5,300 Mile Journey ON FOOT - Thru-Hiker Chris Carter on the Challenges Faced On The Trail

I think we're gonna call this one Survivor and the Adventures of Tim and Jim. That's right. Chris Carter is checking in from Jackson, Montana, along his 3,100 mile journey of the Continental Divide Trail. He's going to give us an update on what life is like on the trail.





Below is the transcript of our conversation.

If you'd rather listen, here's the link to the episode:

#89 - Chris Carter LIVE From the Continental Divide Trail



Thom Pollard 0:00
This is The Happiness Quotient.

I think we're gonna call this one survivor and the adventures of Tim and Jim. That's right. We're with our guest, Chris Carter, who's checking in from Jackson, Montana today, along his 3100 mile journey of the Continental Divide trail. He's going to give us an update on what life is like on the trail there

The Wood Brothers 0:33
I never learned a thing being happy.

Thom Pollard 0:36
For a free pdf download of a course in happiness, go to patreon.com slash the happiness quotient where you will find a free, colorful issue replete with adventure photography, and some good wise words. Welcome to the happiness quotient on Thom Pollard Today we welcome back our inspiring, and intrepid Pacific Crest Trail through hiker and filmmaker Chris Carter, who I caught up with on a live Instagram session on July 9 2021. That's today as I'm recording this, where he was camping in Jackson, Montana population not much over 100

I first spoke with Chris in Episode 67 to talk about his beautiful and moving documentary about his thru hike of the PCT called to measure a mile. At that time, Chris was in the nascent stages of planning a double thru hike of the Continental Divide trail and the Appalachian Trail, a journey of six months and 1000s of miles about 5000 something give her take. He is now on the second half of the Continental Divide trail and has met some big obstacles along the way. This very day as I write this and read this. He is encountering lots of smoke from forest fires and his next steps are actually in question. So we will look forward to talking with Chris about how it's been on the trail. It has not been easy. what he's doing is about 32 miles a day give or take he's a madman completely insane. But on the other hand, one of the most sane people I think I've ever spoken with. Today's episode is a slightly edited version of my Instagram Live conversation with Chris, which you can find on my Instagram page at Tom Dharma Pollard. Our conversation started with Chris giving me a synopsis of his objectives and what it is he's undertaking at this time. We spoke about overcoming loneliness and doubt challenges all human beings, let alone those on a 3100 mile thru hike of the Continental Divide trail looking down the barrel of the Appalachian Trail right afterward. He also told me about his friends Tim and Jim. Hmm, believe it or not, that's his right and left foot I'm not sure which is which actually, here's my conversation with back to back through hiker Chris Carter from his campsite in Jackson, Montana. I am currently

Chris Carter 3:32
through hiking the Continental Divide trail right now, which is a long 3100 mile wilderness footpath that runs from Mexico up to Canada. It's totally kicking my butt. But it's been one of the best experiences of my life, as most things usually are. And then after that, I've got plans to try to hop over to the east coast immediately and then rip a southbound trip of the Appalachian Trail. So it's been a dream of mine for honestly as long as I can remember at least kind of my older years to do what's called hiking the Triple Crown of thru hikes and long distance trails which is the Appalachian Trail the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide trail and I did the Pacific Crest Trail in 2018 and got the bug it ruined my life in the best way. And once you do one of them you just got to do all of them so now's a good time I had the time I had the money and I've given it a shot and it's been it's been freaking wild. I'll tell you that much.

Thom Pollard 4:34
Yeah, well thank you for the little synopsis of it. So you the Continental Divide trail certainly didn't go fully smooth. I mean, you It sounds like you've seen like five people the entire time and you've encountered deep snow in Colorado like incredible like 100 river crossings down in the southern part. Yes be thing thrown your way in looting, like the the mental anguish and challenge of what it's like, you know? So tell me about some of those challenges.

