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Re: AT expeditions/group hikes

Russ was wanting feedback re: hiking with a group or hiking alone.
For my 2 pesos worth:
	I've done both and enjoy both for different reasons. I like the 
solo part esp. since I am on my own time schedule..I tend to arise at the 
break of noon when I'm on vacation & like a leisurely hike (ok, I piddle, 
as my friends would say) so the only miles I have to do are my own. I 
also see a lot more wildlife when I'm solo as I tend to not have outloud 
conversations with myself. I like the flexibility and being responsible 
for only me (& perhaps my dog). I have some great memories of wonderful 
solo backpacks.
	On the other hand, I've often hiked with a small group of friends 
or with my buddy, Caroline. Likewise, I have some great memories of 
wonderful trips, which are even more memorable because there's two of us 
sharing the memories. When soloing on the AT, I early on hooked up with 
another solo woman for the 2 months she was out, and we had a great trip. 
Even though we were hiking together, some days she left before me & we 
met up later, some days we hiked together, some days we hooked up with 
other hikers we met on the trail & were a group for a week or two. There 
was still some flexiblity, esp. since we each were self-contained. 
	I would personally find it difficult to hook into a large group 
who I didn't know...it's just that I like to have the flexibility to 
leave if I want....
	Hope this gives you some feedback. Pat