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Five Million Steps: Adventure Along the Appalachian Trail | [Lon Chenowith]

Five Million Steps: Adventure Along the Appalachian Trail

Hiking from Georgia to Maine sounds incredulous to most. To Lon Chenowith, it is a journey that calls him into the wild - a journey that reveals true tests of faith and will in the direst circumstances. What began as a dream in his teens to trek the Appalachian Trail takes flight with a preliminary hike with his two young boys from Amicalola Falls to Unicoi Gap. The initial intrigue wears off, and Lon quickly realizes he will be making a long, arduous journey alone, save for a few hiking partners and unique characters met along the way.
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Publisher's Summary

"Something happened there that is too rare among men: We touched the soul, and we touched heaven. The encounter put fire in my bones and brought a deep humility to know that God was at work in this crazy project of mine."

Hiking from Georgia to Maine sounds incredulous to most. To Lon Chenowith, it is a journey that calls him into the wild - a journey that reveals true tests of faith and will in the direst circumstances. What began as a dream in his teens to trek the Appalachian Trail takes flight with a preliminary hike with his two young boys from Amicalola Falls to Unicoi Gap. The initial intrigue wears off, and Lon quickly realizes he will be making a long, arduous journey alone, save for a few hiking partners and unique characters met along the way.

As a section-hiker, Lon, best known as the Arkansas Traveler, spans the course of 14 years, climbing 237 mountains in a backcountry with a culture all its own. The romance of trekking across the mountains quickly wears off, and the presence of God teaches him perseverance and faith. While at times lonesome and hard, the undeniable urge to return to nature keeps Lon climbing and chronicling his Five Million Steps.

©2009 Lon Chenowith; (P)2009 Tate

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

2.8 (24 )
5 star
 (4)
4 star
 (3)
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Overall
2.7 (18 )
5 star
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4 star
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Story
2.6 (18 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Brian Mandeville, LA, United States 11-01-12
    Brian Mandeville, LA, United States 11-01-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Really hard to get through"
    What would have made Five Million Steps better?

    A story


    Has Five Million Steps turned you off from other books in this genre?

    no, not at all.


    What didn’t you like about Mark McDevitt’s performance?

    Nothing stands out but overall it was a bad experience. He must have really needed the work


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Irritation


    Any additional comments?

    The religous tone of the book did not upset me, I expected it from the introduction, it was the only thing that gave is any sort of direction. I feel the author just didnt have enough to say. He spends 30% of the book just naming, by trail name, everyone he ever crossed pathes with. The naming of each person seemed to me so that they can say,"hey! I made it into a book!" Another 40% of the book listed every meal( whate he ate as well as everyone else dinning with him) while hiking and on his side trips. It seemed as though he had to fill space. It really got annoying. The other 30% was about the trail and how God guided him on his journey.

    He should have just stuck to giving talks. There is 30-45 mineuts of material. Ouch, tiring to get through. Kept waiting for more.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory Columbus, OH, United States 05-07-13
    Gregory Columbus, OH, United States 05-07-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    2
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    "Five Million meals, prayers, and trail names"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I would like to hear more commentary about the hike and less of the detail about who he saw and what religion they claim to be. Good book if you want to read everything you can about the AT. You will hear the name of every every shelter on the AT and every place to grab a peach Snapple. You won't hear a lot of wit, but you will figure out that you will meet persons representing every religious denomination on the trail. Methodists are most favorable in the authors opinion.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Drum roll please...well a drum roll would have been nice.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Decent narration.


    Do you think Five Million Steps needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Not at all.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fred Nadams, MA, United States 02-08-13
    Fred Nadams, MA, United States 02-08-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "This is like listening to a lecture or infomercial"
    Would you try another book from Lon Chenowith and/or Mark McDevitt?

    No- this is just a bunch of rambling, Their isn't a story here, it jumps all over without any trail stories or info. you get -"once this happened" and "I remember a time when..". repeatedly. No names just references such as " the boy" or "the youngest son" or " the older gentleman" then all the sudden you will get a long list of trail names that mean nothing since there is no story associated to them, just trailnames.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Lon Chenowith again?

    No, I forced myself through 50 minutes of listening and finally couldn't take it anymore. Its like sitting in a lecture with someone that cant speak in public.The narrator speaks 7-9 words then pauses then the next 7-9 words - repeat. obviously tries unsuccessfully to put some inflection in, but no emotion come through. Very hard to listen to.


    How could the performance have been better?

    find someone that is a storyteller


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Five Million Steps?

    cut the whole thing and tell a story in sequence, not jumping from a weekend one year to a week a year later. Make the characters people, not objects.


    Any additional comments?

    I have never written a review before but I am so disappointed with this I had to..

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ROBERT Coventry, RI, United States 10-27-12
    ROBERT Coventry, RI, United States 10-27-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Worst AT book to which I've listened"
    Would you try another book from Lon Chenowith and/or Mark McDevitt?

    No


    Has Five Million Steps turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, there are many good hiking books


    Would you be willing to try another one of Mark McDevitt’s performances?

    Unlikely, but the narrator is generally secondary to the author


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Incredulity that something so bad could get published. I was looking forward to this, so i was disappointed, then angry. I finished it, but almost stopped halfway through


    Any additional comments?

    I'm generally neutral/tolerant when it comes to religious issues, but this is nothing but a priase the lord pile of delusional horse pucky. The author can't go two lines without mentioning god. He charaterizes EVERYONE he meets by their faith. I can only imagine how incredibly annoying he must have been to the other hikers

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie HAVANA, IL, United States 04-02-14
    Laurie HAVANA, IL, United States 04-02-14 Member Since 2004
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This book was ok and liked much of it"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    If you are pretty religeous it may be good and would recommend it for those who are


    Would you recommend Five Million Steps to your friends? Why or why not?

    Would not recommend it for my friends


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I like the stories about the Appalacian Trail. I would have rated it much better if there was not so much about his religeous talk. I am not against religeon at all but I did not buy this book for that purpose.


    What else would you have wanted to know about Lon Chenowith’s life?

    Nothing


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Bishop Stratford, CT United States 12-18-12
    Tim Bishop Stratford, CT United States 12-18-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    "Worth listening if you're an avid hiker (sortof)"
    What did you like best about Five Million Steps? What did you like least?

    I enjoyed the humbleness of the author as he encountered various characters. I was disappointed that there was so little info on his actual experience as a hiker (what equipment he used, what pace he tried to maintain, what he ate on the trail,etc., and how he managed weather, wildlife and nature. This is a preacher's collection of notes on people he met when he was in town (and a few on the trail). He could have been encountering people in the mall and the story would not have been much different.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I think the author sounds like a decent guy with a big heart who enjoys making new friends and being accepted by strangers. He has humor and wit and his ramblings are interesting for a short listen. This work is exactly the correct length. Any longer and it would have been tedious.

    The least interesting part of the story is the part about the trail itself. There is so little definitive info, so few experiential anecdotes and almost no detail on what it takes to successfully navigate the trail that it is hard to believe he actually hiked it. I was hoping for some real detail on what it is like to do the various sections of the trail. This work is a collection of people who gave him rides and let him take a shower, as well as what he ate in the various towns and how much it cost. Clearly he copied out his diary and strung the notes together with a few extraneous sentences from memory.


    Did Mark McDevitt do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    There was really only one character.


    Do you think Five Million Steps needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Definitely not. There wasn't enough info to justify this book!


    Any additional comments?

    If you want a real book about the trail, read Bryson's A Walk in the Woods. Better humor and humility and much more detail about the trail itself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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