Sunday, October 23, 2011

5 months and 8 days till!

First off, THANK YOU to all who have taken the time and money to donate to our journey via We are very grateful and appreciate every penny.

That being said, this month has been a combination of working, skating, hunting, and more working. We also started a YouTube page specifically to show you what we will be working with. YouTube: ClimbTheDream. And Twitter: ClimbTheDream. Sounds a little better than TheClimbToKatahdin as a lot of people forget "Katahdin". Not the easiest mountain to remember, I agree. We are doing our best to keep all of these accounts updated for all our friends and anyone else who is at all inspired by our trip.

Back to YouTube for a moment. We tested Chaser's camera in one video and gave a peek at what we will be using to film the trip in another. Next will be gear we've purchased that are coming with us on the trip and videos on how we will be dehydrating, packing, and shipping our food. Oh, and a test run of everything at Tunica Hills.

Things we still need to do:
clothing, shoes, rain covers, few more camera accessories, forms to be filled out for filming and contacting national parks about legally filming on the grounds for doc, make a loose and solid itinerary so people can send us things in a timely manner, airport stuff(us and Chaser flying), purchasing the food and preparing it to be shipped, and keep on saving. I'm sure there is more but I can't think of it at the moment. But I'm looking forward to all of it.

AND Halloween is almost here!

 One last thing, I've been putting off seeing far distances as my eyes aren't that great. Not that we'll need another thing to keep track of on this trip but I wanna see everything we'll be seeing. So, sneak peek:
Man, my nose looks crazy.

I hope everyone es having a great FallTober.

Monday, September 12, 2011


We are making it!

And it's a good thing too because we have less than 7 months until we are climbing up to Springer Mountain to start the adventure we have been so steadily waiting and planning. I'm really proud of Lindsay and myself. We've been pinching pennies and not going out really at all so that we can make this dream a reality. We have been working on getting in the mindset and physical condition. I just finished The Appalachian Trail - A Trail of Discovery by Jan D. Curran. I like his style for the most part. He writes about his adventure traveling alone which isn't gonna be quite the same but anything that makes me feel closer to being there calls out to me. I enjoyed and you would to. It'll be back at the library tomorrow.

I'm gonna give a little shout out to Onward and Upward who's blog we really connected with.
So, in their fashion here's a list of things I will and won't miss about being here in real life:

Will miss:
Internet (we'll have a little as my iPhone bill will be paid for while we are on the trail)
White noise; in particularity air conditioning white noise. It'll be a tough habit to break.
Family and friends; mom and dad, grandma, Hunter, Brandon, Katie, Sarah, Dustin, Lindsay's folks.
St. Francisville; I know I'll still be in the woods but it certainly won't be the same not being in st fran.
Daily Show and Colbert Report; speaks for itself
Skateboarding; Six months not skateboarding will be the longest I've gone without skating in about 12 years. That's tough.
Cooking food in a kitchen; like fish and deer. Can't do it on the trail.
Toilets; ohhhhh pooping in the woods...

Won't miss:
Internet; I know I know. It's a blessing AND a curse.
Gas prices; Ugh
Selling boots; however I don't mind talking boots
Politics; and the nonstop talk about it, Jesus.
The Strokes' new album; what happened?
TV; with said exception

Well rounded? We watched Ride the Divide last night about a biking competition from Canada to Mexico down the Continental Divide. It was pretty awesome. I'm sure we'll be able to relate on a lot of levels. Highly recommend you checking it out.

One last thing, camera gear update:
This is one of the two main setups minus the light and brace to firm it up. That's next. This is Cam Caddie. Originally used as a skater marketed tool, it's light, and it serves stabilization purposes too. Here's another one of it:

And the next set up is with the UltraPod II. It's awesomely light too and serves so many purposes:

Now, that's cool for something stable, but the main reason I got it:
Offers SO many possibilities. From trekking poles to small trees to stumps and fences. Awesome.
And one more thing:
I knew I was gonna need something like this for back up if for nothing else. That charger charges through a standard AC outlet, car charger, but most importantly, USB. Which is how we are gonna have to charge a lot of things. The solar panel on the right charges from the sun(or wall outlet) and holds the charge till you are ready to use it via USB. It also charges my phone. AND it has a little snake LED light you can see on it's boarders. This isn't gonna be our main form of power but it'll work in a pinch. Wanna get about 3 more of those Solar ReStores. $26.99 at Best money I've spent in a while.