Chris Carter 5:09
For sure. Well, it's it's really cool to be talking with you like during the journey because I haven't had any time to process this and it's going on right now I'm in one of the loneliest stretches I've ever been in. In my life, really, I've never been this alone for so long. I mean, I'll go over 100 mile stretches without seeing a single soul, because I've kind of pushed ahead of the pack of other people that are hiking the CDT. And also I've done some flipping around to avoid the snow that I ran into that you mentioned. So yeah, it's, I think it's a mental battle over all of it at this point. And it's really coming down to the wire of like, Do I want this bad enough, you know, and what is it that's motivating me and pushing me to the end, because I am stoked to do this. But the grind gets to you, man. And so mentally, I'm in I'm in Jackson, Montana right now, and just got an awesome boost here in town. But it's really cool to be having this conversation with you right now. Because it's definitely a grind. And there's a lot of big decisions I got to make. And there's just, you know, some things that I have to I don't know, some things I have to figure out. And so it's Yeah, it's kind of fresh on my mind. But yeah, I mean, I started relatively early, but kind of in the pack of people that are starting to CDT and got up to the San Juan mountains in Colorado, really fast. I'm trying to, you know, average pretty high mileage a day to link the two trails. And you have the CDT is just proven to be another beast. You know, I grew up in Kenya, as we've talked about in our previous conversation and did not have a lot of mountaineering experience in Kenya, when I got to this spawns. And it literally looked like Antarctica, and I got up there and I felt like I was on, you know, Shackleton's voyage across the Antarctic, I was pretty out of my comfort zone, for sure. But thankfully, I was able to link up with a guy who had a little more kind of mountaineering and snow experience than I had. And he had actually been waiting and pagosa Springs for five days for showing someone to show up. And I rolled in kind of all stoked and ready to go forward. And he was like, dude, I've been waiting for someone to go into the mountains, we'll be the first ones of the CDT class of 2021 to give it a shot. I was like, well, son of a god, let's do it. Like I'm stoked. I don't really know what I'm getting myself into. And so we got some snow shoes, eh, and I got this cool thing called a whip it which is like an ice axe on the end of a trekking pole and microspikes, we kid ourselves out, and we charged up into the mountains and dude, immediately, it was just like, holy crap, what have I gotten myself into, I mean, we were postholing with snowshoes up to our hips at times, and it was just so slow going, you know how it is. And if you don't have the technique, and you don't have the proper kind of idea of what you do, and then it can definitely get to you. But it was, I mean, it was one of the most incredible views of the trip, the most incredible experience, but man, it tested us mentally. And our goal was to do this, like, over 100 mile push to a town called Silverton. And we had enough food and stuff to do that kind of we knew we were going to average a lot less miles per day. And we got up there and we were getting it done. But it was slow going and, and we there was no trail that follows totally under snow. And so we just kind of stayed on top of the ridges and made our own line just loosely following the GPS. And it was unbelievable. I was blown away. But a couple days might say like maybe four or five days into our push through the mountains, started snowing at 3am. And then just didn't stop all day. And we had looked at the weather and it had said some storms early on in the week. But we got through those and then there was this little tiny rainstorm that it was talking about. And that ended up being the one that dropped like two and a half feet of fresh powder up in the mouth on us and so we were sitting there in our tents, watching the snow slowly rise up our tents and I was looking at lying on my tent and I was like I once it reaches this line, we got to make a decision because like we're about to get freakin buried in here. And so we were you know, I was talking with my other friend that was in the tents were like, yeah, this is getting sketchy. Like, I don't know if we're gonna make a decision. Like we might have to bail out of this. And it got to that point on my tents were like, Alright, let's make a decision here. And the snow had gotten so high Tom that we couldn't find my friends one of my friends snowshoes and we excavated like the entire area around his tent and it was just gone. We could not find it really sonofa

God all the times we need to snowshoe right now this is crazy. Like, we got to we still have like,

I don't know, like 50 miles to push. We're like this is just bonkers. And we were I was like well, let's plan out some you know, bail options. Let's see what we get. And let's just try to push forward see if we can make the miles and so we're just getting super cold and he decided like alright Chris, unfortunately you're gonna have to pave the way and I'll walk behind you with one snowshoe and

so oh actually looks like he just Wind on the low kidding. Yeah, the guy that I the guy that I did the ones with

Thom Pollard 10:04
well, greetings to what what's your friend's name in the sky? 21 sky I see some laughs laughter face Yeah.

