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Erin Egan presents
A weekly podcast in which I speak with experienced thru hikers about their stories from the trails and strategies for a successful thru hike.
May 12, 2021
REBECCA SPERRY aka SOCKED IN
Socked In, known off trail as Rebecca Sperry, was focused last year on her goal of Red-Lining, or Tracing, all the trails of The Whites within 12 months. And then in August, she received a breast cancer diagnosis and life as she knew it completely changed. In this episode, we talk about those months of diagnosis and early treatment, how hiking prepared her for cancer treatment and how cancer has taught her to stay present with everything in her life, coming home to the trails again and doing what makes you happy.
May 5, 2021
ANDREW & LORA McIVOR aka PROMETHEUS & NOT A MINOR
Prometheus & Not A Minor, known off trail as Andrew & Lora McIvor, arrived at Campo looking like two British tourists and walked into Manning State Park as pure Hiker Trash. The Pacific Crest Trail 2019 was quite a trip...quite THE trip. Missed miles due to circumstance led to a finish personifying the adage "Smiles over miles." In this episode, we relive the five days of trail magic, walking toward home, fathoming the scale of it & finishing those miles.
April 28, 2021
ASHLEY MANNING aka YARDSALE
YardSale, known off trail as Ashley Manning, has been chasing adventure for a long time. Whether its white water raft guiding or hiking the AT, she's ready for it whether you think she should or not. In this episode, we talk about the importance of normalizing all body-types on the trail and how @UnlikelyHikers has helped, how her habit of dumping out her backpack led to her trail name, the early struggle to get on and stay on the trail and the difficulty of finding safety gear and apparel that fits.
April 21, 2021
MICHELE SCOTT aka GEEKY GIRL
Geeky Girl, known off trail as Michele Scott, got put through the wringer in 2019 on the PCT and wrote about the experience in her book "A 100 Mile Journey Plus A Few Extra". As you can probably guess, it didn't go quite according to plan. In this episode, we talk about the things you need to think about when you're 50 hiking the trail, the costs to everyone of the dream, the importance of remembering to be where you are, her changing relationship with the trail...and a few photobombing cats.
April 14, 2021
EMILY FORD aka EMILY ON TRAIL
Emily On Trail, known off trail as Emily Ford, with her trusty companion Diggins just finished a winter hike on the Ice Age Trail. It started out as a way to get her hike on without leaving her job, but became so much bigger as people began to follow her journey. In this episode, we talk about that crazy, beautiful adventure, advice for any future Ice Age Trail winter hikers, the documentary being done about her hike called "Breaking Trail", and just how loud nature can be.
March 31, 2021
KEVIN GROOMAN aka SPACE JAM
Space Jam, known off trail as Kevin Grooman, came to thru hiking from the side...a story he totally tells in this episode. He also fell in love just as he began the Triple Crown adventure, which greatly colored his entire journey. And even led him to hike the PCT with his partner, Sea Lion. In this episode, we talk the eternal struggle between earning money and living your best life, pro tips and hiker hacks, the dozen dip challenge, and the Appalachian Pine Mixer.
March 24, 2021
JONATHAN MAIDMENT aka MONEY MAKER
Money Maker, known off trail as Jonathan Maidment, has raised $250k through Hikes For a Cure for the Alpha-1 Foundation. Along the path to his Triple Crown he lost the trail many times, started way too early and even took a couple unwelcome helicopter rides. But he also grew up on the trail, learned to make hard decisions and trust his gut. In this episode, we dig into adulting trail style, why the Pacific Crest Trail might be holding a grudge, showing that a slow guy can hike the Appalachian Trail, and the old adage "do as I say not as I do".
March 18, 2021
MEGAN HARMON aka SOCHI
Sochi, known off trail as Megan Harmon, had a dream. To be the first above knee amputee to thru hike the Pacific Crest Trail. And for 600 miles in 2019 she was on target, until the desert heat and her "last nerve" made it impossible...This time! In this episode, we talk about the ways her prosthetic adjusts the nature of the hike, what she will do for pizza, rattlesnakes on trail, and the Uinta 2020 redemption hike.
March 10, 2021
DANIEL VORSTER aka TAILS
Tails, known off trail as Daniel Vorster, came from South Africa to hike the PCT last year. Having started in mid-March, he was already on the trail when the lockdown happened. In this episode, we talk about how the experience of thru hiking changed because of the pandemic, from an easier time finding camp sites to the way he chose to share the experience on social media and along the way he regales me with a few trail stories and what was lost, and found during those 6 months and three days.
March 3, 2021
JOSHUA LEUNG aka TAPE
Tape, known off trail as Joshua Leung, is one half of the 2020 PCT duo from Hong Kong known as Duct Tape. He hit the PCT first in 2019, but ran afoul to a severe case of frostbite. Pledging to return, he came back in 2020 with his girlfriend, Duct ;), to get the job done. In this episode, we talk about wanting to do something totally unforgettable, visas, his severe frostbite adventure and mosquitos in his peanut butter.
