Now it's just 24 days until April 1st and the start of my Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike. I keep working over my gear list. I set up my hammock the other day and figured out that my mummy style sleeping pad didn't fit as well as my rectangular one. So, I've got to get back into the backup gear storage box and make that switch. I've also broken down the AT Guide into smaller sections so I don't have to carry the whole thing at once - each time I get a mail drop, the next section of the guide will be there to show me the way. I also tested out the new Jacks-R-Better sleeping quilt and found out it almost works too well. I got hot inside it quickly. I am sure it will keep me warm at the top of the mountain on a cold April night. So that's settled.
I've been busy packing up my household goods and thought I would take a break. So I hung the sign on the door: "Gone Fishing" and off I went. I hooked up with my friend and fishing guide Jeff Wilkins for a trip to the Watauga River in Tennessee. First we stopped at the South Toe and spent the morning catching about 25 big rainbows and a few brook trout in the Delayed Harvest stocked section. Then we spent the afternoon chasing small wild brown trout on the Watauga. I tried out my new GoPro Hero2 camera and edited it all down to a neat little video to document the day (and get some practice on the camera and editing software). I think it turned out pretty well.
Here's the video of the fishing trip if you want to take a look. I am really looking forward to putting together pictures and video of my trip once I get back. It will be a wonderful way to keep the memory of my AT adventure fresh for years to come.