He's back at it!

People who know me know that I belong on the Trail. I've thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail (twice),the Pacific Crest Trail and the mighty Continental Divide Trail. I've hiked many of the long trails here in Michigan including being the first to hike both the Ironwood Trail and the Great Lake To Lake Trail. My next big adventure will be the Israel National Trail starting in February 2017.

The purpose of this blog is to keep anyone who is interested informed of my progress and to encourage those who are able to support me in this endeavor.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Closing Credits


As I've said in the past, no one completes a 2,600 mile trail without a ton of love and support. The purpose of this post is to try to give props to all those who made it possible for me to hike the PCT. The list will be incomplete - there were actually hundreds of people who helped me. Some may have just given me a ride or a piece of fresh fruit or just some advice about the trail ahead of me but all of them deserve my thanks. Please forgive me for an incomplete list.

Camp Champaign: Martha Rogers was my Re-Supply Coordinator, my Research Technician, my Social Media Director and the backbone of the entire project. Had she known what a huge undertaking it was, had she known how much time and money it would cost her, had she known what a huge pain in the ass I could be, there is NO WAY she would have agreed to help me.  Lucky for me, she was there from the very inception of the idea. You think she would have learned her lesson after helping me with the AT! Sandy Lowe keeps us both grounded. Not only does she keep us sane but she came through for me when I really needed her. I love them both.

The Sisters: Patti has been helping me since I first started on the AT. She's done everything from filling and mailing re-supply boxes to dehydrating food. Now her charity, Sox For Soles, is a major sponsor of mine. Carol buys me tons of food, knits and sews custom gear for me and helps me think through some of the challenges of long distance hiking. Pat helps me all the way from Massachusetts and Mary generously contributes from Nebraska. Couldn't do it without you, ladies.

Trail Angels: Almost every hiker I know has a story about how Donna Saulfly saved their ass or the great time they had at the Anderson's. The Braatens, Piper's Mom, Shrek, the Dinsmores, and Kellie OnlyaTest Morrel, who brought maps to me out of White Pass! - it floors me to think about how many thousands of hikers these folks have helped. Every one of us drank water that Mary Barrow puts out every day. And those are just the big names. There are countless others who gave me a ride or let me stay at their place for a night . Heaven holds a special place for all of them.

My Friends: Susie, Drew and Marlyss - I love you guys. John, Susie and Amelia Cassidy, Dave and Nicole, Beaker and Dragonfly, Kristo and his family, Scallywag and his family, Hee Haw and Emily, Typo and his mom, Astro and the Gosselins, my nephew Brian, my nieces Dana, Chelsea and Laura. Plus Rambo, Schrody, Noelle Mercado, Traci Rink and her daughter Katie ... Thank you for all the love and support.

I'd also like to thank Moosejaw - especially Tom, Lola and Perry. Randy and Miranda at Ripcord, Sox For Soles and Granite Gear.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Scott Williamson's Socks



