Sunday, October 4, 2015

Wrapping Up In Utah

These are our last couple of days in Utah. We are hammock camping and visiting future destinations as we literally plan out GTD's first official trip to Utah (Lord willing in 2016). Exciting :)

Saturday, October 3, 2015


THE AGONY OF VICTORY!! Laurie & I finished in record time... as in record slow time (LOL!)... She is hobbling, but doing well. AND Jason & Heather Lazzaro finished close to record fast time!! So impressed with everyone for finishing!! Praise Jesus!!

Friday, October 2, 2015

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Ready for Adventure

Thursday, October 1, 2015


During our 10 day recon trip of Utah we visited the "Mighty 5" National Parks within the state. All were spectacular! But they may not all fit within the criteria of a future GTD group event. And that's why we recon them before we bring groups here. We are now taking all the information we've acquired and piecing together what we believe will be a once-in-a-lifetime God-awesome event to provide to future groups. Utah definitely has the WOW factor! In Romans 1:20 God's word says that God has made His invisible qualities evident through creation so we believe that every destination on earth reveals another unique attribute of our amazing Creator. Utah was no let down in this regard. On the contrary, it exceeded expectations! A big thrust of our ministry is to bring people to places that display the majesty of God. You can't avoid His majesty in the mountains, plains, valleys, and canyons of Utah. There is so much variety of magnificent beauty here. It's absolutely breathtaking! We believe that the 10 days we spent here were a great investment for the future of GTD. Now Laurie and I are spending a few more days here to piece it all together into a trip that we prayerfully hope to offer next year during GTD's 20 Year Anniversary!! It's all coming together quickly. We want to thank our supporters and ministry fans for your prayers as we seek to follow where we believe God is guiding this ministry. We believe our supporters will be overwhelming pleased with Utah as our next GTD destination out west. And we know you will all be happy with the frugalness that was taken in this endeavor as we used airline points to purchase our flights, camped out & stayed in inexpensive humble accommodations, used discounts to rent our vehicle, and ate mostly backpacking style & grocery bought meals. In other words, we did this trip on the cheap just like a non-profit organization should. We look forward to sharing with all of you the final trip plan as soon as we finish piecing it all together. It's happening quickly! Thank you for believing in and supporting this ministry! A new God-awesome trip is in the works!! God bless :)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

R2R this Friday!

2 days till our 1-day 25 mile Rim-2-Rim hike thru the Grand Canyon with Jason & Heather Lazzaro!!! Couldn't be more excited!!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Bye Erin!

So sad saying goodbye to our recon bestie Erin Powell. It was a great 10 days shaping the future of GTD out west... an investment in the years to come!! Laurie & I will stay out here for 1 more week. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

4 Corners!

What has 6 thumbs and can't fit inside of 4 states??? Us!

Canyonlands National Park

Last night's sunset at Canyonlands National Park. Another masterpiece by God :)

Arches National Park

Jumping for joy at the most photographed arch in the world!! Continually amazed by God's playground!!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Utah Recon Continues

Continuing our trek on the amazingly scenic byways of Utah in search of the best adventures this state has to offer. We call it a "recon" trip (short for reconnaissance). It's all about the growth & advancement of the ministry. It's an investment into our future. Recon trips are all about taking theoretical trips that work good on paper and testing it in real life. We troubleshoot the logistics, activities, and ministry opportunities and see if it's doable. We go ahead and work through the mistakes that happen anytime you do something for the first time and tweak it and refine it so that we get to the point where we can effectively bring a group back and let God do His thing. All I can say is that Utah is not just a good idea, it's going to be one of GTD's premiere destinations starting in 2016. We couldn't be happier with all that we've discovered so far in this fantastic state. Utah should be on everyone's bucket list. It's absolutely phenomenal! Our recon focus for today is Capital Reef National Park. More info to come :)

Bryce Canyon Utah

We are touring "The Mighty Five" National Parks in Utah. It's a trip full of spectacular no-where-else-in-the-world scenery. On Wednesday we spent the day at Bryce Canyon NP hiking down and around hoodoos. Absolutely amazing!! It felt like we were in a sci-fi movie as we weaved around giant human-like spires. It was sooooooo cool!! We were blessed with a beautiful day!

Monday, September 21, 2015


We made it to Zion National Park yesterday!! Hiking "The Narrows" & "Angel's Landing" today!!!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Welcome To Utah GTD!!

We leaped over the state line into Utah!!!! Awesome blossom extra awesome!!

Utah Bound

Made it to Vegas last night... In route to Zion National Park in Utah!! Let the recon adventures begin!!

Friday, September 18, 2015


Laurie & I enjoyed our 5.4 mile hike up & down Rocky Mtn on the AT with Stacy, Anna, and 2 goats named Happy and Coco. We are training for our hiking treks in Utah with Erin and our Rim-2-Rim hike in the Grand Canyon with Jason & Heather Lazzaro. We loved having a "scapegoat" along with us just in case we needed an excuse - LOL!! Good times and looking forward to what lies ahead :)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

EVANS Pictures Uploaded

573 pictures of our backpacking trip with Natalie Evans and her Wonder Women crew have been uploaded to the GTD online photo album. Click the link below to check out all the pics. Enjoy!

Click here for pictures =)

Office de Laundry

Our mobile office today is "Clothes Line Laundry" in Blairsville, GA as our post trip clean-up continues and our administration work starts back up again :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Our Work Never Ends :)

Thoroughly cleaning and repacking our backpacking gear all day today & tomorrow. We LOVE our Gear Cache location in Hiawassee, GA!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Our Office Today

On the road our office is a local grocery store!  We've got lots of things to get caught up on, photos to upload for our group, messages to answer, cleaning to do, planning, re-coning, training and a bit of visiting....and we've got an entire month on the road!  Thank you Traci Garner Vescovi and Miguel Alfonso for taking care of our beloved pets at the GTD Zoo!

The Heavens Declare; The Sky Proclaims

This is one of my favorite pictures and views from our AT backpacking trip with the Wonder Women. It reminded me of an awesome verse in Psalms :)

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork."  - Psalm 19:1

Bear Bagging It On The AT

Usually the last thing that needs to be done at night before going to sleep is hanging the "bear bags". To discourage bears, mice, rodents, ants, and other pesky varmints from visiting the camping area it's recommended that all food & snacks be hung in a tree at least 200 feet away from camp 10 feet above the ground and 5 feet away from the trunk of the tree. Laurie got her first attempt at taking on this task. I figured it would take her several tries (like it does for me - LOL!). She nailed it on her first toss!!

Camp Life

A glimpse of camp life while backpacking on the AT :)

No Excuses

The last 4 days I spent on the A.T. I spent with this amazing world traveler Sandi Sandelier Blankenship.  Together the two of us brought up the rear of one of the most difficult climbs in Georgia!  It's such a blessing in so many ways to bring up the rear of a hike like this, especially with someone like Sandi who doesn't let anything stop her from experiencing a trip of a life time!  Although Sandi has had knee surgeries, has exercise induced asthma and is still recovering from Chikungunya (a virus passed through Mosquitos and causes severe joint pain for months or even years), she NEVER made any excuses for herself, never complained and never gave up!  Step by step we brought up the rear and together we conquered 17 miles includingTrey Mountain which is rated number 7 out of the highest peaks in Georgia!  Congratulations Sandi, I am so proud of you!  Where others would of given up before they even got started, you pushed against the odds of all the things that could have stopped you, but you went ahead and did it anyways!  It was an honor to hike with you!  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil 4:13)