Many of you know [or perhaps you don't know] that Mike &I are getting ready to thru-hike the AT [or Appalachian Trial for all you city dwelling, non-out-doorsy people]. We've been gearing up for about 2 months now...and boy, it is expensive! Not only was our "old" gear not warm enough, it was way too heavy. When you're carrying everything on your back for approximately 2,179 miles it must be manageable, preferably light. We've now upgraded / downsized to sleeping bags that weigh under 1.5 pounds, rain gear that is literally as light as a feather, and camping cookery that is sure to help our waist lines. None-the-less, we are pumped! After much [MUCH] thought & prayer, we've decided to take time away from our jobs, families, friends, and the normal humdrum of life to do this. Hey, we'll only be at this stage in our lives once--no kiddos, no house payment, no car payments, no nothing...except a small amount of stuff that fit into a storage unit that my dad is so graciously letting us use for free.
So, we've packed up all of our stuff [we actually did this over the Christmas holidays -- if you look closely at any pictures from our house you can see boxes and little-to-no furniture!] and moved in with the Martin's. They have a room above their garage that they have [also] so graciously let us move into rent free. We're excited to have some down time with the 'rents - lots of movies, dinners, lounging around the house dates, etc. to look forward to.
Another big change for us is that Mike is no longer working his regular job. His last day was the day before the Christmas holidays. He jokes that he is now a blue-collar 2nd shift worker because right now he's "painting for cash." My uncle is paying us to paint his doctor office - so Mike's job [and really my 2nd job] starts around 5, after the patients and staff have gone home for the evening. So far we've been painting for about 6-8 hours a day. Knockin' it out! *I will say, having 2 jobs again is wearing me out quickly!
Right now we're kind of in the waiting stage. We've made the BIG move, gotten most of our gear [we're lacking small things now], planned a section-hike in January to get a feel for it, and started preparing ourselves [I tell myself every single day that my warm, cozy life won't be warm and cozy again until about June when we'll be hiking through the New England states].
Oh yea! Our good friend Brock Cooke is going hike about 2/3 of the trail with us! Our plan is to come home in May for about a week to celebrate Melanie's graduation from PC. At that point, Brock is going to drive back with us to pick up where-ever-it-is that we will be. Hopefully some point in Northern Virginia...or maybe to West Virginia.
So, that's what we Martin's are up to for now! Stay tuned - pictures of gear, snip-its about our section-hike in January, and our thoughts / fears / prayers / feelings about our journey will be coming soon!