View Full Version : Bump-Boxes

2003-01-08, 01:51
Any thoughts on BumpBoxes?
I used one for a short while last year. I found it very convenient for bulk items. I also used it for sending summer stuff ahead, It was nasty hotnhumid
one week, then a sleet storm came up in the Grayson highlands. It seemed kinda expensive though. And I either had too much box(shipping weight costs) or not enough box(summer fleece)

2003-01-08, 10:06
Well, I didn't use a bounce box, and didn't miss it either.

I did mail clothing home when no longer needed, changed out sleeping bags, etc.

My mail drops included sets of maps, pages from Wingfoot, and film. And I mailed off the maps and pages I was done with.

2003-01-08, 12:56
I plan on using a bounce box to the towns I plan a zero day in - mainly for resupply items like shampoo, batteries, etc...and maybe some cold weather gear until I'm 100% sure I won't need it.


2003-01-08, 13:11
One thing that I will add to my bouce box is town clothes. I ran into trouble when I tried to wash my clothes, as they were the only clothes I had (I didn't carry an extras).

2003-01-08, 14:54
One thing that I will add to my bouce box is town clothes. I ran into trouble when I tried to wash my clothes, as they were the only clothes I had (I didn't carry an extras).

Just realized this. That is an excellent thing to know! I'm now considering one for my '04 hike (obviously not just on this point alone).

2003-01-08, 15:48
We got a lot of use out of ours. Extra med supplies, film, camera battery, batteries, extra meals we didn't need right away, gear that we would need later, extra candy bars etc etc.

never saw the need for town clothes. When we washed we wore our rain suit. That rain suit tended to small like a$$ after a while though...

We had mail drops too. Those were a waste of money for us.

gravity man

2003-01-08, 15:56
Some other items in my bounce box include - toenail clippers, roll of extra Duct Tape, additional Zip-lock plastic bags, extra pair of socks!

2003-01-08, 18:17
Someone should make a list for the bounce box and post it as even I forget everything we had...

in addition we also had hair clippers, girly shampoo/shower things, razor, shaving cream, boot water proofer until we switched to sneakers, batteries, the data book/Handbook/companion that we were cutting up

Some other things I'm sure...

Gravity man

2003-01-08, 20:58
Hey ...I thought that's what rain gear was for ...to wear when you go to do laundry. How else (other than BO) can you tell the thru-hikers from the locals??

2003-01-09, 09:14
Originally posted by Toot
Hey ...I thought that's what rain gear was for ...to wear when you go to do laundry. How else (other than BO) can you tell the thru-hikers from the locals??

Well, maybe it's a guy thing, but I didn't wear my rain jacket while doing laundry. I went topless. Now, I didn't carry rain pants for most of the trek either.

2003-01-09, 09:27
TMI !! :)

2003-01-09, 10:06
Baltimore Jacks Original Article on Resupply

Springer Mtn., GA to Damascus, VA

1 – I generally start with 3 – 4 days of food / supplies, which is more than sufficient to get from Amicalola
Falls State Park to Neels Gap, a distance of just under 40 miles. The amount you start with depends, of
course, on whether you’re going to take a full day hiking the Approach Trail to Springer, and also how many
miles you anticipate per day for your first week.

2 – The Walasi-Yi Center, Neels Gap. (30.7 miles from Springer) A great place for a small maildrop, though
not entirely necessary as they sell sufficient food to get you through the next stretch. Also, a great place to
field-strip your pack and send home stuff you discover you don’t need.

3 – Dick’s Creek Gap / US 76 (36.1 from Neels Gap). This is the road that leads to the nearby town of
Hiawassee. The hitching is easy; avoid the local who makes an annual appearance by offering you a ride to
town and then lets you know in Hiawassee that he expects to be paid. You shouldn’t have to pay for a ride,
either here or anywhere else, unless you want to offer gas money to someone taking you a very long way.
Hiawassee is a great trail town, 2 good supermarkets, other services available as well. Some of the motels
will accept mail drops, but check with them first; this will enable you to bypass the post office. As always,
though, if you ever send mail to a non-post office place (business, motel, hostel, etc.) and if you end up NOT
staying there for some reason (like your friends are staying elsewhere, or you decide not to overnight in town,
or whatever) offer the folks a few dollars for safeguarding and holding your mail. In most cases, they’ll turn you
down, but it’s a nice gesture.

