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I started this podcast in 2014, but it wasn't called The Nik Hawks Show. 

My wife Lee and I own the company Paleo Treats, so I called the show the Paleo Treats Podcast and had the company buy the initial equipment, like mics and mixing boards and headphones and software.

Beyond one or two half-hearted attempts at advertising (episodes 32 and 33), the podcast never made Paleo Treats any money, and I always had to take time from the business in order to record these conversations and share ‘em with the world.

Over the course of 50+ episodes it became apparent that the podcast didn’t really have anything to do with Paleo, that I was exploring deeply personal topics, that Paleo Treats’ only purpose was to purchase the initial equipment to get this thing off the ground and pay for ongoing hosting, and that just having the word “Paleo” in the title was enough to stop people from even trying to listen to it.

Sometime around episode 58, based on feedback from listeners and iTunes reviews, I started thinking about how to make this podcast more approachable, how to separate it from Paleo Treats in order to pursue topics that were WAY off the Paleo path, and how to stop leaning on Paleo Treats the business in order to keep the show alive financially.

That brings us up to episode 59, which is the first official episode of The Nik Hawks Show. It took me 58 shows to warm into this, and now I’m psyched to spin off in new directions!

As I keep moving forward I deeply appreciate your harnessing in on the journey in pursuit of excellence, please reach out with any suggestions or questions. 

This show is made for me and YOU, let's make this excellent together! 

If you want to support this show, please visit my Patreon feed at

Thanks for listening!

Nik Hawks

Jul 24, 2018

“If you insulted Mackay you could expect to get in a fistfight.” 

My good friend and author Greg Crouch comes back on the Paleo Treats podcast to discuss the story of John Mackay, one of the four Bonanza Kings who ran the massive profitable Con. Virginia mine on the Comstock Lode.

Greg talks about how the digital age has transformed writing about historical events, about how writing a book actually happens, and how he developed his writing style.

“I signed the contract for the book in summer of 2014, and it was published in 2018.  With 3 months to go on the contract due date and after 3 years of work, I was thinking, I don’t know if I can do this!”

Greg is a West Point grad, was a Ranger during the invasion of Panama, a climber putting up first ascents in Patagonia, and an incredibly well read and thoughtful human.  He’s one of my go to sources when I want to understand the world because he has an uncanny memory that is the result of years and years of reading and the big W word:  Work.

Within the first page of reading The Bonanza King you’ll see just how much of that work Greg puts in a book.  The facts, the background, the perspective, and the connections across a wide swath of that history show the depth and breadth of sheer study he puts in to writing a book.

From Mark Twain’s connection to John Mackay all the way to how the Civil War was affected by gold mining in Nevada, and from the development of San Francisco to the laying down of our modern lines of communications, Greg paints an incredible picture of an absolutely remarkable story.

Whether you like rags to riches, stories of hard work, engineering ingenuity, or just reading about a rippingly interesting slice of history, The Bonanza King is as good as you’ll get, and with the background of this podcast, that much more enjoyable.

Sit back and dig in to the show!

Nik @ PT