Wednesday, February 27, 2013

We start the Approach Trail Tomorrow!

Team TNT+C (Charlie),

After a year of planning and dreaming, tomorrow (Feb. 28th) morning we will out on the unofficial beginning of the Appalachian Trail!!! I am so excited I am having a hard time eating and sleeping! I have never felt this way before. Uncharted territory here...

Thanks to our shuttle driver Wes Wissom who drove us from Gaingsville, GA to the base of Springer Mountain. Great guy! Highly recommend him!

We are staying in Cabin #2 at Forrest Hills Resort (Just down the road from the Approach Trail). What a fantastic place! We have our own cabin with a Great Room, bedroom with Hot Tub and a sweet back porch with a swing and view! Could not recommend it more highly!

Tomorrow, our first Trail Magic will happen. Can you believe it, we haven't even started hiking and a Trail Angel contacted us on Twitter to offer us a ride in the morning from the resort to Amacalola Falls State Park to begin our adventure!

Tomorrow we finally start hiking!


Sent from my iPhone

Monday, February 25, 2013

Local PRESS coverage for Team TNT- Appalachian Trail

Team TNT will have the local press here in Lansing, Michigan following our Appalachian Trail journey. Today, the first installment hit the newsstands in the "Greater Lansing Woman" magazine, published by the Lansing State Journal.

This introductory story highlights the top 5 reasons we're each embarking on this journey as well as a few statistics about the trail. Each month, we'll do an update article from the trail, keeping our supporters up to date on our progress, trials and tribulations along the way and perhaps even a story or two about some of the other hikers we meet.

I'm sure that Charlie will provide a bit of fodder for some interesting tales too!

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, we'll start the trek southbound to Springer Mountain. Let the adventure begin!!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Team TNT's Final Blog Post & Video from Home!

Dreamer here,

It has been almost exactly one year since our first Blog post announcing our intentions to attempt a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.  I believe this is Blog post number 72.  Terri & I have tried our best to describe: our intentions, our feelings, planning and logistics, clothing and gear, as well as all things Charlie our dog.  Hopefully, if you are considering a journey like this, our Blog posts will be of benefit to you.

We now have 168 “likes” on our Facebook page at:, mostly friends and family trying to keep up with the adventures of Team TNT.  Terri has had lots of fun connecting with so many of you and she will be all things Facebook, as our trek continues.

We are approaching 200 “followers” on Twitter!  Simply amazing!  Five months ago, I did not even know what a tweet was.  And now we have people from all over the world, most of which I have no idea who they are.  All I know is they are interested in two old farts planning for and soon to be attempting thru-hike of the A.T.  For Team TNT, I will be all things Twitter.  I will do my best to upload photos and video as we move North from Springer Mountain.

Until last summer, I really had never seriously taken an interest in shooting or working with video on a computer.  Now, I find it my delight using my video camera and working with Final Cut X in order to produce fun and hopefully informative videos.  As I write this we have had over 1,700 views on 17 videos at:  Again, amazing!  I cannot begin to tell you how much I am looking forward to capturing as much as possible as Terri, Charlie & I move up the trail towards Mt. Katahdin.  My plan is to send my computer to places along the trail where we will be taking a break and during those down times, work on creating some short videos for YouTube.  I will then mail the SD Cards with the finished projects to my son-in-law Nate to upload them for me from home.  Nate, I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate your willingness to take this on for me!

Our last video can be found here:       Terri & I are attempting to do our best at showing our appreciation for all of you that have played such an important role in our lives and this great adventure we are standing on the threshold of.  Our next post will be from the Appalachian Trail!!!

~Team TNT

PS Thanks to Jason Gray “Good to be Alive” and  “Remind me who I am in You”.  Your music helps the pictures and video come to life!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Dreamer here,

This article was taken, no borrowed…  Ok, stolen from “The Good Badger.”  To see the original post on his Blog, go to:  This is an excellently written article about potential issues Terri, Charlie & I will face while hiking the Appalachian Trail.  Again, well written by: Zack Davis (The Good Badger) and his friend Ian Mangiardi (The Dusty Camel).
Enjoy,  ~Dreamer
For those who read the Good Badger regularly, you’ve probably noticed that I deal a good amount of grief to my poor, poor, Jewish mother. On top of the constant state of near self-defecation I have placed upon her with my upcoming journey, I also take every opportunity I get to take jabs at her highly anxious nature (see: the first part of this very same sentence).

