Month: July 2017



This week’s guest is another from the Class of 2014; Tim McGann, or Tadhg. He shares his story with us and provides the perfect example of how the trail always provides. Indeed, on his first date with Erica, now his wife, she enthusiastically embraced the idea of his hike and supported him along the way, ultimately summiting Katahdin with Tim at the conclusion of his journey.

 

   

 

Tim can be found on Facebook and would love to hear from any old friends he may have met along the way.

 

 

 

I was able to catch up with Sarah Williams (Tough Girl) from a previous episode. Sarah is attempting to complete the AT in 100 days and, at Day 50, it seemed like a good time to catch up mark her progress. You can follow Sarah’s journey on her YouTube channel, though the posts are currently behind this 50-day mark.

 

I had the chance to speak with not only Attie this week but also Joan, her mom. Sadly, I won’t be here when Attie summits Katahdin, but I will be doing an episode in September when I return from the John Muir Trail that will cover Attie’s reflections of the trail and of course her conclusion at Katahdin. Don’t forget. If you can’t wait to find out about Attie’s progress, she’ll be publishing her blog right to the end.

 

Thanks so much for supporting the show so far. If you’d like to support my John Muir Trail hike with the “Last 10,000 Feet Challenge” for a local child abuse prevention agency, Family Partnership Center, please either email your pledge or contact Bridget Harry at the center at bharry@familypartnership.org. I appreciate everybody who has done so already.


Jan Leitschuh, at the time more comfortable on a horse than hiking through the woods, found herself contemplating a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail following the death of her mother in 2001. To prepare, Jan hiked over 500 miles, including the entire length of the Long Trail. In 2003, she was ready to go. She had already done a trail journal from the Long Trail so it seemed natural to keep that idea alive on the AT. Her journal was all the more remarkable because this was nearly 15 years ago, before the iPhone. Jan used a device called Pocketmail. Reading the journal now gives us a great representation of what it was like to hike the AT at that time. The link above takes you directly to the AT story, though you may find yourself reading her Long Trail journal as well.

 

 

 

Jan also produced a book about her Long Trail journey. You can link to that here.

 

You can reach out to Jan via Facebook.

 

I’ve added a little section about my own return to the Appalachian Trail in the first week of July. We had a blast and I produced this silly little film just for the fun of it. I clearly have waaaaay too much time on my hands. In the picture below we are, from left to right, Lefty Righty, Skeezix, Golden, Sherpa, Skates, Mighty Blue, and Turd Ferguson.

 

 

Attie continues her quest and is now in Vermont. Her renewed enthusiasm for the trail has been a delight to me.

 

Once again, thanks to those of you who have supported my Last 10,000 Feet Challenge by pledging money to the Family Partnership Center here on the Florida Gulf Coast. It is so much appreciated. If you’d like to support, just send me an email to steve@mightyblueontheat.com with a figure for how much you’d like to pledge and I’ll only be coming back to you for the pledge if (when) I complete my John Muir Trail adventure in August.

 

Returning once more to Jan, today, along with her regular hiking activities, Jan has taken a role in a farm to table co-operative in the Sandhills of North Carolina. It is an interesting website that may be of interest to some of you if you’re in the area.

 


Chrissy is a woman who came to the trail in search of herself. She had endured a difficult personal life and fallen out of love with the person she had become. While the trail can’t provide every answer, it can certainly soothe, perhaps even heal, one’s soul. She posted several visceral videos on her Facebook page and seemed to be conducting a thorough self-assessment. The trail had several surprises for her, with the latest surprise coming on the day that I posted this episode. Listen to my comments after the interview to do a complete catch up with Chrissy.

 

 

 

If you’d like to contact Chrissy, you can email her directly at CFunkWin@gmail.com. Alternatively, she would love you to follow her on Facebook.

 

 

Talking of catch ups, I was delighted to hear from Jessa after missing out with her last week when I was back on the AT with the Fat Guys, and Gals, Back in the Woods. She continues to power forward and I can’t help feeling a little paternal about her. Go Attie / Jessa.


Digger was one of the guys I met during my 2014 journey and, as often happened, this short acquaintance proved to assist me in my own hike. Once he’d completed the AT, Digger went on to many other adventures, including the PCT, the Camino and a kind of freestyle journey through France, England and, ultimately Ireland. Digger is currently plotting a beautiful trail through Italy with his 10-year-old daughter, Rosie.

 

 

He was also involved in a little bit of controversy over his somewhat exuberant celebrations at the top of Katahdin. Frankly, after over 2,000 miles, I would have thought that wouldn’t be too much of a problem. Oh well.

 

 

The one below is the more restrained version. You can connect with Digger via Facebook or just check out his YouTube channel.

 

 

No Jessa this week, so I had John Boyet on the show to give us a few tips on what to look out for if you’re in the market for new boots or shoes.