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  • Joel Widman

Stephen & Wes's Appalachian Adventure | Part 1 | And So It Begins

Stephen Level and Wes Carter’s adventure began this morning in a coffee shop in Springfield, Ohio…Un Mundo Cafe, to be precise. They were accompanied by Duke Level—the driver (Stephen’s dad), heavy backpacks, broken in boots, and souls full of anticipation as they began their drive to Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.

After months of preparation, the day is finally here. They will be hiking the Appalachian Trail from Harper’s Ferry (at mile marker: 1023.1) to Mt. Katahdin in Maine.

Stephen and Wes have been best friends for some years now. After Stephen heard Wes talk about his hiking experiences, it inspired Stephen to consider it. After long conversations, dreams about a 1,200 mile hike, and careful planning, they decided to hike it together.

I’ve had the privilege of meeting with Stephen and Wes a few times about their plans. I heard about why each of them is doing such a crazy thing. I mean, really, who in their right mind decides to go walk in the woods for four months straight?!

“For me I think I'm doing it…number 1: because I want to finish it…to say that I hiked it all and that I could do it. And I also want to use this time to grow closer with the lord and spend time intentionally seeking him.” Wes clued me in on an interesting detail about his life. A while back, he actually hiked the first half of the trail. He made it a long way, but didn’t want to see the end of it, so he ended his trip early. Ever since then, he’s wanted to finish what he started.

Stephen’s reason for the hike is similar to Wes’s. “Mainly I want to get closer to and understand God more and myself. Connect with nature, and accomplish something meaningful.” Stephen also told me that he has a sneaking suspicion that as soon as he finishes the second half of the trail with Wes, he’ll want to go right back to the beginning, so he as well can say he completed the Appalachian Trail.

Venture Hiking has decided to blog about their experiences. Each of them will be texting me (whenever they have cell service) pictures, videos, and maybe even journal entries. We will take those and post them on our blog, so be sure to subscribe to our blog, so you can be stay up-to-date with Stephen & Wes’s Appalachian Adventure!

Stephen (left) and Wes (right) at Un Mundo Cafe, this morning, just before departing for West Virginia

After their 7 mile hike, the two made camp. Dinner tonight? Ramen!

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Joel Widman


Venture Hiking

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