Well, a little known fact about coming from someone else’s insides, is you tend to take some of their DNA with you in the process (I was a biology professor in another lifetime).   As much as I try to deny it, I have acquired many of the same high-alert qualities from my poor, poor, Jewish mother.  My playful jabs at her are 1) my sick way of expressing love and 2) what Freud refers to as “projection”.

I’ve spent the better part of my life trying to dull the over-active flight or flight response portion of my brain.  If 2,200 miles of disease, bears, and snow/lightning storms doesn’t finally finish the job, there’s no hope for me.

That’s why I’m very excited to have my friend, Ian Mangiardi, help co-author this post.  Ian is the founder of The Dusty Camel (the Good Badger’s trail posts will be syndicated here), a website dedicated to all-things backpacking with an emphasis on gear reviews. Ian has also successfully thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, and is preparing for his 2011 trek up the Pacific Crest Trail.  Ian is a true adventurer.

For the last few weeks, Ian and I have been exchanging e-mails in where he is saddled with the task of repeatedly talking me off of AT ledge. Instead of hoarding all of his wisdom to myself, we agreed to make this discourse more public.

Today’s post is a point/counter-point, whereby I present an Appalachian Trail scenario which induces near pant soiling anxiety, and Ian talks me off the ledge with his wisdom, adventurer’s spirit, and overall c’est la vie life approach.
My hopes are that, come October, I share his demeanor.

I love hiking. Something about the combination of spending significant time in nature coupled with moderate physical activity is enough to make every cell in my body break-dance.  That being said, there is one component of a hike that I’ve grown accustomed to: the end.  No matter how long the day hike is, the end point is either in sight, or just beyond the next summit, or the following.  To me, there’s comfort in my senses recognizing the end.
Backpacking the Appalachian Trail, however, I predict that looking out to the horizon will offer only feelings of, “there is no end”.  Assuming you can see four miles ahead (which is probably a stretch), that’s not quite 0.2% of the journey.  With no relative end in sight, being an experienced hiker in no way mentally prepares a long distance backpacker.
On the Appalachian Trail, how do I look onto the horizon without my heart exploding?

| Counter-point | Ian Talks the Good Badger off the ledge #1:
There is no denying it, it will seem endless, it will be painful, and it will suck.  That being said – it’s a blast! While you may have everyday struggles, you will figure out what works for you to overcome those struggles.  For me, it was picturing the final end; reaching that worn down wooden sign on top of a magical mountain somewhere in Middle Earth.

….alright, maybe not that magical, but by the time you get there you will think you’re in some fairy tale, especially when your beard will begin to rival that of Merlin.
So we digress…

Back to the main issue: I kept my eye on the prize, and when times were tough I pictured myself there, and it gave me that jolt of energy needed to overcome that day, and put a few more miles behind me.

While that worked for me, my buddy Andy could never picture the last moment of the trail, or he would start to go insane.  What he did was give himself goals.  The good thing about the AT is you go through 14 states, that in itself is at the very least 14 challenges, and 14 victories (so long as you defy the likes of all the creatures out to kill you – see: last scenario).
You will quickly learn what you need to do to overcome the feeling of endlessness.  In fact, you will start to love the feeling that whatever happens, you will be walking.  Life seldom gives you the chance to only have a single thing to do, and the AT allows you to focus on yourself, and not worry what to do the next day, week, or even month… because you know.  You will be exploring yourself, your surroundings, and enjoy being alive, mainly because you have nothing else to do.

| Point | HSMS #2:
It’s been raining for three consecutive days.   Every inch of my existence and belongings are wet, except for my soul, which is dry, decrepit, and hollow. Falling asleep is more so your body’s reaction from fatigue related to chronic shivering than a state of restfulness.
John hates the Good Badger, the Good Badger hates John.  My meals for the last three days have been wet Snickers, wet trail mix, wet peanut butter, and the whiskey I smuggled with me from the previous trail town that John doesn’t know about and causing him to wonder why I’ve been repeatedly singing Ace of Base all day.  (Another baby = all that she wants).
What supernatural factor prevents me from going on a crazy, naked, crying, flailing rampage through the campgrounds?

| Counter-Point | ITTGBOL #2:
Three days? You should be so lucky to only have three days of consecutive rain.  Try three WEEKS – that’s what we had in Virginia.  While I started about a month and a half earlier than you, you will still hit rainy season, and you will get wet.  This is why I have told you that everything inside your pack, which is under you waterproof pack cover, must be in waterproof stuff-sacks (editor’s note: thanks to Innate, this is one area we won’t fail at).  

