|The beach in Florence, OR where I started my 1st attempt to walk America.|
I recently posted about Chris Guillebeau’s Art of Nonconformity book and linked to his website. As I perused his site recently, I came across the story of NateDamm. Nate walked across America. Originally from Maine, he walked all the way across the country to San Francisco and into the Pacific Ocean.
Back in 2009 I tried to walk across America unsuccessfully. I left the beach in Florence, Oregon, got as far as Santiam Pass, and had to quit for a while due to various problems. Then I resumed on my bicycle and rode my bike all the way to Boise, Idaho. The trip was inspiring to me, because it showed me what I’m capable of when I set my mind to it. I had no idea I could do the things that I did! But the trip was also a disappointment, because I didn’t get to reach my goal.
Nate Damm’s story inspired me. I found his email address and wrote to him. I was so excited when he wrote back to me! He took the time to answer some of the questions I had about budgeting, what to bring, how to stay safe, etc. He also told me the biggest reason he did his walk is that the idea for it just wouldn't leave him alone.
I can totally understand that. That "you need to walk across America" itch is still there. It still needs to be scratched. It won’t go away until I actually do it.
But I have more complications at the moment than I know what to do with. What do I do with my family? I can’t bring them, like I did last time. Micah is tethered to the dialysis chair. And I don’t want to take my daughter out of school again.
So I think that it would just have to be me. If I went by myself, the trip would certainly be cheaper and I wouldn’t have to worry about the needs of anybody other than myself. That’s a plus. And two less people means two less people to budget for. Nate Damm did his trip on a relatively small budget.
I don’t have even the small budget Nate told me about, but before I go, I could fundraise for it. And I could work on training for the trip, just like I did with the last one. If I set my sights on taking off in April next year, that would give me five months to get physically ready enough. I think that shouldn’t be a problem. The money is what will be trickier.
Everybody always seems to think that people who do crazy things like walking across America need a hook. A reason. Normal people don’t do nutty shit like that. So walking for money for dialysis awareness, walking for cancer research, walking for… you fill in the blank. Those are acceptable reasons for most people. I tried to do that the first time around, because it seemed to make the trip more…legit. More okay somehow.
Walking just for the sake of walking? Insane. Not okay. But Nate did it for himself. And ultimately, that is why I want to do it.
I guess I’m crazy. I like that about me.