Rees Hughes – Post AuthorBoard Member
Rees has been with the BFTA since its inception in 2015.
While working the section of the Bigfoot Trail north of Rush Creek Lake, the BFTA crew met Christof Teuscher, a professor in Portland State University’s Department of Electrical and Computing Engineering, on Day 5 of his quest to complete the entire Bigfoot Trail in a mere ten days. We were amazed that he had already completed 150 miles of the trail but Christof was hungry, hot, and discouraged. As you will understand when you visit his website, Christof devotes his non-academic life to the pursuit of endurance and speed records and incredible challenges. He understood at the point of our encounter that he was too far behind in his planned progress, had too little remaining food, and was too depleted to complete his desire to walk the trail ‘unsupported’.
In the rarified world of ‘Fastest Known Times’, there are strict protocols for an unsupported experience. Unsupported means you truly have no external support of any kind. This means you carry everything you need from start to finish except water from natural sources. That is very unforgiving. Christof could not accept the extra food we offered . . . only encouragement.
The next morning, Christof called off his attempt and enjoyed his 65th birthday lying in the sun, swimming, drinking Pedialyte, and eating cold-soaked Ziploc meals on the shores of beautiful Russian Lake while waiting for his bailout ride. There was no birthday cake. His conclusion: “I failed rather miserably and regrettably. This was supposed to be a dress rehearsal and confidence booster for the next big(ger) thing. It wasn’t. I failed because of underestimating the trail, the heat, the pack weight, and overestimating my capabilities.”
At the end of his blog post, he muses “Will I go back?” We hope he will.
I would encourage you to read his entire account of his experience. In addition to a good pictorial record, this glimpse into the world of an endurance hiker as well as a 5-day view of the southern half of the BFT was fascinating.