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August 13, 2020
Another terrific show today, with Barney "Scout" Mann sharing his story as a lifelong hiker, a Triple Crowner, and the Ultimate Trail Angel of the Pacific Crest Trail. He started his journey as a young lad in the High Sierra (picture below) and started his Triple Crown on the PCT–with his wife–on their 30th Wedding Anniversary. Barney has written a book about that hike, weaving in the stories from not only he and his wife but also of other characters they hiked with. As you can see below, he's changed a bit over the years!! Order Journeys North https://www.amazon.com/Journeys-North-Pacific-Crest-Trail/dp/1680513214 Visit Scout's Website https://barneyscoutmann.com/ Follow Scout on Instagram and Facebook https://www.instagram.com/journeys.north/ https://www.facebook.com/barneyscoutmann/ Also this week, Bill Tickner, or Mr. President, joins the show to talk about his SOBO hike that originally started back in 2019. You can follow Bill's blog at https://www.wildernesseffect.com/ and find him on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/mrpresidenthikes/ And in Balancing on Blue, Fozzie hits Amicalola Falls and the start of his own thru-hike. An immediate problem is establishing his nationality! Get Fozzie's book at Amazon by clicking here  The sponsor for this week's show is Ever Green Adventure Foods. Check them out at https://evergreenadventurefoods.com/ Thanks guys; it means a lot. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button can be found on the Hiking Radio Network site at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com/show/mighty-blue-on-the-appalachian-trail-the-ultimate-mid-life-crisis/donate/ Any support is gratefully received.
August 6, 2020
Amber Heuisler, or Wheezy, came to my attention recently on Facebook. Her proud boast of walking 200 miles on the AT may not seem to be so much of a cause for celebration but, as she explains, in my view it is an achievement on a par with my thru-hike last year. She is an inspiring young woman who has fought back in life and found that being on the trail is exactly where she wants to be. I hope others are as inspired as I was when I caught up with her in Damascus a few weeks ago. You can keep up with Amber on the trail at her YouTube vlog https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=redeemed+wanderer Bounce has found some peace once more, and he shares with Steve what the hike is doing for him. Our new book, Balancing on Blue, by Keith Foskett, picks up with Keith flying over the Atlantic, then reflecting upon how he got to the AT. If you'd like to check out this and Keith's other books, just go to his Amazon author page at https://www.amazon.com/Keith-Foskett/e/B00A535AQ6?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1596666090&sr=8-1 Thanks to our sponsor for the past few weeks, Triple Crown Coffee. Not only do they make a great Cup of Joe, they give back to the trail with every sale. I hope that you want to support them as you choose what you drink on the trail. Check them out at https://triplecrowncoffee.com/ If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received.
July 30, 2020
This is a long show!! First off, we have Lily Gelfars, a listener who wanted to express her opinion regarding hiking in 2020. She brings some personal experience to her views, having decided to abandon her own 2020 hike on the Camino de Santiago. With a background that includes a SOBO hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2017, she shares her story. She also gave me permission to share her letter/email to me; I'm sure you'll see why I wanted her on the show. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kjIZWdJkpKWDkf02J7nUkYK8y9SUyih3OHB0JBcRfD0/edit If you'd like to hear more from Lily, her blog is at https://alengthyinterlude.wordpress.com/ and she is on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/tuliplaglitter/ Bounce is now moving extremely fast, having said that he intended to slow down. Find out why. Despite the length of the show, I didn't want to miss bringing Erin Mackenzie's amazing encounter to you. Believe me, it is a tale that will make you appreciate that we share the trails with wild animals. Finally today, Keith Foskett's "Balancing on Blue" is our new book, about Keith's own AT journey. This week, he introduces his cast of characters. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received.
July 23, 2020
Brian Bell has shaped his life to enable him to spend as much time as he can in the outdoors. He looked for a local trail club to see if he could help, then volunteered more and more until he took responsibility as a trail overseer in Shenandoah National Park. Continuing to give back to his local community, he has started a volunteer organization called Keep Virginia Cozy, putting together teams to spend some time in the outdoors and picking up litter that they find.   You can find out more about Brian and Keep Virginia Cozy with the links below. His website: http://keepvirginiacozy.org/ On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/keepvirginiacozy On Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/keepvirginiacozy/ On MeetUp: http://www.meetup.com/keepvirginiacozy Bounce has had a tough few days. After our chat, I found out a little more. This is the picture he posted on his Facebook page. Grandma Gatewood has reached the end of the road and we hear of her final days. I don't know about you, but I will miss her! Thanks go to Triple Crown Coffee for supporting the show. We hope that you try out their great coffee on your next hike. Find them at https://triplecrowncoffee.com/ If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received.
July 16, 2020
I met Molly Rhoads in 2019 when she was hiking with my buddy, Nate Stockton. The two of them were a well-suited odd couple. Nate has retired from the military and is in his 40s, while Molly looks like a 20-year-old. They acted like siblings and enhanced my hike whenever I ran into them, which was often. Molly had a run-in with some small wildlife, though she never lost her sense of humor about that and, as far as I could see, about anything else. She had previously done the Long Trail and, after a shaky start, found that she loved thru-hiking. The AT fired her passion, and she is currently hiking the Colorado Trail, with the PCT in her sights soon. Bounce Da Hiker had been out of contact for a week, and it was only on Wednesday morning that I could get hold of him. He's right on the New Hampshire border, so let the fun and games begin!! Grandma Gatewood has amazed us along the way and, now in her 70s, she continues her wanderlust with a THIRD Appalachian Trail hike. We gratefully welcome to the show Triple Crown Coffee, our sponsor for the next four weeks. Find out more about them at https://triplecrowncoffee.com/ If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Your support is gratefully received.
July 9, 2020
We've got a really well-traveled guest on the show today. Chris Pirrello has led a somewhat nomadic lifestyle, with a fourteen-month trip around the world at the start of the 21st Century, followed by years of hiking most of the long trails of America, including the Triple Crown. He even took a job in Antarctica to chalk up his sixth continent. He is a self-confessed foodie and loves excellent coffee, so it seems almost inevitable that he has ended up as the owner of Triple Crown Coffee, a company with a mission to give back to the three trails that make up the Triple Crown. Indeed, each roast is named after one of the trails. If you want to learn more about Chris and his coffee, go to https://triplecrowncoffee.com/ With Kate now home, we're following Bounce Da Hiker. This week, Bounce has been putting in some very long days and had to take a double zero when his body told him he needed a rest. Grandma Gatewood's fame, which had been growing while she was on the trail, gets even greater, as she appears alongside Groucho Marx on TV. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received.
July 2, 2020
We've got quite the show today, coming in at over 90 minutes. There's something for everybody, with Keith Foskett, one of the best writers on hiking, sharing his stories and hikes with wit and introspection. We'll be having his Balancing on Blue as our next book on the podcast, so it was great hearing about how he developed as both a hiker and writer. If you want to learn more about Keith or buy some of his books, you can go to his website, https://www.keithfoskett.com/ where you'll find links to each book, his blog, some info on his hikes and a contact page. You can also find him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Keith-Foskett-Fozzie-270894196286427/ On Twitter at https://twitter.com/KeithFoskett and on his Amazon Author page at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Keith-Foskett/e/B00A535AQ6?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5&qid=1592228832&sr=8-5 Phoenix has been struggling with her ankle recently and, when she texted me on Thursday, I was expecting the worst, though she was in great spirits. Find out what happened. There are a few additional parts to the show this week, including an initiative by Bruce "RTK" Matson, so we hopped on the phone and were joined by Neville Harris of Woods Hole Hostel. Check out the Woods Hole website to learn more about Bruce's initiative. http://woodsholehostel.com/ And, for reasons that will become obvious, we get to meet Sean Campbell, or Bounce Da Hiker. Check out Bounce's YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_bYx8ZiGBNPrJfu9eqY57A/videos Finally, Grandma Gatewood does the unthinkable–and goes again!! What a woman!! If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received. Music for the "A Woman of a Certain Age" segment is by permission of Kate's friend, John Jensen. You can see and hear it in full on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlP7g7qivo4 Thanks, John.
June 25, 2020
This week, we have JC Van Etten, or Catmando. Not only did JC recently win our six-book giveaway, but he was also part of the very tight "tramily" that Togs and Lucky referred to a few weeks ago. I wanted to hear JC's side of the story and, as I'd anticipated, he brought his own slant to the journey that they all shared. JC retired early from work and hopes to fill his retirement with further adventures, though the Appalachian Trail was the fulfillment of a dream many years in the making. As part of this dream, JC raised money for a charity close to his heart, Paws of War. You can learn more about them at their website, https://pawsofwar.org/contact-florida-chapter on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PawsofwarFlorida/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/pawsofwarflorida/       Kate, or "Phoenix," has had a tough few days and is pushing on in the heat of Connecticut after a zero in Kent, CT. She's having to pull on all her reserves of grit and determination as she continues to recover from her ankle injury and the tough terrain. Grandma Gatewood, after summiting Katahdin, had to deal with an inordinate amount of celebrity in the immediate aftermath. As she is going through this, a new plan is forming in her mind..... In this week's show I also referred to the excellent discussion that Anna Huthmaker had on her latest podcast with El Miller and the issue of hiking while black. It is a thoughtful, insightful look at something I'd never truly considered. You can find it on https://traildamespodcast.libsyn.com/episode-57-el-miller-bear-spray I also mentioned my own fundraiser for hikeforH2o, a charity that helps fund the construction and maintenance of wells in Africa, giving villages access to clean water for the first time. I'm currently 30 miles into my 45 miles-in-a-week challenge. You can still sponsor my effort at https://runsignup.com/MightyBlue If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received. Music for the "A Woman of a Certain Age" segment is by permission of Kate's friend, John Jensen. You can see and hear it in full on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlP7g7qivo4 Thanks, John.
