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Thread: Aqua Blaze 2012

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    Default Aqua Blaze 2012

    I know a couple folks have already done the Shenandoah River Aqua Blaze this year. Any reports/ reviews?

    Also, are there any Trail Angels that have access to some canoes (Waynesboro to Harpers)? I am trying to get ahold of 2 canoes for my friends and I. Thanks!!!

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    In '04 my daughter Grass and her group decided to aqua blaze on the Shenandoah around the SNP. In the first half hour, someone in the group (not my daughter!) wrapped their canoe around a partially submerged tree.

    That was the end of the group's lazy wet unfaithfulness to the AT!

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    I'm just about to do it..... not sure it's going to be lazy.... quite the opposite in fact. in waynesboro....river low...kick ass deal on a boat...yeaahhh

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    My take on the Aqua blaze is when a person hikes from springer MT and makes it to Wynesboro there tired of the same old grind day in and day out and their ready for something different and the Aqua Blaze offers that and it is an afficial AT route, but i have never done the Aqua Blaze i have always hiked the SNP which in my oppinion is a pretty hike unless its rainning. RED-DOG

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    Did Elkton, VA - Luray, VA. Two portages, some great white water and an excellent rope swing!
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    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RED-DOG View Post
    My take on the Aqua blaze is when a person hikes from springer MT and makes it to Wynesboro there tired of the same old grind day in and day out and their ready for something different and the Aqua Blaze offers that and it is an afficial AT route, but i have never done the Aqua Blaze i have always hiked the SNP which in my oppinion is a pretty hike unless its rainning. RED-DOG

    It might be a great diversion, but could you quote your source on the Shenandoah River being "an official route" of the AT?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyline View Post
    It might be a great diversion, but could you quote your source on the Shenandoah River being "an official route" of the AT?
    Color me arrogant but I asked about aqua blazing the trail...at the ATC HQ in Harpers...the VERY helpful and cool guy running it that day said "IT IS NOT NOR IS CONSIDERED A PART OF THE A.T". You can believe me or ask the gentleman at the HQ

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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishBASTARD View Post
    Color me arrogant but I asked about aqua blazing the trail...at the ATC HQ in Harpers...the VERY helpful and cool guy running it that day said "IT IS NOT NOR IS CONSIDERED A PART OF THE A.T". You can believe me or ask the gentleman at the HQ
    Exactly. Still waiting to hear from RED-DOG.

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    I just got in today from Aquablazing to Harpers Ferry. We did all the way from Port Republic (Waynesboro water levels were to low) to about 10 Miles short of HF.
    Apart from some really shallow passage it was just great. We got a 2 person kanu and a Kayak and it worked out great. I got to say though, it is not really "easier" than hiking. Paddling for 8 hours a day makes you feel your arm and shoulder muscles. Especially after hiking for almost 2 months.

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    In the full sun exposure of the river and away from the shade of the green tunnel, I hope you had sufficient sun protection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Horsa View Post
    I just got in today from Aquablazing to Harpers Ferry. We did all the way from Port Republic (Waynesboro water levels were to low) to about 10 Miles short of HF.
    Apart from some really shallow passage it was just great. We got a 2 person kanu and a Kayak and it worked out great. I got to say though, it is not really "easier" than hiking. Paddling for 8 hours a day makes you feel your arm and shoulder muscles. Especially after hiking for almost 2 months.
    If you make it to Katahdin are you going to apply for a 2000 miler patch?
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    Quote Originally Posted by WingedMonkey View Post
    If you make it to Katahdin are you going to apply for a 2000 miler patch?
    may i? still the hike is over 2000 Miles

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    Quote Originally Posted by Horsa View Post
    may i? still the hike is over 2000 Miles
    Of course you may.
    The trouble I have with campfires are the folks that carry a bottle in one hand and a Bible in the other.
    You never know which one is talking.

