DiscoverMighty Blue On The Appalachian Trail: The Ultimate Mid-Life Crisis
Mighty Blue On The Appalachian Trail: The Ultimate Mid-Life Crisis
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Mighty Blue On The Appalachian Trail: The Ultimate Mid-Life Crisis

Author: Steve Adams

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An overweight, 61-year-old retiree, with zero hiking experience, decided to hike the entire 2,185.3 mile length of the Appalachian Trail in 2014. What could possibly go wrong? As his brother, Mike, commented, "It's a bit like taking up boxing and fighting Mike Tyson in your first bout." Join Steve and his guests as they discuss all aspects of the trail, from gear to Lyme Disease, then back to trail magic and injury.
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Our shows come together each week with a kind of serendipitous whimsey. This week's guests, Emanuel and Karen Bravo, wrote to me to share how they had prepared for the Sierras and eventual climbing of Mt Whitney. Emanuel wanted to encourage me to go again and told me exactly how he did it and suggested I could be successful if I adopted his approach. I was intrigued, and invited both Emanuel and Karen on the show to share their story. As you'll hear, they are an adventurous couple, with Emanuel coming up with the crazy ideas and Karen making them work! The perfect hiking couple! If you'd like to see more of their journey, they have a YouTube movie that is in Spanish, but the spectacular scenery speaks for itself. Check that out at https://youtu.be/sTQqP0SXahc You can also follow them on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/ema_el_astronauta/ Katie is near the end of her AT journey–for this year. She's been out there for over seven months and feels that it is time to come home. The trail will still be there next year, and we're going to follow her all the way to the end. Winton Porter's Passin Thru' provides an emotional, touching conversation between Winton and a lady he names "Lorac." If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com If you prefer NOT to use PayPal, you can now support us via check by mailing to us at PO Box 6161, Sun City Center, FL 35751. Any support is gratefully received.
You're going to love the story that today's guest is going to tell you. Lord Thomas Bouissaguet is part of a group of French visionaries whose ambition is to bring to reality nothing less than a French Appalachian Trail, now named Hexatrek. I first heard of this on Dixie's Facebook page and reached out to Lord Tom, who had his own, somewhat tenuous link to the Appalachian Trail. He'd tried to get here from Belgium in 2020, but was thwarted by Covid. Luckily, for Hexatrek, he went elsewhere and, along with others, came up with this idea. You can learn more about Tom and his buddies at https://en.hexatrek.com/ If you'd like to get involved, go to their crowd funding effort at https://fr.ulule.com/hexatrek/ While you can reach the short film that they've put together on their website, you can reach it directly at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BMdyCJNFWA If you'd like to contact them via social media, you can find Lord Tom at https://www.instagram.com/cartapouille/ and Hexatrek at https://www.instagram.com/hexatrek/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LHexatrek You can read Lord Tom's blog about his Croatian hike at https://www.outdoorjournal.com/featured/expedition/hiking-through-minefields-and-a-pandemic-in-uncharted-lands/ and hear him tell it at https://anchor.fm/cartapouille Katie has had to make some difficult decisions during her hike–as we all do–and this week she explains her latest and toughest decision so far. Winton Porter's Passin' Thru reveals the debt some hikers feel that they owe others when they find themselves on the emotional maelstrom that is the Appalachian Trail. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com If you prefer NOT to use PayPal, you can now support us via check by mailing to us at PO Box 6161, Sun City Center, FL 35751. Any support is gratefully received. If you'd like to take advantage of Steve's Trail Days book offer (all three of his printed hiking books for $31, including postage to the United States) send a check payable to Mighty Blue Publishing at the address just above.
