I just moved the needle from a 60% possibility to a 95% probability of starting my trip as planned! I had a few major concerns over my Social Security benefits starting next year. However, after several phone calls, including one with the American Embassy’s Social Security division in Guadalajara (I live in Mexico,) everything should be fine! Also, I have been doing longer and longer day hikes and my body seems to be painfully submitting to the fact that I will be expecting a lot from it over the next two years.
The Route! I will be walking the Historic Route 20 from Boston, Massachusetts to Newport, Oregon. 3,400 miles. I plan on leaving March 1, 2020 even though temps will be mid-20s at night and occasionally above freezing during the day. If I want to make it over the much larger Western mountains in Autumn before the first snows, I’ll need to leave at this time. If not, or if delayed, I will have to turn south at some point before Yellowstone.
Equipment: It is way too early to narrow down exactly what I will be taking with me. I know I will need a -0- degree sleeping bag, rain gear, and one pair of waterproof boots for at least the first two months. After that I will more than likely ship all of it back and switch to lighter, more useful stuff for crossing the plains in the heat of summer. Luckily, I have had years of experience camping in the winter, so I am pretty comfortable with this part of the trip. Since 90% of people who complete a cross-country hike like this start carrying a backpack but end up using some form of a push cart, this will also be my choice. Again, not sure which once but a high-quality jogging baby stroller looks like the best option.
Electronics: I plan on arriving to the States about a week before I start my trip. This will give me a chance to get used to the cold (It will be five years since I have been in a climate colder than 55 degrees.) I also will do all my last major shopping for the trip: down vest, walking shoes, wool hat, food, etc. I will be taking a netbook (for social media updates) a phone, and a camera. I will pick these up during my first week in the States. The camera, (I am looking at the Canon PowerShot SX730) I will be getting soon (within six months) I need to start using this for my blog, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram posts.
I have had many people offer to help as far as places to stay along the way as well as chipping-in with financial support. (This is great because I will be using the SS checks to support Marvy while I am gone, so most of the trip will be supported by contributions.) My Go Fund Me page can be seen here! www.gofundme.com/walk-across-america-2020 Early contributions really help in setting the budget for equipment!