This morning I stumbled across not one but two blogs belonging to British citizens who are walking across the United States. Mind you it’s not that odd to have blogs about people walking across the United States. The Our Hike gals, for instance, are halfway across Nevada by now, and that Fat Man Walking guy is now planning to walk around the world (maybe he could haul some of Paula‘s gear across the Sahara — might save the strain on a camel and would definitely burn some calories).

Oh, yeah, the about the British trekking blogs: One belongs to Phil Goddard, who lost his wife to cancer and is soloing the continental United States to deal with the grief. At the moment he’s visiting family in Florida. From a recent post:

The Coast to Coast banner on my backpack is my most important possession, because it’s led to so many extraordinary encounters and friendships. But my laptop comes a close second. It’s the reason why an evening on my own in a motel is not a dreary prospect, but something I can still look forward to.

Most of my blog gets written in my head as I walk, and one of the first things I do after the door shuts behind me is to upload it from my brain to my computer. The emails and the messages on the blog are a source of real pleasure too, a constant reminder that I’m not alone.

The technology does create a whole new set of problems, of course. The phone’s coverage can be very patchy outside large towns, and recharging it is a constant preoccupation. One way is to find a drinks vending machine in the street, unplug it and plug in the phone, hoping that no one ends up with a warm can of Coke as a result. Once, in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, I was sitting with my phone plugged into one socket of a drinks machine and my laptop connected to the other. A succession of Amish people clipclopped past in their horsedrawn buggies, in a meeting of 21st- and 19th-century technologies.

Phil’s Coast-to-Coast site is here.

The second site,, belongs to Stuart Hamilton and Dave Toolan, who are in southern Illinois (my ol’ college stomping grounds!) lately and planning to hike west till winter hits, then return home till spring and hike across the mountains to the Pacific Coast next summer. From a post last week in rural Indiana:

this morning we’re in Boonville, Indiana. since we left Saint Meinrad on Monday we’ve been rained on, extensively, and we’ve stopped at a really trippy place – Santa Claus, home of Holiday World. only the Americans can come up with Santa Claus, a bustling place in the summer no doubt, but a deserted and surreal one at this time of the year (picture Walley World from the end of National Lampoon’s Vacation). still, it was a great place with great people – we actually got there after a ten mile wet walk from St. Meinrad and we holed up in the local subway waiting for the rain to pass. when it didn’t, and instead got heavier, a very kind staff member telephoned the local motel and got us a good room rate for the night. sweet.

Interesting interview with the boys in the Evansville, Ind., paper here.

(Alas, no RSS feeds on either site, I’ll have to bookmark ’em the old-fashioned way).