AT 2017 Early Plans

I wanted to do a long hike this summer, so I started scouting around for options.  I considered another LT hike, because I have nothing but the best times when I hike on the LT and now I’ve at least hiked all the miles on the trail so I have some idea of what the segments are.  I considered the Cohos Trail (and even bought the guidebook) but it seemed a little too remote (read hard to get mail drops) and there were some long road walks so when Terrill suggested starting somewhere around where she was planning on spending the time I decided to do some AT hiking starting in Harpers Ferry.

I originally (this blog is called naive hiker) was planning on doing 40-45 mile days.  I’m an endurance runner of sorts so this didn’t seem out of the question.  But if you look at my history as opposed to outlier experiences, that actually is a bit out of the question.  I can do 20 min/mi on fairly flat terrain (see my last Royalston loop) but most of my hikes in VT or NH are around 30-35 min/mi once you account for breaks.  At that pace, you can really only do 30 miles/day at most and over multiple days that’s unrealistic.  I’m still working on a more accurate way to estimate pace over terrain but for now I have to sort of estimate based on expected terrain and past times.
So some time this afternoon I had a serious chat with my inner dreamer and deleted that part of my
spreadsheet.  Now I’m shooting on 30 mile days over 11 days, from Harpers Ferry, WV to Greenwood Lake, NY.  I think it’s possible if I don’t injure myself before then and I have some good luck with weather.  My rough plans after playing with this in a spreadsheet for a while are:

  1. Ensign Cowall Shelter
  2. Quarry Gap Shelter
  3. Alec Kennedy Shelter
  4. Duncannon – Hotel (reserve, pick up drop)
  5. Rausch Gap Shelter
  6. Eagle’s Nest Shelter
  7. Allentown Hiking Club Shelter
  8. Leroy Smith Shelter
  9. Mohican Outdoor Center (reserve, pick up drop at Delaware Water Gap)
  10. High Point Shelter
  11. Greenwood Lake (hotel, meet my wife)

Thoughts?  Am I crazy?

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