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  1. #21
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    Fortunately, there are other great options in Damascus as well.

    The farther north on the trail, the "standards" of hostels increase in my experience.

    I can't really think of anything negative to say of any hostel in VT, NH, or ME along the AT.

    Well.. rutland actually raises some eyebrows.

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    "Well.. rutland actually raises some eyebrows." Yeah, not all of VT is fall foliage scenic and maple syrup sweet. There are some pretty sketchy towns. Rutland and Barre immediately come to mind. High crime, poverty, drugs, etc.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4eyedbuzzard View Post
    "Well.. rutland actually raises some eyebrows." Yeah, not all of VT is fall foliage scenic and maple syrup sweet. There are some pretty sketchy towns. Rutland and Barre immediately come to mind. High crime, poverty, drugs, etc.
    That too, but he might be referring the Yellow Deli aka religious cult.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    That too, but he might be referring the Yellow Deli aka religious cult.
    Someone knows the AT

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  4. #24
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    That too, but he might be referring the Yellow Deli aka religious cult.



    that's the Twelve Tribes......

    they have out posts in a few different places in the country...

    they are also a very heavy presence on Grateful Dead tours and then Phish tours and whatever else off shoots from those two bands...

    they tend to look for the "lost" souls who have taken too much LSD and get them onto their bus....

    their bus is really nice though, but one is subjected to their ideals and what not...

    i have used them about 20 or so years ago, just to get a bandaid as i needed one while i was in the parking lot of some dead show, but
    i knew what they were about and once i got said bandaid---i walked away......

    lots of lost souls dont end up walking away from them though......

  5. #25

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    I have been in a few hostels that had a great reputation but unfortunately were fire traps. Folks don't seem to care about fire safety. There are lots of rules but the pretty simple one is that there needs to be two means of escape from any sleeping area to the outdoors. If there is a sleeping area on a second floor, it needs to be separated from the adjacent floor and have two exits. Unless the exits open to the outdoors they need to be of fire-resistant construction with fire rated doors between an adjacent space. If there is a kitchen it needs to be segregated from the sleeping space. A sprinkler system can sometimes change things but I don't think I have ever seen one in hostel. There also needs to be permanently illuminated exit signs. In many cases the electrical system is a lot of extension cords in place of arc fault protected outlets and not sure it have ever seen permanent smoke alarms.

    If they are "public accommodations" they need to comply with ADA. As the AMC found out one year, they had to stop the Galehead hut project and redesign it to be ADA compliant including wheelchair ramps. MATC has to install ADA compliant ramps, doors and hardware on any new backcountry outhouses.

    At a minimum the hostel provider is basically asking to be sued or possibly jailed for running a hostel without proper health and safety design. Sure they can try to get away with the voluntary donation scam but they had better have a real good lawyer who works for free.

  6. #26
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    Greasy Creek Hostel.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I have been in a few hostels that had a great reputation but unfortunately were fire traps. Folks don't seem to care about fire safety. There are lots of rules but the pretty simple one is that there needs to be two means of escape from any sleeping area to the outdoors. If there is a sleeping area on a second floor, it needs to be separated from the adjacent floor and have two exits. Unless the exits open to the outdoors they need to be of fire-resistant construction with fire rated doors between an adjacent space. If there is a kitchen it needs to be segregated from the sleeping space. A sprinkler system can sometimes change things but I don't think I have ever seen one in hostel. There also needs to be permanently illuminated exit signs. In many cases the electrical system is a lot of extension cords in place of arc fault protected outlets and not sure it have ever seen permanent smoke alarms.

    If they are "public accommodations" they need to comply with ADA. As the AMC found out one year, they had to stop the Galehead hut project and redesign it to be ADA compliant including wheelchair ramps. MATC has to install ADA compliant ramps, doors and hardware on any new backcountry outhouses.

    At a minimum the hostel provider is basically asking to be sued or possibly jailed for running a hostel without proper health and safety design. Sure they can try to get away with the voluntary donation scam but they had better have a real good lawyer who works for free.
    I have been in too many hostels where this commentary has been exchanged.

    There's a hostel in Gorham, NH that is one more electrical cord from burning down.

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  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I have been in a few hostels that had a great reputation but unfortunately were fire traps. Folks don't seem to care about fire safety. There are lots of rules but the pretty simple one is that there needs to be two means of escape from any sleeping area to the outdoors. If there is a sleeping area on a second floor, it needs to be separated from the adjacent floor and have two exits. Unless the exits open to the outdoors they need to be of fire-resistant construction with fire rated doors between an adjacent space. If there is a kitchen it needs to be segregated from the sleeping space. A sprinkler system can sometimes change things but I don't think I have ever seen one in hostel. There also needs to be permanently illuminated exit signs. In many cases the electrical system is a lot of extension cords in place of arc fault protected outlets and not sure it have ever seen permanent smoke alarms.

    If they are "public accommodations" they need to comply with ADA. As the AMC found out one year, they had to stop the Galehead hut project and redesign it to be ADA compliant including wheelchair ramps. MATC has to install ADA compliant ramps, doors and hardware on any new backcountry outhouses.

