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  1. #641
    Registered User Humminbard's Avatar
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    Yep, i feel all better now, back to eager anticipation. Mostly it's going to be wonderful to be in the frequent company of open-minded enthusiastic optimists. Love all you flippers!!!

  2. #642
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    Quote Originally Posted by semicolon View Post
    Hello fellow flip flippers, I've enjoyed following this thread. Thanks to all who have shared so much great info. Last week I did a four day shakedown hike. I'm at 18.2 lbs. Base weight.

    Attachment 30597
    Also, I'm using FB to share my journey with friends and family. Here's the link.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Trave...79290288793997

    I'm looking forward to seeing you on the trail. Good luck y'all!
    -Tejas

    Looks like a nice setup .

    Thom

  3. #643

    Default Black Flies and conditions in NH and Maine

    Here are some observations about conditions in Maine in the summer (sorry for the lag in posting, but I wanted to get permission to use some quotes):

    From the Outings Chair of the Maine Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club (Jeff Aceto):

    June in Maine is a tough month. It starts wet and cold (60s daytime/low 50s night) and the black flies are just miserable. They are very small, can get right thru a tent screen, and it’s hard to put in words how it feels to be swarmed and bitten about the head and arms.

    It typically ends wet and warm (70s daytime/low 60s night) and the black flies die out but tag off to the mosquitos. With a lot of rain, basically the trails are muddy thru June and it can be slow going everywhere; southern or northern section, high or low elevation. I can see how SOBOs would talk about the bad conditions. I hike in June, but it’s not my favorite month.

    The good news is July gets warm and drier, August is usually hot (80s, only a handful of days in the 90s) and dry.

    [He did say some positive things about hiking Maine in September which I won't quote here because that's pretty much a moot point for someone doing a flip-flop northbound from Harpers Ferry if they want to complete the entire A.T. in one year. Plus, ATC is not looking to increase the number of long-distance hikers sumitting Katahdin in September. We want to keep Katahdin and Baxter State Park part of the Appalachian Trail.]

    My own personal experience:

    NH in July - cool to warm, black flies occasionally annoying, cools off at night
    NH in August - pleasant to warm, some bugs but not bad (just there last August), cools off at night
    southern Maine in August - pleasant to hot when you're climbing, but cools off at night (much cooler than mid-Atlantic)
    100-mile wilderness (northern end of Maine with low elevations, more water) - warm, black flies gone, mosquitoes present but not really except bad except camped alongside lakes in evening

    It's pretty hard to avoid some kind of flying insects for some part of your hike, and some years are worse than others in different places. Some years in the 2,000-miler reports hikers mention how bad bugs were in various states from Virginia to Maine, although rarely Pennsylvania :-)

    September is generally considered the best month to hike in Maine--but there are group behavior issues on Katahdin that occur during the peak of northbound thru-hiker season. Overall, northbound thru-hiker finish dates peak about September 15, although sometimes there are larger groups in late September and early October when hikers get backed up due to bad weather.

    One advantage to hiking New Hampshire and Maine in summer is that you have more daylight hours to cover the really, really tough terrain (southern Maine is the toughest part of the entire A.T., and tougher than New Hampshire, by the way). While a flip-flopper has only a couple of months to get in shape for the challenging terrain, it's still time enough for most hikers to get their "trail legs." Conversely, your body isn't worn out the way it can be for some northbounders, especially hikers who have lost too much weight.

  4. #644
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    Thanks Laurie! If I keep up the pace I expect to, I (and, I suspect, many fellow FFers) will to be in NH mid-July and in Maine early to mid-August. This will be past the real bad months for black flies, past the real wet months when the trail is knee-deep in water, will be the peak months for mosquitoes, and will be the warmest months in New England. All-in-all, it's probably about the best timing possible.

    I've backpacked in the Sierras most of my life and I grew to LOVE hiking in September and October. It can be cold in the high country, the wildflowers are gone, and water is more rare - but there are NO MOSQUITOES! Also - no crowds.

  5. #645
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    I started my FF thru hike today. I got my pic taken by the ATC this morning and I'm #33.

    6 NOBO thru hikers have been through the ATC and supposedly 4 of them were yesterday.

    Good luck to all those flippers starting later.
    Remote for detachment, narrow for chosen company, winding for leisure, lonely for contemplation, the Trail beckons not merely north and south, but upward to the body, mind, and soul of man.


  6. #646
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    SteelCut enjoy your time on the trail.

