If you are keen to do this, I'd recommend looking for a LUG (Linux User's Group) in your area; that way you'd get hands on help, which could save you a lot of time.
You can look them up in Google, but here's a start http://botw.org/top/Computers/Softwa...d_States/Ohio/
I sometimes come across articles about people who live in the middle of nowhere but are still connected by satellite using Linux. You might want to google them also; I'm sure they have a lot of good advice.
Welcome to LQ and good luck with the trip
(If you make it DownUnder, PM me
PS: how about talking to the local Universities; they have access to a lot of knowledge. Maybe there's a student looking for a practical MSc topic. Setting you up and supporting you eg via sat-phone would be a good thesis imho.
Also do you have sponsors? Try asking them; maybe they could get some local media publicity and ask for a local Linux expert.
You'll need ruggedised HW.