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.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Finding A Way

The deep snow we all encountered south of the Colorado border made everyone revise their plans. Snow makes everything more difficult. This is old, nasty snow from last winter. It's icy and wet with a thin crust on top - you have to 'post hole' your way through it (see the video I posted to Facebook) and you fall through up to your waist when you least expect it. Snow obscures blazes, rock cairns and the trail itself. Navigation becomes even more difficult. You have to carry more food,
more gear... 

My buddy Beaker and some others rented a van and are going to pick up the trail north of here, then come back later to finish this section. Same for my brothers from Warrior Hike - they're flipping out of Pagosa Springs. Some hikers are just going to wait a while until more of the snow melts. Me? I've got to keep moving north. Even if I have to take lower elevation routes or road walk. I HAVE to WALK from Mexico to Canada. So many people are helping me with this hike - I can't let them down. Gotta find a way...

Resupply has been working like a fine oiled machine. Generous folks have been contributing food and gear (thanks for the snow shoes, Burning Boots Trail Club!) and Martha has been getting it to me on the trail. Like Stafford handing off to Bush for a huge gain, I can sprint by the post office and grab my resupply box in stride. Huge thanks to Camp Champaign. 

Shipping boxes is eating away at the budget. If you want to help me with this hike, please click on the 'donate' button. Every bit is appreciated. 



This is a good outline of the entire trail. 


Me at Wolf Creek Pass. Dark clouds loom in the distance. 

Gotta find a way over those mountains!



Getting a big box of love at the post office. Thanks, everyone!

Hiker trash in Cuba, NM. From the left: the Viking, me, Beaker, Samurai, NO2, Doc Rocket and Buffalo Shuffle.


HillierHikes.com

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

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Life on the Trail

As I open my eyes early in the morning, I can see that it's just starting to get light. I can hear birds chirping in the distance. What a wonderful way to wake OH MY GOD MY FEET HURT. Still lots of blisters and swelling. And it's freezing outside. Literally, freezing... My water bottles are frozen and SO ARE MY SHOES. While I'm glad to be on the trail, I do not look forward to fording the freezing waters of the Gila River another thousand times today. 

Yes, it's a cold morning and my feet hurt but there is no where else I'd rather be. This is the middle fork of the Gila River. The land of the Warm Springs Apache - the Burning Eye People. Geronimo was born here and his birth place is a sacred thing to the Chiricahua. I don't think they like us being here. I can feel the spirits of Apache warriors looking down from the high cliff walls. 

At this point, we're still 3 or 4 days out from our next stop: Pie Town, NM. We'll pick up our resupply boxes and rest up a bit. I can't wait to get there. I need the rest. My body is pretty beat up. This trail is much more difficult than either the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail. Navigation continues to be a challenge.  Water sources are still very far apart and a couple of times, they have been bone dry when we finally found them. 

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll pass through Grants, NM and Cuba, NM on my way up into the south San Juan Mountains of Colorado. That will be a whole different set of challenges: snow, altitude, heavy gear and a barely defined trail. 

I'm so grateful to everyone who has helped me get to this point: Lynnae and Will in Mimbres, Nita at the Toaster House in Pie Town, the men from the Forest Service who work the fire lookout towers: Phil, John and Dave. And, of course, all my friends at Honor Point, Running Fit, Moosejaw, Fitbit, Stormy Kromer and the Burning Boots Trail Club. 

Please leave a comment and stay tuned for more soon...




Hydration is so important. I need about one liter for every 5 miles I hike. 

I think of my friend Astro every step of the way. 


Made it to Pie Town. 120 miles in 5 1/2 days. 

Nita has helped hundreds of hikers over the years. 
HillierHikes.com

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Update 5/1/2014


Happy Thursday!  I thought I'd give an update on Chris/Wolverine. He's hiked about 200 miles so far and sounds great.  He says his "spirits are soaring!"  Which is fantastic to hear
He will walk into Pie Town New Mexico in about 6 days.  Check this place out: http://www.pietown.com
His stop after that is Ghost Ranch near the New Mexico/Colorado border.  This is where I will send his winter gear, for the Rocky Mountains, things like an ice ax, crampons (these hook to the bottom of your shoe and have small spikes on them to help you walk on ice, heavy boots, warm socks, and his stove so he can have hot meals.

Have you seen the video on how to get water on the CDT?  Take a look.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=451330071664231&l=5839163658972826169


If anyone out there would like to send him a message or anything else, let me know and I will get it to him.
Thank you all for your support.  Keep those positive thought, good vibes and love coming for our hiker!