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Dave & Tara -
Welcome to the list - glad you said hello
>I've been lurking around this mailing list for a while, not wanting to
>write anything until I had given my notice at work. Today was the big
>day, so I can go public.
This is a real good idea in some cases - I advertised too much before I left to
go on the AT. It created problems for me later.
> My wife Tara and I will be starting a thru hike
>the first week of May. I can't start any earlier because I'm finishing
>up a part time masters degree. This brings up a few questions.
>Will there be any reasonable chance of finishing a traditional GA -> ME
>thru hike if we start around 5/5? If so, will it have to be rushed to a
Ron Kessler is right - it'll take steady 15s on the average. Don't push
yourself too hard in the south, though. That's where a lot of people blow
out their knees by either carrying too much weight or trying to make big
miles before they're ready. If you can make 10 - 15's in the south, you
should have enough time. You'll be able to make up some time in the mid
Atlantic states. I'll send you some information on a 5 month hike schedule
on the backchannel. There's not much - it's just an adjustment in the
mileages, but you might find it useful.
For comparison, Warren Doyle's expedition last year started at the end
of April and finished on Labor Day weekend. As I recall they averaged a
little under 20 mile days. But they used a support vehicle and carried
VERY light packs most of the time.
>If we can't hike straight through what might be some of our other
>alternatives? We thought about a flip-flop, but we've talked to another
>couple who finished a thru hike 10 years ago and they said it might be
>quite a disappointment if you don't complete a hike at Katahdin.
Flip-flops are not uncommon. I know people who finished their hike at
Harpers Ferry, Duncannon, Delaware Water Gap, Mt Washington and a
few less well known places - like Dismal Falls. Personal opinion is that
Katahdin is best, but as I just wrote in another context - you do what
you have to do.
>Will there be others starting around this time, or will we be with only
>day hikers and weekend hikers?
There will probably still be a few starters in May. You're not the only
one who has the time constraints of school.