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)

Worship & Leap For Joy!

The joys of backpacking combined with the majesty of God's creation are both worship inspiring and leap worthy!

"You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you." - Nehemiah 9:6

Water Source!!

It's common to not have a water source for several miles while backpacking. When you find one it's like finding clear liquid gold! Once the pouch is filled we squeeze the water through a Sawyer water filter before drinking. One of the many blessings that come from backpacking is the heightened gratefulness for the many essentials in life that we have easy access to in this country, but far too often take for granted.

Monday, September 14, 2015


They did it! Five self proclaimed "middle aged" women ranging in age from 51-63 (4 of which are grandmothers) just completed their first section hike on the AT (Appalachian Trail). They conquered 17 of the toughest miles in 4 days. One of these amazing ladies summed it up by saying, "I've given birth to 4 kids, but this was the hardest thing I've ever done!" We are so impressed with these ladies! They fought through steep inclines, harsh declines, soaking rain, and 45 degree cold nights all with a joyful spirit and infectious laughter. They have never lost their sense of wonder or adventurous spirit. They are all still 25 years old in their hearts. One of my favorite moments was when I could overhear two of them talking in detail about skate boarding, skate boards, and Tony Hawk. Absolutely awesome! We also loved their heart for God and how they leaned on Him as their strength. It was an unforgettable 4 days of awesomeness and our ministry was honored to outfit their quest. They came. They hiked. They conquered!!


We are conquering some high peaks here in Georgia on the A.T. With some first time hikers...I can't even exaggerate how proud I am of these women!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Check-in/OK message from SPOT GTD (GPS Alert)

GTD (GPS Alert)
GPS location Date/Time:09/13/2015 18:38:40 EDT

Message:Quick update from GTD: All's good! Everyone is safe & sound. Click on links to see our location. God bless =)

Click the link below to see where I am located.

If the above link does not work, try this link:,-83.65610&ll=34.86337,-83.65610&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

GTD (GPS Alert)

You have received this message because GTD (GPS Alert) has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Ready for Adventure

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Check-in/OK message from SPOT GTD (GPS Alert)

GTD (GPS Alert)
GPS location Date/Time:09/12/2015 19:36:56 EDT

Message:Quick update from GTD: All's good! Everyone is safe & sound. Click on links to see our location. God bless =)

Click the link below to see where I am located.

If the above link does not work, try this link:,-83.65689&ll=34.81660,-83.65689&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

GTD (GPS Alert)

You have received this message because GTD (GPS Alert) has added you to their SPOT contact list.

Ready for Adventure

High Point!

Made it to the highest point of the Appalachian Trail (of the Georgia section) with our 5 Ultra Women!! They set a new GTD record for our most methodical (least fastest) hikers... We got passed by 4 snails and 3 turtles, BUT they all made it and did a FANTASTIC job!!!! PJ!!! 1 more mile to go for today :)

Friday, September 11, 2015

Mountain Top!

Made it to the top of the mountain and found a beautiful spot to set-up camp. Cooked some delicious backpacker dinners near a small fire and finished off the night with some fellowship and a short lesson from the Bible. We are now all in our tents and hammocks falling asleep to the soothing sound of a gentle rain tapping on the rainfly. It's supposed to dip into the upper 40's this weekend. So stoked :)

We started!!

Going straight up the mountain with some pretty awesome women :)