Month: February 2017

Charlotte Taney was transformed by the Appalachian Trail. Initially nervous, she blossomed into a steely-eyed hiking machine. That, at least, was how she was described in one blog. She tells about her journey and the changes she recognized in herself.


Charlotte would love to hear from fellow hikers or anybody who’d like to tap into her experiences. She can be emailed at, while you can read her blog about the Appalachian Trail on Blogspot. The link will take you to part one of her trail journey. She’s also on Facebook.

Jessa continues to prepare diligently, with an early shakedown of her pack. Please keep trail names for Jessa coming in.

Brandon Bowers of Cascade Designs told us about my favorite air pad, the Therm-A-Rest Neo Air XLite. This far exceeded expectations (how could it not; I didn’t even know I needed one) and I kept snug and comfortable at night. You can find out more about Therm-A-Rest and other outdoor gear by Cascade Designs by calling them at 800-531-9531.

We had another visit from our very own Triple-Crowner, my buddy, Francisco Miller, or Karate Kid.

Remember to write to me to tell me what I’m doing wrong, and right. Drop me a line about anything to



First things first, it was me who named Rad Watkins The Bear Whisperer. He didn’t have a trail name, but he certainly had a story. Rad is a landscape ecologist and motivational speaker. It seemed a good time for somebody to allay the fears of many as they start to gather in Georgia and find their way north. Bears need to be treated warily though not with fear. Brad has tracked Grizzlies and studied them in the wild, so his knowledge of bears is extensive. He has also incorporated animals into his Animal Leadership talks. If you’d like to find out more about Rad, and Animal Leadership, just go to his website, On the home page, you can take his test to establish what type of leader you are.




You can find Rad on Facebook and email him at He’s also written on the subject of Animal Leadership and you can find his books here, while there is also an excellent short video, here, with highlights of Rad giving a motivational speech, using his Animal Leadership approach. If you want to hear Rad reading the first chapter of his book, then click on the file below.




Brandon Jacob, or The Dude, returns with the first “Fear and Loathing on the Appalachian Trail.” While I’m not too sure about the sound effects for this segment, I think the interviews will be useful for hikers who may be doubting their ability to take on the trail. We ALL have concerns; it is how we address those concerns that decide how successful we’re going to be.


Jessa has just five weeks to go, and is now attending to the various bits of life that she needs to put on hold until she returns home. This week, she tells us that her last item of gear has been bought. From now, she’ll be counting down the days.


Keep your comments and reviews coming. They help the show in the iTunes rankings and encourage me to do better. Also, don’t forget to email me if you have something to say in the “Fear and Loathing……” part of the program.


See you next week.


One of the fearless women I met in the Class of 2014, Kate Schmidlin, or Tigger, embodied the spirit of the trail. I never saw her pissed off at anybody, she was constantly laughing and never complaining. We didn’t see each other after Damascus, but she left a big impression on me. She talks with an endearing openness about some of the rigors of being a woman of child-bearing age on the trail. It is, of course, a subject on which I had no opinion, yet one that affects nearly half of all hikers. Kate is very willing to hear from any of you who might prefer a longer conversation on this and, indeed any other subject about the trail. Her email address is and she is also on Facebook as Kate.Schmidlin. She even shared her phone number for those wishing to either reconnect with her or have a longer conversation. Call her at 330-842-7225 but please be aware of the time if you call. She also blogged about the trail at




Congrats to Jessa and Nick, and big props to Jessa’s mom for doing what only a mother could do; loudly proclaiming the strength, endurance, and all-around great qualities of her daughter. With just six weeks to go, we’ll soon be talking to her from the trail. Remember, you can contact Jessa directly at


Please keep the reviews and emails coming, as well as trail names for Jessa . Hearing from you all really lets me know where I’m going right and where I need to make changes.


If you’d like to support the show further, please check out my books on Amazon. The link to my author page is here. If you’d rather get my free book to see if you like how I write, just click on and sign up for it.


See you next week.

Brandon Jacob, AKA The Dude, became something of a social magnet on the Appalachian Trail in 2016 with his Dudefests. Straight out of the corporate world and seemingly out of place in the slightly less genteel life of the trail, he embraced it, and its characters, with relish. There were two Dudefests; one at Trent’s Grocery in Virginia, with Dudefest #2 attracting quite the crowd at the Inn At Long Trail, in Vermont. I’ve circled the Dude in the bottom left-hand corner of the picture.

I chatted with The Dude while he was driving to a weekend away. The audio isn’t great but the conversation was fun.

The Dude can be contacted at, while he can also be found on Facebook as Brandon Jacob. His blog is at and for those of you who may have met him, he has a great picture collection of the people he met on YouTube at this link,


Jessa continues her preparations for her start date next month. This week, she learns how to navigate around a car park. It makes much more sense when you listen to Jessa explain it!

Please keep the reviews and emails coming, as well as suggestions for Jessa’s trail name. Remember, the email address is and don’t forget to check out my books, which are linked here on Amazon.

See you next week.