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  1. #1
    Registered User goedde2's Avatar
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    Default Just Finished The 2nd Hardest Section on The AT - Back Home For Now

    Click on my signature below to get my Trail Journal account of this year's effort. About the third click through the journal will take you to a long and detailed description that may be of interest, and if you click on the "Photo" link on the left hand side bar, you can view a few pics I added. I'll be back after I heal for a flip-flop. Happy Hiking, and get out there.

    The next point I need to stress is would I do it again, with the same intention of spending 6 months on the AT? My answer to that question would be a resounding, absolutely YES, no questions asked. There was never an issue of physical ability, emotional stability, mental awareness, or not being properly prepared. I thoroughly did enjoy my very brief time back on the AT, despite having no choice but to deal with the health issues, which in my opinion took precedence over any need to try to impress anyone by continuing any further than I did, for whatever reason. Katahdin was not my goal, as most would assume. That would have been a huge bonus, but that was not my focus. My goal was to enjoy each and every day, regardless, and take advantage of the privilege of even being able to be on the AT at age 66, in any capacity. It was not going to be a foot race. When, or if, I got to a point where I was no longer enjoying self, I would make a decision and feel completely fulfilled and satisfied, with that decision, and more importantly, have no regrets. All the arm chair quarterbacks can say what they will, but I know being a “wanna-be” with opinionated and sometimes ridiculous advice on how “they” would hike the AT, will never apply to me, because I’ve been out there, and not just “imagined” being out there.


    I woke up the other night and realized I had been reincarnated as a “section” hiker, or possibly even a “car camper”. At least now I know, by personal experience, living the AT lifestyle for months on end, just does not appeal to me. It’s not a matter of perseverance, it’s a matter of preference. At least I’m not stuck in a rut glued to the set watching the latest sports series, or Andy Griffith re-runs, as sadly, so many are. This is not a dress rehearsal, and I am determined not to have any regrets when I am lying there on my death bed. I just completed the 2nd hardest section on the AT, some parts of it twice, with New Hampshire and Maine, being the most difficult. Will I go back and chip away at another section? Of course I will, and I am so looking forward to the opportunity, when it presents itself. I have the gear, the know how, the experience, and the right attitude. Who knows, I haven’t ruled out a flip flop later on this year yet. It sounds pretty exciting to me, at least.


    However, just one last word of caution. With out warning, no matter how much you plan, no matter how well prepared you are, no matter what the circumstances are, one day you may find yourself out in the woods in the middle of nowhere, miles from civilization, sitting in a bucket load of your own ****, asking yourself, “What just happened?”


    Life has no guarantees, so live each day as if it were your last.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Why would you hand out your food to people after your hands and lower torso were covered in feces?

    Why would you wish numerous acts of violence upon people for talking and snoring in the woods?

    Why would you be angry with someone for sitting on a hilltop and reading a book?

    Was this satire?

  3. #3
    Registered User Hot Flash's Avatar
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    Default

    Quoted from your journal:

    I look up and here comes a group of about 20 geriatrics in street shoes, all of which were pushing 100, led by one guide. This “guide” is obviously pushing that well known AT romantic notion a lot of people have, and cashing in. They only went on the trail for a few hundred yards or so, but the point is, using the AT for personal gain, to me is not what it’s supposed to be about. The “guides” in Yellowstone NP do the same thing. They cash in on the romantic notions everyone has about YNP. They call themselves “outfitters”, dress up like cowboys in old TV westerns, wear plaid shirts, vests, big hats, and for added effect, tuck their pants in their boots and wear those stupid spurs. And then, they charge thousands of dollars so you can ride a horse through the woods for a few days, sit around a campfire and eat beans, and freeze your ass off sleeping in a tent. I lived in YNP for over 14 months, five seasons, and hiked hundreds of miles by myself. That’s what I think the true YNP experience should be about, not ripping off some unsuspecting tourist, or taking advantage of them.


