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

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

Outdoors

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.

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.

Location:

United States

Description:

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.

Language:

English

Contact:

9415249410


Episodes

Episode #341 - Julieann Hartley (Squirt)

9/29/2022
Julieann Hartley is today's guest. She hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2015 and transformed her life. She articulates this so beautifully in our conversation, and you may be a little confused about why we laugh so much while discussing difficult topics. Yet her positivity is what pulled her through both the hike and her subsequent life. Check her out at Instagram and TikTok, and even on Spotify at the links...

Duration:01:06:55

Episode #340 - TSX Challenge (Part 2)

9/22/2022
This week, we have the second and concluding part of my recent 75 mile TSX Challenge hike in California, taking in Mt Whitney as its main highlight. As many of you know, I've often spoken of my inability to hike at altitude. In this hike, I discovered that it was more about my attitude than the altitude. We covered the first three days of the hike last week. Today, we've got contributions from other hikers, as well as my own experience of those last five days. It was epic!! You can...

Episode #339 - TSX Challenge (Part 1)

9/15/2022
As many of you know, I recently fulfilled a long-held ambition to climb Mt Whitney. While I was out on this group-led hike, I could reflect upon what it is to hike in such a wilderness and, on my return, I was eager to share it with you all. I rarely start editing until the day before my podcast is due to be published, but I've been thinking about this one for the past three days and trying to marshal my thoughts as best I can. What you'll hear are my honest reflections of the hike as...

Duration:01:01:10

Episode #338 - Clay Bonnyman-Evans (Pony)

9/8/2022
Our guest today is Clay Bonnyman-Evans, a friend of the show and a previous guest from our early days. Clay came onto the show in 2017 to talk about his 2016 Appalachian Trail thru-hike. Since then, he has racked up a bunch more miles and trails, so we caught up before I headed to hike in California. As always, Clay is witty, thoughtful, and open as we chat about his hiking. He is also an excellent writer, so you can check out his latest book "Adrift on the Pacific Crest Trail: A...

Duration:01:03:57

Episode #337 - Ryan Leighton (Ken Burns)

9/1/2022
Ryan Leighton is our guest this week and, though not a thru-hiker, he has probably impacted more people with regard to long-distance hiking than many of our guests on the show. He produced a documentary movie–Walking Home–that followed the hike of a father and son duo, along with two other characters who intermittently entered the story. But Ryan has always been a thrill seeker, and he shares his fascinating story of climbing Katahdin in the winter, a negotiating Knife's Edge with a...

Duration:01:22:13

Episode #336 - Kelly Thomas (Spotter)

8/25/2022
I found Kelly Thomas, or Spotter through my rather unhealthy habit of cyber stalking the Appalachian Trail Facebook pages. She had just summited, and her proud Dad recorded that fact. I reached out to him and eventually spoke with Kelly. For me, her demographic, of a mid-30s female, was under-represented on the trail in past years, but I've noticed it growing in recent years. I wanted to talk with her about that. You can follow Kelly on her YouTube channel at...

Duration:01:17:54

Episode #335 - Ted Lovett (Bulldog)

8/18/2022
Just a week before I head out to hike in California, and we have another "vintage" hiker to hear from today. Ted Lovett, or Bulldog, wanted to hike the AT and finish on his birthday. Being a precise, mission-driven military man, that's exactly what Ted did. He shares his story with us. He met people he wouldn't normally come across when he was out on the trail and delighted learning from all of them. He didn't always enjoy the hike, but he took something positive from it every...

Duration:01:16:36

Episode #334 - Kevin Newsome (Reckless Abandon)

8/11/2022
This week's guest, Kevin Newsome, completed his thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail a year ago. I'd briefly met him at Trail Days while he was on his hike (we had a picture taken together) and I saw him for the second time a few weeks ago, presenting to a local charitable group near my home. I loved his presentation style and got him to come on the show. He's a professional photographer so, as you'd expect, his Instagram and YouTube channels are worth checking out. You can find them...

Duration:01:22:44

Episode #333 - Monica Aguilar (Moss)

8/4/2022
Our guest today is Monica Aguilar. Monica has been putting in the miles for the past four years, having thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2018, then completing half of the PCT last year before she was forced to get off trail because of the fires. In between, she managed to fit in a bikepacking trip on the Great Divide Trail. But Monica's passion for adventure triggered another, more creative side of her. She started to draw and paint in her journal to record the sights she was seeing....

Duration:01:15:36

Episode #332 - Nathan Echols

7/28/2022
Nathan Echols recently completed a sub-70 day, supported, thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail. How he was able to even set foot on trail is an extraordinary story. Just two years ago, he suffered a cardiac arrest in his sleep. It was only the rapid response of his wife that saved his life. Yet Nathan had long wanted to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail and he resolved to get it done. He resumed his training AFTER open heart surgery and, since then, has racked up over 7800 training miles....

