As I write this post, Chief and I are actually enjoying a zeek (zero week) at the beach with our family. This was a planned vacation that we have taken for many years — first with our own daughters when they were young, and now with their spouses and children. To get here, Chief and I stopped hiking the Appalachian Trail in central Pennsylvania at Route 501, obtained a hiker shuttle to a car rental agency, drove to Virginia to pick up our car, and then drove our car to South Carolina. We are staying at a lovely condo overlooking the beach. Thanks to our friend, Pat, for the use of her home-away-from-home. It is large enough for our entire family and we are enjoying it immensely.
Before we left the trail, Chief had started to learn about log-rolling. This log-rolling is not in the political vote-trading sense, rather the act of standing on a log in water and rotating it rapidly. We were hiking on a section of the Appalachian Trail that required crossing a small stream. There were large rocks for stepping across the stream but Chief’s foot slipped so he tried catching himself by stepping on a log in the water. The problem was that the log was not secured at either end of the bank so it just rotated. His loss of balance landed the Chief in the stream getting him and his backpack rather wet. Once we realized he was unhurt, it was pretty funny. The moral of this story is that no hiker should try log-rolling on the trail or follow too closely behind Chief because you risk getting wet.
On a side note, ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek broke the record for the fastest Appalachian Trail supported hike on July 12, 2015 with a time of 46 days, 8 hours, 7 minutes. He bested the previous record held by Jennifer Pharr Davis by three hours. Scott averaged 47.2 miles per day from Georgia to Maine (total 2,189 miles). Although we didn’t see him, Scott ran the A.T. in southern Virginia about the same time we went through that area. Congratulations to Scott!
Over the past three months, Chief and I have hiked 1,193 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Bethel, Pennsylvania. We have completed six states (Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland) and are halfway through PA. There are 996 miles yet to hike. As we previously mentioned, we have decided to flip our thru-hike — flying to Maine after our zeek — and then hiking the remainder of the A.T. southbound (through Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey) and finish at Route 501, PA. Our goal is to complete the Appalachian Trail by October 13th, which will be a total of six months on this adventure.
Our next post will come to you from Maine as we prepare to climb 5,270′ Mount Katahdin, the highest point in Maine and the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. A recent devotion on the Jesus Calling app read, “Keep walking with Me along the path I have chosen for you… Together we will forge a pathway up the high mountain. The journey is arduous at times, and you are weak. Someday you will dance light-footed on the high peaks; but for now your walk is often plodding and heavy. All I require of you is to take the next step, clinging to My hand for strength and direction… Stay on the path I have selected for you. It is truly the path of Life.”
Faith in Christ and a higher purpose keep us moving step by step on this A.T. journey. Before we again hit the trail, we are…
Enjoying The Beach, Chief and Toad