I recently saw a bunch of hikers finish under a banner headline of "Warrior Expeditions," and I was drawn to a black and white summit picture of today's guest, Shannon Shaver. Shannon's hiking really started after she saw Martin Sheen in The Way, that terrific little movie that tells about a pilgrimage on the Camino De Santiago, in Spain. That lead to her own pilgrimage and an early attempt on the Appalachian Trail that was ended by Covid in 2020. But Shannon is nothing if not tenacious, starting all over again in 2021 back at Amicolola Falls, in Georgia. Her shakedown hike for the AT was the Superior Hiking Trail in Minnesota that prepared her well for the AT. But it was the support that she recieved from the Warrior Expeditions that really struck a chord with me. You can find out about them at https://warriorexpeditions.org/ while you can learn more about Shannon at her blog, https://shannonhikestheappalachiantrail2020.art.blog/ or her Instagram account at https://www.instagram.com/shavannin_blue/ Katie is in Vermont, having made a tough decision about New Hampshire. As you'll hear, it was probably the right decision at the right time. Finally today, it's Snow Day at Mountain Crossings, though the work continues through the fun. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com If you prefer NOT to use PayPal, you can now support us via check by mailing to us at PO Box 6161, Sun City Center, FL 35751. Any support is gratefully received. If you'd like to take advantage of Steve's Trail Days book offer (all three of his printed hiking books for $31, including postage to the United States) send a check payable to Mighty Blue Publishing at the address above.
We have a husband and wife section-hiking team on the show today. Deb Taylor and Danny Mooney have done Iron Man races, Triathlons, and Marathons for years, yet Covid cemented and grew a new love–backpacking on the Appalachian Trail. Deb and Danny share their insights and reflect upon the correlations they have found between hiking the trail and those other disciplines. You should also check out their AT journeys at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8hBpjbcE1Gil9GwPEb8s1Q/videos where, amongst other goodies, as we referred to in our conversation, Danny Mooney lives up to his name with the Cog Train in the Whites. You can also connect with Deb on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/coachdeb32/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/deb.taylor.984 The two pics below are from their Iron Man days. A spectator caught the two of them meeting up in the race, then grabbing a quick kiss.   Katie is out of Maine and heading into the Presidential Range and New Hamphire. She reflects upon Maine and looks forward to this next great chapter in her adventure. Finally, we meet a couple of hikers who are reluctant to shed pounds from their packs in the famous Mountain Crossings shakedown. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com If you prefer NOT to use PayPal, you can now support us by mailing a check, payable to Mighty Blue Publishing, to PO Box 6161, Sun City Center, FL 35751. Any support is gratefully received. Remember, I'm still offering my Trail Days deal on my books, so you can use the same address (above) to buy those directly from me.
Chris Casado was lucky enough to be taken on a hiking trip in the Sierras at the age of 14 by a teacher who became a good friend. Fast forward 25 or so years, and Chris and his teacher are offering the same trip–and other trips–to people of all different hiking abilities. Even Chris's children have shared the adventure. Given my love/hate relationship with the John Muir Trail (I love it, it hates me), talking with Chris opened my eyes to a possibility that I may still get to Mt Whitney one day. I think you'll be fascinated by both his story and the trips that he offers. They certainly stirred my imagination as soon as we started speaking. If you'd like to learn more about Chris and his operation, visit https://tsxchallenge.com/ You can also check out his free backpacking courses, which he's offering this fall, at https://www.eventbrite.com/o/tsx-challenge-7513511981 Katie was late to report in this week, with Mahoosuc Notch occupying her for much of the day. We finally caught up just in time for this week's episode. What an adventure she's having. Winton Porter's Passin' Thru continues to show the variety of people–and problems that passed through HIS life at Mountain Crossings. Please check out our sponsor's website, https://cedartrailgear.com/ and thanks to those of you who've either bought or are considering buying the Three-Point Multi Tool.  If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com If you prefer NOT to use PayPal, you can now support us via check by mailing to us at PO Box 6161, Sun City Center, FL 35751. Any support is gratefully received.
