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  1. #1
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    Default 2003 sobo sightings in Georgia

    Ran into Squeaky '03 at Hogpen Gap, 37.1 miles from Springer on Sept. 29th. Photo link at:

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/sh...php?photo=1425

  2. #2
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
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    Default hes done

    just saw his trailjournal which says he finished on the 30th. I assume hes the 1st sobo to finish this yr. Ran into him on US3 hitching into North Woodstock on July 5th

  3. #3
    Yellow Jacket
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    Just a bit more proof you can do the trail in 4 months, or less.

    I wonder what the average trip length is for NOBO vs. SOBO. I would be willing to bet the SOBO average is lower than the NOBO average.
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

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    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
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    Yeah he does make me think i can do a summer thru-hike (around 105 days). Took him 3 months 20 days, but he wasn't very consistent. Did huge days (30's, 40's 70!) where he ran a lot, but did a bunch of days single digit, in the teens etc.
    I'd definately agree that it takes the SOBO on average less time. Seems most SOBO;s average around 4.5 to 5.5 months. Don't see many sobos takin 6-7 months like many NOBO's do. I guess its just different personality types.
    Interesting to note that the first NOBO to finish, hiked the trail in about 3 months and a week (the walking man), about 2 weeks quicker than Squeaky(sobo). There were also other who finished in less than 3 months NOBO. I believe there is a sobo named Fox on the trail who is really flying. I stayed at hikers paradise and it had taken him only like 2 weeks from Katahdin to Gorham, more than 20 mile avg a day.
    A-Train

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    Default Another 2003 sobo sighting in GA

    I ran across another '03 sobo on November 1st near Plumorchard shelter, about 70 miles from Springer. His name was Bluegrasshopper, he was from Kentucky and he started on May 24th. I figure he was one of the earliest starting sobo's. This is the link to his photo a few miles after he entered his 14th and final state on his journey:

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/sh...papass=&sort=3

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    Yellow Jacket
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    Default

    I didn't think that Katahdin was open that early this year. I thought it was closed until 1st week of June.
    Yellow Jacket -- Words of Wisdom (tm) go here.

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    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
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    Default katahdin

    usually after may 15th if the conditions are OK.
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  8. #8
    Section Hiker 350 miles DebW's Avatar
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    Default Wandering Goat?

    Anybody know if/when Wandering Goat finished? He was the first SOBO through Mass. this year (or thought he was). Below is a copy of my post from July 7 this year.

    The first southbound thru-hiker of the year was at the Upper Goose Pond cabin Saturday night July 5. His name is Wandering Goat and he started May 15. Had an interesting story about Baxter park. He had made arrangements to climb Katahdin on May 1 this year, but when he arrived was told he'd have to wait until May 15. So he went into the 100 mile wilderness and waited around for 2 weeks. Went back to Baxter and was now told he'd have to wait until Memorial Day. He was tired of waiting so started hiking southbound. Says he probably won't bother to go back and do Katahdin since he's not a purist anyway. Had quite a bit of snow in Maine (in the woods, not above T-line) and just postholed it. Broke a frame pack by falling into a hole in the snow. When we saw him, he'd just spent 3 days in Boston for the 4th of July (fireworks, etc) and seemed kind of confused.

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    Default Re: Wandering Goat?

    Originally posted by DebW
    Anybody know if/when Wandering Goat finished? He was the first SOBO through Mass. this year (or thought he was). Below is a copy of my post from July 7 this year.

    The first southbound thru-hiker of the year was at the Upper Goose Pond cabin Saturday night July 5. His name is Wandering Goat and he started May 15. Had an interesting story about Baxter park. He had made arrangements to climb Katahdin on May 1 this year, but when he arrived was told he'd have to wait until May 15. So he went into the 100 mile wilderness and waited around for 2 weeks. Went back to Baxter and was now told he'd have to wait until Memorial Day. He was tired of waiting so started hiking southbound. Says he probably won't bother to go back and do Katahdin since he's not a purist anyway. Had quite a bit of snow in Maine (in the woods, not above T-line) and just postholed it. Broke a frame pack by falling into a hole in the snow. When we saw him, he'd just spent 3 days in Boston for the 4th of July (fireworks, etc) and seemed kind of confused.
    Deb, you know it might be more fun for us if we could put 'satellite locator collars' on the thru-hikers that we run into so that we can track their progress. Might also make a good subject for a thesis? Just joking folks... now put those spears down!

