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Thanks for checking out the Nik Hawks Show, where my general mandate is to follow the pursuit of excellence. 

My background is in business, adventure, the military, athletic challenges, and working with world class athletes.

Those are all starting points for my guests, though not always.  I've talked to cryptographers, sleep scientists, authors, reporters, climbers, and adventurers.

All of them have useful insight for YOU, which is the reason I make the show public.  

Whether we're talking about cryptocurrency or rowing a boat across the Atlantic, my idea was to share the conversations I was having with radical people.  Lately I've been adding in my own thoughts in separate Nik-i-sodes.


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.

Over the course of 50+ episodes it became apparent that the podcast didn’t really have anything to do with Paleo. Sometime around episode 58, based on feedback from listeners and iTunes reviews, I decided to change the name to reflect what I was actually talking about.

That should catch you up to speed for now.  

To read more, find the latest episodes and news along with a way to support this show, please visit my site

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