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How do you feel about scattering of ashes on the AT?

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    • How do you feel about scattering of ashes on the AT?

      Have you thought of this? I haven’t, But one of my dad’s request was ascattering somewhere on the AT, in a prominent place.

      This is a writing. There isn't a right answer, I am delving into an odd idea that could not be part of most websites. You the reader are a group of enthusiasts and clearly self professionals. I think this a wonderful moment as I work with my dad's passing , to discuss how we feel as a group about how we feel about what we want for our final moment. FEEL FREE TO DISCUSS GRIEF AND LOVE FOR YOUR PERSONAL LIFE and loved ones.. I do not want to see any negativity.

      As I explored this idea I found this on the internet. I am not sure I agree with this.

      (That said, Cremation Solutions' standard response to scatteringashes mirrors that of our government.
      "DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL"
      There are no "scattering ashes police" in any state to ensureproper etiquette, permits, or permissions are obtained and used. There are nohealth, safety or environmental issues to be concerned about. Your own moralcompass/judgment can be equally right within the reasons of common sense.)
      Be wise enough to walk away from the nonsense around you! :thumbup:
    • I've thought that I might want that for myself.
      But before I make the decision I want to make sure my family is OK with the idea.
      If it would upset them that there isn't a place for them to go to, to remember me, then I probably wouldn't do it for myself.
      Once I'm gone it will be all about the living.
    • I’m to be dumped on the continental divide anywhere between Jellystone and Glacier. One of my dearest friends was a boater and Hiker. His family put half of him in Long Island Sound, I put the other half in 3rd meadow Slough Creek, Yellowstone. I wrote on the box and put a note in the box for TSA..... please don’t open my best friends ashes!
      Cheesecake> Ramen :thumbsup:
    • i told my kids that when the time comes my soul is gonna leave, and the only thing left is just a body. told em not to waste one cent on any type of service, and just cremate me and put the ashes somewhere that is important to them. i imagine that is gonna be blood mountain -- their favorite spot to hike with me -- or kennesaw mountain because it is close to home.
      2,000 miler

      The post was edited 1 time, last by max.patch ().

    • saw on the news a couple months ago or so where a friend asked for some of his best friends ashes to scatter. was going to do most of them at baseball fields -- the first field was very windy that day which created problems and the second field was a dome which created other problems. his solution -- he flushes his friend down the toilet during a baseball game. he has flushed his friend down 16 toilets so far, and has enough ashes left for one last flush. said his friend would be laughing his azz off if he knew what he was doing.
      2,000 miler
    • CoachLou wrote:

      max.patch wrote:

      i see "markers" people place just off the trail in georgia for both people and dogs. in almost every case those markers have been removed by the trail club the next time i am at that location.
      I don’t believe markers should be there.
      come to think of it, in georgia hickory flatt cemetery -- which is friendly to hikers -- is between long creek falls and hawk mtn shelter about 100 yards off the trail down a forest service road. you can even drive there. that'd be a pretty good spot.
      2,000 miler
    • Personally, I think it's a great thing myself and when done appropriately is definitely a LNT activity, other than the permanent trace left on the hearts of the loved ones. That being said, over the years I've seen a number of "stick up their butt" policies which bans this for no good reason. The BRP policy (below) actually has evidence for an environmental impact in one special case, yet still was able to come up with a working solution (good for them). The one place I know of where you are likely to encounter an "Anti Ash Scattering Policy Enforcement Team" is at Walt Disney World. From what I've read they take this very seriously, and with all their security monitors, you probably will get caught. So if you wanted to torture your departed family member with listening to the "It's a Small World" song for eternity, then you are out of luck.

      No one has brought up the theological implications so I did a little reading. A few religions (Easter Orthodox, Islam, Orthodox Judaism) prohibit cremation. For the Hindus, with a couple of exceptions, cremation is standard. Historically, Christians believed in preserving the body for the physical resurrection that would take place at the end of time, and thus prohibited cremation. However over the centuries, most Christian denominations have relaxed this policy to the point where most have no objections although a few will still officially discourage cremation. This included the Roman Catholic Church which adds the additional prohibition against scattering of ashes. Of course all of this is a personal matter.

      Now back to the Appalachian Trail. Surprisingly, it seems a number of properties along the AT have official policies which are pretty sensible!

      GSMNP has this: Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a special place for many people. Individuals, families, and friends may wish to scatter ashes of a deceased loved one inside the park. Anyone wishing to scatter ashes must follow the specifications in the following Letter of Permission. The letter must be in possession of the person on site scattering ashes. For those pre-planning a service, please place a copy of the letter with planning documents. There is no charge for the permit. The scattering of cremated human remains should be planned as a small private affair, held away from high visitor use areas. Spreading ashes should be exercised with discretion as it is generally a very private moment and care should be given not to disturb other park users. We suggest early in the morning as a good time of day for your memorial as the afternoons are usually more crowded and afford less privacy and solitude.

