Mighty Blue On The Appalachian Trail: The Ultimate Mid-Life Crisis

Mighty Blue On The Appalachian Trail: The Ultimate Mid-Life Crisis

This show is about what it was like to hike the AT in 2014 as a fat 61-year-old with zero hiking experience. Guests join me to share their stories and insights all the way from Georgia to Maine. At the end of each episode is a chapter from my book My Appalachian Trial I: Three Weddings and a Sabbatical.... Show More

Episodes

February 25, 2021 101 min

Brittany Briley's smile lit up the trail in 2019, and we first met at Woods Hole Hostel. A nurse by training, she felt that the time was right to take a break in her early 30s and hiked the Appalachian Trail as joyously as anybody I met out there.

We didn't hike together much but, as is the way of the trail, we often saw one another. Brittany shared part of the trail with the sadly missed Pony Keg and his dog Blue.

Eventu...

Share
Mark as Played

Joseph Barnett had quite the adventure hiking the Appalachian Trail during the latter half of 2019 and the first half of 2020. He faced a bunch of problems, took days off regularly to explore the towns around the trail with his wife, developed a hernia along the way, yet emerged at Springer Mountain battered but victorious.

Along the way, Joseph documented and photographed people, plants, and animals, eventually producing a 500-pa...

Share
Mark as Played
February 11, 2021 78 min

We have another of my Class of 2019 brothers on the show today. I met Dan Gosmeyer pretty early on the trail and recall his quiet determination but, with a tiny hiking budget, I had doubts he'd get to the end. But the trail does something to a person. It reveals character that you may not have even known was there.

Sure enough, sometime last year I received a friend request on Facebook from Dan and confirmed immediately. I che...

Share
Mark as Played
February 4, 2021 76 min

Today's guest is another whose thru-hike was the Pacific Crest Trail, yet Caroll Coyne has lessons–and solutions–that are universal to all long-distance trails. In her early 30s, she quit a well-paying job that wasn't fulfilling her and found that fulfillment out on the trail, with the community that she craved.

Returning home, her trajectory altered and her project to reconnect with the hiking community was born.

You can ...

Share
Mark as Played
January 28, 2021 84 min

We have a couple of interesting topics on the show this week. Our first guest, Erik Russell, wrote to me to convey a notable if somewhat jarring, incident that he witnessed while hiking the AT in the 1997. Erik took a lot from both the hike and the incident, and he tells us how those two things contributed to help shape the man he is today.

Erik is one of the few guests I've had on the show who had to search high and low for p...

Share
Mark as Played
January 21, 2021 85 min

It's lovely to interview somebody you've met and spent time with before. So I was delighted when Tina Tempest agreed to come on the show and share what happened during her 2009 SOBO hike of the Appalachian Trail with her friend.

She has always had a desire to travel and fills in her background with one or two of those stories as well. Tina went on to buy a property and start what became one of my favorite hostels on the tr...

Share
Mark as Played

This week, we feature a couple who met on the trail in 2019 and have been a couple ever since. Reid Marshall and Marina Santiago are, however, locationally challenged, as Reid is in Australia and Marina is in Denver.

I was fortunate enough to have met Reid on my thru-hike and was impressed with his calm and thoughtful demeanor. When we met, near the VT / NH border, Reid was on his own and didn't meet Marina until many miles la...

Share
Mark as Played
January 7, 2021 83 min

We normally focus on the Appalachian Trail, but this week, we're moving across the country to share the hike of Mike Current on the Pacific Crest Trail. Mike's YouTube channel provides a thoughtful and entertaining take on hiking. He and Steve chat about the hike and his intense preparations prior to the hike.

Mike is particularly keen to make sure that the 2020 hikers' stories are told, believing that 2020 will become...

Share
Mark as Played
December 31, 2020 92 min

We're back to our three-segment show this week, with Steve Yale, or Walmart 2021, as our principal guest. Steve got his name when he first hiked the AT in pretty much all-Walmart gear. He has since worked out better options, but his love of the trail shines through in both our conversation and his devotion to a life of thru-hiking the AT.

In contrast to the negative responses that some people experience on Facebook, Steve has ...

Share
Mark as Played
December 24, 2020 63 min

It's a shorter show today, though I think the content is as compelling as ever. This week's guest is Trevor Hendry, or Bear. Trevor's 2020 thru-hike presented him (and his fellow hikers) with unusual problems that he had to encounter and deal with. However, as I've found with some of this class of 2020, his experience–while not the same as previous hiking years–was equally rich as any other.

He even found himself s...

Share
Mark as Played
December 17, 2020 73 min

We've got an old friend on the show today. Matthew "Odie" Norman is one of those good people of the trail. He lives it, he breathes it, and he shares it, with his Hiker Yearbook that reconnects hikers after the trail.