We rarely feature A.T. Southbounders on the show, but this week's guest is halfway through his SOBO hike of the Appalachian Trail. Christian Foster, or Bear, is an insightful young man, gaining much from his hike. We discuss not only the journey but also the impact of the trail upon his general well-being. Christian also introduces the perfect articulation of what it is we need on a long-distance hike. I'd never heard the words "cognitive flexibility" in conjunction with one another before, but his smart use of the expression sums up the essence of we all need to complete a hike of this nature. For somebody who'd never even heard of the Appalachian Trail a year ago, this recognition is extraordinary to me. The only social media that Christian shared with me is one from Snapchat. Not sure if this will work for you, but it seems to make me want to sign in and I don't have a Snapchat account!! https://www.snapchat.com/add/foster2326?share_id=NzgyNzJC&locale=en_US Katie checked in from the airport–in Florida!! She's heading back to Maine after a few days of R&R with her family. She's rarin' to go, again. We also had the chance to chat with Ryan McCormick, from Cedar Trail Gear–this month's sponsor! If you haven't checked it out yet, you can learn more at cedartrailgear.com. The picture below is of me with the 3-Point Multi Tool. Winton Porter and his family re-located to the freezing Georgia Mountains. Just how freezing, we find out today. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com If you prefer NOT to use PayPal, you can now support us via check by mailing to us at PO Box 6161, Sun City Center, FL 35751. Any support is gratefully received.
For the Mighty Blue show, it's a bit of a first today. Our guest is Person Irresponsible, or PI, and she is as unlikely a hiker as you've ever met. Yet, with grit and determination–and the fact that she had nowhere else to go–PI managed to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail in Covid Year. It was lonely; she was inexperienced, and she shares how she used a program designed for something else to navigate her hike. It's a fascinating story. If you'd like to follow more of PI's adventure, and if you'd like to read more about her book, you can go to http://www.mlconaquad.com/. You can also find her (still anonymous) on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/person.irresponsible.3 The book is also available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Everything-You-Ever-Taught-Me-ebook/dp/B096FYV6J9/ref=sr_1_1?crid=30ZK3PG7JFE38&dchild=1&keywords=everything+you+ever+taught+me&qid=1631128862&s=digital-text&sprefix=everything+you+ever+taught%2Camazon-devices%2C184&sr=1-1 And don't forget, our sponsor for the month of September is Cedar Trail Gear, with their 3 Point Multi Tool. Make sure you check them out at https://cedartrailgear.com/ Katie and I chatted this week when she was halfway up Mt Avery in Maine on a beautiful Wednesday morning. Sounds idyllic, doesn't it? And Winton Porter's Passin' Thru gets onto the prickly subject of ultralight gear. He has a warning for the unprepared! If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com If you prefer NOT to use PayPal, you can now support us via check by mailing to us at PO Box 6161, Sun City Center, FL 35751. Any support is gratefully received.
In the show this week, we have one of those guys who has wanted to do the Appalachian Trail for pretty much his entire life. That kinship with the trail and the forest began when he got lost on a scout trip at the age of ten. Eric Patterson harbored the feeling of peace and comfort throughout his life and finally got to achieve his dream in 2020. He tells his story and the impact it has had on him. You can follow Eric on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/c/WILDONTHETRAIL/videos and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/wildonthetrail/ Katie and I caught up this week when she was sitting on top of a mountain in the 1000 Mile Wilderness. As it always does with thru-hikers, Maine is making a massive, positive impression upon her. In Winton Porter's Passin' Thru, Winton introduces us to another couple of unforgettable characters. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com If you prefer NOT to use PayPal, you can now support us via check by mailing to us at PO Box 6161, Sun City Center, FL 35751. And remember, you can always support what we're doing by buying one of my books. My 2014 thru-hike story is in two volumes; My Appalachian Trial I: Three Weddings and a Sabbatical My Appalachian Trial II: Creaking Geezer, Hidden Flagon Along with those two, Hiking the Appalachian trail is Easy: Especially if You've Never Hiked Before can all be checked out on Amazon and at my author website https://steveadamsauthor.com/. All support, in whatever form, is gratefully received.