    Thom

  7. #647
    Registered User ekeverette's Avatar
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    don't forget your earplugs. the hostels have many snorers, including myself. See you guys on the 2nd.....
    eveready

  8. #648

    Default Travel from Baxter State Park, Maine to Harpers Ferry

    We hope to have some more detailed information later, but for flip-floppers already thinking about how they will get from Katahdin/Baxter State Park to Harpers Ferry, here is an outline of the options:

    Baxter to Millinocket, ME
    Every day, there are many people leaving Baxter and heading out the same way you are. You should be able to find a ride to the town of Millinocket outside Baxter State Park without actually hitching, where almost all hikers spend the first night after climbing Katahdin.

    Spend the night in Millinocket, ME
    The A.T. Lodge caters to A.T. hikers; there are also several motels available

    Millinocket to Medway, ME (10 miles) via shuttle
    Arrange a private shuttle.

    Medway to Bangor, ME via bus (60 miles)
    Catch a Cyr Bus. If the timing doesn't work for you, the A.T. Lodge and other shuttlers can take you all the way to Bangor.

    Bangor to Washington, DC via airplane
    Reagan Airport (in Arlington, VA, just across the Potomac River from DC) seems to work well; there are direct subway connections (orange or blue line, then transfer to red line) to Union Station.

    American Airlines, non-stop, 2 hours and 5 minutes from Bangor to Reagan/DC, as low as $166.
    Dulles Airport is the closest to Harpers Ferry but the hardest to get to by public transportation.

    BWI (Baltimore-Washington) has public transportation via the MARC train to Union Station.

    OR

    Bangor to Portland to Boston via bus or bus/train combo (requires overnight?)
    From there you can catch a Greyhound bus or a plane to a DC area airport.

    OR

    you can travel south 125 miles to Portland, and catch a cheaper MegaBus, or get an Amtrak train to DC.

    Recent research on MegaBus, turned up the following (yes, tickets actually are sometimes just $1!)

    Portland to Boston, $1 - 23. 1 hr. 55 minutes.
    Boston to DC, $15-57, 9 hrs. 46 min, or 10 hrs.

    Washington, DC Union Station to Harpers Ferry, WV (65 miles)
    MARC Commuter Train (all in late afternoon/evening, weekdays only)
    Amtrak (one train late afternoon, daily)

    What's lacking in the above is getting from different transportation hubs within the same city, e.g., Cyr Bus terminal in Bangor to the airport or Greyhound station.

    Laurie P.
    ATC

  9. #649
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    Laurie, you rock!! Thx!

  10. #650
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    I'm going to disagree with Laurie a bit on Maine vs. New Hampshire. IMO, New Hampshire will likely be your hardest state. You will not be ready for it, and no thru-hiker really is. There is nothing like it on the entire trail, besides Katahdin itself.

    I had a wonderful time hiking in Maine -- most of it in last June. I then proceeded to finish up New Hampshire, and was injured the first day... Southern Maine is technically the hardest terrain, but most of it is easily and fairly cheaply slackpacked from The Cabin or another hostel. On the other hand, New Hampshire's elevation and exposed terrain will test all of your skills.

    Black flies love Mothers (day) and hate Fathers (day) -- so if you are in Massachusetts or north before late June they can be a nuisance, but likely just that, a nuisance. I think the May 2nd start is a great idea, to avoid the worst of the bugs.
    AT 2000 miler: 2011-2014 (via section hikes)
    Camino de Santiago -- April/May 2016 (Camino Frances from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela)
    CDT New Mexico sections next???

  11. #651
    Registered User Humminbard's Avatar
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    Happy hiking, Steelcut! Don't forget to send word from the front.

  12. #652
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    Looks like an adventure just getting from Maine back to West Virginia! Sweet! I love adventures!
    AKA "DANGER" AT Thru-Hiker Class of 2015

  13. #653

    Default

    Great song and chord progression, a little boogie too, and blues-like, Todd u did a fantastic job creating the sounds any Flip Flopper would like to tap their toes to!

  14. #654

    Default ATC Blog post: "The start of a great A.T. tradition? I think yes"

    https://atconservancy.wordpress.com/

    Did you guys see this blog post on ATC's website, written by our brilliant PR intern, Max?