    Seriously? Did you ever consider for one moment that perhaps that is the only way those "geriatrics" as you so patronizingly call them would get to see part of the AT? That maybe this is the only way they could follow the Hike Your Own Hike mantra we all repeat so often? Did you ever consider that maybe a horseback weekend with an outfitter is just what some people like to do?

    Also...handing out food while covered in poo probably wasn't the best idea ever.
    Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish.

  4. #4

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    Georgia is the 2nd hardest section?

  5. #5

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    nh and maine are not one section, they are two and by far much more difficult than ga..personally i found ga to be relatively easy, found nc to be tougher than ga. i think ga might be considered harder because its the first section for most, especially for those unaccustomed to hiking mountains. i think sobos would laugh if you told them ga was the second hardest section.

  6. #6

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    I bet the "geriatrics" didn't crap themselves.

  7. #7
    Registered User The Gambler's Avatar
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    hilarious max patch...georgia is easier than maine, nh, north carolina, tennessee and virginia in my opinion
    "Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain -- and most fools do." Dale Carnegie

  8. #8
    Registered User Old Hiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by max patch View Post
    I bet the "geriatrics" didn't crap themselves.
    Yeah, but on the other hand, did they have the teeth to chew bad jerky?

    I had to quit reading after the first paragraph describing the incident. As my 6th grade students say, "TMI".
    Old Hiker
    AT Hike 2012 - 497 Miles of 2184
    AT Thru Hiker - 29 FEB - 03 OCT 2016 2189.1 miles
    Just because my teeth are showing, does NOT mean I'm smiling.
    Hányszor lennél inkább máshol?

  9. #9
    Registered User The Gambler's Avatar
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    oh i forgot to mention vermont....i agree with hiker boy that some think georgia is harder than it really is because they start there
    "Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain -- and most fools do." Dale Carnegie

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by goedde2 View Post
    The next point I need to stress is would I do it again, with the same intention of spending 6 months on the AT? My answer to that question would be a resounding, absolutely YES, no questions asked. There was never an issue of physical ability, emotional stability, mental awareness, or not being properly prepared. I thoroughly did enjoy my very brief time back on the AT, despite having no choice but to deal with the health issues, which in my opinion took precedence over any need to try to impress anyone by continuing any further than I did, for whatever reason. Katahdin was not my goal, as most would assume. That would have been a huge bonus, but that was not my focus. My goal was to enjoy each and every day, regardless, and take advantage of the privilege of even being able to be on the AT at age 66, in any capacity. It was not going to be a foot race. When, or if, I got to a point where I was no longer enjoying self, I would make a decision and feel completely fulfilled and satisfied, with that decision, and more importantly, have no regrets. All the arm chair quarterbacks can say what they will, but I know being a “wanna-be” with opinionated and sometimes ridiculous advice on how “they” would hike the AT, will never apply to me, because I’ve been out there, and not just “imagined” being out there..
    Just curious about the point of your original post. So your started a second thru hike attempt and failed, so what, join the 100s of others. Are you trying to justify your quitting decision to others or to yourself because it certainly sounds like you are trying to convince yourself that your intent was just to hike as long as it was fun. Good luck with your section hiking.

  11. #11

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    After NH & ME from Glencliff to Safford Notch (descent from Avery Peak), the next-hardest AT section IMO is NC from Winding Stair Gap to Fontana. GA isn't easy but not the second hardest.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookerhiker View Post
    After NH & ME from Glencliff to Safford Notch (descent from Avery Peak), the next-hardest AT section IMO is NC from Winding Stair Gap to Fontana. GA isn't easy but not the second hardest.

    this answer begs the question of how big, exactly, a section is, as the one "section" you site is probably 5 times the size of the other.

    looked at in very large chunks i think its generally regarded that the southern 3rd of the trail is the 2nd hardest section, so i guess thats what the OP is getting at, but it also doesnt seem like he actually finished the southern third of the trail.

    looked at in chunks the size of GA, glencliff to safford notch is several sections, all of which are probably way harder than GA.