June 18, 2020
I think that this is the longest show we've ever had!! Our main guests are Eric and Jessica Matos, or Toast and Jammz. They were introduced to me by Jester, from the Jester Section Hiker podcast and they have a strong hiking resume. We talk about both their hiking and their passion for leave no trace and sustainable use of wilderness places. Toast shares a few stories about their first hike together as a couple and how, when they were on the John Muir Trail, an idea for their business came to them. They have an inspiring message and vision for a time that needs businesses like theirs. If you'd like to learn more about Toast and Jammz (and, of course, Jelly Belly), check out https://evergreenadventurefoods.com/ and follow them on social media at https://www.instagram.com/evergreen_adventurefoods/ and https://www.facebook.com/evergreenadventurefoods Phoenix, our Woman of a Certain Age, is dying to get out of New York. Her ankle still bothers her, but she's soldiering on. Late this evening (Wednesday, Jun 17) I heard from her as she passed 400 miles. Cori Strathmeyer wanted to share news of a charity that is helping three African countries to get clean water. Hikers can help in this effort, either by signing up to walk yourself or sponsoring me as I take on a challenge. I highly commend this cause to you. Go to https://www.hikeforh2o.org/ to sign up. Grandma Gatewood summits Katahdin and the writer, Ben Montgomery, wanted to follow in her footsteps. Listen as he follows in the path of this trail-blazing woman. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received. Music for the "A Woman of a Certain Age" segment is by permission of Kate's friend, John Jensen. You can see and hear it in full on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlP7g7qivo4 Thanks, John.
June 11, 2020
It's an all-woman show today, with Marissa Neel, the Executioner, as our main guest. She has a very funny, brutally honest YouTube channel, and is exactly the same person in our conversation. Marissa shares plenty of witty insights and a stoic determination to get to the end. The story of her last night camping on the AT is a visceral example of what it can be like out there. I could relate on so many levels. Her YouTube channel is not to be missed, so click here. https://www.youtube.com/user/mkneel2/videos Kate is now moving through New Jersey and past the 300-mile mark. The ankle still hurts, but she continues to push north. Below, she is with her current hiking partner, Luna, at the top of Culver Tower. I mention the open position at the Devil's Backbone Brewery as Chief Hiking Officer in my comments in the show. If you'd like to apply, check it out at this link. https://www.dbbrewingcompany.com/cho/ Finally, Grandma Gatewood reaches Baxter State Park. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received. Music for the "A Woman of a Certain Age" segment is by permission of Kate's friend, John Jensen. You can see and hear it in full on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlP7g7qivo4 Thanks, John.
June 4, 2020
Carolyn Walker and Gordon Yhap are now thru-hikers. When you hear their story, you may well wonder "How did they do it?" This conversation should shake up any pre-conceived ideas you may have about what it takes to hike the trail successfully. Gordon and Carolyn are an inspiration. Carolyn kept an online journal while on the trail, so if you'd like to follow along with their hike, click here. http://mytripjournal.com/carolynwalker .  She also did a guest post in the Trek once she finished https://thetrek.co/appalachian-trail/not-hiking-harder-than-hiking/ Kate Stillwell is still pushing north in our "Woman of a Certain Age" segment and has made it out of the dreaded state of PA. We also have the second part of Chapter 14 from Grandma Gatewood's Walk If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received. Music for the "A Woman of a Certain Age" segment is by permission of Kate's friend, John Jensen. You can see and hear it in full on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlP7g7qivo4 Thanks, John.
May 28, 2020
We're not so focused on the AT this week, with Luke "Strider" Jordan taking on some of the wilder American trails. His first thru-hike was the 4600 mile North Country Trail, and he became the Earl Schaffer of the Great Plains Trail when he completed the very first thru-hike of that new trail. On the way, he learned what worked and what didn't. He shares some fascinating insights in his conversation with Steve You can connect with Strider and find out more about these trails at the following links. Strider's NCT Hike website: http://stridernct.com/Home_Page.php   Strider's Travel Facebook https://www.facebook.com/StriderNCT/   Strider's Book "Thru And Back Again...", available on amazon https://www.amazon.com/Thru-Back-Again-Journey-Country/dp/0692880909   For information about the North Country Trail visit: https://northcountrytrail.org/   For information about the Great Plains Trail visit:  https://www.greatplainstrail.org/   Kate Stillwell, or Phoenix, has stopped in town for the first time, mainly to resolve a blister issue. She and Steve chat twice as she continues her steady progress. Grandma Gatewood's Walk is a little truncated this week, with only the first part of Chapter 14. The second part of the chapter will be next week. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received. Music for the "A Woman of a Certain Age" segment is by permission of Kate's friend, John Jensen. You can see and hear it in full on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlP7g7qivo4 Thanks, John.
May 21, 2020
This week's guests met as members of the Class of 2019–my year, even though we never met–and they have been together pretty much ever since. Natalie and Grady both left a little earlier than I did and had a terrific tramily. It was Catmando, one of their tramily and a listener to the show, who pointed me in their direction. Natalie and Grady's story brings out the diversity of opportunity on the trail and each reflects upon how lucky they were not only to meet one another but that they chose 2019 and not 2020 for their trip. Natalie has a beautiful AT video which she did entirely in verse, so check that out here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyh80NSnma8&t=206s Kate Stillwell, in defiance of ATC directives, keeps moving forward and is already over 100 miles into her hike. We caught up on Tuesday. After chatting with Kate, I received an email from ATC who clarified their continued guidance about trail closures. I read this email on the show for the benefit of listeners. Finally, Grandma Gatewood's ordeal is over. No, not her hike, her marriage. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received. Music for the "A Woman of a Certain Age" segment is by permission of Kate's friend, John Jensen. You can see and hear it in full on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlP7g7qivo4 Thanks, John.
May 14, 2020
We've got another terrific show today, with Bobby O'Donnell, a listener, providing our main conversation. Bobby and I discuss a pivotal moment in his life that led him to marathons on seven continents and, in 2018, the Appalachian Trail. His story has moments of sadness, disaster, and triumph, all of which he drew on during his hike. A paramedic, Bobby has been working during this crisis, and his personal experiences have shaped his response to adversity. You can connect with Bobby on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/runningwildbook/ He is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/runwildbook His website is https://www.runningwildbook.com/ Kate Stillwell, our Woman of a Certain Age, has decided what she wants to do with her intended thru-hike this year. She shares that decision with Steve. Grandma Gatewood's growing fame has reached the pages of Sports Illustrated and she burnishes her superwoman credentials by her stoic approach to the swollen rivers in the north. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received. Music for the "A Woman of a Certain Age" segment is by permission of Kate's friend, John Jensen. You can see and hear it in full on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlP7g7qivo4 Thanks, John.
May 7, 2020
This week, we have a book theme in the show, with a giveaway of six signed books. The principal guest is Sarah Jones Decker, or Harvest, who thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2008, but that wasn't the primary reason that we have Sarah as a guest. She has photographed and written about all the AT shelters in a beautiful book that evokes all the memories we share at those often rundown places. You can connect with Sarah and buy a signed copy of her book at https://www.sarahjonesdecker.com/ Sarah's question as part of our six-book giveaway contest is: What is the largest non-hut shelter on the AT? Bruce Matson also came back to the show to talk about the three books that he has written since his thru-hike. You can find his books on Amazon at this link. https://amzn.to/3ccmmrU Bruce's question is: In which town do participants in the Curly Maple Pizza Challenge purchase the beer and pizza necessary to complete the challenge? I've added my two signed books about my 2014 thru-hike and my question is: What shelter has the highest elevation on the trail? Answer ALL THREE questions correctly, email your answers to me at steve@mightyblueontheat.com, and you'll be entered into a draw for ALL SIX signed books. Best of luck. Finally today, Grandma Gatewood faces a storm in both her personal and hiking lives. She also teaches us a lesson that was being learned the hard way, for some, in the 1950s. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received.
