Monday, October 7, 2013



Sorry about the lack of updates to the blog!

Pretty much all activity has been relocated to our The Climb to Katahdin FB Page


our awesome new site

Check there for tour dates. If you can help out with any screenings or help promote for any of the existing screenings, please let me know and I'll get back to you ASAP.

I can't wait to head out on tour and spread the film around. I told y'all I was coming! Now I am. :)


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Good things. Past and Future

The premiere at the Manship Theatre here in my home town of Baton Rouge went incredibly well. It didn't just sell out, it overly sold out. Yep. 325 seats available but they had to add seating to 370. It was the best turn out for a film the Manship has ever had. I'm honored and flattered.

The feedback has been amazing. I know Lindsay can't work a shift at Whole Foods without a random person coming up to her and telling her how much they enjoyed her in the film. Random people at that. There were so many people there that were friends and family, yes, but there was also a whole other crowd that either always come to Manship events or have some sort of interest in the Trail, whether a family member hiked it or they, themselves, hope to hike it one day. Either way, awesome awesome night and awesome awesome feedback. People were touched and I appreciate that. Even a lot of tears! Everyone laughed at the right moments and cringed at the sight of others(You'll know what I mean when you see it).

What a way to kick off The Climb to Katahdin! I was fortunate enough to get a substantial amount of coverage for the premiere. WAFB interview and 225 interview

I have a few more screenings coming up in the near future that are getting some coverage as well. Baton Rouge Gallery's Movies on the Lawn August 23rd at 8pm for only 5 dollars is the next one. I am very much looking forward to this one. An adventure movie like TCtK is perfect for an outdoor screening. However, if the weather doesn't cooperate, it'll turn an unlimited number of admission to about 95. I'm hoping and praying that isn't the case despite the early Weather Channel prediction of 60%. We are working on getting pre-sales up so that if there is a rain out, people who purchase early can definitely get in. I'm predicting another huge turn out. Fingers crossed.

Aside from that screening, I have a few planned at my home school, Baton Rouge Community College in mid September. In addition, I'm trying to plan a few more out around the state to prepare for what's to come. What's to come? An eastern tour. I am in the early stages of setting up dates for October-November. I have contacted over 25 community colleges and a few outing clubs. It's already harder than I thought it would be as I have only heard back from a few contacts. That's okay. Just gotta keep positive. I know anyone would be happy to screen The Climb to Katahdin, it's just making the appropriate plans and dates for it to happen. I very much look forward to traveling and screening and seeing old friends and hikers. The tour will start heading into Florida all the way down to Miami then up to Charleston, SC. Then to NC and up to Pennsylvania. Then NYC and Maine. Then down along the Trail and a little of Kentucky. Then back to NC and Tennessee. Then home. I'd like to book about 30 showings and be on the road for roughly 35-40 days.

I am focusing in on community colleges, yes, but I'm hoping to show in more places than that. I'm open to many venues. I just want people to see it.

I have entered a few festivals that I'm waiting to hear back from. As far as distribution, I want to wait until after I get back and look deeper into it. Don't get me wrong, I'm ready for this film to be on sale. I am just still building buzz.

In the meantime, so that I have something for fans, I am working on merchandise. We have some great TShirt designs, posters, bumper stickers, and prints of Lindsay's work that we'd like get made. It's just a little out of our price range at the moment. Oh, and the soundtrack, which I'm in love with and was getting asked about so much after the premiere. We are working on that too. Few things I'd like more than to have something for people who want to support the film but are unable to purchase the DVD yet. Give me a little more time.

Again, thank you to everyone reading this and who cares. It means a lot to us and we can't wait to show you the film!!!

Don't forget to Like us out on our Facebook Page.

Quick thanks to Josh Nee for his amazing work with his amazing flyers.

ONE MORE THING: I'll be on the Jim Engster Show Thursday, August 22nd on NPR discussing the film. I seriously am so excited about this. Yeah, it's local, but few things I love more than NPR. ALSO, I'll be on The Around Town TV Show this upcoming weekend. When these clips become available I'll post them(on Facebook first).

Pictures pictures:

 The line was twice this size.
 Chaser all ready for the big night!
 Flyer for the upcoming show
Credit to Josh Nee
 Flyer for the premiere
Credit to Josh Nee
BELCH figuring out how to eat a Beignet  

 Happy birthday! We were in CT this time last year.
BRCC coverage

Sunday, June 30, 2013

It's Official!!!

