With a backpack holding the essentials and his hiking shoes, Joe Ostervik gets ready for the longest hike of his life: 220 miles on the North Country Trail.
"I feel good, a little anxious, but I feel good," said Ostervik.
As he leaves Munising on his way to the Mackinac Bridge, he says his goodbyes. It will take him at least 18 days to make the trip.
Ostervik, a Vietnam Veteran, is doing this to raise funds for injured soldiers.
"I'm a vet and I've been to VA hospitals and I've seen a lot of people. The way they come back from Afghanistan, different wars, and it's pretty sad. Everybody in America should go to a veteran hospital once in their life," Ostervik said.
Operation Injured Soldiers, a volunteer organization, helps physically and emotionally impaired soldiers get back to doing the sports and hobbies they love. So far, Ostervik has raised $3,500.
He has prepared for this by walking 12 miles each day and thinks he has the support of his wife.
"I've been married 45 years and I want to say this, too. If she's not there at the bridge when I get there, well, I guess I get the hint!" Joe explained.
"I'm excited for him and worried for him, of course, but he will do great. He's used to the outdoors," said Ginger Ostervik.
Along the way, Ostervik will stop at Grand Marias, Tahquamenon Falls, and Trout Lake. At each location he will pick up new food supplies. Once he finishes his hike, he plans on driving home. Joe is expected to finish his hike by the end of the month.
To contribute to Operation Injured Soldiers, click here .