April 30, 2020
This week, our guest is a listener who is also a LASHer, a long-ass section hiker. His name is Steve Ortiz or Survivor. His trail name gives away that the mere fact that he is hiking the Appalachian Trail in sections is a blessing in itself. A cancer diagnosis has not slowed down this self-confessed adventurer and, while he regrets that he has to stay off the trail during the current crisis, he is itching to get back out there to complete his goal. If you'd like to keep up with Steve, take a look at his blog; it has some glorious trail pictures. You can find it at https://www.a-bucket-list-of-adventures.com/ My special guest for the middle section is a surprise, though it is a very personal conversation with somebody who has occupied a lot of my thoughts in April. Finally, Grandma Gatewood is in New England, just as a hurricane is slamming its way towards her! If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received.
April 23, 2020
With the trails now quieter than they've probably ever been at this time of year, it seems appropriate somehow that we should have a trail maintainer AND thru-hiker as our main guest this week. Paul Curtin hiked the AT in 2015 with his son, Kyle, and now gives back to the trail through his work with the Carolina Mountain Club. Paul and Steve talk about Paul's hike and the very important lessons that he learned for his post-hike life. You can read more about the hike on his blog at this link - https://pckc.tumblr.com/ Then, Paul and Steve go on to chat about the work that Paul and the rest of his Carolina Mountain Club members do for the respective trails that they care for. You can learn more about some of this work at the following links: Overnight crew - https://youtu.be/sSjE-HKFmaY Regular crew work - https://youtu.be/0pmb0yXkTLs Carolina Mountain Club website - https://www.carolinamountainclub.org/index.cfm CMC trail maintenance https://www.carolinamountainclub.org/index.cfm/do/pages.view/id/12/page/TRAIL-WORK National Trail Day at Max Patch https://vimeo.com/341199743 Also on the show, sharing his passion for the Great Plains Trail, Clay Bonnymore Evans gives us news of this relatively fledgling trail that promises tons of solitude. Website for Great Plains Trail Alliance - http://www.greatplainstrail.org/ Clay's website Wonderland (menu on top has a link to a long blog about his GPT hike) - https://claybonnymanevans.com/ People can always reach out to Clay through email at - claybonnyman@gmail.com The photo above is of Bear Butte from the Centennial Trail, to give you a sense of what it's like. The butte is truly the "Katahdin" of the Centennial Trail, a spectacular place to finish or start. Finally, on today's show, Grandma Gatewood crosses the Hudson River at the lowest point on the trail. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received. You might also be interested in buying a Hiking Radio Network shirt (tee or performance) at www.hikingradionetwork.com and clicking on the "Cool Merch" tab.
April 16, 2020
Today we meet James Brinkman or Snickers. James, like me, was a member of the Class of 2019. Indeed, we met and had dinner in Erwin TN on our respective hikes. James' journey to the trail was somewhat tortuous, with a nasty accident as a young man and an addiction to pain killers messing up much of his early life. James is an inspiring example to all who believe that they can't hike the Appalachian or any other long-distance trail. He faced his issues, moved past them, and got out into nature. As you'll hear, it was just what he needed to do. You can connect with James on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006002928928 and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/beardly_mcbearderson/ I wouldn't normally add his business Facebook page but I'm making an exception here as he intends to offer free massage sessions to healthcare workers once his business reopens. Good on you, James. Reach him there at https://www.facebook.com/JamesBrinkmannMassage/?__tn__=%2Cd%2CP-R&eid=ARCEnwVyhLueMAtMh9-_s7Q7LhepGjqCi9SUxgHQ0O21s62VQGTb9cLhPj6DX_8r9pZEA1ZTwPv7uTlG While I'm still pondering what to do with the middle section of the show, this week I have Steve Cole, an aspiring AT thru-hiker who went for a warm-up on the Tour Mont Blanc. He shares some of his experiences of this beautiful trail with you all. If you'd like to see more, check out this YouTube link from Abbie Barnes; it gives you a great little taster for what you'll see on the TMB. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzHJGRTjo2Q Grandma Gatewood continues to walk north, gaining publicity and admirers along the way as she heads into New York. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received.
April 9, 2020
Our main guest today is Melissa “Click!” Goodwin, a licensed outdoor guide and photographer. She is the founder of Girl Gotta Hike, which connects women with nature, confidence, and camaraderie, both online and on-trail through blog posts, podcast interviews, and guided hiking and backpacking trips in and around New York City. She and her dad, Michael “LongTime” Goodwin, thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail together in 2011. This is her story. Melissa can be found at: Girl Gotta Hike Website www.girlgottahike.com Girl Gotta Hike The Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/girl-gotta-hike-the-podcast/id1485833617 https://open.spotify.com/show/0YHVJuW8bitL56H4B1l9UE @girlgottahike on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/girlgottahike @girlgottahike on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/girlgottahike @girlgottahike on Twitter https://twitter.com/girlgottahike Melissa Goodwin Photography http://melissagoodwinphotography.com Mel and Mike Hike - A 2011 AT Adventure http://melandmikehike.com We also hear from Janet Hensley, universally known and loved as Miss Janet, the ultimate Trail Angel. Miss Janet's calm, pragmatic take on the current pandemic is welcome at this time. Finally, Tim Montgomery's Grandma Gatewood's Walk reaches the second half of the AT, revealing more of her brutal relationship with her husband. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received.
April 2, 2020
Plenty to get your teeth into today. Our main guest is Paul "Skunkape" Collins, a man who took on the Appalachian Trail in 2012 and has missed it every day since. He also plans to get back on the trail in 2022, his 10-year trailiversary. He took over 2,000 photos (carrying a DSLR camera) and shared them with friends and, most particularly with his mother. Prior to her death, he celebrated the trail with her in a really touching way. You can see some of Paul's pics on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hikingwithskunkape/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/hiking_with_skunkape/ I join my fellow Hiking Radio Network podcasts–Julie Gayheart and Anna Huthmaker–in a panel discussion on the ramifications of the virus on hiking long-distance trails. Additionally, Dr. Lynne returns to the show, with real-world experience of what the virus is doing to us and some helpful tips. Finally, Grandma Gatewood reveals more of her brutal life and reaches Harpers Ferry. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received.
March 26, 2020
We have another pastor on the show today. Cari Pattison is a member of the Class of 2019 (as am I) and she tells the story of her hike as it unfolded last year. She had planned a return to the trail this year but, with the Corona Virus now threatening to overrun most of us, she has had to accept that this year won't be possible for her. Cari's calm presence on the show may well reassure others as they contemplate their own broken plans. If you'd like to follow Cari on Instagram, you can find her at https://www.instagram.com/follow_thejoy/ Additionally, her fascinating and extremely well-written blog on the Trek can be found at https://thetrek.co/author/cari-pattison/ There are a lot of different opinions on the virus and how hikers should respond. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has had its say (along with the associations of other long-distance trails) and I will be giving my view on the show this week. To add to that, we have a hiker who (at March 25) is currently still hiking north. Grandma Gatewood continues her struggle north, with Post-WWII America unfolding in front of her. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received.
March 19, 2020
This is a special show that takes in the Corona Virus and its implications for hikers, as well as a father and son pair of pastors preparing to hike the Appalachian Trail. First, we have Aaron and BG Turner, two men ready for the adventure of their life, yet torn with doubt over the advisability of the hike. This situation is changing so quickly that I thought it was important to not only hear from Aaron and BG, but it was also important to get an expert on the show to help us in our deliberations regarding this outbreak. Heather "Brave" Sloan is a public health educator and gives us up-to-the-minute advice on what we should be considering. She may well be needed on the show in a week or so for further updates. You can check out Heather's Facebook page if you'd like to learn more about staying healthy on the trail. https://www.facebook.com/stayinghealthyontheappalachiantrail/ Kate Stillwell continues to count down to her own AT flip flop, though that decision is similarly conflicting her. And Grandma Gatewood reaches Damascus, with the whole of America in a road-building frenzy. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received. Music for the "A Woman of a Certain Age" segment is by permission of Kate's friend, John Jensen. You can see and hear it in full on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlP7g7qivo4 Thanks, John.
March 12, 2020
This week, now that we've finished reading his book Hiking Through, Paul Stutzman shares with us his hiking and personal journeys. We've learned about his AT trip and I wanted to know what happened after he stepped off the trail. Like his books, Paul is funny, perceptive, and occasionally serious. If you'd like to learn more about Paul or buy some of his books, you can visit his website at http://paulstutzman.com/ We also chat again with Kate Stillwell, our Woman of a Certain Age. Kate is using her 2017 experience on the trail with her daughter to dial in her gear. With less than three weeks to go, Kate's journey is nearly upon us. Finally, in Grandma Gatewood's Walk, Emma's sometimes brutal early life is juxtaposed against the freedom of her hike. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received. Music for the "A Woman of a Certain Age" segment is by permission of Kate's friend, John Jensen. You can see and hear it in full on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlP7g7qivo4 Thanks, John.
