Month: March 2017

The Hiker Yearbook is fast becoming a must-have item for thru-hikers of recent years. Matthew Odie Norman is providing a great service to hikers as he not only provides trail magic but also puts together his own version of magic with this glorious keepsake from that magical time in the woods. He is reaching out to his community to allow them to reconnect after the trail, answering his own question after reaching the summit of Katahdin, “What’s the second book?” The Hiker Yearbook is the second book.




Critically, he would appreciate the support back from his community in the form of your vote, every day until April 5. Click on Fedex to be taken directly to the voting site. Please don’t pass this by. We can do it.


You can reach out to Odie in several ways. There is his website, Facebook, and Instagram. Check him out and encourage this great project. You can also email him directly at



Jessa, or Atticus, or Attie, is on her way. The first interview, from Gooch Gap is pretty lousy quality, which was entriely down to my boyish enthusiasm and stupidity, but the second is a lot better. She is having a blast and I hope you’re looking forward to hearing more from her as she makes her way north.


The amazing Stacey Kozell continues to disarm me with her glorious self-deprecation as she describes her pre-trail concerns in Fear & Loathing on the Appalachian Trail. Yes, her concerns APART from being paralyzed. You never have a conversation with Stacey without feeling better about your own blessings.


You can support my efforts in the show by buying my books or supporting the show on Patreon. There is a button that can take you directly to my Patreon page, or you could simply click here.

Did you ever wonder what it is like for those we leave behind? Listen to my wife Diane talking about the impact that my hike had on her life. She is forthright and brutally honest in our.conversation, telling me a couple of things we’d never really discussed before. I even left in something that I’d originally intended to leave out when she hit me with another revelation. When I was editing this interview, I was struck by the passion that she eventually had for MY adventure. Her understanding of it, and the AT sense of community, helped her to cope better with our separation. I always knew that I was a lucky guy; this proved it to me yet again. I just hope that everybody on the A.T. this year has somebody at home who cares as deeply for them and their journey..




Our globe-trotting adventurer, Jessa, has returned from her pre thru-hike trip to Europe. She had just a couple of days at home and will be leaving on her hike this morning, March 23. We spoke for the last time when she got to Atlanta. The next time we talk, she’ll be somewhere on a mountain. I can’t wait and will be presenting her updates from the trail every week. You can also follow her blog, by clicking here.


Dixie gave us plenty of sensible advice with her Fear and Loathing segment. She, too, is preparing to plunge back into the “homeless by choice” lifestyle, as she is getting ready for her PCT adventure. Don’t forget to follow her on Facebook at Homemade Wanderlust Backpacking Forum and, of course, catch her great YouTube series of videos which will soon include scenes from her PCT trip


This week, I introduced my Patreon account for the people who’d like to support the show with a couple of bucks every now and then. You can find the page at I hope you’d like to become a patron if you enjoy what I’m sharing with you each week.


Erin McKenzie loves her dogs. She hiked nearly half of the Appalachian Trail with her favorite, Chevy, before having to leave the trail through injury. Chevy was such a star that Erin was totally aware, yet totally happy, to be a sideshow in the Camaro and Chevy team. She then took on the Colorado Trail with three of her dogs, for reasons that will become apparent in her story. Her resilience and the strength that she found on both trails are inspirational.




These pictures of Chevy and Camaro together, and her three loaded-up dogs, convey the peace, the quiet, and the magnificence of both the Appalachian Trail and the Colorado Trail. Erin also sent me another couple of pics, once again with Chevy and one of the team of four at the finish of the Colorado Trail.




You can find Erin on Facebook and email her at


With Jessa vacationing in Europe, I took the opportunity to chat with Kate Schmidlin’s mom, Jeanne. Kate was in episode #21, and I thought her instinct to suggest that I should speak with her mother was a good one. There can’t be many tougher things for a mother to do than to wave goodbye to her daughter as she plunges into a forest. You’ll really love Jeanne’s attitude.


Our old friend Grizz resurfaced recently in Florida and we spent several hours together, so I took the opportunity to record a fear and loathing section with him. As always, he was insightful and interesting.


Please keep the reviews ticking over in iTunes. They really help me gain visibility (and often make me feel good at the same time).


Lastly, don’t forget that I’m relying on you, my listeners, to ask me questions you may have for this aging, fat, fool who thought that hiking 2100 miles for my first hike was a good idea. As it turned out, it really was a good idea. If you click here, you’ll be taken to the SpeakPipe button.



You get very few opportunities in life to spend time in the company of a living legend, so it was gratifying to learn that Janet Hensley, or Miss Janet, was the real deal. I was lucky enough to have a wide-ranging conversation recently with Miss Janet about all things Appalachian Trail. She proved to be incisive, engaging, and generous with her time and opinions. She is truly the hiker’s best friend, putting herself out to help anybody who requests her assistance.




When we touched upon some of the occasional bad behavior on the trail, she even jumped to a possible defense of the perpetrators. It is an indication of the regard in which she is held on the trail that she was confident in insisting that I took her personal phone number to make sure that anybody on the trail who needs help can call her. So, with some trepidation, her number is 423-483-0620. She can also be emailed at and will be happy if you look her up on Facebook, though apologized because Facebook will not allow her to exceed her current total of 5,000 friends!


Jessa is so ready to go that she has taken a week or so off to go on vacation to Europe! Her latest update shows the value of organization. We’ll soon be hearing from her as she gets those first miles under her belt.


John O’Shea and I just chatted in our Fear & Loathing segment, and I’m really looking forward to spending a week in July with John and his Fat Guys Back in the Woods. If you’d like to join us, email John at


Please try to leave a review of the show on iTunes. Click HERE to be taken to the show in the iTunes Store.





Jason is an experienced hiker with a purpose. This year, 2017, will be his fourth attempt at an Appalachian Trail thru-hike. His calm demeanor and desire for simplicity in his life made for an interesting conversation as he prepared to hit the trail in the next few days (March 2017). I’ll be following his progress and wish him well as he moves toward Katahdin.


You can follow Jason’s progress yourself at his blog, Cavey’s Adventures. He can also be found on Facebook and Youtube. Just click on the links.



With just three weeks to go herself, Jessa is saying her goodbyes. A combined engagement and farewell party probably emphasized the imminent separation, yet she is looking forward ever positively. It’s going to be great to catch up with her on the trail.


My Fear and Loathing section this week caught up with my fellow Class of 2014 member, The Muffin Man, Sam Weber. As others have said, fear of failure was a strong motivating factor after being an initial concern.


Don’t forget to check out my books, My Appalachian Trial I: Three Weddings and a Sabbatical and My Appalachian Trial II: Creaking Geezer, Hidden Flagon. Once again, just click on either of the links. They are currently (3/1/2017) at #5 and #9 in the Top 100 Camping Books on the Kindle Store. I have kept the low price of $2.99 each that I set at Christmas. I hope that you check them out to support the show.