Chris Carter 10:15
Yeah, Sky you guys battle well right now I think he just finished up the Colorado stretch. We're unfortunately not hiking together anymore. But skier thug. And it was awesome sharing those miles with you. But anyway, so I kind of said often, we were just making our own way. And the guy was behind me with one snowshoe like just bawling out it was awesome. I was I was so impressed with his endurance. And we got to, we started going, we realized we were going to have to bail. There was no way we were going to make the miles and make it the town with the food that we had. So we saw this kind of gorge that went down to a road that we could take to Pagoda, and bail down that Gordon, it took us two days to bail out and was probably the coldest I've ever been. I mean, we were soaked to the bone. There was snow piled on either side of this gorge up, we were postholing up to our chest. Sometimes I mean, just sinking in so deep. And at one point, Skye just said, hey, let's just get down in the river and run down the river like it's going to be faster. And so we literally just jumped in this like freezing river with snow banked on either side, and just ran down the river. And it was extremely, extremely cold. I started getting bad shin splints, too, because I was using my using my snowshoes for the first time. And yeah, it was just kind of, I don't know, something I wasn't really used to, and started developing the shin splints which I hadn't had all trip. And so poor sky. I was like, Look, man, I know we got to push down below the snow line, but I cannot walk another step we have to set up camp in this most heinous place, it was like sleeting and snowing. So we set up camp and had one of the most miserable cold nights ever. And he was awesome. My hands were numb and shivering and he like helped me set up my tent and we have a cool relationship after that. Anyways, all that to say the snow kicked our butts in the sand. And we got down to it goes to springs realized we had to make a decision. So from there, we decided, look, if we're gonna do the miles that we can do and especially with all this fresh powder, we're gonna have to bounce up to the to Wyoming, rip out the dry parts of Wyoming, come back down to Colorado, see if it's a little more snow free. And we just start got gotta start hopping around this trail. And as a thru hiker, it's really hard to explain but you have like this visceral desire to do a continuous footpath, which is where like you don't take any time off trail. And I mean, you don't like deviate off that line, you just go straight forward come hell or high water. And that was obviously messed up. And when I was doing the PCT, I was religious about it. I was like, I'm not going to deviate. You know, I'm gonna do continuous footpath. And I've just had to have kind of a different mindset for this trail and realize that to get it done in the timeframe I have, I need to be bouncing up and down and knocking out the sections that I can that aren't snowy and that allow me to do the miles that I need to do. So you know, I was loaded to do it. We bounced up to lander Wyoming and then southbound at the Great Basin in Wyoming did that got to Colorado, it was still a little too snowy. So I flipped back up to Yellowstone and right now I'm doing Yellowstone to Canada. And then I'll have to come down and rip the Wind River range and the sand ones and I'll officially finished the trail in pagosa Springs. So kind of hard to I don't know, it's kinda hard to explain without a map, but it's a heinous jumble of flipping around, but I'm getting it done. And it's been an adventure.

Thom Pollard 13:36
Yeah, well, you Well, no, that's that's a great synopsis of of how back and forth and up and down. It's all been and you know, Chris one that we had a great conversation a week or so ago on the phone. I think we talked for like 90 minutes. And it was honestly such a huge encouragement. Well, it I mean, you might be one of the other people on the planet who matches my level of Stoke ness and, and how to get amped up and, and just like walk into a room and people are like, Whoa, that guy is fired up, man. And, and so all of a sudden, like 90 minutes into a conversation, it occurred to me I was like, Oh, I should have recorded that. But I'm glad I didn't. It was just the magic of like reconnecting and so so we've we've never met in person, but I feel like I've known you, you know forever and ever and ever. And I get I'm really excited to meet you when you come out. You're going to come out to Maine and do a southbound hike of the Appalachian Trail. And you know the Appalachian the 80 goes right near where I live like a mile just a couple of miles. So hopefully you'll be ahead enough that you can chill and spend some time in the Mount Washington Valley and recuperate. Take some showers, eat lots of good barbecues and things like

Chris Carter 14:57
that. Gosh, I'm so proud I totally agree, Tom, I feel like we got a cool connection. And I'm just extremely excited to link up with you up there and actually meet you in person. And yeah, hopefully, I'll have a little bit of a squad by that point. And I've been telling them about you, and they're stoked to meet you as well. And yeah, it's gonna be awesome. I'm super, super amped. And it'll just be sweet to be back on the East Coast because the West Coast is dope. But there's just, there's a lot of obstacles out here, the 80 is a little more straightforward. It's kind of just like mental grind, green tunnel, get it done out here. It's like, Alright, you got snow up to your hips, like, what are you gonna do? And then suddenly, there's like, fires all around you and there's smoke in the air, what are you gonna do? And it's like, oh, my gosh, it's just and the CDT in general just is a much more brutal trail to follow. And so for, you know, a lot of it, it's just been kind of bushwhacking and finding your own way. And in 2020, not a lot of people hiked the trail because of COVID. And so a lot of places, there's just not like a trail to follow, you know, it's just like this, you know, you're kind of like looking at the GPS, I think I'm going the right way and just choose the path of least resistance between these two peaks. Right? Right. It's hard to just kind of like, zone out and enjoy it as much as you're just like navigating the whole time, which is all in its own way and has given me a lot of like, cool, you know, skills in my toolbox, but it's definitely added to the mental grind. And then do I.

Thom Pollard 16:22
So Michael, Michael conkel just wrote Dude, this is lit stuckness. So he might want him to say that I II as as much Stoker's, as the two of us added up, which is dangerous right now. Um, Hey,

Chris Carter 16:38
my name Chris Silva is one of my best buddies from Chattanooga. He's like, ultra running and if you're listening, I love and miss you a lot.

