Holly “Cargo” Harrison is walking from Argentina to Alaska. He left in December 2016 and for the first year used poles to carry everything he needed. Now he has an accompanying van as seen here at the Walmart parking lot in Williams Lake. Monica Lamb-Yorski photos

WATCH: Walking from Argentina to Alaska one step at a time

Holly “Cargo” Harrison is in Williams Lake, resting a pulled hamstring before he continues on his 15,000-mile walk to Alaska.

For more than a year a North Carolina man has been putting one foot in front of another to walk from Ushuaia, Argentina to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

Holly “Cargo” Harrison hopes to complete the 15,000 mile trek in a year and a half, which will set a world record.

Out with a pulled hamstring, the 58-year-old has been held up in Williams Lake since Valentine’s Day, staying in the Walmart parking lot.

And speaking of hearts, he suffered a heart attack on Dec. 17, 2017, yet only stopped walking for four days.

“I thought I was healthy,” he said of how surprised he was by the heart attack. “I just happened to be lucky that I was going through a town near Reno, Nevada when it happened where there was a small hospital.”

From the small hospital he was flown by helicopter to Reno where there was a medical team waiting to operate on what was a complete blockage in his left artery.

Before the heart attack, Harrison had already walked 11,000 miles on his own without a support vehicle.

Since the heart attack, his brother-in-law Ian Smith has been accompanying with a camperized van and will for the remainder of the journey.

Ideally he covers 30 miles a day, Harrison said.

Up until the heart attack he carried everything he needed in two walking poles he fashioned out of recycled bottles and fibre glass.

They have a suspension system in the bottom to absorb the fact he is walking on pavement.

“I had to repair them several times because I was attacked by dogs,” he said.

Because he was travelling light, for the first year he ate what he could buy on the road and for the most part slept on the side of the road, often in culverts under the highway.

A former U.S. army ranger with a special forces unit stationed in Savannah, Georgia, he spent most of his career working in recreation as a camp director for youth.

“I have always been an avid hiker and enjoyed travelling and biking.”

In 2015, Harrison made the decision to do the 15,000 mile-trek after doing some research and learning it had only been attempted once before by a British man who completed the walk in six and a half years.

“I decided I could do a continuous walk and finish in a year and a half,” Harrison said.

His stop in Williams Lake has been his longest one yet, and he finds it hard to believe his heart attack slowed him down for less time than the pulled hamstring is.

But, he knows he has to let it heal because he still has a long way to go.

Canada has the nicest people, he added.

“At the 108 Golf Course resort they gave us a free room to stay in — the owner really went overboard,” he said.

The “old coach” they are travelling in has done a good job.

Originally from Australia, Smith hastened to find a vehicle that could work and said he is enjoying accompanying his brother-in-law.

“His legs are hollow,” Smith said of Harrison’s appetite.

When they stopped in 100 Mile House for some work on the van last week, many people approached asking if they needed help.

Normally they are just walking through, averaging 12 to 13 hours, and focusing on the walk so they don’t always meet a lot of people.

This is Harrison’s second time in Canada as he travelled to Juneau, Alaska one year with Girl Scouts.

After the walk is completed, he may write a book, but in the meantime he is really enjoying himself.

He’s had some crazy and exciting experiences for sure.

“There are really no roads between Colombia and Panama so I had to hire local guides to get me through there,” he recalled. “That’s one of the most dangerous places because there is a lot of drug running and paramilitary and a lot of illegal immigration trying to get through there with people from all over.”

Fortunately after a few tries, he landed a good guide, and became good friends with him during the eight days it took to get him through the jungle and system from Colombia and close to the border of Panama.

Along the way Harrison and his guide met 13 immigrants who had been robbed and left out by the guides they had hired.

“In fact, two of them were in nothing but their boots and underwear,” Harrison said. “My guide decided to help them get across too — for a price of course as it was a business for him.”

His Facebook page has many people following him along and support for his adventure is coming from all other world.

“It’s a big deal for me,” he said.



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Using recycled bottles and fibre glass he constructed some poles to carry his gear in with added suspension on the bottom for walking on the pavement.

An inside view of the poles he used for carrying things in along the first 11,000 miles of the journey.

Just Posted

Tool and camping gear lending library to open in Revelstoke

Samantha Wex Special to the Review The North Columbia Environmental Society is… Continue reading

Two senior City of Revelstoke staff on paid leave

The City of Revelstoke’s Chief Administrative Officer, Allan Chabot and the city’s… Continue reading

Update: Mother dead, youth in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Sandy Point Campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Just for Kicks dancers celebrate end of the season

Revelstoke Just for Kicks dance studio students performed in their year end… Continue reading

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Okanagan adventurer continues motorcycle trip around the world

Vernon local James Leigh recently completed the third of five legs of the journey, travelling through China and Kazakhstan

Riders “step up” their game at Coldstream Equestrian Clinic

Riders from across the Okanagan travelled to Coldstream to train for the 2019 55+ Senior Games, which take place in Kelowna this fall.

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Former Greyhound bus drivers gather in the Okanagan for one last hurrah

Bash kicks off Friday in Penticton and runs until Sunday

ICBC urging drivers to slow down this May long weekend

Speed is number one cause of car crash fatalities: ICBC

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read