    Also, check out the link for a picture of our super-cool staff member and 2009 flip-flopper Ryan Seltzer, who'll be down from our Boiling Springs, PA office to give a presentation and help us out with the

    The start of a great A.T. tradition? I think yes

    by Maxwell Roeske, ATC public relations intern

    The classic line “April showers bring May flowers” is being rewritten by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC). The ATC is welcoming May with the Inaugural Flip Flop Kickoff Weekend at its Harpers Ferry, WV Visitor Center on Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and 3—and from now on, you’ll hear people in the town of Harpers Ferry saying “April showers bring May Flip Floppers.”

    A flip flop thru-hike is an alternative to the old school definition of a thru-hike. Today’s Appalachian Trail (A.T.) hikers ought to know that thru-hiking the world’s most famous long-distance footpath doesn’t mean they have to start and end in Georgia or Maine. In fact, more and more thru-hikers are finding out that Harpers Ferry is an ideal location to begin or end their hike. The allure of visiting the town twice then tips the scales toward a flip flop hike.

    When flip flop hikers triumphantly return to the area for a special version of a “half-time” celebration, “They have a chance to to explore the C&O Towpath, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, the Potomac Heritage Trail and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park,” said Laurie Pottieger, the ATC’s information services manager and organizer of what is being dubbed as the FFKO Weekend. “It’s a jumping off point for flip floppers and day hikers alike that offers a wealth of hiking opportunities and more.”

    Flip flopping visitors get a chance to take some down time not usually afforded to those thru-hikers who are focused on Katahdin and its October 15 summit deadline. Many take advantage of the leisure time to wait for their southbound (SOBO) compatriots and join them in the A.T.’s southern migration from Baxter State Park towards Springer Mountain.

    ATC’s Flip Flop Kick Off Weekend is a chance to celebrate and learn more about this new movement. The festival schedule is jam-packed with everything from giveaways and games to live music and hiking workshops to an official bon voyage for this year’s flip flop hikers. ATC’s Trail Information Specialist Tenny Webster, who is leading a workshop during the event, said, “We’ll be demonstrating bear bag hanging techniques including the latest and greatest tricked out variations. We’ll show various bear bag hanging systems and all of their components, from the ideal equipment for a hang (and what you will actually have on the Trail), to knots you need to know, and of course, the importance of troubleshooting as you go. It will be hands-on, so people should bring their throwing arm for some ‘Spring Training’!”

    Eighty percent of hikers who set out to complete the entire A.T. in 12 months or less start in Georgia and end in Maine. Talk about a crowd! Flip flopping offers a relief from the large groups of Northbound (NOBO) hikers not only to the flip flopper, but to the Trail itself. The ATC is encouraging this conservation-minded thru-hike.

    Ryan “Castanada” Seltzer, the ATC Corridor Stewardship Coordinator, is also a FFKO workshop presenter, and after successfully completing a flip flop in 2009, he’s been a flip flop advocate from the start.

    “The A.T. is here to stay,” he said. “As the Trail’s popularity continues to grow, users must consider the impacts they cause and spread them out so that nature has the opportunity to heal itself. And to not just follow the crowd, spread out, take as much time as they can.”

    Who wouldn’t want to soak up as much of the Trail’s beauty as they could? Flip flopping lets you slow down and enjoy more of the little things.

    “That’s really why people should consider a flip flop hike,” concluded Seltzer.

    The Flip Flop Kick Off is about more than the awesome temporary tattoos you can get during the festival (whice are seriously cool). It’s about celebrating the men and women, young and old alike, adopting this new version of a thru-hike. We’re gathering to celebrate the traditions of our beloved Trail melding seamlessly with new alternatives that are only going strengthen the A.T. for generations to come. That’s why there’s no doubt in my mind, that the answer to the question, “Is this the start of a new A.T. tradition?” is a resounding YES!

    I love that he referred to nobo and sobo as "old-school" ;-)

  15. #655
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    My youtube is lowsy but my guess is that the flip flop song needs an accordion in the background.

  16. #656
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    I'm doing stuff this week that I should have done months ago. 2 days ago I packed my pack for the 1st time, I have not been on a shakedown. My pack wt is about 25 lbs. I wish it was 5 lbs. lighter. But my wt. includes gold bond powder, vasoline, other foot care, knee braces, and other stuff other folks don't add to pack wt. should I bring 5 oz of paper maps? extra carabiners, an oz here and there.
    But I'm gonna do this.

  17. #657
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauriep View Post
    https://atconservancy.wordpress.com/

    Did you guys see this blog post on ATC's website, written by our brilliant PR intern, Max?

