My Dad, My Brother, and 2,178 miles

On April 1, my father and brother will embark upon the biggest journey of their lifetimes. Well, that's assuming a lot about what they'll do with the rest of their time here, but I'm pretty sure I'm right.

They're going to through-hike the Appalachian Trail. All of it. From Georgia to Maine. All at once. All 2,178 miles.

Here's a closer look. I literally can't imagine walking so far. They're going to walk from Georgia to Maine. (And no, my father doesn't have a mistress, thank-you-very-much).

Any guesses for how long it will take them? Well, if my brother is going to make it to his first class as a freshman in college, they'd better get 'er done in 4 1/2 months.

18 weeks of camping. Of eating dehydrated food. Of limited showers. Of burying your crap (I'm pretty sure you have to do that?). No beds (except maybe at some of the 'stations' along the way?)

I should just ask my Dad to guest blog and tell you all about his motivations and what he expects along the journey.

What I can tell you is that you'll be able to keep up with the ... Looks like Dad and Bro will need some aliases, too. Hmmmmm....

Anyway, you'll be able to keep up with them on their high falootin' website. They have a GPS that will communicate their current position and they will be posting periodic updates as their connectivity allows.

They're also leveraging this ultimate personal challenge as an opportunity to raise money for a philanthropy that is near and dear to my father's heart: Water For People. This organization brings vital clean water to underprivileged areas. You can pledge a donation for every mile they complete over on 100% of the proceeds will go directly to Water For People.

The boys are also still accepting corporate sponsorships as well as direct donations of gear and food for their journey. If you'd like to help, you can find all the details on their website, too.

I know I'm biased, but I think this whole ordeal is pretty dang impressive. But the most impressive part? My mother.

She'll be on her own. Without my father's income. Without the 24/7 handyman in her 120 year-old farmhouse set on 16 acres. And the funny part - she's still got to feed them! She'll be shipping food throughout their journey - it'd be too much weight to carry all at once.

Her support in my father's dream is absolutely incredible. I don't know that I would be able to do that. Actually, I'm pretty sure I couldn't. Sure, I'd say I was just tickled pink about it. And speak of how proud I am (which I would be). But then I would jab in mini guilt-trippers every chance I got. And hint to the Stallion that he'd better do something unbelievably awesome for me when he got home.

Yeah, I know - I'm such a great person.

At least I'm honest.

I hope you find inspiration in this story and root on my family in whatever method suits you. Strangers especially!

P.S. The hikers are also on twitter: @hikingforwater

P.P.S. Yes, my mom has a bird on her head. WHAT? Look again.


  1. Carly is absolutely correct. As amazing as it may appear to strike out and backpack for five months straight..... it is indeed much more monumental for my wife Susan to hold down the fort AND support the mission. I am hoping she will have help in small ways by many helpful and friendly hands, but.... she is truly remarkable. All this while still teaching middle school science, caring for horses, dogs and cats and finishing her masters degree and you can see that I am truly blessed. As for my motivations? There's several actually. It's a bucket list thing (more about how that came about on my web site:, there is the opportunity to utilize the challenge of the trip to leverage fund raising for Water For People, there is the ultimate opportunity for an experience with my son, there is the break from the 20 plus years of the standard fare of employment and routine with something out of the ordinary. I'm sure day after day hiking for months on end will begat its own mundane appearance, but.... in spite of entering into the great tunnel vision of the green forest trail, I am sure there will be flora, fauna and vistas to carry us each day through the drudgery.

  2. I think this is wonderful for many reasons. First being the cause, second the dream, and third the experience and the stories to share for many years. I wish them all the best and I hope they have a beautiful time.

  3. Great to see this! If you brother is going to make it in 4 1/2 months he better walk fast! (it normally takes more like 5 or 6). My only question is - why arn't you going with them!!
    BackpackBaseCamp Blog


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