[at-l] last report from Crawford Notch

RockDancer rockdancer97 at comcast.net
Tue Sep 4 11:55:28 CDT 2012

The busiest day all summer was Saturday, Sept. 1. Mara (Stitches), Artie (a
friend of the trail) and I greeted and fed 31 hikers, 25 of them NoBo
hikers. This is the highest daily number all summer and, in a way, is a
puzzle. Some are planning to finish in 15 days, others will take nearly 6
weeks to reach Katahdin. We fed a total of 68 hikers on the weekend, making
a "season total" of 325 hikers.


The weather was beautiful all weekend in Crawford Notch, with 70's in the
daytime, down to high 40's at night. As we headed home on Monday the reports
are for showers on Tuesday and better weather coming in later on Thursday
and Friday.


It was a lot of fun doing these 11 trips, especially the times when other
past hikers joined in for trail magic. A big thanks goes out to Stiches '99,
she made every hiker think they were the first hiker she's met on the trail
& wanted to hear all their stories!


There were 3 SoBo hikers in the mix, and only one hiker on the flip, I


During the weekend, one of the Crawford Notch State Park workers repeated
his complaints about trail magic here. He came by at least twice this
weekend. (He's come by to talk with me twice earlier this season). Each time
he stated his discomfort with my tarp & the activities saying "this is
encouraging hikers to stealth camp." It later came out that he thought I was
earning money by my activities, so wrong on both counts!


On my last night, after dark, we think this same guy searched out and found
3 hikers stealth-camping near my setup. The hikers arrived after dark & were
unknown to me. They setup well into the woods but were found because this
guy first searched the woods in one direction, then another, and then found
the 3. Clearly this searching was unusual, and in talking with the hikers
next morning, the guy thought one of those camping was me! The hiker related
that this guy said "I talked with you earlier today and told you this wasn't
allowed" (or something along that line). 


The 3 hikers were given 15 minutes to pack up and leave. In 12 years of
helping hikers at Crawford Notch these are the very first to get rousted by
the State Park. Clearly this employee has made it a mission to gather
evidence of abuse of some sort. I corrected him about my making money from
hikers, and even told him how I patrol the woods picking up all the toilet
paper, soiled undies, and trash left by the large number of day hikers
visiting Ripley Falls. And I asked him to check back with his supervisor at
the office because I had talked with that guy early in the season. 


Well, this was my last trail magic trip for the season at Crawford Notch,
maybe things will blow over by next year. By the way this guy was behaving,
specifically searching for hikers after dark, I think he was going to shut
me down if I showed up even one more time.


I'll be at Kinsman Notch for the day on Wednesday 9/5. My Mom & 2 sisters
want to see what this "feeding the hikers" thing is all about! It might be
raining off & on, but we'll hang out under the tarp and wait to trap hikers
as they head down off Mooselauke & head towards the Kinsmans. Some years I
make a trip to Stratton, ME for one last visit with the hikers and to see
one of my favorite trail towns.


Arthur D. Gaudet

RockDancer on the Appalachian Trail

Rockdancer97 at comcast.net


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