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  1. #661

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    I really wish I could be there by May 2nd! The situation at home is getting more and more secure so it looks like there isn't really anything in the way of me getting to HF and giving the trail a go. But I am naturally anxious and so I keep worrying about my feet and my mail drops and my cat and my pack weight. I've sacrificed quite a few things and I estimate that with a week's worth of food I'll be carrying 35 lbs. I want to lower that number to 30 but I don't know HOW. I'm a very light sleeper, and there are some comforts I simply cannot let go of for fear of going sleepless entirely. Perhaps I will learn to adjust and send home some things later.
    I am staying with friends in NYC and DC on my way to HF which is why I can't just rush out for May 2nd, but the anticipation is killing me. It's also interesting to see that most people posting here are over twice my age I will try not to whine about my sore feet too much?

    About the planning. Some of you do make me feel like I don't know what the hell I'm doing! I don't have my clothes sprayed with permethrin and I don't have a wife to send me her love by mail throughout the journey. But I'm gonna try to wing it


    The song was pretty funny by the way!

  2. #662

    Default NH vs. Maine

    Hey, joshuasdad--

    You have a point. Hiking northbound, the Whites are definitely a bigger shock psychologically. Perception can become one's own personal reality.

    I'll give an example from my own personal experience. When I first hiked the Whites as a northbounder at age 27, I couldn't believe how steep some of the climbs were. I felt like an Amazon climbing those ups, alone, in the pouring cold late-September rain, with my external-frame pack that had winter gear that included a lot of wool. In my memory, the first really steep up--North Kinsman, was practically vertical the whole way. Hiking northbound, you encounter so little comparably steep terrain prior to this point that your mind just isn't ready to consider climbing "hiking."

    Last summer I did a piece of the Whites that included North Kinsman, at age 54, as a section-hiker (in pleasant weather conditions), with a lighter, internal-frame pack, and pleasure of being with my now-husband. It was my first time back since my thru-hike. After having hiked the Mahoosucs of southern Maine twice now, I kept waiting for the really steep, vertical part. Sure, there were a few fun scrambles, but that was it. I even wonder if the Trail had been relocated, it seemed that much easier.

    And yes, the downhills in the Whites are longer, so that can be really hard on older knees.

    Whenever I have tough times on the Trail--then and now, I think of Grandma Gatewood, and that puts things in perspective.

  3. #663
    Registered User joshuasdad's Avatar
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    I have had extraordinarily bad luck in New Hampshire, so it is tough for me to compare NH to Maine objectively. My experiences in Maine were great (except for looking for Inchworm in 2013) -- but look at my New Hampshire "curse" (from a June 14th post last year).

    --
    Did the splits on a wet bog bridge. Left foot slid forward, right foot did not, pack pushed me down. Felt a pop in left hamstring. Gritted out 7 miles of mostly flat walking from Ethan Pond to Zealand Road, and took AMC shuttle back to car. I just finished nearly 200 miles in Maine over the past 2 weeks, then get leveled by a lowly bog bridge on my first new AT mile in NH. I shouldn't be surprised...see the evidence below:

    Trip 1: Thanksgiving 2011, ice and snow, only get a few miles into NH, most of which I need to repeat later for logistics.

    Trip 2: Fourth of July week 2013. Work keeps me of trail on planned vacation, but try to scamper up Mt. Washington on short break. Missed shuttle down from Mt. Washington, spend expensive and uncomfortable night at Lake of the Crowds, then ultimately have to slide down Tuckerman's to make a work meeting. A couple days (of work) later, tweak ankle on short waterfall hike with family, ending hiking plans for remainder of week.

    Trip 3: Labor Day weekend 2013, Gorham to NH/ME border, had to bailout on Mahoosic Notch because of 6 inches of rain. A lot of road walking to get back to car.

    Trip 4: Early Spring 2014, decent dayhike north of Hanover, but don't do second day because of stomach bug. Left car at trailhead for planned hiking with second car the following week. Commute back to DC was long...