The premiere date for The Climb to Katahdin has been set! Thursday, July 25th at 7:00 pm at The Manship Theatre. Tickets are currently available at Shaw Center where the Manship Theatre is located and at their website,

I couldn't be more excited! It's been such a long, slow process. Put in this scene, take it out, put it back in and fix the audio. Now Color Correct. Burn to BluRay see how it looks. What are those flickers? Start the process over. But no lie, it looks and feels like a legit movie. It's basically what I envisioned doing from the very beginning. A dream has been reached. I've had plenty of friends and family view versions of the film and each one, no matter what stage, has come back with huge thumbs up. And they are honest thumbs. Not that "it's great for your first full length" stuff. The film takes you on a ride... well, a hike. It's got ups and downs. It's got laughs, cries, gasps, and even some gross moments. It holds as a legit Appalachian Trail film and the amazing feeling I get when I think about the tour and showing it up and down the Trail bubbles up and I can't control the excitement sometimes. People will respond well. I get to watch the feelings as they are being played out on peoples' faces. Few things more satisfying than getting the laugh right when you planned it.

Lot's of people ask how and when they can see it. Understandable question. I wish I had a good answer for you. This is my first venture like this to any degree. I don't know how slow these wheels turn. I don't know what kind of success I'm going to have at festivals. Don't know if someone will want to co-produce after seeing it and guide me along my way from tour to festivals to DVD/BluRays distributions. So many things still up in the air. All I know is the premiere is July 25th and the tour begins a month or two after that. From there all of my friends and Trail buddies who want to see it can. It requires help getting a crowd and somewhere to show it. I'll come to you. Ideally, 5 dollars a head so I can get to my next place and still have some money to donate to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Funny story about the ATC. I sent a version, a more unpolished version than the current one, to a fella who works there to screen it for the possibility of going on the road with it to raise awareness and funds for the ATC. They will be visiting roughly 20 theaters across the nation with an AT film that best represents the Trail and is family friendly. TCtK scored the highest and he was thrilled to see it. He said it was on the top of the list, no doubt about it. However, there's a crucial thing the ATC is pushing hard. That's "Leave No Trace".  No, we didn't go leaving a trace or anything, but one of the LNT rules is if you have a dog on the Trail, it must be leashed to you at all times with a leash no longer than 6ft no matter the local rules and regulations of a given section. Unfortunately, there is no way to fake Chaser's absence of a leash which is a real shame. He was on a shock collar the entire time which is basically a long, invisible, comfortable for all leash. No matter. The only downside is that I wish I coulda help the AT. Kids and adults alike with enjoy the film. I could see it representing them perfectly. No such luck. The only thing I ask of the ATC is that it doesn't hinder them from selling the film at the ATC store when it's ready for distribution. Let it be a lesson to all; if you are going to hike the Trail with a dog, put him on a leash. Especially if you plan on filming it. :)

Currently, the film is 95% complete. Still a little work to do. It should be 100% within the next two weeks as I still have a few tracks coming via A Bliss Abyss and a map that will be spliced in throughout. All things I wish I had months ago but they are out of my hands. In the mean time, I'll keep perfecting what I do have. Then, I gotta make flyers, try and contact local news sources, and get the word out more and more.

I hope you can make it to the premiere!!!

Did I mention I followed Caveman and Patch up to NYC to see them off on their huge Gulf to Gulf Odyssey adventure?

Hiker reunion! Even Pep Talk came!

 Miss me some Belch
 Preparing for 5000+ miles
 Fake AT

 Good luck and be careful, guys.
 CM in DC
 We met a fellow AT hiker, coincidentally, on the Mega Bus to NYC. He's hiking this year. Trail name: Trout. Great guy. Got to hang with him a substantial amount in the Big Apple. Got to put out a little Trail Magic. 

 Mega Bus'in
 DFlap!!! Great host.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Still Climbing... The Film

After starting with around 100 hours of footage from our 6 and half month journey, it has finally been chiseled down to under 2 hours. I'd say it was close to as hard as hiking the Trail itself. I watched so many things so many times over and over again so that I can bring you the best of the best. It's a shame and painful to cut so much. Not to say it won't be on the extras or YouTube in the near future after the release. However, as far as the thick of the film goes, it's now in a manageable spot. And the tough thing is, it's still not complete. There's a lot of tempo work. From where to put in crazy caterpillars to amazing sunsets. Transitions, fades, sound. All the things you won't notice that I will spend so much time on still needs to be added. Things I'll notice every time but you won't notice once.

This has been one of the most challenging things I've ever done. I remember when I first sifted through all the footage. I had my work cut out for me. But before that, building a computer than can handle such a load was a job in itself. Not to mention my actual job where I must make some money as compared to editing for hundreds of hours only hoping and praying the ends justify the means on the financial side. Creating this is going to be every bit worth it to me, that's for sure. But what I ultimately want to do with this film and where I want to go with it is big.