Duration:01:14:00

Episode #331 - Arlette Laan (Apple Pie)

7/21/2022
The remarkable Arlette Laan is this week's guest. Arlette recently completed the eleventh and final leg of her quest to hike all the National Scenic Trails, becoming the first woman to do so. She's not a super-honed athlete, she's a down-to-earth woman who knows her strengths and limitations, and hikes accordingly. When she's not hiking these long-distance trails, Arlette leads hikes in New Hampshire and has shared with us the epic photo below. If you'd like to connect with Arlette,...

Duration:01:15:19

Episode #330 - Amber and Josh Niven (Dandelion and Still Don't)

7/7/2022
Amber and Joshua Niven were next to me in the Author's Tent at Trail Days, and I asked them to come on the show when I heard their great stories of having separately hiked the AT before meeting one another at Trail Days. They have experienced the trail differently, so their book is a product and amalgamation of those experiences. It is a true coffee-table book that you can pick up and open anywhere; there'll always be something of interest to read, or to see. If you'd like to learn...

Duration:01:16:30

Episode #329 - Emily Leonard (Black Bear)

6/30/2022
I met Emily Leonard and her husband Bruce at the Author's Tent at Trail Days in Damascus early this year. Not only does Emily write about her AT hikes, but she also has terrific stories to share about them. Like me, she has completed two Appalachian Trail thru-hikes and has now written about the first one. She also produced a children's book that will introduce a whole new generation to the trail. Additionally, Emily was featured quite prominently in the AT documentary, Walking Home. You...

Duration:01:21:54

Episode #328 - Kayla and Ken Bold (Nugs and Kenbo)

6/23/2022
Father and daughter hiking partners, Kayla and Ken Bold, came to the Appalachian Trail with Ken originally intending to hike just a section in support of his daughter. As often happens, those plans changed, and they headed north together as a team. Each learned something about the other, with their familial bond strengthened along the way. You can follow Nugs on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/kayla.bold/ Our two catch-ups this week are with Trumpet and his dog FrankE, as...

Duration:01:14:52

Episode #327 - Jeff Hayes (Speedo)

6/16/2022
This week, we have a first for the podcast. Initially, our principal guest, Jeff Hays, lays out his views on why the Southern Terminus of the Appalachian Trail should move to Alabama. As Jeff says, "Why not Alabama?" Then, Jeff and Nathan Wright debate the issue as they see it. They keep it respectful and agree far more than they disagree. At the end, I weigh in with my opinion. I hope you all learn something from this discussion. You can learn more about the issues at stake by visiting...

Duration:01:17:53

Episode #326 - Ian and Eve Alderman (Our Spectrum Adventures)

6/9/2022
Today, we have Ian Alderman on the show. Ian and his daughter, Eve, are hiking the entire length of Britain. While it isn't a super long hike, it is still over a thousand miles and there is very little in the way of a defined path. The West Highland Way WAS a path that made it a little easier for them and that's where I found them. What's remarkable about these two, though, is that both Ian and his daughter are autistic. Ian and his wife Sarah have determined that they don't intend for...

Duration:01:16:17

Episode #325 - Dennis Pack (Bookworm)

6/2/2022
Dennis Pack is nearer my generation of hikers, and this week he shares the story of his 2021 flip flop. He's a great believer in serendipity and enjoyed the way in which things just "happen" out there on the trail. He has a well-grounded, gentle wisdom, some of which he learned on the trail, though much of it he clearly accumulated over his 60 years. His cousin had been diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia and, not knowing much about this, he learned what he could and shared it on the trail....

Duration:01:16:21

Episode #324 - Natisha Webb (Calypso)

5/26/2022
Natisha Webb wrote to me recently about my West Highland Way trip, telling me she'd already booked to go on the same hike next year. We corresponded, and it turns out that she also thru-hiked the AT in 2021, having been "Covided" off in 2020. Naturally, I wanted her to tell her story, and she agreed to come on the show. As you'll hear, she is a pragmatic woman, making sensible decisions when decisions are required. If you'd like to learn more about Natisha and her hiking, and van,...

Duration:01:17:55

Episode #323 - Nathan and Kimm Wright (Switchback and Crewhiker)

5/19/2022
Today, we have Nathan and Kimm Wright, from the Pinhoti Outdoor Center. I met them both at Trail Days this past weekend, and we got into a discussion on the benefits–or otherwise–of relocating the Southern Terminus of the Appalachian Trail to Alabama, using the Pinhoti Trail to effect that change. This is a controversial subject that Nathan and Kimm are well-versed in. Indeed, Nimblewill Nomad, who was with the two of them at Trail Days, got particularly het up over the subject. We'll let...

Duration:01:17:36

Episode #322 - Chris Veasey (Idaho Bones)

5/12/2022
Our guest today is from the AT Class of 2017. His name is Chris Veasey, and we share an open chat about his experiences on the trail. He flip-flopped, heading north from Harpers Ferry to Katahdin, then south to Springer. His northern section was spent with a tramily, while he was largely solo in the south. We discuss the differences between both sections. Chris has written a book about his adventures and has put up a Kickstarter for those who would like to support his efforts to publish...

Duration:01:20:12