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.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Drop the Trail Name?


Lately I've been thinking of dropping the name 'Wolverine' and just being called by the name my parents gave me: Christopher.
There are three reasons for this.  The first is that there is another guy out here on the PCT who calls himself 'The Michigan Wolverine' and he's a complete jackass.  I really hate being confused with him and having to answer for some of the stupid shit he's done.
The second is that my hiking hero, Scott Williamson, doesn't use one so why should I?  I read in the Backpacker magazine article on him that he used to go by 'Duck Face' but now he's just Scott - the most amazing hiker to ever strap on a pack.
The third is because when Chris McCandless (the subject of the book and movie 'Into The Wild') was near the end of his life, it became important to him to 'call each thing by its proper name'.  At that point he dropped the name 'Alexander Supertramp'.  Maybe I should do the same.
I always thought trail names were kind of silly but I was given mine by a kid named Celtic Thunder when we were about a week into the Appalachian Trail.  I guess I was glad it was a cool name because not everyone likes their trail name.  Just ask Ass Trumpet, the guy who farts a lot.
What does everyone think?  Thanks, in advance, if you leave a comment below.



8 comments:

Martha said...

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet;"

And Wolverine, by any other name, would be as tenacious, strong and fierce.

THE Michigan Wolverine sounds like an idiot! I don't blame you for removing yourself from him in all ways. Be Chris, CB, Chilly...

Robert Hall famously admonished people to “call things by their right names.”

Go for the change . Stop calling yourself Wolverine. IMO.

Patti Albers Hillier said...

Hmmm...had not heard of the Michigan Wolverine before you mentioned him, but I love your given name, Christopher Brian Hillier, and we even named our firstborn son Brian after you...so we will call you Chris from now on...safe travels Bro!

Pat said...

Hi Chris.....bye Wolvy...
Luvya

hikingmichigan said...

Mom & Dad thought the proper name they gave you, fit YOU. Do your real name, it has more respect built into it. Just my opinion.

Wolverine said...

Good try but McCandless was actually quoting Boris Pasternak, author of Doctor Zhivago.

Martha said...

We could argue for days regarding this. The saying originated as a chinese proverb--the beginning of wisdom is to call all things by their right names. Many people gave said it in many diffetent ways.
"For a moment, she re-discovered the purpose of her life. She was here in earth to grasp the meaning of its wild enchantment and call each thing by its right name.” -Boris Pasternak

Anonymous said...

I can offer some directly observed perspective from the era when trailnames started,i.e., Appalachian Trail 1972. Prior to this a very few of the most famous, or notorious, thru-hikers had trailnames(The Judge, Grandma, Crazy One), but in 1972 there were two women who chose their own trailnames who thru-hiked the AT. They never signed any registers because, as they explained to me: (paraphrasing)the shelters and registers are intrusions of the city into the woods. Their self-chosen trailnames were both Lakota Sioux and i cannot even begin to pronounce or spell them after so many years, but they were audibly beautiful names. The salient point being, these very first trailnames of 'non-famous' hikers were self-chosen: kind of a hike-your-own-name genesis.

Christopher Hillier said...

Thank you for your comment! I've heard several stories about the origin of trail names but no 'first hand' accounts like yours. Who is this? You were hiking the AT in 1972? That's fantastic! I must know who this is!