Leaving from his starting point at Port Arthur on April 2 with 14-year-old son Kelvyn, the 51-year-old has continued his record-breaking walk alone over the past week to raise funds for the Black Dog Institute and bring more awareness to mood disorders.
Given a night’s accommodation by Tall Timbers Tasmania with Smithton one of his major resupply points, Chris was welcomed by members of the hotel’s management, Circular Head Council and Smithton Lions Club upon his arrival.
“I think it’s time that somebody stood up,” he said of his unique mission to tackle the likes of depression and bipolar disorder, both of which he has experienced.
“I’m at an age and experience where the end result is more important than my own feelings.”
Chris spoke of the overwhelming support he has received from local communities and passers-by on the road, mentioning one occasion where a Crayfish Creek resident offered to charge his batteries during his trek through Circular Head.
In completing the journey, involving approximately 1400 kilometers and more than 300 hours of walking around the state’s border, world records for age and distance covered by foot have already been lodged.
“It’s absolutely priceless,” Chris said of completing half of the walk with his son, who continues to touch base with him at various points…
“It’s really different [now I’m alone], I’m still not quite adjusted, I don’t know how to express it.”
With previous experience in the American Army and as a scout leader, Chris has attempted to be fully self-sustainable across his walk, carrying resources such as water and a solar pack while pushing a walking cart full of equipment.
Local Lions Club members were again on hand on the morning of Chris’ departure to offer a donation, while Circular Head SES unit manager Ian “Snow” Nielsen offered information to the father-of-two to better prepare him for his next leg.
“I’m feeling my age [though] I thought I was ready, but it wasn’t until I got out there that [you realize] it’s a mental challenge,” Chris said of the campaign to date.
“I’m looking forward to this walk down the west coast – it gives me time to ponder life.”
Chris expects to complete his walk on May 16. For more information on his journey and how to donate, head to the ‘Earth Walk’ Facebook page or visit www.earthwalkcommunity.com
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