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.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The BDT: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


A clean Wolverine


If I had summarize my experience on this trail thus far, I could break it down into three parts. 

 The good part is anytime the trail goes to or along the coast. Both the Pacific Ocean (to the west) and the Sea of Cortez (to the east) have their own special kind of beauty and this trail bounces back and forth between both of them. I LOVE hiking by the ocean. There is always something to see (like the grey whale I saw coming up for air) and there’s usually a cool breeze coming in off the water. And camping by the ocean is the best; I always sleep well to the sound of crashing waves. Also, the coasts are where most of the people are. Sometimes just sleepy little fishing villages, sometimes bigger cities. I’ve met loads of really cool people here in Mexico and I’ve become enamoured of the culture. 


I love hiking along the coast.


The bad part is pretty much anytime the trail heads inland. I know right away that it’s going to be substantially hotter and that I’m going to need more water. The scenery is going to become, for the most part, monotonous rolling brown hills and cactus. Lots of cactus. There will be no people, there will be no water. These are tough stretches. I find myself staring at the map, longing for the trail to take me back to the coast. 


Heading inland means nothing but cactus and rolling brown hills. 


The ugly part of this trail is that damn cart. True, it does what it’s supposed to do: Carry tons of water and some gear. But the worst is when the trail turns to deep, loose sand; That’s when it’s really ugly. Pushing that cart through the sand, especially with a full load of water, is exceedingly difficult. It slows me way down and it takes a ton of energy. Sometimes the sandy stretches can last for miles - I have no choice but to literally push through. I swear, when I get home, I’m never using a cart again. I’m never using a wheelbarrow. I’m never so much as pushing a shopping cart down an aisle! I’m done with carts. 


And I’m absolutely NEVER hiking with a cart again!


I’m really only halfway done with this trail so stay tuned to see if the second half gets any better or worse. And please leave a comment below!


19 comments:

Beaker said...

You know the second half of every adventure is where the real fun is. Hang in there mi amigo,via conference dios!

Christopher Hillier said...

Thanks, Beaker!

Jeff Weiner said...

Let me know when you have a better idea of when you will get to Cabo. I need a vacation. Keep on Trucking!! (or should I say carting)

Lynda Fraser said...

Are you naked in that pic...lmao...I will have to tell Tom no carts for you when you come back to work...Halfway there that is great, keep going and see ya soon my friend.

Christopher Hillier said...

Should get to Cabo by 6/2. Flight home from San Jose del Cabo on 6/5. Would LOVE to see you down here.

Christopher Hillier said...

Thanks, Lynda. Yup, naked.

I will make an exception to the cart rule if Tom will have me back.

Roberta McCoy said...

Hmmmmmm

Roberta McCoy said...

Keep carting on.....gotta take the bad with the good. I envy whatvu are seeing and experiencing.... when it get rough, know we are all with you...

Christopher Hillier said...

Thanks, Roberta!

Anonymous said...

Love the description of the variety of things you're seeing, said Mavis.

Jeff McWilliams said...

Only halfway? Jinkies, Shaggy! I wonder if a "fat tir bike" type wheel wouldn't be a huge improvement over pushing that skinny tire through sand. Dune buggies use have wide knobby tires for a reason too.

Christopher Hillier said...

Thanks, SS!

Christopher Hillier said...

People told me before I left that I needed a 3” tubeless tire but it was a very expensive option. Looking back, it would have been worth it.

Sam said...

Have you tried airing the tire down to almost flat? it should give you a lot more float over soft ground at the expense of not working as well on hard ground and possibly pinch flatting if you hit something hard.

John Splettstoesser said...

I know you hit a lot of loose thick sand after the Indio beer. So glad to see that you pushed on.

Oky said...

Hi Chris, I'm Oscar (red motorcycle) we met (the two guys on the motorcycles) and the entrance of Santa Rosalia, just passed to check your blog and wish you a safe trip around the Big Baja Desert.

Christopher Hillier said...

Yes. I read in the trail notes that deflating the tires can make it easier. It helped but it was still tough. Funny, I’m pretty sure my tire has multiple punctures but I don’t but enough wait on it to make a difference. Thanks for the comment!

Christopher Hillier said...

Yes, I did. But the memory of that delicious cold beer helped me to carry on. Thank you!

Christopher Hillier said...

Oscar! So glad to have met you! You guys were awesome! I really appreciate you leaving a comment. Thank you!