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  1. #1
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Default Rattle River Hostel - Here's Some Sad News

    I got an email from Rattle River Hostel today, which details a tale of woe brought on by the coronavirus. Like all motels, hotels and hostels, few if any overnight stays are happening and RRH was counting on the business to take care of an issue with the stream on their property that splits off the Rattle River. Apparently, the infrastructure that controls the amount of water streaming into their pond is destroyed, and they have to fix it on their own to prevent flooding. Add that to few if any bed rentals happening and they appear to be in trouble. They have a gofundme page that explains everything, but I didn't think it appropriate to publish the address here.

    So, that's the first hostel I have heard of that is in trouble. I wonder how many more will follow.
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  2. #2

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    They wouldn't have any business this time of year anyway. This is the dead season here. People don't start to show up until the middle of June. July and into the fall is when it gets busy. Still too early to tell what will happen this summer. Definitely few if any thru hikers, but section hikers could still be strong and they make up the bulk of the traffic anyway.
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  3. #3
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    Not sure how many others would have issues, but not too likely that they would be from the same issue (the water problem).

    Maybe they also thought that getting that issue out would, perhaps, get the attention of someone who likes hiking and hostels and also has the ability to offer services to fix the issue on a voluntary basis should they be otherwise not busy during this time?

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyGr View Post
    Not sure how many others would have issues, but not too likely that they would be from the same issue (the water problem).

    Maybe they also thought that getting that issue out would, perhaps, get the attention of someone who likes hiking and hostels and also has the ability to offer services to fix the issue on a voluntary basis should they be otherwise not busy during this time?

    I don't know what the problem there is, but I suspect it will require a backhoe and a cement truck or some big rocks to fix. One of the big rain storms this winter (and last) likely caused some erosion problems.
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  5. #5
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyGr View Post
    Not sure how many others would have issues, but not too likely that they would be from the same issue (the water problem).
    I would think hostels and especially popular ones like Rattle River get a lot of intense use in season exasperating maintenance issues; although Rattle River's problem is unique. Sometime ago, Gooders Grove Hostel in Franklin had a Gofundme page to replace a roof. That is somewhat different than Rattle River's issue. Gooder Grove should have had a contingency fund for a capital improvement like a roof while Rattle River couldn't anticipate the problem with the Rattle River stream offshoot to their property (or could they?).

    Anyway, it is unlikely that any hostels along the AT have income close to what they need to sustain themselves whether it is normal costs or unexpected high dollar maintenance.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
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  6. #6
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    They wouldn't have any business this time of year anyway. This is the dead season here. People don't start to show up until the middle of June. July and into the fall is when it gets busy. Still too early to tell what will happen this summer. Definitely few if any thru hikers, but section hikers could still be strong and they make up the bulk of the traffic anyway.
    Good point, which brings up a question of personal interest. Do you think Maine will open up to hikers this summer? I have the last 265 miles of the AT to finish and would like to knock it out this year. News reports I have seen about Maine's status due to the pandemic is not encouraging.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
    "One step at a time."
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  7. #7
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Maine will probably be OK as long as a flood of tourons doesn't bring the virus with them. Most of the community spread was because of a traveling salesman that traveled through the state before any widespread testing was in effect. Most of the deceased seems to be elderly nursing home patients. It should die out pretty quickly here since we don't have the population density for the virus to feed on. Most communities practice social isolation as a matter of course.

  8. #8

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    My guess is Maine will be open for business at some point this summer. Will all the services a hiker has expected in the past be available? I doubt it but expect it will be more of an inconvience. The bus will still go to Medway and to Gorham NH. Resupply will be dicey as it always has been. BSP may be running on skeleton crew as most of the park staff are seasonal workers and the park may have to hold off from hiring them. That means that experienced staff may end up elsewhere.

    Since you only have Maine to do you have until mid September to head south from Katahdin. The AT in maine is insignficant blip to the non hiking world. The impacts in the rest of the state will be far more significant.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ldsailor View Post
    Good point, which brings up a question of personal interest. Do you think Maine will open up to hikers this summer? I have the last 265 miles of the AT to finish and would like to knock it out this year. News reports I have seen about Maine's status due to the pandemic is not encouraging.
    Hard tell'en, not Know'en.

    We'll just have to see how the next couple of months pan out. I wouldn't buy non-refundable tickets just yet. I would think the biggest risk is traveling to get to Maine, even in a couple of months. If you happen to get exposed somewhere along the way and it doesn't hit you until your deep in the Maine wilderness, your odds aren't good. Ideally, you'd hole up someplace for 7-10 days to find out if your okay to mingle or not.

    Most of the Maine tourist traffic is along the coast. Baxter is probably the biggest draw inland. The park is closed until July, probably an effort to protect their few Rangers.

    I know the longer you wait, the harder it will be to finish Maine, but there are considerations this year which make the decision more complicated.
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