One. Month. From. Today.
Isn't that crazy? It's been almost a year since I started (seriously) thinking about doing this hike, and it's now only 30 days until I'll step foot on the approach trail, a few mere miles from the base of Mt. Springer, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. What an insane feeling/realization/situation!
Not only am I 30 days from my start, and 28 days from flying to Atlanta, but I'm also 1/4 of the way through a VERY busy work month that has me home for less than 48 hours over the course of 30 days. I'll be in and out of Chicago, Dallas, and Orlando twice between now and the 27th of March. This presents great work opportunities - it's a hard to forget detail that I'll be without income for 5-6 months - but also limits my time available for packing, prepping, gear testing, and outdoor exercise. Enter my favorite phrase: Urban Mountaineering. More "rooms with a view" and emergency stairwell "hikes".
Yesterday I finished up some of my last big purchases for the trip, including a fair chunk of change at REI, and some smaller stuff from Backcountry's website. I'll have to organize all of this when I'm home, but it's really refreshing and exciting to know that it's all coming together. It will be very interesting to see what my pack weight comes out to without a week's worth of food. My fingers are really crossed for 12-18 pounds, but we'll see. Being under 30lbs with food will be a great feeling, and a decent way to start, as I'm sure weight will drop as I realize that things will be unnecessary once I'm out there, and "winter" type clothes are shed when the temperatures get a bit higher up. Time shall tell.
As a closing teaser- I'm posting a photo I took last night down here in Orlando. The show client took their people to the Richard Petty Racing Experience NASCAR track, where I got to tag along in a 160 mph NASCAR ride around the racetrack, raced some coworkers in GoKart races, and got to dragrace in a '14 Dodge Challenger R/T, '14 Camaro SS... NASCAR was fun, GoKarts were awesome, and the Mustang is hands down America's Best (Affordable) Muscle Car. Side note: I should start writing for Car & Driver.
30 days... April 4th be here before I know it.