I'm going to clarify my situation as I appear to have confused enough people with my original post. I by no means intend this reiteration to be an insult.
- I want to do a sub 300 mile thru-hike of a trail east of the Rockies. I used to live in CA and have experienced the Sierras and will be returning their multiple times over the next few years so I don't want to use this trip for the JMT or other trails out there.
- My wife will not be going with me. She has two rods in her back and camping is extremely uncomfortable for her plus we have a 13 month old and we both can't take a long vacation without him.
- My wife doesn't want me going alone on this trip. Though my pride says, "I'll be fine." I have to agree that for safety sake, it is much better to hike with at least one other. I don't think those pics of the helo medivacing the hiker we found with a broken ankle on our last trip helped my sales pitch for a solo hike. Plus, who am I going to share stories with?
- I cannot go until 2011. I just moved from CA to IN in the last days of December, bought a house, and re-established my department at work here in this regions office. Between the work expectation this year and my son only being 13 months old, I'm not willing to take off until next year when my wife has a better support system out here. We only know 4 people in the state and they are all over an hour away. By next year we should have babysitters and may even be able to coordinate a girl friend of hers coming out for a vacation while I'm gone.
- Why am I planning for 2011 now? I like to work towards a goal each year in everything i do. Last year for hiking it was a 4 day trip to Yosemite. If I set a goal to do a 300 mile trail in 2011 I will spend the next year building towards achieving that goal. I start with how many miles a day I need to do to meet the goal and map out a build up plan using local trails. This gets me out and exploring more. I look for trails with the types of features I want to work on, distance or elevation. I'll guesstimate my pack weight for the final trip and load down my with extra water, gear, or old dive weights throughout the build-up hikes. If I plan to do 15 miles a day, I'll train to meet over 20 miles a day. I plan for a 24lbs pack, I'll carry 30 on the build up hikes. In the end it all helps me get in shape, allows me to enjoy my final hike more, and just gives me something else to think about besides work.....or what color my wife wants to paint every wall in this house.
- This year I'm most likely get out for one or two different outings of 5-7 days each. My old hiking buddy works in our CA office and we'll write off at least one trip to the owners as a department team building exercise. One of these trips may be the Foothills Trail. I looked into it last night and with posts here mentioning waterfalls and Rhododendrons I have to say that it's a trail meant for me to do.