That's all for today! If you haven't yet, please stop by our funding site because all this adding up and any little bit will help.
$20 gets more than you think!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

seven months til'!

Hello beautiful people, we have set up a donation account for anyone interested in helping us on our journey. Anything (not just monetary) will be immensely appreciated...such as food for the trail, encouraging words,etc. Plus, you can find out what you will get in return if you donate $20 or more. Please click the link below if you'd like to know!
We know times are hard for everyone and we have been saving money left and right, but it hasn't been so easy making our goals even though we are trying our hardest! It would be heartbreaking to leave the trail because of financial issues.

click here to help us :)

colton, lindsay, and chaser

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Gear Gear GEAR

We decided to start gathering gear. It was a fun shopping spree of soon-to-be crucial items.
Here's some shots:

1. Ditty Sack from by Outdoor Research--- 2 packs for $56. Various sizes. I'm confident they will come in handy as a compressor and initial waterproofing shield for various items.

2. SteriPen from $70. Kills 99.9% of bacteria in moments. Forget loading a filtering pump all over the place. 6 oz before 4 AA's.

3. Outdoor Aluminum Mess kit for 2 people from ---- $24. Only 12 oz after taking out the cups it came with. Might hang on to the cool ladle it came with. We're going to keep our stove in there with it.

4. Eureka Scenic Pass 3XT plus Footprint from ----- $170. Did a lot of looking. We loved the color. We loved the space. We compromised on the weight. Most three person tents were gonna be a little heavy. But Chaser, Lindsay, and me are gonna do fine. 8.6 lbs but I'll take the heavier part. Linds will get the stakes. Super easy to setup and take down. Comfortable and can't wait to call it home for 6 months.

5. Red Diamond Trekking Poles from $68. These are mine. I love them and can't wait to go test them out. They feel durable and for a decent price.

6. Komperdell Trekking poles from $78. These are for Lindsay. The color is nice but, personally, I'm not so sure it'll make it 2100+ miles. They just don't feel sturdy to me especially for the price. Good chance we'll be sending them back and getting something more trustworthy.
7. Those two sacks: Thermarest Compressible Pillows from $48. When you first uncompress it's a little iffy. Give it 5 minutes and suddenly it rules. Great buy. Compacts nicely and I need a good pillow. Weighs 9 oz each. It'll be worth it.

8. Two Port-a-Bowls from $10. For Chaser. He'll be carrying those. They look like they'll do the job nicely.

9. Canon Vixia HF M41 from... don't get me started---- Too much($800ish in the end). Weighs 12 oz. But I'm guessing after a couple batteries, memory cards, external light, mic, and lenses, I'm gonna tack on another pound to pound and a half. I've had fun testing it out but much learning to do on it.

10. Two Large Micronet Towels from $19. They are a good size and compress small. 9 oz each. A little heavy for towels but half of it is the holder. Might drop those.

11. Alcohol Stove from $24 dollars. Tried desperately to make my own from beer cans but I was not getting the results I wanted. This thing boils 1 cup of water in under 4 minutes. Sweet. And the stand right there went to a burner I got at Academy for 6 bucks. It works perfect. 7 oz together. Can't wait to use them in the field.

12. Cocoon Travel Sheet---- $18. Just one for Lindsay. It feels great. Pretty much a liner for our sleeping bags or just a light blanket to put on top. 1 lb. I assume the weight will be worth it. Comfort is crucial.

13. Suisse Sport Adult Mummy Sleeping Bags from $56. Super comfortable and compacts tightly. I'm not the biggest fan of mummy bags because it confines my feet. But I believe it's gonna be okay. They both weigh 3.2 lbs. Slightly heavy, yes. But great bang for the buck. Actually, many AT vids we watch have at least one or two of these sleeping bags in it. Makes us feel a better.

14. Alps Mountaineering Lightweight Regular sized Self Inflating Sleeping Pads from um... Can't remember where at the moment----- $70ish, I believe. They are very very comfortable. Couldn't be happier. A tad short in width but we'll live. 2.5 lbs each.