4 – Some folks resupply in Franklin, NC (Winding Stair Gap, just over 40 miles from Hiawassee); some go to
Rainbow Springs Campground just before there (the crossing is at Wallace Gap). On my last hike I did
neither, since I didn’t need resupply. Whether or not you layover here is largely dependent on how the
weather has been treating you, and how badly you need a night under a roof and real food.

5 – The Nantahala Outdoor Center on the trail (universally known as the NOC) at US 19 (about 27 miles past
Franklin) is a great place to resupply. They hold mail, plus they have a fairly good selection of trail food. Very
well run, very thru-hiker friendly place.

6 – Fontana Dam (27 miles later, or 161.7 from Springer). You will need re-supply here before entering the
Smokies. If you’re staying out at the dam in the big shelter, or in Fontana Village, I absolutely suggest a good
maildrop as the resupply offered at the Fontana Village store is spotty, overpriced, and incomplete,
especially as hordes of starving thru-hikers have most likely pillaged the place before you got there. Other
idea; if you stay at the very friendly Hike Inn Motel, the owners will shuttle you to nearby Robbinsville, where
there’s a real market. In any case, how much food you pack out of Fontana Dam is up to you, and primarily
depends on whether you intend to go right thru the Smokies. If you don’t plan to leave the Park for supplies at
Gatlinburg, you will have to pack 5 – 7 days worth of food from Fontana, and the first day out is a killer. Make
sure you know what your itinerary is when you leave Fontana Dam, and plan accordingly.

7 – Just outside the Park (Great Smoky Mountains) you can resupply, or stay over, at Mountain Momma’s. I
generally do neither, preferring to keep going.

8 – Hot Spring, NC (107.4 miles from Fontana Dam; about 46 from Davenport Gap). A great, great trail town;
one of the very few places where the trail leaves the woods and goes right thru the town. There are several
fine places to stay; I prefer the Duckett House Inn where Brian and Frank have been treating hikers right
forever. However, you have all sorts of options, from tenting, to cabin rentals, to hiker hostels, to motels. Not a
whole lot of services, but the town has everything you’ll most likely need, including the friendliest outfitter on
the trail, Bluff Mountain. As for resupply, there are 2 little markets; between the 2 of them, you should find
everything you need to keep going, but I’d shop first at the Outfitters, as they have a ton of foodstuffs aimed at
thru-hikers; also a great place to find vegetarian / health food items.

2003-01-09, 10:08
9 – Erwin, TN (70-odd miles past Hot Springs). You can, if you wish, resupply at Sam’s Gap, 25 miles before
you get to Erwin. I generally don’t bother. Erwin is a good trail town, though a bit spread out. There are a
number of lodging options, from hostels to motels. There is also a new hostel, Miss Janet’s. I expect this to
be a popular spot, for a number of reasons. In any case, all the various lodging places will hold hiker mail,
which might save you a trip to the post office; this, of course, is also true for Hot Springs, though as most
folks seem to take a zero day there, getting to the post office when it’s open shouldn’t prove to be a problem.
There is excellent supermarket resupply in Erwin, so you shouldn’t need to send any food there, unless you
have special dietary needs or are relying on prepared / dehydrated stuff from home.

10 – After Erwin, some folks choose to resupply in Roan Mountain or Elk Park. I do neither, as neither town
has particularly inspired services available; instead, I stay at Kincora Hostel in Dennis Cover, near Hampton,
TN. Plain and simply, this is one of the most remarkable places on the trail, and the proprietors, Bob Peoples
and his wife Pat, are about the two finest folks you’ll meet on your whole trip. You can send mail here (it’s only
.2 off the trail) and Bob provides free shuttles to a nearby supermarket, where you can get whatever you need
for the stretch to Damascus, some 50 miles down the trail. If you stay here, and you really should, make sure
you leave a donation (most folks don’t), and see if he’s got any trail projects going on that he needs a hand
with. He’s the maintainer, and a great one, in that area. In short, this place is operated out of love, as
opposed to a few completely money-grubbing other facilities that I will not name, whose sole interest in in
parting you from your money as quickly as possible. For $4 a night, Bob offers services that other places
charge 7 times as much for, but then Bob’s place is not about the money.

