Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The "Official" Reveal

Because you may or may not have been clued in by Tim's blog post slips, here is our "official" reveal...

Little Miss Dinah Marie is due December 13th,
and we just can't wait for her to get here!

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Beautiful Day to Run/Walk a 5k

We normally don't write about my running exploits much. I've only been running again since the end of April, and it hasn't been the most consistent running plan on the face of the Earth considering all the nursery stuff and house buying stuff we've been doing as of late. Nonetheless, I've not let it sideline me completely on the running front. For me, running is a release, an escape much like hiking from the rest of the world and a little time to focus on me and keep myself fit. After all, we've got another one on the way and I'll need to be in shape to keep up with her.

Anyway, an opportunity arose to test how far I've come since I started running again. Where I work was the headline sponsor for The 4th Annual Man Run against prostate cancer. Being such, the race organizers gave work so many spots in the race for the employees. So I decided to run. In addition, I signed up the kiddo to run since they had enough spots to accommodate her as well. I figured if she was going to run cross country this year, this would be a good chance to introduce her to the 5k distance.

Friday, August 26, 2011

It's Friday!! Giveaway Roundup Time is Here!

It's Friday once again and we all know what that means. Time for the latest and greatest in outdoor gear giveaways and contests. Boy have we got some good ones for you and a couple to remind you of that are about to end soon. Anyway, before we get to the giveaways, we just wanted to mention a new feature on the blog and another one that we are working on thanks to a comment from one of our readers, Courtney. If you check out the Featured Parks page, we now have a map at the top that shows the location for every park we have featured thus far. As we continue to feature more parks we will add them to the map. Additionally, we are working on a map to go along with the Trail Reports page marking the locations of all the trailheads and other various points that go along with the trails listed on the Trail Reports page. We hope this is something that will help everyone in deciding and finding where to go when you want to get out for a hike. Let us know what you think.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Featured Park - Big Ridge State Park

Just in time for the end of summer and start of autumn, we have a new featured park. For the next couple of months our "Featured Park" is Big Ridge State Park. Brought about by TVA in the 1930's, Big Ridge is located along the shores of Norris Lake and offers ample outdoor activities for all. Be sure to check out Big Ridge State Park on our Featured Parks page and make plans to visit this awesome little park.

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin

Friday, August 19, 2011

Another Friday Gear Giveaway Roundup - 8/19/2011

We hope everyone has had a wonderful week and are gearing up for a fantastic weekend. The weather around here has gotten hot again and there's threats of rain. That won't stop the party for us though as the Kiddo turns the big 1-5 this weekend and is having some friends over for tea. I don't think it will be your normal tea party though, as it turns out, it will a slight bit mad. Anyway, we've just about completed the nursery for Little Miss Dinah. There's just a few items left, mostly decorative in nature though so all the hard stuff is completed and out of the way.

Being that it's Friday again, you know that means it's time to get in on some great giveaways and this week is no different from the previous weeks. There's three new giveaways going to let you in on and a few that are still on going to remind you about. So let's get started shall we?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Trail Report Page

If you're anything like we are, then you love to read people's trail reports on their blog especially if you are considering doing one of the trails you are reading about. The unfortunate thing is with the blog format, the trails get buried under all the other posts of a blog. With that in mind, we've been working on a Trail Report page for a couple of months now to provide easy access to the trail reports for our readers. If there is a trail we have done a report for, you can find a quick trail summary and the trail name is linked to our report of the trail.

So if you have some time check out the Trail Report Page and let us know what you think. If you have friends or family looking for trail info in our area, be sure to refer them to our page. We sure would appreciate it. If there are any trails that you need info on that we don't have listed let us know. It's possible we've done it before and just never wrote a trail report on it or we may not have done it but still know about it. If that's the case we will add it to our ever growing list of trails we'd like to hike.

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Have Brick Will Travel (Garmin Montana 600 Gear Review)

Those of you who keep up with the latest and greatest on GPS's probably know all about the Garmin Montana 600 GPS. For those who don't, this is one of the newest handheld units that Garmin has put out on the market. Kevin at Take A Hike GPS who sells and rents GPS units (a great option if you haven't got $100+ to drop on a GPS unit), sent the 600 to us for review. When it arrived I feared he'd sent me a brick instead, but opened the package anyway. To my amazement, it was a GPS fit for Bigfoot.

After picking my jaw up off the floor, I took the GPS out of the box and turned it on. Yep, it's got a color touch screen, is customizable, and has all the bells and whistles like the Garmin Dakota 10 we reviewed a couple weeks back and then some. The upper level models of this GPS even have photo taking capabilities and as our teenage daughter found, when you turn it on it's side, the screen turns as well, just like those fancy iPhones and Android smart phones do. After examining it for about 20 minutes, I turned the unit off and put it back in the package. Considering how busy we've been with getting the nursery ready, I wasn't really going to have time to lug it out on the trail.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Giveaway Roundup Friday - August 12, 2011

So the last week and a half has been crazy hectic. If you follow us on Facebook, then you know that we've been neck deep in turning a bathroom into a nursery, and getting the house looking nice before the appraiser comes out. With that being said, we ended up missing last weeks giveaway roundup and for that we sincerely apologize. If you please, don't put us in "Time Out" for it.

