“I chased a bear off the trail in West Virginia, I almost got bit by a copper head in Ohio, and lightning strikes like 20 feet away from me and I feel the electricity,” says Brad Marro.
Brad is walking the American Discovery Trail, a 7,000 mile path that goes from coast to coast.
The route doesn’t just take you along major highways. Anyone who takes the journey will also find themselves on railways, canals, bike and hiking paths, and back country roads.
Marro says, “I decided, what would it be like to walk this instead of drive it?”
When he hit Indiana, he had 3,000 miles left. He spent time at Angel Mounds, the Evansville riverfront, and Mount Vernon.
“Whenever I get a state down the sense is great and I haven’t got a state down in a long time,” Marro says.
This nearly two year journey is no walk in the park.
Marro explains, “It was a very painful first month. Mentally I wasn’t prepared for how lonely it is out there and how isolated it is. Sometimes you don’t talk to anyone for a day or two. Now I enjoy it now that I’m used to it. Now it’s just kinda power for the course and I can grind out about 20 miles a day.”
Luckily, he’s had a lot of help along the way, from complete strangers.
“I’ve just been really amazed at the timing of the serendipity of people and right when it’s about to rain and hail, suddenly I find a pavilion or someone pulls up. For me, park pavilions and towns that have power, water, and a bathroom is like the Ritz Carlton to me,” Brad said.
The kindness of strangers and the love of family and friends has helped make the journey possible.
“While I’m out here doing it alone, I’m really supported,” says Marro.
Follow along with Brad’s journey here.