Meet the Trail Correspondents: Season 3

Thru-hiking season is officially upon us. And for listeners of The Trek’s podcasts, you know what that means. We’re continuing onto season 3 of Trail Correspondents with an all-star team of contributors. Every other week, our crew of thru-hikers across the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail will report back on a range of topics, including their preparation, gear, diet, group dynamics, the emotional struggle, the adaptation of their bodies, and much more. This year’s season even features a new twist – all the hikers will be going SOBO.

After last year’s season became a NOGO, we are excited to be able to bring you an eclectic group of talented storytellers in 2021. From an aspiring Triple Crowner to first-timers, from a recent high school grad to a mother of eight, the third season of Trail Correspondents offers a wide range of voices to relay this life-changing experience.

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The first episode of the third season is set to launch in just a handful of weeks. Subscribe to ensure you don’t miss out when the new episodes drop.




Cal “Starburst” Dobbs

Bio: Cal (they/them) from Venice, CA is a high school teacher, track coach, ultra marathoner, activist, and dog dad to a husky puppy named Cooper. As a trans-nonbinary person, they care about intersectional issues of social justice and accessibility in the outdoors. They thru-hiked the AT in 2019 and are excited for their upcoming CDT thru-hike, particularly sharing it with all listeners of the Trek Trail Correspondents podcast!

Trail: Continental Divide Trail

Instagram: @cal_dobbs_

Logan “Toodles” Roark

Bio: Toodles is a 30-year-old gay guy from East TN who compulsively plans trips before he even finishes the one he is on. When he isn’t backpacking, you can find him practicing yoga, reading some obscure fantasy novel in his hammock, or doing something so far out in leftfield that it makes no sense and causes folks to worry for his safety.

Trail: Pacific Crest Trail

Instagram: @Toodleicious

John “Catmando” Van Etten

Bio: Catmando is an aspiring triple crowner- he has thru hiked the AT in 2019, his SOBO PCT hike this year will get him 2/3rds there! Currently, he is in Vermont- finishing the Long Trail in preparation for the PCT.

Trail: Pacific Crest Trail

Instagram: @catmando2019

Jeff “Link” Podmayer

Bio: Jeff (he/him) grew up in the Pacific Northwest and is always looking for ways to spend time outside. He enjoys walking, talking, drinking hot cocoa and eating pizza….sometimes all at once. He has some hiking experience, but mostly enjoys the feeling of breaking a sweat while walking uphill.

Trail: Continental Divide Trail

Instagram: @jeffpod

Francisco “Toes” Mesa

Bio: Francisco Mesa is a 35-year-old dude that grew up in Queens, NY. He loves going to concerts/shows and testing his endurance abilities. Generally, he pretty quiet and reserved until he gets more comfortable. Now Francisco is super hyped to be attempting the PCT SoBo!

Trail: Pacific Crest Trail

Instagram: @ciscomonkeys

Juli “M8” Wolter

Bio: Juli, also known on trail as M8 or Mate, considers herself a “master hiker”, (meaning “more mature” lol) She will be turning 59 yo while hiking SOBO on the PCT this season. Having fallen in love with backpacking after her first trip in the Sierra mountains at age 50, she has since hiked the Wonderland Trail, the John Muir Trail, the Colorado Trail and portions of the AT and PCT along with many other shorter trails. When not backpacking, you might see Juli homeschooling her last kid still at home (out of 8…yep Mom of 8…M8), taking care of her 3 young grand kiddos, working on their property, or up in the mountains with her husband and/or family. Side note: she will be eating keto on trail and hiking with 2 of her daughters.

Trail: Pacific Crest Trail

Instagram: @mountain_musing_mama

Lara Watrous

Bio: This will be Lara’s first major backpacking trip and thru-hike! Lara is 23 and a recent graduate from Rutgers with an Ecology degree. She is excited to see how the trail teaches her more about the world and herself. While she is not Indigenous, Lara plans on doing her best to give land acknowledgments and respectfully share information on Indigenous Peoples throughout her journey.

Trail: Appalachian Trail

Instagram: @Lost.with.lara

Natalie “Ibex” Parker

Bio: Ibex is a mushroom enthusiast and backpacker. She fell in love with thru-hiking on her AT hike in 2018, and has since completed the Trans-ADK route, the Long Trail, and hiked over 300 miles worth of trail in New York’s Catskill Mountains. You can often find her on the side of the trail, hunched over some mushroom trying to get a picture from just the right angle. Don’t ask her about her cats unless you want to talk cat love for hours and see entirely too many pictures of fluffy faces!

Trail: Pacific Crest Trail

Instagram: @spacedoutside


Monica “Moss” Aguilar

Bio: Bus driver and artist by day van lifer by night, Moss is always striving to live life to the fullest. She has thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, bike-packed the Great Divide Mountain bike route, and now plans to tackle on the Pacific Crest Trail. Wherever she goes, Moss never forgets to bring her legs!

Trail: Pacific Crest Trail

Instagram: @justchasingtrails

Henri “Rooster” de la Vega

Bio: Henri “Rooster” de la Vega is a 33 year old Appalachian trail thru hiker, Pacific Crest Trail LASHER and Continental Divide Trail thru hiker hopeful. Henri works as a horticulturist and is a NYSDEC licensed outdoors guide running his own operation, West Mountain Guide Co. and works as a lead hiking and backpacking guide for several other guiding companies.

Trail: Continental Divide Trail

Instagram: @henri_delavega

Hazel Wagner

Bio: Hazel is an 18-year-old photographer and adventure seeker based out of Vermont. She hiked the Colorado Trail in the summer of 2020, and since graduating from high school in January, has been planning another long trail attempt prior to attending College. The Appalachian Trail has been on the back of her mind for years, but after meeting her good friend Ellie on the Colorado Trail and planning tirelessly, that dream has suddenly become a reality for the two of them.

Trail: Appalachian Trail

Instagram: @hazelsfuckinlost

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Comments 3

  • pearwood : May 28th

    What a crew!

  • Maya isabelle cote : Jun 2nd

    Hi!! I would like to get in touch with Juli “M8” Wolter.

    I am 47 and Keto hiker. I would like to prepare for PCT with keto diet.



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