Episode 96: Above The Ashes (P1)

In Episode 96, Kevin Conley is back on the show after a six year hiatus to tells us about his last few years as a wildland firefighter, his subsequent battle with mental illness, and his 3500 mile ride across the country to beat it. This journey helped Kevin overcome one of the darkest moments of his life which he details in his recently published book “Above The Ashes” – a powerful memoir of his journey with dog Rocky.

We last spoke with Kevin in 2016 after his thru-hikes on the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails while living out of his car for two years and exploring the U.S. Kevin (aka “30 Pack”) went on to hike the Wonderland Trail, do numerous bike tours, and complete four hikes on the John Muir Trail. His hiking and backpacking resume is impressive, but his fight for life is inspiring.

In Episode 96 (part one of this two part series), we discuss Kevin’s years leading up to the ride, his mental breakdown, and how he nearly took his own life. In Episode 97, Kevin talks about his cross-country bike tour, his book, his fundraising – and the incredible support that he received from family, friends, fellow firefighters, and many, many strangers during his ride. Kevin is grateful to be alive and tonight he is here to tonight to tell you why.

Subject: Above The Ashes – Part One
Interviewees: Kevin “30 Pack” Conley
Interview Date: November 21, 2022
Runtime: 1:28:16

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Support Kevin

. Visit Kevin’s Website

. Buy Kevin’s Book

. Follow Kevin on Instagram

. Support the Wildland Firefighter’s Foundation

More Episodes w/ Kevin

Episode 13 (where we talked about his Appalachian Trail thru-hike recorded February 21, 2013)

Episode 19 & Episode 20 (where he recounts his Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike in a two part series, recorded January 2, 2014)

Episode 36 and Episode 37, (“30 at 30” where he catches us up on his life since the AT and PCT, a two-part series, recorded October 26, 2016)

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