I have been meeting southbounders daily now and I have noticed some differences between SOBOs and NOBOs.
– SOBOs have finished just over 600 miles and they seem a lot more energetic and fresh. Us NOBOs have done over 1500 and we seem tired and kind of plodding.
– The SOBOs are still hiking in big groups and the NOBOs have spread pretty thin now. Right now I know of 8 or so people right around me. There are usually only 2 or 3 at a shelter each night unlike the beginning where you’d have 5 or 6.
– I’ve also seen a lot more females going southbound. It would be interesting to know the statistics of the % of people that finish NOBO and the % of people that finish SOBO.
I have heard the numbers of thru-hikers are really large this year. At least the ones that start. Also, because of the heat I have heard that the number of those dropping out are also high. I know of at least one guy that dropped out because of heat exhaustion. I am so glad that the worst of the heat is over. It was not fun.
I wonder if I was more energetic at the 600 mile mark? That seems so long ago. SOBOs seem younger and possibly more adventurous. After all they did start with the hardest stuff. I wonder if anyone has ever done a study on it.
SOBOs are a very confident sort and they like to mess with you. NOBOs are hungry for information on the whites and the trail ahead, and SOBOs could tell us whatever they want and we would believe them.
These are just some interesting things I’ve found. I’ve enjoyed meeting these southbounders. They add a different energetic element to the hike. 🙂