On our frosty morning commute, Lily remarked: "It's already December." This simple observation speaks volumes for how this Fall, this year in fact, has felt to us. Time continues to accelerate. In a blink of an eye, everything electric will spread out as we fly halfway around the world to Taiwan, a week from today!
It being the first day of the last month of the year, we begin to look forward to 2012.
Over the past few years, I've had a significant summer adventure planned out. Next year (hopefully) will be the same. Two years ago, I found myself torn between two journeys. As it turns out, I was fortunate enough to get to do both. But as Mr. Frost observed, that is not always the case, especially as the complexities of each expedition increase.
So as in 2009, I'd again like your input on two diverged paths:
1.) The Great Smoky 1000: the challenge is to hike all ~800 miles of trails in the GSMNP in a month's time (averaging about 40 miles per day). This would certainly have to be a supported effort and will involve a significant amount of logistical planning.
2.) A self-supported Appalachian Trail hike: this would be thru-hike #3. The challenge would be to fast pack the AT in 60 days or less, most likely in a southbound direction so that I could "hike home" and bail more easily if I'm running out of time.