Thom Pollard 16:48
I'm amazing. Wow, Chris, that hey, so So Chris, I don't want to keep it too long. You probably got some things you need to do today, like hike the CDT you know, you This is the, the thing that really interests me and that we spend a lot of our time talking about a week or so ago, is is what happens to a person when when they're they're feeling tried and I mean, the physical part something is really it comes naturally to you and a lot of ways and, and to me as well and I always enjoyed the like the the obstacles physically, the pain sometimes even was like a friendly reminder of just that my body was working and I was always able to kind of psych it out. It's the other stuff. It's like the little nagging fears. And so for me on a mountain, for instance, it would be in the middle of the night I would wake up and I would hear the like the familiar but but frightening ping of a glacier ever so slightly shifting, and you can almost feel it reverberate through your body. And I would show I've lay awake thinking I hope a crevasse doesn't open up in the head. Yeah, which theoretically hat could happen, you know, but but for you like how in those difficult times of whether it's loneliness or, or questioning what what the heck you're doing out there, what the what your life is meaning about and where are you finding your strength? Is it to the higher power? Is it? Do you dig deep and suck it up? And just get I mean, what happens in those moments of axed?

Chris Carter 18:31
Yes. And as you know, from our last conversation, that is a very long answer with a lot of different facets. And so it's really cool to explore. And I think the mental game changes based on if you're hiking alone, or if you're doing these journeys, like for you on Everest with other people, or, you know, if it's like you're doing it isolated, and you have to kind of figure out how to mold yourself to those situations. Because even when you're with people, it's it's a mental grind. And you it's, it's an individual effort, no matter how many people you're around, when you're trying to summon a mountain, you still got to push yourself through that. But you do have those brothers around you that can support you and uplift you. And, you know, so I think, you know, I've had to figure out both of those on this trip, I've been blessed to hike with a couple of really cool people like Skye, and even in that, I mean, I faced probably one of the biggest mental and physical challenges with him. And in that just learning honestly, what we talked about last time, which you kind of brought to mind is this idea of impermanence. You know, this idea that no matter how bad it's going to get a, it's going to eventually end there's nothing that's totally permanent. And be I know, I'm gonna love it in the end. And so it might be the worst thing and the hardest thing I've ever done in the moment, but I know that this is fostering awesome things inside of me, and just has been a dream of mine for so long. And also no matter how bad it gets, I know that it's going to get better at some point and this can't last forever. So I really appreciate you kind of putting a word to that. The last time we talked because that was really encouraging to me of like Yeah, this is something that I cling to a lot. But I haven't really identified that as kind of a coping mechanism. But it's definitely something that I've had to realize is like, no matter how high this hill, no matter how smoky the air, how deep the snow, it's going to get better. And these are going to be dope stories that I'm going to tell my kids and then I'm going to tell my friends and it's worth it, you know, and this is why I came out here, I came out here to kind of suffer for the pursuit of adventure in the pursuit of doing something that I love. And so I would honestly, that's one of the biggest things, you know, you mentioned, claiming to like higher power. So as a Christian, I am clinging to the Lord as much as I can. And this time is as being alone, it's just been awesome to get to talk to him and kind of grow deeper in my relationship with Him. And so that's been super, super cool. And I've just been able to grow in very deep ways there. But, um, but yeah, it's, it's just all that together, you got to figure it out. You know, it's, it's definitely the hardest part. I mean, you can process your childhood five times, and then you're like, Alright, what do I think about now and then you think about this, and you think about that, and the mental challenge is getting to me, man, like, I'm not gonna lie at this point in the journey. My body has adjusted incredibly, it's awesome. And it's like, the only way to do it is to thru hike. But you get to the point where you rip out 32 mile days back to back to back and you don't feel anything, and it's tight. Whereas if I did that, at the beginning of the trip, it felt like I just like went through a blender, you know. And so it's really, I was just thinking about it the other day, like ripped out of 32. And I was like, This is sick, like I went into camp, and I wasn't hobbling on crutches. And it was awesome. And it's cool to see like, progress. But with that, then as the physical challenge kind of goes away, then the mental challenge comes to the forefront because you're not constantly thinking about your pain. You're like, wow, okay, what do I think about now, and though I'm walking through the most beautiful parts of America, it still gets monotonous. You know, and you, there's only so much you can see. And frequently, you're walking through just very kind of dole, you're on a road walk for like 50 miles, and you're like, Alright, here we go. And I'm using my phone for primary navigation. So it's hard to use a lot of battery to like, listen to podcasts, and music and stuff. And so, dude, yeah, it's crazy. my newest thing that let me know I was going a little bit insane is Do you happen to know this show survivor, where they like both people off the island and stuff? Do you know that show? It's awful. It's lovely.

