Sunday, July 31, 2011

We Has A Winners! (Yes that's plural)

This morning we awoke to sunny blue skies. Upon stepping outside, we decided it was going to be another hot steamy day, the likes we've seen for the last couple of weeks now. With that we decided to go back inside for our usual cups of Joe, bowls of cereal, and air conditioning. In a bit we will get ready to start back on ripping out the bathroom in our hall as we are going to convert it to a nursery for our bundle of joy that is due to arrive this winter. I can only hope that in a few weeks time we will be close to finishing that up, the temperatures will start to cool a bit, and we can get out for a couple more hikes.

In the meantime, while sitting here enjoying the coffee and having polished off what was left of the Crunch Berry cereal, I realized it was time to fire up the random number generator (RNG) as we have two prizes to give away. After doing it's thing twice the RNG has declared that we has winners. For the first prize: The GoGirl, our lucky winner, as designated by the RNG, is Family Wilds. Congratulations Pablo and Nea, may the GoGirl serve Nea well.

The second prize up for grabs was a pair of Winchester Limited Edition Ersatz Scrimshaw Knives. We had a few more entries for these than the GoGirl so the RNG had a few more numbers to crank through before declaring the winner. So without further ado, the lucky winner will now have to answer the question as to whether she, "should keep them to herself or share them with her hubby?" Congrats goes out to Brandy, the lucky winner of the knife set.

Okay, so our lucky winners just need to send us an email to appalachiaandbeyond (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing address so we can get your prizes out to you. Thank you all for entering. We will have another giveaway sometime soon so stay tuned for details. Until next time....

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Last Giveaway Roundup For July

Ladies, Gentlemen, and kids of all ages, welcome to the "Last Giveaway Roundup for July". We hope you've been having a wonderful summer and somehow have managed to beat the heat we've all been feeling. You know with the end of July coming upon us, school is just around the corner, well for us it's less than 2 weeks away, so there isn't much time left to get those last minute vacations, camping trips, and other fun excursions in. So to make those a little better, at least we hope so anyway, we've found a few awesome giveaways around the outdoor blogosphere you don't want to miss out on.

First up, over at Backpacker Magazine, they have two sweet giveaway promotions going on. The first is their weekly giveaway. This week they have a Deuter Act50+5 backpack. All you have to do to get in on this opportunity is fill out the giveaway form. Backpacker's other promotion is their 2012 Reader's Choice Photo Contest. Do you have an awesome outdoor awe inspiring photo? Then submit it to backpacker for your chance to win a sweet prize pack from Coleman Repellants (including sleeping bags, a tent, and much more). You have until September 7th to get those photos submitted.

Camelbak Sale on Zulily!

Seen this deal today and thought we'd share it with all you outdoorsy ladies:

Zulily has an assortment of Camelbak packs for women on sale until August 1st! Prices start at $23.99!

Sign Up Here!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Announcement - August Outdoor Blog Carnival

It's time for another Outdoor Blog Carnival. If you remember last month several outdoor bloggers, like ourselves, submitted their idea of the perfect hike for the June Outdoor Blog Carnival which was hosted by Outdoor Vancouver. Those who submitted did a fabulous job, and I so want to hike Grandfather Mountain over in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Anyway, to take it a step further, Ross from Pure Outside (Father of the Outdoor Blog Carnival) asked if we would like to host this month's carnival. If you're reading this, then you know our answer.

Continuing in the fashion of best type of hike, we all want to know, what is your dream hike? If money wasn't an issue, if time away from loved ones, work, school, etc. wasn't an issue, if there was nothing preventing you from going, what hike is your dream hike? That is this month's theme. Let us know what your dream hike is. What are the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of your dream hike?

Any outdoor blogger is more than welcome to submit their post in answer to the question.Write up the post on your blog and fill out the entry form. You have until August 5th to submit your article. Once all articles are submitted, we will present them all in one glorious post with links back to your entries on your own blog on August 10th. So what are you waiting on? Get those brains working and those fingers typing, this is your chance to dream and dream big. Heck, you never know, you just might find the inspiration to actually move forward with that dream hike. If you have any questions shoot us an email at appalachiaandbeyond (at) gmail (dot) com. We look forward to your entries. Until then....

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Gear Review - Garmin Dakota 10 GPS

Last week and over the weekend during our camping trip, I had the opportunity to review Garmin's Dakota 10 GPS unit. A few weeks back I had entered a GPS giveaway at Take A Hike GPS, and in so doing let them know of my tweet for an extra entry. In return, I got a response back from Kevin, stating that he liked our blog and told us that he lets bloggers "Borrow" units for review. I couldn't possibly pass up this opportunity. So I went through the necessary steps that Kevin outlined for me to get a unit to review.

