Established in 1976, the TransAmerica Trail is an extensive network of trails and roads spanning the entire United States from coast to coast. The trail starts at the Atlantic Ocean in Yorktown Virginia and crosses Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Oregon before reaching the Pacific Ocean at Astoria Oregon. The route passes through the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. The four largest cities on the trail are Eugene Oregon, Pueblo Colorado, Missoula Montana, and Carbondale Illinois.
I have decided to follow this route for a number of reasons. The TransAmerica Trail (AKA the TransAm Trail) goes through a large variety of states and in some ways allows for individuals who are following my blog to reflect on what it means to be a United States citizen and how that relates to current political discourse surrounding refugees and immigrants. During my journey, I will be interviewing various individuals of all backgrounds about their opinions related to refugees and immigrants in the United States today and the complex origins of these opinions. In some ways, the TransAm Trail is a historical reminder of a deeper connection and identity that we all share as United States citizens, a geographical representation of interdependence and common cultural identity. When the TransAm Trail was established in 1976, the United States was celebrating it bicentennial. 200 years of existence. During this historical bicentennial, many individuals throughout the country reflected upon how far we have come as a group, the historical high and low points of our great country.
I would like to rekindle this powerful and useful tool of self-reflection in an attempt to encourage open and honest dialogue among individuals of differing backgrounds and opinions. I would like to lead by example and seek to understand, learn from and love those who hold different opinions than my own, rather than be constrained by rigid identity walls of fear and misunderstanding. I will post interviews I hold with various individuals on this blog for others to learn from. I will be asking them questions about their own views and opinions surrounding refugees and immigrants in the United States along with presenting information about Syria in an attempt to spread awareness about the suffering many are experiencing there. I will also be fundraising $10,000 for Save the Children by August 30th. It is with these thoughts that I move forward with upmost compassion in beginning my journey.
I will arrive in Yorktown, VA this Tuesday May 2nd to begin at the start of the TransAm Trail. This will be the first day of a journey that will last around 3 months, taking me 4,225 miles across the United States. I will post updates on this blog with my location along the route every fews days.
Here is a map outlining my route:
Posted below is a link to more specific information regarding the Adventure Cycle Association TransAm Trail: