Student and graduate taking on 3100 mile trek across the USA pass halfway mark

Two amateur hikers who are taking on the challenge of a trek across the United States have spoken about their experience so far as they enter Wyoming – the halfway point of their journey.

Aiming to tackle the 3,100 mile Continental Divide Trail, Leicester Engineering student Joel Strickland and Geography graduate Joe Boot are travelling through five states, twenty-five national forests and three national parks in their journey from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. They hope to raise £5000 for the University of Leicester’s Widening Participation programme, inspiring young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to raise their educational aspirations, and MQ, who help fund ground-breaking mental health research.

L-R: Joel and Joe.
Joel said: “Every day is tiring and keeping up the motivation to walk consistently can be difficult. Acknowledging the incredible life experience we are gaining, and all the positive support we get, including sponsorship to our charities, helps us stay committed and confident to finish.

“We have been humbly taken back by the kindness and generosity the local people have shown towards us. From people stopping on a highway checking we are okay and giving us cold drinks; to rides around town and meals bought for us. And also from fresh water and fruit left on dry sections of trail to the offer of a shower and place to stay upon arriving in a town. We call these acts of kindness 'trail magic' and it makes our journey all the more worth it!

“When people ask where we've come from and we say ‘we walked here from Mexico’. The shocked expressions on their faces are priceless.”

Joel details more about their trip so far in an interview on the Development and Alumni Relations website and view photos and videos from their walk here.

You can support Joel and Joe’s USA walk by donating via either of the following JustGiving pages:

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