What follows is absolutely a true story. The main characters in this story are myself, my buddy Astro and PCT Legend, Scott Williamson. Me, you don't need to know much about except that I thru-hiked the PCT this year and that I have an unhealthy man-crush on Scott Williamson. As a kid, I wanted to throw a baseball like Mark Fidrych of the Detroit Tigers. As a teen, I wanted to play guitar like Eddie Van Halen but as an adult, I want to hike like Scott Williamson. I read everything I can find about the guy. I got my hopes up that I might actually meet him on the trail this year but he abandoned his SOBO hike, I understand, because of all the fires. And I'm not the only one obsessed with all-things Scott Williamson. When I confessed that I took a picture of his re-supply box at Big Lake Youth Camp, my buddy Hee Haw admitted that he did the same thing. 
You need to know about Astro. The kid was two semesters into a physics degree at Berkley when life tapped him on the shoulder and said "Congratulations. You have stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma." Astro bravely underwent a stem cell transplant but the cancer persisted. When his oncologist wanted to go with more chemotherapy, Astro declined and started looking into alternative therapies. In order to make his mind and his body more receptive to healing, he decided to hike the PCT. The kid's out here fighting cancer and I'm bitching about blisters. He puts things into perspective and it was my honor to hike with him. Learn more about Astro here.
Astro, it turns out, also stayed at the Big Lake Youth Camp. As he picked out his re-supply box off the shelf, he also saw Scott Williamson's abandoned box and he noticed the ETA written on it was 8/21/12. This was mid-September. Scott was definitely off the trail. That was a shame because Astro, too, is a big fan.  Astro opened his own re-supply box and was shocked to see too little food. A miscommunication had lead to this box having only a couple days of food in it when Astro's next stop was more like five to seven days away.
You also need to know that, at this point in his life, Astro believes in signs. He believes that sometimes things are the way they are for a reason. Sometimes things are where they are for a reason. Like Scott Williamson's box, full of food, sitting on the shelf when Scott himself was clearly off the trail. Astro badly needed food - there was the food of our hero! Astro opened Scott Williamson's box! I assure you that as Astro was telling me this I yelled "You what!?" Followed immediately by "What was in it?!" Astro gave me a detailed account of all that was in the box. I listened closely, amazed and fascinated. Astro did indeed help himself to Scott Williamson's food as well as something else that was in the box... A pair of Scott Williamson's socks. They seemed to be just regular men's nylon dress socks but when Astro wore them he hiked the most miles he's ever hiked in a day: 29.6.
Astro ate Scott's food, wore his socks and even tried to mix up and drink some kind of green powder that was in the box. Ended up making him really sick. I think Astro took these things half out of necessity and half out of hero worship.  We all wanted to look inside the box but Astro was the only one with enough guts to do it.  He also had the guts to write Scott a letter explaining who he is and why he took the food. He put the letter in the box and re-sealed it, hoping it would make its way back to the world record holder.
I'd like to think that if Scott was there and he knew who Astro was and what he was dealing with out here, he would offer up anything in that box and more. Scott Williamson is a hero of mine and so is Astro. Now, if I can just get him to loan me those socks!

Monday, October 29, 2012

This Dog Is Dirty!


Wanna know how to kill a Wolverine? Take him out of the mountains, where he naturally belongs and trap him in a giant metal tube. His free spirit will fade away and eventually, he'll die.
Actually, I'm just really glad for a way to get home. Thanks so much to Sandy Lowe for the ticket. Can't wait to see my family and the members of Camp Champaign. Can't wait to sleep in my own bed. In fact, I can't wait to get back on the trail! I've got itchy feet already and those hills are calling my name. I'm being honest when I say that, as bad as Cutthroat Pass was, I'd rather be there right now than here...in Tube Hell.

I may be FROM Detroit, but my HOME is on the trail.





The French Smile


I met a woman in Vancouver, BC who had just completed the King of All Trails, the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) on a mule! She rode one mule and used a second mule to carry all her gear. Amazing! She came all the way from France, trained for a month on using and riding pack stock and then she rode from Mexico to Canada. Check out her blog here . Enjoy the pictures and scroll down a bit to see the English translation.
Not only does she ride horses and mules but she also rented a full-size Harley Davidson Low Rider and rode from San Francisco to Seattle! She is 100% BA! I'm so glad to have met her, to have shared my BC experience with her and to have had a chance to ask her a million questions about the CDT, thus further whetting my appetite to hike that trail. She even gave me her memory cards that have all the maps on them for a GPS system. I thank her kindly for that.
Her name is Krystele Marie Bodet but they call her 'The French Smile' on the trail.

Krystele and me in Vancouver, BC

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Kiwi


Did everyone know it's that it's Christchurch and not Crosschurch? I didn't know that til I met this hairy hippie. We call him Typo cause he carried that fold up keyboard the whole damn hike. Even when it was broken!
Typo is the kinda guy who would come back for ya in a rock slide. In fact, HE DID come back for me in a rock slide! I had car-sized boulders with incredible momentum barreling down from above me. Had to book it out of there double time! Luckily, it stopped before it even reached the trail but Typo heard it. He saw it was a mile or so behind him and he knew that's right where I was! When he didn't see me at camp that night, he took off SOBO to find me by headlamp in the pouring rain. Luckily I was camped just across the river. He sure was glad to see me.

