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Thread: Itís Done!!!

  1. #41

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    Well, yes, the trail legs aspect is the hardest part of section hiking. That, logistics, and efficiency. I always marveled at how quickly thrus would set up and take down their tents and hammocks, prepare a meal, etc., while I was fumbling in my pack for items I needed, especially for the first few days.

    My longest section, Damascus to Amicalola, took me about two months, and I did develop a semblance of trail legs, which meant endurance, not speed. I could just keep going at my (some would say glacial) pace of roughly three miles in two hours.

  2. #42
    Registered User foodbag's Avatar
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    Hearty congratulations, with many stories to tell in the years to come!
    Long-distance aspirations with short-distance feet.... :jump

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    I wish I knew what it was like to have trail legs. I used to spend a good amount of time thinking about the differences between section and thru hiking. They are many. I have done this only three years. I start walking two miles a day up and down local hills once daylight savings time hits. By Memorial Day I am in pretty decent shape and I do a short section hike (Ima kill it on the PA rocks, 35 miles at a time), then by Mid summer I am in better shape and do my long summer section. I shoot for a combined 110 miles a year. I am in pretty good hiking shape, I feel, by the summer, but most of my miles are because I get up at the crack of dawn, I don't mess around or stand around and I just hike. But I see stronger hikers than me, usually thrus, and I wonder...what is it like to just go like that. Like I think I am in good shape until I see them go past. When I was waiting for my ride in Rangeley on my latest section, two knuckleheads sat down by me and started smoking pot. One of them had done the AT NOBO, the PCT twice and the AZT, and was on a SOBO AT hike. I asked him how long it takes to get trail legs and he immediately replied 300 miles. I wish I knew how that felt and wondered what others think it takes when the trail legs kick in. I've always felt pretty good hiking just doing it the way i do.
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    Finishing the AT sometime in 2037.

  4. #44
    13-45 Section Hiker Trash Berserker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joefryfry View Post
    I wish I knew what it was like to have trail legs.
    Yeah, me too. The closest I've ever come, and I think I was still a couple of weeks and 100 miles off was when I did the JMT. I was out for 20 days and calculated that I did close to 230 miles (one thing not often mentioned is that after summitting Whitney it's still 15 miles to get down to the portal). I was starting to finally get into a groove towards the end. I also lost 15lbs (and I'm kind of a skinny dude to start with), and was starting to develop an insatiable hunger I had never felt before. It would definitely be interesting to get to that point to see what's it's like.
    AT: 2007-2019 (45 sections)
    JMT: 2013

  5. #45
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    I guess I can claim the prize for the shortest longest section. We've completed about 95% of the trail, finishing up next year. Our longest section was 103 miles SOBO from a road crossing in Great Barrington MA to Fahnestock State Park in NY. Most other week-long sections have been 75-85 miles. And of course we've got a few dozen weekend trips as well.

    Like others, I wish I knew what a thru-hikers trail legs are like. But even after a section, I've felt a real difference in my legs. There's a hardness to the muscle, a bit of steel in the bone, and some spring in the joints. And then it's over and I turn back into mush.

    Congratulations on your finish, Berserker! High five!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    I guess I can claim the prize for the shortest longest section. We've completed about 95% of the trail, finishing up next year. Our longest section was 103 miles SOBO from a road crossing in Great Barrington MA to Fahnestock State Park in NY. Most other week-long sections have been 75-85 miles. And of course we've got a few dozen weekend trips as well.

    Like others, I wish I knew what a thru-hikers trail legs are like. But even after a section, I've felt a real difference in my legs. There's a hardness to the muscle, a bit of steel in the bone, and some spring in the joints. And then it's over and I turn back into mush.

    Congratulations on your finish, Berserker! High five!!!!
    Once you finish, 103 miles would be the lowest known record. At 95%, sounds likely this will happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyPaper View Post
    Once you finish, 103 miles would be the lowest known record. At 95%, sounds likely this will happen.
    Maybe so - on this thread anyway. More than likely there are at least dozens of 2000-milers who have a lower longest section, but they're not here to share. We have about 130 miles to go, but it's discontinuous, the largest incomplete section being only 62.5 miles from Pinkham Notch to EB Hill Road.

  8. #48

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    Congratulations on an impressive accomplishment!

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    Maybe so - on this thread anyway. More than likely there are at least dozens of 2000-milers who have a lower longest section, but they're not here to share. We have about 130 miles to go, but it's discontinuous, the largest incomplete section being only 62.5 miles from Pinkham Notch to EB Hill Road.
    Understood. This is not a widely discussed metric and as far as I know I'm the first person to bring it up. Although there are likely some that have beat this record, based on knowing other section hikers there would only likely be a very small number who have beat this record. Also, I don't know how many do the 100 mile wilderness in multiple chunks. I know it's possible, but normal practice means that few are going to complete the trail without at least one 100 mile segment. My guess is that there are fewer than "dozens", but that's just my guess and I respect your guess which comes from your own familiarity with the trail community.

    Maybe we'll popularize this metric and inspire hikers to actually seek to set the record for the "shortest longest section". Then we'd have to make rules. For example if you went back and hiked 200 miles over a section you'd already hiked, I'd suggest that doesn't matter since you don't need to count that 200 mile section to have completed the trail.
    Last edited by FlyPaper; 08-21-2019 at 10:45.

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