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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malto View Post
    It is every bit as bad as you expect it to be. Or, itís every bit as good as you expect as well. All depends on whether you are looking for what is cool or what sucks. I actually enjoy dancing across the the rocks in Pa, except for maybe the section from Wind Gap to DWG. I think the rocks of Pa are the most overhyped thing on the AT, but then again I live in Pa and trail run on the AT so Iím a bit biased.
    Depends on one's perspective as Malto says. Change your perspective, or as Wayne Dwyer said "change the way you're looking at thing the things you're looking at change."

  2. #42
    illabelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    I don't perceive it as good or bad. i see it more as just another set of conditions to adapt.

    I blew through PA averaging greater MPD than VA not with the rocks on one AT thru/completion. Why?, two main attributes/two main reasons I surmise: 1) I was going lighter wt and lighter bulk by the time hence less momentum fighting a heavier shifting larger load, sidewards and forwards. Further, I learned less momentum loss side to side movement stops and loss walking techniques. I learned to glide with less effort like a lumber jack does on rolly poly logs floating in a river as they walked/ran across them. 2) My approach to the rocks. The system I often adopted was going over the top anticipating which rocks would roll and how they would roll. In that over the top approach I sought out rocks that had firmer non rolly polly-ness. I learned to read the terrain better and adapt to it rather that fight it or going down to a negative mental state like lumber jacks do on those shifting rolly poly floating logs. Logs larger may have less resistance to rolling more surface are to step. larger rocks same thing! Too often in larger rock sections taking a stepping between the rocks slower pace approach I found my ankle bone - that ball on the exterior and interior part of the ankle that is currently evading my mind issuing a more precise medical term, caught/rubbed on the rocks even at times wearing taller hikers or boots or with gaiters or high socks. I think a over the top approach can be more important attempting to go fast and if utilizing low cut hiker shoes or trail runners. However I saw some speed through rock sections taking only a between rocks foot placement approach also gliding with trekking poles like a mogul skier. Sure enough when asking some of these folk of their abilities they were also snow skiers sometimes specializing in moguls. I learned that hiking requires improvisation and adaption.
    This post reminds me of a Facebook video I saw this morning. A herd of sheep is clogging a fenced farm road. A border collie can't get through them or around them, so he runs like wildfire across the top of them!

  3. #43

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    ha hee he he Why isn't this in the Humor Forum. see none, me included dont know all things TU Illa LOL humor intended back at ya.
    gratitude OMG it gets some through thru hikes...so much more.

  4. #44

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    You will pass by some AT landmarks:
    1. The Washington monument in Maryland
    2. the shelter with the "snoring" and "no snoring" sections
    3. The iconic half way sign.
    4. The AT museum and the Ironmaster's hostel
    5. as already mentioned, the Doyle in Duncannon. Even if you don't stay there, do not miss the draft beer.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Recalc View Post
    I never got into any kind of rhythm when hiking Northern PA. Another hiker told me it was in my interest to stay on top of the rocks to extent possible (as opposed to going between them). Is that good advice?
    Do whatever reduces up/down motion. Often that is on top of rocks. Sometimes it works out best to step between them, particularly when the tops of rocks are wet or pointed and it's possible to find easy foot placement between rocks.

  6. #46
    Registered User LittleRock's Avatar
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    Couple random thoughts I had while hiking in PA:

    Some people will tell you the PA rocks are a result of geology, the last ice age, etc. That is FALSE. The rocks were installed by the PA chamber of commerce in the 1950's to get future hikers to spend more time and money in the state.

    The hostels in PA should start doing work for stay where they drop hikers off at the trailheads with jackhammers and come back after a few hours. After 10 or 20 years, the AT will be a nice, flat gravel path through PA.
    It's all good in the woods.

  7. #47

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    If anyone needs a play by play, Rohlands website offers mile by mile pics of the entire AT. All the highlights are in there
    AT Shuttle List
    Trail Miles: 3,733.7
    AT Trips: 68
    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
    AT Map 2 Completion: 263.8 Gaps From GA - PA

  8. #48
    illabelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    If anyone needs a play by play, Rohlands website offers mile by mile pics of the entire AT. All the highlights are in there
    Been on Rohlands several times, but never clicked on the pictures. Didn't know they had a visual library of the trail. Awesome, thanks!!

