Friday, September 30, 2011

FGR - Good Bye September 9/30/2011

This weekend is shaping up to be a gorgeous weekend in our area. Sunny and cool, perfect autumn weather the likes of which will have us out and about this weekend for a festival and very likely an easy hike somewhere. September is finally at it's end and we usher in October tomorrow morning, so what better send off can we give than the Friday Giveaway Roundup.

First up today is the new monthly giveaway at This prize pack includes a nice hoodie and rain parka from Hi-Tec as well as a nice package of treats for your four-legged friend from Zuke's is included. Head over to the giveaway post for all the details and to enter. While you're there, enter one last time for the  Salewa and Suunto giveaway.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Ghost Train to Blue Heron

We hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend and was able to get out and enjoy the wonderful weather. Where did you go? What did you do? We'd love to hear all about it. Did you get out for a hike, go camping, or just hang out doing yard work? Luckily for us, most of all the home buying work has been done so we had a free (for the most part) weekend to do what we wanted.

In Memory of Tom, KK4TA
As you know from our post last week, we had the Ten-Tec hamfest to attend on Saturday morning to sell gear for our friend who lost her husband to cancer earlier this year. We really couldn't have asked for better weather. The turn out was a lot bigger than in previous years thanks to the gorgeous weather. Robin and I arrived just before 7:00am and were swarmed by "old men" (don't worry, that's what they're called in Ham Radio) wanting a chance at the sweet gear we brought to sell. By 11:30am we had sold all we were going to sell (nearly everything!) and it was time to pack it up and head home to prepare for our next event of the day.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy Birthday To Robin!!!

 Thirty years ago today, I was 6-years old and if I remember correctly at school in the first grade. It was also the same day I became an uncle for the very first time. It's hard to believe that on that same day, the girl I was to spend the rest of my life with, was also born. At that time, the day was pretty special because my nephew was born. It was even more special, albeit unbeknownst to me at that time how much more special it was.

Robin grew up loving the outdoors (and apparently ice cream). Her parents were avid hikers and backpackers. If there was a weekend off and their gang could get together, they were on the trail headed to some destination for an overnight in the Cumberlands or the Smokies. When Robin was old enough, she would accompany them on those trips with her own little pack to carry her clothes, blanket, and stuffed animal. Many a night she spent under the stars. It makes me wonder and I believe that there were possibly times we were looking at the same stars. Then again maybe not because here in Tennessee she had more stars to look at than I did down outside of New Orleans.

Thirty years ago today my partner for life, my best friend, compatriot, wife, and confidant was born and overly joyous am I that she was. She keeps me anchored and grounded. She gives me reason to do what I do. She provides for us at home and I couldn't be more blessed to call her my wife and my best friend. We share the trail together, and I couldn't ever imagine having a more suitable trail mate. She completes me where I fall short and vice-versa. It is with great admiration and loving-ness that I wish Robin a most joyous and happy birthday.

I Love You Robin, Happy Birthday.
Your Timmy

Friday, September 23, 2011

ENO and Headsweats Winner

Ladies and gentlemen, kids of all ages, we have ourselves a winner for our giveaway. It is with great pleasure to announce that the winner of the ENO DoubleNest Hammock, ENO Slap Straps, and Headsweats Adventure Hat is none other than Lindsey @

Congratulations Lindsey! Does this mean that your husband doesn't have to make hammocks for Mini-Van camps anymore? Send us your mailing address via email to appalachiaandbeyond (at) gmail (dot) com as soon as you see this. We will get the prize pack out to you as soon as possible.

We would like to thank Eagles Nest Outfitters and Headsweats for helping us celebrate our 300 "Likes" which has since turned into over 400 "Likes" on Facebook. Additionally, we would like to also thank all of you, our fans, for making it all possible. Without y'all, we wouldn't have a reason to be doing this. Have a great weekend everyone.

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin

We Are Members Of Team Trail Sherpa

You know that special announcement I mentioned in the FGR earlier this morning? We were invited by Tim Miner of to become members/contributors to his dream team of outdoor bloggers - Team Trail Sherpa. What is Trail Sherpa you might ask? Think "Facebook" just for outdoor types like you, our fans, and other lovers of the outdoors. It's a place where hikers, campers, backpackers, climbers, etc. can all get together to share ideas, stories, experiences, trails and more. Basically it's just a bunch of like minded people sharing our outdoors with each other.

