I have just completed reading my 17th book about the Appalachian Trail in the past 12 months. Looking back in my daily log I noticed that I completed that first book of inspiration, Becoming Odyssa, written by Jennifer Pharr Davis, on November 23, 2012. Yesterday, November 13, 2013, I turned the last page of a book written by Jen’s husband, Brew Davis, entitled 46 Days: Keeping Up with Jennifer Pharr Davis on the Appalachian Trail. The first book was about a 21 year college gal hiking the 2, 189-mile-long trail for the first time…. fourteen states in four months with adventures of camping, thunder and lightning, hitch-hiking into trail towns, the thru-hiker community, blisters, and a 30-lb pack. This last volume chronicles Jennifer, as a 28-year old woman, thru-hiking the A.T. for the third time and setting the speed record for a hike of the A.T. covering the same distance in 46 days 11 hours and 20 minutes (averaging 47+ miles every day!).
Brew’s book, 46 Days, is his journal of the hike – each day sharing times and locations and distances of this amazing adventure. He also records his role in this labor of love. He was the master planner behind the logistical details (meals, shelter, medical supplies, support and morale) of the trek. Unlike the first thru-hike of Odyssa, the record hike was assisted or supported. Jennifer carried limited weight (usually just water and snacks) while meeting up with Brew as often as possible for hot meals, dry clothes, medical attention, an occasional hotel and hot shower, and lots of encouragement. The Appalachian Trail crosses over many roads but it does not parallel any one particular highway for any long distance, so Brew and his Pit Crew were constantly reading maps and strategizing how to resupply and meet Jen at the country cross roads.
I really appreciate Brew’s faith in God and the way he shares about the practical strength found in the Lord throughout the book. The book reflects the elements of prayer and scripture and seeing God’s divine hand of protection on the adventure. The book concludes with quoting Psalm 91 and highlighting the sovereign hand of God on their experience.
At the time of the authoring this book, Brew was a high school history teacher in Asheville, North Carolina. He and Jennifer are now involved with Blue Ridge Hiking Company located in the same community. Check out their website for some great information about their current venture. http://blueridgehikingco.com/.