Monday, May 4, 2015

Map maildrops

There are far too many pounds of GET maps for thruhikers to carry all of them at once, so a few maildrops will be necessary.

Here are some post offices that might be good bets if you are just interested in sending yourself maps.  (If you are resupplying via post, you'll need to figure out more maildrops.)

Because many of these post offices are in small towns, they might be closed by now or have limited hours.  Most of this is from my memory, which may not be correct.  Don't trust me.  This list is just a starting point for your own research. :)

Cave Spring, GA: Very friendly post office, on route into town.

Chattanooga, TN: Be careful.  There are multiple post offices.  I'm not sure where general delivery packages go and it might be far out of your way.  

Wartburg, TN: The route into (or out of, for sobos) runs by or near the post office.

Cumberland Gap, TN: This is an ideal place to pick up Kentucky (nobo) or Tennessee (sobo) maps.   You might call The Cumberland Gap Inn and plead your case and send it there.  Plan to stay overnight or offer to pay for the service if you do get permission to use them as a maildrop.

Harlan, KY: The post office is not far off the route, but is 2 miles from the motel where most hikers are likely to stay.  (Harlan almost demands a night in a motel due to its location along an urban roadwalk - no stealth camping is possible.) Sobos can pick up their package on the way in, nobos will have to get it as they leave town.  Hikers might consider calling Mount Aire Motel and asking if they will hold a package.  Same etiquette protocol as Cumberland Gap, though you'd likely only need one or the other as they are relatively close.

Elkhorn City, KY: The post office is close to the route (and near a dollar store).  Would be a good idea to pick up West Virginia maps here if nobo.

Pineville, WV: The post office is just a couple of blocks off-trail.

Mullens, WV: The post office is on the route through town and is always decorated.

Hinton, WV: Whatever you do, don't mail a package here.  The post office is very far from the trail.

Narrows, VA: Post office is near the trail route.

White Sulphur Springs, WV: Post office is near the trail route.

Bergton, VA: The grocery/grill is also a post office.  Pretty tiny, not sure if they'd be down with holding a package or not. Definitely call ahead.  About 3/4 mile off-trail, but you might end up going there anyway because, you know, food.

Gore, VA: Post office on the trail route.  The little store has also held packages in the past, but you would have to call ahead and okay it.

Hancock, MD: The post office is several blocks from the trail, but the local hostel has accepted mail drops for me twice.  Contact the C&O Bike shop/hostel to get permission ahead of time. 

Everett, PA (west route): Easily-accessible post office.

Williamsburg, PA (west route): Pretty sure we walked right past the post office on our way out of town (sobo).

Three Springs, PA (east route): Post office close to route.

Woolrich, PA: Post office on route.  From here, it's probably not worth it to schedule a maildrop farther north.  The New York maps are so minimal.

Again, I want to stress that these are post offices I remember, some from over two years ago. I have no idea if they're all still open or if they're where I remember them.
AT boxes.  But the GET's were similar.

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