Odie reached out to me recently and wanted to give me a recap of how he sees the hiking season of 2020. As you'd imagine, he has plenty to say that makes sense and wears his heart on his sleeve throug...

Share
Mark as Played
December 10, 2020 68 min

This week, Larry Knight shares his Appalachian Trail thru-hike story. It was never really a bucket list item for Larry but, as often happened, a confluence of events culminated in Larry finding himself at Springer Mountain, heading north. Injury curtailed the first attempt, but Larry returned to finish the job the following year.

When Larry was finished, he wanted a memento of the trip and started thinking about a map that would b...

Share
Mark as Played

Another really full show this week, with four segments. First up, there is a recently minted thru-hiker, Stephanie Logan Hall, who completed her SOBO hike on November 19. I was particularly keen to hear from her and her early impressions–which will doubtless change with time–of the trail and her adventure.

Those of you who regularly listen to the show will know how impressed I am by these young women who take on the trail. It is c...

Share
Mark as Played
November 26, 2020 69 min

We have a story today of a young man who walked away from a life of extreme poverty to find himself (literally) on the Appalachian Trail. Matthew Emerson's story is now a book, and his visceral experiences set the scene for his journey and a new life at the end.

Matthew's insights gleaned from his hike resonated with me, and we share a frank discussion for this Thanksgiving Day.

You can find Matthew's book on Amazon....

Share
Mark as Played
November 19, 2020 84 min

Another full show today, with Alan Carpenter taking up long-distance hiking in his 60s and still going today, well into his 70s.

Alan's story is a testimony to his persistence, while his joy at the people and sights of the various trails he has done shines through. He does get a little banged up from time to time. In our conversation, you'll hear about how he got his legs into the state you see below. Ouch!!

You can learn...

Share
Mark as Played
November 12, 2020 73 min

It's a slightly shorter show this week, with Laura Sheehan, or Rocket, as our principal guest. Julia was a member of my last AT class; the Class of 2019. We never met on the trail, but I was made aware of the popularity of her YouTube videos.

She is a very self-aware hiker, acknowledging the changes she saw in herself, having sold everything to uproot her life and hit the AT in 2019. Like many hikers, she learned to live with ...

Share
Mark as Played
November 5, 2020 96 min

This week's guest, Dan Schoenthal, is an unlikely thru-hiker. He suffers from Parkinson's Disease and, as you'll learn, he has pushed through this impediment, getting an impressive start on the 2200-mile journey.

I spoke with Dan a few weeks ago, and he mentioned a fund-raising effort he was making in conjunction with his hike. That particular fundraiser has now ended, but if you know somebody stricken by the condition...

Share
Mark as Played

Anybody who shared the trail with me last year must have heard of the Purple People. They seemed to be ubiquitous, turning up night after night at hostels, shelters, and homes to play their own music to lighten everybody's lives.

The fact that they wore and carried everything in a vibrant lilac color didn't exactly allow them to blend into the crowd. These are two people with a distinct sound, a memorable appearance, and a...

Share
Mark as Played
October 22, 2020 101 min

I first met Rob Landry (virtually) when he reached out partway through his 2020 thru-hike attempt. He was thinking about writing the book of hiking during a pandemic and wanted a little publishing advice. So it delighted me to hear from him when he finished his 2020 hike and I invited him on the show.

The finish, however, wasn't what I expected, and nor will you.

If you'd like to see more of Rob's hike, check out his ...

Share
Mark as Played
October 15, 2020 119 min

We've got a bit of a departure from our normal set up today. Instead of a particular hiker, I've got a disparate collection of characters who attended our inaugural Woods Hole Retreat a couple of weekends ago. I've tried to recapture the event by chatting with nearly all the participants and hope that you'll enjoy this one-off change.

We covered a four-day weekend, starting with a short hike into Dismal Falls from ...

Share
Mark as Played

Chat About Mighty Blue On The Appalachian Trail: The Ultimate Mid-Life Crisis

Advertise With Us

Popular Podcasts

Black History Month Podcasts
Black History Month Podcasts
We honor Black History Month by highlighting shows that explore icons, change-makers, the history of civil rights, and overall Black voices. Enjoy a moving and inspirational group of podcasts that will expand your knowledge of Black History.
The Daily
The Daily
This is what the news should sound like. The biggest stories of our time, told by the best journalists in the world. Hosted by Michael Barbaro. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, ready by 6 a.m.
Crime Junkie
Crime Junkie
If you can never get enough true crime...

For You

    Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeartRadio App.

    Connect

    © 2021 iHeartMedia, Inc.