    At a minimum the hostel provider is basically asking to be sued or possibly jailed for running a hostel without proper health and safety design. Sure they can try to get away with the voluntary donation scam but they had better have a real good lawyer who works for free.
    Consider this, lol
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I have been in a few hostels that had a great reputation but unfortunately were fire traps. Folks don't seem to care about fire safety. There are lots of rules but the pretty simple one is that there needs to be two means of escape from any sleeping area to the outdoors. If there is a sleeping area on a second floor, it needs to be separated from the adjacent floor and have two exits. Unless the exits open to the outdoors they need to be of fire-resistant construction with fire rated doors between an adjacent space. If there is a kitchen it needs to be segregated from the sleeping space. A sprinkler system can sometimes change things but I don't think I have ever seen one in hostel. There also needs to be permanently illuminated exit signs. In many cases the electrical system is a lot of extension cords in place of arc fault protected outlets and not sure it have ever seen permanent smoke alarms.

    If they are "public accommodations" they need to comply with ADA. As the AMC found out one year, they had to stop the Galehead hut project and redesign it to be ADA compliant including wheelchair ramps. MATC has to install ADA compliant ramps, doors and hardware on any new backcountry outhouses.

    At a minimum the hostel provider is basically asking to be sued or possibly jailed for running a hostel without proper health and safety design. Sure they can try to get away with the voluntary donation scam but they had better have a real good lawyer who works for free.
    Thank you, peakbagger, for bringing up a topic that could save lives - including my own. No doubt many of us don't think about this important issue when we're tired, dirty, and just ready to relax and rejuvenate under a roof!

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    Fortunately, there are other great options in Damascus as well.
    Ok boys, are you ballsy enough to tell us which ones you speak of, i.e. which hostels to avoid in Damascus and which one(s) you would choose if passing through in 2020?

    I have never been to Damascus and I think this info would be useful.

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by trailmercury View Post
    Ok boys, are you ballsy enough to tell us which ones you speak of, i.e. which hostels to avoid in Damascus and which one(s) you would choose if passing through in 2020?

    I have never been to Damascus and I think this info would be useful.
    I meant to quote Lone Wolf too because I am also asking him since he lives right there.

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailmercury View Post
    Ok boys, are you ballsy enough to tell us which ones you speak of, i.e. which hostels to avoid in Damascus and which one(s) you would choose if passing through in 2020?

    I have never been to Damascus and I think this info would be useful.
    I have had nothing but positive experiences at Woodchucks. In fact, I've stayed there four nights. Good times.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    that's the Twelve Tribes......
    they have out posts in a few different places in the country...
    they are also a very heavy presence on Grateful Dead tours and then Phish tours and whatever else off shoots from those two bands...
    they tend to look for the "lost" souls who have taken too much LSD and get them onto their bus....
    their bus is really nice though, but one is subjected to their ideals and what not...
    i have used them about 20 or so years ago, just to get a bandaid as i needed one while i was in the parking lot of some dead show, but
    i knew what they were about and once i got said bandaid---i walked away......
    lots of lost souls dont end up walking away from them though......
    Hmmm....possible misleading here. Yes, the folks at the Yellow Deli are most certainly a cult, but I'm hoping that none of the posters here are indicating they are in any way a threat to the freedom or well-being of hikers. They are sincerely generous and hospitable. The offer all who stay there the "opportunity" to spend a day at the farm to reimburse them with labor, and yes, there is a sales pitch of a sort involved, but it is all VERY low key and unpressured. Have I been myself? No, though I have been a free shuttling source based there for a couple of weeks per season for years, and have received the "low down" from quite a few hikers - and yes, some have spent the day at the farm (with no regrets btw). There is no hidden agenda here - they are very up-front about their mission and absolutely do not refrain from their full hospitality because a hiker takes a pass on their spiritual offers.

    Frankly, as a New Englander myself, they seemed less strange to me than the many southern Christian mission hostels I've encountered. Here, I never felt the obligation to pray before a meal.

    They are really nice people, and not to be feared, but absolutely appreciated as a hiker resource.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  14. #34

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher & Snacktime View Post
    They are really nice people, and not to be feared, but absolutely appreciated as a hiker resource.


    Do a google search on them and you might change your view.....

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    Do a google search on them and you might change your view.....
    I stand by my opinion based on repeated personal interaction. I don't agree with their views, but I don't have to.
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by trailmercury View Post
    Ok boys, are you ballsy enough to tell us which ones you speak of, i.e. which hostels to avoid in Damascus and which one(s) you would choose if passing through in 2020?

    I have never been to Damascus and I think this info would be useful.
    The Hike Inn is a great place to stay. We stayed in the inn portion but the bunkhouse was nice and I heard no complaints from the hikers we were with that stayed in there.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail '18-19'

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

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Teacher & Snacktime View Post
    I stand by my opinion based on repeated personal interaction. I don't agree with their views, but I don't have to.
    Cults tend to prey on the weak, the vulnerable. You were neither of those things, and thus had little to fear.

    Here's one of many stories told by survivors. https://www.thedailybeast.com/twelve...se-and-slavery

    It's very likely a safe place for the average hiker to stay. That said, I don't care how tired, hungry and in need of a cheap place to stay and eat, I would not do business with them.

  19. #39

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    what it is said about that group/sect/cult/religion/whatever, can be said about practically any religion. That is why I'm an unapologetic atheist.

  20. #40
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    We second that

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