Friday, December 28, 2007

Marching Through Georgia

My new year's resolution is going to be to post more frequently, albeit with shorter updates each time. I'm back in Savannah, after a week-long Christmas interlude. The train back to Savannah was only two hours late, compared with the train to New Jersey, which arrived three and a half hours late. Sigh. I'm a huge fan of passenger rail travel, but I can't in good conscience recommend long-distance travel on Amtrak to anyone except the most die-hard rail fan.
So back to that more reliable mode of travel: feet. I've downloaded "Marchin' Through Georgia" onto my Ipod and am ready to go. I've also got a new set of trekking poles- my old ones were showing their age, and when a clerk at the Savannah Hampton Inn admired them nonetheless on the night before I left to go home for the holidays, I was more than ready to give her an early Christmas present. Look for my next update the next time I stay at a Hampton Inn, which will be New Year's Eve in Brunswick, GA. Promises to be a rip roaring time!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

From the USA Hiker, now safe at home in New Jersey. It only took 20 hours on Amtrak from Savannah to get to Newark- the engine broke down in Virginia, and we were stopped without power for three hours before they sent a new engine down from DC to rescue us. At times I was tempted to get out and start hiking...
When last I blogged I was on the cusp of South Carolina, and little did I know, on the cusp of yet more crazy adventures. Two experiences stand out in particular. First, a retired military intelligence officer named Paul Hickey, who helps out with the Fisher House in Augusta, GA went out of his way (literally, and more than once) to show me the best in southern hospitality. Paul had heard of my hike a few months ago, and wanted to meet me when I passed near to his neck of the woods. Little did I know then that Paul would plan a wonderful visit for me to Ft. Gordon in Augusta, GA, its Fisher House, and an adjacent hospital. Paul also had the guts to go table to table at a local restaurant one night, and (with the permission of the restaurant's owner) tell customers about the Fisher House Foundation, my hike on its behalf, and politely ask for donations. In practice, it was like my efforts trying to reach out to the opposite sex during my freshman year of college: the technique was unconventional, took a lot of guts, resulted in far more negative responses than positive ones- but still nonetheless worked. At the end of the night, we had raised $40 more for Fisher House than we would have had we politely kept to ourselves. Paul and his wife Ellen were also gracious enough to host me in their home for two nights, cook great meals, and shuttle me back and forth to where I had left off hiking. They deserve a round of applause and my utmost thanks. Also worthy of such honors were the soldiers I had a chance to meet at Ft. Gordon. It is impossible to meet members of the military today and not come away floored with their commitment and selfless sense of mission. Those whom I was fortunate enough to meet were not only full of enthusiasm for serving our country, but were also kind enough to pass around a hat with over $100 more in contributions for Fisher House. One soldier, meanwhile, who had himself suffered a brain injury in Iraq, gave $20 on the spot as well- completely unprompted. What can one say in response other than a polite thank you to such a magnanimous gesture?
My other South Carolina story of special interest was a stop at the Goodland Barbecue, a classic southern barbecue joint in the small town of Springfield, SC. Before I left after eating a delicious lunch there, the patrons had donated $105 to Fisher House. I also had the pleasure to meet two friendly locals, Boyce Akers and Kenny Kearse, who helped spread the word about what I was doing to the other patrons. Kenny also bailed me out later that afternoon by picking me up after a teeming rain cut short my hike, and then provided me with a place to stay that night. The next morning Kenny brought me back to where I had left off the previous night, and shortly thereafter, I paused that Sunday morning to attend the Christmas musical at the First Baptist Church in Blackville, SC. And wouldn't you know- the couple I sat next to in the pew had just returned from their home in Key West, where they spend most of their time, and encouraged me to contact them when I reached the final stop on my way. Coincidence- or perhaps Divine Providence...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Nothing Could be Finer than to Hike through Caroliner