Today's guest, Daniel Winsor, will make you wonder for his sanity, then marvel at his tenacity. He decided that a hike through the Sierras in snow would be a challenge not to be missed, so set himself up for precisely that–in a heavy snow year. Daniel shares his somewhat shaky preparations with us, then chronicles his journey, making it through about 400 miles of snowy trail. He wrote a book–named "Crunch"–about his experience and you can check it out at https://amzn.to/2V4l2E3 You can also follow Daniel on his social media accounts at https://www.facebook.com/hikerbeta and https://www.instagram.com/hikerbeta/ or check out his website at http://hikerbeta.com/ While you're there, you can check out my books about my 2014 thru-hike at https://www.amazon.com/Steve-Adams/e/B01IP8ZVFW?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1629924020&sr=8-1 If you prefer, you can buy the printed versions from me at steveadamsauthor.com; I'll even sign them for you if you'd like. Katie made it up Katahdin and to the fabled brown sign. It was every bit as good as it looks here!! In the show, I also mentioned the upcoming "Woods Hole Weekend," where you can prepare for your 2022 thru-hike with experienced hikers in the idyllic surroundings of the gorgeous Woods Hole with the enchanting Neville Harris. Check it out here. https://woodsholehostel.com/things-to-do/the-woods-hole-weekend/ Finally today, Chapter 2 of "Just Passin' Thru" introduces us to a guy with a serious snake bite and a woman with a serious potty mouth!! If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com If you prefer NOT to use PayPal, you can now support us via check by mailing to us at PO Box 6161, Sun City Center, FL 35751. Any support is gratefully received.
Another stellar story for you all this week. Josh and Cassie Sutton started a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail back in the middle of January 2021. Apart from the early start, that wouldn't have been especially noteworthy–other than that they hiked with their four-year-old son, Harvey, or Little Man! What happened over the next seven months is a story of determination, patience, games, and a little bit of arm-twisting to get permission for Harvey to climb Katahdin–which he did last Monday, August 9. If you'd like to watch more of the Sutton story, you can follow their YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUAfUef5Cy3n4ujPE5JDQ1w and their Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/livesutton/ We catch up with Katie, having "abandoned" her for about a month. I'm delighted to be able to report that she's alive and thriving!! I also start a new book this week, with Winton Porter's "Just Passin' Thru." I hope that you all enjoy it. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com Any support is gratefully received.
Jesse Cody had never hiked until he read Bill Bryson's book, "A Walk in the Woods." Something within the book spoke to him, and he saw a thru-hike as a way forward from some of his mental health issues. The result was a revelation, and Jesse devoted his days to helping others with some of the same issues. We spoke last week with Randi Silverman of the Youth Mental Health Project and Jesse is supporting that charity by raising money on the PCT. Jesse's website, https://hikethegoodhike.com/, brings awareness and information on mental health to hikers everywhere. The man is truly on a mission.. On the home page of the site, Jesse says "My feet have carried me over roughly 7500 miles of trails throughout the United States, and now I’m sharing my journey to bring awareness to mental health through wilderness exploration." You can follow Jesse on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/hikethegoodhike/ and on Facebook at ps://www.facebook.com/hikethegoodhike and https://www.facebook.com/jesse.cody.77 If you'd like to make a monetary donation to his hike, then you can click on this link. https://ymhproject.networkforgood.com/projects/133134-walking-and-talking-for-youth-mental-health  If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com Any support is gratefully received.
