Trail Correspondents Episode #15: Diversity on the Trail

Diversity on the trail is a heavy, but important subject. It’s impossible to do this subject justice in the span of an hour long podcast, but it’s a conversation worth having nonetheless. Our correspondents share their thoughts about the diversity -or lack thereof- that they’ve encountered on trail.  Our hikers also ponder ways the community can encourage under-represented groups to get onto the trail.

Admittedly- our correspondents largely follow the demographics of the thru-hiking community at large- which is to say young and white. Though one of our hikers is visiting from across the pond and another is gay- and we’ve got more female correspondents than male when the trail skews the other way. But in terms of racial diversity, there’s none.  We were fortunate to get the input of Elsye “Chardonnay” Walker, who’s one of the few (if not the only) black woman to hike the triple crown.   She shares her take on these same questions, which offers some interesting contrast to the other stances offered in this episode.

Lastly, we get an update from Jeffrey “Legend” Garmire, who’s on the tail end of his Great Western Loop journey, a 6,875-mile footpath across the western half of the USA. The path, popularized by Andrew Skurka, links five existing trails, including the Pacific Crest Trail, Pacific Northwest Trail, Continental Divide Trail, Grand Enchantment Trail, & Arizona Trail, as well as some route finding through the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts.

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In today’s show, we hear from:

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Episode produced by Pauly Boy Shallcross. Check out his coffee roaster, Old Man Murph’s.   Music via.

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