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. In 2016, I hiked the Israel National Trail and the Golan Heights Trail. My next goal is to be the first person ever to hike the Baja Divide Trail.

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, May 19, 2014

Big Miles, No Water

Beaker and I knocked out this last 106 miles in a little over 4 days. The trail has been well marked and really beautiful. We are both feeling pretty good so the miles came easy. The hard part was the lack of water. This part of New Mexico is suffering from a 10 year drought. Places on the map that promised a water source were bone dry. You can't imagine the disappointment in hiking all day without water only to find a spring that dried up long ago. 

We've hiked on and off with some of the Warrior Hike guys as well as some section hikers but usually, we're the only people out there. I'm glad for Beaker's company. He's an experienced hiker and he's better at navigation than I am. I hiked with him and his wife on the AT and they angel'ed me on the PCT. Good people. 

My Honor Point pack continues to kick ass and my Stormy Kromer keeps me warm even when my water is frozen.  Please leave a comment below and stay tuned for more gear updates. 
The tiny green speck at about 9 o'clock is Beaker. There are a dozen radio towers on the mountain ahead but I still can't get cell reception. 



I love that warm, early morning sunshine. 

This guy was blocking the trail. Not sure what species.

Beaker and our new friend. 

Looking out over the desert. 

HillierHikes.com

23 comments:

Roberta McCoy said...

This is so exciting to watch with you... I would love to see what you are seeing but is there a place for my electric blanket.... stay warm.....

Anonymous said...

Hi its Xena! I just want you to know your hiking adventure on the CDT is helping me push thru my own health issues. I'm hoping your water supplies get better for you guys!! Thank you for the pics & especially the ones with the snakes! Be safe & enjoy what CDT has to offer your soul. :)

Brian H. said...

The middle of nowhere is an incredibly beautiful place.

Suzanne Hollyer said...

So where are you getting water? I saw someone on FB posted a comment that people are stealing water that was set out by hikers? Have you heard that? Cool snake!

Christopher Hillier said...

Thanks, Roberta. Seems like I can never find a place to plug in my electric blanket. Bummer.

Christopher Hillier said...

Hi Xena! I know you are facing way bigger challenges than I am. Hang in there!

Christopher Hillier said...

It truly is. I'm seeing things here that I've not seen any where else in the country. Mesas, canyons, mountains... There's nothing like this in Michigan!

Christopher Hillier said...

Mostly we find tanks that are for cattle. Sometimes they have water, sometimes not. Occasionally there are springs and rivers that have good water. I was furious when I heard that people were taking the water caches down - not just stealing the water but the plastic tubs, registers, everything! Why would they do that? Trail Angels spend lots of time and money to make sure hikers aren't dying out here and then someone comes along and takes it all away. I don't understand.

Anonymous said...

Great going. I'm curious, how do survive, literally, when you don't find water? A trail angel comes to the rescue? Keep it up?

Anonymous said...

Oh from Liane (Lee)

Christopher Hillier said...

In most cases we either say a prayer and try to make it to the next source or (rarely) we turn around and go back to the last source. One time, in a semi-emergency, we went 2 miles back to a road and held up our empty water bottles to passing cars. Some very generous people stopped and have us water.

trailkrup said...

Hi Chris, You know you mentioned the Great Lake to Lake Trail in your blog? Well just wanted to let you know we were successful on getting a grant from Consumer's Energy for resolving the route alignment in Calhoun County, which is our biggest gap? Remember that part where you had to hug the side of the road while traffic was whizzing by? Yep, that's the piece! At least you don't have whizzing cars where you're at high in the mountains, but hope you
stay safe from the rattlers and lack of water!

Anonymous said...

Could it be done by people who think that the water is for immigrants? That is one area where people can be bizarrely heartless.

Anonymous said...

Hi! Funny thing about that...I feel your journey on the CDT is just as difficult....if not more. So that gives me strength seeing what you are doing on your hike...I can get thru my challenges too! Take care Wolverine, praying for good water supplies for all the hikers on the CDT...

CelticTears713 said...

Hey bro we just got back into ruidoso, nm. we met you guys on the hike on the cdt , we are chris & kimmie cherry. hope all is well and keep in. touch you guys

Schrody said...

Your trail buddy is Crotalus cerberus (alt. C. viridis cerberus), the Arizona black rattlesnake. It's found at higher elevations (4k - 9k) in Arizona and western NM and seems to be rare. They are somewhat social, at least as far as snakes go, and hibernate in dens together and invest in raising their young. (The more you know!)

Hike on, hiker. And post more pictures of your new trail buddies. (Specifically, if you come across any pikas that would be adorable.)

Christopher Hillier said...

That is GREAT news! I loved hiking the GL2L Trail except for the road walking. Thanks for letting me know!

Christopher Hillier said...

It's possible but that area is pretty far from where most immigrants travel. The latest I heard is that it's the Forest Service removing it because it's 'technically' littering. Hard to believe that's true.

Christopher Hillier said...

Hey Chris and Kimmie! You guys are awesome! We took your advice and took water from the stream at the red sand. We camped on the Rio Chama and loved it. Hi Socket!

Christopher Hillier said...

Thank you, Schrody! Physicist, nutritionist, pianist, botanist, artist and, now, herpetologist? You are amazing.

Schrody said...

"Herpetologist" is a bit much. I basically sort critters into "cuddle", "do not cuddle", and "threatening bird" categories.

Addi Greer said...

HeyAllDetroiters, I saw Wolverine yesterday(Wed5/28) on the road(Hwy160 East)leavin' Pagosa Springs - he woudnt take offer for ride, dinner, beer or chocolate! (I was on my way home which was the way he was headed and hav 'trial angeled' befor- but he only asked for me to post that I saw him.)
I wil add, he seemed quite healthy, happy and friendly with a full belly and big smile!

Christopher Hillier said...

Hey Addi! Thanks for leaving a comment! Pagosa Springs is a HIKER MAGNET!!! That town is full of people like Addi! Everyone wanted me to stay and hang out. My bros from Warrior Hike had a huge hotel room. Dave the Poet said I could crash at his place. Throw in healing hot springs and craft brewed beer at the Riff Raff Brewpub and the hike becomes a faint memory. I must resist!

Even as I struggled mightily to break away from Pagosa Springs, Trail Angel Addi pulls over and generously offers help. I must break free!

Finally getting back to the trail. Hiking north out of Wolf Creek Pass.