Husband to Emily. Father to Blakely. Uncharted Trail adventurer.
I had the real pleasure of joining Mikey and 3 of his closest friends early in August for an Uncharted Trail weekend in the North Georgia mountains. After some hiking, intentional conversations, hot tub time, waterfall swimming, and a few heated games of Settlers of Catan late into the night it's easy to see why Mikey is so loved by his friends and family!
I was introduced to Mikey through a shared acquaintance while his daughter Blakely was still in utero. Blakely was diagnosed during pregnancy with alobar holoprosencephaly, a condition that comes with a pretty discouraging outlook: many children with this diagnosis don't survive childbirth or live much longer after birth because of the compromised brain development. Knowing that I had gone through something similar with my son, Ezekiel, our mutual acquaintance connected us so I could share some of my insight and experience with Mikey. We talked on the phone a few times and texted some, but I had never met Mikey in person before this weekend.
Without going into too much detail, thankfully Blakely DID survive childbirth and lived a beautiful (and difficult) 10 months before passing away. Mikey chronicled his family's journey in a much more beautiful way than I ever could at https://blakelybumblebee.com/.
The guys did me a huge favor and opted to travel through Athens on our way to Blairsville, so I was able to show them around beautiful North Campus of my alma mater, The University of Georgia, and treat them to my cheap college restaurant of choice, Barberitos. We also took a chance to ring the historic Chapel Bell...even though they weren't sure if I was setting them up to get in trouble!
We tackled those subjects Saturday night & Sunday morning. But before we finished off the weekend with a long ride back to Florida, we had one more challenge to overcome.
A waterfall polar bear plunge!
Thank you to Mikey, Jason, Boyd, and Skylar for taking on an Uncharted Trail weekend with full hearts and no hesitations!
Thank you to Mikey's wife, Emily, for encouraging and empowering this opportunity for Mikey and the crew.
And thank you to Blakely, for making Mikey a better man.