As a side note for those that haven't heard of Take A Hike GPS, they sell and even rent GPS units to hikers, travelers, etc. If you don't quite know which unit you want, then it is possible to rent a unit for relatively cheap just to give it a test drive if you will. They have units from the likes of Garmin, Delhorme, Magellan, and more. So if you are in the market for a GPS unit, definitely check out Take A Hike GPS.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

His (Knives) and Her (GoGirl) Giveaway

I know we missed the Giveaway roundup yesterday and that many of you always look forward to that post. However, we've been a little short on time this week as we've had a lot of errands to run and my parents came back through yesterday and are staying for the weekend.

So to make it up to you, instead of a roundup we thought we'd just giveaway some stuff ourselves. We've been so fortunate here lately, and with baby on the way we've been busy cleaning things out and tidying up the house. Don't worry, we're not giving away anything old or used. That would be gross "bleck!"

Friday, July 22, 2011

Trail Report - Frozen Head Loop Attempt - Frozen Head State Park - 7/17/2011

On day two of our camping trip at Frozen Head State Park, we awoke kind of late compared to our normal rise time while camping. We finally crawled out of the tent sometime after 9am and hung out about camp for a little bit. After the usual trips to the bath house, Robin started on water for coffee and breakfast and I started on getting a fire going to relax by before the day really got underway. Once breakfast and coffee was put down our throats though, we soon got dressed into our day clothes and immediately broke camp.

Just a little after noon time, we were all packed up and ready to go for another hike. Of course we had to run out to town first because Robin wasn't too keen on the coconut in the Granola and Blueberries with Milk from Mountain House, and thus didn't eat but half of it. Likewise Clover wasn't keen on the Mountain House Lasagna either so the both of them were still hungry and burgers were wanted in a major way.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Trail Report - Panther Branch to North Old Mac - Frozen Head SP - 7/16/2011

So this past weekend we went camping and hiking in lieu of backpacking at Frozen Head State Park. After we arrived and got camp all setup, we were ready to embark on our first hike of the weekend. We sat at the picnic table at our campsite considering our options and finally concluded on hiking the Panther Branch trail to North Old Mac trail and back down for a nice 6.25 mile loop hike.

Once we had our plan, we headed out of the park momentarily to pick up some soft drinks for our cooler and a sweet snack to eat before heading up the trail. Once we were done at the store we headed back to the park and parked our car at the Shelter C parking lot. We decided to park here at the Old Mac trailhead, instead of up at the Panther Branch trailhead at the end of Flat Fork road, since we would come off the trail there. Once out of the car we got our packs out, harnessed and leashed Clover, fired up the GPS and set off up Flat Fork Rd towards the Panther Branch trailhead. Yes, we count the road as part of our hike. We walked it with gear on so it counts.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Backpacking Front Country Camp Style

For the past few weeks I've really been bugging about going backpacking, and last week was no different. After two weekends of having to do things around the house instead, this week I wasn't taking "No" for an answer. Everyday since last Monday I'd check the weather forecast to see what the weather was going to be like and it was looking promising. Finally by Friday morning I had Robin convinced of the idea. That afternoon she started gathering up everything we were going to need. By the time I returned home from work that evening it was time to head out to Bass Pro Shops for a couple things we still needed. When we returned we started packing our packs with everything we were going to need for a night and two days in the woods.

A couple of hours later and we were trying on our packs and weighing ourselves. Our packs were both too heavy (although I think I can do 30lbs. no problem. Robin, on the other hand, is one of those gram weenies :P and wasn't going to settle for anything much over 15lbs.). So there we were going through our gear trying to lighten both loads and still have what we needed. I think I eventually got my weight down under 30 pounds and Robin had got her's down to about 18lbs. This is where things went south for the backpacking trip.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Gear Giveaway Roundup 7/15/2011

Friday is upon us yet again, and another promising weekend stares us in the face. We itch for that end of the day whistle to blow so we can start our weekends, and invariably get our outdoor plans into full swing. If you are anything like us, then your outdoor plans as of late have been a bit lacking as work around the house has kept us quite busy. Hopefully though, we will be able to get out this weekend for some fun outdoor activities such as walking in the woods. Because next weekend, my parents will be back in town, and we will have to figure out a way to entertain them. It won't be with walks in the woods or anything like that, however I think my dad is hoping we can take a 9-hole walk on a par 3 course somewhere in town which wouldn't be a bad hike in my opinion. :P

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Run for Your Lives!!

The in-laws are coming! No, really I love my in-laws and I'm happy they're coming in this evening on their way up to West Virginia for Tim's HUGE, annual family reunion. I'm even happier that it gives me an excuse to make myself clean up this house when I'd rather be doing other things. But I'm happiest that they're going to take their granddaughter along and spend some quality time with her. She needs that kind of thing. She doesn't get to see them enough. So... There will be a lack of quality post today, and probably a week from today when they come back through to spend a few days with us. But be looking for Tim's fabulous Giveaway Roundup tomorrow. He wouldn't miss it for the world.

