Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Most people I have met so far describe it as up and down the whole way but the way I describe hiking in Georgia is up up up down up up up. So far hiking has been pretty dull and I hope it gets better. Hiking was not very fun yesterday, we were hiking until 9:30 p.m. and then today we had to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to hike 3.5 more miles to a pickup point. We made it there 2 hours early and we were freezing our butts off. But now Tom and I are in town and we're about to hitchhike to get back to our hostel where we will have a nice warm dinner, I will blog in approximatly 3 days when we are supposed to be at a hotel in Franklin, North Carolina (YAY). Bye guys
I am currently at the Hiawasse(think I spelled that right) public library, staying at the blueberry patch hostel and super happy for taking a nero(nearly zero miles)day. I was getting kind of hungry the last few days cause our stove ran out of fuel so I had to eat the ramen we had cold :P, it's like a big crunchy cracker. Immediately we went to subway and got two huge footlong sandwhiches, went to the thrift store and picked up some ponchos, then went and got fuel and 2 spaceblankets for my hammock, then grocery shopping. We are now all done and don't feel like waiting another two hours for the shuttle to get here so we are just going to hitch the rest of the way back to the hostel.

Edited by Mom:  It is spelled Hiawassee!  That will be on your final exam when you arrive home.  Just letting you know in advance!

Monday, March 28, 2011

9th Day on the Trail

Tom and Ben are on their 9th day of hiking on the trail.  They are currently headed towards Hiawassee, Ga.  They should arrive there tomorrow and will be staying at the Blueberry Patch Hiker Hostel which is owned and operated by a Christian couple.  The husband hiked the trail years ago and now they provide respite for the hikers.  They operate via hiker donations and provide a bed, a shower, and a hearty breakfast.  This will be the first opportunity for the boys to shower since they hit the trail.  Ben is hiking under his chosen trail name of "Big Ben" and is willing to change if any of the other hikers come up with something more interesting.  For all those who know Ben he is 6 ft 3 in and wears a size 15 shoe and he's only 14!  I think the name suits him.   Ben had a sore foot for a few days and that slowed the guys down a bit on this first full week out on the trail.   The guys have sounded upbeat and enthusiastic  and they are really enjoying themselves.  They met a couple and the wife was a science teacher (earth science I think) and they had a great time chatting with her.  We're excited to be able to talk to them for a longer amount of time on Tuesday and getting more in-depth updates from them.  The boys will be leaving Georgia sometime on Wed or Thursday this week and entering North Carolina.  There next big stop is Franklin, NC where the trail heads straight through town.  They will be there for the annual hiker festival that the town sponsors.  We've booked a hotel room for them and they are looking forward to a bit of privacy, some hearty meals, and maybe even catching a movie in town. 

Posted by Mom

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Destination correction

So the boys were headed for Blood Mountain today but apparently Ben hurt his foot a bit this morning while getting water.  "But don't worry Mom, it wasn't that bad."  Hmmm.  So they cut the hike short today and are staying the night at Woods Hole Shelter and will climb Blood Mountain tomorrow. 

Day 5 on the trail

Tom has received his trail name of "Coach" for coaching Ben along on the hike.   I received several calls from the boys yesterday.  The first call in the morning was my boys being boys. They were arguing and called Mom to tell her all about it.  Apparently Tom is doing "everything" and all Ben has to do is hike.  Sounds way too familiar.  So after talking them off the ledge they began their hike into Suches, Ga to resupply.  They hit a General Store that apparently didn't offer much in lightweight trail food so they ended up with a ton of Ramen noodles.  Thankfully they were able to catch a ride into town saving them the 2 mile walk into town and then the 2 miles back to the trail.  Today they are headed up to Blood Mountain.  Check out the link below and watch the short video clip.  It looks like a neat hike today.  They get to hike through a building today and climb a mountain.  The views look awesome.


And back home we are learning some neat things too:  the food here is lasting longer.  We are no longer going through a gallon of milk a day.  I left the Girl Scout cookies out on the counter one night and they were still there the next day!  Wow.   But we do miss the guys.  The house is quieter, there are no empty food dishes being left by the computers in the office, no huge sized sneakers strewn across the living room floor, and no more sitters for the younger kids left at home.  Max (age 2) and Ellie (age 4) miss their big brothers!  We are keeping track of the hike back home with footprints to mark the days and mileage on the trail and a map dotted with pics and postcards from the boys.  We're so proud of the boys for undertaking such a huge adventure.  Hope they are enjoying their hike as much as we are enjoying following them back home.

