Gen 5:24 Blog

Welcome to the Gen 5:24 blog, where I will be reporting on my experiences during my journey. Each day I will strive to make a blog post to keep all of my supporters up to date on my progress. Each blog post will come with a map showing where I am on the day I make the post.


9/3/2015 6:41:26 PM

As you may recall, Kathie and I had been able to attend The First Congregational Church in North Anson, ME on Sunday where Rev. David Walz delivered a message, "The Curse of the Impossible." I had spent the previous days traversing terrain that seemed to have been impossible and, as a result, I was questioning my ability, as well as my stamina, regarding what was ahead of me…namely, Saddleback Mtn., The Horn, Saddleback Jr. Mtn., Lone Mtn., Spaulding Mtn., Sugarloaf Mtn., South Crocker Mtn., and North Crocker Mtn. These eight mountains are between the Maine Rt. 4 trailhead and Maine Rt. 27, a distance of 28 hiking miles.

Please forgive me while I digress for a moment. The #1 goal and/or purpose for considering this adventure which would (actually did) include talking and walking with the Holy Spirit, and having a real life experience with HIM on a day-by-day, moment-by-moment fellowship. Like the father of the demonized boy (Mark 9: 14-32), I too, am a believer and desire help with my unbelief. HOW can a believer have UNBELIEF? To walk with God is to place God ALWAYS before SELF and to ACT as one who is always under God's loving eye. It is to live a life of communion with God in ordinances and providences. It is to make God's word our rule and His glory our purpose/end in all our actions. To walk with God as though one is in heaven with Him already. The Holy Spirit said, "Enoch lived". That is to say, Enoch walked with God, for it is the life of a good man to walk with God. This was the purpose of Enoch's life, his constant care and work. While others lived to themselves and the world, he lived to God. It was the joy and support of his life. Communion with God was, to him, better than life itself. "To me to live is Christ" (Phil. 1:21). Consequently, I stand amazed at what "we" were able to accomplish: to hike and talk with "Disenchanted" about trials, tribulations and betrayals as tests of faith, to explain the miracle of Jesus to the ears and hearts of unbelieving strangers, to tell the "Painted Lady" about Enoch and why I chose "Enoch" as a trail name, and to freely, without fear, proclaim the love and mercy of
The Living God, who created the mountains and valleys that we walk ON and IN each and every day.

It was a Monday morning at 7:30 AM when Kathie had me with my 32 lb. backpack at the Maine Rt. 4 trailhead at Rangeley, ME which is at 1622' altitude. Saddleback peak (4120’) was 6.3 miles away with several promised, beautiful mountain lakes an...Read full post


8/15/2015 7:39:18 PM

Saturday, 6AM, a bright sunny day and the loons are letting each other know where they are. The birds are singing. This is the best way to be awakened. I enjoyed a bowl of oatmeal with milk (dry reconstituted) and some of Joe's honey filled honey comb, treated 2 1/2 liters of fresh mountain water, packed my backpack and I am on the trail by 6:45AM. Trekking poles are in hand ready for the R and R (rocks and roots). Today's 9 miles are pretty much all downhill (2,255' to 1,622'). I thought it would take about 4 hours to get to Kathie and the Road Trek. It actually took 6 hours and no trekking poles because of the unsuspected routine of rocky bolder strewn chimney shoots. Praise God for wisdom and courage. "Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, ...Read full post


8/9/2015 6:17:39 PM

Between March 23 and July 23, I had way too many zero days (0 mileage) to reach the terminus before Baxter State Park in Maine would close. Consequently, we decided to move my hiking from PA to ME so as to avoid the inclement and questionable weather of the northern mountains.

The plan was to start at the foot of Old Blue Mtn. (mileage 1,941.3) and work from there north and half-way into the "100 mile wilderness". I would then go back to the foot of Old Blue and work southward until Sept. 3rd when our son, Mark from Portland, OR, would meet me to finish the Wilderness and the final ascent of Mt. Katahdin (mile 2, 186). This modification of the original thru hike plan would allow me to get back to all of the sections missed in favor of good weather and is called a "Flip/Flop".
Little did I realize how the greater elevations and the more drastic terrain of the mountains before me, plus the 100 mile wilderness, could affect my performance by comparison to the "walking up" to this point. For instance, I had to fas...Read full post


8/7/2015 10:41:29 AM

Pine Grove Furnace State Park, PA - Mileage Marker 1,101.7 July 20, 2015

As I suspect, everyone understands the primary reason for this AT undertaking. That is foremost to practice and develop my faith in the Triune God, as I am isolated and separated from the distractions that have prevailed in these first 76 years of my life in this finite world. As you can well imagine, in these past 4+ months away from home, Kathie and I have walked with and talked to so very many persons, all God's creations. Consequently, in our anonymity, we have explained God's presence in our adventure as we shared the good news. We have learned to receive each individual placed before us as loved and accepted by the God of grace and mercy.

