TPZ156: Cycling in the South American Andes with Faye Shepherd

cycling south americaIn October 2016 Faye Shepherd began a 6-month, 5,500-mile cycling adventure through Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.  Starting in La Paz with her teammate Anna McNuff, the two cycled south to Ushuaia on a mostly off-road route through the Andes.  With over 100,000 meters of elevation gain they cycled the equivalent height of Mt. Everest over 10 times while wild camping most of the journey.  As Faye writes in her blog I thought these facts and figures were going to be most important in terms of a ‘sense of accomplishment’, but they’re not. In fact, they seem wholly inconsequential against a backdrop of extraordinary experiences and memories that we have been fortunate enough to be able to create.”  You can learn more about Faye and her adventures at  Faye Shepherd, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

Anna McNuff previously appeared in episodes 40 and 97.

TPZ155 : Ultralight on the Appalachian Trail with Chip Vachon

Appalachian trailThis summer Adam “Chip” Vachon will depart on a thru-hike of the Appalachian trail, one of the 11 US national scenic trails extending 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine.  He will start at Khatadin on June 1st and head southbound, planning to complete the hike in 70 days.  He will accomplish this by going ultralight and by hiking well after sunset.  This will be his second time on the AT, having completed 800 miles in 2010.  In this episode we talk about what it takes to prepare for an ultralight and fast thru-hike adventure and the plan is to have Chip back on the show after his hike to tell the story of how it went.  Chip Vachon, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

Check out Chip’s website at

TPZ154: RTW Overland Motorbike Adventure with Steph Jeavons

Overland Motorbike Steph JeavonsIn March 2014 Steph Jeavons set off on a solo ‘round the world overland journey on her Honda CF250L motorbike.  She completed her adventure 4 years later becoming the first Brit to do so by riding in all 7 continents.  It was an adventure not about the bike or speed, but about living, learning, and enjoying life.  She endured everything from extreme heat to the freezing cold while camping, couch surfing, and staying with fellow bikers.  She is also fundraising for Rally4Life.  An organization dedicated to relieving poverty by providing education, food, and shelter to needy families around the world.  You can learn more about Steph and her adventure at  Steph Jeavons, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

TPZ153: Patagonia Horseback Adventure with Stevie Anna

Patagonia Horseback AdventureRaised in Oregon and Texas, Stevie Anna lives for travel and adventure.  While living in a van with her dog Darcie, she traveled to 49 states and she’s guided backcountry horse trips both in Alaska and Minnesota.  She also works as an expedition project manager.  In 2015 she moved to Argentina and began planning – Patagone – an adventure on horseback through Patagonia from the dry steppe to the high mountain passes.  It was an exploration over 3 months and nearly 1,200 miles of the stunning wilderness of Patagonia and it was a way to travel slow and reconnect with the wild elements often missed.  You can learn more about Stevie and the Patagone adventure at her website  Stevie Anna, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

6,000 Miles by Horseback on the Eurasian Steppe with Tim Cope : TPZ032 Encore

Tim Cope on the trail of Genghis KhanFor 3 years Tim Cope traveled by horseback through the Eurasian steppe from the ancient capital city of Karakoram in Mongolia to the Danube River in Hungary.  It was a 6000-mile journey last attempted in the days on Ghengis Khan.  For most of the journey he was alone except for his horses and his dog named Tigon.  The adventure was a tribute to the nomadic way of life.  Along the way he encountered a cast of very interesting characters.  Some were thieves not to be trusted yet most proved to be incredibly generous.  You can learn more by reading his book titled On The Trail of Genghis Khan, An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads – and from his website  Tim Cope, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

Backpacking Europe with Daniel Alvarez : TPZ 152

Backpacking EuropeIn the summer of 2017 Daniel Alvarez finished a very long walk across Europe.  He started at the top of Norway and continued south across Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, Spain, and Portugal following various trails including Sweden’s Kungsleden and the Camino de Santiago.  It was a year-long journey covering over 6,000 miles and he writes about this adventure and others at his website  Daniel previously appeared in episode 5 talking about his long-distance kayaking adventure from Minnesota to Florida.  Daniel Alvarez, welcome back to the show.

Show Notes:

Garmin InReach

REI Backpack

Tarp Tent

Gaia GPS App

Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bag

YouTube Reindeer video

PowerDirector App

Bikepacking the Tour Divide with Ralph Karsten : TPZ 151

Bikepacking tour divideJune 2018 will be the second time Ralph Karsten starts the Tour Divide at the Grand Depart in Banff Canada.  The Tour Divide is an annual self-supported mountain bike race that follows the nearly 2,700-mile Great Divide Mountain Bike Route from Canada to the Mexican border.  Ralph also enjoys primitive camping, practicing survival skills, and flying hang-gliders.  Ralph Karsten, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

Show Notes:

Tour Divide

Ride the Divide movie

Inspired to Ride movie

The Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour

Born to Run

Jones Bikes

Banff Airporter

Salsa Cutthroat

ZPacks Hexamid


Garmin eTrex

Spot locator

Colorado Trail

Arizona Trail

Black Hills Expedition


Adventure Cycling Association

Mike Hall

Alessi brothers on YouTube










Kayaking Minnesota to Florida with Daniel Alvarez : TPZ 005 Encore

Kayaking MississippiMy next guest is Daniel Alvarez.  After completing four long-distance hikes including the 2,000 mile Appalachian trail and the 3,000 mile Continental Divide Trail, he traded his hiking boots for a paddle and traveled 4,000 miles in a sea kayak from Minnesota’s Northwest Angle to Key West, Florida.  It was a plan so audacious that Outside magazine awarded him a $10,000 grant.  It was a 9-month adventure he completed on March 9, 2013.  Now he has turned his boat around and is paddling his way back.  You can learn more about Daniel at his website  Daniel Alvarez, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.

Rowing the Atlantic Ocean with Paddy Montgomery & Seamus Crawford : TPZ 150

Talisker Whiskey Atlantic ChallengeSeamus Crawford and Paddy Montgomery previously appeared in Episode 118 to talk about the first two legs of their journey – The Race Across Europe and the Marathon des Sables.  Now they are back to talk about their successful completion of leg 3 – the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge, a 3,000-nautical-mile row across the Atlantic Ocean.  They are fundraising for The Prostrate Project and Shooting Star Chase and you can learn more about their adventure at  Seamus and Paddy, welcome back to the show.

Bicentennial National Trail on Wild Horses with Alienor Le Gouvello : TPZ 149

Bicentennial National Trail

Photo credit: Cat Vinton

The Bicentennial National Trail stretches over 5,000 km and crosses some of eastern Australia’s most remote and spectacular landscapes.  It took 13 months for Alienor Le Gouvello and her 3 horses – Roxanne, River and Cooper – to complete the trail making her the first person to finish it on wild horses.  Before setting out she had to break and train these wild horses, known as brumbies, with the help of the Guy Fawkes Heritage Horse Association.  Alienor also traveled to Mongolia to compete in the 6-day 480 km Gobi Desert Cup endurance race on Mongolian horses where she finished in first place.  You can learn more about Alienor and her adventures on Facebook at  Alienor Le Gouvello, welcome to The Pursuit Zone.