“Over 2,000 miles,” Joel would add.
That’s right, Joel and I are making the preparations as we speak to embark on the trek of a lifetime. And we’d love for you to come along and join us! Joel will be vlogging our trek from his new YouTube channel you can subscribe to here: Joel Wanders. If you want a preview of what vlogging the AT looks like you can check out RedBeard, Jacob Downing, or the married couple Hitched Hike as they make their way through the entire trail.
I also recently became a part a blogging community whose platform was recently called “Appalachian Trials” but has since just launched its new website called The Trek. I am a part of the class of 2017 writers for next year’s hike. Yes, people are already blogging about their upcoming hike next year, including me. You can check out my first post HERE and my second one HERE. If you want to subscribe to my blogging posts you can do that HERE.
We hope to keep this website updated with the progress of both.
For fact nerds like me here’s a little break down of the AT straight from Wiki:
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the A.T., is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. The trail is about 2,200 miles (3,500 km)[a] long, though the precise length changes over time as parts are modified or rerouted. The trail passes through 14 states: Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
The Appalachian Trail was completed in 1937 after more than a decade of work, although improvements and changes continue. It is maintained by 31 trail clubs and multiple partnerships, and managed by the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, and the nonprofit Appalachian Trail Conservancy. The majority of the trail is in forest or wild lands, although some portions traverse towns, roads and farms. The trail conservancy claims that the Appalachian Trail is the longest hiking-only trail in the world.
At least 2 million people are said to do at least one day-hike on the trail each year. Thru-hikers attempt to hike it in its entirety in a single season — more than 2,700 people thru-hiked the trail in 2014 — and some hike from one end to the other, then turn around and thru-hike the trail the other way, known as a “yo-yo”. Many books, memoirs, web sites, and fan organizations are dedicated to these pursuits.
A Word of Warning
One thing you should expect to hear a lot about if you are brave enough to come with us on this adventure is gear. If there is one thing this AT hiker subculture loves, its their hiking gear. Countless hundreds of hours exist on YouTube and words on blogs of people reviewing, sharing and going over their gear. By the way, keep your eye out for Joel and I’s gear review shortly!
It has been almost six months since we decided to move to the Middle East. Many have asked of how we ended up living and being involved in one of the most “difficult” and “hardest” regions on the planet. The simple answer is that it was all His idea. Both my wife and I have felt that our lives haven’t been our own for a long time. When you have this deep conviction it is easier saying yes. Our no has been Crucified with Him. We get people praising us for living what seems like selfless lives. The honest reality is that we are doing what makes us come alive. He has orchestrated our steps and has led us down the road of Love.
We have had the privilege of working with His persecuted Body. Our days and nights consist of hearing people’s journey of Faith. They have had loved ones killed and everything they have worked for destroyed all because of their unbreakable conviction of not bending their knees to fear. I honestly can say that I complain a lot less since I have been here. In the face of so much loss and pain what can I complain about??? Our brothers and sisters have lost everything but the ability to love. The way they have welcomed us to their homes and families is truly humbling.
If your asking yourself what can you do to help or how can I make a difference I say to you is that you CAN love. You can love fearlessly and fully. Start with those around you. Do not let yourself be filled or swayed with fear by the Media and ask your God what He thinks about the Refugees. Ask Him how He sees them and go from there. -Joel
Had a dream the other day that I was driving one of these at crazy speeds. When I woke up I heard “Steve Urkel’s” voice in my head saying,”Did I do that?!” It reminded me of another dream I had where I saw myself living in this evil empire. For some reason the evil ruler liked me and I had favor in his eyes. He made me second in command (like Joseph in the Bible story). I was housed in the highest tower overlooking the city. The Rulers palace was next to my tower and I could look down and see it. One night I was overlooking the Empire and I accidently bumped into a huge water container that was up in my tower and It fell over and crashed into the palace and triggered a revolt among the people. I felt almost bad because I hadn’t even planned it. The revolution happened by accident. My good friend Dave Vaughn in a conversation I had with him one time said to me that, “We had seen more by accident than many ministries had seen on purpose.” Lol. I really feel that God has placed many in strategic places and that He will use many without them even knowing it to spark revolutions and to overthrow evil establishments. Trust that He is the one guiding your steps even though you may find yourself in a place or a situation you never thought you would be in. Love you all. Love Has Won.