Thom Pollard 22:19
Getting being really mean to each other in lying with an excuse.

Chris Carter 22:24
Oh, it's a horrible show on so many levels. But I do actually love it a lot. And I was watching with my model. And we would I've made this like, fantasy survivor show in my mind and have named all these fantasy people. And then I'm like mentally voting them off one by one in my mind until I've got this whole, like, fantasy season of survivor. Yeah. And I did. I did that. And I was like, Alright, this I feel like the insanity is getting real at this point. I've like named both my feet and I just talked to them throughout the day like it's bad.

Thom Pollard 23:00
Can you tell us what you've named your feet? Or is that something you'd rather not? It's Tim and Jim. I

Chris Carter 23:04
got to do it something that I remember, Tim's the trouble one. It's always it's been the one given me issues the whole time. It's like, either got a blister or it's been given me tendinitis. And so I just, you know, curse that guy all day and adventures with

Thom Pollard 23:17
Tim and Jim. You can't vote them out. I don't think on the survivor game you need to Jim to be the final three.

Chris Carter 23:24
I do. You're not wrong. You're not wrong. So yeah, there's been a couple of things where I'm like, Alright, this is getting a little crazy. And maybe I'm going a little insane. But in it, I'm learning a lot. I'm learning a lot of ways to cope. And, and so yeah, there's, you know, there's good and there's bad ways to cope. I think it's a it's a super great question. It's a super deep one that I don't know, I'm still learning, you know, and by the end of this trip, if we do another interview, I'll have a better answer. Because right now I'm in the thick of it. And I'm like, you're asking that question. I'm like, shoot, yeah, what do I do, because it's rough, for sure. And I haven't thought about quitting at all. But it's like it the, it's just come to my mind how difficult it is. And it's a lot more challenging than I thought. And now, the mental challenge, again, is coming in. And I remember it being so hard on the PCT, but you don't recall the depth of just the struggle and how much it zaps your energy. Because when you have a negative mental response to something, then your physical energy is that you know, and so as you know, so well. And so I have to keep a positive mindset throughout the day as the survival method to get the miles in that I need. And when I see myself start going down a negative track. I know it's gonna affect my performance and my and my body. And so I have to keep that positivity, you know,

Thom Pollard 24:41
right on. Hey, Chris, I don't want to keep you for too long. I want to ask you one thing about your film and then i'm gonna i'm hoping you can give us just a little visual of where you're at. But But your film, the way I met you was when I watched your mazing an awesome film to measure a mile about your Pacific Crest through hike which literally I'm getting goosebumps remembering how incredibly blown away I was at one at it was just a great film. But but it was the first time you ever made a film. And it really I really felt like I knew what it was like to go through the trials and tribulations the highs and the lows, the friendships the the separations. Like it was like life in this one hour and 15 minute film to measure a mile anybody who hasn't seen it go to YouTube right now meaning Is it is it is so good. Well, now you're on the Continental Divide trail and now and then you're going to be on the 80 with all it should all things go well, you're filming like a madman? We will I would imagine see a film or two or Part Two and Part Three in two years because probably gonna take you forever to go through this. So So yes, is there there is a film planned

Chris Carter 26:02
right? There is there is a film planned. I'm super stoked for it on the footage has been tight, I've had to have a reframe work of kind of what the narrative is going to be for this film, because it's been a much more isolated experience. And something that I think resonated with a lot of people with measure mile was the community, you know, I was able to introduce a lot of characters and people like I can Grizz and just people that made the film kind of come alive. And it had some cool dialogue. And this time I was actually I was talking to bugs the other day. And I was like, dude, I don't like I feel like I have to have a totally different framework in terms of like, what I film and how I film. And honestly, it was cool talking to you the other week where you were like, dude, in those moments of loneliness, and in those moments of just like agony, we're trying to figure out like, what to turn to and what to clean to, like, your girlfriend's just left you and you feel totally alone. How are you going to cope with this for the next 100 miles film that in like, capture those notions? And I was like, I don't want to I just want to sit in the fetal position in my tent and wallow in my grief. You know, sucking your thumb. Yeah, exactly. But I did I set up my camera, like the day after my girlfriend left. And I was just like, all right, I mean, here's my emotions. I don't know who's gonna see this. I don't know if there's gonna be in the film. But live sucks. Right now this is really hard. And right what I like what I'm clinging to right now. I'm just trying to give it a shot. And it was I mean, it was really cool. Not only was it helpful to like, verbally process, but I think like you said, those are things that people are going to resonate with. They want to see this element of a journey and this element of like, what does it take to do something like this, you know, anyone can travel out to glacier and look at the scenery, but to know what it means to walk from Mexico to glacier and then experience that it's like, gotta tell that story. So for me, I've had to reframe how I think about how the video is going to be, but yeah, I'm amped for the footage, it's been so sweet. I, you know, I mean, the Lord's just throwing me some incredible views out here. And so as far as like, footage wise, it's gonna be sweet. And then I think that the, I don't know, there's a cool story behind, like, the loneliness in this and the isolation. And so I think, now that I've kind of understood more of what the journey is gonna look like, I'm able to figure out kind of what I want to film and how I want to film it. And hopefully, you can synthesize it into something people can resonate with. So I mean, the ultimate goal is to just try to inspire people to not necessarily through like, but just go out there and just do what you want to do. And even if it's going to be like the hardest thing you've ever done. And even if in the moment, it's going to be the worst thing you've ever experienced, it's impermanent, it's gonna, the worst is going to end your good is going to come and it's going to be something that you're going to look back on and be so proud of yourself for. You know, I've even just the past couple of weeks has been probably the loneliness I've ever felt. And I'm sitting here feeling really, really proud for what I've done, you know, and so even if the journey ended here, even if I get injured, or something happens, I'll come away with just a new understanding of myself, how deep how deep, I can dig, and, you know, just a desire to keep pushing those dreams. And so, hopefully, if the film can do anything like that, then I'll be I'll be psyched, you know, but yeah, we'll see.