You will learn very quickly, that when you attempt to fight the AT, it will defeat you.  It will crush you, and it will make you cry for your mommy.  So, you accept it. Accept the fact that you are going to get wet, you will get into camp with shriveled finger tips, and soggy socks.  As long as everything is in waterproof stuff sacks, even if you fall into one of the 30 foot long river crossings you have in Maine, all your items will be dry, and you will appreciate the simplicity of having a warm, dry, soft set of clothing to change into after a hard days hike.

There aren’t any supernatural powers preventing you from doing any of those things… in fact I believe I did them all! I was going to link proof of the naked part… but decided the younger readers in the audience would probably benefit from not seeing my tookus (however, it is in our Picasa album… we were in New Hampshire… the link is on our website… Godspeed.)

Oh and another little tip.  Most of the towns you go through in the first month or two are dry counties.  Meaning no alcohol.  Pack accordingly, or take small, slow sips of what they give you – don’t go blind please, moonshine is no joke!

(Editor’s note: I added the link to the Picasa album because if any young people are reading this then they’re parents have failed them immensly.)

| Point | HSMS #3:
Apparently, the seemingly endless tree-cover overhead and surrounding certain segments of the trail has awarded the AT the nickname, “The Green Tunnel”.  Everyday, for dozens of days on end, you wake up, and walk what feels to be the same exact terrain as the day before.   It’s the hiker’s version of Groundhog Day.  From my reading, the monotony associated with these stretches cause many to throw up their white flag.

Again, what supernatural factor prevents me from going on a crazy, naked, crying, flailing rampage through the campgrounds?
(In case any other aspiring 2011 thru-hikers are reading this, I do not have a propensity toward naked rampages.  I just don’t completely write off the possibility is all.)

| Counter-Point | ITTGBOL #3:
The Green Tunnel is an excuse for people who can’t cut it to get off the trail. There are three points of the AT where most people get off.  The first 30 miles, where people realize “oh wait… this isn’t a day hike”.  Make it past there, and you’ve already gone further than 25% of the people who attempt it.  The next is in Virginia where the “Green Tunnel” is.  By this point the weather is turning, trees are sprouting leaves, and everything is turning green.  After over a thousand miles, people get tired of walking and want to quit, but don’t want to say “I’m a whiny baby who doesn’t like hiking anymore” so they say “I’m a whiny baby who can’t deal with green everyday”.   The entire East coast looks the same.  With the exception of certain areas (New Hampshire and Maine mostly) you will be dealing with the same scenery.  However, when you set out to do the AT, you didn’t do so to see the world, and see all the beauty it has to offer, you said something more along the lines of wanting adventure, taking a mini retirement, and experiencing life.  While most of the AT is beautiful, breathtaking, and exciting to look at… there is a lot that’s not. At all.

This adventure is about you, your life, and your story to tell. You will eventually only remember and talk about the amazing things that happened to you on the trail. While you will understand it wasn’t always fun and games, it will feel that way because it’s an adventure not many people even attempt. The excitement of saying you were able to walk up the east coast, and a distance which is over twice the length of the UK, you won’t even think of those green trees that you saw, everyday, for 4-6 months.  It’s the adventure which will drive you, and the trail isn’t out to defeat you if you accept it.  You will learn to go with the flow, say oh well, and move on, and you will be able to successfully hike the AT.

| Point | HSMS #4:
The following excerpt is from the internationally renowned best selling author Bill Bryson’s, “A Walk in the Woods” – a book about his journey through the first quarter of the Appalachian Trail.