I foresee sometime this summer me going on a road trip to several Trail friends' towns to premiere. Thanks to Gerber, I now have a projector to feasibly show a film. There will have to be some serious planning as I hope to attract local hiking clubs and adventurers alike to these events. I hope to make enough to at least get me to the next spot while donating a portion to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. In addition to entering in film festivals and everything that comes with that. 

All these things enter my head but I haven't time to really look into it all. First things first, get the film completed. THEN set everything else up. Make something people want to see. If it takes longer, so be it. We all want this film to be great and that takes time, care, and thought. I honestly hope to have it ready for Trail Days this year in mid May but that's gonna be tough for two reasons; there's still a good bit to do, and because I'm so focused on creating, there's no time to set a venue up for a premiere. The most I can hope for is bringing the projector and some speakers, pass out some flyers, and a white sheet and set up near the bonfire and show it. How that will happen exactly, I don't know. But again, film first, logistics later. 

The film will be available within a year as far as at home purchases go. I gotta get it out there and get some reviews and hype. I can't wait to see where the film takes us. 

It was a year ago and 13 days since we left out. It's crazy thinking about all the NOBOs that are starting out for the last few and next couple of months. I'm excited for them. I look forward to meeting them at Trail Days. 

We still think about the Trail everyday. Don't think we'll stop. It's fun thinking about "where we were a year ago today" and reliving the days through memory.

I see The Climb to Katahdin is still getting a lot of page views. That's awesome. I hope this blog has helped and inspired others to take the leap and set the date for their own departure and and adventure along the AT. No matter what happens, you won't regret it. You'll always have "that". "That" being the feeling of being in the woods on a specific adventure with a clear beginning and ended with no-telling-what in the middle. Conquering mountain after mountain. Meeting friend after friend and using privy after privy. YOU did that. No one can ever take that away from you. Even if it's for a short while, you still get so much out of every step. 

Good luck and thanks to all. I appreciate your eyes on this page more than you know. I mean over 14,000 people(many multiple times, I realize) have looked at this site at one point or another. I'm truly flattered. Again, I hope you all love the film as much as you do the blog. 

As always, though sometimes few and far between, I'll keep everybody posted on the status of the video. If you "Like" The Climb to Katahdin, you'll get more ongoing information. Updates are easier than blogs. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Updates and Sneak Peeks

The film is coming along nicely. It's a sow process but the ball is certainly rolling. I really wanted to give everyone a quick idea of what I'm working with so I created a teaser for the film to come. Be sure to set the quality to HD:

A Bliss Abyss is working hard at making beautiful music for the film. He's going to be adding a lot to this film and I am greatly thankful for that.

We've had some awesome coverage since we've been back at home and I wanted to share that with you too.

Radio Interview on Local Community Radio

Advocate Interview

Dig Interview (My personal favorite)

This is what we've been up to. Keep an eye on this page in the coming months. The film will be here before you know it.

We are now on YouTube at The Climb to Katahdin. (Obviously by the Teaser link) It will act as a major hub for footage not used in the film. I mean, I have all this footage and it can't possibly all fit into the film, yet you still deserve to see it... and so do the people in it. It will be free of charge. I look forward to that a lot. But movie first.

We are also on Facebook now to at The Climb to Katahdin. There will be a lot more updates there than here. Not everything deserves and entire blog entry.

PS. I still have my beard. I'm not sure if I'm the last of the fellow thruhikers or not. But it's pretty gnarly. I'm constantly getting Duck Dynasty comments.

 The editing station
 Chaser in front of our camp in Mississippi

The Beard. I'm measuring a disc golf basket.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

One Month and One Day

Yep. One month and one day since we climbed to the top of Mount Katahdin and concluded our massive journey in freezing degree weather at 5200+ft elevation. It's been a long month and a day. We were both able to go without a job for about 3 weeks after our return before we finally bit the bullet. Money had to happen. I am currently back at The Boot Store and Lindsay got a job at a local outfitters, The Backpacker, in addition to Whole Foods. You never miss the Trail more than when you have to wake up and go to work. I think that's when I dream the heaviest about the Trail. Right before that alarm goes off I just got done looking over a deep valley of reds, oranges, and yellows from a treeless mountain top somewhere in early October in Maine. Then reality sets in and I get up and try to be responsible. Ugh.

