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.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

My Morning Routine

The first thought I have every morning is the same as the last thought I have every night: Holy Moses Roses it's cold! 

I'll usually stay snuggled up in my sleeping bag until there's enough light out so that I don't have to burn the batteries on my headlamp. I use that time to prioritize packing up to best make use of my hands while they still work; buckles and snaps come first since they take some dexterity. 

Once I let the air out of the mattress and stow my sleeping bag in its compression sack, there's no turning back. I've got to minimize the time between being warm in my sleeping bag and being warm hiking so I need to hurry. 

If I have them, I'll open a couple of those chemical hand warmers and put them in my gloves. I'll also use them to unstick frozen tent poles and, eventually, I'll put them in my boots. 

While pulling tent stakes out of the frozen ground and shaking the frost off the rain fly, I can feel my hands and feet getting numb. By the time I strap my pack on and grab my trekking poles, they are painfully cold. 

That's okay. I'll get moving as fast as I can and get my core temperature up. It will take a while until that warm blood circulates to my extremities. Sometimes, that's the worst part!

Finally, the sun comes up and the ambient temperature starts to rise. Time to stop, de-layer and cook up some coffee. This is my favorite time of day; time to stretch, to feel the sun on my face and to be grateful that I'm right where I belong: On the trail. 

Is your morning like my morning? Leave me a comment below!




14 comments:

Unknown said...

Hi Chris,
I loved reading your post. So jealous. You are living one of my dreams. You are about to enter the Roan Highlands. I did this section back in Sept. My trail name is Rover. It's a beautiful area. I wish that I could move down there. I am a new member of the MI Hiking and Backpacking group. Great Job. You are so close now to Springer. Hope to meet you on a group hike soon. Nancy Major

Christopher Hillier said...

Hi, Rover! Thank you so much for following and for joining the MI Hiking and Backpacking FB group. Hope I get to hike with you someday!

Becky and Jerry said...

Hi Chris, after 2 cups of coffee and the crossword we're awake. From your description we can picture you on the move this morning. We wish you a joyful Happy Thanksgiving day. We know the sights you see would fill anyone with thanks. Keep on Wolverine

Roberta McCoy said...

I rill outta bed and run to the shower. ... I like the house cold... except when running to the morning shower....eat a strawberry pop tart then out to the frigid truck and off to the grind....today... off to see peeps... but something is missing...I know you love your trail.... hike on... live ..laugh...love... stay warm and keep posting those pictures both figuratively and literally. ... see you soon.... btw. ... I am sending you sparkles for that beard.... Go BUCKS

Christopher Hillier said...

My favorite Trail Angels! Thank you for the well-wishes. I see from your FB posts that you two are on the road (again!). Safe travels to you!

Christopher Hillier said...

Thanks, Roberta!

trish d said...

You look fantastically healthy....and this is one of the things I am thankful for today on this Thanksgiving Day! Thanks for the timely post as I've been wondering how you are holding up in the cold. This is one of the daily blessings making this Thanksgiving Day very special.

Jason Phelps said...

Rock on brother - finally out of the eternal state of Virginia I see!

hokiestone said...

Be safe. Hitting Big But Trail tomorrow. Ping me when you get near Hot Springs.

Christopher Hillier said...

Thanks, Trish. I am thankful for friends like you and I'm thankful to be right where I'm supposed to be: On the trail!

Christopher Hillier said...

Hee Haw! Virginia took FOREVER! It was great hiking, for sure, but I'm glad to be moving on.

Christopher Hillier said...

Will do!

Anonymous said...

Long time reader, first time commenter. I wake up and typically check to see if you have updated! When I'm between trips I'm a sofa hiker, thank you for taking us along with you on all your trips!

Christopher Hillier said...

Thank you for leaving a comment!