A Different Hike Begins at Flip Flop Festival
It is amazing to be with such a diverse group of people in a bedroom, or as they call it, bunkhouse. There’s a German girl, a British boy, a section hiker, a trail crew/angel guy named Pony, an Australian girl called Fairy Floss, two bikers from Washington, D.C., and others for a total of 14 people in a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment with a small kitchen. Coffee, waffles, OJ, and bananas are included. Interesting conversation and people but one thing that stands out is there is no color, so it is not really diverse but just different white people. It’s my first hostel so I have to defer to other hikers but everyone says it’s A1. The name of the hostel is The Teahorse. It was a cool deal.
Festival of Casual Shoes, or Flip Flop Festival
No, it’s not about shoes but the name of an out-of-the-box way to do the Appalachian Trail. Maybe a better name is NOSO if you are starting northbound or SONO if you are starting your hike southbound. Another suggestion by Pony would be Middie. Come to think of it, FFF is kinda cool. It’s a great way to start because it is better for the ecology of the trail, better weather window, better bug window, and the easiest start as far as terrain.
The ATC as caretakers of the trail are promoting the flip-flop hike, hence the festival. I thought it had a lot to offer as I learned stuff from the workshops by REI and the pack shakedown by the ATC. Throw in beer, food, and music and it’s a party. It’s not wild and crazy like Trail Days but it is more suited to the kind of hiker seeking a less crowded trail. I highly recommend the hike and the festival. For whatever reason I seem to attract the married, middle age women hiking solo. It’s cool, though, cuz I try to help them and they try to help me! The irony is that neither one of us needs or wants help. It’s just people helping people. I highly recommend the festival and the flip flop hike to those thinking of doing the AT
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