Episode 26 – Origins of a Thru-Hiker


Where does it all begin? How do you grow up to become a thru-hiker? We get to hear from Rock Ocean as he interviews Kimchi and Par 3, from Gizmo, and even from Gizmo’s mom as we explore our origins as thru-hikers.

Also, we have a big announcement – Sounds of the Trail is looking for 2016 trail correspondents. Interested? Check out our page and JOIN US.

Music courtesy of Baby Gramps.

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  1. Love all you guys… I tell all my friends and want to put a sticker on my van.
    Please send Stickers if you can…

    thanks so much,


  2. Hey, Gizmo and Co. I just discovered the podcast this week and have been semi-binge listening since; just finished Ep. 13.

    I love the podcast. Although I can’t claim one of the long-long trails, last summer I did my first thru-hike on the Colorado Trail at age 54 and I still think about it every day. Sparkle, a younger friend who inspired me by quitting her job in 2014 and doing the CT with her dog, Jude, told me I should expect that to go on for a long, long time…. I love remembering the trail … and every time I think of it, it breaks my heart.

    In fact, after about a month I came up with a description for my indescribable feelings, which I *thought* was original: The trail has ruined me for “real life.” It was fun hearing someone else use the same language (not remembering who just now).

    I love listening to the podcast because it’s so real and it reveals the strange contradictions thru hikers embody. While I’m the sort of person who wouldn’t necessarily be put off, I laugh thinking about would-be hikers listening to the podcast — “God, that sounds *horrible*! Bugs, socks that smell like baby poop, the “cone” in privies, hurting all the time, the weather (the weather, the damned weather!)….”

    And yet … if you love it, you love it.

    I am married and a writer, with constant book/article contracts to work on, so I’m frustrated by the thought that I probably can’t do a true thru hike of any of the Triple Crown trails any time soon. That said, I recently relocated to the SE from Colorado, so I hope to catch a week of AT action in the spring to see what that’s like. Also, I’ll be back in Colorado, probably in August, and I’m considering hiking parts of the CDT that I haven’t already hiked via the CT.

    I’m pleased that you’ve gotten a chance to speak to some “older” hikers. But if you would be interested in 2016, I might be up for doing some interviews on parts of the AT and CDT, particularly of “older” hikers (I have a friend, Dean Krakel, who quit his big-time job as the photo editor of the Denver Post to hike the CT last summer … he was NOBO, and fell about 7-8 days out of Denver and tore his rotator cuff … kept on goin’!)

    And if not, no worries. I was just very psyched to see you guys are planning a 2016 series.

    One last question: Gizmo, I know you put a lot of time into this (as do your correspondents, but especially you). Do you have a place where I can donate a wee bit of $$?

    Thanks for what you are doing.

    Colorado Trail
    July 2-16, 2015