Now you might be asking what Team Trail Sherpa is all about. Well, Tim Miner had an idea, a dream if you will, to put together a solid team of outdoor bloggers that represent a wide array of outdoor experience from all over. With that, he put together Team Trail Sherpa so that we could provide content to Trail Sherpa members and readers. Not just any old content though, but quality content including trail reports, gear reviews, recipes for the trail, etc. I won't go into anymore detail, you'll just have to drop in, become a member (it's free), and hangout.

Other members of the team include Rebecca from, Brian Green of Brian's Backpacking Blog, Tom Mangan from Two Heel Drive, Jeff Hester from, John Roan from, Derek Loranger from and of course our Lead Sherpa, Tim Miner of Be sure to check out these great blogs and look for future posts from the lot of us at Trail Sherpa. Also keep an eye out for new members of the team to be added in the near future and check out our Intro post on Trail Sherpa.

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin

P.S. We hit the 400 "Likes" mark on Facebook. Thank you to our fans for helping us reach that mark. Additionally, thank you to Headsweats and ENO for helping us out with our Celebration Giveaway of 300 "Likes".

Happy Fall - FGR 9/23/2011

Hello and Happy Fall. We hope you've had a great week and are looking forward to getting outside to enjoy the first weekend of Autumn. We have a pretty busy weekend ahead and are looking forward to the cooler temps and I'm sure the rest of you are too. A lot of things have been happening this week and with the giveaways, well that's not much different at least not here. So let's jump right to it.

For the first giveaway, we have to go ahead and toot our own horn. Late last week we hit the 300 fan mark on Facebook. In so doing we were lucky enough to team up with Eagles Nest Outfitters(ENO) and Headsweats for a sweet little giveaway to celebrate the occasion. This prize pack includes an ENO DoubleNest Hammock, ENO Slap Straps to hang the hammock with, and a Headsweats Adventure Hat. To get in on this opportunity all you have to do is head over to our Facebook page before 8:00pm this evening, "Like" our page, and leave a comment on our wall telling us why you love ENO. Sometime after 8:00pm tonight we will draw a winner at random and announce it here on the blog and on our Facebook Page.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hamfests and Ghost Trains

This weekend looks to be a busy one for us. First thing early Saturday morning we have a Hamfest to attend. For our hiking friends, a Hamfest is an event where amateur (ham) radio operators gather together to sell equipment, check out and buy equipment from radio vendors, attend classes, seminars, and demonstrations, and hope to win a cool door prize. Not much different than an Outdoor Retailer type event, just on a smaller scale. The biggest thing about these events however are the food and fellowship amongst other Hams. Anyway, this weekend is the Ten-Tec Hamfest in Sevierville, TN. We will be up there early in the morning trying to sell some Ham gear for a friend of ours who's husband went SK (silent key, aka passed away) earlier this year. There's plenty of good radio gear to purchase and you'd also be helping out a fellow ham/widow with some of her expenses. So be sure to come out if you are in the area and are a ham or even want to be a ham. They give amateur radio exams during the hamfest, too.

Courtesy of BSFNRRA
The next big thing on our plates for this weekend is the First Annual Ghost Train up at Big South Fork NRRA and Big South For Scenic Railway. The scenic railway is located in Stearns, Kentucky and takes groups down to the Blue Heron mining community in the Big South Fork for tours of the area.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Hauntingly Good Time

Courtesy of BSFNRRA
As most of you know, and if not then you should read this blog more often (hehe), this past weekend was the "Haunting in the Hills" Storytelling Festival at Big South Fork NRRA. It should also be a no-brainer that we went as usual as it has become sort of a tradition for us. This is one festival we make a point to clear the calendar and attend.

This year was no different. We made sure our day was clear to head out to Big South Fork for the festivities. It didn't matter that UT was playing against Flordia. Besides, UT loses to Florida more often than not so it really didn't matter much to me. After all, I was able to keep tabs on the game while enjoying the festivities. Anyway, we had planned to arrive early this year so that we could really take in all there was to offer. In years past, we usually would arrive just as most of the crafters were packing it up and heading out.

Friday, September 16, 2011

ENO Hammock Giveaway (Celebrating 300 Likes on Facebook)

So sometime yesterday evening we hit the 300 mark on our Facebook page. It really amazes us that we have so many fans and that we continue to grow that fan base on a daily basis. It's because of you that we do this as we hope to inspire everyone to get outdoors and enjoy the many gifts that mother nature has given us to enjoy. We especially hope that you will come to East Tennessee and enjoy the abundant outdoor resources available to us here. That's the other reason for our blog, to highlight all that East Tennessee and this region of Southern Appalachia has to offer to the outdoors lover.