March 5, 2020
We first met Chloë de Camara a few weeks ago on the show, informing us about the critical Leave No Trace principles and, in a follow-up conversation, it was clear that Chloë had her own Appalachian Trail story about her trek in 2015. She was very intentional about how she came to the trail, writing a thesis about Appalachian Trail thru-hiking as a spiritual experience and volunteering for the ATC. As you'll hear, meeting the inspirational Jennifer Pharr Davis was a great motivator for her own journey. If you'd like to see more of what Chloë does, click on this link to the ATC's Start Smart program https://youtu.be/J_-evEG3fFg Also today, we have the start of a new series; A Woman of a Certain Age, where Kate Stillwell prepares for and then attempts a thru-hike of the AT from April 1. In this episode, Steve and Kate talk, along with Kate's daughter Alexa, or Tinkerbell. Our new book, Grandma Gatewood's Walk, by Ben Montgomery, teaches us more about the harshness of Emma's life and the early days of her epic journey. If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. The donate button is on the Mighty Blue podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Any support is gratefully received. Music for the "A Woman of a Certain Age" segment is by permission of Kate's friend, John Jensen. You can see and hear it in full on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlP7g7qivo4 Thanks, John.
February 27, 2020
Aaron Owens Mayhew, MS, RDN, CD is a registered dietitian, ultralight long-distance backpacker, and backpacking food cookbook author. Aaron has worked in the field of nutrition for nineteen years and has been a backpacker for nearly as long. After having a mid-life crisis in 2016, Aaron began long-distance backpacking on her 40th birthday by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. She has since launched her business, Backcountry Foodie™, a recipe and meal-planning service for backpackers. The service provides a platform for Aaron to share her knowledge and passion for eating well in the backcountry. She also runs her business and lives in a camper van full-time with her husband and dog. They have been on the road since April 2019 and look forward to where their outdoor adventures will continue to take them. You can learn more about Aaron, and her advice, at her website https://backcountryfoodie.com/ You can also find her on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/backcountry_foodie/ Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/backcountryfoodie/ YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSUpLNV2Ct1WQWZHhSF3eCw Also today, we have the first chapter of Ben Montgomery's book about the first badass woman on the trail; Grandma Gatewood. If you'd like to buy the book, follow this link. https://www.amazon.com/Grandma-Gatewoods-Walk-Inspiring-Appalachian-ebook/dp/B00IQY2Q0O/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3F2GUEOT90P8Y&keywords=grandma+gatewoods+walk&qid=1582740316&sprefix=grandma+gate%2Caps%2C202&sr=8-1 Remember to show your support for the show by donating on our podcast page at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ 
February 20, 2020
Our guest today, Brant Bazner, lives in the iconic trail town of Damascus. He moved there to be near the trail and has now been hiking on the AT for several years, mainly with his dog, Garvey. Steve and Brant have a wide-ranging conversation about hiking on the trail with a dog, along with a discussion on gear and a few of Brant's stories about his years of hiking on the AT. You can catch up with Brant at Garvey on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYX2u59E9uxUD92oFVKdZeg We also have Chloe Decamera from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy on the show, talking about Leave No Trace principles as the hiking season warms up. Chloe has a wealth of information and clearly articulates what you need to know when you take to a trail near you. Chloe has shared several excellent links as you prepare for the trail. We talk about "Don't be that guy" on the podcast, so check out these links Don't Be That Guy: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuekIhaoBuWaLCkXWvhdoFy8ag5sGOLxt Thru-Hiker Registration (AT Camp) Link: https://atcamp.org/ A.T. L.N.T. Online Awareness Course: http://atc-training.org/lnt/ A.T. Recommended Food Storage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6LnIl-Gt8U&feature=youtu.be In today's show, I also mention an email I had from a listener, Frances Youngblood, drawing my attention to an event happening in Lebanon, MO on April 25th. On that Saturday Frances' friend, Tracey Sheets, will be holding a program to introduce foster children (ages 14-20) to the outdoors. THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN HELP. We're trying to get new or gently used hiking books into the hands of these youngsters and, if you can help, please sign them on the inside, telling who you are and where you're from so that these young people have some connection to you and to the great outdoors. Please mail them to Tracey Sheets, PO Box 751, Ozark, MO 65721. Thanks for your help. Finally, Paul Stutzman's epic journey comes to an end as he stands on top of Katahdin. It's been a blast.
February 13, 2020
It's a fabulous show this week, not least because we have Mr. Fabulous, or Derick Lugo, as the main guest. Derick hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2012 and has earned himself a reputation as a speaker about the trail, as well as a growing recognition as a writer. His new book, The Unlikely Thru-Hiker, is now available at his website and on Amazon. You can connect with Derick in a variety of ways. Website: https://www.dericklugo.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/derick.lugo Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dericklugo/ The short story of his hike with his brother–The Trail Brothers–can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JR21w5qi-B8 Another fabulous guest is April Mae, who Steve spoke with following a post that she made on Facebook. Her story is illuminating and inspiring. The pictures below show April's "Before" and "After" pics. Her story is a testimony to the power of hiking and its beneficial effects upon both the body and the psyche.   Don't forget to check out our sponsors, Hiker Medals, at https://www.hikermedals.com/. We've been delighted to have had them on the show these past few weeks. Also, if you'd like to support the various shows on the Hiking Radio Network, you can find the donate button at the podcasts page on the Mighty Blue site: https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Finally, today, Paul Stutzman stands on the edge of glory, tackling the 100-Mile Wilderness as he prepares for Katahdin.
February 6, 2020
A packed show this week, with about 90 minutes of goodness!! Rory Anderson, or Bigfoot, is this week's main guest. Rory is an accomplished hiker, having completed the Appalachian Trail in 2016. He has done several other trails and recently broke the Fastest Known Time (FKT) for the Superior Hiking Trail. As Rory stresses, he's not superhuman; he's just a very determined guy with a plan. He and Steve talk about ultra-lite backpacking and the never-ending quest to shave off a few extra pounds from your pack. You can follow Bigfoot's YouTube channel, called Follow Bigfoot, at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkA3z-lSyEg6ZN-BqMy6wow For his FKT Superior Hiking Trail video, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKjmG0QkGTs His FKT gear list is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B-Je29UhWI In this podcast, Rory also talks about his passion for Halloween and shares a video of his 2019 haunt at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_B-cvQ5mik It is well worth watching!!   Steve also chats with Wim Schalken of Hiker Medals, the sponsor for today's show. You can find out more about Wim's awesome project at https://www.hikermedals.com/ Paul Stream, of The Barn in Gorham, tells us about his hostel in Maine, which you can find at https://www.libbyhouseinn.com/ In Steve's reading of Paul Stutzman's Hiking Through, Paul has an unlikely encounter....with a giant rabbit!!
January 30, 2020
We're almost at the end of my series on hostels, so Neville Harris, the owner of my favorite hostel on the trail, Woods Hole, was a great person to chat with. The interview took me in an entirely unexpected direction, but it revealed Neville to be a true AT character, flaws and all. You can learn more about the hostel by visiting http://woodsholehostel.com/ Neville's photos by Lisa VonLuehrte. Find Lisa on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/livonphotography/    We also spoke with Matthew "Odie" Norman in advance of the publication of his much-awaited Hiker Year Book for 2019. It is particularly much-awaited by yours truly, as I'll be in it, having missed out on the 2014 edition!! Check out Odie's page at https://hikeryearbook.com/ And we introduced you to Hiker Medals, who you can learn about at https://www.hikermedals.com/. Thanks so much for the support, guys. Check out my own medal, below. Finally, Paul Stutzman has reached the last two states, normally the crowning glory of a northbound hike. Yet Paul's experience turned out to be a very soggy time indeed.
January 23, 2020
This interview with Silvia Cassano was recorded nearly a year ago, but I've only just recovered it. Silvia is a "Trail Angel" referred to by a previous guest, yet she has so much more to offer than that. Her knowledge of all things trail shines through here, with her many positions within the AT community contributing, particularly to the trail in her own community. Image courtesy of Jeff Yardis. Silvia admits to being opinionated, so her views on the trail are pretty much unvarnished and welcome at this time. She is passionate about the true meaning of Trail Magic and isn't a big fan of hiker feeds, with Leave No Trace principles uppermost in her mind. The Vermont theme is continued by a conversation with Jess Treat, a woman in whose home I have now stayed twice, both on my 2014 thru-hike and my hike last year. Jess tells us about her home and the service that she offers hikers seeking some warmth and comfort on the trail. Finally, Paul Stutzman is on the verge of New Hampshire–also in Vermont!!
January 16, 2020
Another great show today, with a guy who is clearly in love with hiking and particularly the Appalachian Trail. Craig "Hawk" Mains has been this way before but, with his THIRD thru-hike, he was going for something really special. Listen to how it all unfolded, with not only his epic hike but also several personal events that deeply affected him. Craig has a YouTube channel that you can visit to learn more about his adventures, past, present, and future. Go to https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEsauJnA_OgXuilWtEXGQKg and catch up with him. Tracey "Zoom Zoom" Davis-Witmyer reached out to me and I immediately asked her on the show. Tracey is one of that special breed; a trail maintainer. Even more importantly, she represents a younger generation than my own that the trail so sorely needs if our trails are to be sustained in the future. You can see more of Tracey's adventures on her YouTube site at this link. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqBSuze0_yVJc3Yyz7LIviQ/featured You can also follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Adventure-349950165693712/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zoomzoom497/ If you'd like to learn more about trail maintenance, go to www.appalachiantrail.org and choose a trail club near you. Don't forget to support the show by clicking on the donate button on this link www.mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/ Finally, Paul Stutzman finally understands why he is hiking the trail. The revelation is stunning.
