Walking across America

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Walking across America

Posted 26 October 2011 14:04 by martin

Regular walkit.com users Lucy and Nick Russell are taking sabbaticals from work in order to complete a 6-month walk across America. They are hoping to raise money for their charity The Pamir Trust, and to raise awareness of the Pamir mountains region of Tajikistan.

We have invited Lucy to share the experience with us via the blog (technology and fatigue permitting!). You can find out more from their own website www.walkamerica.co.uk. They'd be delighted to receive and tips and suggestions from you in return.

The first of Lucy's posts follows below.

In what can probably only be described as an early-life crisis, my husband, Nick, and I have decided to take sabbaticals from work to walk across America (3,000 miles, or the equivalent of walking down Oxford Street 2,400 times) for charity. It's going to be a bit of a change from sitting at desks and typing furiously (or at least pretending to in Nick's case). Initially, people are often a bit jealous of the fact that we're upping sticks for a year and leaving work to go abroad. And then it dawns that walking 3000 miles is both a bit tiring and a slightly odd way of seeing a country. “Why don't you drive across?” usually follows. We normally point out that it wouldn't be as much of a challenge to do that, really.

We're not seasoned walkers or ramblers, we're not even particularly fit. That hasn't deterred us yet, although it might catch up with us mid-walk. We have been doing some practising so far, which largely revolves around walking from our flat in Finsbury Park to work in Bethnal Green and Victoria every morning whether rain or shine. It's something we recommend that people do anyway, even if they're not planning a cross-continental walk; it's a much nicer alternative to the tube, cheaper and better for the environment. Plus it gives you the element of moral superiority over your motorised transport dwelling colleagues.

We'll be walking to raise money for a charity we set up; The Pamir Trust. The charity was born following a visit to Tajikistan in 2009, one of the poorest countries in Asia, where we were met with incredible hospitality and have wanted to give something back ever since. The Trust works with communities in the country, who identify what their area's specific needs are, and we then work closely together to support these projects and improve long term prospects in the region. This could be building a bridge to gain access to a hot springs (and therefore attract tourists to a town), or buying a marvellous fruit drying machine, to create employment for local people.

Our walk will take us through the Deep South of the U.S.A.; we'll be starting in Georgia, on the coast near Savannah, We'll then slowly creep through Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, before the deserts of New Mexico and Arizona and hopefully the Pacific Ocean at San Diego. Along the way, we're looking forward to experiencing all of the food that America can throw at us; chilli cook offs, shrimp, pecan pies…

As I said, we're not experienced walkers at all – so we're hoping to tap into the collective knowledge of walkit.com readers. Any tips for long distance walking, good places to stop off or just words of encouragement (let's face it, we'll need them!) gratefully received. We'll come back to WalkIt periodically during the walk to update on how we're getting along, but in the meantime you can find out more (and also make a donation to our charity, The Pamir Trust) on our website, www.walkamerica.co.uk.

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