Talk about 'glad to see' - when a frozen, snow-covered Typo stumbled up to cabin 21 at the Manning Park Resort (thanks Gosselins!), the dude was wrecked. One of the most joyous reunions in my life. He was so glad to be done and to see me alive, frankly, and I was so glad to see him. He answered all my questions about what happened to him as he peeled off his frozen pack. We got him warmed up as soon as possible with quilts and blankets. He ditched his wet clothes - including that black wool vest from his mom that he loves - and tried to get feeling back in his feet. After we both calmed down a bit we went next door to celebrate with Astro, his wonderful mom Betsy and his step-dad/my hiking buddy, Michael. Even Astro's grandfather, his sister and his best friend were there for a monster feast. So much good food!  We ate and swapped stories and ate again. Typo said that the very idea of this feast is what kept him going!

I guess I should forgive Typo for scaring the shit out of me when I camped a quarter-mile inside the restricted Mt. Adam's burn area. I thought he was a ranger for sure.

Gotta say one more really cool thing about this well travelled, well spoken, articulate young man: he is what we call 'quietly pure'. Dude didn't take a ride once. Not once. He stuck purely to the trail and HIKED every detour, re-route, hurdle and obstacle put in his way. He's too humble to say it about himself so I'm here to bare witness: he is as pure as the driven snow. Me? Not so much... I took two rides. One for 12 miles and one for 8 miles. Both shitty roadwalks around forest fires. That's not an excuse. Just sayin...


My friend Randy makes all kinds of cool stuff out of paracord.  Belts, bracelets, watch bands... he's pretty talented.  Check out more of his stuff here: Ripcord
His ripcord was invaluable to me on the trail.  I used to hang my food, tie my tent down, tie my boots...so many things.
Check out his site and see what he can do for you!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Toughest Day Ever!


Tuesday morning 10/17/12. Got up and packed up in a light rain. NBD, my gear was already soaked. Left camp with Hee Haw and Typo, leaving Scallywag and ED behind to finish breakfast. Right off we came to a huge river. We spent some time looking for a way to cross. Hee Haw found a line rock-hopping and made it across, yelling which rocks were slippery and which ones moved over the roar of the river. Typo was next but he slipped and planted one leg in the drink and dropped his trekking poles. I grabbed his arm to steady him and he used me as an anchor while he reached down into the freezing water to fetch his sticks. When he regained his balance he looked me in the eye and said "Cheers." Always the Kiwi, that Typo. I knew that he had better balance than me so I just forded the river. No sense risking falling and getting injured only 74 miles from the finish.
The rain that had been falling turned to sleet, then snow. Big flakes like the kind that makes school kids run to the window with awe and delight. I'd been camping in the snow since I was a kid and my cold weather game was tight so I wasn't concerned, but 12 miles and 6 inches of snow later, I found myself in the pitch black with blowing snow and freezing temps at 7K feet. Hadn't seen the others all day. I lost the trail under the snow and couldn't see any topo by the new moon so I decided to camp. I can set up my tent in seconds these days but on this night it was a pain with the wind blowing and my headlamp dying. Solid rock under the snow made staking in impossible so I had to guy my tent to rocks which is tough when your hands don't work. I finally got into my sleeping bag and spent the next 15 minutes shivering in the dark. When I turned on my headlamp next, snow had blown under the rain fly and into the tent! Everything in the vestibule was buried in snow!
Worst night ever. My fuel canister lost pressure and died. Had to eat cold. Wore every bit of clothing I had with me to bed. I lay shivering and wet in my bag, listening to the snow blow and howl. The sides of my tent bowed in like someone was physically pushing with all their might on the soaked nylon. At first light I poked my head out to find a break in the fog and clouds but deep snow drifts all around me. I was so fucking cold that I could barely get my gear together. I actually pulled my frozen boots out of a snow drift and put them right on my feet. Frozen laces don't tie well.

