Hey, my name is Scott and I have just started to train for a journey I think is quite demanding. Not only physically, but mentally. I am planning on walking from Goldsboro, NC all the way to San Diego, CA. The trip is about 2500 miles and I need some help on planning it. I am trying to find out if anyone has any experience on something like this across America. I don't know the exact date when I plan on leaving, but I want to leave sometime in the Spring to miss the winter, but I think it would be "balls deep" if I left in fall/winter. Just let me know what you think.
Didn't Forrest Gump do something like that?
Seriously, though, I know that Steve Vaught did something like this recently. Not much on planning on the site, but he's got some stuff, plus some links to other people who have or are doing the same thing.
I'm from SW Kansas, and we have cross country bike groups who come through all the time. The highways across the state are almost all in great condition, and the bikers just camp out in the city parks. A number of towns that are on some of the routes, like on Hwy. 96, are accustomed to this, so you'd get pretty good treatment there. I lived in Leoti, KS, for a bit, and the park is right next to the hospital. Not sure how it is now, but when we were there, they were allowed to come in to grab a drink or use the restroom, although there are public restrooms in the park as well. Hwy 96 runs on a parallel south of I-70, so it's straight across, but away from the heavy traffic on the main highway. While this may be a bit far north/out of the way for you, I'd look for similar highways like that, maybe something that parallels I-40 (also, pedestrians are prohibited on interstates, I believe). The country out by I-10 in west Texas and New Mexico is pretty desolate -- you can drive for an hour before coming across anything, so if you needed help when you're walking, well... Just check out a map to see how far apart the towns are spaced along your route. In states like KS, it's generally in 15, 20, or 30-mile intervals.
Look for "A Walk Across America" by Peter Jenkins
Sounds interesting. I know people who have biked across the U.S., but not walked. They also took a more northern route. I don't know exactly where your trek will take you through, but (similar to what rbyslipahs said) the drive across Texas can be overwhelming, so I think walking it could definitely take it's toll. I might try to stay north of Texas to get a little more scenery. Don't know if this helps
Your biggest challenges will be two-fold
(1) the weather--which can be extremely cold in the midwest and extremely hot expecially in the desert just east of LA and San Diego, and
(2) the need to find a relatively straight route that doesn't involve interstates, freeways or other roads that don't allow runners/walkers. Get yourself a good US highway map and figure out how to get across the states with this in mind. I think the only non-freeway section that goes across the desert near LA/San Diego is the old US 66 that goes from Barstow to Needles; see if you can get some info on this before you start your trek.
Best of success to you.
previous posts on your thread have been excellent and helpful so there is not much i will add here except that consider bringing a dog with you! a book you might want to have a look at is called ' Worldwalk ' I cannot remember the name of the guy who wrote it but just google books worldwalk and there you will be. This chap, an american citizen, walked around the ENTIRE GlOBE of planet earth. took him 5 years. Did his walk in the early 80's. Not a terribly well- written travel account, but, as they say- ' impossible to put down '. Anyway, a portion of his trip involved the states, although i believe he stuck to the northern states. Check out Rick Hansen as well. From my town, vancouver Canada. Mr. hansen travelled around the ENTIRE PLANET by WHEELCHAIR! The ' Man IN Motion ' Tour.
I greatly admire what you have challenged yourself with here. best of luck and keep the posts coming. this one has been inactive for some time, altho you said you are not planning on leaving until perhaps next spring.