    Youngblood

  10. #10

    Default

    I met Bluegrasshopper at the Pleasant Pond lean-to just north of Caratunk, that's him in the photo of the shelter I posted.
    The Hunt Trail opened just before Memorial Day this year. That's become the usual official date because by then the MATC is done with the blowdowns and the Rangers have climbed it to see for themselves how the trail looks before the holiday weekend crowd. I scouted the Hunt Trail on May 18th and found the trail blocked with ice and snow just after the cave - exactly where the Ranger predicted it.
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  11. #11
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    Default

    Originally posted by TJ aka Teej
    I met Bluegrasshopper at the Pleasant Pond lean-to just north of Caratunk, that's him in the photo of the shelter I posted.
    TJ,

    I looked at the photo:

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/sh...papass=&sort=1

    and couldn't tell if he was the one on the left or the right. I remember staying at that shelter... started a fire to keep the bugs away and the wind blew the smoke right in the shelter. I think that was the last fire I started. A thru came by late in the day who had swam across the river, ate a huge amount of food and then took off before dark to make a few more miles.

    Youngblood

  12. #12

    Default

    Originally posted by Youngblood
    TJ,

    I looked at the photo:

    http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/sh...papass=&sort=1

    and couldn't tell if he was the one on the left or the right.

    That's BascoMan on the left, and BGH's leg on the right. I remember taking a bunch of shots - looks like I posted the one that showed the shelter but not the hikers!

    Hmmm... satellite tracking collars... :O)
    Maybe barcode tattoos with scanners on every blazed tree?
    Teej

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  13. #13
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Default More SOBO sightings in GA this past weekend

    SOBO sightings. I hiked the Neels Gap-to-Deep Gap, NC section this past weekend (Nov 7-10). On Saturday alone I ran into EIGHTY people on the trail from Low Gap Shelter to Tray Mountain Shelter. Anyway, here are the SOBO thru-hikers I ran into all four days:

    "Waldo." Spent the night with Waldo at the Walasi-Yi hostel at Neels Gap on Thursday night (Nov 7). A very nice thru-hiker. Waldo is from Maryland and started on June 1st with four other Maryland friends, all of whom dropped out. They started June 1st.

    "Stew Ball and Inga." Saw, but did not meet, Stew Ball and Inga at the Walasi-Yi hikers store on Friday morning just before hitting the trail around 9:30.

    "Jake." Stayed Friday night at the Low Gap Shelter with Jake. He was completing a nine-week section hike from Harpers Ferry. Not a thru-hiker.

    "Flash." Met Flash on Saturday (Nov 8) just south of Blue Mountain Shelter. Very friendly. Flash is from Memphis, TN and started at Katahdin on August 1st. WOW. He does 30-35 miles a day. Very nice fellow. When we said goodbye I took a few steps and looked back. He was jogging down the trail.

    "Mineral Mark." Met Mineral Mark on Sunday (Nov 9) on Powell Mtn after I had left Deep Gap. Mineral Mark is from Maryland and started on March 29, I believe. He did a flip-flop, ran out of money, took two months off to work, and was now finishing up. A nice fellow.

    "The Grambler." Met The Grambler on Sunday (Nov 9) after I had left Cowart Gap. The Grambler is from NH and started June 12. He was trying to catch up with friends in Hiawasee. Are all thru-hikers so friendly and nice?

    "Smooth." Met Smooth at the Muskrat Creek Shelter on Monday (Nov 10). He was taking a break there and I stopped in for a break also. Was nice to find him there. We chatted for an hour. Smooth is from Indiana and started May 30. Smooth had just had one young hunter jump out in front of him with a rifle. Saw four hunters walk by as we sat there in the Shelter.

    Rain Man

  14. #14
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    Oh my, 80 people!

    If anyone runs into Harold & Maude, two twenty-something SOBOs from Rochester, NY who I shuttled into Hanover from the Dartmouth Skiway in July, give them my congrats and tell them about WhiteBlaze. They crossed the James River in early October, preceding my section hike of that area by about 2 weeks.
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  15. #15
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    Default

    Rain Man, sounds like you had a great time. And yes, thru's get very friendly, almost giddy when the end is near. They are in a special place and they know it.

