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Shilletha "Dragonsky" Curtis - Hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2021

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Shilletha Curtis - Trail name “Dragonsky” is 30 years old and is from New Jersey, USA.

She is an established writer and hiker and is inspiring to be the second Black woman to achieve the Triple Crown of hiking (The AT, PCT, CTD).

She recently completed the Appalachian Trail and is preparing for the Continental Divide Trail (CDT).

She graduated from Rutgers in 2014 and has worked in the social work and veterinary field for years.

She is currently working as a freelance writer and is working on her book.

Listen to Shilletha on the Tough Girl Podcast as she shares more about her life, her passion for hiking and spending time in the outdoors.

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Show notes

  • Growing up in New Jersey, USA

  • Graduating in 2014 with a degree in social work

  • Getting into writing since Covid

  • What her younger years were like

  • Having a passion for reading

  • Never being exposed to hiking

  • Her journey of getting into the outdoors

  • Getting into hiking in 2020

  • Hearing about the Appalachian Trail for the first time

  • Getting obsessed with the AT and making the decision to thru-hike it

  • Living from paycheck to paycheck

  • Figuring out how to pay for the hike

  • Joining AT Facebook Groups…

  • Asking about her safety

  • Dealing with racism and threats

  • Being supported/sponsored by the Appalachian Trail Conservatory (ATC)

  • Using the GoFundMe platform to raise funds for her hike

  • Safety while on the trail

  • Needing people at certain points for safety

  • Not being excited while on the trail and just being scared

  • Being a triple minority and always having to look and check behind her back at all times

  • Journalling and writing while out in the woods

  • Being exhausted

  • Having a strategy for hiking the AT

  • The Matrix World

  • Listening to her body

  • Wanting to experience freedom while hiking

  • Starting the trail in February….

  • Dealing with the cold weather

  • Her trail name and where it came from

  • Connecting with a trail family

  • Her summit day on October 5th 2021

  • Cover your poop!

  • Loving the rock scrambling and feeling empowered and happy

  • Feeling proud of herself

  • Biggest lessons learned from the experience of spending 9 months on the trail

  • The power of being present

  • Learning how to live and what freedom means

  • Wanting to live life how she wants to

  • Sharing her journey and how people can follow along

  • Working on new writing projects

  • The significance of 29.5

  • Chasing the seasons

  • Top pieces of advice for Black women who want to take on a challenge like hiking the Appalachian Trail

  • Words to live your life by

  • Why she’s going to keep on hiking


Social Media

Instagram: @I_Am_Dragonsky

Blog post - Not Just Another Hiker June 12, 2020


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