After three years of planning and countless nights being kept awake wondering if this was just a stupid idea (still open for debate), the time was here and I was sitting on the flight from London Gatwick to Boston, Stateside.
About a month previous I had received a message on Facebook from someone who had crossed the previous year who was based just outside of Boston. She offered me a sofa for my prep days before I headed up to the start line and to show me around some of the sites whilst I was in town. I would have been a fool not to accept, despite Lindsey having some of the strangest dogs you can imagine. Lindsey Monroe completed her walk across America towards the end of 2017 and ended up adopting a little puppy who decided she wanted to become a USA crosser as well. I was met at the airport by Lindsey when I landed at 8pm, and despite being awake for almost 24 hours at that point she insisted that we had a little tour of Boston and a welcome to the USA beer before I could sleep. The only problem, she forgot where her car was parked. So what I remember from my first hour and a half in the States was getting a tour of the Boston Airport Car park, i’m pretty sure that I know the place back to front now!
I spent the next few days soaking up as much of the advice as possible from Lindsey, previous crossers help put your mind at ease and stress you out all at the same time, a gift i’m hoping to inherit when I hit San Diego in December. I was taken to an outdoors store called Cabelas to pick up all the things I had forgotten or not thought about. For anyone who has never been to one of these outdoors stores then they are what I imagined to be “Stereotypical America”, huge, over the top, and full of guns. They even had a waterfall, big fish tank and stuffed animals everywhere! I think I managed to pick up almost everything I needed in that one store before heading off to the next important stop… a place for beer.
To really soak in the local culture I was treated to some drinks at The Wayside Inn which is the oldest Inn still operating in the United States and has been serving travelers along the old Boston Post Road for almost 300 years. Just as we sit down in the tiny dark bar, a group of people rocked up wearing civil war clothes, the pointy triangle hats and playing songs on piccolos and drums (You’ll have to excuse my very technical terms, strangely I am not very knowledgeable on American history or clothing). So we spent the night drinking a chatting away in front of the fire talking about American history and crossing the US by foot. I guess you can’t get more American than that.
So after lots of driving around, packing and repacking, and many, many beers, it was time for me to get my multiple buses to the tiny town of Lubec on the Canadian boarder to start my own journey across America. But not before my first news interview on a big Boston news station, yea, i’m famous 😀 I have to say that Lindsey was more that more than the perfect host for my time in Boston and I left with so much more knowledge about what to expect in the coming months that I would have otherwise, and I hope that I can be just as much of a help to whoever I come across in the future who’s embarking on their own crossing. One of the things that only really hit home on the bus journey up to Canada was the sheer scale of what I was about to attempt to do. it took me a whole day, 2 buses and a car ride to get to where I was starting from, and that distance I had just covered was only a tiny tiny portion of my route when looking on the map. But, I was prepared as much as I possibly could be and raring to get started in the middle of the Maine wilderness.
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