Especially when the weather stays wonderfully cooperative. I read recently this has something to do with El Nino or La Nina or Global Warming or Al Gore's Nobel Prize or God having to pay too much attention to Britney Spears at the moment. Whatever- the next week looks like the same as the last two- sunny, dry, and comfortable temps for hiking. I'll take it. And with my much-heralded entrance into South Carolina tomorrow, I will have officially outhiked the worst of the winter weather.
People have often commented on how my hike was timed perfectly with the weather- yes, that was by design. Still, I had no right whatsoever to have encountered only about five rainy days on the whole hike to this point. There was one in Virginia, one in Maryland, one in Pennsylvania, and two in Maine. And that's been it. Sometimes you just luck out.
I also lucked out with the timing of a Teach for America interview which I took care of today in Charlotte, for those of you curious about what the future might hold for yours truly. As it was, the timing could not have been better: I needed an off day anyway, and today was the day I would have been in Charlotte, even had it not been for the interview. I was also fortunate to be able to meet a friend, Rebecca Wintsch for dinner tonight, get a cheap but nice hotel room within walking distance of the interview, and find a Fedex spot where I can ship my suit, good shoes, and most recently completed lecture course on Voltaire and the Triumph of the Enlightenment back home tomorrow. But then again, I'm probably the first person in history not only to have hiked through North Carolina with a pin-striped suit in his backpack. (For those who are scratching their heads, I picked it up in New Jersey during a brief stay at home two days before Thanksgiving via rental car. And yes, I marked a spot on the ground with my foot at the Enterprise outfit in Danville, VA where I stood before and after renting the car to maintain the legitimacy of the hike)
North Carolina went by in just one week, but it was fun, especially the warm welcome I received in Salisbury, including a photo on the front page of the paper, a complimentary dinner, and $60 worth of impromptu cash donations. Let's see what South Carolina holds- already a Couch Surf or two, a meeting with a Fisher House representative and sunny weather with highs in the low 70's are on the docket. Nothing could be finer indeed.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

On the road again...

If you think it's been awhile since I updated the blog, you're absolutely right. However, during the time since the last post I rented a car in southern Virginia, drove to NJ to surprise the family before spending last Wednesday driving to visit my friend Josh and his family in Atlanta for Thanksgiving, where I spent four days, before driving back to VA. So I've been busy. On Monday I picked up the hiking at the Enterprise where I dropped off the car, and then spent the day doing planning and catching my breath before the last two days.
Which have been the longest two day stretch of the hike. 27 miles yesterday, 26 today. Highlights included crossing into North Carolina, getting a photo tonight with five lovely Hooters waitresses, and the resumption of the great US-29 feather mystery. Second only to my blondeness in terms of weird things I've seen, for the past 200 miles along US-29 I have been hiking past feathers on the road shoulder. I had noticed this back in Virginia, where it went on for days on end, but it resumed again today once I came back to US-29. I can't imagine why this is happening, particularly since many of the feathers are rather large and they seem to be from sea gulls. They're far too big and too white to be chicken feathers, and their size somehow precludes my one hypothesis- that a truck somehow carrying pillows sprung a leak. If you have an explanation, I'd love to hear it, but for now I'm flabbergasted.
I also just realized that I had finished the last post with a teaser. The cool thing I referred to then was an interview I did inside Monticello with a camera crew sent from Jeopardy to interview me as part of a series they're doing on following up the goings on of past contestants. I don't know when it will air, although it might not be for almost a year. However, they're also putting together a 2 minute briefing to send to news stations in cities through which I'll be passing.
Like Greensboro, NC, where rather than using what Jeopardy put together, a camera crew came out to interview me today by the side of the road. After dashing out of Hooters and rushing to my favorite motel chain, Hampton Inn (they're the cheapest chain that has complementary internet access for guests) I arrived just in time to watch myself. The anchorwoman referred to me as "a familiar face" which made me chuckle, and hopefully some people will log on and donate after seeing the clip. A link to the story is found among the links at the bottom of this page. Meanwhile, a gang of teenagers listened to tales of my journey at dinner- and then gave me $25 for Fisher House. Coupled with a $20 bill I found on the side of the road, it made for a profitable as well as a productive day.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Odds and Ends - Also New Pictures in the Mid-Atlantic and Signs Part 2 Albums

