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.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

This Is It!

Enough of the treacherous, snowy mountain passes, enough of the road walking, enough of the endless, rolling brown hills - this is the trail I've been looking for. But first, a couple of shout outs:

High school friends: George Hughes, Libby Shaw and Ellen Paynter. Thanks for helping me with this hike!

The Wolverine Lake Crew: Susie and Drew, Marlyss, Jim, Stacey and all the kids... Can't wait to see you guys when I get back!

Traci Rink, Ron Foon and Katie Rink: You guys travel the world and you inspire me to do the same.

Perry Keydel and all my friends at Moosejaw: Thanks for all the help in getting me ready for this hike.

Jason 'Hee Haw' Phelps: My old hiking buddy came through for me, again. Thank you, Brother!

Gary and Bethany Zaborowski and Pam White: Thank you for all the gear and supplies!

After going around snow that was too deep in some parts and going for miles with no water in others, I finally made it to the Wind River Range in western Wyoming. This is the kind of trail I've been longing for. Plenty of clean water but not too soggy, well-maintained trail, other hikers to share information with... This part of the CDT has it all! And the scenery? My God, the views! The Cirque of the Towers has to be in the 'Top 5' list of coolest things I've ever seen. Feels like it took forever to get here (3 months and 1,800 or so miles) but it really is worth it. Challenges remain - I hurt my foot when I fell through the snow and jammed it awkwardly into the rocks beneath and I continue to rely (too heavily) on the GPS in my phone to stay on the trail. I used all my battery power taking pictures in the Cirque so I had to bail out early to get to Pinedale to resupply and recharge. I can't wait to get back to the Trail. I have more of the Winds to finish and then I head up into Yellowstone - should be  another highlight of this hike. After that, I'll hike along the border of Idaho and Montana for a while before cutting back east and then north to Canada. I still have many miles to hike and I'm sure there will be obstacles to overcome  but, at this point, I feel pretty good and I think I can see a speck of light at the end of the tunnel. If you've ever visited Yellowstone or hiked in Montana, leave a comment and let me know what to expect. If you want to be part of this adventure, click on the 'donate' button on the homepage and help me keep hiking north! Thank you!





This stupid beard has got to go.  
In the upper left hand corner of this picture, way in the distance, is a mountain pass that I came over the day before. 

Alpine flowers blooming everywhere! They have such a short growing season that they all come out at once. Beautiful!

Astro is with me, in spirit, every step of the way. 


11 comments:

Libby said...

Hey, don't discount those pre-high school days with us. Always happy to support you anyway I can. Good friends are hard to come by. Life long friends even harder. Stay safe.

Christopher Hillier said...

Thanks, Libby. How's about me, you and Norman go hike the Kal-Haven when I get back?

Anonymous said...

Way to go, Chris! I love Montana and the area you're entering! God Bless! - Lee

Chris Bowman said...

Glad to see you're doing well and enjoying it.

Christopher Hillier said...

Thank you!

Christopher Hillier said...

Thanks, Chris!

Elizabeth Gosselin said...

Love following you on the trail. Your words, descriptions and the pictures bring it all to life. Always sending you mounds of energy, courage and that spirit of adventure that Andy always had.

Elizabeth Gosselin said...

Love following you on the trail. Your words, descriptions and the pictures bring it all to life. Always sending you mounds of energy, courage and that spirit of adventure that Andy always had.

Christopher Hillier said...

Betsy - Thank you for following my hike and thank you for bringing Andy into the world. He was a healer and a teacher. I learned much from him. Chris

Anonymous said...

As a former Thru-hiker I know the value of getting a quick ride into the nearest town. He should have mentioned the couple that went out of their way (a very remote 45-miles of road) to get him into Pinedale. Anyhow, we wish him well.

Christopher Hillier said...

Yes and sorry! I lucked into the coolest people in the world hitching out of Big Sandy. A couple of hikers (with more miles than me!) went out of their way to give me a LONG ride into Pinedale. We had much in common and it made for great conversation. Thank you! Thank you!