After nearly 18 years of military service, our family is setting out to hike the Appalachian Trail as a way to “walk off the war”.  We could not be more excited to set off on this new adventure!  Arriving at this place in our lives, in our marriage, and in our family has been an intense journey of it’s own.  We nearly lost everything a couple of years ago, but together we chose to seek help for the betterment of ourselves and for eachother.  This adventure is as much a celebration of life and family, as it is a journey to discover purpose, as we transition from military life to a life all our own.

The “Thru Crew” consists of seven humans and one very special four-legged hiker, Belle.  We, (Ryan, Jeri Lynn, and our five children, Taylor, Kole, Riley, Ava, and Zoey) hope that you will follow our journey.  Surely, it will be as exciting as it will be challenging!  We’ve learned one invaluable lesson thorugh all that we have experienced… it is summed up in a simple, yet profound African Proverb, “If you want to go fast, travel alone; if you want to go far, travel together.  We are choosing to go Far NOT Fast!

“If you want to go fast, travel alone; if you want to go far, travel together” African Proverb


Ryan is a retired combat veteran.  After a career in service to our country, he is now dedicating himself to his family, leading them to discover purpose and direction for the future.  He is an outdoor enthusiast, who has always found solice in the green lumpy places.


Jeri Lynn loves living lifes adventures with her family.  She is Ryan’s wife, and the momma to five beautiful kids.  Life is ever changing in her world.  She dedicates herself to searching out the purpose in lifes’ twists and turns, encouraging her family to do the same.  There is a lesson to be learned through every trial.


Following his dads’ footsteps, Taylor comes alive in the outdoors and is fueled by challenge.  He loves skiing and climbing.  Recently, he was certified as an Outdoor Emergency Services Technician, and is well on his way to becoming a National Alpine Ski Patrolman.


Dedicated to whatever he sets his heart toward, Kole is an anchor in the family.  He loves animals and will serve as the voice of Belle, the Four-legged Hiker.  His interests include: skiing, climbing, music, and animals.



Riley is a complex young man!  His unique way of looking at the world makes him a problem solver… surely, this strength will benefit us all as we hike the trail.  Riley is also known for hilarious and perfectly timed one liners!  These might just be the memories we recount again and again, years from now.  Riley loves to come up with new ways of doing the everyday tasks of life.  He also loves to draw and read.



Don’t underestimate this girl!  Though she is quiet, she has a big personality.  She is contemplative, creative, and observant.  She will be the one who truly takes the time to soak in the beauty of the trail.  She “sees” what others often miss.  Her eyes and her heart are wide open.  She, like Riley, loves to draw.  She is also naturally athletic.  She loves climbing, skiing, basketball, volleyball, and all things outdoors.




Fire-cracker!  Though she is the smallest of the Thru Crew, her magnanimous personality will not go unnoticed.  Zoey loves life, she loves family, she loves outdoors.  Put her family outdoors to live life, and she is in her happiest place.  Zoey’s laughter is contagious.  She loves to sing.  There is not a stage in this world quite big enough for this sweet little African princess.




Belle, Ryan’s service dog, has never met a stranger.  She has been with our family since she was a pup.  She has grown up with our family, and then earned her title as service dog in December 2015.  She went through training with “Train a Dog, Save a Warrior”.  Belle, is an intregal part of Ryan’s life, and ours.





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