11 – Damacus! Very friendly folks, great place to take some time off if your schedule permits, and it should.
Most folks stay at The Place, a legendary hostel, and avoid other commercial entities, including some that
have recently sprung up in an attempt to drain hiker wallets. Good places to eat: Quincey’s Pizza is great; the
Sidetrack Café is wonderful; Cowboys has also been taking care of hikers for years. As for resupply, the little
market in town should have everything you need. There’s also an excellent outfitter.

Damascus, VA to Harper's Ferry, WV

1 – The stretch of trail heading north from Damascus is one of the most spectacular on the entire AT; be
aware that you may want to slow down a bit in this section in order to enjoy it; in other words, you might want
to plan on extra food. Most thru-hikers later acknowledge that they wished they’d spent more time here,
especially in the Massie Gap / Grayson Highlands area. While some folks resupply in Whitetop, or more
frequently Troutdale, VA, I usually keeping going. VA 683 / Rt. 11 is only 75 miles from Damascus. Most folks
also seem to get food (pizza, sandwiches, etc.) at Parnership Shelter via telephone delivery which enables
you to carry a bit less food.

2 – I always resupply by mail at the very hiker-friendly Village Motel, which is directly on the trail. Some folks
go all the way into the town of Atkins, I never do. There’s also a fairly well stocked convenience store directly
on the trail. In May 2002, the Dairy Queen was no longer open (information furnished by Lamar Powell). Also,
don’t skip the diner next to the motel for at least one meal!

3 – My next resupply spot is the town of Bland, which has a far better market than the one in Bastian, as well
as other services (motels, eateries, etc.)

4 – After this, it’s just over 40 miles to Pearisburg, a great, if somewhat spread out, trail town. I always get my
mail (and also stay at) the extremely hiker-friendly Rendezvous Motel, which is practically on the AT. Owners
Brenda and Buck have been taking care of thru-hikers for years. Note: There’s a great church hostel in town,
but it’s WAY off the trail. There are many shopping / dining options in town; also note that you’ll pass
ANOTHER large supermarket, Wade’s, directly on the trail as you head out of town. Very useful in case
you’ve forgotten anything.

5 – I generally don’t resupply until Troutville, but if you have to, there’s a very friendly general store in

Also, try (if you time it right) to eat at The Homeplace restaurant, one of the great meals of the trip. In
Troutville, I generally stay at the Best Western, with shopping and dining within easy walking distance. Note:
Most northbounders, when getting to this road, take a RIGHT and do their shopping up the hill at Winn-Dixie.
It’s a slightly longer walk, but I advise you to go LEFT instead, where you’ll soon come to a small strip mall
which contains a 24-hour Folger’s Superstore, maybe the most complete market within walking distance of
the trail. There’s also a very friendly little outfitter at this mall, or there was in 2001. I generally avoid sending
mail to the Cloverdale or Troutville post offices, as they are off the trail; much better to send stuff to one of the
motels where I plan to stay, anyway. But really, with such complete markets available, resupply via mail isn’t
strictly necessary here.

6 – I generally go into Glasgow for a few supplies, and sometimes spend the night at the little motel there.
Other folks go into Big Island.

7 – On the next stretch, I’ve never been to Buena Vista, which is where some folks go; likewise, AVOID
Montebello for mail or shopping, as the hitch from the trail is impossible. Also note, especially if you’re using
old planning guides, that the general store in Tyro is now closed; if you want food or mail when you arrive at
VA 56, you’re going to have to hitch a bit further than you used to.

8 – Waynesboro is a very complete trail town; excellent shopping / lodging options. Neglect not the
EXCELLENT Chinese restaurant located next to the Kroger’s in the center of town; maybe the best buffet on
the trail.

9 – Avoid bring too much food into Shenandoah Park with you; there are several “camp stores” on or very
near the trail where you can get snacks, basics, etc. There’s really no need to leave Waynesboro with a
week’s worth of stuff as some folks do.