  13. #13

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    Georgia is the second hardest section after nc to me.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    this answer begs the question of how big, exactly, a section is, as the one "section" you site is probably 5 times the size of the other.

    looked at in very large chunks i think its generally regarded that the southern 3rd of the trail is the 2nd hardest section, so i guess thats what the OP is getting at, but it also doesn't seem like he actually finished the southern third of the trail.

    looked at in chunks the size of GA, glencliff to safford notch is several sections, all of which are probably way harder than GA.
    That's true - what is a "section?" - Not sure that state boundaries are clearcut beginnings and ends of sections. My point was that hiking NOBO starting from Glencliff, it's pretty darn hard all the way through the Bigalows.

    If I were to rank the 14 states in difficulty, I'd put Maine #1, NH #2, and NC #3. On the other end, WV is #14, MD #13, and NJ #12. In between, it's a mixed bag.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jalum View Post
    Why would you hand out your food to people after your hands and lower torso were covered in feces?

    Why would you wish numerous acts of violence upon people for talking and snoring in the woods?

    Why would you be angry with someone for sitting on a hilltop and reading a book?

    Was this satire?
    My thoughts as well. Has to be a joke or satire.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerboy57 View Post
    Georgia is the second hardest section after nc to me.
    "after nc to me"

    Are you saying North Carolina to Maine

    or

    That Georgia was the 2nd hardest to you after North Carolina

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by goedde2 View Post
    Click on my signature below to get my Trail Journal account of this year's effort. About the third click through the journal will take you to a long and detailed description that may be of interest, and if you click on the "Photo" link on the left hand side bar, you can view a few pics I added. I'll be back after I heal for a flip-flop. Happy Hiking, and get out there.

    The next point I need to stress is would I do it again, with the same intention of spending 6 months on the AT? My answer to that question would be a resounding, absolutely YES, no questions asked. There was never an issue of physical ability, emotional stability, mental awareness, or not being properly prepared. I thoroughly did enjoy my very brief time back on the AT, despite having no choice but to deal with the health issues, which in my opinion took precedence over any need to try to impress anyone by continuing any further than I did, for whatever reason. Katahdin was not my goal, as most would assume. That would have been a huge bonus, but that was not my focus. My goal was to enjoy each and every day, regardless, and take advantage of the privilege of even being able to be on the AT at age 66, in any capacity. It was not going to be a foot race. When, or if, I got to a point where I was no longer enjoying self, I would make a decision and feel completely fulfilled and satisfied, with that decision, and more importantly, have no regrets. All the arm chair quarterbacks can say what they will, but I know being a “wanna-be” with opinionated and sometimes ridiculous advice on how “they” would hike the AT, will never apply to me, because I’ve been out there, and not just “imagined” being out there.


    I woke up the other night and realized I had been reincarnated as a “section” hiker, or possibly even a “car camper”. At least now I know, by personal experience, living the AT lifestyle for months on end, just does not appeal to me. It’s not a matter of perseverance, it’s a matter of preference. At least I’m not stuck in a rut glued to the set watching the latest sports series, or Andy Griffith re-runs, as sadly, so many are. This is not a dress rehearsal, and I am determined not to have any regrets when I am lying there on my death bed. I just completed the 2nd hardest section on the AT, some parts of it twice, with New Hampshire and Maine, being the most difficult. Will I go back and chip away at another section? Of course I will, and I am so looking forward to the opportunity, when it presents itself. I have the gear, the know how, the experience, and the right attitude. Who knows, I haven’t ruled out a flip flop later on this year yet. It sounds pretty exciting to me, at least.


    However, just one last word of caution. With out warning, no matter how much you plan, no matter how well prepared you are, no matter what the circumstances are, one day you may find yourself out in the woods in the middle of nowhere, miles from civilization, sitting in a bucket load of your own ****, asking yourself, “What just happened?”


    Life has no guarantees, so live each day as if it were your last.
    What dates did you hike?

  18. #18
    Registered User goedde2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jalum View Post
    Why would you hand out your food to people after your hands and lower torso were covered in feces?

    Why would you wish numerous acts of violence upon people for talking and snoring in the woods?

    Why would you be angry with someone for sitting on a hilltop and reading a book?

