It takes a village

Since I made up my mind to attempt this mind-boggling hike, I’ve been speaking to a couple of networking groups, of which I have been a member for several years.  I used to be the Property and Casualty insurance guy, trying to network and grow my own business, along with sharing referrals to help others grow their businesses.  Now, however, I’m the oddity in both groups, with nothing to sell other than my overwhelming, schoolboyish, excitement and gleeful enthusiasm about my adventure.

Enthusiasm from others is often difficult to gauge, particularly when you are trying to extol the virtues of a wind mitigation inspection, or telling people of the important nuances of flood coverage, yet there has been no equivocation about the hike.  People have been uniformly enthusiastic about this and I think it is because I am coming at the subject from both a place of pure joy at the prospect and one of naïveté due to my complete lack of experience in the environment. Continue reading It takes a village

..and now say goodbye to “King” and hello to …

It is staggering to me how much time I’ve spent on preparing for this hike, while the issue taking up most of my time hasn’t been what you might think.photo

I know that it is crucial that I understand how my gear works, so I’ve used my stove and watched many Youtube videos of how it all fits together and actually works.  I’ve taken out and set up my sleeping pad and sleeping bag, so I’ll know what to do on my first night.  I’ve even ordered a silk sleeping bag liner in order, according to a rather slimy looking guy on Youtube, to prevent my body oils and odors contaminating my sleeping bag.  Nice.  I’ve spoken to many people, and read many books and even recently joined the Florida Appalachian Trail Club to try to absorb as much of their experience as possible, as if by osmosis.  They say that failing to prepare is preparing to fail, so I am confident that I’ve worked out most of the early kinks that will hit me on the Trail.

However, one thing that I have been unable to resolve – until now- has been my trail name, that secret identity that apparently all hikers take on when they first step into those daunting woods.  An earlier post referred to “King” and my reasons for that name.  Since that post, I’ve been uncomfortable with not only the inference of the name but also the amount of explanation that it will take on the trail if I’m not to be thought of as a totally arrogant Brit.  I think the arrogant bit is a given; I’m just trying to control the degree. Continue reading ..and now say goodbye to “King” and hello to …