My 2014 Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers' Companion -- compiled and published in a cooperative effort between the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (ALDHA) and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) -- arrived recently. I loved reading the section on shuttles to the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain in Georgia.
That was the end of my regularly scheduled programming. It will sound goofy to flatlanders, but it was like Christmas morning as I began to peruse and slowly devour it, one page at a time.
I was rather surprised that page one was a bit of a disappointment; but, I blame it on lawyers, frankly.
There are precise instructions on how to get from Atlanta to Gainesville, "The Poultry Capital of the World" with its chicken on a stick statue to prove the point. Once you're in chickenville, information on shuttles is absent.
The Companion's very first real paragraph explains some of the restrictions placed on shuttles, including "high-premium insurance" and Forest Service permits. Therefore, readers are referred to the ATC link to shuttles and given an address where folks can "write" for a copy that will be delivered by something they call "first-class mail," whatever that is.
When we finally free of ourselves of the folly of carrying books around with us, we can tell fearful lawyers to kiss our trekking poles. We will have Google-esque access to all the world's knowledge at the push of a button. (If we have Internet access.) ~~ A totally unknown writer.
David "Awol" Miller's 2014 Northbound The A.T. Guide -- A Handbook for Hiking the Appalachian Trail don't fear no stinking lawyers. On page five they list these shuttles as options. You would be wise to double-check to be sure they're still in business and available to get you and your dog named Boo up to the Trail for your excellent adventure.
If you're hitting the Trail this year, I'd recommend following the Appalachian Trail Facebook page.
Tags: Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Appalachian Trail Community, News, Appalachian Trail Clubs, Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association, and Robert Sutherland Travel Writer