    Was this satire?
    Lighten up dude. I was totally cleaned up by the next day, disinfected, and germ free. All my food was in plastic zip lock bags.

    Don't be so quick to take every single word out of context, pick it apart, and try to make something out of nothing for cryin' out loud. The account I gave was nothing more than an honest reaction I had to the events at hand, and there was no intention to wish ill will on anyone. There was no anger. I found it ironic the place in the middle of nowhere I had to get to for cell reception, was already occupied, that's all. He could have been doing this at home just as well. This guy was one of those week-end warrior types that park at a trailhead and get off by themselves for awhile. Nothing wrong with that. Satire is a bit strong, but if that's the word you prefer, use it, because normally prose written in satire is generally intended to be humorous.

  19. #19
    Registered User goedde2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Flash View Post
    Quoted from your journal:

    I look up and here comes a group of about 20 geriatrics in street shoes, all of which were pushing 100, led by one guide. This “guide” is obviously pushing that well known AT romantic notion a lot of people have, and cashing in. They only went on the trail for a few hundred yards or so, but the point is, using the AT for personal gain, to me is not what it’s supposed to be about. The “guides” in Yellowstone NP do the same thing. They cash in on the romantic notions everyone has about YNP. They call themselves “outfitters”, dress up like cowboys in old TV westerns, wear plaid shirts, vests, big hats, and for added effect, tuck their pants in their boots and wear those stupid spurs. And then, they charge thousands of dollars so you can ride a horse through the woods for a few days, sit around a campfire and eat beans, and freeze your ass off sleeping in a tent. I lived in YNP for over 14 months, five seasons, and hiked hundreds of miles by myself. That’s what I think the true YNP experience should be about, not ripping off some unsuspecting tourist, or taking advantage of them.


    Seriously? Did you ever consider for one moment that perhaps that is the only way those "geriatrics" as you so patronizingly call them would get to see part of the AT? That maybe this is the only way they could follow the Hike Your Own Hike mantra we all repeat so often? Did you ever consider that maybe a horseback weekend with an outfitter is just what some people like to do?

    Also...handing out food while covered in poo probably wasn't the best idea ever.
    Again, taken out of context with drama and ridicule. I had a great time stopping and talking to the older folks, and shared what I could with them, because they asked me all kinds of questions. I applauded their effort and wished I could be as fit as they were if I ever reached that age. I hardly think that qualifies as "patronizing". Where are you getting had a problem with them, or are you just trying to add your worthless 2 cents worth and jump on the WB bandwagon?

    As for the "outfitters" in YNP, my next door neighbor had a Doctorate in Music Composition, was a university professor, and saw the opportunity to give the tourists what they wanted by offering them trail rides, and did exactly that. To me that means taking advantage of an business opportunity. Nothing wrong with that, and it provided a vacation memory for the tourists. Nothing wrong with that. What is wrong, IMHO, is using the pristine wilderness as a means to find a way to line your own pockets.

    As for handing out food while covered in poo, that is a figment of your own imagination. You weren't even there so what gives you the right to make such an outrageous accusation? I grabbed my sealed food bag and dumped out the entire contents, all of which was packaged in individual zip locks on the table and my 4 hiker friends helped themselves to whatever they could use, and thanked me profusely for my generosity. My hands, which by this time had been thoroughly cleansed with camp soap, baby wipes, and hand sanitizer, never even touched the zip locks. How dare you make such an assumption, but then on the other hand broken down, the word describes you exactly. Get a life.

  20. #20
    Registered User goedde2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasty View Post
    Georgia is the 2nd hardest section?
    On a difficulty rating of 1 - 10, the North GA mountain section of the AT is rated a solid 6. The Smokies soon after are rated 5 - 6, which was a bit of a surprise to me, especially when you consider Clingman's Dome is at a little over 6600 feet in elevation, and the highest point on the AT. Everything goes down from there. Only New Hampshire and Maine are rated higher in difficulty and rated 6 - 10. Or so I've been told. I would think there would be some challenges in NC as well as the Smokies, but I haven't been through there so I can only go by the information that was posted in WB.

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