January 9, 2020
I've met many extraordinary women on the trail but few who have left as deep an impression as Sara Spittel, or Cushy Life. Cushy was the Queen Bee of our little tramily in 2019, with both Trigger and me in supporting roles. Cushy displays an empathetic nature, showing concern for everybody she met on the trail–often to Trigger's and my mock annoyance!! She is ever curious and willing to strike up a conversation with pretty much every hiker she meets. But we weren't going to finish with Cushy. She had other adventures and partners than us. Despite that, however, we were delighted to catch up with her again in New Hampshire to share her joy at being in her home state. I thought I knew quite a bit about her, after our long conversations on the trail, yet she surprised me a few times in this conversation. Adam Stanley, or Stanimal, owns two hostels; one in Glasgow and one in Waynesboro. I stayed at both, so it was fun to catch up with Adam as we talked about his great little hostels. Finally, for this 200th episode, Paul Stutzman's book, Hiking Through, has reached the New England states.
January 2, 2020
While we normally focus on Appalachian Trail thru-hikers, Kimberly Brookshire's story was too good to miss. She had spent the early part of her career in fashion and wanted to experience something completely out of her comfort zone. Eschewing the Appalachian and other long-distance trails, Kimberly went for the lesser-known Mountains To Sea Trail. This proved to be the perfect segue between her previous life and a new one that she discovered. But Kimberly's story didn't end when she reached the end of the trail in the Outer Banks. She was enjoying the life that she was leading and appreciated the person she had become through her adventure. So she did it again, eventually completing a yoyo of the trail, becoming only the third person and the first woman to do so. The following links will enable you to connect with both the trail and Kimberly. Links for the Mountains To Sea Trail: https://mountainstoseatrail.org/ https://www.facebook.com/Mountains-to-Sea-Trail-144643271890/ https://instagram.com/mountainstoseatrail?igshid=1t4izqwud4jxm https://twitter.com/NCMST Links for Kimberly: http://kimberlybrookshire.wordpress.com/ https://www.facebook.com/kimberlylegsbrookshire/ https://www.instagram.com/kbrookshire/ https://twitter.com/kabrookshire30 Craig Griffiths of Misty Mountain Inn provides hikers with a wonderful place to rest their heads early on the AT. I stayed there on my 2019 thru-hike and thoroughly appreciated the experience. Craig tells us what the cabins have to offer the weary traveler. Find Craig and his inn at http://mistymtninn.com/ Paul Stutzman's Hiking Thru has reached New York, with its delis and a shelter dubbed by Paul's friend, Fargo, as the Pharmacy Shelter. Finally, if you love this and the other Hiking Radio Network shows, please consider either a monthly or one-off donation to help fund the five regular shows that we have scheduled for 2020. You can find the DONATE button on the podcast page of the Mighty Blue website. Click on this link to be taken to the page https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/
December 26, 2019
With all the problems that one may encounter on the Appalachian Trail, Willow Bolton decided that highlighting her disability (something that she refers to as a blessing) would be a good way to bring some attention to it. In the interview with Steve she mentions, almost in passing, another major issue and, despite her stoicism, Steve was moved by her determination. If you'd like to learn more about Willow's "blessing," you can go to https://www.hydroassoc.org/. If you'd like to help out with a donation you'll find a donation button on the homepage. This week, we also spoke with Ryan Hopkins, who produced Steve's show while he was on the AT this year. Ryan has some news of his own that involves a song called "Thru" by a group named Tie Goes To The Runner. Steve met Scooch and Paris (two of the group's members) this year and they graciously shared their song with him. Watch their video here on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-ejGjWCGHU Finally, Paul Stutzman indulges in the somewhat questionable joys of Naked Hiking Day.
December 19, 2019
Dave Braunlich gave himself a tough task when he considered hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2019. He needed to fit in the trail AND keep his job. For this reason, his daily mileage had to be more than 30 miles every single day. Listen to Dave as he shares his remarkable story with Steve. You can also follow Dave's journey with his YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSvDFp_OzbOSq1reZpChIEg?view_as=subscriber  and his Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/davidbraunlich/ Standing Bear Farm is the featured hostel this week, as Marie Guzzman tells about the history of the hostel and why it is always a work in progress. I thoroughly enjoyed staying at the hostel, both in 2014 and 2019. Finally, Paul Stutzman reaches the rocks of Pennsylvania in "Hiking Through." 'Nuff said!!
December 12, 2019
When Andrew Haverstick reached out to me recently telling me that he had a story to share, I called and listened to his story. Our subsequent conversation turned into one of the most poignant interviews on the show so far. In 2018, when he thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, he did so with an unfolding situation back home that was doubtless causing him stress. That said, Andrew's calmness in our conversation and his actions on the trail were all based around that unfolding situation. Listen to Steve and Andrew as they discuss Andrew's hike. If you'd like to follow Andrew on his adventures, you can find him on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/ahaverstick13/ and on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg6eYbh5TShtPBmuiiIdxcQ With no hostel owner to talk with this week, I took the chance to speak with Anna Huthmaker, of the Trail Dames Podcast. She told me of the development of the podcast and her plans for the future. You can catch up with the show at https://hikingradionetwork.com/the-trail-dames-podcast/ It is particularly apposite to do so in the next week or so as Anna gives you gift ideas for the hiker in your life. Our sponsor, Terri Kidder, a Young Living Essential Oils Independent Distributor, has an offer for listeners. Just text "HIKER" to 937-848-1630 and you'll receive a response telling you how to get the Young Living Basic Hiker Pack for you or the hiker in your life. Finally, in Paul Stutzman's Hiking Through, Paul passes the halfway mark and encounters a ferocious storm.
December 5, 2019
I met Peaches and Woodstock in Maine when I was heading north earlier this year. They are listeners to the show and Julianne introduced herself, asking me to say hi to her Mom, Colleen, who was on her way down the mountain. I recall thinking at the time that it would be great to interview a mother and daughter on the trail and I was consequently delighted when the two of them reached out to me recently. They have spent a long time on the trail and are now almost at the end. It was great catching up with the two of them as they tell of the fun they've had together, strengthening an already strong bond. Terri Kidder, a Young Living Independent Distributor, sponsors the show this week, offering a "Basic Essential Oils Hiker Pack." All you have to do is text the word "HIKER" to 937-848-1630 and you'll soon receive a response with everything you need to know about getting this great pack that Terri has put together for hikers. Thanks for your support, Terri. Jim Gregory of Boots Off tells us about one of my favorite hostels on the trail. With loads of different accommodations to choose from, this is certainly a stop you should consider. Lastly, Paul Stutzman's Hiking Through has Paul finally out of Virginia and at the traditional halfway point; Harpers Ferry.
November 28, 2019
When Jessie Crawford had a drink with Stylez, a friend of mine from the Class of 2014, they discussed post-trail life and "how weird the transition is." When she got into contact I knew that she had a story to share, so we hit the record button and chatted away. Quite apart from her "weird transition," Jessie proved herself to be another of the empowered, strong young women who now take on these hikes and she had a fine story to tell, including one of the best explanations of what trail magic really is. When Jessie returned from the trail she started her own graphic design business and you can see her work at https://jessiecrawford.com/ If you reach out to her through the site I'm sure she'd be delighted to hear from you. Also, this week, I'm introducing another new podcast from the Hiking Radio Network, A Woman of a Certain Age: Phoenix on the Appalachian Trail. This will be covering the journey of Phoenix, whose real name is revealed in the show as we meet her.
November 21, 2019
I first heard of Rob and Gavin on the trail when Rob's wife, Beth, wrote to me in May to tell me about their journey. The family had been listening to the podcast for some time as they prepared for the AT. Now that they were on the trail, Beth wanted to update me on their progress. I knew that Gavin was struggling a bit, so I reached back out and tried to give some encouragement, telling that I'd like to hear their story when they were done with the AT. I'm really glad that we were able to get them on the show because Gavin had an especially poignant message for hikers of all ages. Hiker's Welcome was one of the hostels that I enjoyed in 2019 AND 2014, so I asked John Robblee, or Packrat to come on the show and tell us about this iconic stopping point. You can reach the hostel at 603-989-0040, or find them online at www.hikerswelcome.com. Finally, Paul Stutzman's Hiking Through finds Paul running into trouble in almost the same spot that I did, back in 2014. Not so happy memories!
