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  1. #1
    Registered User brancher's Avatar
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    Default Never Thought I'd Have To Ask This Very Strange Question.....

    ....Because my plan was ('WAS') to do a thru this year, starting last week. So I trained and trained, got my base way down, etc, etc......then our house sold. My whole year changed -- packing, finding another place, moving trips, packing, etc, etc. So needless to say, the thru is cancelled this year.

    But now (as of yesterday), my home has NOT sold. Long story, but bottom line is that I want to go now. Where should I start? I figure it'll take me about 2-3 weeks to completely finish getting ready (maps, food plan, etc), so realistically maybe 01 May? I'd like to get to Maine NOBO, but am not sure I can do the whole trail from Springer in that time. For sure I want to be in Damascus for Trail Days.

    So what do I do????

    btw, I've already done all of GA, NC to Fontana (up to but not including SMNP), and parts of VA, but originally wanted to start at the southern terminus again......

    p.s. I really don't care about SMNP anymore. Too much drama .

    Can anyone help?

    br

  2. #2
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Go southbound?
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
    http://pmags.com
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    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  3. #3
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    come to trail days then start walkin' north right after

  4. #4
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    I know you say you don't care about (G)SMNP anymore, but why not just start at Fontana and get 'er all done? Plenty of time if you start there. Seems the obvious answer. GSMNP is beautiful, and really not a hassle at all, I never understood the problem some have with it. Just hike through it. Arrive late at the shelters (AKA: sleep in), and if it's full, you're allowed to camp near it. If not, chances are it won't fill. The smokies are one of the highlights of the trail for my wife and I last year, despite the slight shelter hassle. We only spent 3 nights in the park, just hiked long, enjoyable days and got through it.

  5. #5
    Registered User brancher's Avatar
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    Default

    Yes, Mags, NoBo. Lone Wolf and Colorado, you guys are making some sense....why did I not figure that out (well, probably because I am in a rage about the house sale....). I like the idea of starting back up at Fontana, and I love the idea of starting at Damascus. Guess I could backtrack about 3 weeks from Damascus and move north to meet the TD thing, then move on from there.

    Or, how long from Fontana to Damascus? (and yes, my trail maps, all the way up to Jeff Nat Forest, are packed up --- where, who knows -- probably in the same box as my backpack.....

    Let's see, I gotta stock back up on my Harmony House stuff (yes, I started eating it up when we got the contract...), maybe pick up a phone charger, but that's about it.... Well, except for doing a couple of things around here.....

    Well, maybe there IS hope....

  6. #6
    Registered User brancher's Avatar
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    Oh, Sorry Mags, I misread your post. I guess SoBo is an option, but I had never seriously considered it before. I guess, also, that a little flipflop may work - Damascus to HF, then ME to HF, then Damascus to Fontana (wow, that's alot of turning around).

  7. #7
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    Start at Springer and if it appears you wont make Katahdin in time, then flip. You can always hitch to Trail Days.

    If you have your gear, there is no reason you couldn't be ready within a week or so. Just download Mr. Tarlin's resupply article and you have your food plan. Store at Neel's Gap might carry a copy of the guidebook, call and ask. Or order it now and it probably would be in within a week.
    Last edited by lonehiker; 04-03-2014 at 09:29.
    Lonehiker

  8. #8
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brancher View Post
    ...(well, probably because I am in a rage about the house sale....)...
    I was really torn between saying "Sorry the house sale fell through" or "Congratulations on the house sale falling through" (because now you can hike!). Still not sure which is appropriate....

  9. #9
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    Start at Fontana. Finish as much of your 2000 miler as you can.

    Other crap may come up along the way.
    The trouble I have with campfires are the folks that carry a bottle in one hand and a Bible in the other.
    You never know which one is talking.

  10. #10
    Nalgene Ninja flemdawg1's Avatar
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    Personally, I would just start at Springer and flip-flop if neceassary.

  11. #11
    Registered User brancher's Avatar
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    Thanks. Well, a week to get launched would be wonderful, but I need to arrange for a few maintenance things here first (haven't prepped the yard for summer, etc) -- so it's gonna take a little longer. As far as food/resupply, I can pretty much wing that since I've done sections before (food drop in Franklin and Nantahala), so that's not so much a concern. And did I mention I'm gettin' old now (over 55)?

    I think I may be getting a clue on a game plan now though now that the shock is wearing off ... thanks to you guys for helping me out on this.

    I'd welcome any other comments as well!