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleRock View Post
    Couple random thoughts I had while hiking in PA:

    Some people will tell you the PA rocks are a result of geology, the last ice age, etc. That is FALSE. The rocks were installed by the PA chamber of commerce in the 1950's to get future hikers to spend more time and money in the state.

    The hostels in PA should start doing work for stay where they drop hikers off at the trailheads with jackhammers and come back after a few hours. After 10 or 20 years, the AT will be a nice, flat gravel path through PA.
    The old joke "back in the day" was that the hiking boot companies paid the trail maintainers to sharpen up the rocks to increase boot sales.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  10. #50

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    But then again, PA would be pretty boring with out the occasional nasty rocky patch. There really wouldn't be much else to talk about.
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  11. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    The old joke "back in the day" was that the hiking boot companies paid the trail maintainers to sharpen up the rocks to increase boot sales.
    A PA local asked me if I noticed the 1 mile stretch having almost no rocks? He responded "We fired him!".

  12. #52

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    I remember one rocky stretch south of Eagles Nest Shelter in PA year ago that went to great lengths to avoid an underground utility right of way with a dirt road that ran along the top of the ridge. The trail crossed the road on occasion and then paralleled the road in the woods over classic PA rocks until the next random crossing. The openings back into the woods were not obvious on and off the road so it would be difficult to just walk the road and skip the rocks. The PA maps at the time were poor, we had the PA AT map current at the time that was basically a copy of an older black and white USGS map with the AT shown as a thick black line with shelters on it. If you looked carefully, the base USGS map had the AT that was present when the base map was first printed. It was quite obvious that the original AT route just stuck to the ridgeline on the road and cut out the zig zagging. I also remember sections where the trail was on an very old woods road at the top of the ridge where the footing was not so bad. Anytime we started to come up on a communications tower on the ridge, the trail would take sharp turn off the ridge then parallel the ridge on the infamous rocks then promptly would go back up on the ridge once the tower was passed. My guess its a result of NPS effort to formalize and protect the AT route but after miles of rocks, diversions off of easy walking were definitely not appreciated.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I remember one rocky stretch south of Eagles Nest Shelter in PA year ago that went to great lengths to avoid an underground utility right of way with a dirt road that ran along the top of the ridge. The trail crossed the road on occasion and then paralleled the road in the woods over classic PA rocks until the next random crossing. The openings back into the woods were not obvious on and off the road so it would be difficult to just walk the road and skip the rocks. The PA maps at the time were poor, we had the PA AT map current at the time that was basically a copy of an older black and white USGS map with the AT shown as a thick black line with shelters on it. If you looked carefully, the base USGS map had the AT that was present when the base map was first printed. It was quite obvious that the original AT route just stuck to the ridgeline on the road and cut out the zig zagging. I also remember sections where the trail was on an very old woods road at the top of the ridge where the footing was not so bad. Anytime we started to come up on a communications tower on the ridge, the trail would take sharp turn off the ridge then parallel the ridge on the infamous rocks then promptly would go back up on the ridge once the tower was passed. My guess its a result of NPS effort to formalize and protect the AT route but after miles of rocks, diversions off of easy walking were definitely not appreciated.
    Yes there is a flat, rock free service road that runs from the game commission parking lot on 183 to within a tenth of a mile of that shelter. The trail is a rocky mess in that area. When I hiked that section with a few friends, another friend of ours who has bad feet but likes to camp met us at the shelter by riding his bicycle up the service road and bushwacking a tenth of a mile through the woods using his GPS. Meanwhile we were abusing our feet on several miles of rocks.

