NAVIGATING MICHIGAN HILL: Krista Weber and Austin Walsh visited Madison Wednesday on their cross-country walk. (Staff photo by Steve Dickerson/sdickerson@madisoncourier.com)
NAVIGATING MICHIGAN HILL: Krista Weber and Austin Walsh visited Madison Wednesday on their cross-country walk. (Staff photo by Steve Dickerson/sdickerson@madisoncourier.com)
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.