I love to learn new things. I have an almost obsessive curiosity about things that interest me. Obviously my latest obsession has been hiking and camping and the more people I talk with about the subject and the more videos/websites I visit, the more interesting this hobby becomes.
This morning as I was chatting with a friend of mine, he informed me that there exists a cross-country 15 state trail that spans from Delaware to California. It is known as the American Discovery Trail and it is approximately 6800 miles in length. When I heard this, I immediately began to research it and was very excited at the thought of a cross America hike. This trail is like doing the Appalachian trail two and a half times!!!! Very few have been able to do it but there was a couple (Ages 55 and 45) who did it in 2011. During their trek they encountered every kind of imaginable weather and terrain. They told the tail of a bobcat tearing through their tent and how they had to hold up for a few months because the snow in the mountains in Utah made the trail impassable. It is interesting to note the thing they remembered the most about the trip was the kindness of the strangers they met along the way. I think this is what I enjoy about the thought of a long thru-hike the most, restoring my faith in humanity (currently at an all time low in my mind). As I have stated before, people who complete long thru-hikes are often changed at the end of it. Not for the worse but for the better. We are reminded of our mortality and humility when our only worry is how to get warm or how we will eat.
I have heard that people who become homeless for long periods of time have a similar change in their appreciation for life and are some of the kindest people you will ever meet. Sometimes I am sure it is out of necessity but I would like to think most of the time it is because they have learned what life is really about; gratitude. Anyway, back to the trail.
There is a section of the American Discovery Trail that runs through Indiana and it is approximately 366 miles in length and covers the state running north to south. It would take about three weeks to complete and I have to give serious thought of doing that section next year with my vacation time. It also passes through many towns so resupply would not be a big issue. Obviously, it would still require some planning but not nearly as much as say the AT. I also think this would be a good practice run to see how this old body could handle many days in a row walking/hiking. Hmm this sounds like something that is doable. Thanks for reading.