Wanna help me hike?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Relay For Life

The Taylor Relay For Life is May 18th and 19th this year. I really wanted to be involved - it's a charity that my housemates support and an event they participate in every single year. It occurred to me that I could take a 'zero' day from the trail. That is, a day with no trail miles hiked. I could get off the trail, come to Taylor and participate in the Relay For Life as a one man team! Walk all 24 hours of the relay on the track on my own. It's kind of a gimmick but that's sometimes what gets people's attention and gets them to donate. I think about my buddy Astro from the Pacific Crest Trail. He hiked all 2,600 miles of the PCT with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Inspirational to say the least. If he can do that, I can do this. Please hit the link below and give as best you can. Thank you.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Martha Here:
After hiking 24 miles yesterday, Wolverine set up camp in the Clinton River Park.  For the next few days he'll hike the Paint Creek Trail and the Polly Ann Trail.

It will take his navigation, knowledge of the land and what he sees to get from one trail to the next.
Go, Wolverine!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Martha here.  While Wolverine/Chris is on his Michigan hike, I will be helping to update this blog and keep the Facebook page Hiker Reupply going:

...and he's off!
The Belle Isle to Ironwood hike officially started this morning--April 26th at 6:54 am.  After a ride to Belle Isle Chris/Wolverine started hiking from the Conservatory and headed east on Jefferson and North on Connor, walking along the Conner Creek Greenway.
Another 930 or so miles to go!!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

This is it!

This is the trail, as yet unnamed, that Gov Snyder has directed the Michigan DNR to complete. The areas in red are not established trail. Mostly road-walking and bushwhacking. That's part of why i want to do this trail: To asses it for navigability and maintenance needs. You can read more about it here.

This map shows the correct mileage at 924 miles. There's lots of talk about the trail in the Detroit Free Press

The above map shows not only the proposed trail but also the North Country Trail and the Shore To Shore Trail. These two maps, plus Google Earth on my iPhone and my housemates and I driving around on weekends trying to find the trail, are all I have to go by. Hopefully, that's all I'll need.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Good Shepherd United Methodist Church

I started going to this church to keep my housemate company and because they have an awesome all-you-can-eat (a hiker's favorite phrase) spaghetti dinner on the first Friday of the month. I kept going because the people here are just so kind. It's just a really positive environment and I enjoy being around it. Pastor Kathy Charlefour and her congregation have a deep faith in God that is evident for all to see.

To have an entire church pray for you is a powerful thing. My sincere thanks to all my friends at Good Shepherd. See you in July!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Gettin Love Already!

One of the beautiful things about long distance hiking is that sometimes I am the recipient of random acts of kindness.  The gut-feeling kind of gratitude that I experience lasts a long time and will help power me North on this trail. First, my dear friend Sharon Mangan from the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church gave me a bag of goodies:

This is exactly the kind of thing I need to be able to do this trail. Minute Rice, foil packets of tuna, Ramen noodles, ANY kind of granola or protein bar... To Sharon, she said she was just cleaning out her cupboards. To me, these are vital calories that I will consume on the trail and think to myself "Thank you, Sharon!"

Next, Jerry Allen from the Midland to Mackinac Trail Commission sent me this map.

This map covers about 210 miles of the trail and takes a load off my mind. It will keep me on track and let me know where the next water source might be. This kind of map is fairly rare and not easy to come by. Jerry sent it to me on a moment's notice. A random act of kindness. Also, those blue triangles on the bottom, with the boot and horseshoe icons? They make me drool.

Special shout out to Joe Bevirt, the Chairman of the Midland To Mackinac Trail Commission. 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hiker Nation

My buddy Mellow Yellow was famous on the Pacific Crest Trail for a few reasons. One is that he was a blast to hike with - there was always a small, mobile party going on around him. Another is that he had some sort of interaction with world-renown trail angel Terry Anderson that involved tearing out a clump of pubic hair. All I know is that he was a lot of fun to hike with and he's a good writer. He put together a great website called Hikernation.net and he was kind enough to post a rant written by me called "Ruined".

Please click on the link above and bookmark it. Read my story and check back often for new articles.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The North Country Trail

First of all, let's call it by it's proper name: The North Country National Scenic Trail. It's a congressionally designated National Scenic Trail just like the AT, the PCT, and the CDT.  It runs 4,600 miles from North Dakota to New York. That's way longer than any of the aforementioned trails and 1,150 miles of it runs right through my home state.

Truth be told, I started dreaming about hiking the NCT as it passes through Michigan while I was still on the PCT. Ask Martha - she was already investigating the mileage and re-supply points. But then Susie told me about my trail (that's what I'm calling it until someone names it) and the lure of being the first to thru-hike a big trail was overwhelming. I changed my plans.

The only part of the NCT I have hiked before is a short section that coincides with the Shore To Shore Trail. I could tell it was a special trail. It takes the blood and sweat of about 1500 people who make up the 12 Chapters of volunteers that blaze and maintain the NCT in Michigan. In 2012 alone, they put in almost half a million bucks and 21,000 hours of work on the trail.

The HQ for the North Country Trail Association is only a couple hours away in Lowell, MI so the housemates and I checked it out. Very cool place. Bruce Matthews and his crew were super-helpful, providing info, maps and advice. They told me that as of January, 2012, a total of ELEVEN people have hiked the NCT. Only THREE have thru-hiked it. Only ONE brave soul is trying it this year. His name is Luke 'Strider' Jordan and I applaud his effort.

What if I hiked my trail north from Belle Isle to Wisconsin, then came back on the NCT? The return trip would be the same through the Upper Peninsula (which would be fine with me!) but the Lower Peninsula would be a completely different route. I could highlight and blog about each chapter as I hiked through their section of trail. Finish my hike at the Ohio border near Osseo, MI. Be a total of 2,104 miles for the season. Now that would be a hike.

What do you think? Leave a comment!