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AT Vista 2023

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    • LIhikers wrote:

      Is anybody thinking of attending the AT Vista in Tennessee this coming August ? Kathy and I are talking about making the trip.
      You got me to look this up. Could be interesting.
      I do hope to be out on a PCT section hike about that time frame, so probably not for or me.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”

      John Greenleaf Whittier
    • Tonight Kathy and I made our reservations and registration for the AT Vista in Johnson City, Tenn.
      Our plan is to go visit our son, and his wife, for a week and then drive down to Tenn. for the AT Vista.
      I'm looking forward to the trip as I haven't seen our son since before covid and I've never been to Tennessee before.
      I sure hope my foot is fully healed by then.
      After the weekend of the AT Vista we expect to take 2 days to drive home.
      It'll be our first trip post retirement.
    • On Thursday August 3rd Kathy and I left our son's home in Mansfield, Ohio for the drive to Johnson City, TN. It was a bit more than 500 miles and we arrived on the campus of East Tennessee State University while it was still light out. So we parked the car and walked around for awhile making sure to notice the location of the buildings we'd be using during the A.T. Vista. We then drove to the closest motel and got a room for the night. Friday morning we leisurely made our way back to the college and headed to where the check in was supposed to be. Others had been waiting and so no one knew when things would get started. We went outside to do some walking and came across the rally point for the hikes and asked the folks in charge there if they knew when the registration desk would open. We were told that the folks handling the registration desk had just left and gone up to where they needed to be. We headed back there too. Once we got registered I asked if we would be able join the hikes as we hadn't signed up for any before hand because of the problem I had with my foot earlier this year. They didn't know and recommended we go to the hike tent and ask there. So back we went and asked there. We were told most of the hikes were full and we could go if someone didn't show up. I asked if they had directions to the trailheads and was told no. Next we headed to the dorm, got checked into our room. It was what you would expect of a college room with 2 beds, 2 dressers, 2 desks, and 2 free standing closets, plus a bathroom with a shower. Nothing fancy but quite adequate for a few nights. Then it was back to the main building, where the registration was, to see about a printed schedule for the weekend, there was none. Everything for this weekend was on line and if you didn't have a smart phone, too bad. The weekend didn't officially start until Friday night diner, which was part of the registration fee. We bought ourselves lunch in the cafeteria and came up with a plan. We didn't want to waste time waiting to see if someone dropped out of a hike so we decided we'd spend the weekend going to the various workshops, talks about various topics. When we needed to stretch our legs we'd just walk around the campus. As it turns out they had some undeveloped land with trails through woods that was hilly. We had purchased the meal plan so our meals were taken care of from Friday dinner to Sunday dinner. Sometimes Kathy and I went to the same workshops and sometimes different ones. The keynote speaker for the weekend was Warren Doyle and he had some interesting stories and perspectives considering he's hiked the AT 18 times. Friday and Saturday evenings there was no entertainment and the building we were using locked up at 7PM. The organizers were encouraging people to drive into Johnson City and partake of the night life there. we didn't want to and eitherr just walked around for a while before going to our room or went there directly. At Sunday's diner there was some entertainment but it could hardly be heard over everyone talking.
      While there were some ATC employees there it turns out that ATC had nothing to do with this event. They didn't even had a table in the vendor's area, but ALDA did. There were only 2 vendors, a local outfitter and a woman who started a business selling dehydrated meals that are formulated to have better than usual nutrition than what hikers usually eat. It seemed foolish to me that the ATC would divorce themselves from people who were likely to be supporters of the organization, who knows. I also found out that the reason previous AT Vistas, that never happened, was because not enough people signed up early enough and the sponsoring clubs didn't want to take a chance of the weekend being a financial loss. It seems the model for these vistas is for a sponsoring hiking or trail club to partner with their local department of tourism. That way weekend participants would visit local businesses for food and entertainment and bring money into the local economy.
      All in all it was a good enough time but nothing great. The best part was meeting new people, hikers, trail maintainers, and AT supporters from Florida to Maine and even one woman who flew in from California. The hopes are that another club along the trail will put on another AT Vista in a couple of years. There is a volunteer committee of a few people who are trying to make these events a thing. Turns out that Ron Rosen, who is from NY, is part of that group. So the question is would we go again? The answer is, I think so if it's in a place and at a time that allow us to.

      If anyone has questions I'll try to answer them.
    • max.patch wrote:

      I glad you found it worthwile, but to honest if Warren Doyle was the highlight of event then I would have absoutely no interest in attending.
      Different strokes for different folks I guess.

      I would much rather listen and learn from Warren Doyle for 3 hours than endure more than 10 minutes of Taylor Swift. To each his own. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • hikerboy wrote:

      Astro wrote:

      hikerboy wrote:

      Come to the ALDHA Gathering on Columbus Day weekend. This year it's in Abingdon, Va.
      I am already signed up.Sorta neat seeing my and your pictures in the Blaze and event picture rotation. :thumbup:
      It'll be good to see you again.
      Not for sure what the meal situation will be, but I definitely owe you a meal for all the good advice you have provided me over the years. :)
      The road to glory cannot be followed with much baggage.
      Richard Ewell, CSA General
    • Thanks for the report LI hikers. Sounds like a mixed bag. I have become disillusioned with the ATC.

      I was also going to recommend checking out the ALDHA gathering. Looks like a great time. Something I can never go to since they always have it on Columbus Day weekend. That weekend is dedicated to an annual Stimpson family pilgrimage to the NH north country.
      “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,
      the saddest are these, 'It might have been.”

      John Greenleaf Whittier