  14. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by South Walker View Post
    As a SOBO back in 1999 all I heard from the NOBOs was how bad PA was. I wasn't a fast hiker but I managed to average about 15 miles per day. Yes there are rocks but there are also a number of ridge walks between gaps in which you could stretch out.
    I think the NOBO experience of PA is in part explained by what they have just accomplished. Came from GA, struggled a bit in the heat in VA and then had an easy time in SNP. Get to PA and the rocks causes them to have to slow down a bit and breakes their stride. It brings frustration.
    That is my take on it.
    I wouldn't mind doing PA again.
    Like most comments in this thread, perspective is key. I totally get your comments on NOBOs mindset when getting into PA.

    I've been mulling it over since my original post here. I think I'm going to do this section, regardless of the footbridge situation in Harpers Ferry. I'll be coming off teaching at 4 different schools per week, with different grades and different resources each day. I have a feeling this section may still feel like a great escape and reset after this work year. Thanks y'all!!!!!

  15. #55
    Flip flop, flip flopping' LASHin' 2000 miler LDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAontheTrail View Post
    I am trying to line up a section hike for the first 3 weeks in June. Initially, I had eyed up Harpers Ferry to Delaware Water Gap (DWG) due to Amtrak stop in Harpers Ferry and a relatively short bus ride from Stroudsburg, PA to BWI airport when getting to DWG. However, I hear the rocks are not fun. I'll be coming off a full year as a school teacher (hardly any hiking besides weekend warrior type stuff)...
    It's a cool section. The rocks got there cause the glacier stopped there and dumped the last of the rocks it carried down from Canada. Erratics they are. Erratics cause they are not products of the original geology. As you go north you'll see these erratics getting bigger. By NY they're as big as boulders. Glaciers reformed the whole north country, and you get to walk thru it, and see what they did

    No section is inherently bad or good. They is what they is. And whatever you bring to it. And how you choose to react to them. I preferred to find it fun. Stepping on, over and around them is like dancing. Dancing with Mother Earth.

    Real mountain folk dance with their mothers ...
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  16. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by LDog View Post
    No section is inherently bad or good. They is what they is. And whatever you bring to it. And how you choose to react to them. I preferred to find it fun. Stepping on, over and around them is like dancing. Dancing with Mother Earth.

    Real mountain folk dance with their mothers ...
    Indeed, but after a while it becomes tedious and you just want it to end. Crossing into NJ is such a relief.

    BTW, I call it the "the three step rock hop bop". A dance with a broken rhythm.
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  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by South Walker View Post
    As a SOBO back in 1999 all I heard from the NOBOs was how bad PA was. I wasn't a fast hiker but I managed to average about 15 miles per day. Yes there are rocks but there are also a number of ridge walks between gaps in which you could stretch out.
    I think the NOBO experience of PA is in part explained by what they have just accomplished. Came from GA, struggled a bit in the heat in VA and then had an easy time in SNP. Get to PA and the rocks causes them to have to slow down a bit and breakes their stride. It brings frustration.
    That is my take on it.
    I wouldn't mind doing PA again.
    so, how do the rocks compare to the rocks in Maine or New Hampshire?

    that is all I really want to know as I get ready to head back out this year.

    thanks!

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephanD View Post
    You will pass by some AT landmarks:
    1. The Washington monument in Maryland
    2. the shelter with the "snoring" and "no snoring" sections
    3. The iconic half way sign.
    4. The AT museum and the Ironmaster's hostel
    5. as already mentioned, the Doyle in Duncannon. Even if you don't stay there, do not miss the draft beer.
    Yes. But you hit all of those before the rocks.

  19. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethesis View Post
    so, how do the rocks compare to the rocks in Maine or New Hampshire?

    that is all I really want to know as I get ready to head back out this year.

    thanks!

    It can be a little bumpy, but the view...
    Although this is a really tame piece of trail until it goes over that cliff.
    SAM_4852.jpg

    Then there are climbs like this which are fun:
    SAM_1700.JPG
    Last edited by Slo-go'en; 02-02-2020 at 20:26.
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  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    It can be a little bumpy, but the view...
    Although this is a really tame piece of trail until it goes over that cliff.
    SAM_4852.jpg

    Then there are climbs like this which are fun:
    SAM_1700.JPG


    so. Difficult but not as bad as the Whites. I’ve done the Whites and really appreciate the benchmark.

    thank you.

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