Friday, August 26, 2016
Sunday, August 21, 2016
We made it back home safe & sound a couple of hours ago (Praise the Lord!). We ended up stopping at a rest stop outside of Lake City, FL for a few hours of front seat "sleep" before finishing the trek this morning. The truck and trailer did great! Now it's onto unloading and cleaning up the gear in the truck and trailer. Giddy up!
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Roadside stretch! The 2 longest days of the year for me is the day I drive the trailer up to the mountains and the day I drive the trailer back home. Today is the drive back home. Keep us in your prayers as we travel southbound. Yip! Yip!
We've finished cleaning, sorting, and restocking GTD's rock climbing, rappelling, and backpacking gear. PJ!! GTD owns enough high quality gear to outfit 30 climbers and 20 backpackers. We cache the gear in a God-awesome location in north GA where we are within 2 hours of 5 different airports and centralized to tons of hiking and climbing spots. All of this gear is used to introduce people to outdoor activities in God's creation along with the greatest adventure of all - following Jesus!
Friday, August 19, 2016
We spent the day at the laundromat washing & drying 25 sleeping bags plus several loads of food bags, compression sacs, pillows, towels, clothes, etc, etc. We spent about $125 in quarters... that's a lot of quarters - LOL! Well, they say, "Cleanliness is next to godliness." ;)
Yesterday we started our end of the summer clean-up. Outdoor adventuring can be messy business. To keep our gear and equipment in great shape and to extend its lifespan to maximum length we have to work hard to maintain it. In years past we didn't have time to stay on top of our equipment like we wanted to as we would rush from event to event with a skeleton crew of workers. Over the past year we've been striving to do a better job with the equipment we've been entrusted with (taking into consideration our small staff along with limited time and resources). We have to be back to FL on Aug 20th so we are scurrying to "get 'er done!" :)
Saturday, August 13, 2016
They came, they hiked, they conquered!! 23 backpackers from all over the United States came as part of Landry Academy's annual Appalachian Trail Backpacking Trip in Hampton, TN. All 23 participants literally poured their sweat, blood, and tears into conquering this challenging ridge hike. And they did it!! We've had a lot of GREAT groups over the past 20 years, but this was one of the BEST! I wish everyone could meet and spend quality time with this group of teenagers and their parents. Their depth of character, love for Jesus, positive attitudes, and zest for adventure is 2nd to none! We quickly became more than a group of individuals, we became a family. Sometimes it's hard to say goodbye to such wonderful people. This is one of those times. I'd go anywhere with this group of incredible people. We are so proud of them and their accomplishment! Tonight we eat, celebrate, and hopefully have a well earned deep sleep. Glory to God!
Friday, August 12, 2016
Downed trees (also known as "blow downs") was the name of the game today. We hurdled, crawled under, squeezed between, scrambled over, and traversed around 30+ downed trees during our hike today. It added about 2 hours and a lot more sweat onto our quest today, but we made it to our camping spot for the night. Everyone kept positive Christ driven "can-do" attitudes throughout our hiking obstacle course. We love this group and their depth of character! We are overcoming each challenge and soaking up this adventure!
Thursday, August 11, 2016
This is more than just a backpacking trip. It's a God-awesome backpacking trip that is focused on seeking Him first! We start each morning with daily devotions from the Bible. This morning we focused on Philippines 2. There is no better way to start each day than feasting on God's Word! (Landry Academy 2016 AT Backpacking Trip.) =)
One of the precautions we have to take while backpacking is hanging all of our food outside of our campsite area so that we don't attract unwanted midnight visits from wildlife such as bears. All food should be hung well away from camp (usually in a tree) at least 10' off the ground and at least 5' laterally away from the tree. It was quite the adventure and a great source of laughter as we hung 250 lbs of food last night!! I love how much fun this group is even when it comes to doing our nightly "chores". Can't wait for today's adventures!!
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
We kicked off our 22 mile backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail today with 21 fantastic students, teachers, and family members from Landry Academy. We split into a few groups before hitting the trail. 4 days of hiking in God's amazing creation is already off to a great start!
Jen & Tom Henriksen along with Laurie Finger did a fantastic job teaching, preparing and equipping the Landry Academy crew for our upcoming AT backpacking trip that starts later today!
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Yesterday we kicked off our 2nd Annual Appalachian Trail Backpacking Trip with Landry Academy. The first 2 days consist of trip prep including teaching workshops, distribution of gear, and a whole lot of fun - especially this 60' tree climb with a breathtaking view of our base camp!! Tomorrow afternoon we start our 4 day 22 mile trek on the AT. This is one of the most amazing groups we've ever worked with... we already feel like a big family!! Can't wait to start this hike! Praise God =)
Sunday, August 7, 2016
Our goal was to pack up all of our backpacking gear yesterday in 4 hours for our next event. We did it in 12 hours! Classic overachievers. LOL!
Full day of final prep today. Then trekking towards Hampton, TN!
Friday, August 5, 2016
We have arrived to our Gear Cache location in Hiawassee, GA. We've set up our camping hammocks on the beatiful shores of Lake Chatuge. Tonight and tomorrow we will be packing up all the gear for our A.T. backpacking trip with Landry Academy. Everything kicks off Monday! Can't wait!