Counting Down

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....


Chef_Rich_VA said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Rich: Testing for ? reception. Patty

Barb said...

Hi Rich,
Sorry it took so long to respond.
What a great goal...I have no doubt that you will be successful. Maybe when you get to the area around Shenandoah National Park we could hook up and have a meal at Skyland Lodge.
I love the countdown!