1) Where are you from?
Originally from Baltimore, MD. Currently residing in Bozeman, MT.
2) What day did you start?
April 12th, 2018
3) What day did you finish?
October 4th, 2018
4) Do you have a trail name?
5) If so, where did it come from?
A group of hikers at the start of trail (maybe the 3rd day) determined that I had a "Radio" voice, a good baritone that would soothe the ears of other hikers! The name stuck!
6) What did you dream of when things weren’t going well?
When things weren't going well, my dreams consisted mainly of triumph-like stories, being able to overcome hardship and persevere through the pain of the current situation. The Sierra Nevada mountains were particularly tough with a shin splint, lower back pain, intense heat, and a horrific foot injury (a rock fell onto my bare foot and gouged a solid piece of flesh out of my foot)
7) Did you experience anything miraculous?
I experienced pure ecstasy in many moments. There are too many for me to write about on one page here. But all of them had a theme. Insane, miraculous views accompanied by the silencing of my mind and a DEEP appreciation for the situation I was currently drawing so much joy out of.
8) Any memorable encounters with the elements, or wildlife?
There was one day coming out of Tuolomne Meadows (right near Yosemite National Park) that a black bear walked right in front of me across the trail. He was about 15 yards away from me. I stood in utter silence as the bear made his way back into the forest.
9) Think back to your “pre-hike self.” Now think of yourself here at the end. Has anything changed?
Many things have changed. I've learned to be silent with nature. I've learned to listen more to my friends and loved ones. I've learned to cultivate a deeper appreciation of the outdoors. Physically, I've ascended to a level never before seen in my life. I could literally hike 30 miles across RUGGED terrain and barely beat an eye (okay, I'd be a little sore, but you get the point). My mental fortitude had grown in HUGE ways. I just walked from border to border. My mind has been tested and I've succeeded!
10) Now that you are off the trail, what do you miss most about it?
I honestly miss waking up in the woods. It's the best feeling in the world, knowing that the entire day ahead of you will consist of hiking through beautiful terrestrial landscapes. Not to mention, I always got great sleep out in the woods! Always well rested.
11) Before you started, what were you most afraid of?
Wildfires and the accompanying smoke.
12) Now that you are finished, what are you most afraid of?
Nothing, really. The mind is the biggest deterrent to me accomplishing the goals that I would like to tackle. So the ego might be something I'm afraid of.
13) What’s the difference between life on the trail and life off the trail?
Everything. Society seems different now. The feeling in my body is much different. I wake up with a new vigor to life each morning now. I see the shortfalls of society; the fact that many people seem to be stuck on their phone, hung up on a past relationship, entranced by a computer screen at their 9-to-5 job. I'm breaking away from these "lower frequency" parts of life and am now investing myself more into morning workout routines, meditation and a healthy yoga practice. Life seems really good right now because my mind isn't hung up on too much.