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 2017, 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.

Friday, March 16, 2018

The BDT: Deep Sand!


“Piscado por tacos!” he exclaimed. 


Damn. This sand is so deep I can barely push this stupid cart through it (I knew I should have sprung for the 3” tire). The sun is dropping like a rock and there is absolutely no where to camp. People who have hiked with me know that I’m willing to stealth camp in some pretty risky places but this whole area is just flat with no trees and just enough fences and houses to make even the stealthiest camping impossible. I’m so tired. Sweat is pouring off my face and stinging my eyes. I keep pushing the cart through the deep sand. Still no where to camp...

But suddenly, I spy a little used trail that heads down to the water. I find the quiet shoreline to a bay off the Pacific. Nice and flat. No one around. Small waves gently lapping at the shoreline and perhaps a dozen species of shore birds. Perfect! Sometimes, I just get lucky. 




I spent a peaceful evening on the shore of the Bay of San Quitin and even met some local fishermen the next morning (as in the picture above). 

Since that night on the bay, the trail took me inland. WAY inland. A long (116 miles) of nothing: No roads, no other people, no water...  Just me and my cart and a rough Jeep track. I was OUT THERE like I’ve never been ‘out there’ before. I’ve got lots to write but I need to get it all sorted out in my head. Until then, more pics from the trail!


That was a baby nurse shark above. Think about that next time you get a ‘fish taco’ from a roadside stand. You could be eating a baby nurse shark. It’s okay with me, of course. 



Can’t help taking pictures of sunrises (as above) and sunsets. Each one seems to be more spectacular than the last!










With the recent rains, the desert seems like it’s just about ready to burst into bloom. 



I’ve named my cart ‘El Fuego’ because I hate this thing with the burning heat of a thousand suns. It’s all the problems of a mountain bike without the speed! A necessary evil, I guess. 



Fishing troller on the coast. 



Sunset on the Pacific. 

Most pics and posts coming soon. In the meantime, leave me a comment!









27 comments:

Noam Gal said...

It's great to see you are still trucking along. I can't wait to read about all that happened to you in that long inland stretch, after you get your thoughts sorted out.

Richard Smith said...

Chris, you have done some desert slogging. I would be interested sometime in your opinions on the different areas you have seen.

Jeff Weiner said...

did you remember to bring your desalinization equipment? :-)

Nina Schenk said...

Love the sunset pics. Wow, What a view!!!

Christopher Hillier said...

This stretch has been VERY difficult. 116 miles with no water, no people, no NADA. I’ll write more about it as soon as I get the sand out of my ears!

Christopher Hillier said...

I’m thinking about writing something comparing the Mojave, New Mexico, the Negev and the Baja Divide. All different. Each with its own challenges. Thank you for the comment!

Christopher Hillier said...

I wish. Instead, I have 30 liters of water strapped to a stupid cart!

Christopher Hillier said...

Thank you! And thanks for the comment!

Lynda Fraser said...

Hi Chris, So sorry you have having trouble with your cart, but that is what is keeping you alive...How many more miles do you have to go? In the end you and everybody that knows you will be so proud of you, as I am...Always glad to hear from you...Take Care My Friend, and can't wait to share a drink with you. Miss You, See you in a few....

Martha said...

Love the pics! With as much hate as you feel for the cart remember it keeps you alive and able to move.

Roberta McCoy said...

Such amazing photos. The more trials, the bigger the reward. Keep going and know we are routing for you

Anonymous said...

you can eat the fruit off the prickly pear cacti

Traci said...

Chris,

Sounds like an amazing trek, but I don't understand the "Cart". First I've heard of you using one. I assume it's to carry extra supplies. Pardon my ignorance but I'm intrigued.

Candice Stacy said...

Wow...gorgeous photos!

Suzanne Hollyer said...

Do you keep track of your daily water intake and ration it? Or do you just drink whenever you feel thirsty and hope it lasts?

Jim Stafford said...

Glad your trip is going well. I assume you have tried pulling that cart instead of pushing? I have seen a version that hooks to a belt so you can use your poles.

Brian H. said...

What are you going to do with El Fuego when you're done?

Christopher Hillier said...

Hey, Everyone! Sorry for the late responses but I just finished a long stretch with no services. I appreciate all your comments!

Christopher Hillier said...

I’m going to perform a Satanic ritual that dooms its soul to Hell. Then, I’m going to throw it into an active volcano and laugh maniacally.

Or, sell it for a couple hundred pesos.

Christopher Hillier said...

I pull it up and over curbs and big rocks sometimes but it’s very hard to balance when pulling it. It really was designed to be pushed.

Christopher Hillier said...

I drink as I need it. I can hike on about five liters per day but I prefer six. That will increase as it gets hotter. Leaving Catavina, I had 34 liters strapped to the cart. That’s almost 75 pounds of water.

Christopher Hillier said...

Thanks, Candice! Sorry for the late reply.

Christopher Hillier said...

Hey, Traci! This is the first hike where I’ve had to use a cart. It’s mostly for water. There are some very long waterless stretches (up to 126 miles with no water whatsoever!). I HATE the cart - especially in deep sand - but it’s a necessary evil.

Christopher Hillier said...

I’ll try that! Thanks for the comment!

Christopher Hillier said...

Thanks, Roberta!

Christopher Hillier said...

Very true. But this will be my last hike pushing a cart. I miss my trekking poles!

Christopher Hillier said...

Thanks, Lynda! I’m at mile 660 with about 1,000 more to go. Can’t wait to see you and Mike when I’m done!