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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyPaper View Post

    For WV/VA similar to NC/TN, but to a lesser extent, it is ambiguous as to when an official transition should be counted. The ATDist calculator picks the 20 mile point near Snicker's Gap
    the AT dist calculator doesnt "pick that" spot.

    it is the spot the AT data book lists.

    it is the spot every guidebook uses as the start of the "VA section."

    it is the location of the most prominent "welcome to VA" and "welcome to WV" signs you can find.

    the AT dist calculatr is merely the most easily seen (on the internet) reflection of these truths. the person who runs that website didnt "pick" that spot.

    as the AT data book is published by the ATC, i dont think its a stretch at all to make the statement "The Virginia section of the AT begins near snicker's gap."

    since this challenge is an AT challenge, it is a fair (though not inarguable) point to sya you have completed it until youve touched the portion of the trail that the ATC officially considers to be VA.

    your point about the section that crosses back into WV much further south actually proves this concept- the ATC considers that to be part of the VA section of trail, even though it isn't in VA.

    i'm just going by what the official ATC publication says. which, yes, does not line up to geographical reality perfectly.but it is nowhere near as arbitrary as "thats the spot the guy who runs ATDist calculator chose." not even close.

  2. #22
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    found the pictures of the signs i had posted to a previous thread. these are near snickers gap, right on the trail.

    Screen Shot 2018-10-22 at 3.06.42 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2018-10-22 at 3.06.33 PM.jpg

  3. #23
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    one last final pic- screen cap of the relevant page from the 2017 thru hiker companion
    Screen Shot 2018-10-22 at 3.35.48 PM.png

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdoczi View Post
    the AT dist calculator doesnt "pick that" spot.

    i'm just going by what the official ATC publication says. which, yes, does not line up to geographical reality perfectly.but it is nowhere near as arbitrary as "thats the spot the guy who runs ATDist calculator chose." not even close.
    The ATC publication aligns with the ATDist calculator, so they're either both arbitrary or both not-arbitrary. But the geographical reality is not in dispute, other than perhaps a few meters here and there. Going south, you first enter VA within a couple of miles of Harper's Ferry, and you last set foot in WV a few miles north of Pearisburg, hundreds of miles south the "official" entry into VA. I understand your point that one might plausibly reinterpret the 4 state challenge based on the arbitrary designation of the ATC given their position of oversight concerning the AT. Yet the ATC VA border designation is still rather arbitrary likely for the same practical concerns being dealt with by the ATDist calculator. Most see the 4 state challenge is met by setting foot in 4 states within 24 hours based on undisputed GPS coordinates. You can make a reasonable argument that the 4 state challenge should be 58ish miles rather than 44ish. But 44ish is both understandable and reasonable too, and currently the most accepted understanding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Highland Goat View Post
    Here is a photo of the sign on the state line from about 01:00 on Friday morning. The sign on Loudoun Heights in phrased similarly; although if I recall correctly it is nailed to a tree – rather than on a post.
    Attachment 43789
    This is the sign on the tree, before you reach the National Park sign heading north. I camped here Friday night and a SOBO hiker showed up at 1:30am, having just completed the Maryland Challenge

    IMG_2332.jpg

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyPaper View Post
    The ATC publication aligns with the ATDist calculator, so they're either both arbitrary or both not-arbitrary. But the geographical reality is not in dispute, other than perhaps a few meters here and there. Going south, you first enter VA within a couple of miles of Harper's Ferry, and you last set foot in WV a few miles north of Pearisburg, hundreds of miles south the "official" entry into VA. I understand your point that one might plausibly reinterpret the 4 state challenge based on the arbitrary designation of the ATC given their position of oversight concerning the AT. Yet the ATC VA border designation is still rather arbitrary likely for the same practical concerns being dealt with by the ATDist calculator. Most see the 4 state challenge is met by setting foot in 4 states within 24 hours based on undisputed GPS coordinates. You can make a reasonable argument that the 4 state challenge should be 58ish miles rather than 44ish. But 44ish is both understandable and reasonable too, and currently the most accepted understanding.
    i agree both are defensible positions, and that your interpretation is most common. my first comment in this thread basically says as much. others do agree my interpretation, and its where i got the idea from. its not an original thought.

    but i dont agree that my interpretation is based in as much arbitrary decision making as you think.

    if there are 2 states and over the space of 10 miles the trail repeatedly crosses the border and one wants to designate where one state ends and the other begins perhaps the most obvious point to make that designation is at either the first or last crossing.

    the northernmost crossing in this case is not reasonable as it would leave all of a mile or so to comprise the WV section of the trail.

    similar things happen at many borders. you can find lots of lengthy discussion of where the actual MA/CT border is compared to what the AT designates as the border, for instance. also the NY/CT border is about the same. the AT designation is a certain location but there are brief crossing of the border elsewhere.

    also, and i'm not sure how much this may apply in this case, a short crossing of a border thats in relative very little length compared to the surrounding area really isnt worth noting in any official capacity, such as the area in WV further south.

    i think the judgement comes down to when the trail becomes predominantly (or maybe even overwhelmingly) in one state or another. not tied to geography stringently, but not arbitrary either. well, certainly no more arbitrary than the idea of a state border to begin with.

  7. #27

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    It used to be more simple. Back in the 1960's it was a 50 mile, four state hike. At that time you crossed the Sandy Hook bridge and slogged along the highway (in VA) for several miles leading you into HF (WVA). We did it in the Boy Scouts for several years. Pretty good memories, except for that hot highway slog at the end. Now of course you cross the railroad bridge directly into HF, and it's a long walk to the VA line. So there's a little history from an old hiker dude.

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