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  1. #1
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    Default Looking to do Trail Magic around the NY/CT border the weekend of the Fourth

    2016 thru-hiker here. I've been meaning to do some Trail Magic this year but due to a new job and a new location I haven't been able to until this point, I figured I'd take advantage of the long weekend.

    Where is everyone right now? I was in the same section this time last year and remember the numbers were starting to thin out. I may be able to get Olive Garden to donate some food so I'd like to get a rough estimate of numbers. Of course if that fails I'll still have the standard trail magic fair.

    I'm not sure of the location yet but most of that section is only an hour's drive from my parent's house.

  2. #2
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    If you can get Olive Garden to donate food----why don't you feed the everyday homeless people and not the thruhiker homeless people?

  3. #3
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    Purely anecdotal, but on Sunday in CT, heading southbound, I had perhaps a dozen thrus pass me in 3 hours.

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    why would olive garden even consider feeding folks on vacation and not in need?

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    Let me clear up some things. Olive Garden already does numerous donations to families in need as well as a weekly donations of unused extra soup, sauces, pastas and misfired meals that never left the kitchen window. Also I'm a former employee of Olive Garden, why wouldn't I look to see if they would donate to save myself some money and provide some hungry hikers some pasta, breadsticks and salad. Something a bit different than hamburgers and hot dogs. If they don't, oh well, I'll figure something else out and just order it myself. Maybe I should not have used the word "donation" but I'm merely looking for a rough estimate so that I will not be wasting food, especially if it's being donated with good intent. It's also not as if by donating to me, hikers are taking food from orphans, that isn't how it works.

  6. #6
    Wanna-be hiker trash Sarcasm the elf's Avatar
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    It had been a few years since I have been there, but if I recall there is a decent sized parking lot at the CT Route 55 A.T. trailhead which is within a couple of miles of the CT/NY border. It would seem like an ideal place to setup while minimizing impact and the trail passes right by the lot. Remember not to leave food unattended, there has been an increase in bear activity in the CT/NY area.

    (I'm going from memory so double check that it is in fact CT rte 55 and not a different nearby road that has the lot)


    UCONN '03
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  7. #7
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    I'll be there the whole time. I was picked up from 55, I was trying to stay away from there since it'll be just a hot parking lot. I'd prefer to do it in the shade somewhere and not anywhere near Kent, it'll be overrun with holiday weekenders.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by UConn View Post
    I'll be there the whole time. I was picked up from 55, I was trying to stay away from there since it'll be just a hot parking lot. I'd prefer to do it in the shade somewhere and not anywhere near Kent, it'll be overrun with holiday weekenders.
    If weekender hikers are going to be an issue, you will probably need to get into a longer stretch of AT away from features that attract day or weekend hikers, unless you plan on providing food/beverages to all who walk by. The Rt 55 location would suit that purpose pretty well with a small cover tent or umbrella to sit under. Though I would be careful only feeding those who look like thru hikers and shooing away those on shorter vacations.

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    I didn't think that parking lot was that bad, I don't think it is black-topped from what I recall. Just bring a pop-up for a bit of shade.

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    feed ALL that walk by

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    feed ALL that walk by
    I will. And I'll make sure that everyone gets a crisp $20 bill, 10 acres and a mule.

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    I am glad that OG sends its scraps to the needy. To me the needy and the homeless deserve food before someone on vacation for six months. I am sure that the hikers enjoy a little trail side snack, but when anyone is on a "regular" vacation they don't go into OG and ask for free food. What you are doing is a nice thing, don't get me wrong. But if you just had a few thermos' of coffee, some doughnuts and some soda's the hikers would be just as happy. I also agree with Lone Wolf, feed everyone that stops by. If you were doing something like this for the homeless, would you ask how long they have been homeless and only feed those that have been on the streets for 4-5 months or more?
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    I organized a Hiker Feed for 3 years for ALDHA. We did it two years at the CT 41 parking lot in Salisbury, CT & one year near the Iron Bridge in Falls Village, CT. We did it the weekend after the RPH event, which is usually the second weekend of July. I planned on about 24 hikers each day (we did it two days) and always had food left over. The first year we got about 40 hikers, the second year fewer, and the third year about 20. We fed everyone who stopped by. We did have a canopy set up and grilled hamburgers & hot dogs as well as chips & pickles & such. Everyone wanted cheese.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    feed ALL that walk by
    BS! There are a lot of undernourished thru hikers and LASHERS out there who have no hope of replacing the calories they are expending. If the casual day hiker horns in on the trail magic, where does that leave the hikers who can really use it and need it?

