Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mail Drop FROM Loner

A package of goodies from Loner arrived in my mailbox today - lots of pamphlets from Virginia, some great small books for his collection, one on Virginia Native Americans and another on Virginia History, business cards for me to include in his scrapbook with email addresses from other thru-hikers, and a flash drive with videos and photos.  Most of them are from the beginning of his trip so I'm only able to guess where he is now. 
He shipped the package from Waynesboro, so I imagine he is somewhere in the Shenadoah's, heading for the halfway mark. He mentioned in a comment on one of his videos that he left a book I sent him to read, Appalachian Trials by Zach Davis at the Dutch Hause in Virginia. I'm planning on buying a new one to keep in my library.
 I checked out the website and it looks like a great bed and breakfast who also cater to thru-hikers so I hope he was able to stay there one night.  I told him to leave the book behind somewhere as a tiny bit of Trail Magic so he didn't have to carry the extra weight since he's a gram weenie and tries to keep his pack weight down to 15 lbs. with water.
So once again  I'm getting to enjoy to beauty of his journey long distance and am busy planning spots we can stay when we drive up to Trail Days next year.
He'll probably have a fit I'm making all these plans, but he can go up in his camper and Beth and I and the girls can go separately so we can plan separate trips and meet there.  I already have a list of cabins and B&B's I want to visit.
And while I'm on the subject of mail drops - I'm learning they don't always work out.  Jeff arrived in Damascus, VA too late on a Saturday to food drops up, so decided to move on.   He left a note asking if they could be forwarded to Marion, which unfortunately did not happen, (maybe it disappeared), However, the lady at the Marion P.O. was so nice that she called the Damascus office and asked them to forward them to Pearisburg, which they did.  Unfortunately this ended up with loner receiving seven boxes in one drop!  Two I'd sent already to Pearisburg,  The bounce box and computer box Jeff sends ahead every two hundred miles and three my daughter and I sent to Damascus.  This is not such a good situation - you can have too much of a good thing when you have to carry seven boxes a mile to the hostel or hotel or figure out which ones to forward ahead. Luckily Jeff got a ride to the hotel.
 But at least he got almost everything (except for the 2nd half of his guide book, which if it was in an envelope ended up in a whole different room.)
So there you have it - the post offices in trail towns will do everything they can to get mail to our hikers, but coordinate with your hikers ahead of time, if possible, to avoid goodie overload!


  1. Rayo & I have had Great luck with his drop boxes. I have been using the priority mail flat rate boxes.It is a flat rate no matter the weight. Every time I have sent one they have arrived at the destination in 2 days.
    When I send his drop I include a list of 3-4 post offices up ahead with the miles to get to them for him to review to hep determine the next drop location
    Rayo has even ordered replacement equipment fro stores and had shipped to a post office along the trail
    It is better to have the box arrive early and sit there waiting for him. You can post an estimated date of arrival on box but most post offices will hold for 2 weeks or so if states thru hiker on box.
    Loner sure is packing light.
    I know what you mean about there obsession with weight. Rayo has a luggage scale at home and before he left it was being used on everything he attempted to bring. Weight was the biggest issue but I can understand why as they carry it day after day after day
    It seems besides the rain which they are getting soo much of the issue is bugs. The mosquitos are out in full force. We hear they get even worse once you get into CT.
    Well Rayo will find out soon enough as he arrives in CT tomorrow!!
    All the best to Loner...Keep hiking your hike....Be safe

  2. Wow - Rayo is sure making the miles! Congrats to him for getting all this way. Jeff prefers that I wait and mail a box when he decides which towns he's going to stop in, so I usually only have a week to mail them. In Damascus, it wasn't the P.O's fault, Jeff got there too late and didn't want to stay in town for 2 1/2 days so went on ahead. And yes, the flat rate boxes are great. I'm enjoying Rayo's blog. He'd very dedicated to do it every day and it helps me to know where Jeff is headed.