Unlikely Hikers Podcast 11: You Can Do Hard Things

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Episode 11 : You Can Do Hard Things – A storytelling episode.

A Triple Crown thru-hiker doesn’t know what he’s got ’til it’s gone. A plus-size mountaineer fights her inner monologue and embraces her badassery. A backcountry drag queen uses the power of femininity for social change.

This episode is sponsored by, the National Forest Foundation for #NationalForestWeek, June 13th-19th. National Forest Week is an annual celebration of our incredible National Forest System and all that it offers. Find all information, resources, events and a photo contest at nationalforestweek.org. This year’s theme is “Discover Unforgettable Experiences.” What are your favorite outdoor memories and traditions? What is your personal connection to National Forests and public lands? Midway through the episode, I do a mini interview with El Yunque National Forest supervisor, Keenan Adams.

Megan Banker (she/her) is a rock climber and mountaineer living in Portland, OR. At her day job, she is a Health At Every Size (HAES) chiropractor that owns and operates a wellness clinic. She stands for diversity, equity and inclusion in both the outdoor and healthcare industries and aims to bring awareness to inequities in these areas. Teaching and leadership are her passions and you’ll find her volunteering with the local mountaineering organizations or teaching plus size rock climbing classes at local gyms. ig: @pdxoutdoorchiro 

Pattie Gonia (she/her) is an environmental advocate, outdoor community leader, and backpacking drag queen––and yes, Pattie really hikes in heels. She seeks to uplift LGBTQ people and allies in the outdoors. Outside of heels, Wyn Wiley (he/him) has worked as a photographer, speaker, teacher, and creative director.  Last year, on a weeklong backpacking trip in Colorado, Wyn put on high heels and strutted for the first time as Pattie Gonia. Her first video garnered more than 100 million views across platforms. Since then, Wyn/Pattie have focused their efforts on their personal journey of using drag as a way to explore self identity, sexuality, and the natural world. ig: @pattiegonia

Will “Akuna” Robinson (he/him) is an army vet who has used thru-hiking as a tool to manage PTSD. He is the first known Black man to earn the Triple Crown of hiking, which is the completion of the Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail and Continental Divide Trail. Along the way, his journey became a mission not just for himself to heal but to share the healing power of nature with veterans, people of color and everyone who doesn’t fit the stereotype of an outdoorsy person. ig: @akunahikes 

Keenan Adams (he/him) has worked all over the U.S. for the National Wildlife Refuge System, Department Of the Interior and National Forest Systems. He has always been fascinated with social and ecological systems and has a passion for working with local and underserved communities. He loves fly-fishing the Caribbean, landscape photography, and traveling. Keenan values his quality time with his wife Delissa and his thirteen-month-old daughter Paola. ig: @keenan_the_nomad 

You can listen on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyGoogleStitcher and many other podcast apps. You can watch the episode on YouTube. Please subscribe, rate us 5-stars and leave a good review!

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PODCAST DRAWING BY, OLIVIA WINOKUR

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