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  1. #1
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    Default My 2023 flip-flop AT attempt starting . .

    Starting my flip-flop AT attempt in a few days! Leaving from Harpers Ferry and heading north. Then will flip (or flop?) back to Harpers Ferry and head south. My brother-in-law will be joining me for this hike. He had a failed attempted thru hike back in the 1990s so for him it could be redemption (revenge?). He is the one who gave me my trail name of "Logistics" (shortened sometimes to just "'stics").

    I owe a lot to Whiteblaze, whether I'm successful or not, because I have learned ALOT about backpacking from the wisdom of it's members - so thank you all! One person in particular mentioned "gift truces" and "Mr. Money Mustache" many years ago and that introduced me to the FIRE movement which allowed me to retire early so I could even attempt this hike - an extra special thank you for that post.

    Will I see any other whiteblaze members out on the AT this year? Any final words of advice? I'll try to check in on whiteblaze a few times while I hike and update this thread occasionally. Worried about the heat as I start out but very excited to get started!
    AT Flip Flop (HF to ME, HF to GA) Thru Hike 2023; LT End-to-Ender 2017; NH 48/48 2015-2021; 21 of 159usForests.com

  2. #2

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    Take your time and last one to Springer (in your case) wins!

  3. #3

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    Have an adventure worthy of your effort. Soak up all the joy you can find, even on the bad days!

    Doing final paring on my pack today before starting tomorrow on a 600 miler. Can only imagine you are about 3.667 times more excited than I am to get going Enjoy!!
    ďThe man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready...Ē~Henry David Thoreau

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  4. #4
    Registered User dudeijuststarted's Avatar
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    Take your time and don't let the Maryland / PA rocks talk you out of it. It's a majestic journey to big K, and when you flip Virginia is flat.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by somers515 View Post
    Starting my flip-flop AT attempt in a few days! Leaving from Harpers Ferry and heading north. Then will flip (or flop?) back to Harpers Ferry and head south. My brother-in-law will be joining me for this hike. He had a failed attempted thru hike back in the 1990s so for him it could be redemption (revenge?). He is the one who gave me my trail name of "Logistics" (shortened sometimes to just "'stics").

    I owe a lot to Whiteblaze, whether I'm successful or not, because I have learned ALOT about backpacking from the wisdom of it's members - so thank you all! One person in particular mentioned "gift truces" and "Mr. Money Mustache" many years ago and that introduced me to the FIRE movement which allowed me to retire early so I could even attempt this hike - an extra special thank you for that post.

    Will I see any other whiteblaze members out on the AT this year? Any final words of advice? I'll try to check in on whiteblaze a few times while I hike and update this thread occasionally. Worried about the heat as I start out but very excited to get started!
    Good luck and good health!

    I'd guess it was 10-K's post but maybe garlic08?
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    He can call for his tea
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  6. #6
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alligator View Post
    . . I'd guess it was 10-K's post but maybe garlic08?
    I wish I knew, I owe whoever it was a beer!
    AT Flip Flop (HF to ME, HF to GA) Thru Hike 2023; LT End-to-Ender 2017; NH 48/48 2015-2021; 21 of 159usForests.com

  7. #7

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    There is plenty of validity in the “last one to Springer wins” approach, but if you find yourself enjoying busting out some big days enjoy that as well. And you’ll really enjoy the cruisy trail on the second half, although I wouldn’t describe VA as flat.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStranger View Post
    Have an adventure worthy of your effort. Soak up all the joy you can find, even on the bad days!

    Doing final paring on my pack today before starting tomorrow on a 600 miler. Can only imagine you are about 3.667 times more excited than I am to get going Enjoy!!
    VA is not flat!
    But it is a lot easier than NH and ME.
    The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
    Richard Ewell, CSA General


  9. #9

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    I always had a chuckle over the Virginia Rollercoaster, sort of the kiddy ride version of the AT in Western Me

  10. #10
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    Enjoyed reading everyoneís comments! My brother-in-law and I are purposely trying to take it slow mileage wise at the start and so far so good. Started at Harpers Ferry and now staying at what I believe is a relatively new hostel just a short walk from Pen Mar park. Maryland has been great with relatively easy walking and meeting lots of friendly NOBOs and fellow Flip-Floppers. The wildfire smoke/haze was decently bad yesterday morning but we hear and hope it will be clearing up by later today. Will be heading into PA this morning.
    AT Flip Flop (HF to ME, HF to GA) Thru Hike 2023; LT End-to-Ender 2017; NH 48/48 2015-2021; 21 of 159usForests.com

  11. #11
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    107 miles down, 2091 miles to go. Poured on us yesterday so happy to be in a motel in Carlisle, PA tonight and able to clean up and dry out our gear. That gazebo in Boiling Springs, PA is sure lovely. Met a nice man there who said he helped build it 30 years and was married in it 25 years ago today. I donít mind doing little updates each town stop if people are interested.
    AT Flip Flop (HF to ME, HF to GA) Thru Hike 2023; LT End-to-Ender 2017; NH 48/48 2015-2021; 21 of 159usForests.com

  12. #12
    Registered User Slugg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by somers515 View Post
    107 miles down, 2091 miles to go. Poured on us yesterday so happy to be in a motel in Carlisle, PA tonight and able to clean up and dry out our gear. That gazebo in Boiling Springs, PA is sure lovely. Met a nice man there who said he helped build it 30 years and was married in it 25 years ago today. I don’t mind doing little updates each town stop if people are interested.
    Update away, I enjoy trip reports and think this place could use a lot more of them.

