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.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Halfway There!

Man, oh man... I have been out there. I mean really OUT THERE. I'll give you the whole story in a minute. First, a couple of quick shout-outs:

Michael and Betsy Gosselin:  When it seems like I can't make it any further, I think of Astro and I keep hiking.

Jack Graham: That backpack you built for me is bullet proof. It's been with me every step of the way. Thank you.

Kellie and Steve and all my friends in the Burning Boots Trail Club: I'll see you guys in September at the March for the Fallen.

To Everyone Who Clicked on the 'Donate' button on the homepage: Thank you for being part of this hike. We're more than halfway there!

I've never been more remote. So far away from civilization. Nothing around me for miles and miles except giant mountains. No phone. No GPS. No altimeter... Not even a watch. Just a map showing the surrounding 3 or 4 miles and a compass. It's a week of difficult hiking in any direction to get out of here. The Trail? There is no trail. It's covered in snow. All I can do is keep moving forward and pray I don't come to a river I can't cross or a pass too steep to climb. This is like some kind of 'hiker obstacle course'. Start with a hundred yards of deep snow. Then maybe a steep climb up loose shale. Next is a tangled mess of giant pine trees that were blown down. Add a raging river underneath it so if I fall, I'm really screwed. It's like a hiker's version of 'American Ninja'. I longed for Michigan's hundreds of miles of nice, flat, compact earth softened by pine needles. I'm proud of myself for making it through with just map and compass but I learned that it's tedious, dangerous and it takes forever.

Crossing from Colorado into Wyoming at mile 1,532 was a big deal for me. Not sure if it's exactly halfway but it feels like it. Two states down and two more to go. I can do this. My body is in good shape. My gear is taking a beating but I think it will last. Got my phone back and Wyoming maps will be in my next resupply box. The trail itself is getting easier with less snow and lower elevations. Seems like there are fewer alternate routes from here on so maybe the path itself will be well-trod.

I'm posting this from my phone and can't seem to add photographs. Look for lots of pics in a seperate post.

I appreciate all the well-wishes and support. I'll take all that positive energy and keep hiking north!

PICTURES ADDED!!!




Almost to Silverthorne, Colorado!

North of Steamboat Springs, CO

My Honor Point backpack. This pack has been with me every step of the way and I love it. 

That's Big Agnes (like the company!) in the background. They're HQ'd in Steamboat Springs.

Apparently, Wyoming didn't get the memo: IT'S JULY. Enough with the snow already!?

10 comments:

Roberta McCoy said...

I am so impressed.... I worry for you with the long periods of no updates but I also know you are doing what you love. When you feel lost and alone, know I am there on your shoulder giving you all the encouragement. So looking forward to the photos and stories.... be safe my friend.....

Veronica said...

Halfway there, eh? Awesome! We are rooting for you. Can't wait to see pics in the next update.

Christopher Hillier said...

Thanks, Roberta!

Christopher Hillier said...

Thanks, Veronica. I miss you guys tons. Give your daughter and my sister hugs from me.

Chris Bowman said...

Glad to see how far you've come. You've got this!

Christopher Hillier said...

Thanks, Chris!

George Hughes said...

Chris, you are a warrior poet. No mistake.

Christopher Hillier said...

Wow! That name is a blast from the past! One of my earliest and best friends.

I'm grateful for several things here. One is that an old friend got back in touch. I'm also deeply grateful that you contributed generously to this hike. Thank you.

I got your email and I'll be in touch.

Libby said...

I don't think my other posts have made it. But regardless, I continue to be amazed and impressed by your passion, determination and skill. I can't wait to hear more about your journey. Let me know what part of Idaho you will hiking through. It would be great if I can coordinate a trip to Boise and see you. Stay safe.

Christopher Hillier said...

Thanks for the kind words, Libby. The trail runs along the Idaho/Montana border north of Yellowstone. I'll be there next month. Thanks too, for turning me on to Fitbit. They have been very supportive of my hike and it's all because you recommended them. Thank you!