    I was sitting at a trailhead road a couple of weeks ago enjoying a Gatorade and Zinger from and unattended trail magic. It was incredibly hot and humid that day and the Gatorade helped supplement the meager amount of water I was able to carry. Then four car loads of Boy Scouts and their adult supervisors pull up and dump into the parking lot. Immediately, the Boy Scuts head for the unsupervised trail magic. I stopped them. I knew there were a lot of hikers just behind me who could use the trail magic offering a lot more.

    True story. Food is one of the top subjects at campsites. Help the thru's and LASHers. The rest can eat when they go home that night.
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    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeBill View Post
    ... feed everyone that stops by. If you were doing something like this for the homeless, would you ask how long they have been homeless and only feed those that have been on the streets for 4-5 months or more?
    Your analogy is flawed. What if I as a middle class homeowner saw homeless being fed and I decided I'd save some lunch money? Would you be as eager to feed me and take away from the truly hungry homeless? That is an apple to apple comparison.

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    Are you really comparing a hiker to a homeless person? The long-distance hiker you are talking about have spent thousands* of dollars to be doing exactly what they are doing. They are not to be pitied, but to be envied.

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldsailor View Post
    BS! There are a lot of undernourished thru hikers and LASHES out there who have no hope of replacing the calories they are expending. If the casual day hiker horns in on the trail magic, where does that leave the hikers who can really use it and need it?
    Why are they undernourished? Did they not bring or buy enough food for themselves? Do they realize that they are on vacation and that people who are normally on vacation don't get free food? I always thought that there was no difference between a thru hiker and a section hiker, just how far they walk. Sounds like another case of entitled hiker syndrome.

    Quote Originally Posted by ldsailor View Post
    I was sitting at a trailhead road a couple of weeks ago enjoying a Gatorade and Zinger from and unattended trail magic. It was incredibly hot and humid that day and the Gatorade helped supplement the meager amount of water I was able to carry. Then four car loads of Boy Scouts and their adult supervisors pull up and dump into the parking lot. Immediately, the Boy Scuts head for the unsupervised trail magic. I stopped them. I knew there were a lot of hikers just behind me who could use the trail magic offering a lot more.

    Oh so you proclaimed yourself to be the boss of an unattended trail magic that you didn't pay for, had no hand in placing it there and did not know what the person that did put it out there intentions were? Maybe he didn't really care who benefited from his kind gesture.

    Is there a reason you only had a meager amount of water? If I know that the temperature is going to high along with high humidity, I will pack extra water from a source close to where I slept the night before. I would rather carry a few more pounds knowing that the weight will only get lighter through out the day, but then again I don't count on trail magic to feed or hydrate me.

    Quote Originally Posted by ldsailor View Post
    True story. Food is one of the top subjects at campsites. Help the thru's and LASHers. The rest can eat when they go home that night.
    What if one of the day hiking people you say can't have any, needs a sugar blast for their Diabetes and don't say its is different because according to you it's not. We hear stories all the time of day hikers who overextend themselves or fail to bring things like enough water.

    People have to realize that thru hiking is not a cheap adventure. In addition to equipment, you HAVE to bring enough of your own money to feed and pay for hostels/motels/hotels and any food you get in a restaurant and you can't dirt bag food other than cleaning out every hiker box you pass. I don't discriminate against any brand of hiker or anyone for that matter, because "There but for the Grace of God go I."

