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  1. #141
    LT '79; AT '73-'14 in sections; Donating Member Kerosene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Furlough View Post
    Less wool, flannel, blue jeans and....... hair.
    No kidding. Check me out near the end of my first section hike in April 1973 as a 15-year old!

    5nj_high_point.jpg
    GA←↕→ME: 1973 to 2014

  2. #142
    lemon b's Avatar
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    When the heck did the term shuttle driver come into play anyway? Come to think of it more than once back in the 70's early 80's the person picking up the smelly hiker often was the one with some weed. Also, don't remember anyone lugging around a camera. Might add however mot of the younger hikers today I find to be pretty good people. Basicly not much different than back in the day. The trail is till safe and the lifestyle still is only going to be for certain types of people. Hey word of a good thing gets out. Some positive changes have happened too. We no longer just put the campfire wherever we want. Stuff like that Leave no trace. Back in the day when I got shakey cold I made a fire. Kinda had to when the weather allowed.

  3. #143

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerosene View Post
    No kidding. Check me out near the end of my first section hike in April 1973 as a 15-year old!

    5nj_high_point.jpg
    Ha Ha!! That's a great picture!

  4. #144
    Registered User Different Socks's Avatar
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    You can get pizza delivered to the trail!!

  5. #145
    Registered User Kembo's Avatar
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    My first section hike on the AT was in 1970. Two years later was my first thru hike. I still do section hikes when I can. Here are a few of the changes Iíve seen. Good & bad.


    Erosion in some place has worn the trail down to the rocks below.

    In 72 a lot of the shelters had a garbage pit nearby.



    In the 70ís I was usually the only person at the shelter. Now thatís rare.

    Trail magic was really magic. There were no organized hiker feeds.

    In Damascus I talked with a couple guys who lived nearby that didnít even know that there was a trail passing through town.



    It was a lot easier to get lost in the 70ís.

    A lot of the trail was on private land. In more than one instance a land owner had closed the trail on his property. Another time the trail crossed a strip mine and all the trees, and trail markings, had been bulldozed.


  6. #146
    Registered User
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    Up..........

  7. #147
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    The road walks are gone. Instead of four hostels on the entire trail there are hostels almost every forty miles óeven in the 100 mile wilderness.

    In the north there is an amazing amount of trail and privy maintenanceó-especially in the bog areas.

    A lot of erosion on the verticals.

    What is fun in Maine is to compare areas with iron to those without.

    Some areas with old iron look look so mild compared to the way the trail is now (due to erosion and over use).

    A lot more people. .

  8. #148
    4eyedbuzzard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingStick75 View Post
    I started hiking the AT in 1975 as I remember:

    Nobody used "trail names"...
    Quote Originally Posted by Programbo View Post

    True about "trail names"..Not sure when they became the norm..
    Of course, back in the pre internet pre cell phone era, the only way to contact someone on the trail was to get a ranger or hiking club member to post a message at a trail head bulletin board or try to find you via entries in trailhead and shelter registers. So, we all pretty much used our real names. There wasn't any fear of identity theft or such either, so leaving your real name and date wasn't a big deal.

    I don't remember hearing trail names until maybe mid to late 1980's, coinciding with Dan Bruce, "Wingfoot"'s arrival on the AT - both on the trail and then in print. After that, it seemed everybody WANTED one and HAD one - whether it was given to them by others (the traditional route) or choosing their own. But, FWIW, ATC records lists the first recorded thru-hiker trail name in 1959 - James L. Burson of GA, using trail name "Dusty". There are a few more listed in the ATC's thru-hiker record here and there between then and the mid-80's, but that's when it seems to have become mainstream.
    Last edited by 4eyedbuzzard; 12-23-2019 at 23:25.

  9. #149

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    Lyme disease

  10. #150

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerosene View Post
    No kidding. Check me out near the end of my first section hike in April 1973 as a 15-year old!

    5nj_high_point.jpg
    Thanks for the pic and the memories. Problem is, me and my backpacking buddies in those days never carried film cameras and so pictures were rare.

    I was backpacking on the AT near Watauga Lake when this pic was taken in the mid 1980s---old North Face Westwind tent, blue jeans, field jacket fiberfill insert jacket, Nam-style jungle boots---even a dang campfire which I never build nowadays.



    In them days I was based out of Boone NC---close to the AT---and Boone had a local backpacking store called Footsloggers---open since the early 1970s---and closed a couple years ago.

    Footsloggers carried North Face stuff and so I was spoiled early with some outstanding gear---a couple NF sleeping bags, NF tents and NF backpack. One of my first bags was a Bigfoot polarguard brand new at $65.00 in 1977---and receipt signed by Hanes---original owner of store.