15. Kelty Red Cloud---- Mine $90 and 6lbs. Linds' $130 and 5.9 lbs. Not the lightest packs but certainly not the heaviest. They are super comfortable and we love them. They will be our closets.

16. Chaser's Pack----- $45. It fits okay. I can see us needing to get another one half way through the trip but maybe not. Good sized packs on each side and waterproof. It should do the job. Chaser loves it.

17. (Not featured) Platypus 2.0 Liter bags from $60ish. Love the company. They threw in all kinds of goodies. Will def get more from them. Before water weight 5 oz each. They fit in a slot of our back pack that I'm excited to use. Might need to order a couple accessories with it like cleaning gear and nozzle replacements. I've always wanted one of these. Glad to have it!

18. Makala Ukulele from $45. Super fun and easy to play. 1 lb exactly(before some sort of waterproof case). I'm praying the effort to carry this along with us will be worth it. If deemed not, it'll head back. I don't know how hiking 12 miles effects the feeling of playing music.

19. 6inch Tambourine----- $9. Gotta have some percussion with the uke. Despite the size, it's one of the best full sounding tambourines I've ever heard and she knows how to shake it. 2 oz.

20. Books we'll be studying, cutting up, and carrying.

In addition, we purchased a vacuum sealer. I've been watching a ton of make-your-own-meal videos and decided this a great way to get meals together to send to ourselves.

Slowly but surely we are collecting food that has a long shelf life.
I'm gotta dehydrate all kinds of ground meat, chicken, and veggies too add to our meals. Vacuum seal them all together with instructions. Can't wait for that part!

Prefood, prewater, pre a couple other things, Lindsay is currently at 18 lbs on her back and me 22.5 lbs. Manageable so far. Before long, clothing and shoes.

All so exciting and as always, thanks for reading!

Oh and...
...Chaser loves you

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

New place, new blog

Indeed, once again, it has been a little while since we've blogged. Not that we haven't had much to blog about. In between moving to Baker with my dad to begin the savings to a family reunion in Orlando and camping at Grayton Beach State Park. All of it has been great so far!

Dad's place has been great. Been cooking roasts constantly and getting Chaser used to the yard. That wasn't hard. Not paying rent rules as does being that much closer to St. Francisville and Tunica Hills.

I got my camera in! Don't even get me started on how HUGE of a pain that was! can suck a big one! I've had to call them, let's see.... about 15 times since I ordered it two Wednesdays ago. At some point I paid for overnight shipping so that it would definitely would be to me by the time I left for the reunion. 60 dollars. They ended up shipping it ground. So it arrived a day late to Baton Rouge while I was in Florida. Ugh. They did compensate me a $150 wide angle lens. But that hardly compares. Then when I got back from Florida and grabbed my packages they sent me only the camera and the lens when I also ordered an extra battery, battery rapid charger, and carrying case. After all the times I talked to them and complained they still got it wrong. ANYWAY,  I got the camera aaaannndd it rules. Still haven't got to play with it much but it's light and takes amazing video and should do perfect to the AT documentary.

Also, the ATC land acquisition video I edited got amazing response. Soon, they will be on the official ATC website. Plus, Javier, the fellow I was in contact with for the video, sent me an awesome unexpected package. We were at the beach Monday morning when my buddy, Brian, called and said he was at the apartment we moved out of and there was a package there for me from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. So, this morning I ran over there to check it out. Here it is:

Isn't that awesome and nice? Thanks, ATC. I wish I could do more for you!

Saving money is coming along okay. Next step is sleeping bags, quick dry clothing, and tent. Also, we need to set up a donation page. And before long we need to start contacting the different parks and places we'll be hiking/filming. But it's nice having the ATC's support on this.

We will be updating more often now that we are nice and settled in our new place. Thanks for everyone's support!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

preparing to go to work, we just can't help but think of getting away

"The fascinating quality of all sorts of wilderness and backcountry travel lies in the reduction of life to its essentials: food, shelter, beauty; the confrontation with forces and circumstances which are at once comprehensible, mysterious, and so powerful that they will not be denied."