The only escape is when I shut myself off from the world with my headphones on in front of my computer and slowly sift through the amounts of footage I'm so glad I collected. It's like being there again. Through the footage, I not only get to enjoy the company of so many friends, but also relive and discover some of the best moments we had. I've only made my way through April and the beginning of May. There is still so much more. Very exciting yet slow and hard drive-consuming process. I often find myself busting out in laughter over something Patch or Belch said while all alone in the house. I couldn't be happier that we will forever have this footage to look back upon. I wish it could all be in the final version of the film. I assure you, fellow hikers, what does not make it in the final version of this film will still be passed along to you probably via YouTube. There is so much gold that deserves to be seen but maybe not in the 90-100 minutes allotted.

I am working hard on getting this thing going. I really can't wait to show everyone everything but it's gonna take time. Which is hard because I'm not patient. But I have placed all my eggs in this basket and am confident I can take the necessary amount of time and patients to turn this into something bigger than I thought it was going to be. The problem is lack of current funds. It's frustrating. Spending just 10 minutes on Amazon I find a million different items that would make this converting and editing process about 3000 times easier and quicker. But at the moment, I'll work with what I have and move on at the speed that I can afford.

As for the blog, this is going to be the best place to get updates on the progress of the video. My life now, isn't quite as interesting as it was and I accept that. Aside from the newspaper article and radio interview that is to come not a whole lot else is happening. Just me in from of the computer trying my best to achieve progress when I'm not selling boots. I pray that the end result of this film will fling me forward into my life as an editor/filmmaker.

Something else I wanted to mention was how awesome it was to get home and find out how many people cared and followed us along the way. Whoa. So many people I didn't expect were avid readers and supporters. To them, I thank you. That doesn't count the recognition from the article ran in The Advocate. Even my dad's barber asked him about it. Crazy. We are already doing exactly what I was hoping we'd do. Inspire. In fact, a friend of Caveman's is going to hike the Trail next year because of Caveman's adventure. That makes me so happy. One of Lindsay's coworkers started bringing his kids hiking at Tunica Hills every few weekends thanks to this blog. Stuff like that is why it's here. And if you like the blog, you'll love the movie.

I miss all of our hiking friends. It's funny how my FB blew up with Katahdin summit photos. Rightfully so. Sometimes it's tough to recognize who it is, but it's always exciting to find out. Good times, people.

That's a link to the article in the paper. In the actual paper it took up a ton of space on two pages. Sweeeet! Thanks to ole Flapparoo for providing some of those pictures. I hope he's okay too after a big move to NYC immediately after the Trail.

I'll post the radio interview when it happens.

Thanks to everyone. Home is home and it's alright. But seriously carrying the Trail in our hearts is the only thing that eases the pain of not actually being on the Trail. Can't take that away.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

To the End. To the Beginning.

The shock still hasn't worn off. It may not have fully set in yet either. The journey is over. I know I left the viewers at Rangeley, ME and a lot happened between there. It's a shame I was unable to update between here and there as great detail dwindles in my mind the further we get away from those events. But here goes anyway...

After Rangeley was Stratton, ME where Miss Sue(aka Indy) ran an awesome hostel/hotel. The weather was getting bad so we stayed. It was well priced for the northeast and extremely clean and homely. We enjoyed the stay and the company of Crocatoeh who was a consistent friend throughout the Trail. The next day was pretty and it was time to hitch back to hiking.

Within 30 minutes we were headed back to the Trail the back of a kind Mainer's truck. He dropped us off and we headed north. We hiked an easy, beautiful 2 miles then a steeper, more difficult, yet still beautiful 3 miles to a shelter called Horns Pond Lean-to. The thing about Maine is it's nonstop gorgeous. The colors were exploding and there was no better place to be than out in the woods. And, for the most part, the Trail was getting easier despite some mild climbs. Plus, for this in particular site, there was a pond on 3000ft in elevation tucked between two mountains. It was amazing. It was also cold. It was September 27th and we set our tent up inside the shelter for increased warmth. There were two section hikers in the shelter next to us who offered a couple sips of whiskey that we quickly accepted. Next thing you know, as the sun was going down, Caveman shows up. Much celebrating. He slept in our tent in the shelter with us for increased warmth that evening. Man, I love our tent size despite the increased weight.

The next day was to be one of the last times we hike above tree line before Katahdin upon Avery Peak where we also hit the 2000 mile marker. We were very happy to have Caveman with us. Now if only we could find Belch. The day was pretty for above tree line walking. It was a sight. Maine is full of ponds(lakes to us) all over the place. You reach the top of a mountain and suddenly there are hardly any immediate ridges around. They are replaced with red, yellow, and orange leaved trees and massive bodies of water. Breath taking. It actually hurts writing about it when I just want us to be there looking out again over this gorgeous scenery. We conquered another mountain that day. It was pretty much all ours. The bubbles have gotten so spread out we didn't see many people hiking anymore. The seclusion of being on a mountain that possibly no one else will touch that day is an empowering feeling. We were loving every minute.