10 – After the Park, I generally avoid going into Front Royal, VA for a number of reaons: It’s a tough hitch
from Rt. 522, and the town is very spread out. Plus, there’s a good-sized hill immediately after you cross this
road. Instead, I resupply in the little town of Linden, VA, either via mail or at the little general store, which has
plenty of stuff to see you down the trail. Also, note that you can actually walk from the Jim and Molly Denton
Shelter (5.2 miles from Rt. 522) to Linden, get your mail / shopping, and then retrace your steps to return to
the shelter. By doing this each year, I avoid Front Royal altogether, I don’t have to roadwalk to Linden later on
(I just keep going) and I also have the option of spending the night at the very nice Denton Shelter with treats
from town. Easy directions from Denton to Linden: Go north on AT maybe 70 yards past the shelter. There’s
a grown-over jeep track veering off to the left; it may have a little chain hanging across it. Follow the jeep
track downhill for perhaps 5 minutes, you’ll hit a road. Go straight, follow this road 7 - 10 minutes, you’ll hit a
“T” intersection. Go left for a few minutes, it brings you directly to the center of Linden and the store / post
office. To get back, reverse these steps. Incidentally, this is far more easily viewed on the map for this
section, which clearly shows the jeep track and roads.

11 - From Linden, you’ll be in good shape to get to Harper’s Ferry, where you should either plan a maildrop,
or get a ride to nearby Charles Town, where there’s a major mall / supermarket. Before you get to Harper’s
Ferry, I’d also advise checking out, or staying at, Bear’s Den Hostel and / or the Blackburn AT Center, both
are wonderful places.

2003-01-09, 10:09
Harper's Ferry to Kent, CT

1 – Resupply in Harper’s Ferry is iffy; the only, and I mean ONLY places to buy supplies are the 7-11 and the
camp store at the KOA. Neither is adequate, so I suggest either a small maildrop here, sent to either the PO
or the ATC office, or get a ride / shuttle bus to the supermarket a few miles away in Charles Town.

2 – Some folks resupply in Maryland, like South Mountain or Cascade. I never do. Other possibilities:
Hitching to the store / town from US 30 (Fayetteville, PA).

3 – Boiling Springs is a good place for a small maildrop, or you can get to a market. Remember, you don’t
need much, since Duncannon is just down the trail.

4 – Duncannon. Terrific trail town, great market, but don’t get killed walking to it (VERY busy road, no
sidewalk!). Several good places to stay: The Doyle Hotel is highly recommended (though not if you embrace
sobriety); the little campground in the center of town is no-frills, but very hiker-friendly; great for those on a
budget. The truck-stop motel is for those folks, primarily the older and less lively, who can’t bear to face the
Doyle. Anyway, this is one of the great trail towns; it’s been thru some hard times, but it’s a very friendly
place. Here’s hoping you all get out of town alive, or at least out of the Doyle. That’s something of an “in” joke,
which I may explain someday. Just be aware that some folks are so fond of the Doyle that they never leave, at
least not on their own two feet.

5 – Port Clinton, PA. Very good place for a maildrop, since there is nowhere, and I mean NOWHERE to buy
food. You may well be able to score a ride to Hamburg from friendly locals, but it’s chancy. I always get a
small box here. Folks at the PO and motel are extremely hiker-friendly; if you don’t stay at the free hiker
pavilion, the motel is simple, but nice. GREAT food at the bar; do NOT, if you value your life, order the “Large”
French fries, since it’s enough for four people.

6 – Some folks resupply in Wind Gap. May be a good idea, since you might want a break, as the section just
after Wind Gap is heinous. In fact, THIS is why folks unfairly dislike the trail in Pennsylvania.

7 – Great church hostel in Delaware Water Gap. Not much in the way of resupply, but the nearby outfitter runs
a cheap van shuttle to nearby East Stroudsburg, which has everything you’ll want; food, markets, laundry,
restaurants, etc.

8 – The Mohican Center, 10 miles north of Delaware Water Gap, is a great place to stay. Good example of
what the Appalachian Mountain Club is capable of when they’re not obsessing with pampering rich folks in
the White Mountains and elsewhere.

9 – I forgot Unionville, NY. Not much there, but it’s just off the trail. Very friendly folks at PO and General Store,
which makes great sandwiches (Note from Rainmaker - A good place to mention that hitch-hiking in New
York state is illegal, and the police will write you a citation if they catch you.)

10 – Great trail town / resupply options in Vernon, NJ. Great church hostel which will probably close before
long due to abuse by hikers. There’s also a pavilion, with tables and showers, run by the very friendly local
Fire Department. Supermarket is open 24 hours.

