So who would attempt a 2,189 mile thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail, walking the distance between Georgia and Maine? Trail names are given for thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail so here is some information about Mike “Chief” and Tina “Toad”.
Chief retired after a 26-year career from the Shelby, Ohio Police Department. Having begun as a patrol officer, he worked his way to detective, captain, and eventually chief for the last eight years of his career. Chief was also actively involved as a S.W.A.T. officer and assisted the U.S. Marshal Service on the Violent Fugitive Task Force. He served as a special deputy with the Richland County (Ohio) Sheriff’s Office and as an instructor at North Central State College Police Academy. An avid runner, Chief has completed several marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 2006, 2007, and 2009.
Toad retired as a school district financial officer in Ohio, having served at Crestview Schools for nearly 18 years and Lexington Schools for 2 1/2 years. She also worked at Shelby City Schools for five years. Completing one marathon was enough for this accountant.
They are often asked if they have done much hiking to take on a trek of 2,189 miles of the Appalachian Trail. The answer is — no! So how did Chief and Toad come up with this plan? Let’s just say part bucket-list, part craziness. They totally trusted God to get them through and in one piece, and God was faithful!
Chief and Toad are Christ-followers and have been married for 42 years. They are blessed to be the parents of two daughters and sons-in-law, Brittany & Mike, and Breanne & Eric, and have four amazing grandchildren. In 2019, Chief and Toad moved from Ohio to Florida. They are grateful to the many family and friends who support them in their hiking adventures.
Their encouragement scripture for the A.T. hike and in their life is from Isaiah 40:31 (NIV),
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.