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[pct-l] Some help with my mother

Hi there,

I'm new to the list serve and I just wanted to say I've really enjoyed 
the first couple of weeks; most everyone seems to be knowledgeable and 
helpful. I have a couple of questions.

First, I'm planning on starting the PCT this coming spring, possibly 
the end of March. I have lots of experience backpacking on extended 
weekend trips, (and a month in Italy, but that doesn't really count)  
however nothing even close to the amount I'm about to undertake. I'm 
23, in good shape, and I've got my bag down to just under 20 lbs. My 
question is for those along the east coast (preferably near West 
Virginia): Do you know of any areas where I could spend one to two 
weeks hiking to get myself more prepared for the trip? I realize I 
should be doing at least 15 to 20 miles a day. I've thought about doing 
part of the AT; I'm just feeling out other possibilities.

Second, I am having some trouble with my mother. She is prone to worry 
quite a bit and every time I even mention the PCT she looks ill. She is 
convinced I am going to either get attacked by a bear, raped or 
murdered. I love my mother, and I was wondering if anyone has any 
experience reassuring family members. Especially from a youngest 
daughter. (Yep, I'm the "baby.")

I would appreciate any suggestions to one or both of my questions.