  12. #12
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    If it were me, I would start at springer. It really depends on your goal however. If you want to "hike the whole trail" then start at Fontana. If you want to thru hike then start at springer or Maine. May 1st gives you an easy five months. You already know the first part of the trail so you are are well ahead of the pack from an experience standpoint.

  13. #13
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    I'm starting May 1 at Springer and planning to go all the way to Katahdin. It's been done hundreds of times before. With any luck, it will be done by many in 2014.

    But there's no way I'll make it to Damascus in time for Trail Days. If that's really important to you, it seems to me that you need to start earlier, start farther north, or plan on jumping ahead for that weekend. The first option seems like it would be difficult, the second option sounds like it isn't really what you want to do, but the third option offers a lot of flexibility and I doubt you'll be the only one doing so.

    Either way, hope to see you out there!

  14. #14

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    Or start at Harper's Ferry, hike north to Katahdin, then hike south and go as far as you want, either Fontana if you are ready to stop or Springer if you want a true thruhike.

  15. #15
    Springer to Bland, VA
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    Depends on your motivation. But it sounds like you really wanted to do a thru hike.

    How about this: start at Fontana and NOBO to Katahdin. That way you've done the whole trail inside the bubble. This should put you around Damascus for Trail Days (if not, start at Hot Springs/Erwin so you wind up in Damascus for TD). Then you could SOBO Fontana/Hot Springs/Erwin to Springer along side some of the SOBO thru hikers. This way you'd get the thrill of summitting both ends in the same year. This is essentially a flip flop, but you still get the thrill of the summit being your end point.

  16. #16
    Registered User brancher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msumax1985 View Post
    Depends on your motivation. But it sounds like you really wanted to do a thru hike.

    How about this: start at Fontana and NOBO to Katahdin. That way you've done the whole trail inside the bubble. This should put you around Damascus for Trail Days (if not, start at Hot Springs/Erwin so you wind up in Damascus for TD). Then you could SOBO Fontana/Hot Springs/Erwin to Springer along side some of the SOBO thru hikers. This way you'd get the thrill of summitting both ends in the same year. This is essentially a flip flop, but you still get the thrill of the summit being your end point.
    That is probably the best way - start at Fontana or Erwin, go north, then back to departure point.

    Right now, though, I'm gonna go beat the hell outta some golf balls and try to figure what I did to make the universe wrinkle her brow at me .....

  17. #17
    Registered User turtle fast's Avatar
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    Msumax has a good point...if it were me i'd do that as you are in the "bubble", get Trail Days, then can flip back down to Fontana or Erwin to hike south again. When we hiked in 08' our house was on the market and we got an offer on the property when were in Perisburg...went to the local small town attorney who wrote up our acceptance offer and sent the paperwork back to Wisconsin....he did not charge us a cent for doing it as he was tickled pink for doing something out of the ordinary like that..he said its something in his career he will remember helping out hikers who sold their house.

  18. #18

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    if you can start May 1st Do a Flip-Flop, Start in Daleville VA hike southbound you should be in Damascus just in time for trail days Maybe a day or two early it all depends on your mileage, do trail days then Continue south to Springer MT, then return to Daleville VA, then Hike NOBO go as far as you can ultimatley Baxter Peak, The other option is, Start Southbound from ME in July, you can still do Trail days. Good Luck and Happy Hiking.

  19. #19
    15,000 miler
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    You may have done those sections in the past but a thru-hike ain't a thru-hike unless you've THRU-HIKED!

    You're going to kick yourself when you've hiked about 1900 miles of trail but you can't call it a thru-hike. Trust me, I'm not trying to judge. HYOH. The problem is when you try to be honest with YOURSELF and you can't bring yourself to say, "I thru-hiked the entire trail." Then it's going to burn you up to know you were so close but didn't really do it. Every time I try to peak out some mountain or bushwhack a special route and I am unsuccessful it burns me up inside, I obsess about getting back out there and getting it done.

    P.S. Smokies is only drama if you make it drama.
    * Warning: I bite AND I do not play well with others! -hellkat-

  20. #20
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    I'd go NOBO from Springer with a May 1 start even if I didn't have to. It's a perfect time to start. No cold weather, beautiful Rododendrons and wild flowers all the way to Virginia, beautiful fall foliage in New England, and less crowds, especially at the beginning. You can always flip further north if you think you won't make Katahdin in time, but that's not likely unless you run into pretty big problems, or just choose to go slower. What's not to like?

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