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Tagged With: 2013

Nevada- The Loneliest Highway

Nevada Sign

Nevada Sign

My first night in Nevada was spent under a full “Strawberry” moon, laying less than a mile from the “Welcome to Nevada” sign under the soft silver-pink light of the moon and the Milky Way-no tent, just my thin blue sleeping mat and my sleeping bag. I could see the treeless mountains surrounding the valley and imagined what could be over that first ridge: sand dunes, vultures circling over, dry mouth and chapped lips and sunburn and blinded eyes, all with Chopin’s Funeral March as the soundtrack. The thought kept me awake for a little while, but the wind kept me awake for longer.… Read more

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Kansas- There’s No Place Like the Sunflower State

For a long time, Kansas had been the thorn in my side. From what I had been told, Kansas was nothing more than a flat-as-a-pancake, farming no-mans-land, where the high winds blow the smell of manure right up your nose and even driving across makes some people go crazy. I was worried about the monotony, the increasing distances between civilization, and also the complete lack of natural shelter from the elements. I received a warm welcome in Kansas from my own dad, who happened to have a business trip in Kansas City around the same time I would be there. Initially, Kansas surprised me in that it was much more hilly than expected

Hill Under Railroad Outside Wilson, Kansas

Hill Under Railroad Outside Wilson, Kansas

There are very few trees

Open Plains Outside McAllaster, Kansas

Open Plains Outside McAllaster, Kansas

The people are much more friendly than some folks in Missouri think they are

Grain Silo in Monument, Kansas

Grain Silo in Monument, Kansas

The towns got smaller and smaller, and the distance between them got farther and farther.… Read more

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Illinois- Love in the Land of Lincoln

Illinois didn’t take long compared to the other states I’ve walked through, yet I saw some of the most amazing things I’ve seen so far while passing through the Shawnee National Forest. Namely, I got to see the Garden of the Gods. I had heard about the epicness of the bluffs and giant sandstone rock structures in the Shawnee National Forest, but it was grander than i could have possibly imagined. Coupled with the breathtaking views, I rarely had to sleep outside while walking in Illinois. This must be the famous Midwestern hospitality I’ve heard so much about. Way back in 1994, I was born in Lombard, Illinois- much farther north from where i was hiking- on the west side of Chicago.… Read more

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Indiana- The Crossroads of America

Indiana’s state nickname is “The Crossroads of America”. What an appropriate name for such a diverse and interesting state. In my mind, Indiana represents a great transition. I no longer feel close to home, yet i feel so far from California. Thankfully, it wasn’t hard to stay motivated with such generous hospitality pushing me forward. I was surprised by how vigorous some of the terrain in Southern Indiana could be, but walking through the hills of the Ohio River Valley only strengthened my willpower. The greatest challenges were often mental rather than physical: learning to cope with the cold, rerouting on a moments notice, homesickness, etc.… Read more

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