After reading it, I decided that I would likely follow your route IF I have a time limit OR the Kettle route if no limit. Perhaps a journal named "fattest man on a Transam" or "fatter man on a Transam" would suit my trip.
And about time limits, the board met yesterday and declined my application for time off. This is tragic as I really really enjoy my job. It led to alot or arguments (which I wasn't even involved in!) but who said this was going to be easy? I phoned a very similar organisation in anticipation of the boards outcome and without hesitation; they said that taking that time off would not be a problem and they would work around it! So interview on Tuesday and possibly a move of house, business and job to a different county shortly after.
The only other thought I had was to resign from my old job as close as possible to trip departure and then re-apply for it when its advertised (obviously mentioning on the application that I would not be available from JUN-SEP) That way, there would be no policy breach for "sabbatical" requests, which is the reason the board used for not giving the time off.
At the very least, this has confirmed to me that I AM going to do this one way or another.