There has been a wide range of age, class, profession, and interest, as well as intent and purpose for hiking the AT. Regardless of the above, I became comp...Read full post


8/4/2015 1:14:45 PM

July 14-17, 2015 - Mt Holly Springs, PA to Duncannon, PA.
Miles: 1,112.5 to 1,146.1

Having a dependable and safe water supply is vital while hiking over long distances as one does on the AT. One day's hike may require 3 liters per day or more. Almost all AT thru hikers use the Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration System. I was blessed to have TWO such filters, in addition to using the chemical water treatment, Aqua-Mira. Along with my Sawyer water filter, I had an even more refined SAWYER product, namely Terry Sawyer, my hiking companion for the section of PA from Mt Holly Springs to Duncannon. Terry's refinement comes about as a result of sitting under the teachings conducted at our Parkside Church where Pastors Alistair Begg and Dan Larison are our main sources of continual refinement. Just imagine, clear water and clear minds on a clear day..."one can see forever ". As you might surmise, one of my favorite songs on mountain tops is "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever". Psalm 66:8,9. "Bless our God, Oh people's; let the sound of His praises be heard, who has kept our souls among the living, and not let our feet slip."

Mt. Holly Springs is at mile marker 1,112.5 with an elevation of 880', while Duncannon is at mm 1,146.9
with an elevation of 398'. Being in the mountains, it is needless to say that the Trail is not all downhill. There are actually 3,790' of elevation changes over the 35 miles of this section. In the Midwest states we are familiar with corn mazes where people try not to get lost. Well, in Pennsylvania there are these "rock mazes" designed by God that hikers can get lost within! Terry and I spent abou...Read full post

BACKWARDS - or so it seems - SOBO to NOBO

7/31/2015 10:02:20 AM

About 14 years ago, while Kathie and I were members at Friendship Alliance Church in Auburn, OH, Rob James and his lovely wife, Rene, were there also. Rob was an especially good Youth Pastor who not only ministered to the young people of the church, but discipled most of them to become practicing believers who are now making a difference themselves.

Today, Rob and his family live in Amherst, VA. He and Rene had invited us to visit them on our way up the Trail and that he would hike a section with me. Rob is still a Christian, ministering as a giving and loving man for the Maintenance Department of the Amherst County Schools. Going from an ordained and talented Christian pastor to a worldly position seems to be BACKWARDS, just as hiking the AT from North to South, when the traditional way is the opposite. However, I saw Rob fulfilling the purpose God has for him in every aspect of his life: family, neighborhood, church, and job.

For our section o...Read full post


7/17/2015 11:51:05 AM

AT - Virginia

Wingnut, Cornelius, and Hardcore are very strong AT hikers. Wingnut acquired his name because his ears are very nearly perpendicular to his skull, Cornelius is a nearly perfect look alike with the character of the same name in "Planet of the Apes", and Hardcore is quiet but of unwavering opinion regarding most issues.
As happenstance would have it, I had the opportunity to spend 3 night...Read full post


7/10/2015 7:44:45 PM

From the Blue Ridge Parkway

Pearisburg, VA is a trail town near the bottom of a rather steep and arduous descent with a view of the New River. Now as I am about to leave this area at mile marker 634.9, the day is bright and warm (85 degrees). I will begin walking across the New River on a bridge with cars and trucks. The time is 7:45 am. After a mile or so of pavement walking, I begin another steep climb, a 2,300' rise for 7 miles and then stop for lunch at Rice Field Shelter. There is a spectacular view of the valley below - awesome! However, I just cannot NOT tell you about my unique wild animal sighting. Somewhere between Pearisburg and Rice Field Shelter, I stopped to drink a pint of cold water and eat an energy bar, WHEN a white, male goat with 12 inch curly horns, a goatee and belly hair hanging about 6 inches from the ground, jumped up to the flat spot where I was relaxing. After agreeing to have 2 photos taken, the goat jumped off the platform and disappeared! After lunch, the plan is to set up camp at Symm's Gap, 5 miles away. Progress is very slow because of sharp rocks and small boulders over most of the path.

