Blistered and bruised – Chris Robinson is back from a 9 day journey to the summit of Mount Katahdin. He and six other men hiked 114 miles from the town of Monson to the top of Maine’s biggest mountain.
“A couple of the guys had to go to the doctor after,” he said.
But their battle scars seem ever so small when they think about who they were hiking for. The Wilderness Walk for Warriors was about honoring our nation’s heroes..past and present.
“The pain that we endured during the hike was a good pain because it’s a lot less than what they gave,” he said.
And for the ones that gave all – each man carried a memorial stone up the mountain engraved with the name of a lost Maine hero. Included were First Lt. James Zimmerman and Sgt. 1st class Aaron Henderson — the stones are a part of the Summit Project.
“A younger gentlemen on the way up completely dislocated his shoulder..and he was carrying the heaviest of stones..there was a doctor hiking right behind him who reset his shoulder..and he continued up to the top. With the stone. There was no stopping. We would finish. For them,” he said.
And that they did. Robinson says he was full of emotions when he reached the summit – relief, sadness…he and his companions felt a sense of a accomplishment and pride as they put out the American Flag and held those special stones.
“Amazingly, it felt so good,” he said. “There was spontaneous applause from all the other hikers at the top..and there was probably..I’m guessing 50 and they just started clapping..after the service..that was amazing.”
Robinson collected money for every step they took – which he will be giving to active veterans and their families..and though he returned days ago, the donations aren’t done coming in – and he’s not done giving back.”
“I feel like we’ve just scratched the surface and we’ll do some more and do some better things in the future,” he said.
Robinson also talked about another neat experience they had during the journey. He said on their third night, they were met by Maine National Guard helicopters.