Sunday, June 02, 2013

liftoff!

Butterflies in mi estomago... 
Lily and I have resigned from our teaching positions in Transylvania County to try something new. In just a couple of days, we will be moving out of our house, dropping Uwharrie off at the Hill's, putting all our stuff into a small storage unit and driving across the country to California. Lily will be monitoring lake ecology near Mt. Shasta. I'm sure she'll write more about it on her blog.

Upon safe arrival to CA, I will hop on an airplane back across the country to Bangor, ME (so much for the carbon neutral adventuring) and make my way up to Baxter State Park to begin a sub-60 day self-supported southbound thru-hike attempt of the Appalachian Trail. Many thanks to madA for posting video updates to sub60.wikispaces.com starting sometime later in June.

In final preparation for this daunting challenge, I set out after work on Wednesday for the appropriately dubbed CRAM (Century to Roan Adventure Marathon), giving me about 130 miles on my feet over the course of 3.5 days to test gear and grub. The weather was perfect and the views from the Blacks and Roans were fantastic. Many thanks to the Hills, Sultan, Action and Tyler for helping facilitate this trek.

I've planned and trained as much as possible for the AT while remaining gainfully employed and happily married. Has it been enough? Time will tell...

The archetypal view of the backyard from Black-Clawhammer
Morning mist near the Pisgah Inn
Observing insects observe me during a break
madA and Ava
Approaching the Craggies
RAM 2013 starting lineup
Looking back across the Black Mountain Crest
On the AT north of Carvers Gap
Looking up at Grassy Ridge Bald
otGm2k on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs
The wear and tear of ~450 fast packing miles on a pair of MT110s 
packing, packing, packing

8 comments:

Steve Pero said...

Best of luck, Matt....didn't know you were moving West. We're planning on moving back East! ;-)
Will be following your AT journey, hopefully...

Caleb Boyle said...

Matt,

Looking forward to following your AT journey! Hope your move goes smoothly... I'll sure miss reading about your adventures here in NC.

Caleb

Jeff List said...

Some great new adventures to begin! Here's hoping things go well, and the weather in the Whites lets you pass unhindered.

Casseday said...

Best of luck Matt! You are an inspiration to me my friend. Enjoy the journey!

Denise Davis said...

Good luck Matt! I hope you post often from the AT. Your comment about training as much as you could while still working and having a family makes your accomplishments more meaningful to the rest of us "normal" people.

Scott Brockmeier said...

Congratulatioins Matt!!!!!! An inspiration indeed. You have been inspiring me now for about 12 yrs. Beautiful execution of an ambitious plan. You are an adventurer with a capital A!

Good luck with the new job. See you soon.

Bart-Eve Smith said...

Congratulations Matt on your successful completion of the AT in record breaking time. What an inspiring accomplishment!

Bart & Eve Smith
Asheville NC

Steve Pero said...

Yes, congrats....now you can rest with a smile :-)