June 27th

Today I hiked from the Knot Maul Shelter to the Chestnut Knob Shelter, a distance of 9.4 miles. This included a climb of 600 feet, followed by a climb of over 2,000 feet. It also rained for a while in the afternoon. Suffice it to say, it was a rough day. I also didn’t plan well and tried to hike for too long without a meal break, which I was definitely feeling when I was getting towards the top and felt my energy just collapse. I need to keep a closer eye on this. The problem is I get tempted to skip meal breaks because they far too often take longer than they should and set back my day. I need to take the breaks but be disciplined enough to keep them to a schedule.

I spent a lot of time today thinking about plans for how the Hike should end. I’m at the point where I can begin to consider taking a flip flop, going up to Maine and then hiking South, but I need to decide how necessary that really is. I set out believing that I was supposed to take this hike, but from the start didn’t feel that I was necessarily required to “finish.” Now I’m looking at a hike that could go well over the 7 months I had set aside for it. It’s also been far more expensive than I’d planned. I ran out of my own money a while ago. I’ve managed to keep things going by raising money through my Facebook page, but that has slowed down some, and even when it was going strong I was concerned about taking money from people back home to support my staying out here to “play.” Ultimately, the primary concern comes down to this, what am I meant to be doing? Am I making more of an impact out here than I would be back home? Should I b

be getting back to work soon? What’s more, I have certain ministry goals being placed on my heart, should I be getting started with them instead of staying here? I find myself struggling with finding the clear wisdom and discernment for this question.

I’ve been reading the book, “Sense and Sensuality” by Ravi Zacharias. It’s a fictional account of a conversation between Jesus, Oscar Wilde, and Blaise Pascal. I was interested when I first heard about the book, as I have a great deal of respect for Zacharias’ writing, but I’ve found it mostly disappointing. The characters come off as stilted and the dialogue is often unnatural. While the author is certainly very intelligent, he simply cannot put words into the mouth of Wilde and have them carry the same art of the true author, and the lines of Jesus just seem awkward and alternate between vague and overly religious, lacking any real personality. I can’t help but think it simply would have been better for Zacharias to simply have written a non fiction critique of Wilde’s writing rather than this set of scenes like a small stage play.
Tomorrow I’m waking up early and I’m going to try for a big mile day. I have someone who’s asked to meet me for Fourth of July, and I need to get 67 miles in the next six days to make it to the rendezvous point

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