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Re: Starting dates for thru-hikers

On Sat, 3 Feb 1996, MR JOE CASTLE wrote:
> When are the thru-hiking 
> hopefuls setting out this year? When do the thru-hikers from previous 
> years think is the best time? I would like to avoid starting with a 
> huge crowd, but with all the publicity the AT received last year, I 
> don't know if it will be possible, especially since I can start no 
> earlier than mid- to late-March for financial reasons -- gotta save 
> up some cash! (Of course, the most important thing is just starting, 
> be it with a crowd of 10 or 1,000.)
>    Any suggestions/advice?

	When I started my hike in 81, I didn't start until 1st of June 
for the same reasons (financial). I knew then I wouldn't make Katahdin by 
closing date (Oct. 15) but I figured I'd go until I felt it was time to 
quit (i.e. my money or enthusiam wore out), I ended my hike in the snow 
at the end of Nov. in NH, after doing a flip-flop at the end of the 
Shenandoahs...It was a great time to hike...all the rhododendrums & mtn 
azaleas in full-bloom in the South, the progression of Fall in Me. in 
Oct. I've saved Baxter & Katahdin for my finale...
	But, I digress....the best time to start is whenever you can! 
There are adventures waiting you any time of year! It is a good idea to 
start when you have the finances under control...midway I had a friend 
sell my kayak just so I could stay in the woods...But, do go. You will 
enjoy what you see... Pat

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