mail drops

there are plenty of post offices along the appalachian trail, and a lot of businesses actually accept and hold packages for hikers as well. the advantage of having your stuff dropped at a business is that chances are, the business will be open seven days a week. however, they usually charge a nominal fee for their holding services, which tend to add up over time, depending on how many mail drops you plan on doing. the usps, on the other hand, doesn't charge holding fees but their hours are weird and inconsistent, so it might be that you've got cookies or gear waiting on you in a specific town, but it just so happens that you hike into that town on a saturday, but you've got to camp out and play the waiting game until monday when the post office opens back up so you can get your gear. pros and cons to everything, i suppose.

please keep in mind that i would love to send y'all postcards while i'm hiking. :) send me a facebook message with your address so i can do so! 

basically, the post offices along the AT accept general delivery packages as long as they're clearly marked that the package is intended for a thru-hiker. here's an example of how a package would be shipped if i decided to send myself extra supplies to damascus, virginia: 

angie holbrook
c/o general delivery
damascus, virginia 24236
please hold for thru-hiker
est'd date of arrival mm/dd/yyyy

i will hopefully be able to update my blog once a week or so to give everybody a better idea of when i will be where. also, please note that fedex and ups packages can't be sent to "general delivery." you'll have to have the physical address of the post office and fedex requires a phone number.

i won't beg for packages while i'm on the trail, but i sure won't turn them down, either. :)

here's a link to a pretty good article regarding mail drops.

off the top of my head, here are some things that i can think of that i would like to open a box and find:

a few heavy-duty, double zip (not sliding) plastic bags (any size)
a Bible verse that pertains to God-given strength, nature, not giving up, etc. when i did the foothills trail in december, "i shall run and not grow weary, i shall walk and not faint" ran through my head the entire time.
a limmerick to me by you
a rawhide bone for swayze
starbucks packs of oatmeal toppings :)
dried out baby wipes (they weigh less but still have some "soap"/cleaning stuff left in them)
bug repellent
2 oz. bottles of hand sanitizer
packets of instant mashed potatoes
honey buns
letters telling me all about what you're doing
something random that will make me laugh
pennies, nickels, dimes, &/or quarters (every little bit helps)
snickers bars
dried bananas (cheap great value brand)
glucosamine tabs

the following is by no means an all-inclusive list of post offices along the AT, but rather a list of the only post offices that i plan on stopping by. these are directly on the trail, or within a two-mile hike/hitch. 

townzip codehours/phone
fontanta dam, nc28733m-f 8:30-12, 12:30-4:30
closed sat
hot springs, nc28743m-f 8-11, 12-4
sat 8:30-10:30
damascus, va24236m-f 8:30-1, 2-4:30
sat 9-11
harpers ferry, wv25425m-f 8-4
sat 9-12
boiling springs, pa17007m-f 8-4:30
sat 8-12
duncannon, pa17020m-f 8-4:30
sat 8-12
port clinton, pa19549m-f 7:30-12:30, 2-5
sat 8-11
delaware water gap, pa18327m-f 8:30-12, 1-4:45
sat 8:30-11:30
bear mountain, ny10911m-f 8-12
closed sat
kent, ct06757m-f 8-1, 2-5
sat 8:30-12:30
salisbury, ct06068m-f 8-1, 2-5
sat 9-12
cheshire, ma01225m-f 7:30-1, 2-4:30
sat 8:30-11:30
hanover, nh03755m-f 8:30-5
sat 8:30-12, pkg p/u open @ 7
glencliff, nh03238m-f 7-10, 2-5
sat 7-1
caratunk, me04925m-f 7:30-11:30, 12-3:45
sat 7:30-11:15