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  1. #1
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    Default Rusty says hi...

    Many long-time members of White Blaze may know, or know of, "Rusty." He operated a very rustic mountain hiker hostel called Hard Time Hollow near Love, VA just off the BRP for over two decades. No frills (or electric, phone, or indoor water!) back in the day when HTH was a can't-miss stop for many thru-hikers.
    Rusty Nesbitt 031018.jpg
    He's been out of the hiker scene for awhile and no longer operates a hostel but after not seeing him for nine years I stopped in to say hi today. Didn't even know if he was still there, or alive for that matter. He asked me to post this photo of him, 78 years young, and invites old friends to drop by if in the area. He still lives there with his dog Soxx, and in more recent times has spring-fed water piped in, gas-powered lighting, and a very warm woodstove. One of a kind mountain man!
    Last edited by Skyline; 03-17-2018 at 00:41.

  2. #2

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    Total blast from the past. Never visited but always wanted to.

  3. #3
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Default

    Same here, I heard about HTH for years and never made it up there on a hike before it closed. Glad to see he's doing well.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  4. #4
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    Default

    Thanks for posting. I have wondered about Rusty and thought he was fighting some illness back in the day.

    New hikers wouldn't know about Hard Times Hollow. Last year I met many thruhikers who didn't know the name Baltimore Jack.
    Order your copy of the Appalachian Trail Passport at www.ATPassport.com

    Green Mountain House Hostel
    Manchester Center, VT

    http://www.greenmountainhouse.net

  5. #5

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    Pretty cool, I have not heard of HTH. What years did he run the hostel?

  6. #6
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    Pretty cool, I have not heard of HTH. What years did he run the hostel?
    Late 1980s until 2009, with some seasons in hiatus for various reasons.

  7. #7
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff View Post
    Thanks for posting. I have wondered about Rusty and thought he was fighting some illness back in the day.

    New hikers wouldn't know about Hard Times Hollow. Last year I met many thruhikers who didn't know the name Baltimore Jack.
    So true. We don't seem to have a lot of knowledge about who came before us. The AT Museum near Pine Grove Furnace is meant to remedy that in person, but the online museum is a start for those who would rather live online...

    https://www.atmuseum.org/online-museum.html

  8. #8

    Default

    Good to hear he's still kickin it at the Holler.
    Many good memories.
    Beer was allowed back in 95, but not in 2001
    Many hikers ended their thru-hike there though. Too much fun.
    Don't let your fears stand in the way of your dreams

  9. #9

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    ...too much fun indeed.

    blast from the past.

  10. #10

    Default

    Thanks for this update. Will stop by to see him when I'm in that area. He is worthy of an ATC Magazine story or an AT MyStory video.
    Warren Doyle PhD
    34,000-miler (and counting)
    warrendance@gmail.com
    www.warrendoyle.com

  11. #11
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warren doyle View Post
    Thanks for this update. Will stop by to see him when I'm in that area. He is worthy of an ATC Magazine story or an AT MyStory video.
    I'm sure he'd like to see you, Warren. Of course being off the grid it's hit or miss. But he's seldom gone for more than a day.

  12. #12

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    Stopped by Rusty’s after trail days 2018. It was great to see him. He’s in great health, riding his bike everyday, chopping wood and welding. It was a tough winter as he was all alone snowed in and not even a Park ranger could visit for four months but it’s spring now the blue ridge is open and all friends that visited are welcome.
    He d love to see you.
    PS I hope he can sell the Hollow soon so he can scale down his life a little and get some fishing in.

  13. #13
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gawjr1 View Post
    Stopped by Rusty’s after trail days 2018. It was great to see him. He’s in great health, riding his bike everyday, chopping wood and welding. It was a tough winter as he was all alone snowed in and not even a Park ranger could visit for four months but it’s spring now the blue ridge is open and all friends that visited are welcome.
    He d love to see you.
    PS I hope he can sell the Hollow soon so he can scale down his life a little and get some fishing in.
    He's had some physical and medical issues the past few years, but I bet he'd concede loneliness is way ahead of all that. Glad we and a few others are stopping by now that winter is over. The place looks very much like it always did, minus all the hikers.

    I'm in the process of moving back to Luray (near Thornton Gap on the AT in SNP) full time, and once the moving is over I hope to get down there again in August or September. It's only about a two-hour drive from Luray, but about six-plus from where I've been the past eight years.

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