This week's guest is Randi Silverman, the founder of the youth Mental Health Project. I think I can do no better than to replicate the notes that Randi sent me when I asked her about the information and Jesse Cody's hike. The Youth Mental Health Project The Youth Mental Health Project is a nonprofit 501(C)(3) organization that seeks to educate, empower, and support families and communities to better understand and care for the mental health of our youth.  We believe that: • Mental health lies on a continuum and includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. • A healthy mind is as important to a child’s development as a healthy body. • In order to address the devastating consequences of the current mental health crisis, early intervention and prevention must become the norm. We believe every child’s mental well-being needs to be nurtured, and that mental wellness and physical wellness should be equally prioritized. By equipping communities with tools to facilitate open and honest dialogue, providing educational materials that promote mental health literacy, and supporting families who are struggling, The Youth Mental Health Project is at the forefront of creating lasting change. WHAT WE DO:  SUPPORT: The Parent Support Network is a parent-driven, family focused program that provides parents who are concerned about their children’s mental health with a dependable and caring network, valuable peer support, and access to peer recommended resources in their local communities. EVENTS:  We help create events that spark positive dialogue and bring the subject of youth mental health to life in a way that is compelling, inspiring, and informative. FILM SCREENINGS: We foster community dialogue through community screenings of the award-winning film, No Letting Go. Speakers and materials are available to help facilitate post-screening discussions. EDUCATION: In addition to our Fact Sheet series, our Understanding Youth Mental Health booklet, created in partnership with Silver Hill Hospital and our Understanding Youth Mental Health: Questions Parents Frequently Ask guidebook, created in partnership with Child Guidance Mid-Fairfield County, are great tools for those who want to learn more. ABOUT JESSE CODY: Jesse Cody is the wilderness explorer behind “Hike the Good Hike.” His mission is to use HTGH to raise mental health awareness and help fund organizations dedicated to improving mental health. Several years ago, Jesse's own mental health struggles led him to become suicidal. He was at a crossroads and asked himself, “Do you want to continue on like this, a path that could end in tragedy, or do you want to live?” A series of serendipitous events led him to stumble upon Bill Bryson’s book A Walk In The Woods about hiking the Appalachian Trail. A few months later, he found himself at the trailhead on Springer Mountain about to embark on a 2,200 mile hike, despite the fact that he’d never so much as pitched a tent before. It was the walk that saved his life. He has since hiked over 7,000 miles and has used his story to inspire countless others. Through his writing and social media presence, he's gained a significant audience who have inspired him to continue growing my mantra “Hike the Good Hike” into a mental health awareness movement. Check out Jesse's video here. OUR COLLABORATION: The Youth Mental Health Project is delighted to announce a new partnership with the amazing Jesse Cody and Hike the Good Hike. The mission of The Youth Mental Health Project is to educate, empower, and support families and communities to better understand and care for the mental health of youth. Hike the Good Hike is committed to raising awareness about mental health and helping people cultivate more positive mindsets and lifestyles. Together, we will work to create a world where people are just as aware of their mental health as they are of their physical health, and where all families are able to readily access the mental health care and support they need to live healthy, fulfilling lives.  While hiking the Pacific Crest Trail this summer, Jesse will be busting stigmas, increasing awareness, raising critical funds, and celebrating hope by "Walking and Talking for Youth Mental Health" - turning his powerful hike into a mental health awareness movement! His goal is to bring attention to the importance of understanding mental health and to raise $50,000 to fund essential programs of The Youth Mental Health Project that support and educate families who are struggling. Show your support by DONATING to his campaign or follow Jesse on social media: Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/hikethegoodhike/ Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/hikethegoodhike and https://www.facebook.com/jesse.cody.77 The Youth Mental Health Project is on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/ymhproject/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/YMHProject And even after these extensive notes, Randi sent me more vital information. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for people ages 10 - 34 1 out of 5 children experience a mental health disorder in a given year Mental health disorders are more common than cancer, lung disease, and heart disease combined 50% of all lifetime cases of mental health disorders emerge before the age of 14 years old Just like with any other health condition, early intervention and prevention can improve outcomes A 2015 study from Stanford University found that walking in nature yields measurable mental benefits and may reduce risk of depression. https://news.stanford.edu/2015/06/30/hiking-mental-health-063015/ one study showed a reduction in stress-related responses such as lower levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in saliva after hiking. https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/14/8/905 Research suggests that hiking mountainous areas with altitude differences can increase feelings of valence (pleasure), elation (or happiness) and calmness, and feelings of anxiety and fatigue may decrease immediately after hiking. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0177719 If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com Any support is gratefully received.
