Georgia man running and hiking across U.S.
Josh Seehorn’s long, muscular legs are golden brown, which stand to reason after running and hiking approximately 3,000 miles across the western half of the United States.
The tall and lean 27 year old from Athens, Ga. was talking about the next part of his journey while he sat in the kitchen of a host’s Marshalltown home Friday morning.
The chance for adventure, to meet people and to challenge himself were initial motivators to embark.
Along the way it has heightened his passion for science and the environment.
Seehorn views himself as an educator, and he loves to talk with people he has met along the way, not only about his love for the outdoors and natural resources, but his faith and music too.
He’ll also talk with anyone about state and national envirothons, high school environmental education competitions.
Seehorn was thrilled to learn Marshalltown High School and others in central Iowa regularly participate.
He’s a former competitor himself and is coordinator for the North American competition in his home state of Georgia in 2014 and he’s raising money for envirothons while promoting awareness.
An American flag is stitched to the brim of his hat.
The lettering ADT, for American Discovery Trail, can’t be missed, it is embroidered on a wide hat band.
And it is the ADT which has been his home since March 21.
There he started at its western terminus, Point Reyes National Seashore north of San Francisco, and he will end at an undetermined date at its eastern terminus, Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware.
It is not the shortest route between coasts but that is inconsequential to Seehorn, who said he is enjoying the trail for its natural beauty and the opportunity to meet people.
Also not on the route was last weekend’s Des Moines Marathon. He ran another 26 miles to meet other participants and learn more about Des Moines, where he spent several days resting up.
En route he’s experienced 111-degree dessert heat to cold and blustery winds of mountain passes.
Seehorn said he was just ahead of the severe flooding which clobbered Colorado last month.
He’s on his fifth pair of running shoes and expects to wear out several more pair before he finishes.
“I’m very grateful to several folks who have donated running shoes to me along the trip,” he said.
He snacks during the course of a 25-mile run/walk daily and
enjoys a hot meal at a host home or restaurant.
When not staying in host homes, he’s prepared to camp, and his gear and other necessities are contained on a three-wheeled cart he pushes along.
On a scale of 1-10 he rates the trip so far a “10.”
And he’s looking forward to the next 1,800 miles.
Seehorn said he trained for ADT by running and hiking but more importantly, trekking the approximately 2,200 miles of the Appalachian Trail, from its southern terminus in Georgia to Maine.
The AT prepared him mentally and physically, he said.
He’s experienced a few blisters, on the ADT, but no injuries which have stopped or slowed him.
He said his knowledge of science and the outdoors makes it helpful in avoiding poison ivy as well as venomous snakes.
Seehorn said he’ll rest up after his trip is over and then plan his next move.
“I may do some public speaking, writing about the trip and preparing for the 2014 National Envirothon,” he said.
Seehorn then made himself ready to enjoy a hot breakfast from his host before embarking to Conrad, his next stop.
For more information, visit outdoorjosh.com or joshseehorn.com