The Fear is Real

Loosely speaking, there are two kinds of fear. There’s the fear of external, objective hazards–like getting caught in an avalanche, or taking a bad fall climbing or getting mauled by a grizzly bear. Then, there’s the internal, more slippery kind of fear, like the fear of not being pretty enough, or not being popular enough or not being perfect enough.

When Kat Cannell embarked on a 350-mile, solo horse-packing trip through the mountains of Idaho and Montana, across snowy mountain passes and through a large swath of grizzly bear country, she had to confront both kinds of fears. She realized that maybe conquering the fear of having a head on with a grizzly and conquering the fear of not being pretty enough really isn’t all that different.


This April, Kat and activist Katelyn Spradley plan to ride 900-miles from the Washington Coast to Redfish Lake, Idaho, following the path of Idaho’s wild salmon up the Columbia, Snake and Salmon Rivers to their spawning grounds in the Sawtooth Basin. Learn more at, or follow the trip on Facebook or Instagram.


Music: Live at Bazillus by Aidan Baker    •    If Walls Could Talk by Jacob Bain & Nis Kotto    •    Somnolence by Kai Engel    •    All of the Time by adcBicycle    •    Freaks by Bradley Carter    •    The Very Beginning by Bradley Carter    •    Silver Linings by Jason Tyler Burton    •    The Last Wild Mountain by Bradley Carter

Tracks provided by Free Music Archive and with permission from the artists.


8 Comments on “The Fear is Real

  1.  by  nadialeigh96

    Thank you! I am a graphic design student who grew up in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and I have wanted to spend more time in the mountains for a long time. This podcast has helped me find my own personal brand of courage. I can’t thank your team enough for what you do!

  2.  by  Pam Ford

    Thank you for sharing your story of overcoming fear . Amazing !

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  4.  by

    What a great episode on so many levels! Thank you!

  5.  by  Jim Findlay

    I’ve been following the Dirtbag Diaries for about 7 years. This is one of my very favorite episodes. Kat Cannell demonstrates the very meaning of bravery and inner strength. Thank you for the insight.

  6.  by  judy dutil

    You go girl…I grew up on the N Ca coast where the fish, crab, shrimp….were so plentiful the concept of depletion was unthinkable. Now, the desolation from over human population and consumer greed have threatened the survival of the ocean, the fishing and the small sustainable communities there.
    We tried since before the 70’s–to hug our trees, preserve our coastline and defend our ocean….now its your turn. And, YOU are a champ and so are
    the wonderful beasts carrying you on. My heart goes with you.

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  8.  by  Jacob Smith

    Truly an inspirational young woman, breaking the mold for how life ‘ought to be lived.’ Keep dreaming BIG!


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