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 checked out his page and was delighted to see that I'd been wrong; he did it.
He's still a quiet guy, thoughtful in his deliberations. In fact, I had to cut out quite a few pauses in our chat to keep the flow going. Yet that determination is still there and–after all–he is still an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker.
You can follow Dan and his girlfriend's new YouTube page, where he shares a few things he learned from the trail. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwarHBfDGl7-nr-OIfkfLcw
The ATC have recently come under heavy criticism for a contract they signed last year with Mountain Valley Pipeline, a company which is exactly what it sounds like! Much of the criticism seems to have been reflexive, and I wanted to know what the rationale behind this seeming sell-out was. ATC provided me with Andrew Downs, a thru-hiker himself, who is passionate about both the trail and the attendant environmental issues. You may or may not agree with this rationale, but I hope you give him the opportunity to make his case and read further on the subject through all or any of the following articles.
Please feel free to offer your own opinion on this. I may bring you on the air or read out your concerns and will certainly bring Andrew back on to answer those concerns.
Finally today, Larry Luxenburg's "Walking the Appalachian Trail" discusses some of the more spiritual aspects of the trail. Whether you're religious or not, the trail affects you in a spiritual way.
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