When I do arrive at Symm's Gap, I find it completely unsuitable fo...Read full post


7/7/2015 3:16:08 PM

June 17 2015

As you recall, David and I slept the night before the SURPRISE trip at Lost Mountain Shelter, VA. At mile marker 484.3, we left the AT for Ohio.

On my first day back on the Trail, I will highlight a 2,000' ascent of Whitetop Mountain (5,235') over a distance of 4 miles. Then to Elk Garden (mile 491.1) for lunch and to finish at Massie Gap (Mile 499.4) where I mistakenly thought I was to meet Kathie during this 6 month adventure.

In regard to the mysterious aspect of Enoch's walk with God, I purposely try not to have any predisposition as to the difficulties I might encounter - texture of trail, angle of trail, # of switchbacks, temperature, rain, miles per day, energy levels, people, etcetera. I honestly wanted to experience God's provision for my well-being as well as my desire to learn and develop an intimate and dependent relationship with the Omniscient (all knowing), Omnipresent (always present), and Omnipotent (all powerful) King, who loves the misplaced citizen of His everlasting Kingdom.

It is a well-known fact that a fit and healthy man with a good attitude is able to perambulate along a smooth and level path at the rate of 3 mph. The Appalachian Trail does have some 3 mph walkways. However, because of small rocks, as well as bigger rocks, mixed...Read full post


7/6/2015 1:11:56 PM

May 27 - June 15

As I mentioned earlier, my brother, David is 14 years younger than I. With that age difference and my college, marriage, and developing my own family with Kathie, he and I really had never spent any amount of time talking about our family history and each other's perspectives. On our 7 hour ride from Virginia to Ohio we talked about shared and unshared times with our parents and siblings, as well as our divergent, yet similar, life experiences. As brothers, just David and Donald, he seemed to know so much more about me than I of him. It truly was an honor to have his company for those days on the Trail and in his vehicle.

No person in Mantua, Garrettsville, Oregon or Maryland knew of my presence in Hiram for my surprise appearance at Noah’s graduation. First to be surprised was grandson, Nicholas when he came to mow the lawn. "Papa, I am glad I will get ...Read full post


6/26/2015 6:12:06 PM

Brother David, 14 years younger than I, has never backpacked. He spent the past 3 months training at the CVNP and Quail Hollow, thinking 'this is just another hike' when he came to Damascus. However, there is NOTHING in Ohio that comes close to a 1,000' elevation rise over eight miles, a never before seen, never before experienced, rocky path with more than 30 switch backs. These switchbacks are mind wrenching as it causes one to think 'Top of the Mountain'. Needless to say, these false summits do become discouraging and somewhat hopeless.
I will not soon (never!) forget the mountains in north GA, Sassafras Mtn. and Blood Mtn….and having to stop every 100' or less to catch my breath; having to stop to stretch out my cramped hamstring & flute muscles. Then to resort to pressure breathing in order to remove CO2 build-up in my lungs which causes cramping. Don, the adrenalized, thirsty, hungry, and in a hurry to do my 15 (?) miles a...Read full post


6/23/2015 3:15:48 PM

Dennis Cove - TN
May 17 - 21

My personal resupply/shuttle person stayed with me at the Dennis Cove National Forest Service's flush toilet campground for $5.00 because we are elderly USA citizens who have a Golden Passport. After a good night's sleep, Kathie took me to the nearby AT trailhead and kissed me goodbye.

Ankle, shin, and hip are still a part of me and I barely know they belong because of their “no complaints” status.
I am on my way to a natural wonder. A 150', 3 tier Laurel Falls (419.7 mile post; 2,120’ elevation) where 2 years ago two hiker/swimmers were drowned due to the powerful undertow. I had to walk through 3 canyons with 75 - 100' high walls, each of which were about 100 yds. long - absolutely stunning! In order to get to the Laurel Falls pool, a descent of 850', I had an arduous "rock garden adventure”. So glad to have trekking poles and NO painful body parts. Then a nearly continuous 5-6 mile downhill Rhododendron tunnel over really soft and smooth pathway with occasional well-constructed bridges. It sure would have been nice to have a functional camera.
I hoped to have lunch at Griffith Beach on Watauga Lake where a flock of Kathie's favorite fowl, Canada Geese, greeted me, along with a flock of Wood Ducks with their ducklings. They were all nicely begging for food. I decided not to encourage them and cause them to be banned from the area as the black bears have been this past year.

There was no lunch for ANYONE to be had as a rain storm came and I had to cover my pack and r...Read full post


6/1/2015 6:08:34 PM

Many of you have expressed an interest in having more postings. I am not sure we have ever explained the logistics of all this.