    Quote Originally Posted by ldsailor View Post
    Your analogy is flawed. What if I as a middle class homeowner saw homeless being fed and I decided I'd save some lunch money? Would you be as eager to feed me and take away from the truly hungry homeless? That is an apple to apple comparison.
    How is it flawed? Long term homeless person (4-6 months or more) equates to Thru Hiker. Middle term homeless person (1-4 months) equates to section hiker. Short term homeless (1 month or less) is like a weekend or day hiker. Where do you draw the line? They are all hikers just like they are all homeless.

    Yes I would feed you, because of my upbringing. If you have the gall to ask for it when you really don't really need it, it isn't my place to judge you.

    Have a nice day!
    Blackheart

  18. #18

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    I wonder how they manage parking-lot magic in FL at Epcot or Disneyworld. Lots of vacationers there putting in a lot of hard, hot concrete miles, lots of need for hydration and sugar bonk protection. Though I'm not sure one can equate those with homeless people, many I'm sure bought day passes for the family that set back the ol' budget and may be light in the wallet to purchase food at the costs these places charge.

  19. #19
    Registered User BuckeyeBill's Avatar
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    Actually I was not comparing the homeless to thru hikers in the literal sense. I was metaphorically speaking. I was trying to find out where they drew the line for who gets to share the spoils of trail magic and who doesn't.

    To Traveler; I remember one year my daughter and son in law ask my grandchildren if they would give up having a big Christmas, in order to feed and get a few presents for a needy family. My daughter told the kids that if they would do this, the whole family would take a vacation to Disneyworld, Epcot Center and Universal Studios Theme Park. Well naturally the kids said yes. My daughter later told me that the whole trip cost a small fortune, but she felt proud of her kids for giving up Christmas presents to help some one in need. Needless to say Granddad was proud as well.
    Blackheart

  20. #20
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeBill View Post
    Why are they undernourished? Did they not bring or buy enough food for themselves? Do they realize that they are on vacation and that people who are normally on vacation don't get free food? I always thought that there was no difference between a thru hiker and a section hiker, just how far they walk. Sounds like another case of entitled hiker syndrome.
    Your profile says you hiked the PCT. In light of that, your question surprises me. Studies readily available on the Internet cite calorie burn for a hiker doing the miles thru hikers and section hikers do to be as much as 3,500 calories or more. Unless a hiker is stopping in a town each night to eat, how can any hiker consistently carry and then consume the calories he/she expends? His/her backpack would be impossibly heavy carrying all the food required to replace calories. Or a better way to look at it, where are all the overweight long distance thru and section hikers?


    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeBill View Post
    Oh so you proclaimed yourself to be the boss of an unattended trail magic that you didn't pay for, had no hand in placing it there and did not know what the person that did put it out there intentions were? Maybe he didn't really care who benefited from his kind gesture.
    Yeah, I did proclaim myself boss. Especially considering that there was a big sign on the coolers that said, "Thru hikers only, please."

    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeBill View Post
    Is there a reason you only had a meager amount of water? If I know that the temperature is going to high along with high humidity, I will pack extra water from a source close to where I slept the night before. I would rather carry a few more pounds knowing that the weight will only get lighter through out the day, but then again I don't count on trail magic to feed or hydrate me.
    Very few hikers can carry the water needed to be sufficiently hydrated all the time. There are hydration calculators on the Internet that will calculate what a person doing an activity like hiking should consume in fluids. I ran one and it came up to over one liter of water per hour in hot, 90 degree weather, which it has been on the trail from Virginia south recently. There isn't always another stream or spring just .5 mile down the trail. Sometimes there is no water for miles.
    https://www.camelbak.com/en/hydrated...ion-calculator

    Get out there again with the hikers, especially on the AT and see what's happening. I think you will change your mind about a few things. And while there are a lot of hikers out there who, as you say, "are on vacation," there are many who have nowhere else to go and choose to hike to sort through whatever issues they are trying to confront.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
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