I'll start with an odd- clearly the most unanticipated side effect of having hiked close to 1300 miles in the last four months is that my hair is getting lighter by the day. I had noticed this phenomenon for some time during past summers, but right now, I'm decidedly blonde. I don't really quite know what to make of this.
And now for an end, as in purpose, as in the Fisher House Foundation. Back when I was in the DC area I had an opportunity to visit Fisher House Foundation headquarters over in Rockville, MD and tour one of the 38 Fisher Houses nationwide, namely the first one ever built, which is at Bethesda Naval Medical Center. Not that I was ever in any doubt as to the amazing spirit and enthusiasm of the people that work for the Fisher House Foundation, but I came away positively floored at their commitment and their drive. Their work is so vital to our disabled veterans and their families and they deserve our utmost support and gratitude for what they do. The two guys who showed me around, incidentally, Derek and Steve, had both spent time in Iraq, and Steve is about to head back there voluntarily. Thoughts, prayers, and donations to Fisher House, my friends...
Hikewise, I've been booking it over the last five days. I've covered over 100 miles in that short amount of time, and will have to keep a pretty good pace up all the way to Savannah, where I need to be by December 20. However, the last few days have also featured some of my favorite hiking of the entire trek: verdant Virginia horse country, lots of historical markers (most of which, sadly, focus on one war or another), a stop at Montpelier- the home of James Madison, and tonight dinner with a friend down here in Charlottesville. And tomorrow morning, I'll be doing something really cool- more on that next time.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Hiking Through Washington- A Capital Idea

Hello once again dear readers and armchair hikers and apologies for having been less than diligent in keeping my blog updated as often as I should. Henceforth, I promise things will improve- if only because the number of urban distractions for the remainder of the hike will certainly be far fewer than the number I faced in the Boswash Megalopolis.
But oh what fun distractions are! One of my favorites was being in DC for Halloween- usually a holiday I celebrate with as much zest as National Pickle Relish Day. Through a friend, however, I heard a rumor about the possibility of a group going trick or treating at the various embassies. Having not gone trick or treating since seventh grade, I was a little worried if I still had it in me, but the international relations aspect of it won me over. Though my friend backed out at the last minute, I nevertheless went over to Dupont Circle, where I met some other revelers, who, like me, were wondering where the group was meeting. It took a bit of asking passersby if they had seen a marauding costumed horde in search of embassies, but eventually we caught up with the larger group, and after paying the ghastly fee of $40 had a great time. The $40 actually was more than worth it, as included in the evening was a 3 hour long tour of the neighborhood where the embassies were with lots of interesting stories. As far as the embassies go, we got candy from Romania, the Netherlands, Monaco, Iceland, Portugal, and China. At the Monagasque and Icelandic embassies I even got a chance to chat with the ambassadors for a few minutes. Two other things are also worth mentioning: the junta that runs Myanmar had no candy for us at their embassy, but the protestors across the street gave us candy after leading us in cheers of "Free Burma!" And if that wasn't bizarre enough, the Afghani embassy was closed, but since the organizers had called ahead, there was candy left for us in plastic bags outside the embassy. That's right: our tax dollars which go to prop up the government of Afghanistan against the Taliban are being spent on giving candy to Americans trick or treating at their embassy in Washington. Oh, and if you're wondering what I went as, well, I took my pack and poles and went as a hiker, of course.
One of the other top distractions in the DC area was having the chance to meet with Senators Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico and Robert Menendez of New Jersey. Both were keen to hear about my adventures on behalf of Fisher House (more on Fisher House in my next post) and generous with their time. My meeting with Senator Bingaman came about since I am either a second cousin twice removed or third cousin once removed of his wife Anne. They both treated me to a great lunch on Sunday and were eager to hear about my family tree research as well as my hike. And they are also to be thanked, along with everyone who has donated so far, for a very generous contribution to Fisher House.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Amish Country Bumpkin

