We interviewed a fellow kid hiker, Alina Sawady, for the first podcast episode of the 2019-2020 academic school year. Alina lives in Massachusetts and hikes with her family; the Sawady clan can often be found on the trails in the Whites. Alina and her family are currently section-hiking the Appalachian Trail.
We are on break! We’ll be back for another year of interviews with more amazing Granite Gals starting in late August. Have a great summer, everyone!
Alex had the pleasure of talking to Jill Kropp, the woman responsible for her son’s recent completion of the New Hampshire Four Thousand Footers. Carter began hiking the 4Ks when he was four and finished when he was six, becoming the second-youngest boy and the fourth-youngest person to have ever completed the list. Carter’s success depended greatly on his mother, Jill, the person willing to facilitate Carter’s quest. Here, Jill talks about her experiences and her enjoyment of hiking in general.
We’ve been doing GraniteGals for two years! To celebrate, we are repeating our first episode, an interview with living legend Sue Johnston. Many thanks for helping us kick off this podcast, Sue! We have now interviewed 29 incredible and intrepid White Mountain female hikers.
Enjoy the encore presentation!
Welcome to the first episode of GraniteGals, the podcast that celebrates the women who hike New Hampshire's mountains!
We are honored to have Sue Johnston as our first interviewee
. Sue is a living legend -- she has accomplished a multitude of truly incredible athletic feats including, most recently, hiking the White Mountain Grid in one single calendar year. That's hiking all 48 of NH's Four Thousand Footers during every single month of the year (576 ascents) -- all in one single calendar year. Check out Sue's long list of other wonderful accomplishments on her blog, runsuerun.blogspot.com
We interviewed Sue at the lovely Abbie Greenleaf Library in Franconia, NH on April 12, 2017. We asked Sue about the Grid, redlining the Whites, her experiences breaking the record for the fasted supported hike of the John Muir Trail in California, highpointing, the Cohos Trail, and bear encounters -- plus, we had a few non-hiking-related questions. It was a wonderful conversation and we are so grateful for Sue's time.
This is our first podcast and we are still getting used to the equipment and technology, so forgive the fact that this isn't quite NPR quality (yet!).
Scroll down beneath the photos to access the audio.
Susan Reenan is a Rhode Island middle school teacher and an avid hiker of mountain ranges all over the United States. She is currently working on, and almost finished with, multiple lists including the Colorado 14ers, the Northeast Winter 111, and the New England Winter 67.
We spoke with Susan over the phone, and the recording is in mono vs stereo. We apologize for the sound quality of our voices; Susan sounds great, but sometimes we (Alex and Sage) are a bit hard to hear.
This episode features Katie Callahan, the GIS coordinator for New Hampshire Fish and Game. Katie talks to the girls about the wonderful variety of experiences she enjoys within the realm of her work, her love of the outdoors, interesting animal encounters, and more.
We had a great time interviewing 11-year-old Ella Ronci, a hiker who is almost finished her first round of the NH48. Ella is homeschooled, like us, and, in addition to being an avid hiker, Ella loves to ski. Listen as we discuss hiking, homeschooling, books all three of us love, and more.
Alex (left) and Sage (right) with Ella Ronci (middle)
Hiking legend Anish just finished her record-breaking hike of the Triple Crown (the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail) in less than one calendar year (close to eight months!). In this conversation, Anish talks to us about hiking in general, reflections on her most recent feat, being stalked by a mountain lion, her favorite trail foods and non-trail foods, getting too close to a momma grizzly, and more. Look for her upcoming memoir THIRST (coming this spring).
We used a new recording device for this telephone conversation; unfortunately, our voices don't have the best quality, but Anish's voice is loud and clear.
We had a wonderful conversation with Donna Dearborn, author of the book Every Sunday: A Father and Daughter’s Enduring Connection and avid all-season hiker of the northeast and beyond. Donna talks about how she began hiking, the many lists and peaks she’s hiked, her love of winter hiking, encounters with wildlife, and more. Donna is as experienced as they come with hiking all over the nation and the world. We learned a lot from this interview, and we’re sure you will too. Get a copy of her book on Amazon; it’s a great read.
We had the pleasure of interviewing Katie Bernard (middle in the photo) on September 2. Katie is a talented writer who keeps a blog of her hiking adventures called “Girl in the Woods” (48summits.com). Check it out! She is tracking her progress of her first round of the Four Thousand Footers.