November 14, 2019
When we met Yalla on our thru-hike earlier this year, Trigger and I were immediately drawn to her as a person but it was her name that stuck with us for the rest of our journey. Yalla tells us about her flip flop, starting at Harpers Ferry on the way to Katahdin then southbound from Harpers to Springer. She recounts two different hikes, which is the way she segmented them in her mind. As luck would have it, she ran into a friend of mine in Georgia and when my friend mentioned Mighty Blue, they knew that had a friend in common. I'm so pleased that I got the chance to talk with her again.  Tina Tempest is the owner of Quarterway Inn, a hostel about 550 miles (or a quarter of the way) into a NOBO hike. I stayed at the Inn this year and loved it. Tina tells us about why she decided to run a hostel and the various services that she provides. I was told before I hit the trail this year that Quarterway was a "must stay." That advice turned out to be spot on. You can find out more about the hostel–and book it from April thru June–at https://www.quarterwayinn.com/ Paul Stutzman, from his book, Hiking Thru, moves farther up the trail, losing one partner and gaining another, if only for a short time.    
November 7, 2019
When Darrell and Alicia set out to hike the AT in 2018 they assumed that they would hike the whole way together. It didn't work out that way and, as a result, they have different perspectives of the same hike. When injury strikes, it is important to know beforehand what the plan would be for a couple on the trail. Darrell and Alicia had already decided what they would do, and one carried on without the other until they finally summited together at Katahdin. The Brimberrys kept a journal that you can find at the link below.  http://www.trailjournals.com/Brimberry Also this week, I reply to a listener's question and speak with Chica and Sunsets on their new venture. Finally, Chapter Ten of Paul Stutzman's Hiking Thru finds Paul at Roan Mountain.
October 31, 2019
We've had a variety of guests on the show over the past three years but I'm pretty confident that no guest (or guests) has ever been as laid back about their journey as Sahada Buckley and Luke Runels. They were out in the woods to get away from life's distractions, playing music, singing, and avoiding much of the modern paraphernalia of everyday life. Often going radio silent, Sahada and Luke experienced the trail in a way I've never heard before. They took more than a week in Washington DC and even longer in New York City. The first three photographs in these notes are credited to Carly Geraci, while I wanted to include a pic of Luke lying, seemingly asleep, on a railway track. Love it! We also have Julie "Jester" Gayheart, our new host on "Jester" Section Hiker, a podcast coming soon. Julie shares a bit of news and gives a preview of what you can expect with the show. Finally, Paul Stutzman's Hiking Through reaches the trail town of Hot Springs, where a bike ride triggers some difficult memories.
October 24, 2019
Boston and Cubby have been long-distance hiking for nearly 15 years, having started with the Appalachian Trail in 2005. During that time they have completed the Triple Crown, climbed Mt Kilimanjaro, done the American Discovery Trail and the Long Trail. They even found time to hike across the state of Rhode Island! They have simplified both their hiking style and their lives, finding peace and their desired solitude along America's trails. You can find out more about Julie and Barry's journeys at the following links. https://www.trailjournals.com/juliebarryjohn https://www.trailjournals.com/bostonandcubby https://www.trailjournals.com/adt2012 https://www.trailjournals.com/longtrail2015 They are also on Instagram at backpax and on Twitter at backpax14 Katy Amphlett completed the Mighty Blue Class of 2019 debriefs by letting us know how she got on this year. Whatever happened, we beat the odds overall.
October 17, 2019
Lady Di was part of one of my earlier "tramilies." We spent quite a bit of time together around Fontana Dam and the Smokies but were separated after that. She was yet another example of a fiercely independent, strong woman who brought a lot to the trail this year. Starting her hike less than a week after her retirement, she was slow but steady throughout her journey. I particularly remember her cooking "real" food every night, unlike my own pathetic efforts. Now that she has finished the trail–just a week before this conversation–she is still coming to terms with the impact of the hike on her and starting to adjust to retirement. Tina Dunaway is the last but one of the Mighty Blue Class of 2019 and she has her own story that tells why she finished the trail after 600 miles. It isn't a happy ending but certainly one with hope for the future.
October 10, 2019
I met Jason and his friends in 2014. They were on the trail helping other hikers while achieving their own hiking goals at the same time. I don't believe that I quite understood how much their journey was geared towards supporting others until we spoke on the show. Since then, Jason has completed both the Pacific Crest Trail and, very recently, the Continental Divide Trail, to complete hiking's Triple Crown. All these hikes have been motivated by the same theme of helping others while sharing his faith. You can find out more about Jason and his mission work at  https://ywamrichmond.org/ You can also follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jason.elwood.12 and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/bambooathiker14/ We also caught up with another member of the Mighty Blue Class of 2019, Carlton Johnson and he proved to have such a positive experience on the trail, despite not finishing it this time. Finally, Paul Stutzman has reached North Carolina, with Georgia now in his rear-view mirror.
October 3, 2019
With an empty nest, sufficient money, and plenty of time on their hands, Curt and Tammy Fackler decided to drastically downsize. They sold their home and gave away most of their belongings before hitting the road in their truck with their new home attached. Their adventures were always leading them to the Appalachian Trail and, six months after their travels started, they set off from Georgia. Tammy wasn't an experienced hiker but she wanted to support Curtis in his dream, so went along for the ride. Listen to how their journey unfolded. Lotta Anvret, from Sweden, is another member of the Mighty Blue Class of 2019, and she is back to reveal how her hike ended up. Finally, Paul Stutzman's Hiking Through covers the early miles and the first main stop, at Mountain Crossings.
September 26, 2019
Mike Colburn started his years-long section thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail during the last century. While he never intended to complete the trail in sections, it wasn't until the earlier years of this century that he realized that it was in his sights. With so little now to do, Steve and Mike discussed his long, long journey to this moment. Along the way, Steve and Mike have run into one another on the trail, sometimes fortuitously, sometimes by design. The two of them have shared a friendship that was born on the AT and continues to thread through the AT. Our Mighty Blue Class of 2019 debrief continues with Nate Stockton, or Turd Ferguson, as he recounts what happened on his epic hike this year. Finally, Paul Stutzman provides us with some context for his feelings on that first night on the top of Springer Mountain, in Georgia.  
September 19, 2019
When you finish the Appalachian Trail, your mind is in a bit of a whirl. You can't fully articulate your thoughts and, really, those thoughts mature over time. I wanted to capture the thoughts of a hiker within 24 hours of his or her finish, so when I saw Olivia Miller Bakke's summit photo on Facebook, I reached out to her. This is that conversation. I also caught up with Lea Ann Hogan, another of our mighty Blue Class of 2019 and her reasons for stopping her hike after 500 miles. As you'll hear, she wasn't desperately happy about it! Chapter Three of Paul Stutzman's Hiking Through brings Paul to the trail at Amicolola State Park. During those initial steps, he entertains a few doubts!
September 12, 2019
When I met Bob Curran in the Grayson Highlands, I could never have imagined that he and I would end up at the top of Mt Katahdin together, some 1700 miles later. We came together by accident and stayed together more by circumstance than by design. That said, each of us acknowledges the positive impact that we both had on each other's hike. As two 66-year-olds we fitted perfectly with one another when it came to hiking style and speed. We weren't the fastest but we were also not the slowest. Our progress was measured and we seemed destined to finish on about the six-month mark. That we were able to finish prior to that is down to Bob's unyielding determination to squeeze out extra miles each day. If it hadn't been for him I'd have been out there a lot longer. Margi Mimms is the first of our Class of 2019 debriefs and, by happy coincidence, Margi was the first of us to finish. She reflects upon her journey. Don't forget, if you have a copy of Paul Stutzman's Hiking Through and would be happy to lend me it, please email me at Steve@mightyblueontheat.com. I will, of course, arranged for its safe return to you.  
September 5, 2019
Now that I've returned to Florida and had a week off from the podcast, I felt ready to answer a few questions from listeners. There turned out to be so many of them that I had a good friend–and star podcaster–Glenn Hebert doing the honors. Glenn has a way of eliciting nuggets from people and he certainly kept me on my toes the whole time. While I didn't expect to be able to articulate precisely how I was feeling after another 2000+ mile hike, I tried to be as honest as possible in this debrief. I hope that it gives you more insight into the ups and downs of an Appalachian Trail thru-hike. The regular show will return next week, with another guest to entertain and amaze you about the trail that we all love. If you have further questions, about my hike or about the podcast, I'd really love to hear from you at steve@hikingradionetwork.com.
August 24, 2019
I wanted to share my last day on the trail with you all. The sound is often distorted through wind and even our paces. That said, I hope you gather from the show my enthusiasm and delight at getting this job done. Don’t forget, we’ll be back to normal service next week, with another guest telling their story, as well as a new book that I’ll be reading for you.
August 23, 2019
With the worst mountains in the 100 Mile Wilderness begins us, Trigger and I had to put in some long days to meet our goal of summiting Katahdin by Friday. The rocks and roots, abetted by some very dubious weather, tried to throw us off our game plan but we persevered. Make sure you listen to the last episode in this series as we try to scale Katahdin. Watch out for that episode in the next 24 hours.
