That sounds like a solid plan. Since you are starting out with a mostly forested area, the focus on observation is key. That PDC sounds great as well. Learning with a true master there.
I'll make some general resource recommendations for our area:
Ben Falk- The Resilient Farm and Homestead (essential reading for Northeast Permaculturists)
Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel- Farming the Woods
Ben Hewitt- The Nourishing Homsestead
Will Bonsall- Essential Guide to Radical, Self-reliant gardening
Carol Deppe- The Resilient Gardener
Sam Thayer- both of his foraging books
Miles Olson- Unlearn, Rewild
And in case you haven't read them already, my two faves: Tree Crops and Restoration Agriculture
Sean Dembrosky- edible acres
Steve Gabriel- wellspring farm
Justin Hood- the vital farm
Mellisa Madden and Garret Miller- good life farm
Akiva Silver- twisted tree farm
Sean Zigmund- root and roost farm
Probably more around the Ithaca area.
Other inspiring Permies from the Midwest: Grant Schultz. Peter and Maureen Allen
Even though you are still in the observation stage, you might want to get a small perennial nursery going. That way if you grow from seed soon, they will be a decent size when you are ready to plant. I like Schumacher seeds and sheffields seeds. You'll save money and time while gaining experience. If that's not feasible, no problem either. You can get affordable bare root tree and shrub seedlings from Musser Forest nursery in PA. They are great.
For more specific plants from truly permaculture nurseries, check out Edible Acres and Twisted Tree Farm. Those guys are awesome and I've learned a lot from them. I highly suggest visiting their sites and buying top quality plants and seeds from them.
Your local DEC forester might be a good resource too.
Have an awesome trip and talk to you in March !