Trail Mix: Track Two

Welcome to our second episode of short stories all about what may be the original designed object: the trail. If you haven’t heard the first episode yet you should totally go back and listen. It’s a lot of fun.

We’re going to kick this second episode once again starting with a conversation with author and resident trail expert Robert Moore. He wrote an excellent book called On Trails and is back to talk about his first-hand experience hiking and learning about one of the longest, most iconic trails in America.

The Appalachian Trail with Robert Moor

The Appalachian Trail is a roughly 2000 mile path that follows the spine in the Appalachian Mountains. From Georgia to Maine, it takes about 3 to 6 months to walk. A lot of other hiking trails nowadays have been graded for horses, so they will never go above a certain incline. The Appalachian Trail is much older than that. And so even though the mountains of the Appalachians are not as high as what you’d find in Colorado or California, it’s extremely arduous on a day to day basis. As such, it’s become a kind of American hiker’s pilgrimage.

The Empire State Trail with Kelly Prime

Trails aren’t always just routes through the wilderness. The Empire State Trail, for example, cuts through cities, spanning hundreds of miles, and can be taken from New York City to Canada or  Albany to Buffalo.

GORPCore with Avery Trufelman

Frequent campers and hikers probably know the word GORP, but for those who don’t: it’s another name for ‘trail mix.’ This mix of oats, nuts, chocolate, raisins and other ingredients for on-the-go energy dates back over a century, though the term “trail mix” wasn’t popularized until the 1960s and 70s. In other places, these mixes go by other names, too, like: “scroggin” in New Zealand and Australia. In America, “trail mix” has become a useful generic, but GORP is still a popular shorthand for those in the know. And GORP has more recently been incorporated into a portmanteau tied to another aspect of trail-centric lifestyles: wilderness chic apparel.

Hazel’s Return with Jayson De Leon

Jayson has long been in the habit of taking his dog Hazel to her same favorite trail each morning. The main entrance has this dark brown, wooden bridge that leads to a series of paths which run parallel and butt up against a river. At first the whole thing looks pretty unexceptional – overgrown with knotweed, brambles, and a few decent sized patches of poison ivy. Most of it is unmarked, too. And so for the uninitiated it may not seem like much of a trail at all. But for the neighborhood dogs, these paths are everything.

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