The Book

HIF Cover PublishedI have been rather quiet recently on this blog site because I have been spending some time revising and formatting my book as an ebook for Amazon. The book, Hike It Forward:  Hiking the Appalachian Trail: Strong, Safe, and in the Spirit is my attempt to capture my adventure on the AT during my thru-hike of 2014.

I decided not to transcribe my journal as the entire book, although there is an abbreviated version as one of the sections. I published it with topics in mind so I have a chapter on trail names, hiker jargon, hostels, gear, worship, adversity, and blessings to mention a few. I included some photos produced by my smart phone along the way including a few pictures of hikers and angels that impacted my fourteen-state journey. In addition to the journal, I also included two bonus sections: a quick state-by-state walkthrough of the trail and reflections on my preparation for the hike (physically, emotionally, and spiritually).

The book is now available online. Here is an active link right to the book if you are interested in taking a closer look.

God was so incredibly faithful to me throughout my hike and my goal for the book was to share the reality of His hand upon my adventure. My prayer is that God will be evident to all of you who have the opportunity to read my words.

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Book, Gear, Hike It Forward, Hiking, Thru-Hike, Trail Name | Tags: , , , , | 18 Comments

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18 thoughts on “The Book

  1. janloyd

    This looks so exciting, Dave! Thank you for sharing it. I just got it for my kindle. Blessings on this God-glorifying endeavor!

    • Jan, Thanks for your support. I would love to hear your comments as you have opportunity to take a closer look. As a published author yourself, I would value your insights. I am one of your greatest fans.

  2. The spiritual enjoyment and benefit of hiking cannot be ignored. Something greater has put a hand over the wilderness for everyone to witness. Look forward to reading your work!

    • Mike,
      Thanks for your words of insight adn your desire to read the book. To stand on a summit and see the waves of mountains intersecting with one another all the way to the horizon, is an amazing testimony to the power and beauty of the Creator.

      • And I hope that He will look down upon this old body as I walk along those summits and see the humor in it. I am training and planning to start from Springer in April, 2017. I will clebrate my 67th birthday somewhere near Hot Springs. Walk on! Oh, and so far I get it, what you’re saying in the book, that is.

      • Mike – April 2017 will be here before you know it! I trust that your experience will be as life changing as mine. Thanks for the kind words about the book. Consider leaving a review on Amazon for me when you’re finished.

  3. Congrats on getting your book out!

    Now I just need my wife to show me how ebooks works 🙂 I’m excited to read it!

    • Mike – your picture is in the book, so I hope your wife can make sense out of it for you! Thanks for your wonderful support throughout the hike.

      • Wife figured it out easily, and I just finished it now. I really loved the book, you did a fine job with it! Your background in education, your faith, and your sense of humor really shine through. I found myself laughing out loud at several points in the book. At the same time, I didn’t feel like you poo-pooed the difficulty of what you did, you put the struggles and the challenges in there too, made for a very nice complete picture.

        Even having read all your blog entries, seeing the journey distilled down to (as Ed Garvey would say), “An Adventure of a Lifetime” AND raising all that money for such a good cause, what an experience to have.

        Once again, thank you for sharing that adventure with the rest of the world, I’m very happy to have been a very tiny part of such a grand undertaking. 🙂

        Now I just need to figure out how to do an Amazon review…

      • Mike – what a great review and I am humbled to read your words. I really appreciate your feed-back and your incredibly kind words are such an affirmation to my insecurities as an author. I had some concerns in writing the book because I wasn’t sure if anyone else would find my adventure interesting and if others would see the humor in what I found funny.
        I hope you can navigate your way to a review on Amazon – that would be such a blessing to me.

  4. Reblogged this on South Jersey Trails and commented:
    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, we managed to arrive on top of Greylock within minutes of each other… he heading north for Maine, me getting off the trail. 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), the hand of God was in everything.

    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!

    Buy –

    For how it all started, you could backtrack to my rambling article about why backpacking is stupid. But amazing. But stupid. Also amazing:

    • Mike – What a GREAT SHOUT OUT! The greatest complement you can give a blogger is to mention them in your blog. Your support of my hike and my book is fantastic. Thanks so much.

  5. I am preparing for a southbound thru this year…I going to read your book as part of preparation.

    • Aaron,

      Go for it my friend! I know you have been on the trail before and understand the thrill of the summit and the adversity of the challenge. Please let me know your impressions as you read through the book. Thanks for checking it out! Let me know if I can help you in any way as you prepare for your hike. When do you plan to leave?

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