SBM is following 22-year old Jesse Ables, as he makes his way across the US on foot. The first weeks have proven tougher than he thought.

If you within driving distance to Jesse, please consider a drive by and honk or wave your support and encouragement! In the next few days he will be passing the north side of Joshua Tree National Park, through Twentynine Palms and into Arizona. Please let us know if you spot him!

Here is his second check-in:

 

When I started planning this walk across the country, I anticipated covering 20 miles a day for the first few weeks before building up to around 30 miles. I’m not sure where I pulled those numbers from, as my buddy and I have yet to cover more than about 16 miles in a day. Having trained very little for this walk, and carrying a pack that’s heavier than I’ve ever carried, I guess the low mileage is to be expected. Still, we are covering ground, and we’re now some 120 miles away from the coast after nine days of walking.

Approaching Cabazon CA ©Jesse Ables

A typical day is an emotional experience. There’s yet to be a day without a low point, which is often in the morning. The low point is fueled by exhaustion and memories; memories of friends I’ve long since ceased talking to, moments spent alone or with others that I long to relive, gifts I never realized I had until they were gone. Walking is incredibly therapeutic – however sad and lonely walking makes me feel, it will also help replace my sadness with an overriding feeling of accomplishment and worth. Each day brings its own problems and solutions.

Repacking our rucks in anticipation of rain ©Jesse Ables

As our bodies adjust to 60 pound packs, the process will become easier. We’re approaching a stretch of road between Twentynine Palms. California and the Arizona border that will require us to carry nearly 100 pounds in order to survive the several days walk between gas stations. I’m dreading that experience as much as I’m looking forward to it. The highest accomplishments are those that require great suffering, and however much I dread the pain ahead, I know the feeling that will come once it’s over will be worth every moment of agony.

The clouds that promised rain never spared us a drop ©Jesse Ables

 

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