Before Don began The Hike, he thought he would blog every day or so, take many pictures to post and average 15 miles a day hiking. In reality, he had many electronic difficulties. Even making time to visit libraries didn't work. Also, he found that by the time he got to his evening destination, filtered and purified his water, cooked his meal, and set up ...Read full post


5/26/2015 5:40:42 PM

Shin, ankle, hip

2 Corinthians 4:11-12 "for we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you... Vs 16 – 18: So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction (hip - joy!) is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, we look not to the things that are seen, but the things that are unseen are eternal." Think about the statement "Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him."

Genesis 5:25 - How can the world know simply, plainly, and persistently the followers of the one and only God, The Triune God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? Acts 11:26 notes that, "And in Antioch, the disciples (followers) were first called Christians. V26c. The term was intended to mock early disciples' desire to be "litt...Read full post


5/20/2015 12:49:59 PM

Shin, ankle, hip?

Psalm 86:11
"Teach me your way, oh Lord that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name." John14:15
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you." Christians in times of TRIAL [Aliens in an evil place]

Yes, God spoke in the past, "many times and many ways". He has now spoken to us by His Son, Jesus Christ, who is the "exact imprint" of God's being who "upholds the universe by the word of His power" (Hebrews 1:1-3). Jesus accomplished complete salvation for all who trust in Him (Hebrews 1:1 - 10:18). We dare not "neglect such a great salvation” (Hebrews 2:3; 5:12-6:20; 10:19 - 39). Instead, in our faith and in our everyday living, we should imitate the example of Christ and those on the honor roll of faith. (Hebrews 11 - 13).
Oh, what a promise! "The children of your servants (are you a servant?) shall dwell secure; their off-spring shall be established before you."...Read full post


5/17/2015 7:51:34 PM

5/16/15 North of Erwin, TN
Today my destination is Beauty Spot Gap clearing which is a large treeless mountain top, a bald of 4,312' elevation. The weather report predicts afternoon and evening rain storms. This morning at the Nolichucky River bridge (1,720') I meet the three Alabama ladies who report that Mom of Mom's Store told them that she doubted if Enoch would continue hiking since his ankle was so bad.

Here I am beginning my upward trek to Curly Maple Gap Shelter (3,083') with NO ankle or shin pain! What a pleasure to cross over streams covered with rhodie tunnels, then to change to the other side of the mountain at a higher, drier elevation and travel through heavily flowered, beautiful Mountain Laurel patches. Lunch at Curly Maple Gap at 1:15 pm with no sign of rain. By the time I get to Indian Grave Gap, TN (another 4 miles and 267' higher), ...Read full post


5/11/2015 11:12:45 AM

On the way out of Hot Springs, NC, I had set my mind on "the pond with boxed spring campsite" (AT Guidebook) just 5 miles and 1200' upward. When I arrived at The Pond, I discovered it is a dam with a concrete tub below the dam. The time being only 1:30 pm, it was too soon to stop for the day so I pushed onward toward Spring Mtn. Shelter - another 6 miles. Approximately 3:00 pm thunder with rain clouds appeared so I stopped to put the rain cover on my pack and then continue hiking .Big Mistake! It is now raining hard and I can't find a flat place to stop and pitch my tent for the night. Being aware of my Companion and Helper, the Holy Spirit, I pray, “God, show me a flat spot be...Read full post


5/9/2015 12:55:51 PM

5/2/15 Hot Springs, NC to Allen Gap, TN
Seven miles down the mountain on a trail of 12" to 18", outward leaning, very steep and tempting for "Lefty" to pronate repeatedly…feeling heavy, energy wasting, anticipation every other step. When I reach "Mom's Store", I am totally spent.

SURPRISE! Greeting me at Mom's are Sophia and Justin, the nice couple from Boston. She is a pharmaceutical counselor who a...Read full post


5/8/2015 4:10:24 PM

4/27 - 4/29 Davenport Gap to Hot Springs, NC
(Watch where you Step)

"Lefty", my left foot, must be very, very careful with landing and placement of each step. Especially for the next 3 mountain descents: Snowbird, Max Patch, and Bluff. It seems so easy when going uphill. No need to concentrate on landing Lefty. Gravity and momentum seem to make for overwhelming good decision-making ability, but each painful twist and fall (6x) develops greater awareness. (" Count it all joy when you meet various trials, for you know the value of testing"). I can't imagine this downhill walk without my trekking poles, my eyes, and my prayers.

