Saturday, March 31, 2012

Springer Mountain's Eve

Half way to Dawsonville, GA where we'll staying tonight. In the morning we head to Springer Mountain and this thing going. It's beginning to getting hilly allowing us to really visualize small amounts of what we'll be up against. It's exciting. 

Lindsay, Austin, Chaser and I are all pretty tired. It's hard to sleep knowing it's the last night in your own bed for some time. We'd like to be nice and rested up for Trail. 

The dream to hike the Appalachian Trail with Lindsay, our dog, and some cameras begins tomorrow!

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Time has Come

It's finally here. We have all of our ducks in a row and are ready to roll. Tomorrow my mother transports Lindsay, Chaser, Austin, and me towards our beginning. Typing that really excites me! Here it finally comes. We are ready.

The last few days have been nuts. Our going away parties were great but all too quickly gave way to the immense amounts of food preparations we had yet to do. We didn't dehydrate ALL those meats, fruits, veggies, and bread for nothing! It was time to place our collection of foods together, partition, and vacuum seal. And that we did. The original goal was to have about 165 for each of us. That's 330 total. We ended up with 125 each and I'm okay with that. I had originally thought, when we began the process days ago, that we had acquired too much food for 6 months. I was wrong. There were a few runs to Walmart for extra crackers, cereals, candies, vitamins, and vacuum seal bags. It was a long, tedious process that I'm very glad to be done with. However, when the vacuum sealing was done, the drop box preparations began. Yet another awkwardly organized, lengthy process, especially since we didn't make our mark. Which ones get shorted and which ones do not? We figured it out.


I was afraid my amounts were off so I made one.
It was exactly the right amount. Perfect. And delicious!
This was made by putting, dehydrated ground meat, onions, bellpeppers, and corn in with half an Alfredo Pasta Side with some extra powdered milk. I hope they all turn out this way.

Thursday, we put them in their place.
There they are. All, like, 40 of them. Preaddressed and ready to go. My mom will now be the one to send us these packages. It works out a little better that way. Thank you, MOM!

Alright, this is our last day in Louisiana for a bit so I gotta make the rest of this quick. This is my best attempt at an ETA for everybody. Needless to say, keep up with the blog as it will be more up-to-date as we go along.

Blairsville, GA
April 8-9

Hiawassee, GA
April 12-13

Franklin, NC
April 16-18

Nantahala Outdoor Center
April 20-21

Fontana Dam, NC
April 23-24

Gatlinburg, TN
April 27-28

Hot Springs, NC
May 2-3

Erwin, TN
May 7-8

Hampton, TN
May 12-14

Damascus, VA
May 17-19

Troutdale, VA
May 22-24

Bland, VA
May 31-June 2

Pearisburg, VA
June 4-5

Catawba, VA
June 11-12

Glasgow, VA
June 17-19

Waynesboro, VA
June 25-27

Linden, VA
July 2-4

Harpers Ferry, WV
July 7-8

Fayetteville, PA
July 12-14

Duncannon, PA
July 18-20

Port Clinton, PA
July 24-26

Palmerton, PA
July 29-30

Delaware Water Gap, PA
August 2-3

Unionville, NY
August 7-8

Fort Montgomery, NY
August 12-14

Kent, CT
August 18-20

Salisbury, CT
August 21-23

 Dalton, MA
August 27-79

Bennington, VT
August 30-31

Killington, VT
September 7-9

Hanover, NH
September 11-13

Glencliff, NH
September, 15-16

Gorham, NH
September 22-23

Andover, ME
September 26-27

Stratton, ME
October 2-4

Caratunk, ME
October 6-8

Monson, ME
October 10-12

I realize these calculations result in cutting it close to the closing date of October 15 of Mount Katahdin, but it's so hard to say right now what our pace is gonna be and when. Nevertheless, there it is.

If you'd like to send us something, fill it out like this:

ATTN: Hold for AT Thru-hikers
Coltin Calloway and Lindsay Fasic
General Delivery
Whatever town, Whatever state ZIP

That's to most towns. The only ones that are different are the ones that don't go to post offices. Though I wish there were more drops not P.O. dependent due to their hours of operation, there are places like 

Nantahala Outdoor Center
13077 Hwy 19 W
Bryson City, NC 28713

that will hold it for us. Also,

Brown's Grocery Store
613 Hwy 321
Hampton, TN


P.O. Box 807 Washington St.
Harpers Ferry, WV 25425

(That's the Appalachian Trail Conservancy headquarters)

And, I think, one more

Fotter's Market
152 Main St.
Stratton, ME 04982

Oh, and

Shaw's Lodging
P.O. Box 72
17 Pleasant St.
Monson, ME 04464

Everything else should be General Delivery to post offices. Again, make sure you put "Hold for AT Thru-hikers" and our names.

Next time we blog to you, it'll be from the iPhone on Trail. Thanks again to everyone who has helped us make this happen. All of you are awesome. Thanks for all the support and we'll see you 6 months.
Special thanks to my dad who allowed us to live at his house as if it were our own and slipped us many financial backings that have helped so much. AND the awesome crawfish last night. Lindsay, Chaser, and I will miss him very much. Sorry bout all the messes the Trail-related gear, food, and everything else that has cluttered the house. You are awesome.

9 and half pounds on his back and his tail is wagging!

Happy Trailin'!!!!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

One Week Count-down

It's been a couple weeks since we've last updated. This is because our routines have dramatically changed since the last blog. As of the Friday before last, March 16, Lindsay and I parted ways with our day jobs. It was tough, but necessary. We both had pretty resounding exits.

