Country Crossers

Walking among giants

To cross the country on foot has been a dream for a decade now. From where I sit at the moment, gaining shapeless form while working at a desk toward some goals, such a walk seems more fantasy than probable for me. I do make an effort to walk some each day no matter what.

I wonder if a space in my life will open where the planning, logistics, support and financial wherewithal line up before I leave the earth. But if not, every time I learn of others who have even attempted the trek I say Bravo! in spirit.

Today I saw this NYT article, Running Across America, celebrating folks who cross the US on foot in any way (running, walking, crawling).  I realized such a walk is the only thing that will return me to social media, whatever app will be the norm by then.

Caution from Ms. Merino, runner featured in the article makes me appreciate how important good planning is:

“She says she will try again, and next time plan her route better, since she’d been surprised by finding that some of the roads on her route were closed.”

The article links to many who have crossed, but left out many names I’ve researched, including four from my small local community.

Dusty Dawson

Cameron Coupe

Louie Rochon

What about Helga and Clara Estby who walked the journey in 1896, when the US was a mass of forests, swamps, wild animals and people and few roads?


Peace Pilgrim, who crossed the US at least 5 times and more?

If my time should arrive, I would have no design on speed, only endurance.  I would want to train the body sufficiently to sustain a certain number of miles a day in general and map out a solid route plan.  But as most of the folks say who’ve accomplished the feat, it’s working with your own mind that’s the biggest challenge.  Maybe that’s why it appeals to so many.  The ultimate mind game.


About Erin W

A sensitive plant, bamboo strong.
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2 Responses to Country Crossers

  1. Tom Trimbath says:

    I suspect you’re already in good enough shape. One advantage of long distance people-powered travel is that, if you aren’t in good shape, you will be soon after you start – as long as you don’t hurt yourself, first. Take it easy. Relax. Enjoy. And get good shoes and a good hat.

  2. Erin W says:

    Thanks Tom. Sound advice from someone who’s crossed. I could have included you on the list but wasn’t thinking about people-powered wheels. Marathoning allowed me to figure out which shoes work best for me, but I read of one heavier man who did East to West who went through 30 pairs. That’d be me, so I’ve gotta work on the budget and get to a place in time where I’m not supporting two people. Then I’ll be free to put all in storage and head out the door. : )

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