Snowbird ...Read full post


5/7/2015 4:28:40 PM

4/22 - 4/26 Newfound Gap, NC to end of Smoky Mts. Nat'l Park

Three (3) miles and 1,000 feet rise. I really felt ready for this hike; my shin does not hurt and I am well rested. Can you believe it? I passed 7 people this morning as my legs churn up the Trail. Charlie's Bunion loop is a short but awesome overlook. Not so many trees, but a massive open valley plain. Totally unsuspected and magnificent!

Now I am feeling full of energy and maybe too confident with EXTRA spring in each step - OUCH! Another old body part, left ankle, is now sprained for the first time in my life. Just a little bit sore and only 6 1/2 miles to Peck'...Read full post


5/7/2015 4:15:38 PM

4/18 - 4/21 Fontana Dam, NC (1,700') to Newfound Gap, NC (5,045')

Every time I think I have reached the top there is still another ascent, then another and another, even steeper. Mt. Collins IS the top (5,970'). Then, 6 miles down to Newfound Gap. They (whoever THEY are) told me GA mountains were more difficult than...Read full post


5/6/2015 5:18:40 PM

Tellico Gap, NC is a low spot (3,850') between two peaks; Copper Ridge (5,080') & Wesser Bald (4,627'). In order for me to get my next few day's supplies, Kathie had to drive up a gravel road with many switchbacks, TIGHT turns and no guard rails. She drove up on Saturday at our appointed meeting time, but I had to call her from a shelter and tell her I just couldn't make it the last 3 miles until the next day. On Sunday, I was early for our meeting, after having a good night's res...Read full post


5/4/2015 4:32:22 PM

4/9/15 – 4/12/15
Somehow - via word of mouth - the prospect of "trail magic" passes its way down the Trail to hikers. News of the upcoming "potion" causes one to put a little hurry into their steps (you don't want to arrive when the good stuff is gone or miss it altogether). Today there was no forewarning of impending magic. I came up over a knoll and down a...Read full post


4/30/2015 4:26:32 PM

Did you ever have a shin splint? I developed one coming down a mountain. One moment I am making great time, feeling strong, and then PAIN emitting from my right shin. I could hardly walk. Praise God. A half mile later at Mooney Gap, I found two trail Angels. Tom and Elena Marsh were passing out trail magic: fresh fruit, candy, drinks and Easter eggs. Z I am about 15 miles from my support, namely Kathie, and no phone connection. So, 45 minutes and 36 hikers later, the magic was gone and Tom and Elena took me to Franklin where I could call Kathie to meet me at a Burger King. The Marshes gladly provided me with ice to reduce inflammation. It took a couple of hours for Kathie to get to ...Read full post


4/8/2015 8:42:50 AM

On the way to Blue Mtn. camping area a group (7) of college age men caught up to and slowly walked by me with “good mornings” and the last one, Max Nash noticed my laminatedHEBREWS page he shout out, “Hey, this man is a Christian”. The stop and gather around and begin with inquires about Hebrews, who are you, why are you, etc. Then they continue upward toward the evening tenting area. As I walk into camp area they invite me to enjoy their fire and conver...Read full post

NEEL GAP US 19 (Cold and wet)

4/1/2015 11:58:56 AM

The climb to Neel Gap was long and strenuous and much rain and wind. My rain gear worked perfectly and when I arrived at Neel Gap it was 5:45 and the owner of the Mountaineering Shop said I could pitch my tent on the camp ground behind the store. So I set up my tent in the wind and the rain and (I forgot to tell you) He had also told me that a local church was serving "trail magic" a full and complete spaghetti meal with all the trimmings a...Read full post


4/1/2015 11:40:24 AM

Next mountain is Blood Mtn. wilderness and there said to be some active, mischievous bears s...Read full post


2/9/2015 8:18:46 AM

I will be carrying 5 days supply of food and do not want to share that food with critters that climb trees and who are able to slither down the rope that is suspending the “bear bag 15 ft. above the ground. The “bear bag (URSAK) is made of “bullet proof” Sprectra fabric and is designed to prevent bears from getting your food . It comes with an integrated six foot 2500 po...Read full post


2/6/2015 5:45:24 PM

It is a Lunar Solo (one man tent) that weighs 23 ounces. Sleeping quarters a massive 26 sq. ft. with a ceiling height of 49”. The hexagonal shape has been designed to handle snow and/or high winds. The tent material is a 30D silicone coated nylon . Because the side wal...Read full post

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