February 17, 2021
PAUL BARACH aka SNAKE EYES
Snake Eyes, known off trail as Paul Barach, has hiked a few trails in his day but the Shikoku Pilgrimage Trail is where it all started. A 750 mile trail visiting 88 temples, it encircles Shikoku Island in Japan and follows the travels of Kukai, an 8th century Shingon Buddhist monk. In his book “Fighting Monks and Burning Mountains”, Paul tells the story of his 2010 pilgrimage. After reading his book, the Shikoku Trail is definitely on my bucket list!! In this episode, we talk about the struggle to “Be Here Now”, not defining your journey while you’re still on it, the weight of history, and Kit Kat’s. ** Trigger warning: during the conversation, we talk about the suicide of Paul’s friend during his hike. **
February 10, 2021
CSABA WINTERS aka DIGNITY
Dignity, known off trail as Csaba Winters, took quite the twisted trail on his journey from Mexico to Canada. In 2019, he found himself at the southern terminus of the PCT really only expecting to hike for a short time, cause he had quit every other similar adventure. But one day turned into two turned into a week then a month and even after dislocating his shoulder, he continued North. In this episode, we talk about his "whatever it takes" trail to finish the hike, going through the Sierras alone, the challenges of hiking under a visa time limit, and how he discovered the Pacific Crest Trail in the first place.
February 3, 2021
NHANDI SINGLETON aka SEA LION
Sea Lion, known off trail as Nhandi Singleton, had a serious case of imposter syndrome when she hit the PCT in 2018. Coming from a background with limited hiking, it took hundreds of miles for her to feel like she belonged. In this episode, we unpack that and talk about being a minority on trail, body image and how the trail can mess with your head, becoming a risk-esque taker, and that one rainy day.
January 27, 2021
CHRISTINE REED aka LADY UNICORN
Lady Unicorn, known off trail as Christine Reed, in her new book "Alone in Wonderland" explores the longer journey we're all on when we come to thru hiking. In 2014, she started the Appalachian Trail only to be pulled off trail by the death of her mother. Four years later, she hit the Wonderland Trail, hiking back into herself. In this episode, we talk about her new book, about the inner conflict she battled while on the Appalachian Trail, her changing relationship with her body as she has fallen more and more in love with the hiker life, and the reciprocity of accepting help.
January 20, 2021
MEREDITH JOHNSON aka ELEVEN
Eleven, known off trail as Meredith Johnson, hit the PCT in 2019 chasing her experiences from the Appalachian Trail. But they are very different trails, so she struggled for much of the hike with whether or not she wanted to be there. In this episode, we explore the challenge of chasing past experiences, finding a balance between independence and community, her changing relationship to fear, and deli blazing.
January 13, 2021
ANDRE & LIAN DE JEL aka MORNINGSTAR & COOKIE MONSTER
Cookie Monster & Morningstar, known off trail as Lian & Andre De Jel, have covered a lot of miles in their 30+ years of hiking. But even with all those miles on their legs, the Pacific Crest Trail tested them. In their new book "Six Months with Three Pair of Undies" they tell the story of that adventure. In this episode, we dig into the book, of course talking about those 3 pair of undies, the yin and yang of hiking as a couple, how heatstroke led them to hike differently in the desert and the importance of hearing aids in rattlesnake country.
January 6, 2021
CHRIS PHILLIPS aka MISCHIEF
Mischief, known off trail as Chris Phillips, in November of 2018 slipped on some ice and fell getting water while hiking the AT. He woke up with severe frostbite. Its been quite the journey to find his way back to the trails that he loves. In this episode, we talk about 2018 and the repercussions from that one moment, finding peace with his new normal, Dragon Tooth Mountain and not letting the dream die.
December 23, 2020
MIKE PAPADATOS aka KICKSTAND
Kickstand, known off trail as Mike Papadatos, needed something to shake up his life. So of course, he decided to do a thru hike. But not just any thru hike - A Calendar Year Triple Crown. On January 31, 2018 he started at Springer Mountain and the rest as they say is history. In this episode, we talk about those that came before, the planning and logistics, struggles with feeling like a failure, finally finishing a trail...and a few Breaking Bad moments in New Mexico.
December 16, 2020
BECCA BERGSTROM aka LITTLE SKITTLE
Little Skittle, known off trail as Becca Bergstrom, after one overnight camping trip tackled the Pacific Crest Trail in 2019. Launching herself into the thru hiking life and following up with the Oregon Coast Trail and Timberline Trails this year... and a few miles on the Continental Divide Trail before everything came to a halt. In this episode, we talk about hiking with her Ride or Die Chicks (Darth Jader & PCP), working through loss and grief during the Oregon challenge, bear encounters, and a few rookie moves.