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.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Neon and Onnamove

These are two of the coolest people I've met on the trail.  Both well educated and amazing conversationalists but still fun and relaxed. He's an engineer and she's an artist.  Check out her work at onnamove.com



Monday, August 27, 2012

The Oregon Border!

Finally made it to PCT mile 1699 - the Oregon/California border.  Found some sweet trail magic from Flag Man (Col Fuller, US Army Ret). 

Celebrated with Dancing Feet and Not So Bad, Brian, 
Straw and Willy.  I know it's boring to post about mileage but I've hit some important landmarks: Mile 1700 and my 4 month anniversary out here. 

Sweet trail lately.  Compact earth softened by pine needles.  Smoky purple mountains in the distance, deer and bow hunters everywhere, bushes full of blackberries, bright orange and yellow warblers, cold, clean water right out of the ground, dirty hippies and 100 feet pine trees!

  Wish me luck!









Thursday, August 23, 2012

Moosejaw


 Moosejaw gear stores in Birmingham, Ann Arbor, Boulder, CO and now Natick, MA are the bomb. They have been knowledable and supportive of my hike since the planning stages.  Special thanks to Perry in the Birmingham store, Tom in the warehouse, Kristen in marketing, Lola who runs the Moosejaw Mountaineering FB and to all the Custies who donated their points to buy me a fantastic new pair of trekking poles!  Special thanks to Tom Miedema.  He's done this trail before and he's helped me with information, advice and gear.  Thanks to all of you!
Here's to using your teeth instead of a knife!
Wolverine




Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bouncer is cool...

...but his parents are even cooler.  Know what they like to do?  HIKE.  Like, all of the PCT in Oregon and Washington. Know what else they like to do?  FEED HIKERS.  Luckily, we like to eat!  They welcomed me and about a dozen other hikers with breakfast, lunch and dinner while they followed and supported their son, Bouncer.  Unbelievably generous and cool people.



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Pictures

Heading outta Etna to Seiad, which may be closed due to fires.  I have a good buddy, John Cassidy helping me out around the fires.  He knows the California roads like the back of his hand!  Thanks, John!
Enjoy these pics from the last few hundred miles.


Love and food from Camp Champaign





I can ALWAYS recognize my resupply; bright tape, pictures and dark ink.


Would you pic up this guy?




Hee Haw!



Those are NOT my shoes



Fire re-routes



Many, many thanks to Tom Miedama for the boots and Jacket.  And to all the GREAT Moosejaw folks who donated points for my new hiking poles.  
Moosejaw kicks ass!

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.



Thursday, August 16, 2012

TYVEK

Tyvek is made by DuPont and is somtimes called 'home wrap'.  It's used in home construction and is highly sought after by long distance hikers because it's lightweight, waterproof and versatile.  I scored a big piece before I started this hike and got my sister Carol to sew it into a big pocket.  I sometimes slide my sleeping pad and bag inside and use it to cowboy camp.  I also use it to line my tent and keep me and my stuff dry.  Sadly, my Tyvek is wearing out.  Does anyone out there have access to a 12' by 10' piece of Tyvek or a similar product?  Know anyone in construction or someone that works at Home Depot?  I sure could use a new piece but it seems hard to come by.  Any help is much appreciated.




Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Trail Angel

This is Grasshopper and the Green Machine.  He's a hiker (Thru-hiked the AT) and a friend to hikers.  He puts out trail magic to help us get through a long waterless stretch and he shuttles hikers around the Burney, CA area.  I'm not entirely sure about the concept of Karma but it can't be a bad thing to have thousands of people feeling grateful towards you and wishing you well.  Thanks Grasshopper!



Sunday, August 12, 2012

Thanks Walt!

Walt from San Francisco gave me a lift back to the trail after Burney. Dude served 4 years in the Marine Corps 50 years ago.  Very cool.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Safety Meeting!

