illustrator / painter
Mike Wurman
Photo of Mike Wurman
Find more of Mike’s work at:

2014, self-doubt as an artist caused Mike Wurman to pack up his drawing supplies and call it quits. In May of that same year, he met his destiny on the summit of a mountain named Max Patch. As he took a photograph of a weather-beaten post marking the Appalachian Trail, his desire to draw was immediately restored. Two months later, with two sketchbooks in his pack, he headed north to journey the 2,200-mile pilgrimage himself. “The A.T. is far more than a dirt path. To me, it’s a door that opens directly to the inner core of my creativity. There are more times than I care to admit, that self-doubt as an artist creeps in and overwhelms me to the point that I want to throw in the towel. That’s when I grab a sketchbook and head out the door, because I know I will rediscover the true nature of being an artist and accept imperfections as beauty. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a day hike of a few miles or one that extends several hundred miles, once I’m reunited with that first white blaze, my attitude shifts, and I’m in complete awe of the Trail’s wonders, from the smallest salamander to the grandest vistas.” ~ Mike Wurman

Amicalola Falls – Georgia
A historical marker sign along the Trail in Hot Springs, North Carolina is demonstrative of the intersection of history along the Trail
View of the Hot Springs bridge from the A.T. – North Carolina
Photo of Hot Springs bridge
Cappy Phalen
Photo of Cappy Phalen
Find more of Cappy’s work at:
Cappy Phalen has been obsessed with photography ever since she can remember, from the faded tones of her grandmother’s Polaroid to the family albums full of moments frozen in time. Whenever she wanted to lift up the curtain of mystery that was her loved ones’ lives before her, those photo albums offered her that chance. It was in this way that Cappy first learned to appreciate what an image can mean, and through experiencing that meaning for herself, fell in love with the transformative magic that is photography. Cappy’s goals are to create images that are honest and unifying, and to be a compassionate and calm presence while doing so. “When I set out for what ended up being a three-month adventure hiking an 800-mile section of the Appalachian Trail, I did not consider myself an activist. I disagreed with viewpoints that harmed other people, such as racism, sexism and homophobia, but I still viewed activists through a sort of extremist lens and thought that maybe their methods weren’t really necessary for change. This was before I realized that the things I’d come to the Trail to escape were inescapable, a part of the Trail just as much as the city. The Trail made me an activist. The way I move through the world outside the Trail is a direct result of my experiences on it coupled with the time that hiking the Trail granted me to mindfully process those experiences and distill them into art.” ~ Cappy Phalen