What a difference a week makes- from the ghetto of North Philadelphia to bucolic Lancaster County. But there's been one constant- funny experiences and outstanding hospitality. Well, so that's two constants, but I never said math was my strong suit.
When I was thinking of heading off the trail up in Maine, Amish country was one of the places I imagined hiking through that I otherwise would not see. Although I've been here many times before, it's always good clean fun to see the Amish. And for once, eschewing horse and buggy for that even older method of transportation, the human foot, I even had the odd sensation of feeling more righteous than the Amish. They may think they're so holy doing without zippers and cars and Court TV, but ha! I don't even bother with wheels!
Wait, wait, yes I do all the time when doing my very odd version of commuting, which I've been able to do out here in Lancaster County where I've been staying with our good family friends, Bruce and Lynda Limpert. I had already met up with their sons, Mark and Brad, who are good friends of mine, while passing through New York and Philadelphia respectively. And all four Limperts have gone out of their way to provide me with the finest in Pennsylvania hospitality, meeting me at odd hours, shuttling me around to random roadsides, and in the case of Lynda and Bruce, giving me a home base for four days. I should be quick to add that Jackie Banks, a friend of my good friend Nick Spike, was also an all-star for letting me base my Philadelphia operations out of her apartment for four nights last week. Kudos to all!
A few other funny happenstances: after taking a ride on the gloriously wholesome Strasburg Railway (I'm a closet train afficianado) and waving to Amish buggy after buggy, I finally put on my Ipod and up popped a George Carlin routine on fun and creative methods of capital punishment... "Here's an idea, take a high speed catapult and hurl the sucker into a brick wall!" So much for wholesomeness. Another funny moment happened when I was taking pictures of the sign "Welcome to Intercourse" for the funny signs album. I duly waited for all the cars to pass by so I wouldn't be viewed as having the fourth-grade sense of humor I do, but I think a number of Amish might have seen me. I wonder if they get the joke, or even if they're allowed to laugh. It might violate a tenet of Leviticus. Finally, I've invented a new sport, which could be seen as a variant of lacrosse. There is a sort of fruit lying all over the ground here which looks like a tennis ball with a bad case of acne. I stab these things with my poles and try and fling them at trees or street signs. It's a fun way to pass the time and remind myself how crazy I am. Or brilliant. You be the judge.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


About three hours ago I exited Philadelphia, and to the best of my knowledge, I'm still alive. Among with eating the requisite cheesesteak, seeing the Liberty Bell, and posing as Rocky on the steps of the art museum, I saw a bit of the rougher side of Philly. Still, everyone I met was friendly, even if they thought I was nuts. Much more so than the Bronx, Harlem, Paterson, East Hartford, or any other neck of the woods I've traversed, there were parts of Philly I went through that were not exactly places I'd like to raise my children. Which is a darn shame.
(pause while I mount soapbox...)
There is simply an appalling amount of poverty and violence in Philadelphia these days. While the downtown area is vibrant and full of great museums and historical sites, and while my hike today along the Schuylkill River was beautiful, much of Philadelphia is sheer urban blight. When I was living in Europe I was always amazed by the lack of such poverty- even in places like Poland which, if you'd listen to the economists (always a dangerous idea), have a much lower standard of living than we do.
I find it absolutely disgusting that many Americans would rather conveniently forget about Philadelphia (not to mention our nation's capital and a whole slew of other cities) than support the laws and, yes, taxes needed to put an end to this mess. Obviously I'm not so naive to think that throwing $ at the problem is going to make it go away. But more tax $ means better salaries for inner city teachers, better health care for children who lack insurance, and more cops on the streets. Meanwhile, the homicide rate in Philadelphia continues to go up while politicians kowtow to the gun lobby. In response, I guess many of us would simply plead that we are not our brother's keepers to those Americans who live in the ghettos in the city of brotherly love.
Off to see the Amish...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hiking down memory lane

In Princeton, home of scholarship, a police force with too many cops and too little to do, and a psychotic Chinese restaurant owner who probably wishes I were dead. Thankfully, all the other restaurant owners from my days running the campus food delivery service love me and throw free food at me whenever I walk in the door. Thanks go out to Olives, Sakura Express, and Kalluri Corner for keeping me fed and happy. Of course, at Kalluri Corner I foolishly ordered the garlic naan, which turned out to be a little too pungent, even by my standards. This prompted the entertaining sight of me having to slip the extra pieces of naan into my jacket pocket, since either leaving it on the table or daring to actually eat it would either have been rude to the owners or to everyone within a half-mile of my breath...
I've had perhaps a harder time winning respect for my undertaking here in Princeton though, because if I say I've hiked from New Brunswick, everyone assumes that I just sauntered 16 miles down the road from the city of the same name. But still, like everywhere else I've been, people in Princeton have been interested in my trip and want to stop and chat, which is fine. What's not so fine, is when people see my beloved trekking poles and ask me for the six millionth time where my skis are. Maybe I should start carrying a pair just to make everyone happy.
Other interesting happenings this week included stopping by the Montclair Hawk Watch, having Mapquest fail me any number of times, hiking by Madden's Nursery and Garden Center yesterday, and hiking on the beautiful Delaware and Raritan Canal yesterday. Now off to Trenton...

