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Is it the end of the road for TrailCast?

Mon., April 2, 2007

TrailCast: Podcasting on foot.



Spring is here and it’s the rule of law in the Northwest that everyone heads outdoors. We went out and looked for some of the better hiking and backpacking podcasts on the Web and came away a bit weary; the choices are vast.

One of the best, to date, has been TrailCast, created by a guy named Robert Butler on the East Coast.

After finding it and listening, we were dismayed that Butler’s most recent podcast episode is several months old.

The reason, Butler explained in an e-mail to TXT, is that he’s found a new house, a new girlfriend and a change in direction.

“I can’t bring myself to consider it dead, but I have no idea when I’ll have time to work on it again,” he wrote.

The 27 episodes he did finish are inspiration enough for the rest of us to go out and get some new hiking boots.

Each episode runs between 30 and 60 minutes, which is about right for a short ride out to North Idaho, listening on your iPod.

Because he’s an Easterner, Butler has tended to focus on hikes near the Appalachians. But he’s also adapted and later on did a good job adding content covering hikes west of the Mississippi.

In mid 2006 one TrailCast episode was an extended interview with Jackie McDonnell, the renowned hiker/author known as Yogi. She’s the author of “Yogi’s Guide,” a well-received book on how to prepare and manage a serious hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. Her interview has a great set of comments on what to take if you go on a long hike.

Her comments on hiking the PCT are so solid, in fact, that the Yogi Guide has been added to our Amazon wish list.

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