"The reason we need wilderness is because we are really wild animals. Every man needs a place he can go, to go crazy in peace.... Only then can we return to man’s other life, to the other way, to the order and sanity and beauty of what will somewhere be, unless all visions are false, the human community."
—EDWARD ABBEY, American environmental advocate, 1927–89

Our longing for the trail gets more powerful every day. We are excited to be moving by next month and to say goodbye to our apartment on State St. that we've been in for two years. Although the memories of living in this neighborhood for about four years (longer for Colton) will always remain precious to us, we are highly looking forward to escaping it all and most importantly having a backyard (chaser especially can't wait)! And it's all for the greater escape-- and the return to wilderness. This is the best idea we've ever had.


Monday, May 30, 2011

10 months till!

These months are flying by! Lindsay graduated, Chesley, my older brother came in from NYC to do some stand up comedy, and I went camping/fishing on an island in the Mississippi river::::

And catching fish too! Mississippi flooding rules for trout lines and limb lines. It's Memorial Day and we are gonna throw down on a fish fry. Things I will miss on the trail...

I'm about to be a manager at skate camp for two weeks. Hot sun, 30 little kids, two weeks, 7am -  yikes. But every cent is going to the trail because June is the last month we have to pay rent cause we are moving into my dad's house come July to save. So June is gonna super hectic but financially rewarding.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy put up a post on Facebook a couple weeks about a video they needed edited for a Land Acquisition conference coming up in July and I offered to volunteer my services and, after sending them a couple other of my short videos(99 Lives, Yeahhh, and Weedlord: Lord of the Weeds), they asked me to help them out. Awesome!!! Volunteer or not, I can't wait to make something for the ATC! I've had a couple "conference calls" as they called it and they have been sending me stuff little by little. This weekend I will be editing ferociously to have a solid video to help with the AT to acquire land! Really excited!

Other than that, Chaser's backpack will be here in the next couple days and I ordered these two books today:

I can't wait to get more in depth with the trail. Should be super informative.

That's all I got right now!
Later everybody!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

counting down the months

ahhh, i have graduated from college!!!!! 

this is my "i can't wait to go on the trail" woodcut that i did as the last thing for the semester, and as a look to the future. 


Monday, May 9, 2011

Been too long!

Alright Alright Alright, guys.
Been a couple weeks but we have all but forgotten about you. It's been a hectic couple of weeks. Lindsay in the final stretch of graduating with a bachelor's in painting and drawing and myself, family in town and A LOT of gardening. Soooo, I got the ukulele and it rules. Can't stop playing it. Lindsay is currently painting an amazing landscape. She's so good at what she does. We'd like to work it out where if you donate towards the trip she'll paint a scene for you of the AT when we get back. You choose the picture as we'll have hundreds, I'm sure.

We've been building the hype. Family, friends, acquaintances, and strangers alike are backing us. At Easter everyone in the family wanted to hear about it. They read about it on Facebook and had a line of questions for me.  Lots of support.
Lindsay and I met people at the dog park the other day and they seemed genuinely invested in the idea of us hiking the AT. They were so happy to hear that that is our goal. It's fun to talk about. We refer so many people to this blog so we are about to do a lot better at keeping up.

This time next year we should be in or near the Great Smokey Mountains. Lindsay's friend who is moving to Kentucky offered to care for Chaser though the national park where dogs are not allowed. She'll drop him back off and all. I hope that plan doesn't fall through.

The Mississippi River is flooding so I'm going crawfishing this weekend. It's hard to describe how I used to feel when I hiked through the woods whether it be to mess with stands, hunting, or just scoping things out. Often exhausting and, in the the sun, frustrating I'd want to just give up. But since the plan of thru hiking the attitude flip flopped. No more complaining. If anything, I intentionally pick up the pace. I love hiking and I'm so ready to have nothing but that to do. I love the mountains and the woods and 6 months in the middle of it with my two best friends is going to be the best 6 months.

I'll say 11 months can't pass fast enough but then it just might and we need that time to get funds up. Come July, the move into my dad's will be complete and the money shall rise. Possibly slowly, but definitely surely.

That's alls we'z gots right now. Thanks to anyone who actually takes time to read these. There will be more and soon.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Okay, new one

So, we got our packs in but we haven't had a chance to put em on, take a picture of our absolute excitement, upload, and put it on here. Nevertheless, they are AWESOME and look like they will do the job flawlessly. Thrilled!

