Counting Down

09 May 2007

Happy Birthday Dad (85th)

The A.T. Experience Defined

The Board of Managers of the Appalachian Trail Conference, seeing the need to define Trail-use priorities for maintainers and the hiking public in the 21st century, issued the following official definition of the A.T. hiking experience in 1997, saying that:

"The Appalachian Trail experience represents the sum of opportunities that are available for those walking the Appalachian Trail to interact with the wild, scenic, pastoral, cultural, and natural elements of the environment of the Appalachian Trail, unfettered and unimpeded by competing sights or sounds and in as direct and intimate a manner as possible."

This summary definition carries within it seven main ideas that the Board considered integral to the A.T. hiking experience:

1) Opportunities for observation, contemplation, enjoyment, and exploration of the natural world.

2) A sense of remoteness and detachment from civilization.

3) Opportunities to experience solitude, freedom, personal accomplishment, self-reliance, and self-discovery.

4) A sense of being on the height of the land.

5) Opportunities to experience the cultural, historical, and pastoral elements of surrounding countryside.

6) A feeling of being part of the natural environment.

7) Opportunities for travel on foot, including opportunities for long-distance hiking.

21 April 2007

Very Tentative Plan of Attack: GA / NC to: 1st Resupply

From From
State Id Cap Name Springer Last ELEV
GA 1 12 Springer Mountain Shelter 0.20
GA 2 6 Stover Creek Shelter 2.50 2.30 2870
GA 3 12 01. Hawk Mountain Shelter 7.60 5.10 3200
GA 4 14 02. Gooch Mountain Shelter 14.70 7.10 3000
GA 5 7 03. Woods Hole Shelter 27.00 12.30 3600
GA 6 8 Blood Mountain Shelter 28.30 1.30 4450
GA 7 6 Whitley Gap Shelter 38.10 9.80 3370
GA 8 7 04. Low Gap Shelter 41.30 3.20 3050
GA 9 7 05. Blue Mountain Shelter 48.50 7.20 3900
GA 10 7 06. Tray Mountain Shelter 56.20 7.70 4200
GA 11 12 07. Deep Gap Shelter 63.60 7.40 3550
GA 12 14 08. Plumorchard Gap Shelter 71.30 7.70 3050

NC 13 8 Muskrat Creek Shelter 78.40 7.10 4600
NC 14 8 09. Standing Indian Shelter 83.30 4.90 4760

NC 15 8 10. Carter Gap Shelter (new) 90.90 7.60 4540
NC 16 8 Big Spring Shelter 97.70 6.80 4940
NC 17 8 11. Rock Gap Shelter 103.00 5.30 3760

RESUPPLY, Franklin, NC

23 March 2007

The Beginning

Hello to my family, friends and anyone else who might stumble upon this site....Welcome !!!.

About 4 years ago i was at a point in my life where i had to decide what the hell I was going to do with the rest of it.
After being laid off from a Navy contracting job of 11 years in Rhode Island and after a brief period of collecting from The State, I headed north to work for The Kittery Trading Post in Maine. After 3 years, with evidence that I was not going to really ever fit into their "culture".....I quit.
I moved over to Hollis, NH...Farley Farm....a place a friend of mine, Beth, had inherited and spent the spring / summer / fall doing landscape improvements and some general work around the old homestead. When that project had reached it's limits I applied for a 3rd shift inventory control manager position at the local Home Depot. I accepted their offer and one week before I started i called them to say i respectfully decline your position. In my gut, I just could not go back into the inventory / logistics work I had done for so many years with the navy contract.

Off to the web I is now November of 2003
. I started searching out culinary school information and e-mailed the 5 sites that most caught my attention. I could not believe i got a call within 48 hours. Orlando Culinary Academy was the most aggressive and the thought of being really close to Patty & mom (sister & mother), made the choice very appealing and that much easier for me to make.December 23rd 2003 I started heading south.
After a 2 month stop at Steve's (brother), which was really a good time for me to chill and reconnect and meet some of Beth's (sis-in-law) side of the family, 21 hours later I arrived in Stuart, Florida, Patty & mom's place.
After a 10 week major renovation of Patty & Ted's (husband) new house with accommodations for mom, i headed to Winter Springs, Florida in late May to prepare for a Mid July school start.
3 hurricanes & 17 months later, I graduated with Honors (3.89 gpa / magna cum laude) from the Orlando Culinary Academy with an Associates of Applied Science in Culinary Arts and a certified degree from Le Cordon Bleu, North America, France.

What does any of this have to do with a long distance hike?

Cooking is something that has always been a passion, as well as backpacking and out-in-the-woods activities. When transitioning my life after a very unfortunate and regretful lie-cheating-stealing-whatever you want to call it that I did incident, only one thought really came to mind....WWDD....what would dad do? I think he would have ultimately forgiven me and told me that I could do what i wanted to, I am the boss of me, put your nose to it and do it.
so....back to school to get a degree and #2: Some kind of long distance backpacking trek in my 50th year. I set my mind to it, used the Appalachian Trail symbol to mark all my culinary school equipment (as a daily reminder to this very day) and now am 2 years from putting that first foot forward north on the AT.
At this point, my plan is to hike approx. half way. My thinking that financially and out of work wise, it is the more prudent approach.
I have 2 years to save and plan and re-plan and use my gear or buy new gear and get in shape and get my personal life ready to be put on hold for somewhere between 3-7 months.You will see me here talking about my plans and decisions and then, this time in 2009, you will see me on the trail.

until next time....