Drink to Your Health

Words by Eddie “Oilcan” Boyd

There I was, 14 miles into my Appalachian Trail thru hike. I had just packed everything up for the third day of hiking and was about to leave Hurd Brook lean-to when I unexpectedly threw up my breakfast. The two days before had been extremely taxing on my physical well-being. It began by climbing Mt. Katahdin from the knife edge side, a ten-mile hike that took me 12 hours to complete. I had brought two liters of water up with me, and it was empty by the time I reached the summit. What followed was six hours of grueling downhill terrain that put the nail in the coffin at my chances for waking up the next day feeling normal.

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Five months after taking our first steps through Georgia, Tyson (Tenderfoot as I had fondly come to call him) and I were welcomed to the Northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Despite the early morning sun shining through the trees at its base, clouds covered Katahdin’s peak. This was the beginning of the end to our 2,189.1-mile journey up the East Coast. We had spent the previous night at a nearby campground outside of Baxter State Park as a result of overcrowding at Katahdin Stream Campground and were now driving back with my parents to complete the remaining five miles of trail.

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An Ultralight Approach to Surviving Hostile Work Environments

Our names are Matt Wordell (@mhwordell) and Zach Voss (@retroscope). We’re based in Boise, Idaho. We travel to remote areas around the world with leading Volcanologists to assist research projects, capture photos and video, and produce short films and other content for use by Universities, research groups, National Geographic Society, National Science Foundation, and other organizations.

We just completed an expedition in Guatemala and have another approaching in May that will take us to several remote volcanos in Papua New Guinea in support of a research team from the Deep Carbon Observatory. In addition, this work will be displayed during an international volcanological conference held at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC as part of a film showcase and photo exhibition.

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