In 1986, Greg and his trusted companion Cooper, headed to North Carolina to begin a three week hike on the Appalachian trail. Greg who just turned 40, decided to take time off to take this adventure. He wasn't new to long hikes. He had spent many weeks of his life climbing the rugged shores of Lake Superior. He had enjoyed the wilderness of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. His favorite hiking went on in his home state of Wisconsin where he spent many weekends investigating the caves and hills of the Ice Age Trail. Cooper, a wire-haired schnauzer had been his hiking companion for many years. Now it was time for a new challenge. The Appalachian Trail was a dream come true. Greg and Cooper passed through dark forests where one could smell the damp mosses growing on the trees. They hiked up mountain sides listening to the sounds of rocks trickling off the edge of the cliff. Sometimes the screech of a buzzard flying past reminded Greg to be careful. His favorite times were sitting around his small fire at night and warming up his can of beans. He and Cooper would share the food and then they would walk to an open field and look up at the billions of stars in the night sky. There were no sounds in this desolate wilderness except the wind rustling through tree branches and the distant yip of a coyote. Greg was grateful that he had this opportunity. At the end of the rugged hike, both he and Cooper had sore legs and blistered feet (and paws). It was all worth it! Walking into a small, rural village on a hazy warm afternoon, they realized they had finished this journey. As they began their trip back to Wisconsin, Greg driving his jeep and Cooper acting as co-pilot, Greg turned to Cooper and said: "Coop....we are the two luckiest people...oops...I mean buddies...in the world."