Arlette Laan ("Apple Pie") is a hiking legend who has completed many of the National Scenic Trails, including the Triple Crown. In this episode, Arlette speaks with Alex and Sage about some of her experiences on the trails, her doll-making business, her love of hiking in general, some animal encounters, and much more. You can learn more about Arlette (and see some of the wonderful hiking dolls she makes!) at arlettelaan.com.
NOTE: This episode was edited by Trish Herr, since both Alex and Sage are now away for a few weeks.
Arlette Laan ("Apple Pie") with her niece, Rosalie.
This week, we had the pleasure of interviewing Karen Washington, a high school teacher and hiker extraordinaire. Karen has finished the NH48 and is almost finished the New England 67. We interviewed Karen at her high school; many thanks to Karen for her time and the good conversation!
In this episode, we (Sage and Alex) speak with Carol Gardner about her love of the outdoors and of hiking in the Whites. Carol is a security and computer expert/engineer. We had a wonderful time talking with Carol and enjoyed listening to her stories of close moose and bear encounters, her love of sushi, the different types of experiences she's had with various people on the trails, and more.
NOTE: This episode was supposed to have been released a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately, the laptop on which we usually edit suffered a fatal accident. We normally back up everything as we work on it, but in this particular instance, I hadn't...I (Sage) therefore had to re-edit the podcast from scratch, which is why this episode's publication was delayed.
Also note: We have been releasing one episode a month instead of the usual two lately. This is because I had pneumonia, then Alex and I both had/are still having final exams. In June, we will resume publishing two episodes a month.
We had the pleasure of hiking with and being interviewed by Gale Straub of the popular and female-empowering She Explores podcast...and then we got to interview Gale for GraniteGals! It was a fun (though tiring) day on the Wildcat Ridge.
Our interview took place in our car immediately after our hike, so this episode sounds a bit more casual than usual. We were simultaneously worn out and exhilarated from our day. This is a fun interview and we thank Gale for sharing her time with us. (Look for our Gale's interview of us on She Explores later this week).
We were fortunate to be able to interview Whitney "Tip Toe" for this episode. Tip Toe talks about her adventures on the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, and of her love of hiking the Northeast. Tip Toe has done the Four Thousand Footers multiple times (including winter), she has done the New England 67, and she is one of the few who has done a White Mountain Hut-to-Hut in a single 24-period. She is also almost finished redlining the trails in the White Mountain Guidebook. We enjoyed talking to this strong female explorer and hearing about her animal encounters, her people encounters, and her enthusiasm for hiking in general.
Alex had the pleasure of interviewing "Monk," more formally known as Bella Dalzell, for this episode of GraniteGals. Monk is a nine-year-old four-season hiker who hikes the Whites with her mom, Jen Lemire. Monk currently has 15 Four Thousand Footers under her belt and looks forward to finishing the 4K list over the next couple of years.
Alex's interview with Monk's mom, Jen Lemire, can be found on your GraniteGals iTunes subscription (or the GraniteGals website, www.granitegals.org), immediately before this interview.
Sage will be back with Alex for GraniteGals in February.
In this delightful interview, Alex speaks with Jen Lemire, aka MurdaPanda. Jen is a four-season White Mountain hiker currently pursuing the Grid, and she enjoys summit jumping and wearing a scary panda mask on the trails. Jen also enjoys hiking with her daughter, Bella (aka Monk). Alex also interviewed Monk; that interview will immediately follow this one.
Check out Jen's photos on Instagram -- thesummitjumper and pandamoniumonthetrails (XPandaX).
(Sage will be back with GraniteGals in February.)
Sage interviews Jen Adams, one of her Girl Scout Leaders. Jen is an avid outdoorswoman who recently completed her first round of the NH Four Thousand Footers, and who enjoys sharing her love of the outdoors with the next generation.
NOTE: Alex is away from the podcast this week due to having to study for five imminent midterm examinations. Trish (Mom and producer) edited this episode so Sage would also have time to study for her imminent-but-not-as-numerous-as-Alex's midterm exams. Both girls look forward to rejoining forces for the next episode of GraniteGals, which will come out after the holidays.
Alex and Sage interview Nancy Griswold, a professional artist who depicts scenes of and from the White Mountains in her beautiful oil paintings. Nancy talks about the outdoors as inspiration, and she describes the process that goes into her work.
Alex and Sage first met Alexandra (Alex) Garcia a couple months ago in the parking lot of Mt. Washington's Cog Railway, after everyone had done various long hikes in the Presidentials. Alex is originally from Puerto Rico and now lives in Virginia; she hikes all over the world and recently discovered a love of the White Mountains. In this interview, Alex G. talks about her various hikes, her love of difficult pursuits, how Puerto Rican food is the best on the planet, and more.