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In a series of personal essays coupled with found sound and my own flute playing, this podcast explores my journey of self-discovery as a middle-aged woman, sharing the sometimes unglamorous but vital truth about empowerment as a bad-ass woman who doesn’t need permission to blaze my own trails in this journey we call life.

Reader Comments

  1. Brilliant, well-told tale to begin the podcasts and the journey. The clarity of historical facts sandwiched into decision-making details as you prepare to embark on the hike-of-a-lifetime, is superbly narrated. Not to be missed are the splendid background music on the student flute with the glorious tone. . . but it probably wouldn’t sound as rich if played by other than the narrator 😘 and the fun illustration for The Pee Rag in red bandana motif with the actual rag showing in your backpack. Looking forward to Episode 2 and all that follow ~

    👍 Micki

  2. Hi Alison,

    Your initial Pee Rag podcast is excellent. It gives great insight as to how you got into this crazy passion of yours. I want to hear more.

  3. I found this a captivating listen. Alison is a very talented writer/producer and voice artist. The story is a must listen for anyone who is in need of a little inspiration in there lives. It is great to hear what people are capable of doing, especially when the journey to your dreams is a difficult one.

  4. Hi Alison,
    I am so glad you are doing this! I loved following you in New Zealand and on the West Coast as it was happening. And now to hear you recount these adventures is great. Thanks again for sharing your experiences!

  5. I’ve listened to both current episodes of Pee Rag – it’s very entertaining! As always, your high production skills shine through. Not only that, but the thought and research you put into your narration is very impressive. You tell a really good story of your encounters with nature, something we all need more of in these troubled times. Looking forward to episode 3!

    1. thank you Harry! It keeps me sane and I hope it’s a bit of a distraction – but maybe more like hope for better times when we can travel and meet people again without fear. 🐥👣🎒

  6. Thought provoking, descriptive, the enthusiasm flowing along a stream of delicious music. And so entertaining as this hiker identifies with what he is hearing. Am I glamorous because of how I look…well, in this country, the U.K., one is more often than not soaking wet and covered in mud, but I feel glamorous just being out there, simply ascending a peak – all the people I meet on the trail look as if they feel the same. And suprisingly never alone, so many new friends can me made even on a short hike if one chooses to do so. And if there is no one there one minds is still so fertile having the freedom to roam, seemingly able to solve so many problems in a steps free way. Looking forward to the next episodes of Peerag as it so expertly crystallises what we find and feel on our own expeditions. Well done, Blissful!

  7. For five months last year, I’d sit down with my morning coffee and read a post from the Blissful Hiker as she trekked the length of New Zealand. I’m an avid hiker and had actually hiked in NZ myself, so quickly became addicted. (Like, I went thru withdrawal when it was all over!) I was so pleased to hear that Alison was producing a podcast about this expedition. She’s a wonderful writer to begin with and then to hear that superb recording voice present it . . . spectacular! There are 2 episodes out now . . .the first two about the planning stages for her New Zealand trek, the Te Araroa. Next week she starts walking. Alison is a bright, interesting, humorous and passionate hiker. She’s also a fabulous musician with absolute knowledge in that field . . . so the background music in all these podcasts is wonderful beyond the norm. They last 15 minutes and always end too quickly. Having followed her posts, I know there are some very interesting stories to come. Not everything is sweet, clean and nice. It’s reality . . . and her passion, along with her freedom to make a fool of herself, make for very enjoyable and educational listens. You don’t have to be a hiker to relish these podcasts. I can hardly think of anyone who wouldn’t find them worthy.

  8. The tension builds up as the start is approached, the anticipation and doubts, making the first friends all so skilfully woven. And then it appears, the start bursts upon us, we can all visualise the buzz as the steps begin, the relief of finishing the first day that all us hikers recognize. It leaves this reader waiting for the next episode…Great!

    1. thanks T!! That first day was so memorable. Irene and me finally on the track in the rain/sun/hail/rainbows. Hard to believe it just started!! 🐥👣🎒🌈

  9. Hello my friend! Just finished my Sunday walk and listened to Episode 3! You are, once again, inspiring and enchanting—all at the same time. Be safe, stay healthy, and enjoy your ‘walk’. Sending love to you!

  10. Hello my friend! Just finished my Sunday walk and listened to Episode 3! You are, once again, inspiring and enchanting—all at the same time. Enjoy your ‘walk’. Sending love to you!

  11. I’m not a seaside person but I will never again view walking on a beach as monotonous. It is brought to life, we see the views, hear the sea and feel our faces burning in the changeable weather, the mind never still as it keeps the hiker company. Almost sorry that the 90km is over, the remaining thousands a promised pleasure

  12. Oh Alison—I walked today listening to the ninety mile beach! I chuckled about you asking if it was cheating when you offered a ride—Outloud to the universe I said—TAKE THE RIDE! And of course you did! I just love hearing the adventures and the ups and downs. Mostly ups!!! I can tell you are having a great experience. Your voice sounds happy and excited. On you go my friend! I’ll be listening!!! Hugs.

