I'm walking across America, following the American Discovery Trail as much as possible, from Delaware to California.

I am currently 106 days- 1,350 miles in progress and expect to arrive in California next September.

I have a Facebook page dedicated to my hike as proof, [DRGTrek](www.facebook.com/DRGTrek).

Ask me anything!

Edit: Thank you all for the questions so far, I hope I could answer them sufficiently. It's about that time for me to crash so I will be returning tomorrow in the AM for a bit. Feel free to drop questions, I'll respond as soon as I can, Thanks! Happy Holidays!

Comments: 292 • Responses: 70  • Date: 

RyanCryptic67 karma

If you would walk 500 miles, would you walk 500 more?

Sneakrow72 karma

I did. And I will, 8 times more.

zoidboob39 karma

Do you find yourself singing The Proclaimers often?

Sneakrow29 karma

Constantly. I use trekking poles and the sound of them tapping on the ground always goes at the same rhythm of the song, getting it into my head.

FilmsAreQuiteAwesome23 karma

Have you run into any wild animals?

Sneakrow33 karma

Nothing out of the ordinary.
I have heard Mountain Lion screams at night but nothing has bothered me as of now.

Sylvester_Scott12 karma

If you come up on one, just make yourself look big, since that frightens the lion.

goodnewsjimdotcom40 karma

If you come up on two, make yourself look small, they might not want to waste their time eating smaller portions.

Sneakrow22 karma

I've never heard this before

StoneMagnet39 karma

That's because he made it up.

PowErBuTt016 karma

Why would he do that?

FF0000panda18 karma

/u/goodnewsjimdotcom is a mountain lion and wants OP to himself

Sneakrow3 karma

On the internet, nobody knows you are a mountain lion.

flatwaterguy2 karma

If you started on the east coast, what state did you hear a mountain lion in ?

Sneakrow2 karma

Maryland by the Potomac River, Southwestern Ohio, and Southwestern Indiana is when I can recall

lol-seems-legit23 karma

This is so bad ass. I wish I had the balls to just get up and do it.

How old are you? And what sortve opprutinuty did you see that you knew to jump on this? Was it spontaneous?

Sneakrow56 karma

I am 27.
As far as the opportunity goes, I had no obligations to tend to at this particular time in my life; my apartment lease was up, no car payment, no girlfriend or children. I sold EVERYTHING I owned (aside from one small box of sentimental stuff that I left with a family member), rented a car and had a buddy drive me to the Atlantic Ocean where I started in Delaware.

lol-seems-legit12 karma

Everything fell in the right place

barba_rossa25 karma

That is taking away from the work he did for it. Him selling everything and actually starting the trip is actively doing something. Everything didn't fall in the right place, he made it so.

stonedbarbarossa22 karma

If you smoked a joint right now we'd be the same person

Sneakrow2 karma

That's deep.

svenviko22 karma

How did you find a good (safe) route to take? Are you largely taking back roads, trails, etc?

BTW you should track your route on strava

Sneakrow35 karma

I am following the American Discovery Trail, a coast to coast route that links together as many State and National Parks as possible on one continuous trail.
It does veer towards backroads and actual trails as much as possible, but sometimes US Highways must be followed, given the current location.
I use the ADT as a guideline for the most part, but sometimes I will take alternate routes on Highways to ensure I will hit a resupply point.

KaneHau16 karma

How's the weather?

Sneakrow26 karma

I am currently in Southern Illinois and although a bit gloomy, it's rather warm for this time of year.
I have yet to see actual snowfall on the trail and hope it stays that way!

actionheroname7 karma

Why did you choose this time to do this?

Sneakrow31 karma

It just happened to be the available time that I could. I was super hyped about it and ready to dive right in, which I feel was my best decision.
Another persuading factor was that if I kept a 100 mile/week pace, I would be to Colorado in the Spring time and not have to postpone my trip by waiting for the Rockies to be passable.

joshmyers8415 karma

What was the most concerning part of your voyage so far? Like any tight spots, close calls, etc?

Good luck to you and Merry Christmas! I'll be sure to follow your journey on Facebook. (Thought of a GoFundMe?)

