Our Story

We are Melissa and Reuben Stugart, a couple of teachers who fell in love with exploring the world. We met at our first teaching job at a wilderness therapeutic facility for adjudicated boys in rural Georgia. We discovered a common enthusiasm for the outdoors and helping children in need. After a few years of working together, we decided to get married and thru-hike the Appalachian Trail for our honeymoon in 2007.  Since then, we have traveled extensively during our winter and summer teacher breaks.

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After completing the AT, we told ourselves that one day we would become Triple Crowners, by also finishing thru-hikes on the Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trails. That day has finally come! We are Teachers on Hiatus.

Our Five Phase Plan:

HILO camper travel

Southbound, baby.

Teaching Careers:

We feel it is important to note that we have not left education – we are merely taking a break to fulfill other dreams. We have dedicated our lives to the translation of knowledge (academic, behavioral, and emotional). It was a TOUGH choice to leave the kiddos, but they are all excited to watch our journey with us!

Melissa (Trail Name: Solar) Credentials:

  • PhD in Literacy
  • National Board Certified
  • 2018 Metro Nashville Public Schools Blue Ribbon Teacher
  • Served 12 Years as a Classroom Teacher
  • Served 4 Years in Education Policy at State and National Level

Reuben (Trail Name: Lunar) Credentials:

  • M.Ed. in Special Education
  • Served 2 Years as a Principal
  • Served 3 Years as an Instructional Coach
  • Served 13 Years as Special Education/Science Teacher

Check Out Our Introductory Youtube Video as well! Please subscribe to our channel.