Jun 1, 2017
A trip to Trail Days wasn't on my itinerary when I hiked the AT
in 2014, so my visit this year had a dual purpose. I was going
there to both see what I'd missed and to interview others who were
attending. I was trying to capture some of the spirit of both
Damascus at party time and the Appalachian Trail. This episode will
focus on Trail Days and forms the first of two such episodes. I'm
still following Attie, as she makes her way north. She has hit
a few walls on the way but is upbeat pretty much whenever we speak
and is taking each day as it comes. She has teamed up with a couple
of other hikers, Bananas and The Machine. Here is her iconic shot
at the glorious McAfee Knob. Another past guest, Erin
McKenzie, told us about her Fear and Loathing thoughts on the AT.
But this week is mainly about Trail Days. I've pulled
together a number of the short, live conversations that I had with
a wide variety of people. I hope you enjoy them.
First up was Nathan Harrington, the enthusiastic maker of his
Katahdin sign replica. These signs are all handmade by Nathan
personally, so each will be unique. Nathan also has a great story
to tell about how he proposed to his lovely wife, Sharon, at McAfee
Knob. You can actually see the moment he proposes on his YouTube
, Between the Blazes, as well as other AT videos.
Tim Keenan told me his moving story that combined his AT
thru-hike with a reconciliation of his "enemy," as he referred to
him, later in Vietnam. You can get Tim's book, The Good Hike, on
. It has excellent ratings.
Next, I spoke with Will Ransom and his beautiful dog, Retta.
They seemed to have such a calm and mutual understanding of one
another and were utterly devoted to one another. I asked Will if
he'd carry on if Retta couldn't continue. Interesting answer.
Dick Klane, from the Friends of Baxter State Park, kindly gave
me a run-through of the new rules regarding permits to summit
Katahdin at the end of your hike (as a NOBO). It is really worth
listening to Dick, because you really need the climax of your hike
to run smoothly on the day. If you'd like further
clarification, you can check out their site, at friendsofbaxter.org
. It is an
excellent site and full of information on the park. It is well
worth checking out before you end up in the park.
Bob Peoples is quite simply one of the legends of the
Appalachian Trail. His Hardcore Crew work to build and maintain
sections of the trail and his selfless devotion to all things AT is
remarkable. We are so lucky to have Bob in our lives.
Last, but certainly not least, I ran into two young women at
the All You Can Eat (AYCE) pancake breakfast in town. Nadia and
Kathleen were at the same table as me and, when Nadia saw my
podcast tee shirt, she asked if I was the podcast host. Apparently,
she is a listener and I couldn't miss out on interviewing a