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 third season features an eclectic group of talented story tellers.  From an aspiring Triple Crowner to first-timers, from a recent high school grad to a retiree, the third season of Trail Correspondents offers a wide range of voices to relay this life-changing experience.

Follow @TrailCorrespondents on Instagram

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.




Becky Lehmann

Bio: Becky is a Denver-based software developer who loves running, funny-looking animals (walruses, rhinos, and donkeys, to name the best three), sweet potatoes, silliness, international travel, and (of course) the outdoors. She has no backpacking experience and a terrible sense of direction, both of which bode well for the trail. Additionally, she will be following a gluten-free, dairy-free, relatively healthy diet on the trail to help with alopecia areata and her other autoimmune issues. She hopes you enjoy following everyone on this wild ride!

Trail: Appalachian Trail

Instagram: @becky_lehmann



Ian Mangiardi

Bio: Ian Mangiardi grew up on Manhattan’s Lower West Side, but that didn’t stop him from enjoying time in the mountains. Thru-hiking both the Appalachian and Pacific Crest trails, he works to create photo shoots across the world in addition to scientific and philanthropic expeditions in all environments. This year, he sets out to accomplish his decade+ long goal of completing the Triple Crown.

Trail: Continental Divide Trail

Instagram: @ianrman

Ash Czarnota

Bio: Baked potato New Haven style pizza, spontaneous retreats to Joshua Tree, chasing coyotes around her property… these are a few of Ash’s favorite things. A 25-year-old Angeleno with deep New England roots, Ash is a full-time marketing consultant and founder of Go Galavanting, an online community to celebrate women in wild spaces. The PCT will be her first of many long trails and she hopes to ultimately graduate to climbing at least one (if not all) of the seven summits to raise funds for mental health organizations and suicide prevention.

Trail: Pacific Crest Trail

Instagram: @salty_millennial

Ian Lee

Bio: Ian has been backpacking since he was a kid. Born and raised in Utah, he has spent a lot of weekends in high alpine mountains and desert river canyons. It wasn’t until a few years ago that he discovered long-distance backpacking. Curious if this was something he would be interested in, he hiked the Uinta Highline Trail in the summer of 2018, a mostly unknown 105-mile trail. By the time he finished on day seven, he wasn’t ready to get off the trail. It was at that time he knew he wanted to do something much longer. Ian will be hiking NOBO on the Appalachian Trail this March.

Trail: Appalachian Trail

Instagram: @ianevlee


Mike Current

Bio: Mike is 57-years-old, retired military, and now small business owner. In April, Mike will join the PCT hiker trash ranks with hopes of becoming a thru-hiker, a goal second only to his lifelong ambition of being the Walmart greeter. Mike will also be vlogging his thru-hike experience for The Trek under the online nom de guerre Old Man and the PCT.

Trail: Pacific Crest Trail

Instagram: @oldmanandthepct

Davida Rimm-Kaufman

Bio: Davida is a kid who likes mountains. She’s taking a gap year to hike the AT before attending Virginia Tech. Outside of hiking, Davida enjoys spending time with livestock, learning about race, eating cheese, and dancing. She’s grateful for this opportunity to share her story.

Trail: Appalachian Trail

Instagram: @davida.rk


Avery Hering

Bio: Avery Hering (they/them) is a non-binary climber, hiker, and outdoor enthusiast. Backpacking has played a vital role in their recovery from PTSD and has reintroduced joy and self-confidence into their life. Through openness and transparency, Avery hopes to educate fellow hikers and create space for more queer-identified folks in the outdoor community. They are attempting a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2020 and cannot wait to blaze the trail!

Trail: Appalachian Trail

Instagram: @avegoneawol

Casey Acklin

Bio: Currently living in Reno, Nevada, Casey spends his time skiing, shooting photos, making (and drinking) wine, and combating ageism. Mountains and Italy are the loves of his life. His mission on the Pacific Crest Trail: to create the ultimate gourmet hiker trash mac and cheese. And to make it to Canada.

Trail: Pacific Crest Trail

Instagram: @caseyacklin

Thursday Sadler

Bio: Thursday is an artist, teacher, and activist working with youth and young adults in Los Angeles. They believe the outdoors to be an incredible healing space that everyone deserves access to. Their favorite thing in the entire world is that thing people do when they’re talking too fast and they get syllables and consonants all mixed up. Also the game Trivial Pursuit.

Trail: Pacific Crest Trail

Instagram: @thurs.day_


Iris “Panther” Hartshorn

Bio: A 33-year-old queer Alaskan, Iris, aka Panther, strives to build adventure into her life. The last years have been filled with world travel, skiing, packrafting, hiking, backpacking, vanlife, and epic multiweek solo trips across the wilderness of Alaska. Monthlong trips on the Appalachian Trail in 2005/7 introduced Iris to the love of long-distance hiking and the community that surrounds it, but it hasn’t been until 2020 that Iris has felt ready to finally hike the Pacific Crest Trail.

Trail: Pacific Crest Trail

Instagram: @AlaskanPanther

Kirby Morrill

Bio: I’m Kirby, but you can call me Arlo. I’ll also respond to Toque. I’m a lifelong, multi-pursuit dirt bag and marine biologist on a mission to march these feet from Georgia to *almost* home, the Canadian Maritime region. I’m hiking because a) I’ve always wanted to do so, b) as living proof that you can’t keep hikers from hiking, at least not for long, and c) my mother always said I was a “stubborn git,” and I wouldn’t doubt my mother.

Trail: Appalachian Trail

Instagram: @kirbedenthusiasm

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Comments 6

  • Drew Boswell : Feb 27th

    Excited to see Becky on the trail. One of my best friends has had alopecia for two decades and he also just rocks that cue ball look. Other than a healthy obsession with hats, he never let it slow him down. I look forward to Becky’s reports but I hope she gets a compass, if not a GPS unit. Being directionally challenged could be…uh…interesting.

    • Becky Lehmann : Feb 28th

      Heck yeah! Love to hear about fellow cue balls. As for navigation, I certainly plan on having a compass and inReach with me, as well as practicing a bit on trails beforehand!

  • Kyra : Mar 3rd

    neat! following any thru hikers of color?

    • Katie Kommer : Mar 3rd

      Check out the winners of our Badger Sponsorship – a couple of very inspiring hikers to follow there!

      • Jonathan : Mar 3rd

        Hi Katie, does that mean the sponsorship winners will also be part of Trail Correspondents? I love the inclusion of lots of queer hikers here, but like Kyra noticed the lineup is pretty white.

  • Brian Mason : Mar 11th

    Where is the download link?


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