Until then, Happy Trails!

Robin & Tim

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hiking to Camp Sam - Norris Dam State Park 7/2/2011

Another 4th of July has come and past us by. Two weeks later and the neighbors are finally getting the fireworks out of their system. Of course it'll probably be another 2 weeks before their completely out of explosives... and then they'll reach into their ammunition stores. For the rest of us (here at the Bird House) we are over the basement fiasco, thankfully. The pipes are repaired, everything that was ruined or deemed as junk has been cleaned out, and hauled off to the landfill. I call that progress.

So the weekend of 4th of July (on the day of the basement fiasco and prior to the get together), Robin and I decided we needed to take solace in the woods for a little while. It had been nearly a month since our last hike so it was well overdue. We packed up our day packs and headed out to Norris Dam State Park, just a hop, skip, and a jump from our house, and decided to hike the Camp Sam trail via the Norris Dam Tea room.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gear Review: GoGirl

Ok Guys... if the title didn't tip you off, let me further expound that this gear review is for Girls Only. So go ahead and hand the reigns over to the outdoor woman in your life. Believe me, she'll be interested in reading this. You? Probably not so much. Don't say I didn't warn you.

So, ladies. I have owned and used my GoGirl for almost a year, and I've mentioned it in passing a few times. It's just not something that we all want to discuss with the public - our bathroom habits are private endeavors. Well, it's high time the GoGirl makes its Review Debut on our blog.  This little piece of medical grade silicone has changed my life, and is always near the top of my packing list.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Gear Giveaway Roundup 7/8/2011

Howdy Folks and welcome to another edition of "What can I win this week?" I know you are all asking yourselves that question right now, and I can say that this week there are a few good things out there worth trying for. So let's get right to it shall we?

Today, Tom and Atticus will be giving away a collar from Lupine Collars and Leads. All you have to do is comment on their Facebook wall how you came up with your dog's or cat's name. At some time today they will pick the winner at random. Don't delay, you don't want to miss out on this opportunity for your four-legged friend.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July Thank You's (Some Blogger Love)

July is here and already it's been a crazy month. We had a wonderful nice long weekend for the holiday and well, we really didn't have to get back into the swing of things since we really didn't slow down much after the (thanks for the fiasco idea Greg). Nevertheless, life goes on. Most of that mess is cleaned up and now it's time to share some love to our fellow bloggers that send love our way. So without further ado, and this is going to be sweet and simple since we have so much left to do to get ready for baby and buying this house. :P

Much love goes out to:
Joe and Rebecca of the Outdoor Blogger Network. If haven't yet, check them out and if you're an outdoor blogger, get in the network. You'll be glad you did, trust us. :D

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July

It's been a long weekend, and if you're anything like us, you've been busy hiking, attending parties, and cleaning out basements. o_O Well okay, you've only been doing the first two, and maybe enjoying some fireworks. We were able to get out for a hike on Saturday of just over 2 miles at Norris Dam State Park and then attended a big family/friend get together later that day where Robin and I won the "Cornhole" Tournament (don't laugh, it's a real game and not what the name implies). If you don't believe me look it up on Google but do so at your own risk. Oh and we will have a hike report up in a couple of days too.

So today we celebrate our country's independence. We feel very fortunate to live in this great country, that we are free to play silly named games if we want to, or have parties with our friends and family when we want to, and many other things that we take for granted (like running water) and that if we lived in some other country, we could be arrested for doing. For that we are truly thankful that we live in the USA, even if we have some major problems with the economy and plumbing. Anyway for today we will be swimming in the basement - having been overly and prematurely motivated to clean due to the mess that we were blessed with after our party attending festivities on Saturday. I guess that's what we get for playing cornhole, we get cornholed.

We hope you are all having a safe and enjoyable holiday. God Bless the USA and God Bless all of you.

Happy Fourth of July.
Tim and Robin

"Hey! Thiz iz a candlez! I askeded for a bottlez rocketz! 
Oh wellz. Happy Birfday America!" ~ Ms. Coo

Friday, July 1, 2011

Giveaway Roundup 7/1/2011

Another work week has passed and the weekend is upon us. Thankfully it should be a long holiday weekend for most. With that being said, lets see if we can all win some gear to Start the holiday weekend off right.

First up this week, Tom and Atticus of The Adventures of Tom and Atticus are giving away a set up Fleece Lined Muttluk boots for your four legged trail-mate. All you have to do is post your favorite hiking picture of your four legged companion to their Facebook Wall. At noon, Tom and Atticus will Randomly select a winner. You don't have much time so don't delay.