11 – Bear Mountain. Good place for small maildrop, since market is some distance away.

12 – Some folks resupply in Peekskill, Stormville or Pawling. I generally don’t; instead I hit some of the deli’s /
convenience stores that are close to the trail in this area; see your Handbook or Thru-Hiker’s Companion for
more details.

Kent, CT to Hanover, NH

1 – Kent, CT is a great trail town, though a bit pricey. I’ve never overnighted there, except once when a local
let me tent in his yard. There’s no cheap lodging place in town; most folks stay at nearby Algo Shelter, just
south of town, come in to do their town stuff, and move on from there. Silver Hill campsite, an easy 10 miles
north of town, is a great place to spend the night.

2 – I generally do not go in to Cornwall Bridge, West Cornwall, or Falls Village, instead opting to hold out until
Salisbury, which is a nice little trail town, if a little snooty (there is a motel in Cornwall Bridge that is well
spoken of). Salisbury, like Kent, is a nice enough place, but pricey. Don’t expect to spend the night unless
you’re well funded. The market is well stocked, though sort of chi-chi (anyplace called “le Bon Epicure” is
obviously going to be a bit nose-in-the air). Anyway, it sure is fun going in there, especially in mid summer
when you’re raising a fearful stink. If you leave town late, Plateau Campsite, just out of town, is an adequate
place to spend the night. In very dry periods, you might want to stop for water in the cemetery as you leave

3 – Some folks go into Great Barrington; I generally do not. You can lightly resupply a few things at the
roadside fruit & vegetable stand on Rt. 7 before you get to town. There is a hostel in the area, just after Tom
Leonard Shelter, whose name escapes me, but it was NOT particularly well-spoken of by the folks who
overnighted there. Related note; the stretch from Kent on is generally the most bug-ridden on the trail, so
make sure you get DEET in or by Kent, or you’ll live to regret it. There are some spectacular places to camp
as you head north from Kent (Ball Brook, Sages Ravine, etc.) but without DEET you will be hating life,
especially if you’re tarping.

4 – Some folks go into Lee; I did for the first time in 2001, but only because it was our third straight
100-degree day, and we were half dead. Be aware that the hitch back to the trail can be very tough.

5 – The trail goes right through the towns of Dalton and Cheshire; both have limited, but adequate resupply.
Avoid buying too much, since you’ll shortly be going up Mt. Greylock, which is kind of a beast. The new
management at Bascom Lodge atop Greylock regrettably is NOT an improvement over the hiker-friendly, but
fiscally inept former management of the AMC, so don’t expect to stay at the lodge. I’m not sure if Bascom is
accepting maildrops; don’t send anything there unless you are sure that they are.

6 – At Rt. 2 on the far side of Greylock, some folks go into North Adams; I suggest going left instead, towards
Williamstown, and hit the Super Stop & Shop on the way into town; one of the best markets on the trail. The
outfitter in Williamstown is excellent, and lets hikers stay, in limited numbers, behind the store. This is a great
little trail town, with nice facilities; restaurants, bookstores, pubs, coffee shops, Internet services, etc. Great

7 – I generally do not go into Bennington, VT, though it’s a nice little town. Instead, I prefer Manchester
Center, which is easier to get to, and easier to get around in. Unfortunately, due to abuse by idiots, the church
hostel in town is gone, so there’s nowhere cheap to stay. Another option: Stay at the very nice Spruce Peak
Shelter, 2 ½ miles before town, hitch in, do your town stuff, and get out. You can spend the night atop Bromley
in the little ski cabin on the summit (bring water!). Or if you get out of town late and don’t want to go all the way
up Bromley, there’s a good tent site less than a mile north of Rt. 11 / 30, the Manchester Trailhead.

8 – I generally do not go into Peru, Danby, Wallingford, North Clarendon or Killington. Instead, I prefer to pack
all the way from Manchester to Hanover. Likewise, I skip Woodstock and South Pomfret. In West Hartford,
you will go right by a little general store which can be used if your supplies run low before Hanover.

