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Re: resuply, and N>S

>Has anyone here done it N>S ?  And, did you like it?   I've chosen that
>direction for a couple of reasons.  1. I'm primarily an introvert, and large
>crowds turn me off.  It's not that I don't like people (just the contrary).
>I just like solitude more. 2. I'm your typical slow southerner.  I tend to
>move at a laid-back pace.  Knowing that Katahdyn closes from Oct. to Apr., I
>figured that I could start in may/june and take my time heading south. Maybe
>by that time I could finish in the Birmingham area?
>I'm always interested in others thoughts and experiences.  So, any comments
>on this is more that welcome.  Either about resupply or direction of travel.
>thanks in advance,
>Tom Fort                     e-mail : tfort@teclink.net
>Mtel Technologies                     tfort@mtel.com
>Jackson, MS.                  pager : 800-755-7501

Hi Tom,
  I was a southbounder in 1992.  I loved it, and would probably do that way
again.  You're right about the solitude part.  A southbound trek is not
nearly as social.  In my case, I had a hiking partner and we stuck together
the whole way.  So the solitude wasn't nearly as bad for me as it may have
been for some other southbounders.  In '92, my partner and I were numbers 9
and 10 to reach Springer, and that was Dec. 6.  I know of at least 2 or 3
other hikers behind us, but there were probably a few more.
  We hiked with other southbounders on and off, but we were often on our
own.  I would suggest finding a compatible person to hike with, as I
understand that it can get pretty darn lonely day after day.  But a
compatible person is hard to find for a thruhike, because nobody is the
same person during or after a thruhike as they were in 'civilization'.
Maybe hike loosely with another southbounder, sometimes going ahead a day
or two, sometimes lagging behind.  These sorts of arrangements tend to work
themselves out on the trail.  Amazingly well.

  I'm a laid back southerner too, and I think that the southbound trip lets
you slow the pace a bit.  But by December, I was pretty cold, thin, and
sore.  It was time to finish and I was happy to reach Springer.  Perhaps if
I hadn't lost so much weight, I would've wanted to drag it out even more.
You'll hear a lot of people say that Springer doesn't have the majesty of
Katahdin and they're right.  Visually, it's a let down.  But after 6 months
of walking, it was nice to kiss the plaque on Springer mountain.  There was
a simple majesty about that plaque, and what it represented.

One piece of advice for the start of your trip.  Southbound is pretty rough
initially because the first leg of your trip takes you through the hundred
mile wilderness.  Nobody's in very good hiking shape at first, so this
probably takes about ten days for most new southbounders.  Buy special food
for this part of the trip.  High calorie, low weight.  I couldn't afford to
eat things like powerbars or dehydrayed meals over the entire time of my
hike, but I should have used them during the hundred mile wilderness.  Most
people will tell you that many hikes end because people push too hard right
at the first.  In the hundred mile wilderness, you feel like you do have to
push hard because the are no 'getting off points.'  Lighten your pack as
much as you can so that you don't absolutely have to rush through here.
Carry plenty of low weight food, even if it's expensive.  You'll be glad
you did.  Really.

Feel free to email me personally if I can help you (or through the list if
you want-other peple may be interested in the backward route).  I get busy
from time to time and disappear from the list, but I'll try to help you out
if I can.  I've got a soft spot for southbounders!  Also, I notice you're
in  Jackson, MS.  I'm now living in New Orleans, not all that far away (but
flat as a pancake).  Long dist calls may not be too outrageous.

Happy planning,
  --Mike   ME-->GA '92

Michael Roberts     Grad student   Dept. of Biomedical Engineering
mroberts@mailhost.tcs.tulane.edu   Tulane University