I am truly grateful that my children are so blessed by God. They are showered with favor beyond anything asked or expected.
Daniel and Sam have purchased a good amount of their AT trail gear from Lewis & Clark Outfitters.
One day they met a very friendly older guy in the store that asked them quite a few questions about their planned hike of the AT. Later that day, Dan was surprised to get a call from this guy, Jim Potts, who happens to own the L.&C.O. stores. Mr. Potts asked if the store could sponsor part of their hike.
Yesterday afternoon, the first meeting finally happened. Daniel and Sam never counted on the sponsorship being anything major, and have pretty much purchased all of their own gear.
Mr. Potts and the L.&C. O. team looked over their gear, and planned several upgrades. There weren't a lot of upgrades to be made, as the guys had been purchasing excellent equipment all along. If I can remember everything, Sam will get a new Osprey backpack. Both will get new (I think the brand is Klymit) sleeping pads. Salomon hiking boots. First aid, and bug repellent products. Back-up water purifiers. Omni-wool socks. Base layer clothing, if desired. L.&C.O. tried hard to get Dan to budge on his new tent, but Dan is determined to carry his new Tarptent. Mr. Potts may look into carrying Tarptents in the L.&C.O. stores if he can strike a deal with them.
All in all, the folks of Lewis and Clark Outfitters are impressed with Daniel and Samuel. Ryan, the store contact person said that Mr. Potts almost never sponsors anyone, and he is asked several times a week. When he does sponsor a person, it is never to the degree that Dan and Sam are being set up. Both Ryan and Mr. Potts commented on how mature the twins are, they thought they were several years older. Mr. Potts also said that he has been friends with Cam, the owner of The Wooden Spoon, for many years, and that Cam holds the boys in the highest regard.
In return for their sponsorship, the boys must complete the trail. They will offer routine reports along the way, which will be updated on L.&C.O. web page. Sam intends to keep a paper journal, as well as a serious blog, plus a humorous video blog inset from time to time. His blog will be linked to the L.&C.O. website. Upon their return, the boys will be invited to give guest lectures at the stores from time to time. (The guest lectures are NOT required of them.)
We are hoping that as many friends and family that can set aside what they are doing as the end of the hike approaches, will gather near Mt. Katahdin in Maine to celebrate the end of the journey with us. Best guess of when that will be is last week of July to the middle of August. We will know more as the day approaches.
I will post links to Sam's blog when he has it going!