9 – Hanover, NH. One of the best trail towns on your trip, though I’m somewhat biased, since I live there. Here
are a few key things about the town: 1. The best Dartmouth dorm to stay in is Tabard. 2. Don’t stay there if
you’re no fun, or want to sleep. It can be something of a madhouse when it’s full of hikers. 3. The outfitter at
the Dartmouth Co-op will be closed; unless a new store opens in town, the closest outdoor shop will be in
nearby West Lebanon, which is accessible by shuttle bus. If you anticipate gear problems, you might want to
take care of them in Manchester Center. 4. The best restaurant, BY FAR, is the 5 Olde Nugget Alley, just off
Main St., round the corner from the Cowboy Café. It is very hiker friendly, very informal, great pub, great food.
5. EBA’s restaurant is vastly over-rated, the owners are rude, they’re not particularly hiker-friendly, and they
frequently run out of, or limit the availability / honesty of, their advertised “All You Can Eat" specials. I do not
eat there, and don’t recommend it to anyone else, either. If you want good pizza, go to Ramunto’s on Main St.
6. If the Dartmouth dorms are closed for semester break when you get to town, you can camp at the field’s
end, or just into the woods at the end of the field, and you can easily get back to downtown to do your town
stuff. You will be going above treeline when you leave Hanover, so make sure you pay attention to your
clothing and gear.

2003-01-09, 10:10
Hanover, NH to Mt. Katahdin, ME

Your shopping options north of Hanover are fairly limited, and while there are stores and other places to get
food, the selection is limited, too. Even if you haven’t used any maildrops up to now, you might want to
reconsider. Also, if you’ve been carrying 6 – 10 days worth of food in order to save money / time, this is NOT
a good idea in New Hampshire and Maine. I once went from Gorham to Stratton without resupplying, thinking
it’d save unneeded town trips; BIG MISTAKE. NH and Maine are the 2 toughest states on the trail; you DO
NOT want to be packing 10 days worth of food in here, and YOU WILL NEED some breaks, especially in the
first half of Maine.

1 – I generally leave Hanover with three days worth of food, enough to get to Glencliff.

2 – I usually get a small maildrop at Glencliff, enough to get me up and over Moosilauke. Be aware that you’ll
be going above treeline (up to 4800’) shortly after leaving Glencliff, so be sure you’ve got your cold weather
gear by this point. A few Glencliff notes: The hostel there, right by the PO, is a wonderful place; you MAY be
able to get a shuttle to a nearby small market, but don’t 100% count on it. There is NOWHERE to get food
right in Glencliff, though you could hitch to nearby Warren. Also, if you’re sending a maildrop to Glencliff,
make sure you check the calendar before you leave Hanover, so you don’t arrive in town when the PO is
closed; you might want to consider a maildrop to the hostel instead. Call ahead first to make sure this is

3 - I generally resupply in North Woodstock, and I usually go in from Franconia Notch, not Kinsman. Give
yourself extra time for hitching since it can sometimes be difficult at both places. If the little market in N.
Woodstock is insufficient, you can hitch (or take a very long walk) down the road to Lincoln, where there’s a
real market, restaurants, outfitters, etc. Not the easiest hitch here, either.

4 – I’d pack plenty of food, including a bit extra, when you head into the Whites. You may, repeat MAY, end up
staying at a few of the Appalachian Mountain Club Huts and may score a few work-for-stay meals, but you
can’t count on this, especially if you’re heading through the Whites in early or mid-August, when thru-hiker
traffic, both north and southbound, is at its heaviest. In short, you probably will get some of your food, one way
or another, from the huts, but don’t paint yourself into a corner here. Every year there are folks who head into
the Whites with only 2 or 3 days worth of supplies; they generally live to regret it. I personally avoid the huts
unless the weather is awful or I’m hurt. If you do the work-for-stay, you generally don’t get going much before 9
or 10 the next morning, which affects your entire day. In addition, sleeping in a bunkroom with 35
Patagonia-clad yupsters from Westchester County or Connecticut is not exactly why I go into the mountains.
But to each their own.

5 – DO NOT, unless you can’t help it, send a maildrop to the Mt. Washington (summit) post office. It has very
irregular hours, and it can’t be guaranteed that you can pick up your mail.

