Less than 24 hours until I’ll be on a plane to Georgia! Not quite the midnight train to Georgia, but it’ll do. I leave early in the morning tomorrow and arrive early afternoon. The flight would usually be shorter but I’m connecting on another flight. I can’t complain considering I got the trip for free by volunteering to get bumped on a flight last summer!
Friday was my last day at work. It felt really weird. I was busy right up to the last minute, so I didn’t have much time to actually think about the significance of my last day for 6 months. In one sense I’m disappointed about leaving because there’s going to be a lot of interesting work to do over the next 6 months as the company I work for starts integrating another that it is buying. My team is going to play a huge role in that work and it would have been great to be a part of it. However I know there will be more to do once I get back – save some cool stuff for me guys!
On my way out on Friday I thought about my internship 5 years ago. When it ended my manager walked me out, took my badge and computer, and we said goodbye. This time nobody walked me out and I kept my badge and computer since I’ll be back in 6 months. Still both times felt similarly simple. Not that I was expecting a party, a marching band, and people clapping and cheering as I walked out. Just sayin…
Yesterday we got some work done at home but there’s still more to do today before I leave. We have packed and shipped my first maildrop at Neel’s Gap and it is supposed to get there tomorrow. Plenty of time to spare since I don’t plan to be there until next Sunday – they aren’t fooling around with those “If it fits it ships” boxes! Christy and I reviewed our finances to make sure she knows where all the money is and what expenses we might have while I’m gone, and we made sure she has access to everything she might need access to. Then we went out to dinner – Mexican on St. Patty’s Day. What can I say, I’m Scottish! We also cooked another meal to dehydrate (Pasta Genovese).
Today we’re going to cook another zucchini casserole to dehydrate. I want to clean the house a bit before I leave. I need to pack all my gear up in the backpack and double check to make sure there isn’t anything that airline security would have a problem with. We have several documents I want to print out and file before I leave, and I need to mail a form for my taxes. I need to decide on the last 3 addresses to send my maildrops to and then create and laminate a personal info sheet with my name, date of birth, allergies, doctor’s info, etc to carry with me. Finally I want to make sure we have the Hiawassee mail drop packed up and ready to go before I leave.
Tomorrow when I get to Georgia there won’t be a ton left to do. I will need to pick up some stove fuel and swing by the grocery store to get some bagels, peanut butter, tortillas, gorp, and flatbread. Other than that I’ll just be hanging out with my dad for a couple days.
When a big event is coming up people always ask if you’re excited. “You’re about to get married! Are you excited?” “Are you excited about graduating?” It isn’t any different this time. “Are you excited about starting the trail?” I wouldn’t say I’m excited so much as I’m ready. I feel well-prepared. Although my knee could be better it shouldn’t cause me any problems, as my last 2 practice hikes have shown. I want to meet the other hikers I’ll be traveling with. I want to sign the register on Springer Mountain. I want to walk through Neel’s Gap. I want to get rained and snowed on. I want blisters and callouses on my feet. I want the whole thing.
Only about 72 hours until I start the approach trail, but I’ll be ready for it.