I’m a 23 year old woman who got hooked on the idea of walking across America after randomly wondering how I would survive being homeless if, by some twist of fate, I got kicked out by my parents.
“Well, I would want to make an adventure out of it,” I surmised. “Walk every day, always somewhere new…” that line of thought quickly spiraled out of control, morphed into this crackpot dream of crossing the entire country on foot after I graduated high school.
And as of December 9th, 2019, I am the youngest woman to have walked across America solo! Since, I have cycled and ridden horseback cross country, too.
Outside of adventuring, I enjoy fangirling over Young Adult books, procrastinating on writing, getting too lost in my thoughts, lip-syncing indie-folk songs, fostering kittens with my local animal shelter, and staring in awe at the majesty of my dog, a 10-pound mutt named Rascal. I’m a junior at UNC with an interest in one day pursing veterinary medicine (my passion there being in low cost, exotic small animal care 🐀🐢🐦 )
My all-American wonder of a horse. A 125 dollar, 6 year old, 14.2 hand mustang gelding from Palomino Butte, OR, who I chose from the corrals based off a single photo.
He has come a long way from the wild horse he once was, scared of every unknown, from my touch to his own reflection. With a beautiful, well defined conformation, hardy bare hooves, flowing forelock and smooth gaits, he is very much the pretty one in the relationship-ha. His slow, plodding pace and affinity for snatching grass in between steps mirrors my own lazy, potato chip munching heart, in a way that is hard to fault. Especially when he is otherwise noble, and stoic, with a raptor-sharp eye and maturity beyond his years. (Okay, occasionally he’s a butt, but aren’t we all?)
He understands that life on the road means that our home is our heart, that we must seek the sanctuary of each other. Yet, like any young mount, he makes his mistakes. Multiple, every single day. And guess what? So do I, and together, in that, we can grow.
He is a good road horse. One day, soon, he’ll be a great one. He is a great one.
This is because, above all else, he’s got a lot of try.
My bright orange, three-wheeled, googly-eyed companion on my walk across America. The one who started it all. She liked to complain about her weight when carrying more gear than usual. Loved posing for photos. Hated hills, rough terrain, doors she couldn’t fit through, going up or down stairs, and the raccoon that vandalized her that one time. People enjoyed calling the cops on me for “walking with a baby down the highway” in her company.
Since dipping her tires in the Pacific Ocean, she has been happily retired. Rest easy, Faith.
My touring bike extraordinaire, a 2008 model Trek 520 I bought off Craigslist. (I never could decide whether to call Sal a “he” or a “she;” timeless identity crisis there)
I learned to love, err, his bar end shifters and v brakes. Not so much his flat tires or jumping gears. We traveled together long enough for his paint to chip, and for his brakes to fail, pads worn to nubs, with his chain becoming liable to jump off its cassette entirely when shifting too abruptly into 1st gear … or 2nd gear … or 3rd gear …
But that’s what a touring bike is made to do, to live. Really live! He’s collecting dust in my grandparent’s garage at the moment but, who knows, maybe he would like to roll through foreign lands yet.
(Unless I meet a Surly Disc Trucker first)