Sneakrow19 karma

Thank you! Merry Christmas to you as well!

So far my biggest concern is breaking down my tent in the morning during the winter months. It's very hard on my fingers as they tend to go numb pretty quickly, but once I start walking I can heat them up just fine.

As far as close-calls would be crossing the Old Iron Bridge in Leavenworth, IN. The flooring of the bridge had been removed and is just a rusted frame 30 ft above a river. I wasn't able to loosen my hip belt or take my phone/wallet off my persons which made crossing much more intense.

printerbob14 karma

So cool. I'm almost 60. I look back at my life and see that I did nothing exciting. You will cherish this when you get older. Do you stay at peoples houses that know what you are doing?

Sneakrow5 karma

If someone invites me in, I usually will take the opportunity.
This may sound like fluff but don't get into the mindset that you are too old for this. There may be other reasons, but there are many people around that age group who still do things like this.

timelyparadox14 karma

How many pairs of shoes did you use already? If only one then what shoes are you using?

Sneakrow19 karma

I am still on my first pair of boots and the tread is getting very low.

I am currently using Merrell Ridgepass Mids(I think that's the name).

Dosferra13 karma

Do you have any gear list?

Sneakrow17 karma

I have not compiled one yet, but I do plan on getting a list made up soon. I would like to include the weight of each individual item on my list but do not have access to a scale unfortunately.
I can get a list put together within the next couple of days though.

steakandwhiskey11 karma

Can you post a picture of all your gear?

Sneakrow18 karma

Not the greatest pic, but I took this a couple of days ago.
Current Layout

I will work on a list and better picture in the next couple of days and place it in an edit!

Rubcionnnnn4 karma

Oh man, you should have gotten the titanium spork. I've broken so many of those plastic ones while backpacking and then I have to miserably eat oatmeal with my hands.

Sneakrow3 karma

I got that spork for free :) I would like to upgrade to something that weighs less sometime in the future when I can weigh my ounces on a scale.

steakandwhiskey3 karma

Awesome, thanks for the reply! I'm a bit shocked at how light you are in the clothing department!

Sneakrow2 karma

Yep, the only clothing I carry is what I wear - base layer, pants, hoodie, 3 pair socks, 1 extra underwear.

treeboarrr10 karma

How do you train for something like this?

Sneakrow33 karma

Honestly, I didn't train at all and I paid the price. Had a lot of blisters in the early weeks but after about 4 weeks I was able to walk from Sunrise to Sunset.
If I were to give any advice from what I know now, I would say to do calf exercises and walk to the grocery store with a hiking bag, stuff your groceries in it and walk back every day for a few months.

Wikipodiatrist10 karma

What do you do for shelter and sustenance? Do you use electronics, and if so where do you charge them? If this costs any money, how are you financing it?

Sneakrow22 karma

I have a 1-man tent: Alps Mountaineering Lynx 1.
I eat four meals a day with two snack breaks which is as follows:
-Breakfast: Instant Oatmeal with a Pop-Tart.
-Brunch: Granola bar, Instant Oatmeal, Trail mix.
-Lunch: Flavored Tuna in a Fajita wrap. -Dinner: Pre-boiled Rice packet with Gravy packet.

Food costs me $4/day averaging around $120/ month.

I use my Cell Phone and Vaporizer for electronics and charge them using a 20,000mAh external power bank which I charge at gas stations, restaurants or random outlets that I see.

The average cost for this kind of trip is around $400/month which covers any extra luxuries or amenities.

zampe25 karma

lol you're vaping across the nation!? /u/h3h3productions

Sneakrow8 karma

I am! I'm using an RDA and carry Kanthal with cotton so I'm never stuck without an atomizer.

Im_xoxide13 karma

VAPENATION BRAH

Sneakrow18 karma

I don't even know what that means.

Pete_The_Mediocre5 karma

Whoa...That's low. Are you not pigging out in every town? I had about double that budget for my PCT and CT hikes and most people spent more than that, although I definitely hiked with a crowd that liked towns. Your food expenses are also like a third of mine once I account for shipping costs. I mean, ~4000 calories is just a lot of food.