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Quicksand of Ridgewood

Warning: hiking through your hometown/region may be hazardous to making progress on your hike. Since my last post, I've covered all of, uh, twenty miles. So, not the greatest week in terms of making headway southward. In fact, having hiked out to Ridgewood from New York City, I've actually gone a little bit north. Nevermind, though, the whole spirit of the hike is to have a great time and spread the word about Fisher House, and on those scores, the week has been a banner success.
Or more like a poster success. I've finally started to distribute my fliers that are attached via adhesive to a small poster that states "The USA Hiker Was Here." This way, people can take a flier and read about my hike even long after I've passed through a certain neck of the woods, er, suburbs. We'll see how successful this approach is, but I'm counting on it to help raise a good amount from here on south.
Other things I've been up to over the past few days include hiking across Bergen County, visiting my schools and past teachers, seeing friends from Sweden, Ridgewood High School, and New York, and getting stressed out about the Yankees.
Maybe the coolest happenstance, however, has been getting some welcome media attention from The Record. There's an article in today's (Oct. 5) paper on me- but don't worry about that. Instead, see;
I know that's a mess of a website, but cut and paste it in, and check it out. There's a whole multimedia slideshow of me hiking the George Washington Bridge on it, complete with audio commentary!
By the time I next post, I'll probably be in the Princeton area. Actually, make that damn well better be in the Princeton area. Onward!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

On the Town

In my last post, I mentioned how hiking the Appalachian Trail is, on the whole, a more challenging endeavor than hiking on roadsides from town to town. But in one big way the trail is in fact easier- it's literally a beaten path, where thousands of hiker feet tread each year. Consequently, there are loads of books detailing how to plan an Appalachian Trail hike, where to sleep and find facilities along the way, as well as numerous first-hand accounts of people's hikes.
Now I'm probably not the first (though off-hand I don't know of anyone else) to hike the length of the USA in the way I'm doing, but suffice it to say, I've never come across anyone's account of their "roadhike." So naturally there's a good amount of logistical planning that I have to figure out on my own. One such hurdle occurred to me when I was plotting my way into New York City. Originally I had hoped to hike across the Hudson River at Bear Mountain, about 30 miles north of the city, down through Harriman State Park and Bergen County, and then into NYC. From there I would go the length of Manhattan, into Brooklyn, across the Narrows Bridge into Staten Island and on into Central Jersey.
It sounded good, but unfortunately, when I checked on the availability of pedestrian walkways on bridges, I found out that walking across the Narrows Bridge was not an option. So that meant that if I wanted to hike around NYC without backtracking, I would have to come down through Westchester County and the Bronx (!), into and around Manhattan, and then out the George Washington Bridge into Jersey.
Which is what I am doing. Currently, I've made it as far as 96th Street and Broadway on the Upper West Side of Manhattan- where I left off yesterday around midnight. Today and tomorrow are off days in NJ, spent seeing friends, family, and searching for teaching jobs next year. But the last three days, I hiked through the Bronx, all over Manhattan, and even briefly set foot in Brooklyn.
Aside from seeing the sights, highlights in New York include the incredulous stares I received hiking around the city, showing three German navy officer cadets around the Lower East Side, stopping off at Yankee Stadium, posing for pictures with Slovenian tourists, making a pilgrimage to Ground Zero, and taking time for a game of Scrabble with the locals in Washington Square Park (I won easily, after playing the word "recoils" for 79 points). But most of all, I've most appreciated the continued generosity of all those I meet along the way, including a Guyanan immigrant who bought me an iced tea in the Bronx, three immigrants from Honduras who gave me $35 in cash on the spot on the Grand Concourse to donate to Fisher House, and a couple of women from upstate New York who also gave me an impromptu unsolicited donation. You all keep me going and give meaning to my hike on a daily basis, and I thank you tremendously for doing so!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Good Week for Fisher House