      Blue Ridge Parkway has this: The scattering of human ashes from cremation, without a permit, is allowed under the following terms and conditions. Total group size conducting the memorialization / scattering of ashes is limited to 25 people or less.The remains to be scattered must have been cremated and pulverized. The scattering of remains by persons on the ground is to be performed at least 100 feet from any trail, road, developed facility, or body of water. The scattering of remains is prohibited at Craggy Gardens and Devils Courthouse. The scattering of remains at Craggy Gardens and Devils Courthouse has led to a buildup of these materials in cracks of the cliff faces.This changes the pH and character of the soils that are collecting in the crevices, resulting in a different substrate than naturally occurs there. This could have adverse impacts to federally listed plants that grow on the cliff face and could alter use of the cliff face by peregrine falcon and others species of wildlife. Permits are required for ceremonies or assemblies that might conflict with normal park operations or result in impact to park resources.

      C&O Canal has this: nps.gov/choh/planyourvisit/upl…Ashes-permit-letter-2.pdf

      SNP has this: The scattering of human ashes from cremation within Shenandoah National Park is allowed without a permit, under the following terms and conditions: The remains to be scattered must have been cremated and pulverized. The scattering of remains by persons on the ground and performed at least 100 feet from any trail, road, developed facility, or body of water. The scattering of remains from the air is prohibited. Ashes must be scattered over an area large enough so that they will not accumulate in one place. The use of commercial, for profit venture to distribute cremated remains in the park is prohibited. No marker, urn or container of any kind may be left to commemorate the event. Permits are required for ceremonies or assemblies that might conflict with normal park operations or result in impact to park resources. Scattering of cremated human remains is a reasonable accommodation to visitors and does not result in any negative resource impact.

      I couldn't find anything reasonable for the NFS other than to say it's not allowed, although most of the wording objected to monuments, etc... and given the scope of National Forests, the don't ask don't tell policy is probably going to work just fine. There is a NFS program where you can donate a small fee to have a memorial tree planted (although it will be an unidentified tree in a large plantation).



    • jimmyjam wrote:

      Go for it. My final instructions are to roast me, toast me, spread half on Ocracoke Island and half at the Grand Canyon.
      The point of Cape Hatteras for me. I told my kids they can think of me every time they see the Atlantic.

      As far as scattering ashes on the AT, at least 100 yards from a water source.
      Trudgin' along the AT since 2003. Completed Sections: Springer Mountain to Winding Stair Gap NC, Max Patch to Franconia Notch NH and the Gale River Trail to Crawford Notch NH.
    • WOO, I have no problem with it, thanks for asking. The park rules OMO listed above seem like sensible guidelines for LNT.

      Percival Baxter had his ashes scattered in Baxter State Park, so it appears even the most persnickety park in the system should allow this.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”


      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Most are promptly removed after the event. A few always seem to hang around for awhile.

      I was in LaCruces NM a while ago on 1 Nov. The plaza in front of the chapel located in Old
      Mesilla was covered in such remembrances. Most are touching reminders of departed folks. Anecdotal
      evidence revealed favored bottles of adult beverages featuring Coors with the occasional Budweiser and of course Jack Daniels or Jim Beam in abundance. Several folks would ask visitors to share a toast in honor of the departed.

      Certainly an interactive method of remembering with a human touch.

      Lest we forget.....



      SSgt Ray Rangel - USAF
      SrA Elizabeth Loncki - USAF
      PFC Adam Harris - USA
      MSgt Eden Pearl - USMC
    • My father's ashes are scattered on Slide Mountain in NY. It was a place he use to talk about and meant something to him.

      I have a place in the Beartooth Mountains programmed into my GPS. My son and everybody I have worked with over the years has been shown the place where I want my ashes scattered. I would be willing to wager a bet that nobody would be able to find any of the ashes an hour after they have been thrown to the wind.

      IMHO WOO you should scatter the ashes where it would mean the most to you and your memories of the good times with your Dad.
      The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you.
    • chief wrote:

      corpses are hazardous waste - dispose of it in the most cost effective way, keep it out of our water supply and off my lawn

      Thanks Chief - you just made my day! After careful consideration and some research, I did my homework and discovered you are just wrong on the facts of this issue.