Anyway since we missed it last week, we have one for you today that features some pretty sweet giveaways from around the outdoor blog-o-sphere. These items include huge prize packages, to a GPS, a sleeping bag, and more. So with no further delay, let's get straight to the goodies that are up for grabs out there and start the weekend off right.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August Outdoor Blog Carnival: What's Your Dream Hike?

Welcome to the August Blog Carnival. We asked the question, "What's dream hike?" We wanted to know where it was, what all it would entail, etc. We got quite a few entries and each on just as good as the other. Have you ever thought of the Inca Trail, Crater Lake, or how about the Oregon Trail? Without further ado, here are this months Outdoor Blog Carnival Entries. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Food Review - Heater Meals Revisited

You've had a long day setting up camp in your front country campsite, then an all day hike up and down a mountain with about 1600ft elevation gain over rough terrain. When you return to camp you are tired and hungry and the last thing you want to think about is fixing food. That would entail either getting a fire going real well, or breaking out your Coleman Stove then prepping the food for cooking. Why do that when you can easily pull out a Heater Meal? That's exactly what we did during our camping/hiking trip a few weeks back. We spent the morning setting up camp and then went for a 6+ mile hike. When we returned, the last thing we wanted to do was cook.

Enter Heater Meals self heating meals. These things are a breeze to cook. They come with a patented self heating package that activates with water, and no you don't have to heat the water. If you remember a while back we reviewed Heater Meals: Zesty BBQ Sauce and Potatoes with Beef. This time around Robin had the Green Peppers & Steak while I had the Pasta Italiana. As I said before, these things are a breeze. The meals come complete with seasoning packets, salt and pepper packets, the right amount of water to activate the heating package, utensils for eating, and napkins.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

New Knives Winner

In case you've been wondering where we've been, it has been crazy busy around here.We haven't abandoned y'all and we are sorry we haven't been posting lately. We're especially sorry that we missed Friday's Giveaway Round Up post. We know how much everyone looks forward to those. If you keep up with us on Facebook, then you know we've been neck deep in converting a bathroom into a nursery and have started the house buying process.

We've got so much stuff to get done before the appraiser comes out so we may still be hit or miss on the blog for the next couple of weeks. This week though we will have the outdoor blog carnival post up so y'all will have plenty of blogs (both new and old) to read. Also, we will make it up to you on Friday for the gear giveaway roundup.

Anyway... Remember the knives and GoGirl giveaway? Well the winner of the knives has never contacted us with an address or anything. You know what that means right? It's time to pick a new winner. We removed the initial winner from the list and let the RNG do it's thing. This time it has picked D.Nash (of My Leaky Waders fame) as the lucky winner of the Winchester Knife set. Congrats D. Nash. Send us an email to appalachiaandbeyond (at) gmail (dot) com with your address and we will get the knife set out to you as soon as possible.

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Our Dream Hike

I used to think, when I first started really getting into the hiking thing, that thru-hiking the AT would be my dream hike. To some extent, it is still a dream to thru-hike it, but it seems to be a hike that I could feasibly attain at some point in my life, at least I'd like to think so anyway. I think what sold me on the idea was listening to Bill Bryson's account in "A Walk in the Woods". Yes I say listen because Robin and I listened to it a few years back during a road trip to New Orleans and back.

Image Courtesy of
Seriously though, I don't think that would suffice for this post as a dream hike because it is certainly attainable, at least if I can ever get our debt reduced to zero and enough money saved to cover six months worth of recurring bills while away on the trail. Anyway, for the purpose of the Outdoor Blog Carnival Post, "What's Your Dream Hike?", ours would have to be a hike up to Machu Picchu in Peru with the Llamas. Of course the Camino de Santiago wouldn't be half bad either, but I don't think I can coax Robin to Europe, but if I walked in the door with a complete itinerary for two and all travel arranged to Cusco, Peru, she'd beat me out of the way to our packs to get them ready and out the door in a matter of hours.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Blogger Love (August Edition)

First of all, let us first say, "Happy August Everyone". With the arrival of August, we have the last two months of summer ahead of us, and hopefully a little bit of cooling down before much longer. Kids will be going back to school in the next week or so for some others still have until Labor Day. Considering it is now August and Christmas is just under 5 months away, we better enjoy what is left of the year before it's gone. :P

Being that it is August, that can only mean one thing, time for some blogger love. That's right, as we do every month, we like to say thanks to all the bloggers that we know and love because they know and love us, and of course because we have a nice little network with each other sending traffic and new readers a like back and forth to each other. We will keep it simple this month. Thanks to all of you for doing what you do, and for being who you are.