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  1. #1
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    Default 2014 SOBOers thread

    OK, who's going SOBO? There are fewer of us, and we face a slightly different set of challenges than the NOBOs, so I thought a thread of our own for checking in, getting acquainted, and asking questions would be a good idea.

    I had originally planned to go SOBO in 2013, but life got in the way. 2014 is my year - I hope.

    Trail name: Forrest (I use my middle name when on the trail - seems appropriate).

    Start date: July 12th (how's that for being specific!)

    I did the 100 mile wilderness in late June 2013, as sort of a shakedown hike, so I would know what to expect. It wasn't too bad. The first half was relatively flat and fairly easy. No need to dawdle, since it gets much worse when the climbs start. Mosquitoes were bad, black flies not so much. It was very wet, with high-water crossings. Anyway, I will get to do it again next July.

    And I'm going on another shakedown hike in the Smokies in December. I did one in Dec 2012 too, and it was cold, wet and dark. But a July start probably means a finish in December (for me anyway), so it's best to know what to expect...

  2. #2
    Registered User Tri-Pod Bob's Avatar
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    Hi, forrest! My plans until about 3 days ago were set in stone.....SOBO on June 1st. Now, I may have to alter it some & do a 'flip-flop' thru attempt. Seems grandchild #4 will be arriving about that time! So, I'm thinking I may leave from Mt. Greylock July 1st & go north, then back to W.Mass for the SOBO finish. Good chance, still, of meeting on trail, I figure. I'll probably see you in NH & perchance be on track to go south when you are in this area. I'm in the process of getting the logistics for a 'flip' worked out, so, we'll see what the next couple of months turns up. Thanks for starting this thread for those of us that aren't 'go with the flow' types! Peace!
    Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
    Chief Seattle

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tri-Pod Bob View Post
    Hi, forrest! My plans until about 3 days ago were set in stone.....SOBO on June 1st. Now, I may have to alter it some & do a 'flip-flop' thru attempt. Seems grandchild #4 will be arriving about that time! So, I'm thinking I may leave from Mt. Greylock July 1st & go north, then back to W.Mass for the SOBO finish. Good chance, still, of meeting on trail, I figure. I'll probably see you in NH & perchance be on track to go south when you are in this area. I'm in the process of getting the logistics for a 'flip' worked out, so, we'll see what the next couple of months turns up. Thanks for starting this thread for those of us that aren't 'go with the flow' types! Peace!
    Good luck with the flip-flop - that's another good option when the schedule doesn't work out.

    By the way - I'm a hammock-hanger too.

  4. #4
    Registered User Tri-Pod Bob's Avatar
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    Thank you. I'm glad there are options for me to look at regarding the AT thru attempt. After being a 4 season ground sleeper for 50 yrs, I struggled to get a good rest once I hit 40 or so. Especially in the cold months. I found the world of hammock sleep this past June & it changed my outdoor experiences around! I like to bushwhack more than trail hike & have often taken off for a week or more of adventure/escape. Usually after 2 or 3 nights in a t**t, the ache would start & I'd find myself thinking about cutting back on the duration of my treks. Grateful to have those thoughts disappear!
    Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
    Chief Seattle

  5. #5

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    "Run For-rest, run!!"---Ok, enough with the Forest Gump reference. Hi!!---I just wanted to add myself to this discussion since there exists some possibility of a SOBO in 2014, probably starting in early August. You see, I'm actually a NOBO in 2014, beginning March 1!--The issue is that I hope to begin law school in August of 2014, so that's the probable end date for my thru-hike, BUT there is still a small chance that I may wait for the Spring 2015 entry date (which some of the schools I've applied to have). This would mean I have about 5 more months to kill, and therefore the SOBO option!--I've heard this is called a Yo-Yo thru-hike, or something to that effect. Obviously this is a monumental undertaking and will just as obviously depend on my health at the time---so we'll see. Anyway, it'll be interesting to note the SOBO comments.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoufromFWB View Post
    "Run For-rest, run!!"---Ok, enough with the Forest Gump reference. Hi!!---I just wanted to add myself to this discussion since there exists some possibility of a SOBO in 2014, probably starting in early August. You see, I'm actually a NOBO in 2014, beginning March 1!--The issue is that I hope to begin law school in August of 2014, so that's the probable end date for my thru-hike, BUT there is still a small chance that I may wait for the Spring 2015 entry date (which some of the schools I've applied to have). This would mean I have about 5 more months to kill, and therefore the SOBO option!--I've heard this is called a Yo-Yo thru-hike, or something to that effect. Obviously this is a monumental undertaking and will just as obviously depend on my health at the time---so we'll see. Anyway, it'll be interesting to note the SOBO comments.
    Yo-yo hikers are crazy Hike Georgia to Maine, then turn right around and hike back! Of course there is this to be said for it - you get to see the scenery from a different direction on the way back...