    Trip 5: Complete up to Kinsman Notch with heavy use of spikes and snowshoes. Tried Franconia Traverse, but undercut monorail and cold rain/sleet forced me to stop at Ethan Pond shelter. I should feel fortunate, as someone was rescued a few miles away by helicopter.

    Trip 6: Late start Thursday after completing Maine on Wednesday (with special thanks to Honey, Bear, and Don at the Cabin, as well as Sue, Sherlock, and Queen Diva at Shaw's!). Was going to camp 8ish miles into Franconia traverse, but stay at Ethan Pond (again) after heavy rains. Wake up at 5 am, and do splits on a now rain saturated bog bridge.
    --
    Since then, we need to add:

    7) Severe thunderstorm on Mt. Lafayette dropped an inch of hail on the trail prior to reaching summit. Had to bail down long side trail -- fell countless times because of inch deep slippery mud near bottom.
    8) My second to last mile on the Appalachian Trail involved descending off Wildcat SOBO, after dark with a storm approaching, down a trail I still characterize as "horrifying" owing to its steepness. I save the last mile for tomorrow, but get soaked in ford getting back to road.
    9) Actually get a bit lost in last mile the next day owing to inadequate markings and cross trails. Until I saw my family waiting to hike the last quarter mile, I was not quite sure I was on the trail.

    Haven't hiked since, but plan to attend kickoff!

    AT 2000 miler: 2011-2014 (via section hikes)
    Camino de Santiago -- April/May 2016 (Camino Frances from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela)
    CDT New Mexico sections next???

  4. #664
    Registered User ekeverette's Avatar
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    gosh joshusadad, I need to trek behind you for good luck!!!! hope to see you at the ff.
    eveready

  5. #665
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    Marc train
    I'll be getting into Reagan airport a bit before noon, 11:40. Pack in hand noon? Fri. May 1
    I went to the Marc train site and really could not figure it out.
    So could someone help me figure out how to get from the airport to Harpers Ferry?
    My impression is I go to DC Penn station 1st. Then to Harpers Ferry.
    Amtrack at 4:15 , Marc about every hour.
    Thanks for the help!!!

  6. #666
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeezebox View Post
    Marc train
    I'll be getting into Reagan airport a bit before noon, 11:40. Pack in hand noon? Fri. May 1
    I went to the Marc train site and really could not figure it out.
    So could someone help me figure out how to get from the airport to Harpers Ferry?
    My impression is I go to DC Penn station 1st. Then to Harpers Ferry.
    Amtrack at 4:15 , Marc about every hour.
    Thanks for the help!!!
    Hey Squeezebox!

    So here's what you will want to do. Catch the metro from Reagan to Union Station. At Union Station make your way to the MARC Train Brunswick Line. It will run on that Friday at roughly 1:30 at the earliest to get you to Harpers Ferry. Simple and inexpensive option. Good luck!!
    Tree

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    Hugs to you! Thanks for the info. I'll write it down.

  8. #668
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    Quote Originally Posted by squeezebox View Post
    Hugs to you! Thanks for the info. I'll write it down.
    HOLD IT SQUEEZEBOX!! I just noticed that the Friday 1:30 MARC train from Union Station only goes as far as Brunswick, MD, getting there at about 3pm. That leaves you with two options. 1) I can come get you at 3pm at the Brunswick Station and drive you to HF, OR 2) Take the next MARC train from Union Station, which leaves at 3:30pm instead. That train will take you all the way to HF, getting you there by 5pm or so. So sorry I did not notice that the 1:30 MARC doesn't go all the way to HF. Weird that it doesn't but there you have it!! Let me know if you want a ride from Brunswick ( I live close by) so you can have more time in HF to mill around and get settled. Cya, Tree

  9. #669
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    I put everything in my pack today and with camera, phone, charger, 4 days of food, 40 oz of water, and 8 oz of fuel; I'm all in at 25.5 lbs. I'm happy with that. I've been crossing training daily with walking the dog for a mile or two in the morning and evening with a 10 to 15 mile bike ride in between followed by an hour on the inclined treadmill with the loaded pack. Upper body weight training every other day and some form of leg exercise (rubberbands). And doing honeydo list stuff and I'm still stir crazy.

