74. Welcome Back To A New Season!

Welcome to a new season of the podcast! The podcast in 2022 floundered a bit and if you saw my social media posts you will know that I lost a lot of momentum to keep the podcast going in late summer. If you’ve listened to podcasts with any sort of high frequency over the last 8-10 years you will have noticed how podcasts typically fade with time. Some because they had a certain lifespan to begin with, and others because the hosts lose interest or move on.

I don’t want to lose interest in this podcast, because I truly enjoy it and have so many ideas for it but it does get tough to keep up with monthly because I’m also juggling life, work, a family, another podcast, and other hobbies. Plus, i’ve gotta get some hikes in there, too! To prevent burnout I am switching to a quarterly release of episodes. I’ll be recording podcasts in between releases but this will allow me to edit them in a bit more relaxed schedule and not feel compelled to get an episode or three out every month. Instead you can look for 4-7 episodes every 3-4 months that will be released all at one time. That’s how I’ll be handling the podcast for 2023 at least, and we’ll see how it works and go from there.

In addition to these changes, I’m also looking for ways to spruce up the podcast, to not have strictly interviews with hikers but I’m also interested in having a few folks on just to have a conversation and chat about hiking, nature, and the outdoors. It could be Florida focused but also, maybe not. I have a few folks in mind to consider for this but if you think you’d be up for a chat or two this year with a lot more flexibility than a typical episode, email me at orangeblazepodcast at gmail.com or DM me on social media!

I would also like to get more interviews from folks running the local trail chapters and will be digging into some of those Facebook groups this year. If you listen and are involved in any of those chapters and can recommend someone to interview, get in touch with me!

I’m also starting a book club this year! You’ll hear more about it in a special episode for this batch of released episodes in January 2023 but the gist is to have a group of 4-6 folks chat about the chosen book with me and discuss it. Everyone can read the book on their own, whether or not you will be in the discussion, and then listen to the chat afterward. I am hoping to also pair this with an author interview if I can make it happen for each book. So, that is one other addition I’ll be doing at least twice this year.

The five year anniversary of the podcast is coming up in the spring, too. I’m still brainstorming some ways for listener involvement on that and will let you know as soon as I have some more information for that so y’all can get involved with that. I can’t believe it will be 5 years! The last three years have been simultaneously a whirl but also the most slow years ever!

One last note, the FT has been seeing an increase in usage over the last several years and I think we’re on the cusp of an even bigger explosion. This means there is likely going to be an increase in folks who may not play nice, let’s just say it that way, and an increase in negative rhetoric about the trail may proliferate on social media. Long time FT hikers and supporters all know of the trail’s shortcomings—please limit your complaining to the trail itself and not to the people who have put in many hours of effort and work over decades to get the trail to what it is today. There’s no reason to belittle people if you are having a bad day on a roadwalk. If you have significant issues with the trail, like poor blazing, conditions are bad enough to prevent safe crossing of areas, please contact the FTA itself, or contact me and I’ll put you into contact with people who will be there to listen and solve problems. There are now several thru-hikers on the FTA board of directors and they will understand your gripes and complaints—we all know how bad a roadwalk sucks! But your poor planning or knowledge of the FT before launching a hike in this era of excess information does not mean you get to say nasty things about people. There are other trails out there that may suit you better–we all know the FT isn’t for everyone and that’s ok! And I would hope other hikers would call out bad behavior on trail, not even limited to this type of issue.

I really appreciate all of you for listening to this podcast and sticking with it over the years. I’m hoping to do better with some of the audio this year as I had previously not taken into account just how many of y’all listen in your cars! Some of the audio differences can be challenging for those folks, the differences between me and the guest, so I’m working to get better with equalizing that this year. Thank you for your patience with that.

If you listen on iTunes, please consider leaving a 5 star rating and review. It’s been a bit since I’ve had one of those and it always helps the podcast become visible in the search or referral section. Also, I recently found out Spotify has a rating system, too. Consider leaving a 5 star rating there as well! I know from my stats there are quite a bit of y’all who listen over there so this new development will also help with getting the podcast out to other folks. I’m not sure about other podcast apps but if your podcast platform allows ratings and reviews, do it there, too! And best of all, word of mouth is where it is at! Tell fellow hikers and let them know about the podcast! It goes a long way and I appreciate it!

That’s it for this introduction into 2023 series of episodes and I look forward to bringing more of the Florida Trail to your ears this year!

Happy hiking, y’all!

Music: “Breathing” by Lee Rosevere

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