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The Happy Feet Get Ready to Hit the Trail Again

American Discovery Trail, 1998
Last year, as most of you know, we travelled coast to coast on the American Discovery Trail (ADT). For those who read our journals, you know it was the trip of a lifetime. Although some days were difficult, it was mostly a journey of discovery and adventure. How can you walk away from a trip like that and not want more? Luckily, the ADT has it.

The American Discovery Trail is unusual because between Denver and Cincinnati, Ohio, the ADT has two routes. The southern route passes through southern Indiana, southern Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and southeast Colorado. The northern route traverses northeast Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, northern Illinois, northern Indiana, and a small part of southern Ohio. Last year on our trip across the country we travelled the southern route. This spring, we will embark on the northern route.

Last year, we particularly liked the midwest and plains states, which will be similar to this year's trip. Unlike last year where we had to backpack some of the mileage, this year's route is all suitable for mountain bikes. Since the mileage is only 1800 miles, compared to last year's 5100 miles, the trip should only last about 6 weeks, making the logistics much simpler.

We will again be composing regular journals and sending them to a large distribution list. Pete Fornof ( has agreed to be our online correspondent again this year. If you wish to have your name deleted from this list for any reason, just send a message to Pete or us and we'll take care of it. If you know of others who would be interested in reading these journals, feel free to forward it to them. If you'll send those email addresses to Pete or us, we'll add them to the list. We'll be sending updates to Pete from computers in bike shops, B&B's, and from trail friends' houses. Pete will then distribute them to you as soon as possible. In most cases, you should hear from us about once per week.

Our journals will again be posted in three different places on the Internet. On America Online, they can be found under keyword "Backpacker", select "Campfire", then "Follow the Happi Feet Across America on the American Discovery Trail". They will also be posted by our hiking club, Natural Bridge Appalachian Trail Club, and at the website of the American Discovery Trail Society.

Our departure date is about five weeks away. We have tried to stay in shape this winter but it is very hard when you are not expending 5,000 calories per day in physical exercise. The winter ice storms on the Appalachian Trail produced tons of fallen trees. Removing all the downfall has provided an opportunity for us to stay in reasonable shape while also helping out the Trail. We do hope to get in a few days of riding prior to leaving for Denver on Amtrak in mid-April. We hope you'll follow along with us via the journals.

© Copyright, William & Laurel Foot, 1998, Lynchburg, VA.
The Happy Feet

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