I've been trying to figure out how to go without a guitar for 6 months(much less a skateboard) and I realized I can at least substitute one with minimal extra weight. No, not the board. The guitar. Well, not a guitar but a ukulele. That's right, a ukulele. Hell yeah. I've been doing extensive research(as always) and I think this is the one for price/quality:
 It's so fun to play and weight will be about a pound which I know means a lot when you already have 35 more on your back. Not to mention the overall mass. However, I fully believe it'll be worth any extra hassle. I pick up string instruments quite quickly but would still like to get this baby sooner rather than later so that I'm not a newbee by the time we hit the trail. I found it for $44.99 which includes shipping and tax which makes me feel okay about it's abuse it will inevitably receive. Needless to say, I'll be respective to other hikers. But I think it'll be perfect in more situations than I can foresee. Oh and Linds is bringing her tambourine!

Lindsay is on spring break so I took off and she, Chaser, and I are headed to St. Francisville tomorrow to do some fishing and maybe some hiking. Can't wait to fry some up! Every minute in the outdoors with my two best friends are great ones.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Keltys to Katahdin

We bought our packs and we are excited! We are putting a lot of faith in Kelty. And I have a good feeling about that.

The Kelty Red Cloud 5600.
5600 cubic inches, 90 liters, a little less than 6 lbs. It wasn't the color I wanted. I preferred green one which cost the same but it was 600 less cubic inches. $98.95 from That's a great great place for good deals on backpacks.

The Kelty Red Cloud 80 for women.
80 liters and 5000 cubic inches. Lindsay loves the color. We found it for $134.95 from... I forget the name of the site. But they should be in real soon.

We haven't gotten Chaser's yet, but that's next. His, too, will be blue.

We will let you know when they're in and what we think!

Friday, April 8, 2011

I guess there is no "perfect" backpack

The camera is gonna wait and the backpacks are gonna come first. I did a lot of research a while back to get an idea of price range. It's almost exciting. If you dig and dig you can find a lot of great looking backpacks for a around 100-125 between or But the problem is there is soooooo many. Kelty, REI, ALPS, Gregory, North Face, High Sierra, Black Diamond, etc spinning me in circles. Everything seems so perfect about one EXCEPT one thing EVERY time. Kinda frustrating, but again exciting... and timestaking. Review write ups and YouTube reviews can take days. And I these are our days of doing that very thing. The second I think, "I'm definitely get that one. It's perfect." I see another one that looks more perfect for, say, 5 more dollars. Hopefully, by tomorrow night we'll have one pinned down. It's probably coming down to either a Kelty or an REI backpack for me. Y'all will be the first to know!

Practice- 33lbs ain't so bad and that's a poopy test backpack I had laying around:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Reading and Watching

The one that got us started:

Yeah, it's on Netflix Instant Play

Couple more:


Also on Instant Play. Not as informative, rather more of a taste of what life is like on the trail.

Hard to say which is our favorite. All them make us feel closer to the trail.

Also, a couple books. I wanted to start with a couple of informative books and then first hand accounts. I started with:

Solid book overall. Gave me a good idea what we have to look forward to. I'm about to start reading his book about his first thru hike.

I'm almost done with this one:
This book explains it all. It's a little outdated, like mid 90's outdated. But it gives a lot of percentages, charts, and diagrams that you never knew you wanted to know. Yes, Roland Mueser looks like a total dork, but he created an awesomely informative book. Got this one at the library.

Lindsay started with Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods.

She loved it and made it quite clear it must be the next I read. I'm sorta reading it. More like it's being read to me. Got the audio book. PERFECT for cutting grass and the weekly rides to and from St. Francisville. Bill Bryson is awesome. Something about the way he writes is so capturing. I'm enjoying probably more than Lindsay said I would. So good.

And that's how we spend our free time. Any slow moment is directed towards the trail and suddenly it isn't so slow. We are there in our mind already.
Quick note: Onward and Upward(One More Mile), two hikers who started the trail at the beginning of February stalled out due to lack of funds and headed home(New Orleans).  It was such a shame to read this today because I was dedicated to their blog. I was really pushing for them and wanted to see them to the end. All their posts were endearing and spoke to me. All their preparation and support wasn't quite enough to make it. However, it goes to show how much more prepared Linds, Chase, and I must be, especially financially and we are working hard on that.

That's all we got right now. I hope you are getting inspired!