Thom Pollard 29:16
Yeah, you know, Chris, the thing that every single human being on the planet, no matter where that person is, they can all identify with what it feels like to feel lonely and lost. Everyone gets that and that that's just part of the human condition. And so you've, you're taking your story to a place that most people will never know, let alone climb, or hike just one of these three trails, but three of them within a few years to back to back on so you're doing something extreme but to bring a story that everybody can relate to home and that That to me is the beauty of what you're doing. And I'm and listen, I don't have a ton of followers on Instagram, but I've seen a lot of hearts fly up on the side. Michael conkel is pumped up because he got a shout out. Evan B Taylor perma stoked to catch this today. Love you, Chris. I saw somebody from Kenya a Carter is your mom in Kenya may be watching in Kenya? Yeah,

Chris Carter 30:20
I saw that she hopped on for a second. I know she's, I don't know, she's got a lot going on today. So it's cool. He's able to snag a little bit of it.

Thom Pollard 30:27
And here is Pablo says, Chris, you're the strongest, man. I know. That ain't bad. Well, yeah, go ahead. Anything Pablo? Is he a trail friend of yours? Yeah, he's,

Chris Carter 30:39
I mean, it's just been really cool. Like the I mean, you know, social media can be used for good and for bad, you know. And it's, it can be a very like arrogant thing. Or it can be something where you draw just the sense of community. And honestly, like, the community that I've gotten from being able to stay connected to like friends on Instagram, Facebook, and just random DMS people send me in random messages. I'll get random phone calls from people they've been so so encouraging, and really have kind of kept me centered and kept me focused and helped me see that, like, there's people that are supporting me and behind me, and that people remember me. Like, alone in the world out here. I haven't seen another soul for 100 miles, holy crap. And it's cool to come back. And people be like, dude, you got this. I'm rooting for you. And it's this, you know, it's kind of this like, fruitless journey. Oftentimes, it's like rock climbing. It's like, you're just going up and down a rock, but there's something there's something in it that people resonate with. And that is yes. And so it's just really cool to be like, other people are stoked on the journey. And I'm so thankful for that. So yeah, the support has been unreal. And it's just been kind of what gets me through the hard days. So I couldn't, couldn't be more thankful for it. You know? That's awesome. So here's a viewer. somebody's watching Pluto, pl UT zero Pluto. I've

Thom Pollard 31:54
watched your film three times with a hahaha. Some others checking in you guys. fn. fn. stat. You guys are awesome. Keep up the great adventures. I'm good. So, Jay RC you're awesome. Chris praying over your continued journey brother. And keep pushing Alyssa bird fold. Keep pushing Chris. You're an inspiration to us. And Trussell sup you too have been following Chris for a while and love this content. Hey, and thanks for the solder by the way. I appreciate that. He's hooked me up. Right on and Okay, Becky Carter is back and upendo we What is that? What is that? Did I get that wrong? Anyway, it means I love Swahili. I think I got it wrong. Okay. No, I appreciate all that. That's awesome. Phenomenal. Hey, Chris. So um, just give us a quick tour. Before we say so long. Let me see your you stayed behind a hostel last night, it looks like that your tent. If you want to quickly shout out any of your sponsors, or people that you are madly in love with or family that is watching right now. Just giving you a prod here?