Suddenly, the weather turned on the way down. Clouds set in and rain was a threat. We still had another mountain to climb that day but we've learned our lesson about high elevation, in-cloud, white out conditions. So, the three of us took an amazingly well-kept and pleasant blue blaze that was supposed to cut out that mountain. After 2 miles and dark skies, we came upon Flagstaff Lake. It appeared to be a popular place when in season and on pretty days. Because it was neither of those that day, we caught it all to ourselves. It was a massive campsite on the beach of this massive lake. Firewood everywhere like it hadn't been touched in months. We set up camp and enjoyed the view before the rain came.

The next day we ended up in Kingfield, ME where people bought us drinks just for letting them pet Chaser. ... Chaser has been something else on this trip. For as difficult as he's been due to "No Dog" policies, he has gotten us an equal amount of rides and even places to stay. For every nondog lovers, there are two dog lovers. That evening we were offered a place to stay all because Chaser sat outside with Reverie's coat on and got attention. Sure! Pete was his name and he offered a ride back to the Trail the next day. Sweet. He had an amazing plot of land that used to have a Bed and Breakfast on it. Since his wife had passed he shut it down and now lives to look at the ridge line he owns off his porch on his couple hundred acres. What a place to own land...

The next day, the weather had turned really bad. Rained literally all day. He insisted we hang another day. But of course. I caught my first Saints game and got to check out a bunch of doggy cam stuff and charged a trillion things. He even brought us pizza and beer. The next day, we got to Caratunk were we had a not only a mail drop, but also a package waiting for us from our good friends, Ashley, and Jason and Lily, and their daughters Alani and Kylie. We were excited to get it. Included home baked cookies. A favorite on the Trail. Thanks, guys! We made it to the Sterling Inn where a load of hikers apparently have been held up by the rain, including D. Flap. Cool. We stayed and enjoyed the company.

The next day was pretty out. We were at a split on time and realizing our planned summit date, October 10th, was coming up really quick, D. Flap, Reverie and I decided to hitch to Monson and we are glad we did. Monson was really nice. It was a overwhelmingly pretty. Within our first couple of minutes there, a fella, Bruce, offered us a work for pay. Money and a place to stay? Yeah, sure! He needed a couple pallets of wood pellets moved inside the next day to prepare for winter. That's what you do in Maine; prepare for winter nonstop. Bruce and his wife, Nancy, had a big ole house lake side. It was surrounded by changing colors. Breathtaking, really. We set up tent in the yard and got a big fire going. Bruce brought out a bottle of his homemade whiskey he called Mon-shine. Some of the best whiskey I'd ever had. Too good. It was a rough next morning. Nevertheless, D. Flap and I managed to move the 250 40lb bags where they needed to go. We hung out by the lake, took some pictures and Bruce brought us into to town to grab our packages. D. Flap was waiting on a replacement backpack from SierraTradingPost and we were waiting on a massive food resupply for the oncoming 100 Mile Wilderness. But wouldn't you know it, Monson takes one extra day to receive parcels. Our two day package will take three days. Great... In addition, the next day was my birthday. So, again we did some extra work and stayed at Bruce and Nancy's again. Early the next morning we gotta to packing. It was my birthday and the clouds were angry. Poop.

We went into town and our packages were there. We had a TON of food. But all quite necessary. Again, the 100 Mile Wilderness was going to require roughly 6-8 days without anyway to a grocery store or restaurant. So, we resupplied and decided to grab some food at the amazing, amazing Lake Shore House that was a bar, and doubled as a hostel, tripled as a laundromat, and quadrupled as one of the most wholesome and delicious restaurants on the entire Trail. The perfect birthday lunch. We met the owner, Rebekah, who is one of sweetest ladies in the world. It was her son's birthday that day too, coincidentally, so she gave me a nice long motherly hug and I didn't get to hug my mom so I hugged her back. We then took a look outside where it was raining and decided to stay one more night. One last night before the 100 Mile Wilderness, but at the Lake Shore House this time. People had already started buying me drinks. So, ya know. The only problem was, we saw Caveman getting into a car headed to the Trail before we got to say two words to him. And for some reason, that boy sent all his electronics ahead to Millinocket, including his phone and camera, so there was no way to get ahold of him to tell him to come hang for a bit for my bday. Off he went. Nevertheless, Reverie, D. Flap, this fella named, TLB(The Last Boner), and a multitude of locals, including Bruce and Nancy, all partied at the bar. Great birthday, indeed.

