Saturday, February 17, 2007


Hey Folks! For those of you who don't know me, my name is Gordon Jenkins and I am attempting a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail to benefit Celiac Disease Research. Celiac Disease is an auto-immune disease that causes an intolerance of gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye). The disease is completely diet controlled but it has to be followed strictly. I was diagnosed in the January of 2005. I am trying to get people to donate money to the Columbia Universtiy Center for Celiac Research in support of my hike. The walk is approximatley 2,175 miles long, stretches across 13 states, and should take me somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 months to complete. Hopefully, I will be able to update this blog every couple of weeks with new stories, info, and pictures as my hike goes along. The picture up to the left is on the fire tower on Wesser Bald in North Carolina. Hopefully I'll have a more recent version of this very soon. The hike starts on March 17th, wish me luck and please post some stuff from time to time. I'd love to hear from people. For anyone who wants to donate the Columbia Center's website is http://www.celiacdiseasecenter.columbia.edu and from there is a link that will allow you to donate specifically for my hiker. Later.
Gordon Jenkins aka "The Breadless Horseman"

22 comments:

metafiz said...

g- hurry up and post something!

-kevin from blue ridge

Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to your blog posts, Gordon. As a former AT and PCT thru hiker and vegan foods advocate, I applaud your efforts to educate the world about the perils of gluten, not only to those suffering from celiac disease, but a host of other afflictions caused by gluten intolerence. When I cut gluten out of my diet, maladies that had affected me for years and had my doctors perplexed simply disappeared. However, today's media is saturated with fast food, popping pills and very little information about simple, holistic things anyone can do to improve their health. If you only change a few lives along your journey by what you can tell them about gluten (and healthy eating), then your trip will be a tremendous success. I wish you the very best of luck and can't wait to read your posts! Chris, Estes Park, CO

Concordia said...

Good luck, guy!

http://appalachiantrail.blogspot.com

AMcMcJ said...

Hi, Gordon. I am just trying to learn how this posting thing works.

Grace Johnston said...

We are proud of you, Gordon. We have alerted support group friends and hiker friends. We look forward to reading about your progress.

Grace Johnston
NCPTGIG-team leader

Deborah said...

What a great idea, Gordon...Uh, I mean, the Breadless Horseman. I'm a celiac, too, and I've always wanted to hike the AT - although I never got around to it except for a few short hikes here and there. I think both my sons (19,21) may be celiacs, but they don't want to think about it. I'm gonna tell them about you! Good Luck. I'll be reading your blog and wishing you well!

Jerry Span said...

My dad pretty much has the same health issue you do. Growing up I saw how hard it was to keep to the diet. I can't even imagine what it would be like to thru-hike on that diet. Good luck and stop by Fontana Village to see us.

Jerry Span said...

My dad pretty much has the same health issue you do. Growing up I saw how hard it was to keep to the diet. I can't even imagine what it would be like to thru-hike on that diet. Good luck and stop by Fontana Village to see us.

Jerry Span said...

sorry about the double post! Now triple!

Christy said...

You should have been "The Red Kniggit." That would have suited you better.

Dave Brock said...

Gordon: I enjoyed the feature article about your hike in the Winston-Salem Journal and look forward to your adventure! Good luck and Godspeed!

Ginger said...

I met you and your mother at the July potluck gathering for NCTPGIG last summer. My 5-year-old daughter, Tori, has CD, and I have the beginning stages of it myself. I can't tell you how proud we are of you. Thanks for setting such a wonderful example for all of us by not letting this disease hold you back from something you really want to do. We wish you the best of luck and will keep you in our prayers.

Ginger Owens
NCPTGIG member

Grace Johnston said...

Gordon,
That 29.4 lbs. has to make you stronger. Hope folks all along the trail will meet you with gluten-free comfort foods. More and more people will learn about celiac disease because of your trip.
Stay in touch.

Grace and Jimmy

Anonymous said...

Hi Gordon, though we have not met I too am a fellow celiac and it has prevented me from enjoying so much of what you are doing. Enjoy yourself. I will be walking the trail behind you in spirit. Wish my sons and I could join you. Much success and health. Ann McAlpine in Advance NC

Anonymous said...

A trek worthy of a true Highlander and a red headed one at that. We are proud of you. Stay in touch. Uncle Johnny and Aunt Ginger

Joyce said...

Gordon,
Eddie and I are so pleased that your dream and plans are becoming a reality with every step you take along the AT. My Dad spent many happy hours on the AT. He is now 86 and confined to a wheelchair.I plan to share your progress with him, and I know it will bring him a lot of pleasure. So keep us posted and we will be sending all good thoughts and wishes your way.
Joyce and Eddie Poe

Melissa said...

Hey Gordon. I'm a nutritionist, avid backpacker, and have celiac too, so I'm having fun following your progress. I've also done some month-long thru hikes out here in the Rocky Mountains and know it's not easy when you can't pack pasta, bagels, and regular oatmeal. Good for you for taking this on! Keep it up. Is there any way to send you a gluten-free care package somewhere along the way?
Safe travels, Melissa

The Maine Fishers said...

Gordon,
Best wishes from Maine! Your parents may have mentioned our visit together last summer, while they were on vacation here. We actually lived in Asheville and eventually settled in Maine partly because of these Appalachian Mountains...such natural resources/hiking possibilities. Illahee (heavenly world)!

We're a contact and resting stop for you at this end of your journey. We look forward to reading your future blogs, and meeting you. Congrats on making this hike happen, and for helping others know about/support Celiac Disease Center's research.

Anonymous said...

Gordon, Thank you so much for doing this! My daughter (who also plans to hike the AT) was recently diagnosed with celiac and is also a vegan. It was hard for her on campus. I also imagine that having CD can make a person feel alienated in our gluten filled world. As a mom (from Maine!) I really appreciate your spreading the word. Thank you!

Ronda, Maine

Anonymous said...

Thank you for helping to raise awareness about celiac disease. Next week we are heading down to Skyline Drive to enjoy the AT. Our daughter has celiac disease and we have found the chefs at Skyland Lodge to be very helpful and accomodating. I hope you get a chance to stay there and enjoy some great food and entertainment.

Best of Luck!

Anonymous said...

Gordon, Just finished your last two posts. I am enjoying reading about your adventures. Enjoy! Trish

Anonymous said...

Gordon: Sorry that we have not been in touch. I am trying to figure out how to "bookmark" your blog so I won't have to look up your mother's email every time I want to check it. All is well here in Winnsboro. Lizzie and McPhail are coming to stay with us this weekend while Neill and Annie go to a wedding in Tenn. Had a good rain last PM but the ground is still terribly dry. I am going to wait a week or more before I try to plant anything in my garden. I am going to contact the Clan MacLeod magazine and see if they might publish an article about you to further the interest in celiac disease. Stay warm, dry and safe. Uncle Johnny and Aunt Ginger