  7. #7

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    Yeah, that's kinda the reaction I get whenever I mention the possibility. "Are you crazy?!"----We'll just have to wait and see how I feel, or if I can (law school possibility). I do look at it differently though. For me it's just returning home. On any "normal" trip taken the norm is to return via the same route, so I look at it that way. Though the argument may be this is not a normal trip, for me this is simply climbing a mountain and then coming down---though the analogy may be extreme to some. Anyway, for now it's NOBO---that's enough of a challenge for my mind to tackle at this moment---only time will show the final outcome. See you on the trail---NOBO or SOBO--WHO KNOWS?

  8. #8
    Registered User virginia jen's Avatar
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    I'm Jen. No trail name yet.
    Starting June 6th, going southbound.
    I've hiked a couple hundred miles of the trail at home in Virginia, and can't wait to see what the rest of it holds

  9. #9
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    I was originally planning for a NOBO hike starting in March 2014 but started to worry about the financials. I want to make sure I plan for the worst case scenario and have enough money to get by for at least 8 months upon return if my employer will not give me a leave of absence. I started looking into a SOBO hike a month or two ago and the thought of it has been growing on me. A mid to late June start would keep me from having to break my lease and paying the fees (I had already added them into my original budget). I was thinking that starting on June 30th would be a nice 44th birthday gift to myself! I live in the Atlanta area (little over an hour from Springer Mountain) and would be hiking "home". The weather this time of year is pretty good for hiking. Usually 30's-40's at night and 50's during the day. A good time to finish up The only draw back being fewer hours of daylight. So that is the plan for now, and I know things can change between now and then. Heck, I could get laid-off next week and a NOBO hike will start looking real good again.

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    AtlantaDave, I'm in Atlanta too, well SW of the city out in the country. Getting to the trail involves driving either around or through Atlanta for me. Not usually a problem unless I decide to go up on a Friday afternoon!

    So I'm walking home too. I'm planing another shakedown hike in the Smokies in December. The lack of daylight is one of the worst things - the nights can be cold, dark, and long. Hopefully I will finish before Christmas next year - if I don't, you can just shoot me and put me out of my misery.

  11. #11
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    Hi Forrest,
    I am SOBO-ing, solo, starting around July 1, and ending (I hope at Springer) in early December.
    I say "hope" because while I have spent some extended time on a trail, this will be a challenge to my knees and my old gear.
    I started a journal at trailjournals and it has a gear list...spinoza is the name.
    I can't wait to start, and hope to see and hear from you then.
    nick

  12. #12
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    You guys are all starting before me! Oh well, I can't start till July 12. That's OK, stop and smell the roses so I can catch up...

    Nick P, I'll check out your trailjournal. I'm working on one...

  13. #13
    Registered User Drybones's Avatar
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    What's the start date for most SOBOers?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drybones View Post
    What's the start date for most SOBOers?
    Map Man has a really good article here: http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/cont...T-Hiking-Rates

    The hikers that he followed had these start dates:

    4 started in May
    21 in June (54%)
    13 in July
    1 in August

    Katahdin doesn't usually open until around the first of June. Then, if you want to finish before Christmas, you can't wait too late. That pretty much defines the window for SOBO thru hiker starts.



  15. #15
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    The main constraint on my SOBO schedule is winter in the Smokies. I don't want to be hiking there in December...it's too bloody cold there in November.

    I live in NW FL and also view the SOBO as a walk home. In fact, if I stay on schedule, I may keep going past Springer, and take the Benton Mackay and Pinhoti Trails towards home.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick P View Post
    The main constraint on my SOBO schedule is winter in the Smokies. I don't want to be hiking there in December...it's too bloody cold there in November.

    I live in NW FL and also view the SOBO as a walk home. In fact, if I stay on schedule, I may keep going past Springer, and take the Benton Mackay and Pinhoti Trails towards home.
    I agree about the Smokies in December. But I don't have much choice, so will have to live with it. I went last December for a week starting and ending at Fontana. It was wet and cold, with long nights in the hammock. I'm going again in a couple of weeks for 5 days.

    I've done the AL Pinhoti - very nice trail. I liked the section south of I-20 best. It's pretty mild overall. There's basically just the one long ridge, and you're walking on it.

  17. #17
    Registered User Dahoyt's Avatar
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    Hey everyone, i"m going SOBO, starting July 1st. Very excited. Hoping to complete by Thanksgiving (ambitious i know), but realisticly know it might be into early December. Anyone else starting July 1st wanna start together, let me know!

  18. #18

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    I'm looking at a start date around June 15th. No telling how far I'll get, but I've got 8 weeks to work with. Trying to whittle my pack weight down and increase my endurance over the next six months so that I can comfortably hike some long days and cover as much ground as possible (while still enjoying the trip).

  19. #19
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    That's great Dahoyt and CalebJ. I did my section hike last year around the end of June and there were plenty of hikers in the 100 mile wilderness - and at Shaw's Hostel in Monson.

  20. #20
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    Another MEGA checking in.

    I'm planning to leave around July 4th, and I'm already counting down the days! Hope to see some of y'all out there.

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