Sneakrow2 karma

If there is extra room in my budget, then I'll pig out occasionally. But not in every town.
I don't know what your food plan was, but I'm going to assume it was a lot of dehydrated meals which I stay away from.

modern_zombie10 karma

What made you decide to do this?

Sneakrow18 karma

I wanted to move out of Michigan and wasn't sure as to where. I had the opportunity to do this and jumped on it.

ravascodet6 karma

Everytime I speak to someone that moves here I always ask why

Sneakrow9 karma

The only reason I could see people moving to Michigan is for Northern MI and the U.P.
Other than that I would ask why also.

queenbeach119 karma

Do you have concerns about your safety? What advice would you give to a female who plans a two month hike alone.

Sneakrow12 karma

I haven't had much reason to be concerned when it comes to people. In my opinion, the people are the best part.

Trust your gut, if something feels off, keep walking.

When it comes to trails and animals, I just make unnatural sounds frequently so I don't startle anything.

jkl84 karma

Just curious, can you give an example of an unnatural sound you make?

Sneakrow9 karma

Singing, banging my trekking poles against each other, etc

TruckasaurusLex9 karma

How often do you get to bathe or shower? Do you use natural bodies of water for that? If so, how often do you come alongside/cross rivers and lakes? Do you end up feeling dirty often?

Sneakrow10 karma

I take a shower whenever I am in the vicinity of one, which is not very often.
Sometimes I go 2 or 3 days without a shower, sometimes I go a week or more.

I haven't had the opportunity to use a body of water yet, I feel I started a bit too late in the year to even logically attempt it. I'd rather be smelly with some natural bug repellent than risk hypothermia or blistering just to feel clean.

Maybe in the summer I'll use natural sources more frequently, but many people seem to be quite understanding of the smells I produce when they figure out what I'm doing (which spells opportunity for a hot shower sometimes.)

TheDude84059 karma

Where in the USA have you met the nicest people?

Sneakrow21 karma

That's a tough one, as I've only been through 6 states so far.

If I had to give an answer based from that, I would have to give my shoutout to West Virginia!

TheOnlyJoss9 karma

Around how much ground do you cover daily?

Sneakrow11 karma

I average around 15-20 miles per day.
If I am road walking, I hit 4mph easy. Trail walking is around 2-2.5mph

TheOnlyJoss3 karma

If you have the choice do you prefer trail walking or would you rather stick to the road?

Sneakrow11 karma

Honestly depends on how I'm feeling and how my food supply looks.
I prefer to cover distance during the winter months so I would choose roads over trails if I had to give a definitive answer.

NewWorldOrder7819 karma

If you had someone ask you if they could join you on your journey, what would you say?

Sneakrow25 karma

The more the merrier!

I would hike with them for a while, show them the in's and out's of the trail and provide what information they would need to continue on without me.
It's a long road, and companionship is very important to me, but I've learned on this trip so far that being alone for a bit can really help you center yourself.
I would hope we wouldn't leave each other in the dust, and still only be just a few days away, because hiking with other people is just as important.

There's two other guys on the same trail as me right now and we have hiked together for a couple of weeks, but separated for a few days and plan on reuniting within the next week.

Thank you so much for that question.

NewWorldOrder7816 karma

That's amazing.

I think I'm hypocrite. I love being a loner, at the same time I hate not being surrounded by at least a few people. I think overall I would struggle most with just not having a person by my side, even if we didn't talk at all.

Sneakrow2 karma

That's how I am.
But I also like to go at my own pace without having to worry about slowing people down, I take a lot of breaks and require a lot of coffee in the morning before I start breaking my tent down.

blackvine8 karma

Did your mama ever tell you that "Life must be like a box of chocolates ...? Sorry man couldnt resist

Sneakrow14 karma

Nope. But someone's mama told them that once and I did what he did.

Deafening_Whisper7 karma

Where do you do your poops?

Sneakrow3 karma

If I can scoops, I poops.

gbtwo887 karma

A couple of questions. 1. Did anyone try to talk you out of this? 2. What's the worst experience you have had so far?

