248 episodes

An overweight, 61-year-old retiree, with zero hiking experience, decided to hike the entire 2,185.3 mile length of the Appalachian Trail in 2014. What could possibly go wrong? As his brother, Mike, commented, "It's a bit like taking up boxing and fighting Mike Tyson in your first bout." Join Steve and his guests as they discuss all aspects of the trail, from gear to Lyme Disease, then back to trail magic and injury.

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

    • Wilderness
    • 4.8 • 420 Ratings

An overweight, 61-year-old retiree, with zero hiking experience, decided to hike the entire 2,185.3 mile length of the Appalachian Trail in 2014. What could possibly go wrong? As his brother, Mike, commented, "It's a bit like taking up boxing and fighting Mike Tyson in your first bout." Join Steve and his guests as they discuss all aspects of the trail, from gear to Lyme Disease, then back to trail magic and injury.

    Episode #247 - Stephanie Logan Hall (Puffin)

    Episode #247 - Stephanie Logan Hall (Puffin)

    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 clear to me that the world is in safer hands as they become our leaders for tomorrow. I'm afraid it's time for us old fat white guys to step aside!!

    You can reach out to Stephanie through her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000442855977

    Stephen Eren, Trail Facilities Manager with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, shares his views on Life on a Trail Crew. As he said that he would in our conversation, Stephen has provided us with plenty of links to explore the possibilities of working on the trail.
    Get involved with SWEAT, Rocky Top, or Konnarock Trail Crews: https://appalachiantrail.org/get-involved/volunteer/trail-crews/
    SWEAT https://appalachiantrail.org/get-involved/volunteer/trail-crews/smokies-wilderness-elite-a-t-crew-sweat/
    Rocky Top https://appalachiantrail.org/get-involved/volunteer/trail-crews/rocky-top-trail-crew/
    Konnarock https://appalachiantrail.org/get-involved/volunteer/trail-crews/konnarock-trail-crew/
    Learn more about Trail Maintenance, Visitor Use Management, Leave No Trace, and Wilderness https://wildernessskillsinstitute.org/2020-wsi/
    I was–at last–able to connect for a debrief with Mr President, or Bill Tickner, after the conclusion of the AT section of his now-completed Triple Crown, which saw him cross the "finish" line at Damascus.
    Finally today, Larry Luxenburg's Walking the Appalachian Trail looks back at the origins of the trail, and the people who made it happen.

    If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com
    Any support is gratefully received.

    • 1 hr 45 min
    Episode #246 - Matthew Emerson (Prada G)

    Episode #246 - Matthew Emerson (Prada G)

    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. Click the picture of the cover and you'll be taken there.

    Another hiker-turned-author, Ben Crawford, shares why, despite exposing his family to YouTube scrutiny, there is more to tell. Like Matthew's book, you can find Ben's on Amazon by clicking on the book cover.

    Remember, you can get your own signed copy of Ben's book by answering the question I asked in the podcast. Send your answer to steve@hikingradionetwork.com.
    I also mention the magnificent, personalized map of my 2019 hike. You can see my video below and more of Larry Knight's work at redeftmapping.com.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zs2XvoTHrkw
    Finally, continuing both the book and map theme, Larry Luxenburg's Walking the Appalachian Trail talks of another giant map. Once again, find Larry's book at Amazon. (Sorry about the small pic!!)

    If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com
    Any support is gratefully received.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Episode #245 - Alan Carpenter

    Episode #245 - Alan Carpenter

    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 more about Alan and his hiking at https://longdistanceadventures.com/, while he is also available at https://alantcarpenter.com/. Alan's book about a healthy lifestyle is at https://www.amazon.com/Choose-Better-Live-Healthy-Choices/dp/1734254408/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=choose+better%2C+live+better&qid=1605221852&s=books&sr=1-1

    Julie Judkins and I talk about Education and Outreach at the ATC. Julie has shared a document that highlights their JEDI approach!! You can read it here. https://appalachiantrail.org/our-work/about-us/jedi/
    I was so struck by the beautiful new medal from Hiker Medals recently and wanted to share it with you all AND get Wim Schalken on the show to tell us about it. He even includes a new discount code!! Go to https://www.hikermedals.com/product-page/2020-medal-free-engraving

    Larry Luxenberg's "Walking The Appalachian Trail" makes its debut on the show this week. It was written in the 90s and has contemporary stories from the era that offer some interesting counter narratives with some of today's hiking journals. Should be fascinating. If you can't wait for me to read it all, you can buy it from Amazon, here. https://www.amazon.com/Walking-Appalachian-Trail-Larry-Luxenberg/dp/0811730956
    If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com
    Any support is gratefully received.

    • 1 hr 24 min
    Episode #244 - Julia Sheehan (Rocket)

    Episode #244 - Julia Sheehan (Rocket)

    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 less and now uses her YouTube channel to record further adventures and inspire others.

