About Chief and Toad

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.


16 thoughts on “About Chief and Toad

  1. Just heading home from a visit to the Smokies. Thought of you two a lot! Will be keeping you in my prayers. Best of luck, Go with God.


  2. Mike and Tina, This is so exciting. I have been to several presentations on the AT but have not ventured out. Are any folks meeting you to hike any part of the trail. Blessings to you on your journey.

    An old neighbor–anne stock


  3. Mike and Tina – My commendations to both of you for the challenge you are embracing, for the cause you are supporting and for the faith in God you are proclaiming. I read with great interest about your imminent plans to start putting one foot in front of the other on this great journey. Thank you and I praise God for your example.

    Dave Miller


  4. Tina!! This is so exciting! I am sooooo jealous….a little birdie told me about this and I have been checking up on you guys since I found out! We are headed to Glacier National Park this summer, but your hike has long been on our list. Take care, stay safe, looking forward to updated posts and pictures, and…..happy trails! =)

    Tara (Julian & Grube)


  5. Hi, Mike and Tina. You guys are looking great! I loved your last post about all the folks you are meeting on the trail and all the trail lingo. Keep the pictures coming. Eagerly awaiting your next post.


  6. Our entire family is following your adventure. God bless you and keep you in his care!
    BTW. We understand where the name Chief came from, but Toad?


  7. Tina & Mike aka Chief&Toad:
    Mom sent along the article from the news journal. So happy to follow your progress and the cause you support! Tina – who would have ever thought we would go from Clear Fork HS to active 50 something’s!! I used to hike parts of the AT when I lived in NC and Georgia. I will pray for your success and your friend. Terri


  8. Saw the story in the News Journal today and wanted to let you know Christine and I are praying for your safety and admire your determination and generosity of spirit. What a great way to literally walk out your faith!


  9. Hello, I encountered you on the A.T. between the Clark’s Ferry Bridge and Rt 225 on July 12 (Halifax Pa.)
    I wanted to wish you best of luck and I hope all is well!


  10. “Think as I think!” said a man,
    “Or you are abominably wicked;
    You are a toad!”

    And after I had thought of it, I said,
    “I will, then, be a toad!”

    – by Stephen Crane

    Thus — a toad is my favorite critter.

    Nice meeting you on the trail in southern New York on Thursday morning. We had a good six-day hike from Delaware Water Gap to the Hudson River the last six days.

    Best wishes from Survivor Wanda (AKA “Firecracker) and the two guys from Pennsylvania.


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