 I've been safe since Campo.  Mostly with a little help from my friends: Murph, Kristo, Funk and the Helix, Panama Red and Pit Stop (who I first heard use the phrase), Hee Haw and 2 Hour Lethargy, Mismatch and Spatula, House, Tyler and Jesse, Them Indiana Boys, Tickled Pink, Safari and the Nalgenius and Breeze.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Re-Supply

Finally got my re-supply box from the post office here in Chester.  So much love!  I couldn't believe all the goodies from Moosejaw (including a new pair of Smartwool socks) and my friends the Cassidys. My sisters Carol and Patti added some of the basics that I need every day. All this love gets sent to Camp Champaign where my housemates (and best friends) Martha and Sandy carefully sort and re-pack everything hiker-style and get it to the post office.  That's a lot of people contributing, helping, spending money and taking time to help me move north on this trail.  I need each of you to know that I appreciate all of it.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Serendipity


 A couple weeks back, I stopped at the ranger station at Carson Pass to look up some species of birds that I'd never seen before.  The book I grabbed off the shelf was the Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada.  Beautifully illustrated and well laid-out, I found the information I needed right away.

Tonight, I had dinner with John Muir Laws, the author. And not just any dinner but salmon, quinoa and ginger cake for dessert.  And a selection of fantastic beers.  And not just with Jack Laws but with a crowd of botanists, herbalists, biologists, friends and family.

How do I luck into these situations?  I have no clue.  All I know is that I was hiking along at about mile 1205, trying to figure where the trail crossed a paved road when a truck pulled up and the young folks inside asked me "Are you hungry?  Do you like salmon?".  Turns out this group from San Francisco State University was setting up an outdoor dinner up here in the mountains for 50 to 60 associates and they invited me to join them.  I begged not to impose but they insisted.  I wound up having a fantastic meal, amazing conversation and was treated like a guest of honor!

I was certain that other hikers wouldn't believe my good fortune until Gut Feeling (pictured seated) showed up to indulge and witness.

Stranger still, Jack told the story of the recent sighting of an ACTUAL wolverine here in the Sierra.  First in more than a hundred years and he was one of the folks in the field trying to find it or evidence of it - which they did.  Did you know that the plural form of 'wolverine' is 'wolverine'?  Know what wolverine eat?  Marmots!

Coincidence?  Serendipity?  Providence?  Luck?  I don't know.  What I do know is that I felt incredibly grateful to Emilie, Mark and their crew for preparing and serving such a fantastic meal and to Jack, JR and the faculty and students of SFSU for making me feel so welcome.











Look at all the Love!


Thanks so much to the Braatens and their Little Haven in Beldon.  They not only welcome hikers into their home but they have been extra busy helping hikers find a way around this forest fire, helping them get their re-supply packages and driving them all over.  World famous and much respected, Brenda and Laurie Braaten are truly trail angels.


The Rosendahls of Chester are what you might call 'stealth angels'.  They don't have the capacity to host hundreds of hikers every season but if you know someone who is as connected as my Re-Supply Coordinator is, Meredith (Piper's Mom) and Lowell will invite you into their home, let you take a long, hot shower, wash your filthy clothes, feed you an amazing dinner AND a fantastic breakfast and get you back to the trail.  


Piper's Mom knows what hikers like because her daughter is the famous Diane Soini of  Santabarbarahikes.com.


Also in Chester, Dr. Webb is a dentist who has hiked the trail before. He and Karen Grossjar welcome hikers with a SERIOUS goody bag and lots of well-wishes. I've never enjoyed a visit to the dentist's office so much!


This buck was in the Rosendahl's back yard!


Wolverine and Brenda Braaten

Fire!


There I was, hiking along with Kristo and House when, all of a sudden, my cell starts blowing up with texts about a forest fire that closed the PCT from Belden to Chester.  We were only 10 miles from Belden!  I thought I was going to grab my re-supply box from the post office there and go but, one thing the trail teaches you is to BEWARE EXPECTATIONS.  


The long, steep descent into Belden was not pretty.  Lots of smoke, lots of helicopters carrying water and lots of buzzing chainsaws.  I found my box-o-love at the PO and spent the night with some trail angels who showed me an alternate route up to Chester.  


It was spooky hiking up to Chester.  Very smoky and ash all over my tent.  I couldn't tell where I was in relation to the fire but my man John Cassidy kept me informed and on track.  


Lucky me, soon after I passed through, they closed the alternate route.  Now there's no way for hikers to get up here except to hitch or take a bus and we don't like doing that.  Can't wait to get my box here in Chester and get moving again.