Seattle Backpackers Magazine is pleased to announce its sponsorship of 2600 Miles.

2600 Miles was started by Jesse Ables to raise awareness for early onset Alzheimer’s disease which his father was diagnosed with in 2011. Jesse hopes to spread the word by walking across the United States and talking to people about Alzheimer’s along the way. Shortly after the idea was born Devin Siegmund jumped on board and will be walking with Jesse for the entirety of the trip. Jesse and Devin are two childhood friends from Las Vegas who enjoy hiking and exploring the mountains surrounding Las Vegas.
Their walk began in Santa Monica California on Sunday, April 15th. They are currently passing through Redlands, California. Their journey will end in approximately five months and 2600 miles later in St. Simons, Georgia!
Everyone at Seattle Backpackers Magazine wish Jesse and Devin the best on their journey. We’ll be publishing regular updates like the one below on Jesse and Devin’s progress. – SBM

California to Georgia for Alzheimer’s – Week One

My buddy, Devin, and I left Santa Monica on Sunday, April 15th, to walk across America in hopes of raising awareness for early-onset Alzheimer’s. Our journey will take us through eight US states as we begin to follow I-40 through most of the country. This is the first long distance hike for either of us, and the learning curve has been a painful one.

We have experienced several unexpected phenomena during our first week of walking. The most notable is the sheer volume of food we consume in a day. I knew our calorie intake would increase quite a bit; I did not expect to be consuming 400-500 calories every hour during the day. The sheer amount of food that we are consuming is borderline alarming. We are both typically light eaters and are both pretty thin guys, we are impressed by our bodies ability to digest so many calories.

So far, we have been averaging an hour of walking before we take a rest stop. While the hours usually drag, the days as a whole seem to fly by. Still, even though we have only walked for five days, it feels as though this is our third or fourth week.

Our second stop – about 5 miles from the Santa Monica Coast

Our feet have held up better than expected – we each only have a few blisters in spite of our feet feeling like they have been beaten with a hammer. Nonetheless, Devin has been having a lot of pain in his hips and my right knee started throbbing on day four. When we are moving under a rucksack, we manage to hobble along pretty well. When we drop our rucksacks for a break and move around, we move about slowly, our pain far more noticeable than when we are moving under a load. As backwards as it seems, our bodies appear more comfortable under a heavy rucksack, which is rather annoying.

We are resting for two days before we resume walking on Sunday. I’m enjoying the walk so far, however painful it has been. We are looking forward to things becoming easier and getting away from LA basin and into the wide open spaces. Above all, we are remaining optimistic.


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