August 22, 2019
Given how lucky we’ve been with the weather so far, I suppose it was only inevitable that the 100 Mile Wilderness gave us four straight days of rain. Rocks and roots are tricky at the driest of times; after rain they can be lethal. Despite this, we have a plan and are currently following it perfectly. Next time you’ll see how it held up through the entire Wilderness.
August 16, 2019
We’ve covered a lot of ground to get here and are now in Monson, ready to hit the 100 Mile Wilderness. The path here hasn’t always been straight (or even northbound), yet we’ve covered every mile and have longed for these final days. There is something almost surreal about what we’re about to do, as climbing Katahdin wasn’t really at the forefront of our minds six months ago. But we’re here and ready for it. Hopefully, that will inspire others to follow us down this whimsical path.  
August 13, 2019
Slackpacking the tougher mountains has been a feature of these past four days. With the Saddlebacks, the Crocker’s, then the stunningly beautiful Bigelows, we’ve been treated to (mostly) great weather. Now, past 2000 miles, we’re refining our options for the end of our journey. Hard to believe, really.  
August 12, 2019
It’s been a while (again).  We’re making progress but the miles are taking their toll and I’m often too tired at the end of the day to record. That said, the miles continue to melt away and we’re closing in on 2000 miles. The Baldpates are the hiking highlight of this episode and we get to meet Yukon and his geodesic sphere.  
August 6, 2019
My first, faltering days back from illness led me to Mahoosuc Notch on Day 3. To be frank, I think that I should have stayed another day or two with Gary and Cathy as I clearly wasn’t ready to get back to it. That said, Maine has continued to wow us and is very much not a disappointment after the wonders of New Hampshire. There is an interview with Michael Thorp and his dog, Fecteau. If his story moves you and you’d like to help out with a donation, go to www.pawws.org  
August 2, 2019
In a marked contrast to yesterday’s show, this one is a little bit of a doom and gloom episode, with those earlier doubts all coming back to haunt me as I come down with an infection. The trail is an extended lesson in life that will test you throughout. I may be near the end but I’m as susceptible to self-doubt as much as anybody. Seeking sunshine in my cloudy mood, I discover true trail angels and the meaning of real trail magic. If nothing else, that discovery has made the past few days worthwhile.
August 1, 2019
With four days of glorious weather forecast, we couldn’t wait to get stuck into Franconia Ridge and the Presidential Range, highlighted by summiting Mt Washington. We were entertained in a log cabin, driven down, then back up Mt Washington, and experienced the area exactly how I think it should be experienced. This episode has me at my peak on this trip. Join me again tomorrow as I tell you about my unexpected, yet rapid, decline.
July 24, 2019
With Cushy back in the fold, we’re finding more ways to do this hike. Having done Moosilauke, we had to fill in our ten-mile gap AFTER the British Open. We worked it out. Then, most surprising to me, Kinsman blew me away. What a blast. We also had the chance to meet the Wander Women and a terrific young man who played guitar for us.
July 23, 2019
We’re in New Hampshire and starting to put together our highlight reel. We’ve also run into an old friend and teamed up again. The trail has already lived up to expectations, something that I was concerned wouldn’t happen for me the second time around. One more thing. I’ve added to my falls collection!
July 17, 2019
Trigger and I have been separated and are now reunited. I definitely hike better with him! Vermont has been great training for our upcoming adventures in the Whites and beyond. In this episode, we also chat with a SOBO hiker, a “hidden” hostel owner, and discuss giardia with a young woman who plaited the SOBOer’s hair. Only on the Appalachian Trail!
July 11, 2019
Vermont has provided us with mud, mozzies, and views from the top of mountains. We’ve been hiking for 20 straight days and I took the decision to take a zero, splitting with Trigger for about four days. We’ll get back together on Sunday. Vermont has warmed us up for the adventures in New Hampshire and Maine, so I’m sure I’ll one day be grateful for these extra climbs!!
July 6, 2019
We’ve had visitors this week. One had a shirt for me while Trigger’s boys drove 16 hours to hike seven miles with us. The heat in New England has been stifling and certainly took a toll on us. However, the further north we go, the cooler the temperatures should be. No more immediate visitors so we have an opportunity to put in more good miles in the coming days.
July 2, 2019
Still pushing on and now into Massachusetts and past 1550 miles. We’re managing our reduced mileage and taking several breaks during the day is helping us conserve our energy. I’ve now lost about 35 lbs while Trigger has dropped over 40 lbs.
June 28, 2019
With two-thirds of the trail under our feet, the humidity and heat has cranked up to shorten our days. We still aim to finish in the last week of August, but we can see a tougher profile ahead. These past few days have been impacted by, particularly, the humidity and we’ve come to terms that those 20-milers are a thing of the past. That said, we’ve been blessed by friends, new and old.
June 25, 2019
I had a brief day of doubt this week as my body appeared to rebel about the miles I was doing. I soon got over it but even wondered if Lyme Disease was a possibility. I also got the great chance to meet face to face with our very own Dr Lynne, as well as her husband, Bob, and a listener, Eric Gross Jr. Rain slowed us a little last week but the weather is looking good for the coming days.
June 20, 2019
We’ve been incredibly lucky with our management of rain so far but, as with all things, this, too, shall end. The rain is upon us and making the New York rocks slicker and far more dangerous. We have a quandary, in that there are blue-blazes to avoid the rocks but we want to stick with the white blazes as long as we possibly can. This purist streak may well be tested soon.
June 17, 2019
Old friends reunited and new friends met. The trail continues to provide us with serendipitous moments that are the real Trail Magic. Sharing the trail with Trigger, Dodger Dog, Cushy, and a new friend, Barb, has been a delight. I’m fulfilling my desire to watch the last round of each of the Major Golf Championships and zeroing for that purpose today. We’ll be back at it tomorrow. Here we come New York.
June 16, 2019
Pennsylvania has claimed another couple of victims; Trigger and I are VERY glad that it is over. Our feet and shoes have suffered from the sharpness of the rocks and, now that we have entered New Jersey, we were hoping that the rocks were going to improve. Our verdict so far; better but still rocky.
June 10, 2019
Rocks, rocks, and more rocks have made our days tougher but, somewhat perversely, longer and further. We’re taking a zero right now but have racked up an average of almost 20 miles a day for over a week. Two more days and we’ll be out of Pennsylvania and into New Jersey, state #8.  
June 8, 2019
Just two days today, with a 35-mile hike into the precipitous descent into Port Clinton. Trigger and I are still together and, as you can see, he has reached for his bug net to keep the flies and mozzies at bay and away from his face. We meet a French Canadian hiker who is taking a novel journey back home and respond to an email from a listener who is concerned at the vitriol on Facebook. As you’d imagine, I have an opinion.
June 5, 2019
We’ve had a productive few days, including the longest day I’ve ever done on the AT. Trigger and I are currently a 2-person “tramily” as Cushy and Dodger Dog are a day ahead. We’ve supported one another and kept each other honest as hikers. The miles are melting away and I’m speculating that I’ll finish earlier than I’d previously imagined.  
June 1, 2019
With the tramily now down to two of us, Trigger and I have made steady progress in Pennsylvania. The Mason Dixon Line, the halfway point, and the 1100 mile marker were all passed in quick succession. We’re hoping that Cushy will catch us in the next day or so and that Dodger Dog may slow down so that we can hike with her again. This week, without any interviews, I’ve added some impressions of how some of my gear is working out.
May 30, 2019
The past three days have taken us through Maryland to the edge of Pennsylvania. It didn’t turn out to be the easy state I’d remembered. We were honored to have the company of Laurie Potteiger from ATC as our hiking companion for part of the first day and she was a charming and informative guide to all things AT. Another member of the class of 2019 passed me and I was reminded once more that it isn’t the big animals that you need to watch out for.
May 26, 2019
We’ve made it to Harpers Ferry, the traditional halfway point. I’m tired, sore, and feel accomplished. The tramily is starting to break up, a natural progression as members come and go. With a bit of luck, we’ll reform in a week or so. The good thing about the trail is that these things are fluid, with plenty of opportunities to meet new and old friends as time goes by. Looking forward to the second half.
May 26, 2019
We’ve finished with Shenandoah National Park. It turned out to be a great place that we all thoroughly enjoyed. With Ugh leaving for Trail Days, our little group has been augmented by the lovely Dodger Dog. Her youth and vitality have lifted our spirits. Listeners have continued to reach out and help us while old family friends prove that, as they always do, there is nothing like the love of family.  
May 20, 2019
It has been a wonderful six days with the Shenandoah National Park as the backdrop. I’ve been gobsmacked (wonderful English expression) by the kindness of others, with probably the surprise of my life coming on the first morning out of Rockfish Gap. Further “Magic” later in the week confirmed my feeling of being loved.  
May 15, 2019
Four days of SOBO and NOBO hiking, with RTK joining us for a couple of very wet, quite testing days. We learn about the attacks and the trail has become a sadder place. How we recover from this desperately sad incident will say a lot about the character of the Class of 2019.