The next morning it was time. Time to make miles into the 100 Mile Wilderness. I was October 5th and we figured we'd make it out by the 10th or 11th. Yes, the summit date got pushed back partially due to the weather forecast. It was looking pretty on the 10th. The 12th or 13th was looking much better. So, we set a new goal and headed into the woods, Reverie, Chaser and me. Flap stayed behind.

Right off the bat, not 70 yards into the woods, a bridge had been swept away. It was a shallow stream but right off the bat we had to remove our shoes and get to the other side. Slippery rocks where the only concern there but we made it okay. We knew, according to the book and word of mouth, we had some river/stream fords coming up. But we had no idea the intensity that lye before us. The terrain was slick. There was far more slate than before which doesn't offer a lot of traction. Within the first 4.5 miles we came upon an epic waterfall. Always a nice sight and feeling. However, upon descending, we realized near the base was where we were to cross. Hmmm. White blaze, white blaze, white blaze, turn, white blaze on the other side of a rushing river. Whoa. It was getting late and Reverie was not feeling crossing it at that moment. Fortunately, there was an awesome campsite right next to the crossing. The only bad thing was the constant sound of rushing water throughout the night that worried Reverie. Like a pending doom. We realized we didn't know we had signed up for this. There was nothing like this 2000 miles prior. Suddenly it gets real.

That night we were ambushed by rodents. Holes in our tents and Chaser's trusty backpack and food bags. Arg.

A log. We heard about a log crossing. There it was stretched across. Wet, bowed, and knotted up. But it was obvious it was there for crossing. It was time. I hopped on immediately getting a wet butt first thing in the morning. I scooted slowly. The knots were obstacles trying to throw your balance off. As was my backpack. It didn't rest on the log for stability, rather weighed my top half adding to balancing act. Safely made it though. I put my backpack down and went back, retrieved Reverie's pack and scooted again. Then coached her across. She did it like a boss. Then once more time, I went back to clip Chaser to me and basically force him into the rushing, thigh high water. He made it safe. He's a swimming dog and we put him to the test. Good boy. First "ford" down.

An hour and a half later we arrived at a dead end of white blazes and a rope stretched across a much larger and quicker river. Well, alright. We were told that whatever we do, don't let go of the rope. They weren't kidding. Same thing except stripped down to my boxers. Crossed it carefully. Remove pack, come back to get Rev's pack and the camera, remove her pack on other side, then back again for Chaser and Rev. All on film, mind you. They pulled it off flawlessly. These fords, though a hassle and means for concern and a serious slow down, taking chunks of time out of our day, were fun and challenging. One of those, "If we can do that, we can do anything" moments. We were happy and safe.

Right behind was ole D. Flap. We watched him cross and hiked on together. The miles were going slow that day. We were definitely gonna miss our mark. Especially when, at the end of the day, it start drizzling and suddenly there's another rope across an even swifter river. Ugh, by this point. We just want to get to the shelter and rest. Fortunately, at this point the it wasn't freezing out. The water and outside were cold, yes, but not frigid. We were lucky there. We all made it across but not before losing one of Reverie's trekking poles. These fords were no joke. We moved on in the rain, me hiking in my boxers and arrived a shelter short of our goal around 5. It started getting dark so early by this point. We realized, the earlier, the better.

We stayed in the shelter that night and mice were everywhere. Including running right over our heads. We almost forgot why we hated shelters so much. But it was raining. We just dealt with it. Poor sleep so we got up early. A cold front pushed through and we had soaking wet freezing clothes and boots. Oy! But it was beginning to clear up. We had a couple climbs first thing to warm us up, good thing. That day we caught our first views of the beast, Mount Katahdin. Incredibly epic looking even from 70 miles away. It was encouraging. We spotted the next mountain we were to climb and just as it's name was, White Cap Mountain, had snow on top. Whaaa! Snow again!? October 8th it was. Crazy... to us, at least. It was sure was pretty.

That night we set up camp and laid out clothes to dry. We snuggled into our tent on one the coldest nights yet. We had every article of clothing on that wasn't wet. We were freezing. That turned out to be quite literal. Our socks left out to dry were ice cubes. So was Chaser's backpack. Worst of all, the tent fly and poles were frozen. They were still damp from nights before and decided to turn into a sheet of ice. Cold, indeed.

