So long as we dream, there will be new frontiers.
Maps are drawn and re-drawn.
I am going to walk the length of the Americas.
Like so many life defining decisions, it was conceived in a parked car.
Weeks after completing the Pacific Crest Trail, I was recoiling from the abrupt return to Default World.
Utter Internal discombobulation.
Turned to a coping mechanism from childhood- bury myself in books.
[Be careful what your kids read, lest they come to realize they can do anything.]
Reading Born to Run in the parking lot of a questionable Chinese restaurant just off the KU Med campus.
When I left work at H&R Block World Headquarters that day, I was wearing high heels and make-pretending like a grown up. Told myself a real adult would get home, then finish the book.
Made it less than five  miles before I had to pull over and finish it.
In the midst of this ode to distance running, Chris McDougall mentions,
“The Sierra Madres are the middle link of a mountain chain that stretches practically uninterrupted from Alaska to Patagonia.”
Certainty flooded me.
I am going to hike that.
There is a breed of humans who dream and achieve audaciously.
For example, right now, I am reading Kon-Tiki Expedition, an account of crossing the Pacific on a balsawood raft, by Thor Heyerdahl.
Specific to the realm of trekking the Americas I have found a handful of adventurers (if you know of any others, please list them in the comments).
George Meegan– Brit who, in the 70s & 80s walked 19,019 miles from the southern tip of South America to Alaska. His book, The Longest Walk, was my first and most precious information source and I still pull out the thick tome in the middle of parties or at the drop of a hat.
- Karl Bushby– Another Brit who also began in Ushuaia, Argentina (in 1998), walked the Americas and the Bering Strait and is waiting/hoping for Russia to let him pass through, so he can walk all the way home.
- Paul Salopek– Californian who is currently walking 21,000-mile from Ethiopia and aiming to end in 2020 at the southern tip of South America.
- Gregg & Deia– A couple from Colorado who, in 1997, hiked almost 8,000 miles, from Ushuaia, Argentina to Quito, Ecuador.
- Tres Chicas Locas– 3 young women from the US who spent 2011-2012 hiking South America. Amoung them, one of the most enthusiastic and supportive yay-sayers in my progress, Trinity.
- Ian Reeves– Spent 6 years walking/living the length of South America, from Ushuaia, Argentina to Panama.
- Peter Vacco– Hiked the Continental Divide Trail, decided that wasn’t long enough, so hiked on to the top of Canada.
This winter, Triple Crown distance hiker and sole-sister, Neon and I will head to South America and begin walking north.
We will need your support and encouragement in the years to come. I look forward to painting the picture of this hike as it is planned and executed. This will be my primary platform for doing such, so follow along!
“You don’t have to be fast. But you’d better be fearless.”-C McDougall