With that being said, we couldn't be happier to highlight one of Southern Appalachia's outdoor gear makers, Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO). Located in Asheville, North Carolina, ENO makes hammocks and other great outdoor products that make hanging out a true pleasure in the outdoors. If you remember we reviewed a DoubleNest that Robin bought us for Christmas, and we've been using it ever since. Well to help us celebrate, ENO has decided to help us out with a giveaway.

Since you, our fans, have helped us to reach that magical 300 number, ENO and Appalachia & Beyond is giving you a chance to win a DoubleNest Hammock and the Slap Straps to hang it with. You can't get any better than that can you? All you have to do is like us and then leave a comment on our Facebook Page that you want to win an ENO DoubleNest Hammock and why you love ENO. In addition, we'll even throw in a Headsweats Adventure Hat. The Adventure hat is made of lightweight Cocona fabric that wicks moisture away while keeping you dry and comfortable. It also has a Cocona terry sweatband for additional moisture management and a velcro back closure The hat is a nice olive green for that foresty look.We will draw a winner on Friday Sept. 23rd at 8:00pm.

Happy Trails and Good Luck,
Tim and Robin

(**Disclaimer:** This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, or Blogger. You are providing information to Appalachia & Beyond only and not to Facebook, Twitter, or Blogger. The information you provide will only be used for this giveaway.

Friday's Giveaway Roundup (FGR) 9/16/11

Courtesy of BSFNRRA
Happy Friday everyone! The weekend is here or will be very soon. Does anyone have anything exciting planned for the weekend? We'd love to hear what plans y'all have. We are planning on attending "The Haunting in the Hills" story telling festival in The Big South Fork this weekend, and maybe even get in a hike. Regardless of what you're doing get outside and enjoy what mother nature has to offer. And with that, who's ready for some giveaways?

This week we have a couple good ones to mention and a recap of current giveaways going on out there. Shoes, watches, hammocks, first aid kits, GPSs, and shirts. What more could one ask for? If anyone has any outdoor gear related giveaways going on they'd like for us to promote on our FGR, shoot us an email at appalachiaandbeyond (at) gmail (dot) com. We'll be sure to get them posted. Now onto the giveaways.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Trail Report: Judge Branch Trail - Frozen Head SP - 9/11/2011

Woohoo, all the outside work has been completed and now we just sit and wait. Well not exactly, we still have some cleaning inside to do before the appraiser comes, but until then our weekends will not be spent working all day long. It couldn't have come at a better time either. The weather has cooled a bit and it's September: our favorite month and a signal that our favorite time of year is here.

After finishing up all the outside work on Saturday, we decided that Sunday we would get out for a much needed walk in the woods. Besides, Robin's Trinity Maternity Trekking Pants from Mountain Mama arrived a couple days prior and she was itching to try them out. The only caveat to this: Robin is now limited as to how much she can do. With that in mind, it had to be short, not very strenuous, and most of all something that she didn't need to carry any gear - except her camera, which I don't think I could rip out of her cold, dead hands. So we decided that the Judge Branch trail at Frozen Head State Park would fit to a T.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Post Labor Day Friday Giveaway Roundup - 9/9/2011

Ever notice how the week after a holiday, you just don't feel like doing much of anything? Yeah that's how I've felt this week. I haven't really done much of anything other than show up at work and do what I had to do to get by. As for the blog business, it hasn't been any different on this end either. I've not kept up as much with the social media like normal, and we've only gotten one post out this week not counting this one. Considering I haven't kept up with everything going on out there as much this week, it has sorta caused this week's Giveaway Roundup to be lacking a bit in new stuff. Sorry 'bout that..

Timex Men's T498469J Expedition Green Trail Mate Full Size Fast Wrap WatchThis week Branden and Sarah at Daily Hiker are giving away a Timex Expedition Trail Mate Watch. They just did a review on this watch earlier this week and since they both already have watches, they've decided to give this one away. Looks like it's the same drill as all their other giveaways as of late. Get out and do your thing, take a picture of you doing that thing and include Daily Hiker in the photo in some form or fashion. After that send them the pic via email. Winner will be picked on Sept.12. That's this Monday so check out their post for the email address and then get outside and get that picture made.

