I am still waiting for the extra accessory for my GoPro camera to be able to do some videos. The US Post Office received it in Greensboro (about 15 miles away) and promptly sent it on to some place in West Virginia. It's been two weeks that they have had it - I may receive it tomorrow. No wonder they are going bankrupt. [It arrived today, Monday, Jan 23rd]
In the meantime, I have completed my list of mail drop post office sites. I will have 19 boxes shipped to General Delivery at the post office in various towns along the way. In-between, (and in the event the box gets lost in the mail) I will resupply at local grocery stores, outfitters, and convenience stores that are near the trail. I plan on carrying no more than 5 or 6 days of food at a time, so every few days it will mean a grocery stop or a mail drop to keep me supplied with food, cooking fuel, batteries, clothes, and such.
My dining room table is now covered in stacks of meals. I have repackaged some items for convenience sake. For example, I have taken individual packs of cold cereal, combined them with a little powdered milk and sealed them in a ziplock snack bag. Add a little water and stir and I have a breakfast ready to go. I did the same with several bags of Bear Creek soup mixes. I dumped the contents into a large mixing bowl, stirred to mix the ingredients, then scooped a cup into a ziplock bag. On the trail, all I need to do is add two cups of boiling water to make a nice soup for dinner.
While I probably will stick with my current stove (Pocket Rocket and IsoButane fuel), I have been playing with a do-it-yourself alcohol stove system made out of aluminum soda cans - they use Denatured Alcohol or even 'Heat' brand methyl alcohol. The stove is feather-lite and the fuel is available pretty much anywhere there is a gas station or hardware store.
My training is going well - I have been in the gym every weekday now for two weeks. My legs are feeling stronger, even though they are sore. The cardio workout must be having an effect as I am going longer on the stairmaster each day - and that's while wearing a 25 pound pack of course.
I am taking a week to visit family in Las Vegas. That will be a nice break. When I return I want to get back to some actual trail time and some overnight trips that will fine tune my training and my gear. I still need to decide on a few items to leave behind to drop another pound or two from the pack.
Today, Sunday, I count 70 days and a wake-up before I step off Springer Mountain, Ga. on my way to Maine. Yes, I am excited and nervous at the same time. I can't wait. :)