Hiker of the Week – Dwayne Parton

I had the privilege of getting to know Dwayne last year during his thruhike of the A.T. Since then I have continued to follow him on his journey’s. I have been intrigued by his current journey across the country and through Alaska with his dog Bobby. I’ll admit, his stories and photos stir up my own desire to travel. To let go of the hectic world and explore what God has in his Creation for us to see. I encourage you to read his story and follow his journey. I know for me, I am looking forward to one day sitting down with Dwayne, hearing his stories in person, and hearing about how God has worked in his life through his journey. – Brian Ford 

A few years ago I was hardly a hiker. Hiking seemed so boring. I met a few people who had hiked the Appalachian Trail and could not understand why anyone would do that. A friend even asked me if I would want to hike the trail with him. I laughed and said “If you only knew who you were asking!” That was a “No way!” My response made me think about it. I felt so bad about how rude I had been and the more I thought the more I realized that it would be good for me. Why not? I was turning 30. I needed a change. So, I decided that I would hike the AT.

The AT was my first real experience alone in the woods. It gave me a passion for getting out. A confidence in being alone. When I’m hiking in the mountains I find a special kind of freedom. It’s not a freedom problems, but rather the realization that our problems are much smaller than we think. The mountains have a way of humbling you, and making you feel vulnerable. Making you realize how small you are. Now I’m obsessed with the experience.

12194733_726696238807_6624922301685328450_oIt’s a lot like life. It doesn’t always go as expected, but when you get to the end and see where you’ve been, you know it was worth all the pain. There will be times where it’s not real fun, as is the case with any adventure, but the struggle is the best part of the story. That’s what builds the character. That’s why I love it and for that matter anything that get’s me out. Whether that’s a road or a trail.

Currently, I’m in Alaska and I find myself being humbled quite frequently. The wilderness is different here, but it’s a great place to learn. My dog, Bobby, and I drove here to just see what would happen. To see who we’d meet and to change our everyday routine. It’s definitely done that, and we’ve decided to spend the winter here, and hopefully finish my first book about my AT experience.

Follow along at dwayneparton.com

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