  13. #13
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    +1 more updates

  14. #14

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    +2. Thanks

  15. #15
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    Happy to do so! 195 miles down, 2003 miles to go. Weíve met lots of friendly NOBOs and section hikers. After leaving Cumberland Valley we climbed up to the PA ridge where water sources are precious and the PA rocks started in earnest after Swatara Gap. Walking thru the town of Duncannon was really nice too but we walked on before we could go inside the Doyle that opened at 11 (that the new owners were fixing it up was a common topic among hikers). Saw one bald eagle, several different types of snakes and several scarlet tanagers. Received more trail magic than I expected and ordered a pizza at the 501 shelter (before hiking on as a shelter near the road isnít our vibe). After 5 nights sleeping in our tents (with one night that had a thunderstorm) we were happy to walk into the town of Port Clinton, PA. The local hotel is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and we lucked into a ride into nearby Hamburg, PA. May take our first zero here as after several 15-18 mile days on the rocks our feet could use a little break. Happy with our progress so far, and as pointed out abo​ve, we are not in a rush!
    AT Flip Flop (HF to ME, HF to GA) Thru Hike 2023; LT End-to-Ender 2017; NH 48/48 2015-2021; 21 of 159usForests.com

  16. #16

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    Sounds like you are off to a great start.

  17. #17
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    Great updates, thanks for letting us tag along vicariously.

  18. #18
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    384 miles down, 1814 miles to go. Finished up the PA rocks (and as I recalled from section hiking years ago my least favorite section is the 5 miles of near constant small sharp rocks between Wind Gap and Wolf Rocks. New Jersey, my home state, was very nice although I didnít easily find any decent motels with laundry within walking distance of the trail so splurged on a Hampton Inn near Port Jervis, NY. It has laundry and a short walk to a grocery store. Saw the three legged bear near the Pinwheel vista aka NJ Stairway to Heaven. Continued to meet really nice NOBOs and a bunch of us stayed for $5 at the Warwick Drive-In and saw the new Indiana Jones movie. New York starts you off with some real punchy climbs and rock scrambles that were extra slippery in the morning mist. Wildcat shelter has a full privy (like so full itís unusable) and the bear box has a hole that lets mice in (I reported this to the NY NJ trail conference in case they werenít aware). The Palisades reroute was well blazed and brought you by a real bathroom, water fountains and picnic tables (although I think most thru hikers retro-blazed here). The newly reconstructed Bear Mountain trail is excellent and we walked by Hessian Lake on the 4th of July and so there were picnics and bbqs and general madness all over the place. Taking a zero and will resume from Bear Mountain Inn soon. If anyone has any fun things not to miss in our upcoming section of northern NY and southern CT let me know as Iím less familiar with this section of the AT. Still having a blast and wishing everyone on here happy hiking!
    AT Flip Flop (HF to ME, HF to GA) Thru Hike 2023; LT End-to-Ender 2017; NH 48/48 2015-2021; 21 of 159usForests.com

  19. #19
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    These updates are fantastic, thanks so much for sharing!

  20. #20
    Registered User somers515's Avatar
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    504 miles down, 1694 miles to go. New York calmed down a little after its rough start and we made it into Connecticut without issue. Itís been really hot in the afternoons so some days we start early and just stop early to avoid the hottest part of the day. Then the rains came and really flooded the trail as Iím sure everyone has heard about. I heard Vermont was hit the hardest but lots of water here too. I donít mind but when my feet are wet all day long I worry about blisters but Iíve been lucky so far. The Housatonic River was overflowing and raging for many days. Enjoyed the Mt. Algo shelter area as there were lots of nice tent sites and after setting up early my brother-in-law and I walked into Kent and had a nice second salad dinner and beers at KPG kitchen and bar. Havenít had a lot of trail magic and then got it three times in one day in Massachusetts. My brother-in-law lives in Massachusetts so took a zero day at his house yesterday. Lucky for me as my backpack finally started to rip after many many miles and adventures so retired it and got a new Flash 55 at REI. We return to the trail later today and will resume our hike in southern Massachusetts hoping that the trail dries out before we get further north. As always please share any canít miss or favorite parts of your trail that are coming up for us. Happy hiking all.
    AT Flip Flop (HF to ME, HF to GA) Thru Hike 2023; LT End-to-Ender 2017; NH 48/48 2015-2021; 21 of 159usForests.com

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