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  1. #1
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    Default Need Help Deciding When/Where to Start NOBO Thru Hike

    Hello Whiteblazers! I wonder if I could get some advice. I am all over the place trying to decide when to start next spring on my thru. It would be no big deal as I have no job to get back to but I do have two other issues that gum up the works. The first is my daughters high school graduation in N. Virginia in mid June, and second is getting her to college in mid August, which would entail driving her to Florida most likely. I want to do both of these things as I only have two kids and I don't want to miss any milestones but it does make logistics more complicated. I am not a big fan of crowds, so starting, lets say March 20th at Springer may put me with a gazillion other NOBOers. But it would get me in the vicinity of N. VA in time for graduation, then off again somewhere in New England to get her to college. Then back to finish up at Katahdin. On the other hand doing a flip might work better. I was thinking of leaving Damascus March 14 and get off in DWG to attend graduation, then onward to Big K before she needs to get to college, then get myself back to Damascus and hike south to Springer. This scenario puts me in front of the bubble at least for a while and hopefully gives me enough time to summit K before I get off for a bit, but I may have to rush to do so. Not sure. I even thought of hiking the southern 1/2 before mid June, then get back on at K in late August and hike south. So, whadya think? Thanks!!

  2. #2

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    Starting the first week of April would put you near Pearisburg by mid June, close enough to home you could have someone from there shuttle you back and forth. Finishing by mid August would be stretch, but not impossible if you don't dally and make good time through MD/PA/NJ/NY. Or, you could skip ahead from Harpers Ferry to Delaware water gap really easy and shave off 2-3 weeks. It would be easy to go back and do that section later in the fall. Though there is a lot to be said for loosing a week or two in August. That would put you in Maine when the leaves start to change.

    Don't let the fear of "crowds" scare you off from an early April start. It thins out pretty quickly and is actually a lot of fun. I think that's a big part of the experience.
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  3. #3
    Registered User tarditi's Avatar
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    Default

    are we getting into the definition of a thru hike?

  4. #4
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    With your constraints, I would start a SOBO thru hike right after graduation, return home in mid August, probably from Harpers Ferry, then continue south. This would avoid NOBO crowds and require only one diversion off trail rather than two, plus you might be nearing home by mid August anyway which would reduce travel costs. Hamilton is just a few miles east of where the AT crosses route 7 near Bears Den if I'm not mistaken.

  5. #5

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    I think a early march start would be the answer to your questions, if you started the first week of march you would be around the Harpers ferry WVA area and it's easy to get off the trail their since they do have Amtrak service do what you need to do then go back to HF and continue north and by mid August you should be finished or really close to it then it shouldn't be an issue to get off trail and drive to FL. so yeah I would suggest you start earlier, it would for sure make things easier for you.

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys! I appreciate the advice! Can't wait to get out there no matter where or when I start!!

  7. #7
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    How about a head start hike. Start in HF around Late April and hike North. Take time off for graduation in mid June. With luck you will finish the first half by mid August. Then hike south from HF after college starts.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    How about a head start hike. Start in HF around Late April and hike North. Take time off for graduation in mid June. With luck you will finish the first half by mid August. Then hike south from HF after college starts.
    Hey! I like that idea too!! Thanks!!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    How about a head start hike. Start in HF around Late April and hike North. Take time off for graduation in mid June. With luck you will finish the first half by mid August. Then hike south from HF after college starts.
    I don't know about that. It puts you into some pretty sucky weather all the way north.
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