ANYWAY... Kelle sometimes has sponsored giveaways on her blog. I entered my comment in one such give away a few weeks back- and WON! I am supposed to be receiving a $250 gift certificate to "My Publisher" . This site does photo books- and you all KNOW how much I love photo books! My comment was that I would use the gift certificate to document my twins hike of the Appalachian Trail. So, Wow! I can hardly wait! I really expected the photo books to be more expensive, but they are comparable in price to Shutterfly. (Thank you Kelle and My Publisher!)
Here is a bit of background for Daniel and Sam's Appalachian Trail Trip.
Always an Adventure
Daniel and Samuel were born to Tom and Tammy at home in Central High, Oklahoma on June 17, 1996; the youngest two of seven siblings. They were entirely home schooled. One of the favorite family outings as they grew up was hiking at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Lawton, OK. From a very early age, all of the kids were exposed to hiking. Most of Tom's vacations saw the family hiking in the beautiful Hocking Hills of southern Ohio.
For their fourth birthday, the twin brothers asked for and received camping equipment. They spent many nights camped in the yard outside their parent's bedroom window.
About the time the boys were eight, the family moved to Arkansas. Being youngest by a number of years, Dan and Sam often visited their grown siblings in Texas. Here, they became acquainted with other families that take annual hiking treks into the wilderness. Two of their older brothers invited Daniel and Sam to accompany them on Trek one year. They all had such a great time, Dan and Sam have continued participating in the yearly adventures even when their siblings have been unable to attend.
Daniel requested a subscription to Backpacker Magazine for his fifteenth birthday. Sometime during the following year, he read about the Appalachian Trail- and the idea of hiking it took root in his mind. Dan was anxious to get a job and begin saving money to finance his hike. By the time he was 15, he had found a job as a dishwasher, and set about saving as much as he could. When he moved up from the dishwashing position to fry cook, Sam stepped into the dishwashing job. Sam wasn't eating, breathing, and dreaming the AT like Daniel. He saved his money and bought a truck, and invested some into hiking gear like Daniel was accumulating. Both Dan and Sam worked several part time jobs for a number of people in the community. When they could manage time off, they would toss their backpacks into the truck and go hiking.
In the summer of 2014, Daniel set his AT departure date: March 9, 2015. He began meticulous planning. Tammy was to be his re-supply person back home. "As a Mom, I was pretty nervous about my son being on the trail alone. I knew Dan was determined to go through with this, so I wanted to support him in any way I could. One of my big concerns was that, as a twin, Daniel and Sam have never been apart more than a few days at a time. This could possibly be their point of divergence."
Before the summer was over, Sam decided that he would be missing an awesome lifetime opportunity if he didn't hike the AT with Daniel. (Mom breathed a sigh of relief!) Working together, their trail hiking strategy was fine tuned.
Rather than relying on care packages from home, it was determined their best bet was to resupply along the trail. Most of the things that would of been shipped to various Post Offices or hostels along the route were readily available in towns the AT passes through. A few harder to obtain items will be drop shipped from Amazon as needed.
Tom and Tammy will be dropping Daniel and Sam off at the trailhead on Springer Mountain in Georgia, and picking them up at trails end in Maine. Sam will be keeping a trail journal as well as updating a blog chronicling their progress. Several of their siblings hope to be able to make the trip to meet Daniel and Sam at the end of the hike, but those details haven't been worked out.
Here is the link to the Sam's blog, which he will be keeping updated during their hike.