Saturday morning, six guys and a goat started a long journey to "Crack the Curse" of the Chicago Cubs.
The group plans to pull a goat they named "Wrigley" in a garden cart while hiking from the Cubs spring training camp at Hohokam Park in Mesa, Ariz., all the way to Wrigley Field.
One of the six hikers, Matt Gregory, said over the phone that their route is about 1,900 miles. The plan is to hike about 25 miles a day to arrive at Wrigley Field just in time for the Sox-Cubs series starting on May 18.
"It just seems so appropriate," said Gregory. "What better way is there to celebrate the end of our trip, then the Chicago series?"
Gregory, of Elma, Wash., is joined by fellow hikers Kyle Townsend of Marcellus, Mich.; Austin Roberts of Elma, Wash.; Blake Ferrell of Marcellus, Mich.; Patrick (PJ) Fisher of Prescott, Ariz.; and Philip Aldrich of Memphis, Tenn. They are all Cubs fans who met in Denali, Ala. while working at a resort.
The idea came from brainstorming ways to raise money for cancer research and combining their love for the Cubs, according to Gregory.
"We've all be touched by someone with cancer," said Gregory. He added that he enjoys doing long hikes for good causes in memory of his mother who died at 43 from cancer.
The group will wear the T-shirts and the sunglasses with "Crack the Curse" logos throughout the trip. Their website, crackthecurse.com, sells T-shirts and sunglasses to raise money for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
The six are joined by Wrigley, a goat they purchased on Craigslist for $60 and plan to pull in a garden cart decked out in Cubs gear.
As novel as the idea of hiking with a goat might sound, Gregory did it before in 2010 for a 200 mile hike.
"My friend's mom said I should take a goat with me and I thought sure, why not?" Gregory said about his first hike with a goat. But the hike proved to be too much on the animal and after a second trip to the ER, Gregory said he decided to retire the goat and finish the 200 miles solo.
This time, Gregory promises things will be different for Wrigley, who was cleared by a vet for the journey.
"We plan to treat Wrigley like a King," said Gregory. "We're pulling him in a cart, but he can walk when he wants to."
As for accommodations, Gregory is not worried about hotels giving Wrigley the same treatment P.K. Wrigley bestowed on Billy Sianis' Murphy back during the 1945 World Series. He says that the group plans to camp most of the time, but in his previous experience a few hotels have made exceptions for goats.
"People have really been great so far and it seems like most everyone gets a kick out it."