Bim Montana III spent part of the pandemic hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, where he slept under the stars and had a face-to-face encounter with a grizzly bear. He then set his sights on El Camino, the famous Spanish pilgrimage route, where he stayed in historic monasteries and swapped stories with modern pilgrims around the world.
So where did the famous thru-hiker head next?
“I wanted to tackle the Bolin Creek Greenway Phase 1A trail,” he said confidently, back in June. “I’ve been preparing for this journey my entire life.”
Phase 1A of the Bolin Creek Greenway, which connects Wilson Park with Estes Drive in Carrboro, was completed in 2013. It’s a useful connection for Estes Park Apartments to get to N. Greensboro St. without riding up the hill in traffic on Estes. But, without being connected to a greenway network, it is limited in usefulness.
It’s approximately 0.2 miles long.
To prepare, Bim spent weeks completing 15-mile walks, sometimes with cans of kombucha in his backpack, to mimic the weight he’ll carry along the Phase 1A of the Bolin Creek Greenway. As someone who already tackled the Triple Crown of Hiking – the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail – he knew that it would be both mind and matter to get him over the finish line.
One early April 1st morning, Bim approached the starting line of the greenway, where a crowd had gathered to send him off.
“I don’t know how long this will take,” he said. “But I’m confident I’ll be a changed person when it’s done.”
47 seconds later, Bim completed his journey. He did not appear to be changed, except for a stick wedged in his Chaco’s.
“I’m so confused,” he said. “When I looked at the maps, it said this was a beautiful 4.8 pathway, connecting Wilson Park to Homestead Park, and from Lake Hogan Farms to Buckhorn Branch via safe, protected walking and biking trails. What the hell happened?”