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    Predicting the state of Covid and government...

    Predicting the state of Covid and government regulation and how they'll affect the AT this year is challenging, but there are promising trends, apart even from the vaccine.

    Transmission rates...
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    Last year, even without vaccine and possible...

    Last year, even without vaccine and possible gains in herd immunity, the virus numbers went way down during the late spring, summer and early autumn. I expect the same this warm season (or better,...
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    The IHME (University of Washington) models show...

    The IHME (University of Washington) models show infection and mortality peaking this month or early February and then sharply declining through early April (that's as far out as the projections go). ...
  4. Knot Maul was open when I had lunch there at the...

    Knot Maul was open when I had lunch there at the end of August. It wasn't "decepit" or in a state that would lead me to believe it was in it's last days. Perhaps what you saw is the note that...
  5. I did most of this over the past few years during...

    I did most of this over the past few years during high summer (June to August). That includes Va. 62 (near Ceres) to Lickskillet Hollow in late August of this year.

    This was a wet year and, even...
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    As a lifelong southerner who has never ventured...

    As a lifelong southerner who has never ventured north in the winter months, this looks like a fairyland. Beautiful.
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    Oops. Ignore. :)

    Oops. Ignore. :)
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    Thanks, Illabelle, for giving the information...

    Thanks, Illabelle, for giving the information about the oakleaf lungwort. I looked it up and learned something delightfully new.

    By the way, I've been section hiking since 2007, have...
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    Congratulations to you all! I've been section...

    Congratulations to you all! I've been section hiking since 2007, and I'm 1500 miles behind you!

    The blue flower is gentian.

    I think the "oak leaf lichen" is actually a bunch of oak leaves. ...
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    Edited to: Ne'er mind.

    Edited to: Ne'er mind.
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    Since hostels were open this year, and shuttles...

    Since hostels were open this year, and shuttles running, I'd expect the same thing or better next year. Time is on our side - time for medical advances, immunizations, and possibly an increase in...
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    There were a lot of thru-hikers, LASHers and...

    There were a lot of thru-hikers, LASHers and section hikers this year. I haven't heard of a backpacker giving or getting COVID, to this point. Backpacking doesn't guarantee a virus-free life, but...
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    I love the shelters and would hate to lose them. ...

    I love the shelters and would hate to lose them. In Virginia late this summer, I had the trail to myself for four days, three of which included heavy, prolonged downpours. It was nice to know there...
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    Just finished re-reading this thread and also the...

    Just finished re-reading this thread and also the "2021 Trail Crowding" thread. Very interesting to see how our community processed the early days of the pandemic in the USA. Lots of worry, lots of...
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    I think you're talking about the section from...

    I think you're talking about the section from roughly Hunting Camp Creek south to around I-81. If so, I did most of that section 8/29 to 9/1. I saw a big bear a gap north of Walker Gap, and other...
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    Who was it that said if you drew a 2,200-mile...

    Who was it that said if you drew a 2,200-mile line through America randomly, you'd end up with more examples of violence than has happened on the AT. The AT seems like a remarkably friendly and safe...
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    I haven't heard of any major trail changes in...

    I haven't heard of any major trail changes in Georgia.

    Perhaps the AT official you were talking to was speaking of a historic change, such as omitting the original end section to Mt. Oglethorpe...
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    Next weekend won't be the peak for leaf season. ...

    Next weekend won't be the peak for leaf season. That's about two or three weeks away.

    I've been to Jacks River Falls on on the Friday and Monday after holiday weekends and had the place to myself...
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    Auburn is en route from Montgomery to the AT,...

    Auburn is en route from Montgomery to the AT, heading up I-85 towards Atlanta.

    Grace, its pretty rare that a person would attend church in an unfamiliar location while on a long drive for...
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    It sounds like you intend to be flexible, perhaps...

    It sounds like you intend to be flexible, perhaps skipping around to find the best available weather and bug situation for each section?

    May and June are great times to be on the trail most...
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    South of Bristol the interstate network leading...

    South of Bristol the interstate network leading to Georgia (I-81, I-40, I-75) begins veering away from the AT. But if you don't mind driving an hour or two, one possibility would be to head to...
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    Earlier this month, I stopped at or stayed at...

    Earlier this month, I stopped at or stayed at four shelters in SW Virginia, most or all of them in national forest. There weren't any "closed" signs at the shelters or road crossings (at roads...
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    JP, for the section between Va. Hwy. 62 and...

    JP, for the section between Va. Hwy. 62 and Lickskillet Road, the trail was very well maintained. The woodland portions were fine. The only meadow stretch was atop Chestnut Ridge - that's 1.8 miles...
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    Hey, Knocky, welcome back. What ridge did your...

    Hey, Knocky, welcome back.

    What ridge did your family own? I just section-hiked that area, so possibly walked the area your family owns/owned. Here and there are stretches with barbed wire on...
  25. ??? The link posted by doritotex is to a death...

    ??? The link posted by doritotex is to a death that happened two years ago and has nothing to do with the incident that is the subject of this thread.
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