Counting the Cost


Location: Neel’s Gap

Please read: Luke 14: 25-34

In verse 28, while speaking to a large crowd on how to follow Him, Jesus says, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he first not sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?”

The Appalachian Trail has many cost.

Financially, some say about a thousand a month counting gear, clothing, food, off trail lodging, and off trail expenses.

Relationships, including my wife Marty, a son, a daughter, their families, and my mother and father, church family, and my many close friends.

Of course,there is also the cost of walking away from many commitments and responsibilities and asking someone else to shoulder those commitments.

Thanks to the Holsten Conference of the United Methodist Church for this unique ministry and for supporting me financially and supporting me through a large network of prayer support.

Thanks to my family and friends that are supporting me with prayer and encouragement. And for forgiving me for being away during Easter, birthdays, sporting events, and prime shellcracker fishin’.

My biggest thanks goes to my wife Marty. At first she called me “Crazy” for wanting to thru hike the AT. She is now very supportive, she encourages me every day when we talk for a few minutes on the phone, she has picked up all of my home commitments. She loves me even if I might be a little “crazy”! Thank You Marty! “Crazy” me loves you!!

Wintry start. Ice in the trees and on the ground. The temp dropped to 12 degrees at the shelter. Typical shelters only have 3 walls. At first, my feet were cold, but after about 30 minutes in my sleeping bag, I slept warmly.

The cold zapped all the power from my phone preventing many photo ops. This photo is after it warmed up.

My first trail magic. A Community that lives self supported through all natural farming met hikers at Woody’s Gap with Barley soup, mango tea, homemade bread, Mandarin oranges, freshmade cookies, and a heater to warm up.

First view after wintry clouds lifted.

Time for a short celebration after reaching the top of a mountain.

May your Trail be full of God’s Peace.

Chappy Jack

7 Replies to “Counting the Cost”

  1. Hope you can worship with us when you arrive in Damascus.
    Happy hike and Blessing,

    Dave Buckley
    Damascus United Methodist Church

  2. Praying for you on your journey. Our hiking group will have trail magic at New Found Gap on March 20 if you are through at that time. We would love to meet you.

  3. This gives new meaning to our SS lesson this week, counting the cost and taking up our cross.
    God bless and stay warm. Always told my scouts to change into clean dry socks….Just a thought.

  4. Thanks for this honest and thoughtful statement….you are blessed…MFT

  5. What a great opportunity for you! I know Marty and your family miss you but I also know they are very PROUD of you…as I am! My prayers are with you every step of the way!

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