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Re: Northbound vs. Southbound

I had the pleasure of hiking both directions on my flip-flop thru-hike in 
'94.  Ended up hikingabout 200 miles more inthe southbound direction.  
Biggest difference was the attitude of hikers.  I thought some northbounders 
were motivated by the community atmosphere, the partying in towns, and the 
thrill of finishing on Kathadin by October (hence had to maintain a 
schedule).  The southbounders I hiked with were more relaxed and because 
there were fewer of them, seemed more interested in being on the Trail to 
hike.  Kind of depends what you are looking for your hiking experience.  
Bugs (huge mosquitos) and raging streams are waiting for you inJune in 
Maine, but the scenery is incredible.  The crowds await in the South, but 
it's nice to be with other novice thru-hikers and go through the same 
trials together.  Besides I think the Southern forests and balds are just 
as, if not more, awing for their simple splendor than the "big hills" up 
north.  The best part of the Trail is not up North; it's wherever you 
feel the most at home on the Trail.  There are problems with both 
directions, but the benefits definitely outweigh them.  

Trail Snail, GA>Harpers Ferry<ME '94 

On Sun, 7 Apr 1996, Sandra Downs wrote:

> Sorry, I don't doubt this discussion has gone on before, but I missed it.
> Pros/Cons of starting AT from one direction or the other? Especially would
> like to hear from those who went southbound, since most go north. Given my
> family & friends live central to south, I thought heading south might be
> best. Any & all comments appreciated. Thanks.
> - Sandy 
> Sandra & David Downs 		<downs@nb.net>
>  Pittsburgh, PA        	     	Visit Cyberwall! http://www.nb.net/~downs/