Sneakrow16 karma

  1. Yes, someone actually offered me a job guaranteeing me to have my own branch, telling me to postpone my trip for a year.
    I said "Nope, if I don't do this now, I never will".

  2. I haven't had many bad experiences on this trip. The most frustrating though was the C & O Canal Towpath running from D.C. to Cumberland, MD, in which I was taunted with mile markers, slowing me down mentally and spending two weeks with a river to my left, a trail to my front, and an empty ditch to my right.
    The best motivator on this trip is seeing progress, and when you walk 168 miles of the same thing over and over, it get depressing.

alex-mayorga7 karma

Who's founding this and how?

Sneakrow12 karma

I assume you mean funding in which I, myself am doing so and took care of my financing prior to setting out.

alex-mayorga7 karma

Yup! Funding. How long did you have to save? What's your plan when you're done?

Sneakrow14 karma

I sold everything I owned and based my budget off of previous hiker experiences, so not very long.

When I get to the Utah/Nevada section I plan on sending out applications to places like REI or other Hiking/Camping line of work.

In a perfect world, I would like to work over the '17-'18 Winter and set off on the Appalachian Trail March 2018.

I_love_pillows4 karma

How much did you budget for your trip in total?

Sneakrow8 karma

$5,000; 12 months at $400/month

NewWorldOrder7814 karma

Did you save up first to start your journey?

Sneakrow6 karma

Sold everything I owned.

archaic_outlaw6 karma

Are you alone or do you have someone walking with you? From most of your replies it would seem like you were alone, but was just curious.

Sneakrow5 karma

I am solo hiking this, but I started 5 days after another two guys started this trail and caught up with them.
We hiked together for a few weeks and took two different routes for one section. We plan on meeting back up within the next week.

spork19663 karma

Have you run into many people on the trail? I imagine it isn't as crowded as the AT? Did you choose the the ADT because it goes from coast to coast?

Sneakrow2 karma

I've only met 2 other guys on the trail in person, and they started it together.
The was a woman who was doing this trail Eastbound (Cali to Delaware) and she crossed paths with the other guys, I unfortunately didn't get to meet her as we passed each other during different times of the day.
There is very few people on the ADT because of how new it is and yes, I chose it because it's coast to coast.

3asteele6 karma

You're about to finish your journey but you see Texas Rattlesnake himself standing in your way. So do you:

A. Take a Stone Cold Stunner, but finish your journey

Or

B. Turn around and don't get Stunned, but don't finish your journey?

Sneakrow11 karma

If I had just walked 5,000 miles you're damn right I'm finishing it with a bang.

I'll bust out my Macho Man voice "YOU AINT GOIN NO WHEEEEEERE!"

aumnren6 karma

I'm watching Forest Gump as I type, which is delightfully serendipitous.

What do you do about your shoes? Also, how do you sort your sleeping situations both in the city and out of them?

Sneakrow5 karma

Shoes: I will be getting a new pair starting the new year, replacing as needed.

City sleeping is very, very risky, in which I've only set up my tent directly in town twice, and only when no other option was available. If I can't make it out of a city area, I will attempt to get a really good deal at a hotel/motel, or try to get permission to set up camp on church grounds.

Rural/Country area's I will usually just look for a spot that is well hidden from roads/homes. If it comes down to it and I can't find a spot, I wait until dark to set up where I feel I can get away with sleeping for a few hours, and tear down my tent before sunrise.

superking_3 karma

Have you had much luck getting permission from churches? I've often wondered about camping permissions if I was to take a similar trip, probably Appalachian Trail. Church grounds wasn't something I thought of.

Sneakrow3 karma

It's hit or miss, if you can show up in person the success rate is damn near 90%

nickmillward396 karma

Where do you take a dump?

Sneakrow2 karma

Next to every "No Dumping Allowed" sign ;)

Or just somewhere in the woods.
BTW, I think the world would be a better place if everyone squatted when they pooped. One and done, gg.

Robert_Bresson6 karma

Is this for personal gratification?