I could see a faint horizontal line across a mountain some miles away and Halfmile's maps pointed me that way but without enough detail to show me how to get there. The trail had to be around here somewhere! I started postholing through knee-deep snow with drifts as high as my waist that I had to 'swim' through. I was soon exhausted.
At this point, the smart thing to do would be to turn back, find my way back down to Rainey Pass and get the hell outta there. Had I done that, I probably would have found the other four hikers and been fine but I was gripped by the hiker's equivalent of 'summit fever'. I just could not turn back. I could see that climbing through snow drifts that hang out over an 800 foot drop was ridiculously stupid but I plunged forward, desperately wanting to get down from 7000 feet. What if the next 40 miles were like this? How could I finish? Why did I take so long in California? And where the hell were Hee Haw and Typo? I couldn't believe they made it up and over this thing in the dark and heavy snow last night!

I finally got below tree level. I tried to re-pack my gear because everything was caked in snow and ice but my hands still didn't work so it was fruitless. Finally, I was low enough that snow turned to rain and it melted most of the snow out of my pack. I caught a break in the rain and set up camp at Brush Creek. I had only gone 13 miles that day but I was exhausted. Plus, maybe Scallywag and ED would catch up from behind and I'd know they were okay but there was no sign of them, either.
Over the next few days, I pushed hard to get to the famous Monument 78 on the Canada border including a night spent in the shitter at Hart's Pass. I was covered in mouse poop by the time morning came around and the ambient stench in this outhouse was thick but it was blowing sleet outside and I had struck a bargain with the mice: just don't chew any additional holes in my pack and you can eat all you want.

Eventually I made it to the campground just beyond the border to find my little brother Astro, his step-dad Michael, PCT Thru-hiker Gourmet and his friend Dave there. First other hikers I had seen since waving goodbye to Hee Haw and Typo last Tuesday morning. This was Saturday!

Tough times. Good times. I wish I could do it all again.

There's all kinds of goodies inside the monument!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Keeping a Journal

I'm terrible at it.  By the time I climb into my tent at night after a 20+ mile day, I'm just too whipped to write about my day.  Luckily, this guy is very good at it and I hike with him pretty much all the time.  His name is Jason Phelps but we call him Hee Haw.  He is my brother.



Monday, October 22, 2012

October 21, 2012

All is well!  I'm lovin life with Astro and his family as well as: Gourmet (congrats to him on his thru-hike), Dave and Karen and Deon. We're having a wonderful time here at the Manning Park Resort. Thanks so much to Michael and Betsy Gosselin for being so generous and such wonderful hosts.




Saturday, October 20, 2012

HE MADE IT!!!!!!!

From Martha:
As of 1pm EST today 10/20, Wolverine has finished the PCT!!!!!!!!!!!!
He is safe and dry and warm in Manning Park with Andy Astro and his family.
I'll be posting pictures, updates and more info as I get it>
Way to GO, WOLVERINE!!!!  
I KNEW you could do it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

WOLVERINE UPDATE!

Martha here...
I just got a phone call from a man named Chris Fry.  Chris ran into Wolverine on the trail a day or so ago and Wolverine asked him to  please call me and fill me in on what's going on.
Wolverine is at mile 2630, Hart's Pass.  Snow is waist high and he had little food left.
He said he will be done Sunday.  He has about 30 more miles to go, but the weather and the elevations are slowing him down.
I'm going to keep in touch with Chris Fry and will post any updates I get. 




Monday, October 15, 2012

Almost There!

Hey Everyone! Wolverine here from Stehekin, WA. I'm only 80 miles from the famous Monument 78 at the Canada border - the northern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. I'm drying out my gear (it's been raining for days) and getting re-supplied for the final push to the finish. I'm hiking with Hee Haw (of course), Scallywag, ED, Typo, City Food, Dancing Feet and Not So Bad. All are well and in good spirits. I've only got a few minutes on this desktop at the community center so I'll sign off and be glad to have gotten this message through. No one has had signal for days and it gets even more remote from here. They have one satellite phone here for emergencies and that's about it. The only way to even get here is to take a boat, fly or hike! Might not be in touch again until Vancouver, BC. Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Don't Waste Food


I've been asking everyone I know for help with this endeavor. The most direct way you can help (and get a shout out on this blog!) is to SEND FOOD.  Go through your cupboards.  Go through your pantry.  If you have ANY of the following items, even if it's just a small portion or it's kinda old, it will be consumed by me and used to power my body further north on the Trail!

