This may be a few days late, but here are some pictures of Chris starting off the first leg of this journey. It was a crazy, emotional morning. We were both anxious, excited, and sad at the same time.
Chris's "Scare The Bear" face -- perhaps my favorite picture of all of them. If I were a bear, I'd be shaking in my fur.
The front gear.
Proof that he really left at 10 am on the 16th :)
My mom and I worked hard to attach more padding to his pack straps. It isn't pretty, by any stretch of the imagination, but lots of love went into those stitches!
A practice picture.
The real thing. Lots of cheering going on, echoing through the Canadian Rockies.
There are, of course, more. I will sprinkle them through the rest of the posts.
Latest update: When I talked to Chris in Columbia Falls he was super upbeat. He left from Polebridge around 5am. He had a nice night last night... ate some pork chops and drank a lot of lemonade. He said he was a bit dehydrated but quickly got that under control and slept wonderfully. He fell asleep upon going to bed around 10, woke up at 2 and saw his watch, and easily went back to sleep until he finally got up for the morning. He had some breakfast, but said anything sweet is having a hard time going down. He ate a little bit of coffee cake, had some gels and bars on the trail, and felt pretty good. He did make the comment that he repeatedly feels terrible upon waking up but then he'll eat and drink whatever he can get down and then he feels better.
Chris hit the Whitefish pass early in the morning and got over the snowy part (that other racers had reported took about 1.5-2 hours) in about a half hour. He hit it when it was still frozen and instead of having to hike through, he was able to ride on top of it. He was super excited that he had timed this correctly, and he's hoping to be so lucky on the rest of the passes. He saw two black bears and made the comment that black bears are much more fun to see than Grizzly bears because they don't eat people :D He said they were really cute and "scampered" up the hills. He then zoomed down through Whitefish and had some lunch in Columbia Falls. He wanted to see Dave Nice and try to cheer him up in Columbia Falls, but he needed to get on the road as he had another 100ish miles to go today before his intended stopping point at Holland Lake Lodge.
The boy is truckin'! I couldn't be more proud and excited to hear him so upbeat!