Chris Carter 33:16
No, that's awesome. I appreciate it. No, I've been blown away by the support of, you know, everybody that's been kind of watching the journey. And maybe they, you know, just kind of started following afterwards measure mile and stuff. And it's just been, it's been really cool to like, feel like there's people that I know and that I don't know, out there that are kind of pushing me on and so couldn't be more thankful for that. I mean, obviously, my girlfriend coming out to join me was huge, like she came out and joined me for two weeks and left like a week and a half ago. And that was just I mean, the sacrifice on her part was huge. And then with the mental, like the mental and emotional boost that it gave me was was super needed in that time. So that was awesome. But yeah, I'm also just like an update for where I'm headed I I kind of have a big decision to make right now I've been part of what's been adding to some of the mental challenge is there's been a lot of smoke building up where I've been walking through right here and kind of the Idaho Montana border. And looking at the smoke map. I'm kind of in the swamp of smoke right now. And there's tons of places that don't smoke, but it's compounding for a couple issues like it's just been making it a lot harder to push the miles the uphill plot is a lot more difficult because getting a little harder to breathe and stuff. And it's good. There's also just so many blowdowns so the trail is not like super maintained right here. And so it's been there's like trail crews out that are working their butts off to try to clear the trails, but I'm like just ahead of them. So I've been just going through some crazy blow downs and it's really slowing down progress. So for a number of reasons. I've decided to just kind of pick a direction and stick with it. And so I think I'm going to flip up to Canada and then southbound the rest of the trip from here because glacier is looking tight right now. And there's no smoke, and there's a big, it's super dry up there. And there's a big fear of maybe a fire closure up there in the next month or so. And it's just been a dream of mine for a long time to experience glacier. So I kind of want to experience that before it shuts down. And so yeah, I think at this point I've got plans are kind of hilariously coming together super last minute as they always do on trail. But I've got some opportunities to get up to the Canadian border, and then that'll actually, I've got to do that hitchhike anyways, yeah, whether I go this way, or whether they come back down. Once I get to Canada, I've got to come all the way back down and rip out the Wind River range in the San Juan, Colorado, before I officially finished the trail. So it kind of makes sense for me to just get that hitch out of the way, get up to Canada and then start knocking out these sections southbound and I think I'll be able to do them a little faster, because the trail is going to be a little more cleared. And it's just not going to be as difficult and yeah, so at this point, I'm in Jackson, Montana right now. And I was having dinner last night and these sweet old ladies were like listening to my story. They ended up buying me my dinner and gave me two ribeye steaks, they were so stoked on it. And I was I was just what I needed because I was the hiker hunger was real. And they're from Helena, Montana. And so they were like, Hey, we're driving up to Helena, tomorrow, you could just come with us. And that's like half of my trip up north. So I was like, that would be tight. And they're like, Yeah, we got a place you can stay in crash. And so that happened last night. And I was like, Alright, guess I'm doing that. So it looks like I'm gonna be getting with them going like up to almost 200 miles north and getting to Atlanta. And then from there, I'll start my hitch to East glacier. And then for me glacier, I can get up to the determinants. I mean, one of the coolest things, and also one of the hardest things about a thru hike is how, you know, plans just come together. So last minute just out of necessity. And they always seem to work because they're really, it's hard to know, like, where you're going to be a certain times and how fast you're going to be. And like something may happen, like there might be a 30 mile section of tree blowdowns where you're doing like point five miles per hour. And so you're like two days behind getting to your resupply than you thought, you know. And so it's just like, plans just kind of come together at the last minute. And it's super stressful, but also really cool to be like, Alright, I'm just, like, gonna wait and see what happens. And obviously, you got to plan. But you also just have to, I've learned how to be a lot more chill and humble and just like, relinquish things, you know, and be like, gonna happen if it's gonna happen. And if not, it's gonna be an adventure along the way. So, yeah, I'm kind of looking down the barrel of a long, probably two, three day hitchhike, which is never fun, but it is what it is. And it's a lot funner to do with other people. And doing it alone is kind of like ooh, so I'm excited to get that out of the way. And then I'll get up to Canada and then crank south and just become a South pounder and finish this thing southbound, which, you know, I feel a lot of peace about and I'm really, really excited to get up to glacier. So, yeah, you know, as much as I don't like to I've had to kind of bounce around the CDT to knock out the sections that I can but it's just the way the cookie crumbles out here. Honestly, a lot of people do that on the CDT because it's just difficult to time the seasons The snow is a lot harder and the fires and so it's it's a different beast. anyone thinking about doing the CDT needs to have an open mind? You know?