  13. Your podcasts in your reassuring voice set me at ease as you give snippets of your hikes I followed diligently. Reading your daily hiking comments brought angst to me, but now that you calmly summarize high and low points, I look forward to the next episodes of Pee Rag. Thank you so much for your new endeavor.

    1. thank you, Susan! I am just editing episode 5 now and I see more humor in it then when I was there! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. 🐥👣🎒♥️

  14. I love to walk sand beaches. However the ninety-mile beach sounded more like torture. Congrats to you for continuing. We know it gets better. Eager to hear your delightful commentary.

  15. I can visualise and feel sadness for the dying trees as you start this section – the same as seeing the devastation being caused on the pine forest in the Colorado Mountains. You are teaching us to keep our eyes open and marvel at the fauna around us. As a fell runner all one saw were a few steps ahead but the mud over here is just a you describe. Marvellous:)

  16. A very good question. I remember many years ago two friends and I were doing an 80km ultra, the Calderdale, in the Pennines of Yorkshire. It was a very warm day, we were running hard but were nowhere near winning. As we ran past a very inviting reservoir Graham suggested a stop for a swim. I was shocked to the core – I had not trained all year to splash about in water and lose time. I have since moved on. All that training allows me not only to run hard but also to have the strength to hike so that I do not feel too tired to stop and enjoy a view, and yes, dive in the water! I enjoy both, I think that there is room for both. The Western States 100 and other responsibly organized ultras limit the number of entrants so as to limit the impact on the trails.

  17. A good friend, the blissful hiker, who has an infectious spirit and adventurous soul, lives her dream courageous. Listening to some of her many stories that are off the beaten track, inspires my heart of wanting to discover where are these unique and special places. The trails of her adventures have taken her around the world. In 2018, she hiked the whole distance of New Zealand on the Te Araroa, and then in 2019 she trekked the Pacific Crest Trail from Washington through Oregon and finishing up California.
    The blissful hiker is also known as Alison Young, I can her the all amazing Al! She is truly one of the most amazing and remarkable people I have the pleasure to call my friend. Her pod-casts, called the Pee Rag, chronicles her adventures upon the Te Araroa. You will find her podcasts captivating, humorous, and inspiring. All in all, full of adventure. Al has tremendous wit and is a brilliant walker or hiker of the world. In the Pee Rag podcasts, she brings you along on the many trails that she has trekked, the sounds and harmony of the beauty that makes the Te Araroa so amazing and special.
    The Pee Rag series has inspired me to grab my camera, trail shoes, and backpack so I can capture the beauty and harmony of the trails that I love so much and to be able to discover new ones as well.
    The Pee Rag podcast series will inspire adventure and awaken your own curious spirit to grab a pair of hiking boots or trail shoes, with a backpack in toe and trekking poles, so you can plan your next adventure or find beauty on your own trails, where ever they make take you.
    Happy Trails, ‘til we meet again.

  18. As the pandemic and social distancing continue to make access to our favourite trails awkward Alison brings them into our homes through her vivid podcasts. I can feel the sheep poo on my hand as I carelessly push off the ground after a rest whilst walking in the Yorkshire Dales. And the colourful Kavu hat so casually mentioned at the beginning of the cast was a beacon for Dave and I as we followed in Ali’s wake on the John Muir Trail some years ago.
    Absolutely splendid, thank you!

  19. You portray the self-doubt that can overwhelm when left behind so vividly. But never left behind for long and the smile always returns. Captivating listening!

  20. Hi Alison. I have loved the trip down memory lane through my old youthful territory. Northland, the beaches and of course Mangawhai where I have spent so much time over the years. Reminds me of my surfing trips over 50 years ago also. These places were so wild and remote and hard to access way back then. Now you’re on the Auckland. My home town.
    Mind you I left there in 1985 and haven’t lived there since but once a JAFA always JAFA. Keep it up. The trail between Long Bsy and Takapuna is another favorite place anyone have walked often. Can’t wait for more. Great stuff

    1. I love this note, George! and I so much liked my walk into Auckland. Every bay had people doing a different water sport – surfing, sailing, paddle board – what a life!

  21. This podcast was one of the very best! Not only did I learn a lot, I got excited just as if I were going with you. The details, or “deets,” as you call them, were fascinating. Thanks.

  22. oh that’s fantastic! From here on out, there will definitely be a feel of “what’s next?!?” for you and me both! All the food has made it into bins for Trail Angel Richard to send along the way…somewhat organized!

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