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    I've read (but never been able to confirm) that Benton MacKaye encouraged hikers to paddle the Shenandoah as a form of protest against the proposed construction of Skyline Drive. He thought the road would ruin the AT experience (and he'd never even heard a Harley engine through the woods). I can't comment on whether Aquablazing is an official AT route, but it certainly involves the thru-hiker spirit and you're still moving toward Katahdin under muscle power.

    I agree with the poster above; it's not necessarily easier than hiking; it's just a different kind of muscle soreness.

    Get in touch with me when you're in Waynesboro. I have a business, Aquablaze Solutions, that does nothing but get thru-hikers on the river.

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    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vitamaltz View Post
    I've read (but never been able to confirm) that Benton MacKaye encouraged hikers to paddle the Shenandoah as a form of protest against the proposed construction of Skyline Drive.......


    Well, this issue's been settled for about 75 years so it is not relevant today, though the MacKaye vs. Avery disagreement re: Skyline Drive during the AT's infancy is well documented. (At least any possible 75+ year-old Skyline Drive "protest" isn't a current-day justification for bypassing a lot of mileage on the AT and still signing the ATC form one signs when applying for official recognition of hiking the entire AT.)

    But just out of curiosity, do you recall where you read that MacKaye encouraged AT hikers to paddle a river instead of hiking on a trail?

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    Well i could be wrong no bodies perfect you know.

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    To claim a paddle as part of the AT is just plain bogus. You can convince yourself that taking the bus to Vermont is part of the trail. Aqua blazing is just a form of yellow blazing. Hike your own hike has to be an actual hike not a bike boat or car ride. What pussies.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WingedMonkey View Post
    Of course you may.
    My statement should have been more clear, of course you may apply, you can skateboard down the Blue Ridge and apply.
    I suppose it depends on how the ATC is judging honesty these days.
    The trouble I have with campfires are the folks that carry a bottle in one hand and a Bible in the other.
    You never know which one is talking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyline View Post
    But just out of curiosity, do you recall where you read that MacKaye encouraged AT hikers to paddle a river instead of hiking on a trail?
    I could be wrong, but I think it was in a historical photo book about the AT in Virginia that I saw in a hardware store. I sure would like to track it down. The only reason I mention it is that the perception of the AT experience is constantly changing. I maintain trail in SNP and certainly think it's worth hiking through, but I don't think an aquablazer's experience is any less valid than someone who hoofs it through the park.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vitamaltz View Post
    I could be wrong, but I think it was in a historical photo book about the AT in Virginia that I saw in a hardware store. I sure would like to track it down. The only reason I mention it is that the perception of the AT experience is constantly changing. I maintain trail in SNP and certainly think it's worth hiking through, but I don't think an aquablazer's experience is any less valid than someone who hoofs it through the park.

    If you ever come across that book again, please post the name/publisher here. I for one would find it worth perusing, and others may also.

    You're right, the river experience is certainly valid insofar as an adventure is concerned. Hike your own hike, paddle your own boat.

    I think many of us here are narrowing the discussion to what actually does comprise a hike of the entire AT, onlyas it regards applying to the ATC for official recognition (the rocker bar/patch, the certificate, having your name published as having accomplished a hike of the entire AT). You have to sign an appllication for that recognition, and nowhere on that application does it mention boating on a river several miles from the AT as a valid substitution. In fact, it specifically cites hiking the entire AT as the expectation.

    It's all on the honor system, as ATC does not have the staff to verify every application. So, one might conclude: that to be "honorable," if he or she is going to do the aqua-blaze, that person should return to the part of the AT missed and hike that part of the Trail before signing the application.

    Some hikers do just that. And some do not. Does that make their hike (and aqua-blaze) less "valid" than someone who hiked the actual trail? Nope. Is it less of an accomplishment? Nope. Less of an adventure? Nope. Does it mean he or she should expect ATC to officially recognize their accomplishment as if the entire AT was hiked when it was not? You probably don't need anyone to tell you the answer.
    Last edited by Skyline; 07-16-2012 at 23:32.

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