“The woods were full of peril.   Rattlesnakes and water moccasins and nests of copperheads; bobcats, bears, coyotes, wolves, and wild boar; loony hillbillies destabilized by gross quantities of impure corn liquor and generations of profoundly unbiblical sex; rabies-crazed skunks, raccoons, and squirrels; merciless fire ants and ravening blackfly; poison ivy, poison sumac, poison oak, and poison salamanders; even a scattering of moose lethally deranged by a parasitic worm that burrows a nest in their brains and befuddles them into chasing hapless hiker through remote, sunny meadows and into glacial lakes.”

…there’s more…

“Then there were all the diseases one is vulnerable to in the woods – giardiasis, eastern equine encephalitis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, ehilchiosis, schistosomiasis, brucellosis, and shigellosis, to offer but a sampling.  Eastern equine encephalitis, caused by the prick of a mosquito, attacks the brain and central nervous system.   If you’re lucky you can hope to spend the rest of your life propped in a chair with a bib around your neck, but generally it will kill you.  There is no known cure.   No less arresting is Lyme disease, which comes from the bite of a tiny deer tick.  If undetected, it can lie dormant in the human body for years before erupting in a positive fiesta of maladies.  This is a disease for the person who wants to experience it all.  The symptoms include, but are not limited to, headaches, fatigue, fever, chills, shortness of breath, dizziness, shooting pains in the extremities, cardiac irregularities, facial paralysis, muscle spasms, sever mental impairment, loss of control of body functions, and – hardly surprising, really – chronic depression.”

….more, still…

“Then there is the little- known family of organism called hantaviruses, which swam in the micro-haze above the feces of mice and rats and are hovered into the human respiratory system by anyone unlucky enough to stick a breathing orifice near them – by lying down, say, on a sleeping platform over which infected mice have recently scampered.  In 1993 a single outbreak of hantavirus killed thirty-two people in the southwestern United States, and the following year the disease claimed its first victim on the AT when a hiker contracted it after sleeping in a “rodent-infested shelter.  “All AT shelter are rodent infested.) Among viruses, only rabies, ebola, and HIV are more certainly lethal.  Again, there is no treatment.”
….still, more….

“Finally, this being America, there is the constant possibility of murder.   At least nine hikers (the actual number depends on which source you consult and how you define a hiker) have been murdered along the trail since 1974.  Two young women would die while I was out there.”

Can you address that please?
| Counter-Point | ITTGBOL #4:
When I say Harlem, what do you picture? Sketchy, unsafe, scary? You recount stories that have kept people away, and scared people into carrying mirrors so they can see behind them if they dare walk around there.

I’ve lived in NYC my entire life, and lived on the border of Harlem for many years.  You hear all the scary stuff, but no one thinks of the rich history it has, the culture, and excitement.  It’s easy to show the bad examples, scary things, and pain inducing images anywhere. I hiked the entire trail. I saw one bear. And it was in a cage.  In a zoo.  Animals are afraid of you, and while you’ll likely see plenty, the chances of anything happening are slim to none.  Be respectful – they are sharing their home with you – and you will be respected. Don’t leave candy wrappers laying around, or taunt a bear if you see one. Don’t be ‘that guy’ who gets eaten by a bear because you wanted to see if they actually really do love honey.  Treat your water, be understanding of the nature you are in, and you will be fine.

As for the deaths, as you said there were nine murders (with a loose definition of a hiker) in about 35 years.  Look up the statistics of the murders in any area in the country for the last 35 years, and lets see how that compares to the 2,200 miles of the Appalachian Trail.  People are killed, anywhere, and everywhere – the AT is not an exception.  Crazy people are anywhere.

How many battles do you face in everyday life? How many times a day are you frustrated and angry? Put 5 months of all that frustration together, and 9 out of 10 times you’ll have nothing to show for it other than some work, or successful project.  However, if in those 5 months you are hiking the AT, at the end of it you will have something only most people would ever dream of – being an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker.  The AT is a challenge of mind, body and spirit.  While it is hard, what thing worth having isn’t? When in your life will you be able to have one goal every day for 5 months? When will you be able to say, ‘check out my huge beard!’? Yes… most people hike the AT so they can grow a big beard and not get weird looks. ….Okay maybe that’s not accurate, but the fact is you will be a hero to yourself and to the people around you for persevering when things were tough, when things looked impossible, just to prove to yourself that you are capable of doing anything.  If you can trek over 2,000-miles through 14 states, you can overcome anything that comes your way in normal life.  Don’t be bogged down by the little details.  Soon you will see the trail has many things to teach you, accept those lessons, and you will be able to hike the AT.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Charlie's Clothing & Gear - Final on Appalachian Trail Prep