Sneakrow19 karma

Yes, I am doing this for myself. I thought about getting a charity set up for when I hit 300 miles, but decided against it since I didn't start the trip for that cause.

--Squidoo--5 karma

Any interest in bike touring? It's similar logistically to what you're doing, with the stealth camping, etc., but riding a bike is so much nicer than walking with a backpack. More freedom walking, though.

Sneakrow5 karma

Actually yes! Earlier in the trip I had been brainstorming what to do after California and have considered possibly biking from Washington state to Florida if I could manage to get everything in place.

avocadosynth5 karma

How much harder do you think it'd be to be vegan on this expedition?

Sneakrow8 karma

I do not know much about following a vegan diet, but it's not too difficult to find food on this trail as there are towns regularly.

The only difference I would see is an increase of daily cost for food.

I shop at Dollar General damn-near exclusively, so if you can get vegan versions of the list I provided in one of the earlier answers from DG, I'd say it shouldn't be much of a concern.

Just throw out your expectations of quality if you have any :)

WilsonJLin5 karma

How expensive does shelter and lodging cost?

Sneakrow9 karma

I sleep in a tent for the majority of nights.
I paid $60 for mine, ALPS* Mountaineering Lynx 1.

Occasionally I will get a motel/hotel room if I get stuck in a city area and can't find a place to pitch, or ask churches to set up on their property.

Edit: typo

Sabertoothpanda_5 karma

Did you cross Ohio?

Sneakrow6 karma

I did! Walked from Belpre, OH to Cincinnati along US 50 for that portion.

Edit: I swung down to see the Serpent Mound outside of Peebles, OH and took US 32 to Cincinnati.

Sabertoothpanda_3 karma

Smart. Ohio is very flat and easy to hike

Sneakrow3 karma

Idk if I can agree with this statement :x

Southern Ohio is plagued with foothills, up and down up and down up and down lol

Sabertoothpanda_2 karma

Is it that bad? I used to live in Southern Ohio. I must just have been used to it

Sneakrow4 karma

It's noticeable on foot lol.

The_Swarm_Hut4 karma

Is your name Forrest Gump?

Do they call you Forrest Gump?

Sneakrow5 karma

Stupid is as stupid does.

Arcadius9893 karma

How did you accrue the appropriate information to navigate the trail (maps, routing directions, etc.)? I've been looking, the information seems relatively vague.

Sneakrow2 karma

The trail route is in a guidebook sold on the [Official ADT Website](discoverytrail.org) for the trail in the form of Turn-by-Turn directions in a downloadable PDF format or by mail parcel for a printed version.
The guidebooks must be purchased for the information to my knowledge.
I am assuming because the trail is only roughly 20-something years old, the directions will be very tough to find anywhere else and I'm guessing the funds go towards the maintenance of the trail wherever possible.

Arcadius9893 karma

Gotcha, I certainly do hope that the money goes into the trail. Follow-up question, what's your trail name? Or is that just an AT thing?

Sneakrow9 karma

I didn't have one prior to this trip, but I met two other guys on this trail and we hiked for a couple of weeks. Throughout that time together I was always singing random songs, and anytime someone would say a set of words that matched up with a set of lyrics in my "song vocabulary" I would start singing that song.
It became such a common occurrence with an astounding amount and variety of music that they deemed me "Jukebox".

If it sticks, it sticks.

lobodot3 karma

Why? And what's your route?

Sneakrow9 karma

I could give you a thousand answers on why I'm doing this. But the one question I keep asking myself is why didn't I do this sooner.
It's an amazing experience so far and wouldn't trade it for anything.

Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois (current), Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California.

cswanda7 karma

Kansas,

The ADT portion Leawood (MO line) to Lawrence, is really close to me. If you need a pit stop, let me know.

Sneakrow2 karma

Thank you!

lobodot4 karma

Congrats on finally doing it. Holler if you need a friend in los angeles!

Sneakrow5 karma

Thanks, I appreciate that!

mightandmagic883 karma

Has this been a long time dream of yours and if so, what was the catalyst that made you decide that you would actually go through with it? I've thought about similar treks but it seems so outlandish. Best of luck.