May 14, 2019
Bruce Matson (RTK) asks Mighty Blue listeners’ questions, with subjects ranging from interesting characters, food, a comparison between his two AT hikes to lessons learned.  
May 10, 2019
The forest is greening up rapidly. Our team is still together but issues are arising. Not between the four of us but in our own physical frailties that this hike examines. I’ve switched out several items from my winter gear and dropped about eight pounds in weight from my pack. The difference is startling. Next week we hit the Shenandoahs. Can’t wait.
May 4, 2019
It has been an epic few days, with the Virginia Triple Crown of Dragon’s Tooth, McAfee Knob, and Tinker Cliffs now behind us. Once more, new and old friends have shared these extraordinary moments and we’re all grateful for the times we’ve shared together. If you have any questions for me, please send them to Bruce Matson–who will be interviewing me in the next week or so–at rtkchallenge@gmail.com. Bruce will send the best questioners a copy of his new book Platinum Blazing the Appalachian Trail.
May 1, 2019
A week with a new Tramily. It has been fun to hike with Ugh, Cushy Life, and Trigger for the past few days. I’ve been upping my miles to keep up with them but they’ve kept me honest as a hiker. We’re about to hit the Virginia Triple Crown with Dragon’s Tooth, McAfee Knob, and Tinker Cliffs to come. Can’t wait.
April 25, 2019
Every night in the woods this time. After publishing the last show at Chestnut Knob Shelter I’ve made it the 55 miles to Woods Hole Hostel. Characters are becoming family and we’re caring about their lives as well as our own. Plenty of opportunities for copious eating and even the chance of a dip in a river. We’re nearly 30% of the way through and I continue to be surprised at my progress. Here’s to the next 70%!!!  
April 22, 2019
I’ve spent the past four days hiking with my Buddy, Clay Bonnyman Evans. I trimmed back the mileage but have continued to feel better and better as I hiked. We even met some alpacas. As you can see from the pictures, the scenery remains glorious and the view from Chestnut Knob Shelter has to be one of the finest so far in the trail.
April 19, 2019
Three hard hiking days out of Damascus proved the perfect antidote to two days lying on my bed watching sport on TV. I was lucky enough to address some students studying the Appalachian Trail (yes, it’s a thing) while in Damascus. I rested and healed. When I got on the trail I fell right back into it and hiked more than 50 miles in three days, with the last day an impressive–and my first on this trip–twenty miles. I’m being joined over the next few days by a buddy who wanted to come hiking. Looking forward to it.  
April 13, 2019
It’s been an exhausting few days and my body is telling me to rest. I’m taking a double zero in Damascus, though I’m still getting in some good mileage days. I’ve visited a couple of great hostels recently and also had a night back in my tent. Tennessee has been wonderful but we’re now into Virginia for the next month and a half. When I move into West Virginia I’ll be nearly halfway there.  
April 9, 2019
Another diverse few days, with tiredness, bailouts, glorious views, wonderful people, and poignant stories filling my days. From a sun-filled Carvers Gap I crossed the balds and revealed in both the physicality and the beauty. Then, a totally unexpected evening that filled my heart with joy with a bunch of new friends thrown in. A chance meeting with a listener led to another new and solid friendship that enabled me to complete my longest day and learn a tragic story. Today, a short hike into a wonderful new hostel. Things continue to go my way.
April 6, 2019
More miles and experiences under his belt, Steve is planning ahead to ensure that he extracts the best parts of his hike when the weather is cooperating. He has met up with a listener, spent time with several new people, witnessed the sunset from Beauty Spot, and is coping better and better with big climbs. He reached Carvers Gap today and is relishing a day of balds tomorrow.
April 1, 2019
Another great few days, with weather extremes influencing the hike. Eventually, Steve learned–yet again–the importance of hiking your own hike. He has put in some fairly long days and found himself to be completely exhausted. Eventually, a plan was hatched and he is now in a far better frame of mind.
March 28, 2019
A short few days and a cloudy Max Patch. Getting the mileage up to 14s and 15s but still feeling tired, either through lack of sleep, lack of food, or both. Now in beautiful Hot Springs and enjoying the hospitality at Sunnybank Inn, or Elmer’s. Life is still good.
March 25, 2019
This is the Smokies Part II episode. With five days the cover the mileage may seem unimpressive. However, within those five days, there are two “nearos” and a “zero.” This has been a pretty brutal few days with snow, bone-jarring cold, warmth, slush, and a seemingly endless climb down out of these iconic mountains. In retrospect, I think that, while I’m glad they are over, the Smokies will stay in my mind long after the snow has melted and I’m pushing my way through Virginia.
March 21, 2019
It’s Smokies Week on the show and plenty of uphills on the way to Clingmans Dome. I became part of, and lost, my first tramily, and loved my time with them. I also met the very sweet Little Foot (follow her YouTube channel “Hike with Little Foot”) and the enormously positive Posi (@MattBurnsFat on Facebook and Instagram). I even hiked with Ryan Hopkins and his buddy Chris. Ryan is the man putting this show out every week. It was great to meet up with both of them. Now, I’m alone again and getting out of the Smokies in a couple of days. Max Patch and Hot Springs are upcoming highlights.
March 17, 2019
Another few days with varying fortunes. The week started disastrously with the loss of a vital piece of equipment. The views continued to make the heart fly and the Smoky Mountain got closer and closer. Along the way, the humanity of hikers was on full display, especially one night in a very full shelter (Picture thanks to Ashley “Boomer” Enders). These are the evenings to relish and the ones that will stick in my mind long after the hike is over. Now, after my longest day, I’m set to tackle the Smokies from Sunday and hope to report back after I reach Newfound Gap. Bring ‘em on.  
March 14, 2019
Another three-day stint between stops in town took Steve from Franklin to Nantahala Outdoor Center. Before he even left Franklin, however, he started with one of the finest breakfasts that he has ever had. Listen to what he had. Another view, this time with Rowemer in the foreground, was taken from about 5,000 feet elevation. The rain has stayed away and an opportunity to catch a perfect sunrise came just north of Cold Spring Shelter. While the picture doesn’t do justice to the moment, you can see how a dry day can paint such gorgeous pictures in the sky.  
March 11, 2019
The trail has been testing this past four days. Steve left Dick’s Creek Gap last Thursday morning and has now reached Franklin NC after three nights in the woods. 48 hours of rain and not enough food has been testing but he has managed to push through. He is already learning how different his two journeys are going to be, with new challenges making him manage his clothing a little differently to last time. He has met a few families along the trail and two of them share their stories this week.  
March 7, 2019
It has been an emotional three days for Steve as he faced up to his first real adversity. He knew it would happen, he was even expecting it, yet his emotional reaction took even Steve by surprise. It just reinforced his belief that the Trail impacts us all in different and often unexpected ways. He has now reached Dick’s Creek Gap, at Mile 69.2, and has zeroed to reassess his pack and to restore his slightly bruised ego. He’ll be back at it tomorrow (Thursday).
March 3, 2019
Now six days in, Steve is getting into something of a rhythm. His toes are hurting a little, though nothing too serious. He is constantly on the lookout for individual stories but only includes one today because he lost touch with his next intended “victims” in the bad weather today. With frigid weather in the forecast, he will be planning the next few days to carefully consider his options.
March 1, 2019
Steve is on his way and trying to adjust to his new lifestyle. So far, he has kept to the schedule he gave himself and finished day three in Suches. It has brought back memories from his first thru-hike, with a bunch of new characters already emerging. He is listening to other people’s stories and is starting to bring them to the show. There is also a magical moment when a young woman plays the violin at the top of a mountain as the mist and cloud swirl around her. Don’t forget to follow along twice a week as Steve podcasts from the trail. If you want to support the production of this and other Hiking Radio Network shows, please donate via PayPal at https://mightyblueontheat.com/the-podcast/. Just scroll down the page on your phone to find the PayPal button or look at the top of the side panel if you’re on a laptop, desktop or some tablets.  
February 21, 2019
When Megan (from the UK) and Mark (an American) started their respective hikes on March 5, 2018, neither could have imagined how their lives were about to change. They met that first day–Megan was the very first person who Mark met on the trail–and started hiking together the following morning. Their meeting and the unfolding of their hike reflects the serendipity of the Appalachian Trail and they summited together five months later. When they had finished, Mark put together this short video of their hike at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAHFsEhANt0 while Megan blogged about their journey at https://megdolmanat2018.wordpress.com/ Bruce Matson came on the show to share news of his successful fundraising efforts on behalf of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and shared some news of his upcoming book to add more funds to the ATC. If you'd like to see more of Bruce's hike and efforts, go to http://www.rtkchallenge.com/ and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgs4kgtMJPGslFSwHkgkesQ/featured. This is the last show in its current form and, from next week, I'll be on the AT. If you'd like to follow along, why not check out these sites. I'm on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HikingRN/, Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/hikingradionetwork/, and YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpTCOIGPxoau_6aGohYpUPg/videos For now, though, I'd like to leave with our young couple who found love on the Appalachian Trail; Megan and Mark.  
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