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  • Writer's pictureCrystal

Let The Adventures Begin!

Hello! Welcome to our family adventure blog! We are a family of four who live for wild adventures together in the outdoors. We are mom and dad – Crystal (aka Crys) and Tom, and amazing kids Andrew and Sara.

Tom and Crystal have been doing epic adventures together from the time we first met in the Canoe and White Water Club at the University of Florida. We hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2001 after Crys finished her undergrad and Tom completed his doctorate. We made it from Springer Mountain GA to Harper’s Ferry, WV, where we had to throw in the towel (for the time being ;) and get off the trail because of illness and injury.

We spent six care free months roaming and wild, including three months hiking the AT together. We immersed ourselves in the magic of a slow simple life, with everything we needed on our backs. Tom and I were awed and inspired by the magic of trail culture, putting one foot in front of the other and turning one mile at a time into hundreds. Together we experienced true home being part of nature day after day: in blizzards, terrifying thunder storms, scorching heat and perfect bluebird days hiking trough green tunnels of blooming azaleas and rhododendron, and cooling off swimming in alpine ponds... The adventure bug bit us, and bit us HARD. Even though we couldn’t keep hiking that season, we found many other epic (harebrained?) journeys including paddling the Alagash Wilderness Water way in Maine, portages, black flies, sunburns and all.

We were lucky enough to land in Boulder, CO, and have lovingly build a life together in this area ever since. We eventually went back to hike the Appalachian trail in it’s entirety from Springer Mountain, GA all the way to Mt. Katahdin, ME in 2005. We really needed to fulfill that dream before we were ready for the next steps in life. An entirely new adventure began when we started a family with Andrew’s arrival in 2007 and Sara not long after in 2009. Being outside - whether hiking, skiing, camping, paddling or biking, has been the sun around which our existence orbits. In fact – I can hazily recall many of those early baby months when the best sleep either kid had was conked out in the carrier while Tom and I took long hikes with them on our backs. As soon as they could walk they were hiking, and although the pace slowed down for a while, it never stopped us. As the kids have gotten bigger, so have our adventures and our dreams. We’ve done some pretty cool stuff over the years together, and we intend to share those stories with you. I have been dreaming about starting an adventure blog since our first major family adventure – backpacking an 86-mile loop hut to hut in the Jungfrau region of the Swiss Alps. The kids were 8 and 10 on that trip, and it was a pretty big one for them. That's when Andrew truly found his strength, and when we saw the first glimmer of the well of grit running deep in Sara. They loved it, they hated it, they cried, they invented silly songs that we still sing, they laughed hysterically, they kept going, and at the end they both asked: WHAT'S NEXT???

The trip we are about to do this summer is by far the biggest – and wildest yet! So, I am finally making my dream come true, and kicking off this blog with our 6-week southbound bike-packing journey on the Great Divide Trail. We will be starting close to the Canadian border, and riding our rigged mountain bikes south for 6 weeks. Our hope is to get to Coulter Bay, WY. Really, we have no idea how far we are going to get. We’ve been planning and preparing for this trip since fall. Getting bikes and all the bike-packing gear for the four of us was an adventure in and of itself with the shortages due to COVID-19. But we have our rigs, maps, books, airline tickets to Glacier International Airport – and Tom is packing the bikes up in bikes boxes to ship as we speak. I have the first week planned out, approximately. After that we will be riding thru-hiking style – planning each segment based on the next re-supply point – only this time we are thru-biking – or at least as far as we can get! We are so excited to share this journey with you!

Thanks for following us and let the ADVENTURE begin!


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