  11. #151
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    and Boone had a local backpacking store called Footsloggers---open since the early 1970s---and closed a couple years ago.


    footsloggers is still open.....

    i went into the downtown one earlier this year.....

  12. #152
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    Ownership of footsloggers has changed....

    old owner sold---a new owner had it for a bit then closed, and now it as another new owner...

  13. #153
    Registered User soilman's Avatar
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    How about 15 cent drafts at the fire station in Pt. Clinton and 25 cent drafts at the Mt. Springs Tavern in Swatara Gap. $14/night for bunk and meal at the AMC huts in the Whites. These were 1976 prices. Here is a picture of my brother on Little Bigelow, June 30, 1976, wearing army fatigues and Galibier Vercours boots. We carried 40 to 50 pounds in our monster packs. I had a huge REI and my brother's was a Kelty, model A-3 I think with extra pockets.63001.jpg
    More walking, less talking.

  14. #154
    ēCompleted A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 ēDonating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pkinnetz View Post
    I've been hiking a shorter period of time (about 12 yr.) and even then I've noticed changes. The hikers are younger -maybe 'cause I'm older ;-) -- but even more recently within the last couple of years, the shuttler list has greatly diminished. Folks who used to shuttle, are getting out of the business because of a couple reasons. Hiker attitudes (entitled and rude) and higher gas prices are the two reasons they are leaving that I keep hearing from shuttlers. Anybody else notice this?

    Before anyone jumps on me, I don't mean to imply that the young are those with attitude; attitude crosses generational lines.

    Other reasons there are fewer shuttlers on the lists:

    1) In some places (towns, counties, national parks, etc.) you have to pay for permits to operate a shuttle service nowadays.

    2) To protect your assets, you need to have very expensive commercial insurance to operate a shuttle service. In some places there are big hoops to jump through to even qualify to purchase that kind of insurance.

    3) The cost of buying/leasing, maintaining, and just operating vehicles has gone through the roof.

    4) Some prospective shuttle clients have no idea of the difference between the rural shuttle business and big city taxi companies. They are totally different business models and rarely if ever do you drop off a passenger and get another customer anywhere near that drop-off point--thus you have to charge for a round trip. There is resistance from not an insignificant number of hikers about this.

    5) Part time shuttle providers get inundated with requests they can't handle all hours of the day and night.

  15. #155

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyline View Post
    Other reasons there are fewer shuttlers on the lists:

    1) In some places (towns, counties, national parks, etc.) you have to pay for permits to operate a shuttle service nowadays.

    2) To protect your assets, you need to have very expensive commercial insurance to operate a shuttle service. In some places there are big hoops to jump through to even qualify to purchase that kind of insurance.

    3) The cost of buying/leasing, maintaining, and just operating vehicles has gone through the roof.

    4) Some prospective shuttle clients have no idea of the difference between the rural shuttle business and big city taxi companies. They are totally different business models and rarely if ever do you drop off a passenger and get another customer anywhere near that drop-off point--thus you have to charge for a round trip. There is resistance from not an insignificant number of hikers about this.

    5) Part time shuttle providers get inundated with requests they can't handle all hours of the day and night.
    If they were in it for money, they're Uber/Lyft drivers now...

  16. #156
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    Yours truly, Christmas Day 1977, getting ready to leave for a climbing trip in the Presidential’s.


  17. #157

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    Probably the better question would be, "Besides walking, what hasn't changed on the AT since the 1970's?"

  18. #158

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    Quote Originally Posted by BradMT View Post
    Yours truly, Christmas Day 1977, getting ready to leave for a climbing trip in the Presidentialís.

    Excellent pic and shows everything important:: Jansport pack with the hipbelt "wings", old style vintage Ensolite sleeping pad on bottom, Sigg bottle (probably fuel bottle) in water bottle pocket, ginormous top sleeping bag---perhaps clothing or down jacket in other stuff sack etc etc.

    Your pic reminds me of hitchhiking from Boone NC to Greensboro NC in 1980 when I was "homeless" and living out of my North Face pack---and like I said---none of us carried cameras back in those days and so the source of this pic had to come from my Mom. My Dad thought I was nuts.


  19. #159

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    I hiked 1000 miles on the AT in 1974 (HF to Andover), beginning the day after I graduated high school. My Dad thought I was nuts too... He said "Son, nobody is going to pay you to hike".

    So I got three degrees in geology, and the USGS and a lot of other clients paid me to hike. We even called it "Hiking for dollars" with considerable glee.

    And yes, I actually had employers who would take you out bushwacking through steep woods, to see if you were any good at hiking, prior to completing any contracts. Let's face it, people who are "hiker material" are rather rare in today's world... and it is possible to monetize rare skills if you are shrewd (and lucky).
    Last edited by RockDoc; 12-27-2019 at 10:08.

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