We were up early and cruising. From there it was supposed to be really easy, flat hiking. White Cap was the last big mountain before Katahdin. Smooth sailing now. Sure enough, it was. We were told by our sorely missed bud, Suds, via FB that once we hit Crawford Pond, 20 mile days were doable and were only miles away from there. Suddenly, things fell into place. Sure, flat hiking meant roots, rocks, crappy bog bridges, small fords, and mud. But it also meant seeing lakes and beaches and close to 3mph speed. Hell yeah. We stayed at yet another gorgeous spot on a massive lake that gave way to the prettiest morning yet. More and more epic every day.

That day we reunited with the Sunshine Gang. We had gone 4 days with only seeing about 3 hikers. D. Flap was one of them. Suddenly we had about 8 more. We were all determined to summit Katahdin the 13th as that was supposed to the prettiest day for a while. Before and after that day were looking bad. After cranking out a 20+ we settled at Rainbow Lean-to to get another early start and exit the 100 Mile Wilderness. It was a cold day and by this point, we were really low on food. We did well rationing it all out. But we didn't leave much for the hike out. Though the sleet, we finally made it out and had the most intense view of Katahdin yet at Abol Bridge. Breathtaking. Suddenly, Caveman appeared. He finished the 100 Mile in 3 and a half days. He did a 43 miler one of those days. I'm still not sure what he was trying to prove but he was happy. He had already summited with Bumble Bee, Croc, and other on the 9th. But he was gonna summit again with us. Yay!! It was the 11th and we wanted to summit the 13th so we, Rev, Chaser, Flap, Caveman, and I hitched to Millinocket, ME and got a much-deserved hotel room where we enjoyed the hell out of a bed and ate some McD's.

Chaser's adventure was over that day. He's not allowed in Baxter State Park. I think he was fine with that. He got to stay at the hotel with Jerry's mom. We were very, very proud of him. It was time for him to rest. Oh yeah, Tom and Jerry were summiting the next day too! We were accumulating a great crew to end with.

We caught a ride to Baxter State Park the next day where it was snowing. Whoa again. We were at the base of the Katahdin. 5 miles away from the end. We set up camp and suddenly here comes Slash, Saturday, Hopper, Bismark, Gluten Puff, Frosty, and No Doubt. Freaking awesome! We built a fire as the snow flurried down and enjoyed our last night on the Trail and looked forward to the next day.

We awoke at 6 and got broke down camp for the last time. It was cold and slowly clearing up. It wasn't long before we began the last day of our journey. We took day packs that the park had to offer because the it was ill-advised to bring a loaded pack up there. The first 2 miles were a joke. We were kinda confused actually. But by the third mile Katahdin was taking shape. The climb to Katahdin finally and truly started. It was all iced over and snowy. Quite dangerous in some places. Slick slippery rocks where the Trail was supposed to be a stream. We pushed on; Reverie, Caveman, and myself. We saw some day hikers beginning to turn around at above tree line level because it was so cold. The wind was unstoppable up there. We were not to be deterred. We kept climbing.

We got above tree line and the boulders began. Between pulling ourselves up by rebar and scooting down in tight spots like a vertical Mahoosic Notch, we were still steady moving. The view was already ravishing. We couldn't believe what we were looking at. Keep. Climbing. Suddenly, it mellowed out and we saw the true battle we had ahead of ourselves. It was a spine of ginormous rocks thrown about that lead to our destination. Keep. Climbing.

It was tricky, slow-going, and freezing. But we forced ourselves to the top as icicles formed in our beards and water supply slowly solidified. I was genuinely worried my camera, attached to my chest, would freeze up. I know it's not good for it. But it was holding up. Thanks to Caveman as a crucial camera man that climb.

We made it to the "summit" that we knew was false. It was really just a table top plateau. We looked back down on what we just hiked up and didn't wanna think about the climb back. Forward progression. The top was covered in feet of snow. It was difficult to follow the Trail at times. You just had to decipher where others had been walking. We could see from a distance little black dots a mile away on top of the highest point. It was the summit. There it is. Here we are. So close. It lit a fire under us and we got ta steppin'. Closer and closer. While Reverie wasn't looking, Caveman, the ring bearer, slipped me the ring I had gotten for her to propose at the post epic spot imaginable, Mt Katahdin.

We were steps away when we started cheering. There were about 10-15 thruhikers there finishing their journey and about 15 day hikers. They were waiting for us. D. Flap was up there already and snapping off pictures like crazy. We were blessed and thankful to hang with the phenomenal photographer D. Flap is throughout the Trail much less here at the summit.