6 – You can get very limited resupply in Pinkham Notch. Instead, I generally hitch into Gorham from Pinkham,
and go to The Barn Hostel in town, one of the best hostels on the trail. I spend the night, and then field-strip
my pack, taking only what I need for one night in the woods (tent, bag, warm clothes and limited food). I then
hitch back to Pinkham, and set out on the 20-odd mile stretch between there and Gorham, camping
somewhere in the middle. I then go back into Gorham, retrieve my stuff, and spend another night. The
advantage to this: You don’t have to carry food all the way from Woodstock to Gorham, since you’ll be going
in to resupply at Pinkham; I get 2 nights in Gorham at one of my favorite places on the trail; I carry a very light
pack over the Carter Range, which is a tough 20 miles (if you hike this in one day, you’ll likely regret it, and
end up taking a full zero day afterwards to recover, so what’s the point?). Lastly, you’ll get some decent rest
before tackling the Gorham – Andover stretch, the single toughest stretch of the entire trail.

7 - I resupply in Andover, where there are 2 not so great markets. You might want to send a small drop here
to compensate. There are several great places to stay in town, the Pine Ellis B&B, the Andover Guest House
and The Cabin. I recently stayed at The Cabin, and had an absolutely wonderful time. Anyway, plan to take
some time down in Andover; you’ll need it, and it’s a very friendly little place.

8 – In Stratton, I generally stay the White Wolf Inn. The resupply at the market is fine.

9 – I generally don’t overnight in Rangeley, though lots of folks do. The hostel there is well spoken of. Good
market. If you get out of town late, there’s camping a few tenths of a mile north of the trailhead, or it’s an easy
walk to the very pleasant Piazza Rock shelters / campsites.

10 – In Caratunk, I always stay with the Kennebec River ferryman, Steve Longley, one of the nicest folks you’ll
meet on your trip. He has a great selection of hiker food sufficient to get you to Monson. (Be aware that the
General Store has CLOSED, so you will have to do something about food.) There are 2 other places to stay;
the new B&B in town is very well spoken of, and the Hot Tub place is okay, if you still have the funds. Shuttles
are usually available from those places to a market. I find it easier, and much nicer, to just stay with Steve.
His place is simple, but it’s got all you need; work-for-stay is sometimes available for those on a tight budget.

11 – In Monson, I always stay at Shaw’s, a legendary place. Also, DO NOT send a 10 day maildrop here, or
anything like it. I generally get thru The Wilderness in 6 – 7 days; you’ll take 8 at the very most. Great hiker
boxes at Shaw’s, filled with discarded stuff from those who sent themselves 90-lb maildrops, so check his
hiker boxes before you get to the store in town. Also, send yourself a lot of film here, since you’ll need lots in
The Wilderness and at Baxter. And send your stuff right to Shaw’s, in case you arrive in town when the PO is

12 – The Abol Bridge store has limited, but adequate supplies. Make sure you go into Baxter with at least a
day or two’s worth of extra food, in case you have to kill a day or more waiting for good weather for your
summit day; there is NO resupply after Abol Bridge, so make sure you have some cash for this place. Do not
send maildrops either here or to the Park Ranger Stations unless you have express prior permission do so;
the rules about this seem to change every year. However, do not take it for granted that they will accept and
hold your mail. Every year, someone manages to lose a very expensive bottle of champagne because of this;
don’t let it happen to you.

13 - Easy hitch out of the Park to Millinocket; I generally stay at the Pamola Motel in town if I stay over; there’s
bus service south from Medway. From Bangor you can get anywhere; Amtrak service has been restarted
between Boston and Portland, so if nobody’s coming to meet you, get to Bangor or Portland and you can go
anywhere from there. I’ve also hitched south from Baxter back to Gorham, which takes the better part of a
day; there’s bus service south from there.

2003-01-09, 10:11
Update 2003

Below are a few additions, revisions, etc., that take into account changes and additions to the trail for 2003.
The post below should be used in conjunction with the original post, of which perhaps 98% is still accurate.

1. I want to re-iterate that the store in Fontana Village is a lousy place to shop---irregular stocking of goods,
poor selection, over-priced. If you don't plan on having Jeff and Nancy from the Hike Inn shuttle you to town, a
maildrop here is a very good idea.

