Ross and Scott hike the AT

Hello. If you do not know me, I’m 27-year-old Scott Shipley, and I love you. Give me ten minutes of your time to find our common ground. First, I’d like to pose a small activity. I want you to relax, like really relax. Try to slow your heart rate and focus your mind. Think of yourself in a meadow at dusk. Close your eyes and put yourself there. Grass stands waist high. Grasshoppers flutter and crickets chirp. The first stars of the night appear like diamonds only the few who escape the cities ever get to cherish.

Raised in a family that was privileged with the ability and willingness to find these places and enjoy them, I have always wanted to undertake something grandiose. I’ve had a lot of crazy ideas and this 2,180-mile hike from Georgia to Maine may take the cake. It’s called the Appalachian Trail and it’s been around since 1937. It passes through fourteen states and the total elevation gain of hiking the entire A.T. is equivalent to climbing Mt. Everest sixteen times. Two thousand people try to hike it every year and only a fraction of those make it. I want to be one of those, and I’d like to take you with me. We are attempting to crowdsource this undertaking, and whether you support us financially, we’d like to have you in our hearts while standing in that field.

My A.T. partner is Ross Beazell, a goofy 22-year-old ginger from Virginia who moved to Minnesota on a whim to find that he is a glutton for arctic punishment. We met two years ago and quickly became brothers of other mothers in search of adventure. Ross is here for the challenge and I can vouch for his drive to never quit.

Ross and I have both just finished working three years with the Americorps volunteer program. These years took us to some amazing places and afforded us with richness in memories and 5,400 hours of community service each. We worked in Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota and Michigan. We did disaster response, environment conservation and young adult development. We lived at the poverty line and learned a lot about giving back. We both earned the Presidential Volunteer Call to Service award, so that’s it. We’re done with service to others, time to just take a vacation and bum out… just kidding. We want to make this hike meaningful. Let’s try to make this a small but meaningful crowdsourced adventure.

So here’s the idea, let’s make this a Hike for Hope, a Trip for Truth, a Backpack for Belief. I have lost both of my grandfathers to cancer: one to prostate cancer and the other to leukemia. Ross has lost his grandmother to breast cancer and grandfather to colon cancer and his father, Jim Beazell, in 2011 to Metastatic Melanoma. He was treated at the University of Virginia Cancer research center by Dr. Craig Slingluff. Who helped Jim fight cancer with all the tools he had available to him at the time. We will hike in memory of them and to further the research done by greater men than us. Cancer has affected everyone’s lives. Together we can move cancer research further, while hiking north to Maine.

If we reach our goal of $5000 we will donate $1000 of that to support the research of Dr. Craig Slingluff of the Human Immune Therapy Center with the help of Patients & Friends Research Fund at the University of Virginia Cancer Center
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Eugene Shipley 
Lawrence, KS
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