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Pair travels across the U.S. on foot
Byline info is not available
Thursday, July 18, 2013 11:00 AM
NAVIGATING MICHIGAN HILL: Krista Weber and Austin Walsh visited Madison Wednesday on their cross-country walk. (Staff photo by Steve Dickersonfirstname.lastname@example.org)
Krista Weber, 22, and Austin Walsh, 24, visited Madison on Wednesday as they hiked along the American Discovery Trail that crosses the United States.
The American Discovery Trail - nearly 6,800 miles long - stretches from Lewes, Del. to Point Reyes Station, Calif.
Weber, a Connecticut native, began her journey in April, while Walsh, from Texas, started in February. The two met for the first time along the trail.
"We've gone about 1,000 miles already, with close to 3,000 left," Weber said.
Together they are walking along the Ohio River and traveling into Illinois as they head west. They hope to complete the trip next summer. Weber said they'll have to wait six months for the snow to melt on the Rocky Mountains, so they're looking for jobs in Colorado while they wait.
Weber said she's not in any rush. She's using the experience to see as much as she can along the way.
"I grew up on the East Coast, and I always wanted to travel west. I wanted to see everything. I didn't just want to fly above it all," Weber said about her trip.
Walsh said the trip offered an excuse to take a step back from computers and cell phones that are constantly running.
"Think about the way life is, compared to the way it was," Walsh said. "150 years ago, walking west like this was part of people's normal lives."
Walsh called the trip his "pursuit of happiness."
Walsh said along the way he's encountered strangers who have welcomed him into their homes and given him a place to sleep.
"There aren't always a lot of places to camp along the trail," he said.
Both walkers are raising money by completing the trail. Weber is walking for a group called Hartford's Camp Courant, a free day camp that serves more than 1,100 Hartford, Conn., children between the ages of 5 and 12 during the summer.
Walsh is raising money for Hopecam, an organization that connects homebound or hospitalized children with their friends at school over the Internet.
Weber and Walsh both keep blogs. To follow their travels you can visit www. trailjournals.com/crosscountryforcamp and www.trailjournals.com/azonation.
Thank you for your insightful article about two young people who are motivated by more than partying and texting. Austin is my grandson. He has explored cities, towns, back roads and historical spots that few of us have taken the time or interest to do. He has taught me things about our country's history that I had not known. His journal and now Krista's will inform me even more of that history.
I shared your article with Steve Blow, a columnist for the Dallas Morning News. If you do not hear from him, perhaps you would offer the article to the Metro Section of the DMN for the home town folks to enjoy.
You have my permission to use my comments in your publication.
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7/25/2013 10:30:00 AM
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