    Also, check out the link for a picture of our super-cool staff member and 2009 flip-flopper Ryan Seltzer, who'll be down from our Boiling Springs, PA office to give a presentation and help us out with the
    The start of a great A.T. tradition? I think yes
    by Maxwell Roeske, ATC public relations intern

    The classic line “April showers bring May flowers” is being rewritten by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC). The ATC is welcoming May with the Inaugural Flip Flop Kickoff Weekend at its Harpers Ferry, WV Visitor Center on Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and 3—and from now on, you’ll hear people in the town of Harpers Ferry saying “April showers bring May Flip Floppers.”

    A flip flop thru-hike is an alternative to the old school definition of a thru-hike. Today’s Appalachian Trail (A.T.) hikers ought to know that thru-hiking the world’s most famous long-distance footpath doesn’t mean they have to start and end in Georgia or Maine. In fact, more and more thru-hikers are finding out that Harpers Ferry is an ideal location to begin or end their hike. The allure of visiting the town twice then tips the scales toward a flip flop hike.

    When flip flop hikers triumphantly return to the area for a special version of a “half-time” celebration, “They have a chance to to explore the C&O Towpath, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, the Potomac Heritage Trail and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park,” said Laurie Pottieger, the ATC’s information services manager and organizer of what is being dubbed as the FFKO Weekend. “It’s a jumping off point for flip floppers and day hikers alike that offers a wealth of hiking opportunities and more.”

    Flip flopping visitors get a chance to take some down time not usually afforded to those thru-hikers who are focused on Katahdin and its October 15 summit deadline. Many take advantage of the leisure time to wait for their southbound (SOBO) compatriots and join them in the A.T.’s southern migration from Baxter State Park towards Springer Mountain.

    ATC’s Flip Flop Kick Off Weekend is a chance to celebrate and learn more about this new movement. The festival schedule is jam-packed with everything from giveaways and games to live music and hiking workshops to an official bon voyage for this year’s flip flop hikers. ATC’s Trail Information Specialist Tenny Webster, who is leading a workshop during the event, said, “We’ll be demonstrating bear bag hanging techniques including the latest and greatest tricked out variations. We’ll show various bear bag hanging systems and all of their components, from the ideal equipment for a hang (and what you will actually have on the Trail), to knots you need to know, and of course, the importance of troubleshooting as you go. It will be hands-on, so people should bring their throwing arm for some ‘Spring Training’!”

    Eighty percent of hikers who set out to complete the entire A.T. in 12 months or less start in Georgia and end in Maine. Talk about a crowd! Flip flopping offers a relief from the large groups of Northbound (NOBO) hikers not only to the flip flopper, but to the Trail itself. The ATC is encouraging this conservation-minded thru-hike.

    Ryan “Castanada” Seltzer, the ATC Corridor Stewardship Coordinator, is also a FFKO workshop presenter, and after successfully completing a flip flop in 2009, he’s been a flip flop advocate from the start.

    “The A.T. is here to stay,” he said. “As the Trail’s popularity continues to grow, users must consider the impacts they cause and spread them out so that nature has the opportunity to heal itself. And to not just follow the crowd, spread out, take as much time as they can.”

    Who wouldn’t want to soak up as much of the Trail’s beauty as they could? Flip flopping lets you slow down and enjoy more of the little things.

    “That’s really why people should consider a flip flop hike,” concluded Seltzer.

    The Flip Flop Kick Off is about more than the awesome temporary tattoos you can get during the festival (whice are seriously cool). It’s about celebrating the men and women, young and old alike, adopting this new version of a thru-hike. We’re gathering to celebrate the traditions of our beloved Trail melding seamlessly with new alternatives that are only going strengthen the A.T. for generations to come. That’s why there’s no doubt in my mind, that the answer to the question, “Is this the start of a new A.T. tradition?” is a resounding YES!

    I love that he referred to nobo and sobo as "old-school" ;-)
    Absolutely great write up!! NOBO/SOBO-old school! That'll piss some folks off! HAHAHA!

  18. #658
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    It was mentioned that a lot of the flippers are of the older generation. Could it be that the millennials are the majority of the old school NOBO/SOBO group?
    Simple is good.

  19. #659
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    Old folks doing new school !!!

  20. #660
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeezebox View Post
    Old folks doing new school !!!
    Sounds good to me!
    When I told my family I was hiking the AT, the general response was "... why can't you just grow old gracefully?" I said, "I am."
    Simple is good.

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