Dreamer here,

We are now a week and one day from beginning the adventure of a lifetime for Terri & I!!  The excitement seems to build with each passing day!!  I am finding it difficult to describe the feelings I am experiencing.  It is far different than anything I have ever felt before.  The bookends of these feelings go from being soooo excited I could squirt; to, waves of what seem like absolute terror!  We are mostly ready; however, Terri & I still have lists of things to be completed.  Unless a meteor hits Laingsburg (or some equally devastating event) we will be leaving Michigan on Tuesday, February 26th for all points South.

The video here ( fulfills an early promise on videos and information regarding our clothing and gear.  Months ago I started with two episodes on my stuff.  You can also find a video on Terri’s items she will be taking and wearing.  The process of how Terri has prepared our meals and the logistics associated with planning for a six month journey can also be found.  And now, the last video in that early promise, “All things Charlie.”

For all of you dog lovers out there, you will find this video appropriate.  For others, this will appear excessive; nonetheless, Charlie means the world to us and that is all that matters.  There is no doubt that I will be carrying extra weight because of our decision to take Charlie with us.  That may be a decision we regret in the end.  And it may be the best decision we ever made!  We’ll keep you posted…

~Team TNT

Charlie’s Clothing and Gear List
5.1oz - Thermo rest Z-Lite Pad
6.0oz – Boots by Ruff Wear
25oz - Back Pack (Palisades) by Ruff Wear
9.9oz – Outer Insulated Jacket by Sooters Friends
7.5oz – 3-Layer Rain Jacket by Hurta
6.1oz – Insulated Jacket (Cloud Chaser) by Ruff Wear
8.1oz – Fleece Jacket by Apache River
3.5oz – Pack Cover
3.3oz – 6’ Retractable Leash
0.7oz – Collapsible Dog Bowl
0.2oz – 12’ of Tie Out Cord
4.4oz – Trekker (Stuffed Animal)
64oz – Dog Food (4-2cup Bags) “4 Days”
0.3oz – Plastic Poop Bags
12oz – Treats “4 Days”

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Terri's "Feminine Attire for the Trail - Appalachian Trail Prep

Dreamer here,

Ok, ok…  I hear you out there!  I know I promised this a long time ago!  There is no question, there are far more women interested in what Terri will be wearing/carrying as far as “Feminine Attire” than men interested in mine.  Or at least more vocal about it…  The YouTube video here:  should answer most questions related to female clothing.  If not, please let us know.  We would be especially eager to hear from those of you that are past AT Thru-Hikers and have recommendations or thoughts on items we may be missing!  Come one, come all, we would welcome your feedback!!

For those of you wondering, we will not be carrying all if these items for six months.  The list of clothing represented here is for cold weather hiking only.  More than likely, we will carry most if not all this until mid May to late May.  After that we will change out our cold weather clothing for summer weight items that will include not only clothing, but gear such as lighter sleeping bags, pads etc.  And then if needed, we’ll have these items returned to us later when we reach New Hampshire and Maine, especially if we are still hiking in late September or early October.

Terri’s Clothing/Equipment she may be wearing or carrying includes:

18.6 oz            Nikon 1 V1 Camera w/10-30 lens
7.4oz               Nikon 30 – 110 zoom lens
3.0oz               Speedlight Flash (SB-N5) w/case
3.0oz               Extra Nikon Lithium Battery
4.8oz               iphone
2.9oz               Additional iphone juice pack by Mophie
0.4oz               Headphones
38.0oz             Vasque hightop Goretex Boots
1.9oz               Merino wool socks by Smartwool
6.7oz               Insulated long underware by Underarmour
6.9oz               Long sleeve ¾ zip “Caprilene” shirt by Patagonia
7.8oz               Synthetic vest by Arc’Teryx
3.8oz               Wife beater merino wool shirt by Ice Breaker
6.6oz               Nylon lycra skirt by Isis
7.6oz               3-layer jacket by GoLite
3.5oz               Windshirt “Houdini” by Pataonia
3.2oz               Underware by Reebok
2.2oz               Sportsbra by Patagonia
1.9oz               Nylon Gloves
8.4oz               Gortex rain pants by Marmont