Sneakrow6 karma

Not specifically walking across the country, but I did want to travel a lot, as that's the lifestyle I grew up with. Staying idle for too long wasn't fulfilling enough for me.

I finally decided < - (key word btw) that enough was enough and jumped in rather than "waiting till I was ready"

Xealloch3 karma

How are your feet holding up? I can't imagine driving that far, let alone walking it.

Sneakrow2 karma

They are toughened now!
Just have to be aware of hotspots forming and it's manageable

Wheresdelaware3 karma

Where in Delaware did you start from and where in California is your destination?

Sneakrow3 karma

Relevant username xD.

Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes, DE to San Francisco, CA

shwekhaw3 karma

What was your last longest hike you did before this?

Sneakrow7 karma

Pokémon GO.

Suwannee_Gator2 karma

Are you by yourself? If so, do you get lonely? What do you do to occupy yourself?

Sneakrow3 karma

I am by myself for most of the time.
Usually I just lurk on Reddit, or play Hearthstone if I have a full charge on my battery and service.
If I can't do that, I'll either draw or just go to sleep, I usually walk until sunset so that my time is occupied.

beefcube52 karma

If you encountered a dog while walking and it doesn't want to leave you and keeps following you, would you take it with you on the rest of your trip?

Sneakrow2 karma

Actually there has been 4 dogs who just kept walking with me, 2 of which I returned to the owners house, and 2 of which I could not find where they lived.
The longest one has walked with me was just over 2 miles, in which he dashed into the woods and never returned.
I don't think I would take a dog with me the rest of the trip though.

NintendoJapan2 karma

Do your feet hurt?

Sneakrow3 karma

They did for 2 months.
Now, I hardly have foot pain, and if I feel a hotspot forming I know how to spot it, and immediately tend to it.

aannddyy002 karma

I've got two friends who completed the ADT a couple years ago!

Couple questions.

Have you realized you want bigger shoes yet?

Did you plant water in the drier parts of the country?

They planted jugs of water in Nevada or something like that and marked it by GPS.

Sneakrow1 karma

That's awesome! If they've done the ADT, then I have probably heard of them. I did a lot of research prior to starting and have still been researching ADT hikers.

Haven't had much concern with my shoe size, but that's because I wear a half size up and always have :)

I haven't been in any areas yet where water is scarce, but Nevada and Utah have been my highest researched states, hoping I can get some form of truck support or have some family bury water out there. If not, I'll probably end up getting a cart to push instead so I can carry a much larger quantity of water.

aannddyy002 karma

I'm sure you have. They're a couple from Nebraska. Kept a blog during their hike. They had to do it in two parts due to a family emergency. Really interesting people.

Be careful on how you plant water, they said about half of theirs came up empty.

A neat fact on the ADT that I'm sure you're aware of, is that it covers more miles north and south than east and west. Crazy.

Do you have a "trail name"?

Sneakrow2 karma

Wow, that's really unfortunate about the water. It's really dangerous to mess with someone's drop as it CAN kill someone if they placed their eggs in that basket.

I actually did not realize that about the North and South miles, thanks for the fun fact!

I have been given the name "jukebox" for how much I sing.

BIackAndWhiteCookie2 karma

Dude, congrats to you for doing this. This has been a dream of mine for several years now. Aaron Huey did a speech on his walk across America, and I would highly recommend it https://www.annenbergphotospace.org/video/aaron-huey-american-ocean.

I don't really have a question, but just wanted to say kudos and suggest that speech (about an hour).

Do you have a PayPal I can donate to? If you find your way walking through Sacramento, hit me up. Got a meal and a few beers on me.

Sneakrow3 karma

Thank you I appreciate the encouragement!
I will be going through Sacramento and would definitely take up that offer!
Follow my FB and contact me when I'm getting near your area.

I'm guessing around August-Sept next year!

vegansaul2 karma

How has the walk mentally changed you?

Sneakrow3 karma

I think it's still a bit early to say. But I definitely now know what it's like to be stared at by everyone and every thing.

I still don't know what word to use here but "humbling" would probably fit.