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Poll: Shuttle at Beginning or end?

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  1. #1

    Default Shuttle at beginning or end of hike

    Stemming off of another thread - I have done both over the years. Pretty much what always determines which I do depends on what time I start my hike and how confident I am with a plan.
    If I am starting my hike at 11pm on a Friday night and want to hike 3-4 hours I will pretty much always park at the beginning and shuttle at end of the trip.
    If I am starting a hike with an unrealistic expectation of mileage I will part at the beginning and then I can get picked up wherever the plan goes out the window.
    If I am starting a hike in the AM and have a realistic plan, I will typically get the shuttle done at beginning and park at the end.

    No matter what my plan is, I am always very transparent with my shuttle driver so we are on the same page. I keep them up to date of my progress up until the point that their job is done.

    Out of all the shuttles I have setup, I have only had 1 no show no call never to hear from them again....That was a guy out of Front Royal, VA.
    I can not think of any shuttle drivers that were late.

    To add, I have gotten many shuttles at the beginning of a trip, only to have to bail half way through and get another shuttle back to the car. Getting a shuttle at the end of the hike eliminates that double shuttling.
    Last edited by Gambit McCrae; 02-05-2021 at 10:02.
    Trail Miles: 4,090.3 - AT Trips: 71
    AT Map 1: 2004.8
    AT Map 2: 265.0
    Sheltowee Trace Map: 116.0
    BMT Map: 57.7
    Pinhoti Trail Map: 31.5

  2. #2
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    I park at the start and how ever far I get is where I shuttle back from. I did it the opposite and didnt like the pressure of sticking to a plan. Some days I'll exceed my mileage plan. I've often ended up going past my end point and adjusted the pick up accordingly. For me it seems best if I just go and figure it out later rather than trying to stick to a plan working as planned and not stressing out in the process. Too many variables with where I'll be in 7 days to make a parked vehicle the best choice for me.

  3. #3
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    On the couple of occasions where I have driven to a trailhead and used a one way shuttle, I have always done so at the start of the hike so that I'd be walking back to the car. This way, I'm not constrained by a schedule on the hike if I'm ahead or behind and there's no need to coordinate changes with the shuttle driver. Especially useful if there is limited cell connectivity.

  4. #4
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    Not every hiker is as ambitious as Gambit! Yes, sometimes we've had to cut a hike short, but it's been rare. I remember once being out in a January all-day rain, and it was kinda miserable, so we bailed. Another time I had a bellyache and didn't feel up to continuing. That one was pretty inconvenient because it left an "orphan" piece of 13 miles (in N VA, a 7 hour drive) that we had to take care of in another trip. There was also a time when we'd attempted a 4-day section in Georgia over Thanksgiving. It was very cold, light snow on the ground, and we found we'd forgotten a sleeping bag (3 people, 2 bags). We toughed it out that night and the next, but were happy to get off trail a day early.

    However, MOST of the time, we pretty well know how far we can get in a day, and plan conservatively.

    A shuttle at the start of a hike has usually been the easiest to manage, but there have been a few times when we've started late in the evening, and just parked the car and started walking. That works too.

  5. #5

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    Almost always got myself/ourselves back and forth on our own. This meant a lot of loop hikes and in and outs.
    When I started at Springer with a friend I stayed at the Hiker Hostel and was shuttled N of Springer. And when I left the trail I had a friend pick me up. So I guess that would a shuttle at each end.

    Once when hiking the Hundred Mile Wilderness with a small group the organizer hired someone to shuttle the vehicles to the campground/area near Katahdin for our post hike exit.
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    That one was pretty inconvenient because it left an "orphan" piece of 13 miles (in N VA, a 7 hour drive) that we had to take care of in another trip.
    That would be a good time for a split day hike/overnight en route to somewhere else - drop one at one end, other drives to the other and transfer keys when you meet.

  7. #7

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    I mostly hike bus station to bus station (or train station). Some of these locations require a shuttle to the trail, others a shuttle from the trail. The "to the trail" rides I simply called a taxi. Knoxville to Gatlinburg cost me $100 plus tip. Ouch. The "from the trail" shuttles I was able to arrange the day I needed them.

    Twice I was close enough to home I just hitch hiked the rest of the way
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  8. #8
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    I've done a shuttle at the end, and have also parked in the middle and shuttled at both ends. The later offers the opportunity to resupply from my trunk and a drive to the grocery store. On my last section, I was able to park right off the trail, and that's not always an option. Given the opportunity again, I'd park in the middle and shuttle to the ends.

  9. #9

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    I would prefer to park at the end, shuttle to the beginning and hike back to the car. However, sometimes my travel plans don't allow me to get on the trail until 2 or 3pm, and at that point, I'm not wanting to get delayed for another hour or whatever for a shuttle. So if there was an "it depends" option, I'd vote for that.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    I mostly hike bus station to bus station (or train station). Some of these locations require a shuttle to the trail, others a shuttle from the trail. The "to the trail" rides I simply called a taxi. Knoxville to Gatlinburg cost me $100 plus tip. Ouch.


    shoulda got ahold of me----i would have only charged 99.99......and no tip needed....


    seriously though, if i am in town, and it works out in my schedule, drop me a line....

    im currently in MD for a few months settling my dad's estate but once this is done, I plan on buying a house on the NC side
    of the mountains....

    and im retired so dont have to worry about a work schedule.....


    just as long as im not on the road seeing music or anything like that-----and i can make it work, i have no
    problem giving rides............

    just as long as you can stand a conversation with me and some good ol grateful dead on the speakers.......

    some people have been known to jump out while the car is moving though....

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    shoulda got ahold of me----i would have only charged 99.99......and no tip needed....seriously though, if i am in town, and it works out in my schedule, drop me a line....
    Thanks for the offer, not sure I'll be down that way again. That was going on 11 years ago.

    The story gets worse. $120 to get to Gatlinburg (not counting bus fare to Knoxville). $40 for a room at the Grand Prix. Four days later I'm at the Groundhog Creek shelter, not feeling very well. Spent an extra day there, feeling worse. I hike out on what turned out to be an abandoned trail which dead ended at the interstate. I walk to an off ramp exit and was able to score a ride back to Standing Bear. Next day I have them shuttle me to Hot Springs. $50 shuttle and a $40 motel room. Still not feeling good. Decided I best go home. Yet another $50 shuttle to Ashville to the bus station.
    I finally get home and I'm now feeling really bad. I go to the clinic - he sends me right to the ER. Seems I was developing an infected liver abscess and it was about to burst and painfully kill me. 2 weeks in the hospital and $26,000 later I'm mostly back to normal. That turned into one wicked expensive 4 day hiking trip!
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=misterblitz;2280536] park in the middle and shuttle to the ends.[/QUOTE
    This is an idea I'm going to test. Good thinking, misterblitz.

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