Garrettsville – Don Havener and his hiking of the Appalachian Trail were the focus of the program at the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club on Monday, March 28, 2016. The retired teacher, coach, hardware merchant, tire guy set out on the hike as a journey of faith and of giving back to the Northern Ohio Parkinson’s Support Foundation. His goal was to raise $10/mile, which, since the Trail is 2189 mi. long, would be somewhere in the neighborhood of a quarter million dollars. More on that later.
He brought with him some of his necessities for making it to the end—lightweight backpack frame, super-small shelter, sleeping pad & pillow, water reservoir and his kitchen, a pot and an isobutane burner. He told of some of his preparation for the endeavor, including physical preparations, diet and exercise needed to get his older-than-it-used-to-be body in shape for the hike.
The real story, as he sees it, involves the signs and portents and personal miracles which brought about his determination to make the trip and his selection of the “trail name” of Enoch (from the book of Genesis, chapter 5, father of Methuselah). The entire trek saw interaction with interesting characters, such as the “Circuit Rider”, the “Painted Lady”, the evening discussion groups, the “Trail Angels” there to offer assistance in many ways, shapes or forms. His entire experience came to be a Gospel-sharing, faith deepening opportunity from Georgia to Maine.
And it’s not over. Next up, for July of 2016, is a sort of shotgun start hiking of the Trail, divided into 146 sections and covered by 146 volunteers(or more), all going off at once, all with sponsors totaling donations of $10/mile, about fifteen miles per section. Covering the Trail, making the goal, all in one fell swoop (or one swell foop as the jokesters used to say). Way to go! Check out gen524.com to learn more or to get involved. Or read Genesis 5:24…for the rest of the story.