Aaron Noakes spent most of the first 8 years of his life in and out of hospitals due to lung disease. He could never be outside in the night air. Then God healed him. This makes Aaron’s 189-day solo hike along the Appalachian Trail as an adult camping beneath the evening skies a testimony to His goodness.
Leaving Springer Mountain, Georgia, on March 27, 2019, Aaron began his adventure. Carrying a backpack containing a tent, a sleeping bag, cooking gear and food, Aaron hiked 2,192 miles of the treacherous and often dangerous Appalachian Trail. Only 1 out of 5 hikers make it the entire way from Georgia to Maine.
Climbing up and down the mountains of 14 states, Aaron navigated slippery boulders, cliffs, razor-sharp rocks, mud bogs and rivers. On the long trail he faced insects, bears, moose, rattlesnakes and copperheads. He carried no medicine. Aaron was never sick and had no injuries, just a few foot blisters.
Along the way there was a natural feast for the taking, including berries, edible plants and fish. His parents, Arthur and Barbara, AIM Star Sapphire Directors, sent several packages ahead for him to stock up on high-energy trail food. One item Aaron requested that was always included was the BarleyLife single-serving packets, easy to carry and mix while hiking.
Reaching the 5,267-foot elevation of Baxter Peak on Mt. Katahdin, where the Appalachian Trail ends, Aaron finished this monumental hike on the morning of October 2. His goal had been to finish before the blizzards came. The sky cleared for a brief time for his peak experience. Hours later, the snow began to fall.
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