Ha! Right now I'm channel surfing and came across Forrest Gump running across America. A kindred spirit :)
One of the many reasons for going off the Appalachian Trail in Maine was the possibility to make my hike a fundraiser. Not surprisingly, many of the towns through which the trail passes tend to see a fair share of people doing long-distance hikes for charity. In other parts of the country, we are a much rarer breed, and therefore generate more interest. Even more important, there are obviously a lot more people in urban areas, and hence, more potential donors. And on top of all that, hiking on roadsides goes much quicker than the trail and gives me more time and access to places where I can use the internet to do planning for my fundraising.
This having been said, though, it has still taken awhile for my fundraising efforts to really amount to anything. But this week, with my blog and donation site finally up and running, I've been able to raise well over $1000. Granted, there's a long way to my goal of $50,000, but it's a great start, since this was the first week that I really started spreading the word. I'm very grateful to everyone who has donated, but special thanks are due to two former Jeopardy champions for their help- Ken Jennings and Bob Harris. Both not only contributed generously of themselves, but they both also spread the word on their blogs ( and and Bob had the great idea to post a link to my site on the Jeopardy message boards at This has been a huge help and I'm really thankful you both decided to do this.
My future efforts at fundraising will consist of talking to groups (e.g. Rotary Clubs, VFW posts, etc.), handing out fliers to people I meet with links to my internet sites and a description of what I am doing, and posting such fliers in places that I pass through (coffee shops, libraries, etc.) on a small poster that mentions I stopped off at said location on my way to Key West. Obviously, these efforts will continue to evolve, but let me know if you have any ideas- all are clearly welcome!
My next post will detail some of my experiences in New York City- stay tuned!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

So what do I do all day...?

Other than hike, of course. I've been a big fan of multitasking for years, and hiking gives me an opportunity to indulge at length. For the past few weeks, I've spent hours most days listening to CDs I've ordered from The Teaching Company. I first saw these advertised a few years ago in Foreign Affairs and The Economist, and was intrigued, though never to the point of ordering their courses. But then again, I didn't have oodles of hours of time on my hands. Or feet.
So in order to provide intellectual stimulation to accompany the physical, I've recently completed the first two of what will be many college lecture courses. The two I've done so far were on the American Civil War and Great Ideas of Philosophy, although at times the second bordered on the oxymoronic. Seriously, can't we just put ontology and epistomology to rest and be done with it? Where did any of that get anyone? I wish the course had dwelt more on religious philosophy, political philosophy, and ethics, but on the whole, it was still a good intro to the subject. Meanwhile, the Civil War course was good, although it was difficult to follow at times without benefit of maps, especially during descriptions of the battles.
Now I'm on to Bach and the High Baroque, with many more to follow. Other preoccupations, by the way, include listening to the radio, my Ipod, making sure I don't get run over by cars, picking up litter, doing pushups and situps by the roadside, stopping off at libraries for internet breaks, talking on my cell phone (201 661 3524, hint hint), thinking about my future rise to power, taking pictures of funny road signs, and making friends with the locals. In short, boredom is foiled on a daily basis, as I press ever southward and on to greater glory. Three days to New York City! -DM

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

On the trail again...

The blog is back! Well, sort of. I'm currently in the library in Kent, CT, after having hiked 12 miles on the Appalachian Trail for the first time since central Maine. The countryside up here is beautiful, lots of hemlock glades and steep, but not very high hills. The Housatonic River is the nicest river I've seen that no one seems to care about, except GE who's apparently used it as a dumpster over the years. Still, there were mergansers, great blue herons and kingfishers aplenty, so either they're not too worried, or are enjoying meals of Blinky, the three-eyed fish.
Interesting thought of the day- I saw a sign warning of the dangers of eating fish from the river. It was printed in English, Vietnamese, Thai (I think), one language written in a vaguely southeast Asian script I didn't recognize (Cambodian? Lao?) and then a language that featured such words as: "txwv" and "xyoo." Thanks to Google, I now know this to be Hmong. Didn't a Hmong immigrant go postal up in Minnesota last year? Maybe it was because he finally gave up trying to pronounce his language. Or he may have eaten one too many three-eyed fishes.
More on what I'm actually doing out here (plus pictures!!!) in my next post within three days. -DM

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Okay, it's been a long time coming, but it finally seems I've gotten this blog off the ground! Obviously over the coming days and weeks I'll frequently update this, but for now the basics:
I'm David Madden and I'm hiking the length of the United States from the Canadian border with northern Maine to Key West, Florida- a distance of about 3000 miles. Now call me crazy (you won't be the first to have done so...) but this may turn out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made. Especially since I am doing my hike as a fundraiser for Fisher House Foundation- a great charity that builds and manages houses for families of wounded veterans to stay at, when they visit at military hospitals around the country. I'm also maintaining a page at with more news of my hike and where people can donate online, so check that out as well. Tune in for another update in a few days, with stories from my hike so far and news as to my current whereabouts!