2. As an alternative to Mountain Momma's, which each year seems to rub more people the wrong way, you
might want to continue on a few miles to the new hostel at Standing Bear Farm. I didn't stop by this year, but
everyone I spoke to who did, spoke well of the place. I'm not sure what, if anything, they offer in terms of
re-supply; I do know they offer shuttles to town.
For more info (and to see if they accept maildrops), call Maria Guzman or Chris Owen at (423)487-0014

3. Miss Janet's House in Erwin in one short year of official operation has absolutely become THE place to
stay in Erwin, and is conveniently located within walking distance of P.O. and supermarkets, though knowing
Janet, she'll probably give you a ride. Unless you feel the need for a motel, this is the ONLY place I'd even
consider staying in Erwin. Maildrops, of course, can be sent directly to the House.

4. In Damascus, some of the restaurants have gone under new ownership; however the supermarket is still
there. If necessary, you can probably find a ride or shuttle to nearby Abingdon, which has bigger markets
and other services.

5. Lots of folks spoke well of the hostel and little store in Troutdale, VA., just after Damascus. Note: Do not
confuse your address label or zip code with TroutVILLE, VA., another trail town.

6. Market in Bastian has closed; go to Bland instead.

7. Four Pines Hostel in Catawba is a great place, and is within walking distance of both the Trail, and a
convenience store.

8. There will probably be a new hostel in Front Royal in 2003, and if so, I'm sure there will be shuttle service
to shopping areas.

9. The new managers of Bear's Den Hostel are great, and have greatly expanded the selection of
hiker-oriented foodstuffs available for sale. This is VERY important if you're not planning on a maildrop in
Harper's Ferry, or if you plan to go straight thru there.

10. The new owners of the Doyle Hotel in Duncannon, PA. are wonderful folks---plan to stay there. They
also offer a daily shuttle to the supermarket which will save you over a mile of roadwalking on a very busy

11. Hostel in Vernon, NJ may be closed due to hiker abuse, but you can still stay at the Firemen's Pavilion,
which is directly across the street from a 24-Hour supermarket.

12. In Manchester Center, VT., check bulletin board at laundromat for details on possible lodging options;
also try the friendly folks at Eastern Mountain Sports for suggestions. Camping may be available at Rod and
Gun Club site, which is near a convenience store.

13. The little store in West Hartford, VT is right on the Trail, and is a good spot for food if you're not going to
make it all the way to Hanover that day.

14. In Hanover, there's an excellent chance that no Dartmouth dorms will be taking in hikers next year. This
won't be decided til March. This past year, there were a few friendly locals who let folks pitch on their lawns;
this may be the case in 2003. If you have to camp, the best spot is just North of town: Follow the AT north
outta town; you'll go along the edge of a soccer field near the Co-Op food store. At the end of the athletic
field, the trail enters the woods. Immediately to your left are some good campsites. Do NOT camp on the
field itself, as this invites harassment, and if you're going to go into town the next day, or take a day off, break
your camp down in the morning and take all your stuff with you---lots of kids in
the area, lots of foot traffic. Leaving your stuff untended is a good way to lose it.

15. All NH and Maine from earlier post is still current; the Barn in Gorham is still the best place to stay, if it's
open in 2003. Otherwise, there are many motels in the $40.00 range; most will let you stay in groups of up to
4 or 5.

Andover still a great trail town; this past year, I stayed at the Cabin hostel and had an extraordinarily good

White Wolf Inn is still the place to stay in Stratton; the hostel in Rangeley was quite popular this year; the
Horsefeathers hostel in Oquossuc is now closed.

In Caratunk, Steve Longley, who ran the Kennebec River ferry for years, has greatly expanded his camp store
at Rivers and Trails, a very quick mile up the road from the Trail head (and an easy hitch!) If you don't have a
maildrop planned to get you to Monson, go and see Steve. Actually, you should see him anyway, as he's one
of the nicest folks you'll meet on your whole trip.

In Monson, though the matter is hotly debated each year, Shaw's is still the legendary place to stay. I wouldn't
consider anywhere else.

Well. That's all I can come up with off the top of my head; if there are any folks out there who hiked this past
year, and have any comments, additions, etc., feel free to send 'em along. Also, please keep in mind in
using this post and the previous one, that this information is offered as suggestions ONLY----there are
dozens of other places to resupply or send
mail all up and down the Trail; there's no "right" way to do it; you gotta figure out what works for you. This is
merely what has worked for me.

Best of luck with your planning and preparations!

2003-01-09, 10:18