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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleRock View Post
    Can't believe no one's mentioned Standing Bear Farm yet...
    Remember my remark about not saying anything if you can't say something nice?
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  2. #62
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    Not a hostel but on the Tuscarora trail there is a section from shockeys knob to sleepy Creek has a real weird feel. A girl's body was discovered dumped there last year, but creepy before that for sure.

  3. #63
    Leonidas
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephanD View Post
    Stayed there August 2019 for a few nights (end of a section hike from Pearisburg to Damascus). The yurt is gone, but they have a private cabin. Hikers sleep in the ground floor in real beds (not bunks). the up stairs, i think, is for the caretaker and/or owner. The new owner, a lady from California is extremely nice. Calm and quiet.
    I'm more surprised you were able to stay at all. We went through in June and couldn't find anyone to be able to check-in. Called the number and didn't get a call back until we had already checked in elsewhere. The call came 5-6 hours after we left a message. YMMV
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail '18-19'

    @leonidasonthetrail https://www.youtube.com/user/tehJC13

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleRock View Post
    Can't believe no one's mentioned Standing Bear Farm yet...
    A love letter to SBF:

    I stayed there in 2016. I loved it. I'd put in a personal best for mileage coming down out of the snow in the Smokies, I'd finally hiked myself into shape, was feeling great about my hike and myself. I was also exhausted, I didn't sleep much the night before, because my very first night in a shelter, this one guy kept everyone awake for half the night.

    There was a friendly community of hikers loitering about that little outdoor kitchen/dining room. So many neat little homemade touches/craftsmanship to the place. Most functional, but with some rustic art thrown in. Someone obviously built it as a labor of love.

    There was a goofy kid working the check-in process, who didn't really seem like he wanted to be there. But what teen would? I think he was a neighbor or something, who probably got pressured by his mom to work for the summer.

    Turns out that the hostel was built by a husband wife team, and he'd recently died, and she was doing her best to run the place with what employees she could hire/afford. The other caretaker who dropped off cordwood and lit the woodstove in the bunkhouse was pleasant. My only interaction with the owner was when I was checking out. I appreciated that she trusted us on the honor system of resupply sales, and was very careful in keeping track of what I wrote down.

    I just thought the open air kitchen, bunkhouse, bathhouse was the perfect form for a hiking hostel. I stayed a second night in the treehouse, because it turns out I wasn't it as good a shape as I'd first thought, and there was a pleasant community feel.

    I've long said that my standards change when I'm coming off the trail, tired and sweaty, or if I arrive well rested and in a car. I can understand also that if you arrive on a different day the experience could change greatly depending on what hikers are there, their behavior, what staff is on duty, and all those kind of variables.
    Last edited by Puddlefish; 02-26-2020 at 18:46.

  5. #65
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    this one guy kept everyone awake for half the night.


    snoring, farting, or talking?

  6. #66
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    The Place. Damascus

  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    snoring, farting, or talking?
    Since I'm in a babbling mood... apologies to those who have heard this story before. First snowfall as I go through the Smokies, the first shelter I can tent, yay! Second shelter... there's three inches of snow forecast, I decide to stay in the shelter and not test the structural integrity of my Tarptent Notch. Arrive early enough, claim a spot, head outside to to dry gear, chat with everyone else. There are a lot of folks local traffic and through hikers. There's this one charming old guy "holding court" as TipiWalter would say. He's talking about how he's peakbagged/bushwacked every mountain on the east coast and just has all this amazing experience, more than any of us... well, maybe not sooo charming.

    It gets late and people are collecting their gear, moving inside, settling in. Expert man, loudly proclaims that he has a "reservation" and he's claiming four feet of shelter space to stake out as his own. Wow... alright buddy, be that way. Everyone else will just jam in as best we can. It's dark, I'm drifting off to sleep... BEEP BEEP BEEP. Huh, someone's phone, but it stopped, alright... drifting off to ... BEEP BEEP BEEP... ugh, seriously? This happens about four or five times, before someone gets up, walks across the room and finds, a medical assist bracelet. Apparently to be worn on the wrist and it monitors some vital sign. Well, it seems kind of important to find the owner and get it to them. We're all awake now, looking at each other wondering who it belongs to... Finally. Yep, Mister Wilderness Survival expert claims it, turns out he's deaf as well, can't hear the beeping, and can't hear the guy asking who it belongs to. (Ponder why a deaf man relies on a device with an audio warning to save his life another time.) But, finally, he puts it back on his wrist, and we all get to sleep, for an hour.

    There's banging and yelling below me. Mister preparedness can't find his headlight in his four foot section of organized space... No, he doesn't want to use his neighbor's light that's offered to him! Well, he has to pee, so he shuffles out bumping into things in the pitch darkness. A few minutes later THUMP, he's slammed his head into the overhead beam between upper and lower bunks, and he starts swearing and making a fuss. A whole bunch of lights turn on, he's gashed his forehead open. there's a nurse in the shelter, yay! Well, she pulls out her kit, and starts cleaning out the wound. He yells at her, "I don't want it cleaned, just put on the bandaid!" She talks him down, get's him calmed down, and bandages him up. Someone hands him his light, in case he needs to pee again later. About one AM, I settle in for a night's sleep. 5:00 AM, who should wake up and decide to have a complaining conversation about thru hikers clogging up the shelter without reservations, yes, the hero of his story. He takes an hour to clear out of the shelter.

    It's six AM, I'm usually up around this time anyway... maybe I'll just go... but I fall back asleep until 7 and quietly head out to the front of the shelter and make breakfast. So, maybe five hours sleep, not the worst thing in the world to complain about.

  8. #68
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    (Ponder why a deaf man relies on a device with an audio warning to save his life another time.)


    did it vibrate as well? i use my phone as an alarm clock but just on vibrate.......

    so if feel it, i wake up (in theory)...

  9. #69
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    he's gashed his forehead open


    shoulda just amputated.........

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    did it vibrate as well? i use my phone as an alarm clock but just on vibrate.......

    so if feel it, i wake up (in theory)...
    It didn't seem to, but it was loud, and 15 feet away, so I guess it could have. Was on the floor rather than a surface where the vibration would be more obvious.


    "shoulda just amputated........."

    Heh, heh. In my next re-telling of the story, I'm going to sneak that in there.

  11. #71
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    Heh, heh. In my next re-telling of the story, I'm going to sneak that in there.


    you can thank me by joining my cult........

  12. #72
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    What does said cult entail? How much am I expected to give? Where do I sign up for the newsletter?

  13. #73

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    For me? Coober Pedy, Australia.
    Pretty cool but we were underground in bunks carved into the walls. (Youth hostel)
    Coober Pedy is a fascinating place where they mine opal.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by IGY6 View Post
    What does said cult entail? How much am I expected to give? Where do I sign up for the newsletter?



    come take a tour of my vintage bus and buy something from my deli and you will find out.......

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