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Where in the Blazes am I?

When James from Waco, Texas, was lost while hiking, he wondered Where in the blazes am I?, then wondered about the origin of that expression. It doesn’t derive from blaze meaning “to cut into a tree to mark a trail.” That term...

Like a Boiled Owl (episode #1559)

What’s it like to hike the Pacific Crest Trail all the way from Mexico to Canada? You’ll end up with sore muscles and blisters, and great stories to tell. Along the way, you’ll also pick up some slang, like NoBo, SoBo, Yo-yo and...

Through-Hiker Slang

Through-hikers, those intrepid souls who spend months hiking a long trail such as the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, acquire lots of colorful slang along the way. A NoBo is a northbound hiker; a SoBo is someone heading south, and Yo-Yo...

Hiker Trail Names and Trail Angels

As a Wyoming caller noted in an earlier episode, through-hikers on routes like the Appalachian Trail give each other trail names — jocular appellations that stick throughout their trek. The origin stories of several of these are told in the book...

Librarians, Trail Guides

Writer Anne Lamott memorably compared librarians to trail guides, leading people through the forest of shelves and aisles. This is part of a complete episode.

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