Now that our jobs don't consume our lives, we have more time to focus on preparations. I'm happy to say that dehydrating is just about complete. We've been ripping apart dinners,(Hamburger Helper, Pasta Sides, Bear Creek Soups) and partitioning them into meal sizes. We get all of our bags of dehydrated ground meat, chicken, corn, tomatoes, peas, beans, and okra and place them in the bags with the meals. Using the method, we pack a dinner, snacks, lunch, and breakfast into a vacuum sealable bag for our homemade MRE's.

We mark them to let us know if contains meat or fish as Lindsay does not eat meat. We will then distribute to boxes to be shipped. The idea, originally, was to have one for every potential night on the Trail. We have adjusted that seeing how I will be consuming many cheeseburgers and won't need to rehydrate as many meals. Nevertheless, we are still working towards making as many meals as possible. In addition to all that we've purchased, a ton of food as been kindly donated to us from our awesome friends and family. I do believe we have enough to eat very well every night. Now for the crunch time event: organizing all the food! We have a long ways to go but I have faith we'll complete it within the next couple days.

This past weekend has been packed with going away gatherings. We have a lot of people behind us on this adventure. They are psyched on the journey, the idea of the journey, and the films and paintings to come of it. We feel the love and will throughout our hike. 

I've been feeling much more confident about the construction of the film within this adventure. If nothing else Chaser's new backpack camera set up has performed flawlessly. The shaky, 95% unusable footage is a thing of the past. We were able to attach the camera much better than before. The test results have turned out incredible. It's funny, when I was first tinkering with the idea of Chaser having a camera, I did some Google searches on how other people have connected cameras to dogs. Not a lot out there and they didn't seem to work that well. I hope I have time to post a little footage before we go. The real beauty about Chaser's cam is that we will have no way of looking at it until after we get back. Good dog.

Chaser also got a microchip implanted, just in case. We opted out of trying dog booty after dog booty even though it was quite a funny site. He looked like a show pony plopping around. Instead we are going to treat his paws with pad enhancers. If this isn't as effective as we hope, we'll submit to booties.

We may not have much time to post another blog before we depart for the mountains. It's here. It's finally here. Stop talking, start hiking. We are very excited and look forward to keeping everyone who cares so much updated.

There are too many contributors to count in the last 2 weeks. We have been truly blessed by a lot of people. We thank all of you for believing.

Even Stella, my best friend, Dustin, and his awesome girlfriend, Logan's, baby showed up!
Too cute.

Oh wait, there will be one more post of a guestimated mail drop list.

See you on the Trail

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

26 Days Until The AT!

March has me all kinds of backwards right now. So many last minute buys and preparations are flying around in my head. Camp cups... pot cozies... doggy booties. Ideally we won't show up on the Trail and have a "DAMMIT WE FORGOT THAT" moment. The basics are covered but we are more than basic. I'm sure throughout the trip we'll narrow down to the bare basics. There are many things we simply won't know until we spend a couple weeks out there. But I think that goes for everyone, so we don't feel so bad.

The anticipation 3 and a half weeks prior to our departure brings a large range of emotions. Excited. Nervous. Ready. Not Ready. But ultimately we are ready and will be more so when that day comes. It's right around the corner. The preparations, themselves, feel like a journey. I haven't really had much of any free time. Before and after work consists of nothing but food prepping for dehydrating and removing other freshly dehydrated food. I wake up earlier to take food off/put food on and go to bed later than normal to do the same so food can dehydrate as we sleep. Nonstop. Currently we have diced tomatoes/Rotel, black eyed peas, cooked noodles, and bread with syrup, honey, and cinnamon sugar dehydrating. I had to start utilizing the oven due to lack of dehydrating space. Set it on the lowest setting and leave a good crack for air to escape. The only thing is you gotta be there the whole time if you use the oven. Too much about dehydrating? Sorry. Had to get it out.

We organized our foods that we've been collecting for months last night. I'm impressed with how much we've accumulated. I'm gonna estimate it's about 4 months supply. We'll be out there for about 160-180 days. Therefore, we need about 115-130 meals ready in the mail drops. So, we haven't quite accumulated enough. A big trip to the grocery store again is coming up soon. Oh, and so much vacuum sealing needed, so little time.

Sure looks like a lot, right?

That's because it is. This doesn't include a substantial amount of dehydrated foods(meat, veggies, bread).

We haven't been able to do as much training recently. Simply no time. We are split between work and working on the Trail. But I'm not really scared about it. I believe we'll hike just fine. Of course, everyone struggles at first. Few are truly in shape at the beginning of a thruhike.

I do, somehow, manage to find a little time to do some skateboarding. It has to happen. It's been my anchor of sanity for many years and I will miss it greatly. It's amazing how long I can entertain myself just thinking about a nollie kickflip noseslide even though I can't do that. It often haunts me in the best way as I rest my eyes to sleep or gets me through a long day of work. My brain battles between the Trail and skateboarding all the time and I really don't mind. I envision myself returning in 7 months and slinging my first nollie flip. The thought, itself, is so satisfying. 

Adventurer on and off the board.

Couple years-old footage.
Skateboarding, NPR, Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, my friends, and my family. I will miss them all. But we shall return.

Real quick, special thanks to my cousin Jimmy who works distributing Little Debbie and Lance snacks and is coming up with a gift package for us with as many long-shelf life items as he can. Jerky, crackers, and other snacks. Perfect.

We love all you guys. Looking forward to updating a fraction of text that these blogs contain but from the Trail!

PS. has helped immensely and we appreciate that it exists.