Terri’s “Safe Clothing” she will be carrying in pack

2.5oz               Trash Compactor Bag – Pack Liner
1.8oz               Night cap by Smartwool
2.5oz               Sleeping socks by Smartwool
15.4oz             Synthetic insulated jacket by GoLite
11.2oz             Synthetic sweater w/hood by Patagonia
7.1oz               Long Johns “Caprilene” by Patagonia
7.1oz               Long sleeve insulated shirt by Underarmour
0.9oz               Baboushka
8.9oz               Crocs (camp shoes)
2.6oz               ULA Pack Cover
12.1oz             Tarp Poncho by Sea-to-Summit
7.6oz               Camelbak w/hose
1.0oz               Headnet by Sea-to-Summit
1.6oz               Over Mittens “3-Layer” by Mountain Laurel Designs
0.7oz               Face Cream in contact case
0.6oz               Reading Glasses
0.7oz               Hair pick

Even though Terri & I are somewhat experienced backpackers, we would readily admit we have a lot to learn in the long-distance, multi-season hiking arena; however, we know one thing for sure: proper clothing and gear do not guarantee success thru-hiking.  We know it is not about the gear!  That being said, we also know that without the proper gear, it can make what is important to long-distance hiking potentially miserable.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Can you help me with my trail name? -Appalachian Trail prep

“What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet..”
-       William Shakespeare

What really IS in a name? I was named Terese Ann Rytlewski at birth, some many decades ago and have forever since, gone by the name, Terri.  We sometimes wish we had a different name and sometimes like our names…. I always wanted to have another name, perhaps Laura or Elizabeth. Something more exotic and smoother flowing than, TERRI. Sometimes people want to spell it with a ‘y’ at the end, other times they want to make it TeresA. Go figure.

On the Appalachian Trail and other long distance trails, hikers often adopt other names. As Tom has previously dealt with some of this in another post, (,  I won’t elaborate more on how he got his name or the other details about trail names.  
But, I would like to explain the origin of some trail names that we do know about. For instance, “Two Rings” got his name, because the tread his hiking boots laid down in the trail, created two very distinct rings in the dirt. Thus, Two Rings.
Our hiking friends “Tag-less and Tagalong” also known as the “Tag-Team”, got their names from their grandchildren. Dane (Tag-less) was working on assembling his hiking clothes one day, actually cutting the tags out to eliminate unnecessary weight and the possibility of irritation on his neck and his granddaughter piped up saying, “Grandpa, you’re Tag-less.” His wife, Connie who was kind of just going along with Dane on this journey, then became, “Tag-Along.”
One more hiking friend, adopted the name, “Big Sky” as he was from Montana and lived on the Yellowstone River.

You can clearly see that the names are either given (not the perfect situation as you might be handed a name that you DON’T want or deserve), or you choose a name leaving for the trail. This is where all of our readers come in…. I, Terri, don’t have a trail name yet and I’m pretty sure that I’d rather choose my own, rather than be handed an unpleasant or unflattering one down the trail.

Those of you that know me well might be able to help with this challenge and those of you that don’t, let me tell you a bit about myself and perhaps you can help me come up with a terrific handle for the hike.

I’m a Wife, a Mom and a new Grandmother. I’ve been married 33 years to the love of my life and I’m absolutely crazy in love with him! I’m mother to 3 awesome, adult kids that I’m ‘button busting’ proud of and most recently, grandmother to the most precious little creature, ever to grace the earth.
I’m a photographer, gardener, knitter and homemaker; and an amateur philanthropist.  I am typically a homebody, enjoying spending time in my garden or sewing room or whipping up a new DIY project. I’m not someone who enjoys being ‘out front’, but would rather hide in the background and quietly enjoy my life. I have been blessed with a rich relationship with my husband and children and some very special friends. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel across most of the US and even some other countries. Backpacking does not hold the same place in my heart as it does for Tom and this trip is my gift to him for his 60th birthday. I am a destination hiker, meaning I want to get to the next place and relax and most days am oblivious to my surroundings, only intent on the next camping site.