    You can follow Julia on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/juliasheehan/ and her YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/jls935/featured

    Laura Belleville from the ATC takes on the subject of managing and protecting the AT in times of crisis. As you'll hear, Covid is just one of many issues that qualifies as a crisis.
    If you'd like to learn about the work that Laura refers to, check out the incident form at https://appalachiantrail.org/explore/plan-and-prepare/report-an-incident/
    Learn more about Landscape Conservation and Climate Resiliency at https://appalachiantrail.org/our-work/conservation/landscape/ and https://appalachiantrail.org/register-blog/a-t-volunteers-are-saving-the-world/
    Bill Tickner's phone eventually gave up the ghost, so we were unable to record a final catch up, but I will speak with him in next week's show.
    Finally today, Fozzie's hiking companions–and Fozzie–conclude Balancing on Blue by telling us all about their post-trail direction and the lessons they learned.
    Remember, you can get a full audio version of Balancing on Blue from Amazon.
    If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com
    Any support is gratefully received.

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Episode #243 - Dan Schoenthal (Tremor)

    Episode #243 - Dan Schoenthal (Tremor)

    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 and would like to help, here is a link to the Parkinson's Foundation, where you'll find a donate button to make your gift. https://www.parkinson.org/
     
    The ATC's Marian Orlousky surprised me by the breadth of work the ATC undertakes regarding science. As always, you should go to https://appalachiantrail.org/ if you'd like to learn more, though Marian did warn me that some of the links on the program-specific pages aren't working. She did say that the website is in the process of being updated.
    Mr President is under 100 miles from Damascus. As you'll hear, he is throwing himself into the whole experience in these closing miles; his Halloween costume should give you an idea that it's not all about the miles.

    Fozzie's Balancing on Blue is nearly over, and this week, the boys reach Katahdin. The full audio version of Balancing on Blue can be found on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.
    If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com
    Any support is gratefully received.

    • 1 hr 36 min
    Episode #242 - Jillian and Logan Ivey (The Purple People)

    Episode #242 - Jillian and Logan Ivey (The Purple People)

    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 giving nature.

    When I was able to interview them for the show, their journey hadn't unfolded as I'd expected it would. Yet it is well worth listening to.
    If you'd like to find out more about the Purple People, click on some links below.
    https://www.ilovethemailboxes.com
    https://www.instagram.com/themailboxes/
    https://www.youtube.com/user/themailboxesmusic
    Extra Links:
    https://www.facebook.com/themailboxes
    https://open.spotify.com/artist/5ZgpagevHW6qjOL6lQs7jb
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/the-mailboxes/591571580

    Morgan Sommerville was next up for the ATC, with his insights into how the organization is trying to combat overuse on the trail. If you'd like to find out more, click on some links below.
    Morgan referred to the A.T. Comprehensive Plan, which is the essential A.T. management guidance: https://www.nps.gov/appa/learn/management/upload/CompPlan_web.pdf
    If you fancy a really deep dive into visitor use management, you should check here: https://visitorusemanagement.nps.gov/
    And, ATCamp is where people and groups planning to camp on the A.T. can see if their proposed overnight site has room for them, and where thru-hikers can register the start date of their hike. ATCamp has charts that instantly update with each new registration, that show how many people are planning to camp at a given overnight site, or start a thru-hike on a given day in GA, Baxter, and for flip-flops, thus allowing them to spread out: https://atcamp.org/
    Mr President is into the last two weeks of his hike. Unfortunately, I screwed up the audio this week by cutting off the first four or five minutes of our talk. Sorry Bill.
    Finally, Keith Foskett heads to the end with a virus tracking hikers down.
    Keith wanted you all to know that the full audiobook of Balancing on Blue is available on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes.
    If you like what we're doing on the Hiking Radio Network, and want to see our shows continue, please consider supporting us with either a one-off or monthly donation. You'll find the donate button on each Hiking Radio Network page at https://www.hikingradionetwork.com
    Any support is gratefully received.

    • 1 hr 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
420 Ratings

420 Ratings

catmando2019 ,

Mighty Blue Steve Adams

Great podcast, reconnects me with the AT!!Steve has wonderful guests and asks the best questions!

30Bramble ,

Love this guy

Great podcast. He does a fantastic job with it. Well worth the time to listen

offroad1967 ,

“Carpe Diem”

I discovered your podcasts by accident while doing a training hike for section hikes of the AT. Ironically I listened as I was going up my steepest climb of the day and you were talking about how strenuous hiking the AT was. You give real world explanations of the physical, mental and financial costs of the AT. I and others appreciate that. Your experience and willingness to pass on knowledge is invaluable to someone like me contemplating a through hike. Thanks again...trail name “off-road”

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