    Youngblood

  16. #16
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kerosene
    Oh my, 80 people!
    Yes, mostly Boy Scouts. I heard that charter buses had been dumping them out at Unicoi Gap, GA. I met one group of 42 from Florida south of Unicoi Gap, and another group of 24 (I forget where from) north of Unicoi Gap.

    Otherwise, except for a couple of thru or section hikers, everyone else was "locals" (I include Atlanta in that) up in the woods to see the lunar eclipse away from city lights, I suspect. Too bad, it was totally overcast.

    Rain Man

  17. #17

    Default SOBO sighting (Not GA)

    Just spent last weekend walking north out of HF. Ran into only one SOBO named Spoon, anyone familiar with him? I'm sure there are more people still behind him. However, on Sunday did run into 85 people between Pine Knob Shelter and Annapolis Rocks (only 1.6 miles). It was a popular idea to camp on top for the eclipse. Probably saw close to 200 people out during those three days.

  18. #18

    Default flash

    Flash finished on Sunday 11/9 with a concise "that's all folks!" entry in the Springer register.

  19. #19
    Springer - Front Royal Lilred's Avatar
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    Default

    To add to Rainman's list of Sobo's on the section hike we went on, I ran into Racing Peas and Stretch.

    Rainman, those boyscouts you ran into ran off with my dinner and snickers bar. Little devils.
    "It was on the first of May, in the year 1769, that I resigned my domestic happiness for a time, and left my family and peaceable habitation on the Yadkin River, in North Carolina, to wander through the wilderness of America." - Daniel Boone

  20. #20
    Registered User Uncle Wayne's Avatar
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    Default SOBO Springer to Neels Gap

    On our section hike Nov. 7 thru 10 between Springer and Neels Gap we met 3 SOBO hikers on the trail. Bluegrasshopper, Waldo and Flash in that order each a day apart. We also met, at the FS Road 42 parking lot, a SOBO, Steve, who according to his story had finished the day before. He was standing near the FS bulletin board and spoke to us as we started to the trail terminus on Springer Mtn. He asked if we were hiking down the Approach trail to the lodge. I told him we were just going to Springer Mtn. to start our hike to Neels Gap. He told us he had completed his SOBO hike the day before, hiked down to the lodge and had hiked back up the approach trail. His plans were to hike the Benton MacKaye trail, hike into Alabama and then on to Florida where he lived. He had an impressive, touching story about hiking the trail with his wife in sections and then a year or so ago she passed away and her last request was for him to spread her ashes from Katahdyn. While he was traveling to Maine he decided to thru hike. We offered our condolences about losing his wife and wished him good luck on his hike to Florida. He said if we liked, he would watch our packs while we backtracked up to Springer as he was in no hurry this morning to leave. Steve said he had walked so far to get here he hated to leave. I thanked him for the offer but declined, shook his hand and we headed to Springer Mtn. We spent probably an hour and a half hiking up, looking around and hiking back to the parking area. Steve was gone when we returned and we continued North on the AT.
    We were leaving Stover Creek Shelter where we stopped for lunch when we met Bluegrasshopper. He was a very nice young man with a gleam in his eyes as he told us he was finishing his thru hike that day. We talked a few minutes and as we were leaving he warned us about a guy who claimed to be a thru hiker but was known to raid other hikers packs and steal their stuff. Bluegrasshopper told us of several lies he had caught the guy in and advised us to beware of him. As he described the guy, my wife and I knew it was our friendly "ashes spreader, pack watcher" from the FS road parking lot. Bluegrasshopper said the ATC had been notified he was working the area. We thanked Bluegrasshopper for the info and wished him well as we parted.
    So "Steve" drew us in with the touching story, (we both swallowed it hook, line and sinker) and had we been careless enough to leave our packs, no doubt they would have been much lighter, if there at all, when we returned. So beware. The day we saw him he was wearing an Uncle Johnnies Hostel tee shirt, blue low gaiters, has bad front teeth, about 5'10" tall and weighs about 170 to 180 pounds.
    Uncle Wayne

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