Ten thousand hikers start the Appalachian Trail every year. Only ten percent finish.
Whether you begin in Maine or Georgia, the trail is 2,186 miles long filled with steep climbs, deep valleys, rivers to ford, wildlife, majestic views, strangers who become friends, and swollen, blistered feet.
I began this trek at age 66 and hiked 91 mountain peaks, went through 14 states, 464,464 elevation changes — the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest 25 times.
Along the way, I acquired the trail name “Preacher,” carried a 43-pound backpack, lost 25 pounds, got lost three times, and wore out seven pairs of boots.
Many who start the trail are in a life turning point and seek spiritual guidance from the awesome wonder of the mountain peaks, sunsets, running rivers and sunrises that offer beauty and peace. Or they may seek a voice to share some solace, or an ear to listen. As I was called “Preacher,” some came seeking counsel.
I started the journey as a challenge to myself, but I found much more when I experienced God’s footprints already on the mountains.
I’m sharing my experiences to help others who choose to begin the journey. I hope my descriptions of the Trail, the people and equipment that worked for me, guide someone to travel these mountain trails and find answers.
Footprints on the Mountains: Hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine
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