    What have ya'll been doing to keep busy until 5/2?

  10. #670
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    My crazy list included making enough wine to get Johnna through six months. She's not a lush, mind you, but she likes a glass or two in the evening...and that adds up over six months. I've got her covered now. I've been working on the walls in the basement family room, to be finished by this weekend. Nearly everything else is marked off my list. Next week I have dedicated to time with my wife. I adore spending time with her (you will see why). She will be my "mental pack weight". Being away from her will be difficult. I will work that out on the trail along with any physical conditioning I might be lacking. I think ten miles a day will be a good sensible starting pace for me in Pennsylvania.

    Since my last shakedown, I've dropped off on my extra physical activity, giving my body a chance to rest before we walk. But, seriously, jimmyjam, that is one aggressive exercise program! With that kind of effort, I'd be worried about straining something in the interim. But that's me.

    My pack weigh runs about five pounds more than yours, but I'm sure I'll lose that somewhere along the way.
    AKA "DANGER" AT Thru-Hiker Class of 2015

  11. #671
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    Jimmy Jam; advice from my bicycle racing days. work hard through this weekend, but starting Mon. lighten up to about 1/3 distance and speed enough to stay loose, but not anything strenuous. maybe some extra sleep. mental health time also.

  12. #672
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    Hey guys and gals. My daughter will be joining me about May 17. How far do you think we will be in PA by then? I don't have much experience in PA so not sure if I will be averaging 8, 10 or 12 miles per day by then. I know it depends on my personal abilities but any thoughts?

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    Full pack with 4 days food and 2 L water is at 32 lbs. Only thing I need to add are PA maps, small section of the Companion and small journal. Did a 2+ hour hike in the local hills today with the full pack and it's all systems go. I too will be easing up on the exercise in the final week before departure. Trying not to think too much, but it's not working.
    Simple is good.

  14. #674
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    Quote Originally Posted by Treehugger View Post
    Hey guys and gals. My daughter will be joining me about May 17. How far do you think we will be in PA by then? I don't have much experience in PA so not sure if I will be averaging 8, 10 or 12 miles per day by then. I know it depends on my personal abilities but any thoughts?
    You can use the web site www.atdist.com for quick calculations.

  15. #675
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    Leaving this morning . Should b on trail late afternoon . Flying to DC . Visit my dad in Arlington cemetery . Then on to Harpers Ferry.

    c u on the trail. Thom

  16. #676
    Registered User joshuasdad's Avatar
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    It's a clear and cool day today, perfect for hiking. Enjoy!
    AT 2000 miler: 2011-2014 (via section hikes)
    Camino de Santiago -- April/May 2016 (Camino Frances from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela)
    CDT New Mexico sections next???

  17. #677

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    Hey all, I may have missed it. Are the shelters in Maryland back open again to camp. I can't wait until next weekend. Thanks

  18. #678

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    Jimmyjam, thanks for the distance tool.

  19. #679
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sling Shot View Post
    Hey all, I may have missed it. Are the shelters in Maryland back open again to camp. I can't wait until next weekend. Thanks
    The shelters were opened pretty quickly after the tree incident. They are all good to go. Cya next week!

  20. #680
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyjam View Post
    You can use the web site www.atdist.com for quick calculations.
    Thanks, I know about this website but what I don't know much about is I guess where the rocks start, which will slow me down. I have since found some info that says they start closer to Port Clinton. I don't think I will be that far in two weeks, probably more like Duncannon. Anyway, Thanks!!

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