My journey will begin in Harper’s Ferry, WV heading NOBO (northbound). Upon reaching the summit of Mt Katahdin, I’ll travel back to Harper’s Ferry where I’ll head SOBO (southbound) on the final leg of my thru hike ending at the southern terminus at Springer Mountain in Georgia. This is known as a flip flop thru hike, which enables one to experience more solitude avoiding the hiker bubble that started NOBO in Georgia. This alternative thru hiking method is gaining popularity each year. According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy: “A flip-flop thru-hike allows you to avoid the unpleasant conditions created when large numbers of hikers clump together in the backcountry. You’ll be helping disperse the flow of hikers and helping preserve the natural environment of the Appalachian Trail.”
As it happens, the Flip Flop Festival, April 22nd & 23rd will fall on Earth Day. The festival celebrates “Flip Flop Thru-Hikers” who start their epic 2,000+ mile journeys in Harpers Ferry. These trailblazers are helping to spread out the flow of hikers as thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail becomes increasingly popular. Flip-floppers also discover benefits the new tradition offers, not the least of which is beginning their journeys in the spectacularly beautiful town of Harpers Ferry.
Meanwhile, between now and then, I’ve got some pre hiking to do in the Ozarks to get more conditioning and make last minute gear tweaks. This will also be an opportunity to adjust to backpacking/hiking without carrying a stove which will decrease my pack weight.
Looks like I will do most of my food maildrops along the northern half because of higher resupply prices and availability. The southern half will be much better in prices, availability and frequency. This will allow me more opportunities stay in hostels and enjoy more trail town meals.
That’s all I have for now. May sunshine always flood you path.