Updated: Jan 14
Allie and I always told each other "I've got your back" and strangely we both knew we were both drop dead serious. We didn't even have to discuss it further as it was something we accepted as the gospel. With that said, when Allie was forced to leave work because of the SPS/Lyme I felt like both our backs were exposed. We spoke as often as possible but it wasn't difficult to see through Allie's positive attitude that her new life wasn't going well. Her always present positive attitude seemed to tarnished, there was an elephant in the room, and it was at this moment a decision was made because "I've got your back" really has value to us!
I had to do something for Allie but in a manner that wasn't insulting to her legacy. She was the hardest working person I had ever seen. She would never ask for a "hand out", she'd never want to burden anyone else but I believe that giving help is paying it forward so you don't have to ask for it when it's your time of need - I had to do something ASAP. Now let me preface this next comment so you don't think I'm some hard ass with no feelings. It seems to me that today there's a lot of folks with their hand out - Please help me, please give to me - But no one, or not very many are willing to work for their assistance. It's overwhelming to those who provide help in regards to the number of who desire it with no intention on paying it back OR EVEN FORWARD! Allie has never been one of those people but her SPS/Lyme has deteriorated her physicality to the point where its impossible for her to pay it back.
I'm not a doctor - So i didn't think I was going to find a cure for her. I do not have a lot of money - So it wasn't like I could supplement her for the rest of her days. BUT I do have two things that may help: A fervent desire associated to the betterment of my fellow humans (especially to those who work for it) and the never quit attitude to go the extra mile for a friend. Allie wanted to help but physically that was a non-starter. We needed something big/EPIC to inspire. We didn't need a gimmick or fluff - We needed an inspiring story to tell to interest those philanthropic people of the world. The brain child that we cultured became The Great Western Experiment and its first goal was to big - How about I walk across the country? (Mic drop)
That is correct - I plan to hike from Mexico to Canada, along the Continental Divide Trail, in an effort to prove I have Allie's back. I will put in the work/effort for your support to Allie. In fact i also plan to contribute $1/mile (paid up front) AND work for your support as well. You'll know every dollar you contribute is being worked for, you'll see that every day that there are those out there willing to strap everything to their back and go the extra mile for others. We also needed to document our efforts/examples so others may feel inspired by our story to help out Allie, so please share our story on social media! Allie, It's my time to have your back! Therefore I will do the work. I will have your back, on my back (Literally!)
The Continental Divide Trail, which I will get into greater detail in a subsequent post, is a ~3,000 mile trail starting at the Mexico/New Mexico southern terminus and traveling across New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and finally at the Canadian border (of course I intend to walk another ~20 miles into Waterton, Alberta, Canada). Primarily crossing BLM, National Forest and Wilderness lands the CDT is the longest and most remote of the three Triple Crown national scenic trails in the good ol' USA. This portion of The Great Western Experiment should take about five months where I intends to have continuous footsteps from Mexico to Canada - NO ROAD TRIPPING HERE! I will carry everything on my back (food, shelter, water, clothes, camera equipment) whereas I intend to document this journey and report back to all of you who are helping #teamallie.