Upon further investigation I have discovered I will be working (assuming I still have this job) the nights of the 15th and 16th of April. Looks like the best plan would be to leave the 17th and do a day hike down from Springer Mountain to the first road crossing, then spend the night and leave well rested on the 18th from there.
I have put in to have off through the 14th of May. If anything should happen then I will still have my job to return to, or I could do great and simply have my husband submit my notice. I am trying to prepare for either outcome but hope for a thru-hike to Maine.
I am hoping to make a trip to an outfitter this week to look at options for equipment. Right now I want to get a pack and footwear, specifically.