Month: November 2016

Gary Sizer is a former US Marine who hiked the AT in 2014. We never met on the trail, but we are now Facebook friends. Gary wrote a book about his experiences and while that is going really well, his current claim to fame is an amazing picture posted on Reddit that shows the devastating effects that the AT can have on a hiker’s body.


Gary is a good sport for allowing this to be shown here, though, as it has been seen more than 3,000,000 times, it might be regarded as a trifle late to keep it under wraps!!

There are a bunch of ways to contact Gary and share his story. His books (Kindle, paperback and audiobook) can be found on Amazon.
He’s accessible on Twitter and Facebook, as well as at his website, wheresthenextshelter

If you’d like to follow me, I’m also on Twitter and Facebook and you can find all the podcasts, plus videos and photographs, at my website mightyblueontheat

Francisco Miller was one of the funniest guys I met on the trail. Consistently cheerful, we met him in New Hampshire and hiked with or around him for several hundred miles. His story continued after the Appalachian Trail, culminating in a thru-hike of the Continental Divide Trail in 2016, having chalked up the Pacific Crest Trail in 2015. He is articulate on the subject of hiking and will happily respond to any questions that hikers may have. He can be contacted directly at His pictures, particularly those he posted this year from the Continental Divide Trail, can be seen on Instagram at kk_hikes. Check those out; I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

The picture below is one of me and Karate Kid in Maine, at the top of a mountain, with just two weeks to go. He’s watching me fill my face with a whole jar of peanut butter.


Don’t forget to leave a comment on either iTunes, Stitcher or even on my website.

This is an extra special episode.

Stacey Kozel was diagnosed with lupus at the age of 19 years and has fought a battle against it ever since. Not wishing to be defined by her disability, Stacey embraced the challenge of a complete thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. She was fitted with sophisticated braces, controlled by microprocessors, that allowed her to achieve the unthinkable. Stacey is a powerful advocate for the battle against lupus and is happy to speak with anybody who wants to know about her hike or the disease.

It was a privilege to be able to speak with Stacey and to find a funny, determined woman who never wants to regret not having tried her best. On her Facebook page, she is wearing a T-shirt that says “Living. It’s the only thing worth dying for.” And so say all of us.

Stacey can be contacted by email at

Steve Walker set out to hike the A.T. earlier this year with the intention of reaching Maine by October. On the way, he shared his stories and his thoughts regarding the trail, in a regular series of videos uploaded to YouTube. He attracted over 1500 subscribers, and his gentle, measured delivery was compelling.

For me, Steve’s finest moment was his unexpected bear encounter. Here is the link It cracked me up. The bear comes onto the scene at about three minutes. Enjoy.

Steve can be contacted at He’d be happy to share advice and speak with hikers he met and one’s he may have missed.

This week, I introduced a new little segment, called “If I did it again.” These are things I may have changed were I to hike the AT again. If any listeners have their own improvements to this magical hike, please let me know. You can contact me at and don’t forget to get the free ebook on my writing site, at If you enjoy that, I hope you then move on to the two books of my hike.

See you all next week.

One of the most recognizable figures I met on the trail, Grizz gave me some really helpful advice in those early miles. He bore an uncanny resemblance to Santa Claus, pulling out the great man’s hat on several occasions to keep us amused. He is full of knowledge about the trail and will happily respond if you’d like to email him. He can be reached at He is a great resource.

I was entirely unable to figure out how to attach his spreadsheet (mentioned in the podcast), so drop me an email and I’ll be happy to send it to you.

Maud and Cesar hiked their “thorough hike” in 2001, spending more than a year on the trail. They were determined to squeeze every last experience from the Appalachian Trail, covering the nearly 2,200 miles across all four seasons.

Their dog, Trudy, joined them and turned out to be the star of their movie. I particularly liked the way in which Cesar “helped” Trudy cross a river! For trail historians, the movie contains the added bonus of an interview with trail legend, Earl Shaffer. If you’d like to see it, contact Cesar at, or visit

Don’t forget to upload my free ebook, HikingThe Appalachian Trail Is Easy: Especially If You’ve Never Hiked Before. You can get it by visiting

Sam is an all-around good guy who would be happy to speak with anybody he met on the trail or anybody who just wants another perspective about life on the trail. His joyous approach to camping and hiking will inspire anybody who thinks they can’t do the Appalachian Trail. Email him at

Also, don’t forget to take advantage of my free ebook, Hiking The Appalachian Trail Is Easy: Especially If You’ve Never Hiked Before. Pick it up at my author website

Lastly, please email me with any comments, both good and bad, at, or leave me a review on iTunes. I really appreciate the support.