That’s a rough measure of the distance straight across the entire continental U.S. Every day, thousands of people fly across it. Each year, tons of people drive across it. Some people even cycle it.
But could you ever walk it?
Recently I learned of two extraordinary individuals who did just that (actually, they each did more than 2600 miles). The two amazing people are Arthur Hitchcock and Nate Damm, both of whom completed their journeys in 2011. Their stories have inspired me so much (doing this is now on my impossible list), and I wanted to share them for you.
From California to Maine
Arthur Hitchcock decided to start his walk in Long Beach, California, with the eventual goal of reaching Augusta, Maine. That’s a distance of 3,112 miles according to Google Maps. Arthur’s purpose for the walk was to raise awareness for breast cancer, the disease that took his mother.
Along the way, he and his friends created a 16-minute documentary about the trip. Yes, it’s 16 minutes, but it’s totally worth it. Check it out.
If you caught it, Arthur mentioned that on one day he walked 62 miles. That’s insane, and ridiculously awesome.
From Delaware to California
Nate Damm (twitter) decided to go from east to west for his journey. Unlike Arthur, Nate didn’t have anyone driving along with him, ready to pick him up at the end of the day – he did his journey completely solo. Just him and a push cart full of gear, food, and lots of water. Nate’s journey took him across a distance of 2,920 miles.
By going solo, Nate had to spend many nights camped out on the side of the road or in parks. He also had to make sure he had enough water and food for the 50-100+ mile stretches in between towns in the western part of the country. This journey truly defines “roughing it”.
Nate recently posted a guide on how to walk across America, and is currently working on a book that will cover his experience in more detail. Here’s a video documenting the final part minutes of his journey:
You can see all the video updates from Nate’s entire journey at his blog, Nate Walks America.
So what do you think? Could you walk across America? Would you even want to?