Reflections of a 2017 Thru-Hiker
For our 52nd episode–which commemorates the fact that we've been podcasting for precisely a year–I caught up with Jessa Hackman, otherwise known as Attie. Jessa was first introduced to listeners of the show in Episode #16. She had written to me requesting Grizz's hiking preparations spreadsheet and, as I sent that to her, I wondered if she would be a candidate for a project I'd been considering. I wanted to follow a hiker in their preparations for the hike, then continue to hear from them throughout their journey. Jessa had just qualified as lawyer, she was very articulate, and it seemed to me that she had the potential to really give the Appalachian Trail a determined try. We discussed the idea and I immediately gave her an "out." I wanted her to be sure that this show would be something that she could commit to and, after a weekend's thought, she agreed. Later hearing from her mother, Joan, about Jessa's many achievements already in her young life, I knew that we'd found an exceptional woman. Moreover, involving both Joan and Jessa's fiance, Nick, in her journey seemed to give extra impetus to the project. For this week's pictures, I asked for one of Jessa as a lawyer and one of her at her skankiest as a hiker. Typically, Jessa obliged by giving me a neat set of "kind of matching" images. For me, this is something of a sad farewell, as I've thoroughly enjoyed my weekly chats with Jessa. That said, we now have a permanent record of her hike that, in some small way, this show has helped bring to fruition. Hopefully, guests, listeners and I feel some part of that success and can share in the feeling in the picture below.