Stop along the AT gives hikers a place to restock

6:00 PM, Apr 26, 2013   |    comments
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The Appalachian Trail is mostly rugged trail. But in Hot Springs for a short distance it becomes a sidewalk. That stretch of the AT gives hikers an opportunity to stock up on supplies.

Wayne Crosby is the owner of Bluff Mountain Outfitters on Bridge Street. He started hiking the AT when he was 19 years old.

"Pretty much needed some extra money so I got an offer to paint some porches for a week. A week turned in to two weeks then four weeks into 25 years now. So here I am," he said.

He's in Hot Springs for hikers like Megan Parker. She started on the south end March 24th.

"It was a big learning curve and the weather was really terrible. But now things are picking up. We're kind of getting in the stride of things and it is going really well," she said.

She has walked a long way usually on 20 mile chunks.

Her trail name is Danger Pants but she stopped on the store because of her feet.

"I stopped because I needed things to fix the blisters on my feet," she said. "I have to get new boots. But I have problems with second skin, mole skin, pads, body glide, whatever. So I just bought new supplies and that helps me keep going."

Bluff Mountain Outfitters prides itself on carrying whatever hikers need: clothes, tents, water bottles and more.

"Things break," Wayne Crosby said. "You realize your backpack doesn't work anymore. You thought it was going to work all the way to Maine and that old grandpa backpack isn't working anymore and they realize there's new things out there."

Sure, hikers need practical supplies but what so they really want?

"Ben and Jerry ice cream," he said. "That and the beer across the street. We don't sell that."

Megan Parker plans to finish the AT in Maine in late September.

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