About ten years ago, you would never have guessed that Richie Holbrook would be taking on the Appalachian Trail. He was in a wheelchair, on oxygen, and with a hopeless pair of lungs. A transplant turned out to be his life-saver. This year, he was able to get on the trail and begin his journey to Katahdin. His remarkable story is a testimony to not only grit and determination, but also the unwitting gesture of an anonymous person who chose to be an organ donor. Richie's journey is a legacy for that person and he is trying to spread awareness of the need to opt in to organ donation, rather than the more obvious solution of requiring people to opt out. That one change would make a huge difference in the pool of potential organ donors. If you've never thought of this issue before, Richie will open your eyes today. You can find out more about organ donation at http://organdonor.gov/, while Richie can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/richard.holbrook.1656 and on YouTube at https://youtube.com/channel/UCv8U1Iuo33Vue69NoQc_saA If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com Any support is gratefully received.
Today is the first of four shorter shows, with just one main interview and a few words of commentary from me. With a bit of luck, I'll be out on the John Muir Trail as you're listening to me and my guests. Our guests today are Vince and Monica Strawbridge who, along with their four children and a friend, have recently completed the Appalachian Trail. For the Strawbridges, it was the culmination of their family Triple Crown. This remarkable feat was achieved over a few years as the family responded to the hard times of the financial crisis by getting out on trails and realizing that their kids not only took to the lifestyle, but actually thrived out there. The family maintained a YouTube and Instagram account as they completed their hikes. You can visit them here. https://www.youtube.com/strawbridgetreksfamily https://www.instagram.com/strawbridgetreks/ If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com Any support is gratefully received.
We return to the world of YouTube this week, with another interview of a woman who successfully thru-hiked the trail and recorded her experiences along the way. Gretchen Pardon shared her joys, and her sorrows. So, when we spoke, I always knew we'd get to talk about her depression and anxiety. Her sunny disposition masks an inner strength and occasional anxiety that she faces. It was important to Gretchen that she was able to share this part of herself. If you'd like to connect with Braids or see some of her adventures, she can be found on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/c/HikingwithBraids/, on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/hikingwithbraids/, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hikingwithbraids Katie has returned home for a family birthday, so this week we took the chance to reflect on her first third of the trail. When we next hear from her, I'll be back from the JMT, so I look forward to catching up with her then. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com Any support is gratefully received.
This week, let's welcome a newly minted thru-hiking couple to the show. Jessica Mills (Dixie) and her partner, MarDe Brooks, recently completed the Florida Trail, wading through swamps, bugs, gators and hot weather along the way. Jessica has been on the show before, but I was particularly interested in the dynamic between the two of them as they faced the test of a thru-hike. With the hike now in their rearview mirror, Jessica decided to repay MarDe's gesture of hiking with her by joining him where he is the most comfortable–on stage, singing at a festival. You can hear that here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKU1t6zQDpk If you want to see and hear more of Jessica and MarDe, check out the links below. MarDe Brooks Social Media Links •YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyygaT4mrVUfF7UC6pGgF-w •Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7txM1hlPgJt6CGJosCgPgA •Facebook: www.Facebook.com/MarDeBrooksMusic •Instagram: www.Instagram.com/MarDeBrooksMusic •Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/MarDeBrooks/posts Website: www.MarDeBrooks.com Jessica “Dixie” Mills Social Media Links •YouTube: www.YouTube.com/c/HomemadeWanderlust •Facebook: www.Facebook.com/HomemadeWanderlust •Instagram: www.Instagram.com/HomemadeWanderlust •Patreon: www.patreon.com/HomemadeWanderlust Katie has reached the rocks of Pennsylvania and is coping well with them. She catches us up with her progress over the past week. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com Any support is gratefully received.
