mention, a good point of this start date is you will probably have nice warm weather to go swimming in one of Maine's many lakes and swimming holes. Don't miss it!

  7. #7

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    Baxter State Park occasional open late but generally July is safe. Just remember that you need to make reservations in the park early

  8. #8
    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by quasarr View Post
    In 2008, my boyfriend at the time and I started a SOBO hike July 1. The conditions can vary by year, as others mentioned. We had an exceptionally rainy summer, so there was one problem with high water (at Oberton "Stream," which had swelled into a raging river, chest-deep in the center) The mud was pretty bad in the 100 Mile Wilderness, although I think it is always like that And remember, "less bugs" doesn't mean "no bugs." The mosquitoes were pretty bad at times (like, you have to fan your butt while using the bathroom to keep from getting bit) and the black flies showed up occasionally. My ear swelled up to 2x normal after some mystery bite. On a good note, it looked pretty funny ha ha!!

    So definitely bring your head net, and some DEET! I started out with some "natural" bug repellent and the bugs were not the least bit repelled by it Those Maine skeeters only respect DEET!!
    On my NOBO hike in 2008, I entered Maine on July 4, and finished mid-month. We passed somewhere in there and yes, it was a very wet month. I even saw a patch of snow on trail in the Mahoosuc Notch. Mud was prevalent. I remember thinking if I were to hike SOBO, I would have preferred an August start, at least that year. Since I'd just finished the NOBO in less than four months, I reasoned I'd finish a SOBO by Thanksgiving and that would be OK. I think a lot depends on your hiking pace, if you don't want to be hiking in the dead of winter down south.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    On my NOBO hike in 2008, I entered Maine on July 4, and finished mid-month. We passed somewhere in there and yes, it was a very wet month. I even saw a patch of snow on trail in the Mahoosuc Notch. Mud was prevalent. I remember thinking if I were to hike SOBO, I would have preferred an August start, at least that year. Since I'd just finished the NOBO in less than four months, I reasoned I'd finish a SOBO by Thanksgiving and that would be OK. I think a lot depends on your hiking pace, if you don't want to be hiking in the dead of winter down south.
    I saw ice under a few of the boulders in Mohoosuc Notch -- in August.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by garlic08 View Post
    I reasoned I'd finish a SOBO by Thanksgiving and that would be OK. I think a lot depends on your hiking pace, if you don't want to be hiking in the dead of winter down south.
    My thought is to also finish around Thanksgiving
    Take Time to Watch the Trees Dance with The Wind........Then Join In........

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