Thom Pollard 38:32
I hear you. Hey, so um, alright, before a quick tour M has said given two hearts to the trail moms, and I guess we will save your fly fishing rod gift for another conversation. Carrie Cory says stay safe Chris. So there's a lot of love coming out your way and I think everybody is super stoked for the next film installment but but Chris, when when you are here, we're going to do a sit down huge interview on my you know, I'm going to set up the mic hold camera set up and we'll do a big interview that you can use for your film if you should ever care to but we'll we'll maybe we'll do a couple more Instagram lives when you have good bandwidth. But you know,

Chris Carter 39:18
so Jackson, Montana look like here's my setup. I'm literally just kind of dirtbag posted behind this. There was like this huge wedding going on in town. And so

places were booked. And there's, there's I think there's um, right now the population of Jackson is under 20 people, which is tight, it's just a scratch on the map. And that's the same as like some of the other towns I've been going to. And so yeah, it's just this old like one horse town. There's like one, one road going through but it's cool in that building right there. There's a hot spring that goes nice ladies that got me dinner last night. They also like bought entrance into those hot springs and so I just got like posted last night and so it was awesome. And don't tell anyone I sneaked it as an opportunity to do some laundry as well.

Thom Pollard 40:12
Hey, Chris, you are an inspiration you're Europe kind and positive soul who has so much has already given so much I'm excited to catch up with you in your next stop perhaps even if it's just a quick phone call so I can update my happiness quotient fans which are not nearly as numerous as your ticket to measure a mile fans rightly so which is the brilliant film. But thank you for taking the time out of your day. We will all be eagerly awaiting updates and and I will save this if I if I don't screw it up. I will save this conversation here on my igtv and hopefully converted also to an audio interview for the happiness quotient and I'll try to get that on today. So I'll share it with you and my friends and you know because it's it's really uplifting for I mean, I'm here and in Bartlett, New Hampshire. It's raining and it's been yucky and chilly. I had a woodstove going last night. It's July. Good. Nice. Nice.

Chris Carter 41:24
I'm hitting record temps out here on the West Coast just barely making it up these hills running through way too much water. It's it's Yeah, we're living in opposite worlds right now. For sure.

Thom Pollard 41:33
I'll send you some of the rain or the cool weather. And yeah, and as Bowden says, loved catching this in our prayers, and then there's some that thank you so many people. Appreciate it. Wonderful. Well, my man, slay it, dude. And I'll talk to you on the on the flip side.

Chris Carter 41:54
I appreciate it. Tom, thank you so much. You're an inspiration to me and so many others. And thanks for having me on. And thanks for the wisdom and it's just Yeah, it's great. Great.

Likewise, ahead, I appreciate it.

Thom Pollard 42:16
As of this recording, Chris is measuring his next steps. There is a lot of smoke from forest fires in the Montana area. If you want to follow Him, please find him on his Instagram page. You can message him and encourage him he is at Chris Carter 146 and anybody of my friends and listeners from Livingston or Bozeman realizing that's about three hours away from where he is right now that wants to be a trail Angel bring him a meal. Treat them to a warm shower at your home. He would be more than willing to oblige your kindness. Chris is inspiring film is called to measure a mile a journey along the Pacific Crest Trail. It is magnificent. You have to watch it, it will inspire you and potentially motivate you to get out there and do something of your own that you've been dreaming of. Type in to measure a mile and click Subscribe on his YouTube page, Chris Carter. One of Chris's mottos is, if you put your mind to it, you can do anything. What Chris is doing is truly out of this world. Certainly one of a kind individual. We wish him safe travels. Chris will check in soon. I look forward to having you visit us here in the Mount Washington valley of New Hampshire on your Southern swing of the Appalachian Trail. Stay safe, my man slay it. Thank you to the wood brothers and their management for the use of their song happiness Jones for our theme song here on the happiness quotient and to their publicist Kevin Calabro for helping make it happen. If you'd like a free downloadable PDF of the happiness quotient, a course in happiness, visit me@patreon.com slash the happiness quotient. And for more information about me to inquire about personal coaching or public speaking in person, or virtually, visit me at eyes open productions.com you can reach me anytime at Tom dot Dharma dot Pollard at gmail. Please share this episode with anyone that might find these words inspiring. I rely on the kindness of my listeners you to share and distribute the episodes. And while you're at it, click some stars and leave me a review on Apple podcasts. Remember, something very bright awaits us. Set one's mind straight guard your thoughts keep your mind filled with good intent. Even though the Search can sometimes be dark and deep. Something bright awaits us in the insane and never boring journey that we call

life.Thank you for visiting the happiness quotient. I will see you all real soon.

The Wood Brothers 45:17
I might as well change mine to happiness jones, my friend. Happiness Jonnnneeeessss. Happy, happy, happy. Happy, Happy. Happy. Happy. Happy Happy, Happy. Happy

Transcribed by https://otter.ai