Do you periodically stop and buy new articles of clothing when the old ones wear out (socks, shoes, t-shirts ect)?
The only clothing or gear that I’ve had to replace are shoes and socks. I’m on my third pair of shoes (New Balance sneakers), and I’ve gone through a lot of socks (mostly SmartWool brand). The rest of my clothes don’t get as much wear and tear as my foot gear, thankfully. In Boulder I did end up buying a new top, which wasn’t exactly needed but a welcome change.
I will need warmer gear as we head into the later part of the year and into the desert. But I’m having that mailed out to me rather than buying brand new stuff.
When you go into a store, where do you leave Anna and your gear?
I just park the stroller near the door, somewhere out of the way but close enough for me to glance out and check on, put the brake on and tie Anna’s leash to the handle. If I’m in a pretty large city I’ll also use my bike lock and lock the stroller to something. Whenever I go into stores I’m not in there very long, so it’s not too big a deal. It can be a little annoying, as I’m the type of person who likes to take my time and wander around shopping, but you can’t really do that when all of your belongings and your dog are sitting outside basically unprotected.
Overall, do you feel like the buggy is superior to carrying a pack?
A million times more superior to carrying a pack. I cannot express enough how beneficial a stroller or cart is to this kind of long-term walking adventure.
For one, it is so much easier on my body. When I carried my pack on the Erie Canal I was always in pain. Each new day was a new pain – shoulders, back, hips, knees, ankles, feet – I never seemed to be at ease. Which is one of the big reasons I knew I wanted a stroller of some sort for this adventure. There are days when pushing the stroller up and down mountains can leave my wrists and arms aching, but it’s nothing compared to carrying the pack. And even more importantly, I can carry twice as much food and water. Which is literally a live saver.
At some point I plan to write up a gear review of the stroller and all of it’s pluses and minuses.
Has anyone ever said “No” when you asked if you could tent on their yard?
Two or three times I’ve been turned down for yard camping. I never feel offended or upset at those time. I know I’m harmless and awesome, but to these people I was a stranger with a strange request and they have to think of the safety of their families first. Every time someone says yes, or offers their yard, or invites me into their homes, I am amazed at their generosity and count myself lucky.
How are you getting back to the West coast? Are you walking back, flying, driving?
I’m not sure. If the world worked the way I wanted it to, I’d end up on the West coast and someone would offer me an awesome job and a place to stay for a bit. Sadly, the world rarely works the way I want it to. Realistically, I will probably be renting a car and driving back. I’m tossing around different ideas, but I think it might be nice to drive back the way I walked and thank all of the people who have helped me along the way. Then again, it might be cool to drive to the states I didn’t walk through and see the sights I missed. I don’t know, but I’ve got at least a month to figure it out. Plenty of time!
One thing I can guarantee is that I’m not walking back the entire way. Once across the US is enough for now.