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Re: [at-l] New hiker services for '98 season

DG wrote:
>The resupply service sounds interesting.  Will this just be in NC?  I'm
>curious about the arrangements -- will you pre-arrange shopping lists
>with hikers, or meet at the trailheads with a "mobile grocery store"? 
>This would be a great service for us section hikers who don't have the
>time to go into trail towns when they aren't really close to the trail. 
>(When I've only got a week to hike, I don't like to spend the better
>part of a day getting into town and back.)

What follows is a reply to the above inquiry. My apologies to the AT-L 
community if it does not interest you. Please read the following if you 
are interested in resupplying for a thru-hike or section hike on the AT:

My plans for a hiker service will entail the whole AT if all 
goes right. I have to look into the permit/license aspect that
is required because a service on USFS and federal lands is regulated.
I can certainly relate to the fact that it takes time to get from town
to the trailhead and back. I suppose shuttle arrangements can be
easily made through one of the folks who is listed on the Trailplace
website. In a way, I wish something existed already that ensured
a hiker could easily resupply without lost time due to transit
in and out of towns. Some say that delay part of the experience and I
agree with that sometimes as it is sporadic planning and wishing that 
you won't lose a whole day if you want to get six miles down to the 
Kroger and back to the trail and hike another 10 miles. So, hence I 
felt I might be able to help out those who see their hike in that light.

Not everyone gets excited about conveniences like this, but maybe
this can change into a system where locals along the trail 
take an interest and decide to act more to resupply and/or give rides
to hikers. Until then, plan your hike with some latitude about how
you will resupply. 

I leave it up to the hikers that are interested in such a service
to contact me further. In answer to DG's questions above, my hope is to 
be on the AT next year and meet hikers and make food runs into
town for them. How I do that is left to some decision-making on my part. 
In retrospective, when I hike on the AT, I did wish there was 
a service that would cover my resupplying needs so I could  stay on the 
trail and maximize the amount of scenery I could see on it
and minimize lost time trying to get a 3 day supply of food so I could
get to my next major trail-town stop. 

Maybe this could be a group effort next year? I don't know. I am not
thinking of going out of step with what is good measure and promise
a world of services. Instead, I think I want to do this to try something 
different and feel like I am adding to the enjoyment
of hikers' AT experience. 

I posted my website address and will be trying to make up a logistics
list of resupplying issues at major trail deopts and not so major ones. 
In effect, I think if you have not hiked on the AT at all before
then you must plan with some flexibility. If you have thru-hiked before, 
you kind of know you can wing food resupplying quite a bit
as the trail never deviates too far from towns for the most part.


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