So, I'm going to take the next week or so and finish merging the NCTA's GIS tracks into it's chapter's spans so I can write the mock hiker. It's of interest to me as the section supervisor of the Whipple Section - Buckeye/ North Country Trail. After I get that document written, I can then suggest a course of action if any is needed.
I ready know that SE Ohio needs a chapter for resupply reasons. And that in NCT trail promotion, the Buckeye Trail takes up 83% of Distance Hiking Ohio. The beneficiaries of it's trail promotion is self contained. Meaning that it's not contributing to North Country's whole. But North Country chapters work in such a way that they're trail promotion not only contributes to themselves, but elsewhere as well. In Ohio, we're missing North Country trail promotion in 3 quarters of the state. So, what Whipple is getting is probably anemic. The course of action that I can think of is to make this a chapter with multiple loyalties.
It needs to elevate the importance of the NCT - Ohio patch. But what I think might need to happen probably won't take place with the NCTA. In fact, I think it's very grass routes. There are two audiences when it comes to thru hiking. There's those who come immediately from the Appalachian Trail. Some of them come with their minds made up of what hiking is and I doubt they'd be able to change their notions anytime soon. But there's the internal, hikers that North Country already has and those that they get as a result of local trail promotion in the future.
They might need to legitimize a slight step down from thru hiking. My idea is to complete 30 hiking days at a thru hike rate ahead of time, then hike the rest in mass using transportation to bypass what they already did. If they did that, this hiker could miss winter conditions in Vermont, New York and North Dakota. The question that would have to be put to North Country's followers is are they going to support it?
I wouldn't really regard it as a full "2nd place." It's more "1b." 1a is a full thru. 1b is
July 8-12, 2017
It is possible that I could GPS all of their sites and produce a file to download. And I'd have to check my recording equipment, but I think I could make vocal mp3 files if there was a written guide to these sites. It could be available for download, or on CD. If they're downloaded, they could be used on a smartphone. Audio playback is no problem, in fact many of our automobiles can now use bluetooth to connect it to the stereo system.
But it gets a little tricky with a smartphone GPS. Google Maps, the stock navigation app on Android devices won't support this. The user would need to have an app that allows them to download off-line maps. I use "Locus" on mine. After the off-line maps and GPS waypoints are downloaded, they can be displayed together, but they probably won't have any turn by turn directions when they're out of signal? But a prescribed track, or route could work.
If in the event they'd need help (and we'd need help), then I already know that I'm one of very few people who can do this GPS mapping and make that track. So, it might have to be me?
Today, I want to write about "multi-mode hiking." It pertains to solo and multiple hikers with only one car. If their intent is to eventually complete a distance hiking trail, using only one car, the hiker would have to either hike out and back, or loop on an off agency trails and roads.
The bicycle has a drive train. And here in Ohio, it's more efficient by 3 or 4 times. Off-road trails can have some prohibitions, so bicycles aren't always permitted. But you can drop one off at the end of a route and chain it to a tree. But with those prohibitions, just make sure that the wheels never come in contact with that trail (pick it up to lock it somewhere off that trail).
When I mentioned three or four times, it's as if the hike to bike has a ratio. Here in Ohio, it's generally 1:3 or 1:4 in stamina. I don't pedal up some hills to conserve it. Here's how that works for me... Based on those ratios, if I was hiking the Buckeye Trail in NE Ohio, it would be a 1:4 area. That means that if I was 20 mile per day hiker, in most circumstances, I could hike 16 miles down trail. The route back on road would probably only be about 12 miles. By this ratio, 12 miles on bike equals 3 miles hiking. 3 + 16 = 19, so it's within the 20. If the loop back's mileage ends up being more, then the distance down trail hiking would need to be shortened.
With the out and back, that 10 miles out and 10 miles back. Here on the Buckeye Trail, the Circuit Hike Patch is somewhat based on it's total mileage. That means that the 10 miles back doesn't can't count towards that because that portion of the trail was already covered. And looping mileage isn't covered anyways, but the multi-mode mitigates that by having a faster, less strenuous mode of travel.
A 16 mile hike in Ohio would take about 5 - 6 hours. With a bicycle, the loop back would only take about one. Another way to put it is that it enables the hiker to put 75% of their stamina down trail and 25% on the loop.
Here's the way that lesser loop mileage works. Roads are better engineered than trails. The trails have more grades and turns. Therefore, the road is usually tends to have more level surfaces. Federal Highways are usually better engineered than state highways. State highways are better engineered than county roads. County Roads are usually better engineered than township roads. And township roads are often better than forest roads. So, there's a hierarchy to it.
On one route that I did in a more remote part of Ohio, the loop back was longer than the distance of that day's hike. But the state highway that it was routed on was more efficient, so this was exceptional. And I don't have any experience in any mountainous areas. It might work in some low mountainous ones? But there are some kits that could be bought to convert a bicycle into a motorized one. Otherwise, mopeds, motorcycles, kayaks or a second car. That car could be lightweight vehicle dollied to a truck or some kind of motorhome? Even public transit has several forms. One of those could be "dial-a-ride," "curb-to-curb," and "demand responsive" type transit. Unlike a city bus line, these vehicles pull into certain places, even homes for boarding and disembarking. Those methods might enable the hiker to put 100% of their daily stamina down trail?
For those of you who've picked up a "Hike Ohio" from the Buckeye Trail Association in the Parkersburg, Vienna, other areas of the Mid-Ohio Valley, West Virginia, as well as the City of Marietta and and other some other areas in Southeast Ohio, I probably put them there.
And I might imagine that you might be trying to determine what sections of the Buckeye Trail are nearby. They are:
In 2000, the Buckeye took over for the North Country Trail in the Marietta Unit of the Wayne National Forest. Currently, the Buckeye is a 1,445 mile circular trail within the four corners of Ohio. North Country's 4,500mi route from Vermont to North Dakota still travels concurrent with Buckeye in the Marietta Unit of The Wayne. You might drive by sometime and see that the "North Country Trail" signs have been changed to "North Country/ Buckeye." I just think of it as two highway routes on one road. And the Buckeye Trail as the "roundabout" of the hiking world. Depending on who you talk to, it's still the largest loop trail in the world.
I missed the turn to finish Segment C and start D. The road to get into there is Bean Ridge and I think it was hidden on a curve on C9? Segment D is Whipple Section, Pt. 05 - 06 and the two points have to be approached on opposite ends because Brooks Rd/ T94 in Lawrence Township of Washington County is rough between them. I avoid that portion of road whenever I can.
The car is ready now to make hitch my utility hauling trailer and make two runs to the local landfill, then depart for the Marietta of Washington County area for trail maintenance.