This week, our guest is Michael Sisemore, better known as Sy. As many people do, Michael hiked the Appalachian Trail when he was at a real crossroads in his life. He had no idea what he'd be doing after the trail but allowed himself the luxury of being open to all possibilities. The transformation that came his way was seismic, with the effects reverberating down the years nearly a quarter of a century later. Michael found a life that worked for him, and has now written a book that talks of those changes, as well as the meeting and very close friendship with a true trail legend. His story is fascinating. You can read some great excerpts from the book at http://www.intherealworldihike.com/ and follow Sy on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/at99sy/ If you'd like to buy his book, you can find it on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B094CXWV11?pf_rd_r=A7B6KASNTC21KNPFRT1S&pf_rd_p=5ae2c7f8-e0c6-4f35-9071-dc3240e894a8&pd_rd_r=999176fe-f691-46ad-9b35-439412a22d99&pd_rd_w=MNzIJ&pd_rd_wg=qwQaX&ref_=pd_gw_unk Katie has been putting in the miles this week, having eased herself back into her hike after her unfortunate injury. She also passed a special milestone. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com Any support is gratefully received.
This week on the show, we go back to the 'normal" format, with me, Mighty Blue, at the microphone. Ryan is passing back the show having successfully steered it for the past three months. I am eternally grateful for the effort Ryan put into the show and hope to have him back behind the mic from time to time. Today's guest is Steve Nota, a Bostonian relocated to Australia. Steve shares his story about hiking as a youngster, then moving to Australia and hiking "tracks" out there. He will attempt to realize a burning ambition to hike the Appalachian Trail in 2022. As you can see from the pictures, the Aussie "tracks" provide the hiker with some glorious views. Katie Westling has settled more into her hike and crossed two state borders this past week. Her progress is measured, but our listeners continue to support her in her journey, with two "Angels" helping her through Pennsylvania. Now that I'm back in my recording seat, please let me know of any guests you'd like me to speak with by emailing me at steve@hikingradionetwork.com. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com Any support is gratefully received.
Lisa Speas or "Conundrum" has been long-distance backpacking for many years traversing a variety of trails, the longest of which being the Appalachian Trail. Her AT journey was anything but typical and even included flatlining in the emergency room. Lisa and Ryan discuss her journey on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath, and the Great Allegheny Passage. She also shares her experience and advice for women hikers over 50 and how her backpacking style has evolved over the years. Katie Westling is out of the Shennies at last!! The knee continues to improve, and she is past the Roller coaster. All in all, a week of success, including her picture at the ATC in Harpers Ferry. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com Any support is gratefully received.
We've got a couple of overachievers on the show today. Kera and Bill decided that an Appalachian Trail thru-hike wasn't sufficient to scratch their adventure itch, so they went straight from their 2200-mile walk to a 5000-mile bike trip, crossing the country from Bar Harbor to San Diego–taking a fairly circuitous route, it must be said! The two of them had such a blast on the trail–and this was in 2020, Covid Year–that they regarded their journey as not a case of stepping away from their previous lives but more towards their future lives. Going forward, Kera and Bill will be sharing their knowledge of the trail, plus their knowledge of bikepacking, so I urge you to visit their various social media sites below, as well as look out for their website coming soon. Always & Sunny on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlwaysSunnyAT Always & Sunny on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Always_Sunny_AT/ Our Website (coming soon): https://www.adventurememories.life/ Katie has been learning valuable lessons on the trail, but her hike is back on and she shares with Steve her last few days in Shenandoah, with reflections upon those lessons. At last, we've come to the concluding chapter of Larry Luxenburg's Walking the Appalachian Trail, with Larry summing up the trail afterlife so beautifully and so topically, even though this was written nearly 30 years ago. Some things on the trail never change. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com Any support is gratefully received.
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Comments (5)

Amy Sellers

Can I get a copy of Griz’s spreadsheet? cozyhome3@yahoo.com

Sep 18th
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Amy Sellers

How do I get a chance to see the spreadsheet from Griz?! Would love to see it!

Sep 18th
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Ed Boyce

m.j

Nov 6th
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Kirk Luoma

love the podcast mighty blue! i just started listening. I'm already 30 episodes in. long way to go, but truly looking forward to the future episodes.

Feb 2nd
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