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Monday, May 20, 2013

What a weekend!

Since starting on April 26th, I had hiked a couple of hundred miles up to a very remote part of Michigan kinda near Lewiston. I was feeling pretty good. A fews days had been freezing cold but my body and gear were in good shape and I was REALLY looking forward to being home for the weekend. Housemates Martha and Sandy picked me up Thursday night in a car loaded with beer and pizza. Took a few hours to get home but was it ever nice to sleep in my own bed.

I spent Friday doing my hiker chores (shower, laundry, dry out my tent, etc...) and resting. Saturday was the big Relay For Life. I had collected lots of donations on the premise that I was going to walk all 24 hours of the Relay BY MYSELF. Most people do the Relay as part of a team with 8 to 15 members but a few months ago, I got the bright idea that I could get more donations with a gimmick like being a one-man team. Now it was time to pay up. The Relay started at about 10am with opening ceremonies and a Survivors Lap. I hit the track (which was really a 1/3 mile loop in a very nice park) right after that. It was a carnival-like atmosphere with all the other teams selling goods and services to raise money for the American Cancer Society. During the first lap, I bought a necklace to which you could add a bead for every lap that you did.
I had friends and family come and join me for many laps. Even the other teams were really supportive, giving me water, food and high-fives along the way. By about 2am, I was didn't think it was a very good idea and by 5am, I was certain I had made a mistake. But when the sun came up, I got my second wind, a cup of coffee and more people to walk with.  I stopped long enough to listen to the closing ceremonies where I was awarded the Gordy Klatt Award. I was flattered but almost ready to pass out. By the time the 24 hours was up, I had covered 149 laps or about 49.6 miles. Congrats were given and received and I was ready for bed. I slept soundly for about 20 hours.

Monday was spent sending out emails, repacking my gear and going to see the new Star Trek movie. I really needed this day to rest, hydrate and stretch. Tomorrow (Tuesday), my dear sister Carol and her daughter will take me back up to that remote part of the Midland To Mackinac Trail and I'll get back to doing what I do best.

I should be able to make it to the Mackinac Bridge by the 1st of June. After that, the trail coincides with the North Country Trail so it should be pretty well blazed. If you have a question or if you want to wish me luck, please leave a comment below. Thank you!


  1. Hey Bro...I just wanted to let you know that we did contribute to Martha's "Bark for Life" in memory of my parents, and to cheer Ruby on...glad to hear you got some rest, and safe travels...we love ya...P&J

    1. Hey Jim and Patti -

      I know you did. She was thrilled! The Bark in the Park was a huge success and your girl Ruby did great. I got much love for you both!


  2. Hey, Wolverine,

    Bacon Bit here. Sounds like your parents own a house that I used to live in! My dad and aunt own the lodge across the street. Are we connecting the right dots?!

    Hope your trip is going well. Great endeavor!


    1. Hey Bacon Bit! That's my sister and her husband, Carol and Rod Machak that own that cottage. Amazing that you grew up there! We have had many great summers up there. I've met your dad, Russ. Great guy. Glad you got in touch! Wolverine

  3. Hi Chris!
    Just wanted to let you know that Good Shepherd continues to have you in our hearts and prayers as you make this journey. It sounds like your Relay walk was a much bigger challenge than if you had stayed on the trail, but what you did to raise donations for this cause is amazing.
    Stay safe out there and know we're back here rooting you on!

    1. Hi Pam! I can't wait to get back and share all my stories with my friends at GSUMC. It's true that I'm seeing the best of nature and the best of mankind out here. I'll be back at the end of July. See all of you then!