Rice                    Protein Bars                 Ramen Noodles            Candy
Pasta                  Granola Bars                Olive Oil                        Tuna
Oatmeal              Any Kinda Bars!           Hot Sauce                     Nuts
Coffee                 Powdered Milk             Pop Tarts                      Tortillas
Cocoa Powder     Instant Potatoes          Peanut Butter               Raisins
Jerky                   Spices of ANY kinds     Velveeta                       Peanut M&Ms
Snickers              Vienna Sausages          Trail Mix of ANY kind   Dehydrated fruit

Partial bags, boxes, containers are all welcome.   
Contact my Hiker Resupply Co-ordinator-Martha Rogers- and she will work out with you how she can get it and then she will get it to me!   mrog12275@yahoo.com  or 313.646.0224.  My heartfelt thanks and empty stomach thank you!

I've already had great help from my sisters Carol and Patti, Susie and Drew, the Cassidys-John, Susie and Amelia, Todd MacIntosh and the Fraziers-Nancy and Phil!  Much thanks to all of you.



Peanut Butter and dehydrated apples!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Soxforsoles.org

Hiking can raise awareness for important charities.  I am very proud to be sponsored by Soxforsoles.org.Please visit their website and consider donating.




Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What a Trip it's Been!

180 miles to go.  At that point, I finish the PCT.  
I'll probably be out of touch until I reach Canada.  
Thank you all for your notes and posts and help and support.  I couldn't have done it without you.
Talk to you from Canada!


Friday, October 5, 2012

Washington is Magical!

I've been lucky to experience trail magic at almost every major crossroads in Washington.  First, Astro's step-dad left foot-long subs and four Inversion IPAs from DeSchutes Brewery in Oregon in a bag of ice!  Hee Haw and I were thrilled.



Then, my dear friends Dave and Nicole Smith came from Yakima, WA to meet me at White Pass.  They brought goodies for me and all my stinky hiker buddies. It was so good to see them and their kids are absolutely beautiful.


THEN we met Scallywag's grandmother, aunt and uncle, plus their kids at Chinook Pass.  They put out a MASSIVE spread of food and forced us to take tons of food with us.  The food was great but our packs were so heavy!



THEN!  THEN we met my friends Dragonfly and Beeker, who I know from the AT, at Snoqualmie Pass.  They bought me a fantastic lunch and brought a bag of goodies for all the hiker trash to share. Plus Astro's mom was there with food.  We all ate, then rested, then hiked! 



Thanks so much to everyone who came out to see us!




Monday, October 1, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Martha Here...

Wolverine is focused in on finishing the PCT!  He's got about 400 miles left and he'll be done.  Any and all words of encouragement would be more than welcomed!  
He's got little to no connectivity right now, so I'm going to post some recent pictures.
Next stop White Pass, WA (mile 2303) where he's hoping to meet some Yakima friends.  After that Snoqualmie Pass (mile 2402).
Good luck, hike north, be well and get this trail done, my friend!



Mt. Adams on fire


Bridge of the Gods  Washington/Oregon border

Could this food look any more delicious?

All his stuff is here, but where is Wolverine?

Walking on the edge

Hee Haw

Little Steps


Friday, September 21, 2012

Timberline Lodge

Hit mile 2107 in Northern Oregon.  Timberline Lodge, a ski resort, was used in the movie The Shining.  Pretty cool place.  
My next stop is Trout Lake WASHINGTON!!!  That's mile 2237 which means I'm hikin 130 miles without a stop for resupply.  So far, the weather is good, I feel great, miles are flying by, and the scenery is beautiful.
Wish me luck on the 130 miles to next stop!









Obsidian Falls












Friday, September 14, 2012

Northern Oregon

I'm currently at mile 2001!!! Hit the 2000 mile mark just north of Bend and picked up my re-supply at a camp that offers free showers and laundry both of which I REALLY needed!
Everything is well.  I feel good, gear is good.  I found a sweet soft shell jacket on the trail.  It's a Sno-Life brand (look it up).   I was just about to send for my Columbia Fleece, but this is better! Trail magic comes in many forms.
Here's some pics from the last miles.