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Re: Intro and questions...

Welcome to the AT mailing list Tom.  I just joined the list myself
and surprisingly I also am an engineer, live in Clear Lake City, TX
and worked on the Shuttle program.  Small world.  Can't really
answer any of your questions because I never experienced your
problems.  I didn't start hiking the  AT until after I retired and
didn't have to worry about a job.  I wanted to thru-hike, but my
wife of 39 years didn't appreciate that so I changed to a section
hiker, doing one two week hike every year.  I've met a lot of
section hikers on the trail, many of whom came from the 90% of
starting thru-hikers that didn't make it.  So you might want to
consider the section hiking approach which would solve your