      The human skeleton is composed mostly of carbonates and calcium phosphates. These elements give bone its extraordinary strength and durability and allow it to survive the intense heat required for cremation when all other body tissues are destroyed. In addition to these compounds, it is very common to find trace elements, particularly metals, in bone fragments. These metals are absorbed by the bones throughout an individual’s lifetime and remain in the skeleton after death.
      Interestingly, the exact percentage of certain elements within the cremated remains varies according to the individual. No two samples of human ashes will be precisely the same in terms of elemental composition. This is due to the fact that a multitude of environmental factors can influence absorption. For instance, highly industrialized areas that experience acid rain will have a lower water pH. This lower pH allows for elements including copper, lead, and cadmium to potentially enter the drinking water and thus be ingested by people residing in the area. For similar reasons, people of lower socio-economic status who live near factories experience increased exposure to heavy metals. These trace elements are then absorbed by the skeletal system and will later be present in that individual’s cremated remains.
      Diet can also influence the elemental composition of human ashes. For example, people who follow a vegetarian diet are likely to have higher levels of the element strontium in their ashes. Some metals are actually critical to a human’s survival and must be ingested regularly including chromium, manganese, nickel, cobalt, and iron. The necessity of these metals is precisely why most commercially available multi-vitamins include them.
      Other elements that could be present in human ashes in varying levels include arsenic, lead, silver, potassium, lithium, selenium, and vanadium.
      The variability of the elemental composition of human ashes means that each sample of cremated remains is entirely unique. Although all that remains of a loved one after the cremation process are bone fragments, which are then processed into ashes, these ashes have a very special elemental signature that identifies them as belonging to your loved one and no one else. All of the unique habits and environments experienced by your loved one during their lifetime leave a distinct elemental fingerprint on their skeleton which is then present in their ashes after the cremation process.
      Be wise enough to walk away from the nonsense around you! :thumbup:

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Wise Old Owl ().

    • montana mac wrote:

      My father's ashes are scattered on Slide Mountain in NY. It was a place he use to talk about and meant something to him.
      I'll have to remember to pay my respects when I'm next up there. I have family members whose remains are in the Catskills (or in one case, thought to be: my step-grandfather went hiking in Spruceton in 1940 and was never seen again).
      I'm not lost. I know where I am. I'm right here.
    • AnotherKevin wrote:

      montana mac wrote:

      My father's ashes are scattered on Slide Mountain in NY. It was a place he use to talk about and meant something to him.
      I'll have to remember to pay my respects when I'm next up there. I have family members whose remains are in the Catskills (or in one case, thought to be: my step-grandfather went hiking in Spruceton in 1940 and was never seen again).
      When I was a kid (many years ago) I remember camping at the Spruceton Lean-to - Haven't been their since then - does the shelter still exist?
      The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you.
    • Wise Old Owl wrote:

      chief wrote:

      corpses are hazardous waste - dispose of it in the most cost effective way, keep it out of our water supply and off my lawn
      Thanks Chief - you just made my day! After careful consideration and some research, I did my homework and discovered you are just wrong on the facts of this issue.


      The human skeleton is composed mostly of carbonates and calcium phosphates. These elements give bone its extraordinary strength and durability and allow it to survive the intense heat required for cremation when all other body tissues are destroyed. In addition to these compounds, it is very common to find trace elements, particularly metals, in bone fragments. These metals are absorbed by the bones throughout an individual’s lifetime and remain in the skeleton after death.
      Interestingly, the exact percentage of certain elements within the cremated remains varies according to the individual. No two samples of human ashes will be precisely the same in terms of elemental composition. This is due to the fact that a multitude of environmental factors can influence absorption. For instance, highly industrialized areas that experience acid rain will have a lower water pH. This lower pH allows for elements including copper, lead, and cadmium to potentially enter the drinking water and thus be ingested by people residing in the area. For similar reasons, people of lower socio-economic status who live near factories experience increased exposure to heavy metals. These trace elements are then absorbed by the skeletal system and will later be present in that individual’s cremated remains.
      Diet can also influence the elemental composition of human ashes. For example, people who follow a vegetarian diet are likely to have higher levels of the element strontium in their ashes. Some metals are actually critical to a human’s survival and must be ingested regularly including chromium, manganese, nickel, cobalt, and iron. The necessity of these metals is precisely why most commercially available multi-vitamins include them.
      Other elements that could be present in human ashes in varying levels include arsenic, lead, silver, potassium, lithium, selenium, and vanadium.
      The variability of the elemental composition of human ashes means that each sample of cremated remains is entirely unique. Although all that remains of a loved one after the cremation process are bone fragments, which are then processed into ashes, these ashes have a very special elemental signature that identifies them as belonging to your loved one and no one else. All of the unique habits and environments experienced by your loved one during their lifetime leave a distinct elemental fingerprint on their skeleton which is then present in their ashes after the cremation process.
      what issue?