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Chaseat99 - Appalachian Trail Journal - 2014

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City: Axton
State: Virginia
Country: USA
Begins: Jul 9, 2014
Direction: Southbound

Daily Summary
Date: Mon, Aug 11th, 2014
Trip Distance: 417.5

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 2,305
Journal Visits: 10,628
Guestbook Views: 584
Guestbook Entrys: 1

Appalachian Trail Map

Time to check in

I was sort of hoping that I would be over enthused with my hike and want to continue on once I reached the much easier trail conditions that unfold after Hanover. However I only planned a month or so in advance since I knew there was a good chance that when I got to Hanover, NH I would end this hike. Now there is still plenty of time to go back and continue sobo. In a few weeks maybe the hikers will thin out a bunch too. Getting to Hanover completes a section hike that I started after my first completion in 1999. Since then I hiked the whole trail again with two big overlapping 1200 mile hikes in 2005 and 2006. Then in 2012 I walked the whole trail southbound. So this makes my fourth completion, three section hike completions and one thru hike.
This was a great hike and I took a more relaxed approach than I did in 2012. I packed pretty light staying under 25#s. I also took a few nero's or stopped a few miles from town and camped rather than pushing on that day to the lure of pizza, showers and clean cloths in town. Maine and New Hampshire are much harder to hike than most of the other 1500 miles of Appalachian Trail. The effort is great climbing rock scrambles with the reward of fantastic views above tree line. Its tedious walking that requires your full attention to avoid slipping and hurting yourself. Luckily I had pretty good river crossings unlike folks that cam through just a couple of weeks earlier and had some streams that they could not ford.
I met some nice folks along the way. Its great to get to town and spot someone that you met a while back on the trail. My biggest negative and probably a substantial part of not continuing at this time is this new fad with other hikers. I met about a dozen north bounders walking along with their radios blaring out loud. Apparently its no longer cool to be cordial and wear head phones if you want to listen to music. I don't know wear this fad come from but I find it extremely rude. I love the views and the physical activity of backpacking but the greatest part of it is listening to nature, often subtle or even quite it is the thing I love most about being outdoors. Besides you look like an idiot walking along with a radio blaring distorted music. I do not understand why you would not rather hear clear hi fidelity music from your headphones. Is it a look at me I need attention thing or perhaps from fear of being out of there element with unfamiliar sounds of nature masked by the more familiar sounds of civilization. Besides the noise will scare off scary animals? I guess that I have hiked enough that I feel completely ordinary and at home in the woods. The night sounds of deer whistling quietly to each other, the sounds of pawing the ground as they forage. These are the "all clear sounds", when the dear bark and leave the area, man, bear or dog are approaching, otherwise sleep on, all is well. One young man walked up to me to exchange trail data etc as hikers often do when they meet going opposite directions. This guy had his radio blasting the speaker all distorted, he didn't turn it down, he wanted to talk I wanted to get far away from him. He said he liked the loud noise and did not care what anybody else thought about it. Its like someone approaching you for directions and they light up a cigarette and blow smoke in your face. Can't you be polite and wait a couple of minutes to smoke, everyone doesn't like the stench of tobacco. I guess the rude, crude people are easier to remember but I will have to say that I have met a lot of good people along the trails. Earlier this year while hiking the Florida Trail I found the rural people to be very polite and hospitable. They reminded me of the hospitality I received in rural California along the PCT.
I have been helping with some trail work on our local mountain bike trails. Watched a bunch of TV, Thinking my next hike might be on the Pinhoti trails of Alabama and Georgia. I would like to connect the Appalachian trail to the Florida Trail. I have already walked the Benton McKay and South Carolina's Foothills Trail. I have my ALDHA field work to do and a few days trail work on my AT section. Most important paint the trim on the house and restore the deck with a good coating of paint.

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x...I will upload pictures here when I have wifi..........................................................Chase's Photo Gallery


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