Thanks KiOeh for the moral support. I am still looking at a NOBO hike. I will pick up some white sand in Ft. Walton Beach and be the first to start a sand box at Moss Hill lean to. Mentally, the road walks will not bother me at the beginning as I would want to use this time for conditioning. By the time I get to PA, I should be hardened for the rocks of Rocksylvania. Main thoughts are to ensure I don't spend too much time deciding which direction to go at an intersection. As I get closer, I will contact the different trail clubs that I will need help with. I am thinking per restless' post, that I need to find an accurate route through the Cumberland Trail and Pine Trail. I think there is an adequate route for the gap on the Allegheny Trail.
Since you are familiar with the PA sections, is there any hope in the next few years that the state game lands will relax their policy on no camping? If it is an impact issue or a fire question, I am sure that a compromise can be achieved by hiking with no camp stoves or using a hammock for a LNT result. Any suggestions on places to stay during these periods will be helpful.
Also, I plan on doing some advertising to get out the word on the GET. I will start with the local TATC club and as time gets closer, maybe some media coverage. As I work on gear selection and shakedown hikes, I would like to get a pack cover that has the GET logo stitched onto it for a conversation starter. My cover is blaze orange and my sister has an embroidery machine. If I can get permission to use the logo, I would like to stitch it to the cover. As I hike, I will place it so the logo is visible and that will get the word out.
By all means, I am not dead set on being the first to thru hike the GET, it is just that this is the date I picked as I prepare physically, family wise and financially for this endeavor. Much like Hammock Hanger, I read her posts with interest and would benefit from others who might go in front of me. Kind of develop a history for my use. But if indeed I am the first to make the trip, I will record my hike for future long distance hikers to use for their planning needs.
Look forward to meeting you kiEoh. See you on the trail.