We kissed the sign. We climbed behind it and opened the champagne we carried throughout the whole Wilderness. Then I insisted we go to the front of the sign where I caught Reverie off guard and got on one knee. The crowd knew, she had no idea. "Will you marry me?". Immediately she was as happy and excited to say yes as I was to ask the question. Engaged!!!!! We did it and we are meant to be together. She is the strongest, prettiest, most perfect girl out there and I'll be dammed if we date for 3 and half years, and spend 6 months in the woods and let her get away. She is now my fiance and it feels amazing. We hugged, kissed, celebrated. Utmost joy and jubilation. We took a couple more pictures with everyone and stuck out the cold as long as we could before turning back to the descend the mountain with a ring on her finger.

Cut to. Jump.

We went back to Millinocket and stayed one last night and celebrated with everyone before the drive back the next day. Special thanks to Slash and his mother for getting us to Portland, ME. I don't know what we have done otherwise. From there we rented a car, drove to NYC to see Chesley and collect the footage of the trip, drove to West Virgina and hang out at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, then moved on to Johnson City to see our old friends, Patch and Sully. Then to Chattanooga to see Belch's parents(He summited the 16th. Go Belch!). His mother, Nancy, made us awesome beef stew, the best cake ever, and knitted us an AMAZING quilt!! Whaaaa! Thank you so so much, Mrs. Nancy!! It'll be with us the rest of our days! From there we drive home. Which is where we are now. Hot Louisiana. Happy to see family and friends but sorely missing the Trail. It'll take a while to adapt to normal life. So it goes. We did immediately hit up Nagoya and then amazing southern BBQ and boiled crabs with Lindsay's awesome family! Good way to return!

I'd go into more detail but this has already taken me 3 and half hours. The footage is looking really really good. I'm so glad the camera came with us. I'm fully confident in the success and entertainment of this film. I can't wait to start editing. We had an interview with The Advocate, Baton Rouge's newspaper yesterday. They want to cover the story. Sweet!!! With pictures and everything! I'll keep y'all posted on that. And on the film.

I'm sure there is more to say but I'm sure you're ready to stop reading. But what must be said is another thanks.

Seriously. We've never been more humble in our lives. The things people did for us and the way people treated us were unbelievable. The places we went and the people we met are unforgettable and we'll hold it forever. We could only be so lucky to have another adventure like this again. YOU could only be so smart to begin planning your trip on the AT. The support and help we've received restores my belief of the true good in the world. I'm still shocked the AT and everything surrounding it exists. It's such a good, wholesome, true way of living. Like the way things should be. Here in a house full of nice things is not a bad thing. But to get down to the basics and living life day to day with minimal obligations or plans is so pure. The goal of Katahdin is complete. The goal to happy, simple living will be ongoing. We'll hold the AT forever in our hearts and sing it's praises and tell it's stories for forever.

It was time to do something with our lives and we did.

Now go hike.

 Rangeley. A dream.
 Lindsay's Chaser
Flap's Jacket

 Some awesome carvings. Accurate too.
 Pond on the Mountain

 Sunset lighting up the mountain

 To Avery

 2000 Miles!!!



 Flagstaff Lake

 At Pete's
 Map of photos

 Working for Staying

 Chaser Flap
 At Bruce's

 The beaver dam IS the Trail!

 Water falling

 Log Crossing
 Chaser Crossing via water
 Success and survived
 Morning fog. Where the moose at?
 We get it. The Trail goes that way.
 Waiting for Rev to ford a brook

 Flap knocking it out.

 A train in the 100 Mile Wilderness
 Chaser crossing and Flap's soft touch

 Brand new, well built bog bridges. Thank god.
 Descending into heaven
 Snow capped!?

 Faerie tale land

 Colors be popping

 Our baby
 My baby
 Crawford Pond... Finally! Easy on out.

 Suds for cancer
 Eva and Short Term missed

 Moose rub on the Trail. Whoa

 Antler Campsite. The best.
 Friends getting home at the same time.
 Where's the unicorn?


The Camel helping Rev ford

 Slatey river
 Last morning in the Wilderness with the Sunshine Gang in the back.
 Closing in.

 Delicious pond
 Rough waters

 D. Flappin'
 Chaser's journey is over. Can you tell?

 Cavemen can film

 Above tree line headed up Katahdin

 what wha!?

 On up

 Table Top finally!

 She said yes!

 The Family
 Knife's Edge. Caveman went down that way on his first summit.

 Smoke Hawk, 4'10, and BackTrack
 The Gang

 You will all be missed!! Frosty, Me, Rev Gluten Puff, Caveman, Belch, Slash, D. Flap
 Belch summited days later. Congrats, bro.
 Like father like son.