I have a lot of time to think while working and today it was about Ameranth and her journey across the U.S., projected to end on November 12, on a beach in San Diego.
From Friday's email from my father: "My summer's escapade, following her on
Facebook and twitter, will soon be over! I must find something else to rush to
the computer for! It has been as enjoyable for me following the twists and
turns, the ups and downs, as I imagine it was for her to be actually
experiencing the journey."
I am sure we are not the only family members or friends who feel that way. Over the past 5 months, I realized my attitude has changed from "Wow, walking across the country is a neat idea, but do you really want to do that?" to taking it nearly for granted that she is making the almost 3000 mile trek. Walking. From Maryland to California.
Ameranth started the journey expecting to have a good time and meet friendly people, and she has. Others have told her that her good experience is due to her being female, so people are nicer to her. I believe it's her attitude that is responsible for the positive interactions she has. She used to have crazy-colored hair and a lip ring, but removed the ring and let her hair grow out before she left, to help that important first impression. She didn't consider that "selling out" but common sense. And, despite this trip, she has a lot of common sense.
She's been vegetarian for 10 years, but let that go too, starting with not hurting an elderly lady's feeling by rejecting her pasta and meat sauce, and realizing that she needed to eat differently (for now) for more energy and making the most of limited choices.
I have been amazed (and impressed) by this trip. This girl who went into our basement for the first time last year (we moved here in 1987) walked through this tunnel, among others.
This girl who is afraid of the dark not only went through those tunnels, but 'stealth' camped by herself along trails and cornfields when she couldn't get any yard camping. And speaking of yard camping, this girl who would have her English papers done, but would turn them in a day late and lose a letter grade so she wouldn't have to read them out loud in class, walks up to strangers and asks if she can sleep in their yard. In most cases, they offer a spare bed, a hot meal and a shower. Of course, the shower may be as much for their benefit as hers.
This girl who loves her computer, TV shows and video games has walked 20 and 30 miles a day, in heat waves and snowstorms, dodging thunderstorms and tornado warnings.
This girl who has ADD and gets sidetracked oh so easily, planned her route, finances and supplies, and has dealt with any problems as they arise, including Anna wearing down the pads on her paws, and the added financial cost that has caused. This independent girl decided to team up with another walker for safety over the Rockies, and through the desert, although it meant changing her route and walking style.
This girl shouldn't be called a girl any more, but I'm her (very proud) mother and I can do that. Now, just one more month to go and she'll be walking right into the Pacific Ocean. Then who knows what she'll be doing after she gets home again?
(Of course, she has to get home, and this girl hasn't figured out how she's doing that yet!)
P.S. If anyone lives in the San Diego area, Ameranth would love it if you came down to the beach to welcome her to the finish line!
*All photos except the green hair one, are from her Adventure Awaits Facebook page and you should definitely check out all of the photos there.