Appalachian Trail Hiker Finds Feline a Purrfect Hiking Partner

Windows to the Wild Premieres Wednesday, November 6th on NHPBS

(Durham, NH, October 30, 2019) With a rather unusual partner by his side, 23-year-old Michael Beaumier set off on the trip of a lifetime – hiking the Appalachian trial. In an upcoming episode of WINDOWS TO THE WILD viewers will meet Michael’s buddy Rico the hiking cat. 

 

The South Berwick, Maine native, grew up surrounded by mountains, which he hiked often side-by-side with his childhood dog but she was too old to take on the 2,200 mile trek so Michael turned to Rico.

 

On the trail, Rico moves at his own pace, as cats do. He instinctually followed Michael for at least five miles a day, Rico would trail behind as the two conquered the mountain trails together. When asked why, Michael had one simple answer - “companionship.” He reflects on the “really close bond to an animal you are with 24/7 and that you have to provide for.” 

 

By the time the hiking duo reached the 1,000 mile point of the Appalachian Trail Michael realized he could not put in the miles he had hoped while taking care of a cat. 

 

Rico returned home and Michael’s father Tony took his place. WINDOWS TO THE WILD host Willem Lange meets Michael and Tony on the Appalachian Trail in Bennington, Vermont. Michael tells Willem of the high and low points, both literally and figuratively of his journey including when a bear stole all his food and almost stole Rico too.

 

WINDOWS TO THE WILD follows Michael and Rico’s journey along the Appalachian Trail and shares the story of what happens after. Tune into the premiere of season 15 of WINDOWS TO THE WILD featuring Rico the hiking cat and his owner Michael on Wednesday, November 6th at 7:30pm on NHPBS and online at nhpbs.org/windows.

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WINDOWS TO THE WILD WITH WILLEM LANGE is generously supported by the Alice J. Reen Charitable Trust and the Bailey Charitable Foundation

Willem Lange’s wardrobe is generously donated by The Kittery Trading Post


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