Knowing me personally and knowing these generalizations about me, can you help me come up with an appropriate name? I’m hoping that some of your suggestions will ring true with my spirit and I’ll be able to adopt your name for me.

Come on friends and readers, let the suggestions start!! I can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Hike with Charlie - Appalachian Trail Prep

Dreamer here,

WOW!!  I love this video!!  (View full screen if possible) It portrays a great hike in the woods with my best four-legged buddy Charlie, on a beautiful day.  For those of you that know me, you know I love to hike.  God has given me a delight and it is moving through the woods in any weather.  Team TNT hikes almost every day at our favorite stomping ground, Rose Lake.  We are so grateful for this section of woods.  There are enough trails there to hike for hours and not hit the same section of trail twice.  Not bad for being so close to the large city of Lansing, MI.

For those of you that have been following my efforts to create a pleasing video know it has been a long and rough road.  My goal has been to learn enough about how to use a video camera, as well as acquire all the knowledge I can using Final Cut X in order to actually do something with the footage.  Well, as I am finding out, none of that has been easy.  Last fall, I barely knew which end was the business end of the camera.  And now, I know enough to be dangerous.  Terri & I have started a “Blooper” reel that at some point we will produce into a feature length video.  ;-)  The forgiveness in all of this, I am finding is in working Final Cut X.  Edit, edit, edit…

The long and the short of it is, I simply love working with my video camera and I have never had so much fun with my computer before.  Honestly, I love looking forward to carving out a few minutes here and there to play with the postproduction work with the software.

Of course, none of this comes cheap.  First I had to have the video camera, which turned into a better camera, which evolved into a boom mic for better sound, which turned into a new computer because my old one could not handle the software and memory issues, and on & on it goes…   This video you are about to watch was produced entirely with the new camera that Terri purchased for me; a GoPro Hero 3!  Thank you Sweetheart!!  I love it!!!



Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Catching up, some details and our request of all of you!

Dreamer here,

Terri, Charlie & I will actually be leaving Michigan three weeks from today for Springer Mountain, Georgia!  It is all so surreal.  After dreaming about this for so many years, and now after actively preparing for months, the moment of seeing our dream come to life is near.  Standing on top of Springer Mountain 24 days from today will be one of THE thrills of my life.  Standing there in that moment, actually visualizing this great dream, come true!  WOW….

Terri & I want to thank all you for your support!  Comments in multiple places, texts, phone calls, E-Mails and cards have surrounded us with your love and encouragement.  We are so grateful for all of you!  Amazingly, our Blog is currently reaching 7,000 visits!  Our YouTube Channel is approaching 1,500 views!  Our friends on Twitter are close to 250!  And our TNT Facebook page is getting close to 125 likes.  All of this is unbelievable for Terri & I.  After all, we haven’t even started our trip yet!

Even though we are uncertain exactly how all of our communication will actually work while we are out on the trail, we know a couple things for sure.  IMPORTANT – Terri & I will NOT be accessing our personal Facebook pages while we are away.  ( is the only Facebook page we will be updating.  So please, if you would like to get as regular as possible updates via Facebook, LIKE US on our TNT Facebook account.  Also, our Twitter handle is: tntonthetrail.  (If you have not already noticed this, Terri works with Facebook and I work with Twitter.)  I will be updating Twitter with lots of information and pictures (via Instagram) whenever I have a signal.  We will also be updating our Blog as often as possible with our location and experiences.  Lastly, it is our goal to document as much of our trip as possible with video, and we will be uploading to YouTube as often as we can produce videos and have the bandwidth to get them posted.

Finally, Terri & I have a request for all of you.  For those of you that have been within 6 feet of us for the past few weeks know that we are building a video montage of “Encouragement” from our family and friends.  It would mean so much to us if you would take a second and create a short video (use your phone) with some personal and encouraging words for us.  It is our hope to watch these clips during low moments while on the trail.  Being reminded of your friendship with encouragement would mean a lot to us!  Please send them to:

See you down the trail,