Blessings to the Left and to the Right


HikeItForward-Final-MediumAs the days get shorter, the urgency of time increases exponentially. My critical “to do” list grows instead of shrinks and the hours to accomplish all the details are disappearing. But despite the pressure of the countdown, God continues to bless me left and right. Today at work I received an email that really touched my heart. You never know the impact of your words and who might be listening to your voice. Last fall I had the opportunity to share about my hike of the Appalachian Trail at a Homeschool campout. This is the email I received today:

Hello Dr. Rough,

This week, we had the pleasure of hiking to Clingman’s Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains.  I use the word ‘hike’ loosely as it was a steep, but paved and stroller-friendly path up to an amazing view.  On our way back, my boys noticed a small wooden sign pointing to the Appalachian Trail.  They exclaimed that this was what Dr. Rough was hiking and begged to go so they could say they had hiked on it too.  We left Dad and little sister on the paved path and ventured the short distance to the AT.  Once there, we saw the white trail markings on the trees you had showed us when you spoke

Clingmans Dome

Clingmans Dome

at the DC Homeschool Campout, and we saw just a minute glimpse of the AT experience.  Know that you were prayed for and celebrated as we stood on a piece of the trail.  My 12 year-old exclaimed, “I’m going to hike this someday.  There are soooo many things I want to do with my life!!!”  Praise God!  Thank you for being such an inspiration.  Our prayers will be with you.


What a special message! Then in the afternoon, an envelope was delivered to my office containing two checks. One of the checks was from a dear couple who have been friends since Cathy and I moved to Dayton twenty-six years ago. The other check had the same last name but was not from the couple. I quickly inquired about the giver – it was this couple’s son (DC high school student) who, along with his brothers, runs a lawn care business. He wanted to support my hike and sacrificed a great deal of his hard earned money to my efforts. Again, I was humbled and touched by his generosity and desire to help others. What a special gift!

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Clingmans Dome, Countdown, FinancialSupport, Students, Thru-Hike | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Blessings to the Left and to the Right

  1. Diane Brads

    Dave, we don’t know how you will communicate with people on the trail. We will be following your blog for sure. Hope to see you…reminder that we are 7 miles from the Long Mountain Wayside in Amherst Co. VA. our phone # in VA 434-922-7747. cell 937-373-5355. If you can take time to spend the night, we’d love to have you or we can help in any way possible.

    • I look forward to seeing you along the trail – a shower and a bed will be as valuable as gold at the 800 mile point! (not my first shower, I hope). I will try to give you a call when I get closer to find the best place to connect. Good job of getting the wild turkey, Charlie!

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