Hello gentle people,
This is a test of my personal broadcasting system. From henceforth, all correspondence will flow from my handheld digital device out to the world at large (you, my fantastic readers).
Over the past year, my Appalachian Trail ambition has evolved from a fuzzy eventuality to a crystallized plan, complicated in a way that only a logistician can truly enjoy. Owing to a particular mode of European life, I have acquired most everything (save the Haribo gummies) through the United States Postal Service. Research and the military theory (not oft employed) of backwards planning gave me the framework to, say, order 40 pounds of peanuts and 25 pounds of dried fruit with respect to its shelf life, and those and other culinary delights fill each of the (now) seventeen large Priority Mail boxes, each weighing just under 16 pounds to provide for a week of sustainment. My dauntless husband Loc, who only so recently came into my life, will send me each weekly installment with the same trepidation of anybody using a military post office with a definite deadline (no less than two weeks lead!). I owe him a debt of gratitude, payable upon my return by a steady presence ever afterward – he’s so easy to love.I received my coveted DD214, the document releasing me from military service, this past Thursday. Of particular pleasure is the printed date of my final day of my reserve requirement: 00000000 (YYYYMMDD). Yup, no reserve requirement – I really am just free! I also received a well researched and thoughtfully written award and final evaluation from my boss, which will serve me well in the pursuit of future employment. I leave the military with a lingering dislike of government bureaucracy, but with gratitude and appreciation for the people and experiences that have shaped who I am today. I am, among all men, most richly blessed.
Tomorrow, Sunday 1 May 2016, I fly from Munich to Washington, DC. I’ll be staying with an old high school buddy, acquiring a last few items on Monday (phone plan and fuel), and embarking on my Appalachian adventure on Tuesday, 3 May 2016. I will hike northbound from Harper’s Ferry to Mount Katahdin, then I will stay with another good high school buddy until my flight back to DC. After Independence Day festivities in the Capitol, I will embark on my southbound voyage to Mount Springer. I’m dreadfully serious about my ambition to feed young Ranger stud Snickers bars at the southern terminus too… one of my old army buddies is a Ranger Instructor in Dahlonega, GA, and I intend to complicate his existence. Game on, ole buddy.
I’ll be hiking an average of 18 miles a day – me and my little Lego Loc. I’ll post daily pics on my Instagram (@gingerguyjay) of my little buddy and me… and I’m not bringing a razor.You’re welcome to come along.