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

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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.

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.

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

Just Posted

Jessica Ogden, who calls herself a water protector, not a protester, has lost an internal police complaint following several interactions with the RCMP and the legal system in 2019. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Kootenay logging blockader loses police complaint, files counterclaim against company

Court actions and police complaints stem from blockades in the Balfour and Argenta areas in 2019

Nelson Amnesty is holding its annual Write for Rights campaign Dec. 12 at the Nelson Public Library. Photo: Submitted
Amnesty International Write for Rights relevant during the pandemic

Nelson Amnesty will host the annual event Dec. 12 at the Nelson Public Library

RNG plant
Construction on ground-breaking RNG plant in Fruitvale set to go in spring 2021

REN Energy partners with Calgary engineering firm for innovative West Kootenay gas plant

Katrine Conroy’s swearing in ceremony. Photo: Kootenay West Katrine Conroy Facebook
Forestry Minister West Kootenay MLA Katrine Conroy talks about her new role

Conroy will also oversee Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Power Corporation and Columbia Basin Treaty

This picture of Taghum resident Marc Savard was taken in February when he first spoke to the Nelson Star and little was known about the virus that had shut him out of his job in Wuhan, China. Photo: Tyler Harper
VIDEO: Once an outlier, Nelson man’s COVID-19 experience now typical

Savard was living in Wuhan, China, when the pandemic began

A bus shelter in White Rock is emblazoned with an ad from B.C.’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (Black Press Media files)
VIDEO: ‘Am I racist?’ campaign asks British Columbians to confront their unconscious biases

Signs asking British Columbians to think about racial injustice have been put up across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Still from a video surveillance camera of a man alleged to have stolen from several people at knife-point in Chilliwack (Rosedale) early on Nov. 28, 2020. (Facebook)
B.C. man defends his family against intruder, saves neighbour while wielding hockey stick

RCMP looking for footage that captures violent crime spree in Chilliwack

Jim Neufeld, 55, was last seen leaving his home in Penticton Jan. 21, 2009. (RCMP photo)
Human remains found off U.S. coast in 2009 identified as Penticton man

Jim Neufeld, 55, was last seen leaving his home in Penticton Jan. 21, 2009

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond speaks to a reporter in Vancouver on November 13, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
No evidence that B.C. ER staff played blood alcohol level game, but Indigenous racism ‘widespread’

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond releases findings of independent investigation

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Most Read