Posted my Mom

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tom and Ben at The Hiker Hostel

Tom (in red plaid shirt in the middle)and Ben (tan shirt on the right) at the Hiker Hostel on 3/20/11.  The boys left with calling cards to hand out so that people they meet along the trail or in town can update us on their status.  So here's the first photo shared by Christi. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Hiker Hostel

Ok so we are in a hostel in Dahlonega GA. The hostel is called "The Hiker Hostel" I love the name it's just so simple and not complicated. There was a trail festival in town yesterday, today, and it'll still be there tomorrow. We however are hitting the aproach trail tomorrow. The people at the hostel are extremely friendly and an all around good bunch. So I'm super stoked to be finally getting some miles under my boots. I guess this will be my last blog till the next time I hit a town with a computer which should be fairly soon.
-Thomas Zmyewski


Last night Tom and I were staying at a hotel where we stayed up until 1 a.m. Then of course, our alarm didn't work so Tom and I were woken up by our grandparents an hour later than our alarm was supposed to go off. After eating breakfast we are going to the hiker hostel where, if they have a computer we will update more.

Friday, March 18, 2011


The hotel we are in has computers!!! so I'm going to put some photos up, and if I can a couple videos.

Heading North

I slept good, Iv'e eaten, I'm packed, and now I am ready to head North to Goergia.

Also I've repacked my gear and I managed to pack everything just a little bit smaller and now I was able to fit more inside my pack instead of having it hang off the back.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bus Trip

Ok that bus trip was a little.......interesting.
We got on the bus at 4:30pm. At 5:40 we arrived at Baltimore to switch busses, then headed to Washington DC. We got to DC at 7:00pm and had a 45minute layover. During the layover we went and got some of greyhounds "wonderful" food. Then we left for Richmond and arrived at 10:30 and had an hour layover. That was our last time switching busses then we were on the bus till 3:00am and we had to wake up and get off the bus for another hour so that they could clean it. Then we stayed on the bus all night stopping at several places, but we didnt get off the bus till we got to Jacksonville Florida. At Jacksonville we stayed there for an hour and ate lunch, then got back on the bus and drove the last 5 hours to Orlando.
          Our grandparents picked us up and fed us and we slept like a rock and now im here sitting around the house till we head out on friday.
          At our grandparents place they have only two trees which are the perfect size and distance apart for my hammock so now I have that hanging up and I'm just chillin down here in Florida.
-Thomas Zmyewski

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


We just got to our grandparents house after they picked us up at the bus station. We have had fun so far, it was fun to get off the bus after 24 hours. There were a few creepy people along the bus but we managed to get through it. We went shopping for dinner and after we shower nana is going to show Tom around on the golf cart and then he and I are going to go out for a bit. Wish us luck and we will post later.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Leaving Wilmington, De on 3/14/11

Ben and Tom at bus terminal
in Wilmington, De

Their bus left the station at 4:20 pm on Monday and they should arrive in Orlando, Fl around 4:35 pm on Tuesday afternoon.  They will be spending a couple of days with the grandparents.  On Friday, March 18 the grandparents will drive them to Georgia where they will spend the night in a cozy hotel and then they will be dropped off at the Hiker Hostel in Dahlonega, Georgia on Saturday, March 19 where 2 bunks are reserved for them.  They hit the approach trail to the Appalachian Trail on March 20.  They will start the actually trail on March 21.

posted by Mom

Leaving the house

Hi guys, so far today Tom and I have packed our bags which both weigh about 50 lbs. We are going to leave the house and drive to the bus station where Tom and I will board and arrive in Florida sometime tomorrow morning, wish us luck.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Business cards

I just ordered a bunch of business cards for us boys to hand out to people during the hike. They look super awesome and I can't wait for them to come in. We've also been ordering the last of our gear. We are now just waiting on the postman.

About Me

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Welcome to our blog. Come and visit and get to know my crazy busy family. First there is me, Tammy, also known as the MOM. And then there is Hank-the Dad. We are the proud parents of 5 wonderful and wacky kids. In order of birth-Nicholas, Thomas, Benjamin, Eleanor, and Maxwell. We are a homeschooling family and we love to explore, travel, and create dynamic family traditions and rituals with our children.