August 2014. I’m on top of the world! Or at least on top of Massachusetts… Mt. Greylock, the highest point in the state that is. I’ve pretty thrilled, having just adventured 50 miles on the Appalachian Trail thru Vermont and Massachusetts, capping off the last day with a climb from the lowest point on the AT in Massachusetts to the highest point. Not only that, all of my Scouts that had started this trek finished it. I’m looking forward to pizza and a shower.
Then my day got a lot better…
Our friend Dr. Dave Rough, aka Rowdy, has e-published a book about his Appalachian Trail thru hike! You may remember Dr. Dave as one of the thru-hikers I followed via the internet as he lived the dream back in 2014. He hiked 2,175 miles to raise money for scholarships to the Christian school that he works at out in Ohio, eventually getting to thru-hike AND raise $40,000 for a great cause. Of the four thru-hikers I followed that year, Dave was the only one to make it.
I met up with Rowdy/Dave twice while he was on the trail – near Sunfish Pond in New Jersey and, the second time, on top of Mount Greylock in Massachusetts on the final day of my own backpacking trip. I’d been sad when we’d had to shift our own backpacking itinerary North, pretty much eliminating any chance of running into Dave again. Still, I’d asked about him among the thru-hikers that we crossed, and left a note for him in the trail register when we figured that we wouldn’t find him on the trail. Amazingly, Dave and I managed to arrive on top of Greylock within minutes of each other… he heading north for Maine, me getting off the trail. One of my buddies spotted Dave, recognized him from weeks before, and went over to let him know I was here and looking for him.
When I mentioned on what an amazing coincidence it was that we managed to meet up again three weeks after meeting for the first time. Dave assured me that he didn’t believe in coincidences (especially with his experiences on the trail), God provides.
This faith and Dave’s amazing adventure of a lifetime are at the center of his wonderful little book. Dave filters his adventure through his faith, his wonderful sense of humor, and his sense of adventure that got him out on the trail in the first place, making for a fun, quick, and informative read. With his education background showing, Dave devotes several chapters explaining the basics of thru hiking in easy to digest, entertaining tidbits. While its certainly not a comedy book, there were parts I simply had to laugh out loud out while reading. Overall, a very enjoyable read! Why not get yourself a copy for over the holidays? You’ll love it!
Need an extra little incentive? We’re actually in the book! While this esteemed blog played an infinitesimally small role in Dave’s epic adventure, we are honored to be included as part of his amazing experience!
For how it all started, you could backtrack and read my rambling article about why backpacking is stupid. But amazing. But stupid. Also amazing.