So that's really all the new stuff I've found, but there are a few that are still going on throughout the month of September. First is over at Outdoor Informer, they are giving away a sweet Suunto Watch and a pair of Salewa Approach shoes. You can enter once a day through the month of September to increase your odds of winning. Another monthly giveaway is happening over at This month they have an outdoor lightweight first-aid kit. Head over to the registration page to get in on this sweet little prize. And finally one I forgot to mention last week, the GPS giveaway that is still going on over at Take A Hike GPS. They have a wonderful GPS Rental Service. If you are in the market for a GPS and want to try some out before you buy, then this is a great way to test some out. Or if you just have a weekend outing coming up and you don't have the scratch to get a new GPS, you can always rent one from Take A Hike GPS. If you want to win one then check out their giveaway page for all the details. They will announce a winner at the end of September.

Okay Ladies and Gents, that's all I have this time around. Sorry for not having more for you, but you know sometimes we all need a little break. Anyway, what are you waiting around for? Go get entered in these giveaways, then go outside and play already.

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Haunting In The Hills Is Coming

We hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend. We celebrated it in grand fashion: we scrubbed the outside of our house before the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee decided to dump over six inches of liquid sunshine on us. It's was Labor Day right? That means we work right? Honestly, we really had to get that done.

Anyway, enough about that stuff. With September having arrived, the weather cooling off a bit, and our favorite time of year (Autumn) being right around the corner, that can only mean one thing. It's time to get outside for some hiking and festival attending. All the autumn time festivals are getting ready to ramp up. Next weekend, there's a real treat of an event going on at The Big South Fork NRRA. It's the 19th Annual Haunting in the Hills Story Telling Festival on September 17th.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Giveaway Roundup, Happy Labor Day

Welcome to another edition of the ever popular "Giveaway Roundup". This week we have some new stuff to throw your way. With it being September, there are some new ones up at the sites that offer monthly giveaways like So be sure you visit all these locations and get in on the fun and hopefully win something. In the meantime, we will be busy around the house this long holiday weekend so we hope everyone has a safe, fun, and Happy Labor Day.

Now to the giveaways...

Suunto M5 Men's Heart Rate Monitor and Fitness Training Watch (Black)For the month of September, Jason and his squad at Outdoor Informer have a really sweet giveaway going on as always. You can enter once a day to win a Suunto M5 Watch and a pair Salewa Firetrail GTX shoes. All you need to do is head over to the giveaway page and click the "Enter to Win" button and fill out the form. Voila you're in. Make sure to enter every day to increase your chances. Now if they will pick the winners from the big G4 giveaway from last month. I'm certain my name will be drawn. :P

Coleman 6-Person Instant TentNext up is over at the Coleman Facebook page. They are giving away some Coleman Instatents  and a nice grand prize package of camping gear just in time for the Fall Camping season. Just head over to their Facebook page and hit the contest tab to enter. Fill out the necessary info and that's all there is to it.

OUTGO Ultra Compact Microfiber Towel Orange XLAnother sweet little contest is going on over at Outgo's Facebook page. Thanks to for this one. Outgo is giving away some Towels and waterless wash along with a free entry to any mud race in the country. Of course they are not providing travel accommodations, so be sure to choose a mud race you can get to. Head over to Outgo's Facebook page to enter.

Sierra Designs Pyro 15 Degree 600 Fill Down Sleeping Bag (Regular)Another great giveaway is going on over at the Daily Hiker. Branden and Sarah have a lot of gear in their closet they are trying to give to people who love being in the outdoors. They've given away some really sweet gear over the past couple of weeks and this week is no different. Head over to their Daily Hiker blog for all the details on how to score the Sierra Designs Pyro 15 Sleeping Bag.

Finally, for the month of September is giving away an Ultralight First Aid Kit by Adventure Medical Kits. All you have to do is fill out the entry form to enter and then wait until the first of October to find out if you won. What are you waiting on? Go enter already. :P

That's all we have for this weeks giveaway roundup. Good Luck and we hope everyone has a great long weekend.

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hello September, Thank You

Hello September! We've missed you.

August has been a hot month here in East Tennessee and as a result, it has limited us on what we do outside. Additionally, we've been busy with the whole converting a bathroom into a nursery business and the house buying stuff including all the house work to prepare for the appraisers. All the hard stuff with the nursery is done and there are just the small minor decorative details being worked on. Once that is complete we will do a full reveal of the nursery for our expected new hiker. Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, after all the house work stuff is complete, we will be able to get out for some hiking and festival attending. It is September  and this is a great time of the year for outdoor pursuits. Until that time, we would like to send out many thank yous to our blogger friends like we do every month for without you and as always our readers, our blog wouldn't be the blog it is today.