Hiking for Epilepsy

By: Jillian Risberg Email
By: Jillian Risberg Email

"I'm hiking the American Discovery Trail, which is a coast-to-coast trail, goes from the Atlantic Ocean in Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware to California and the Pacific at Point Reyes National Seashore," says Ryan Herrmann, a hiker from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who stopped in Belpre on his way through West Virginia and Ohio.

Herrmann's doing the hike to raise money for a little girl from back in his area who has epilepsy.

"We've generated a lot of awareness about her, a lot of people know who she is," Herrmann says. "I used to carry posters and ran out from giving 'em out to people so much, so in my next re-supply I should get some more."

He chose the American Discovery Trail because it seemed the most exciting.

"It's the longest; I get to go coast-to-coast of literally sticking your feet in the water in the Atlantic and then wading in the Pacific at the end," Herrmann says. "I think is a great idea for a trail. I mean you literally get water to water."

The trail is a mix of everything -- roads with shoulders through towns on sidewalks.

"Gravel roads, back country roads, actual trails. I did 168 miles on the C and O; I did 70 miles on the North Bend Rail Trail, I'll hit the Buckeye Trail for a while in Ohio -- then we'll get in the mountains in the Rockies," Herrmann says.

Summers hiking the Rocky Mountains is a great training ground. Herrmann took on this challenge to help Annie who has suffered a lot in her young life; he did thorough research of others who made the same trip.

"I just heard so many great things about their trip and the people they meet and all the things they see across America, all the little cities they come into and stuff like that," Herrmann says. "So it's just something that I really wanted to experience for myself."

Herrmann and his canine companion Shotgun started the journey March 1 and he expects to hike for eight to nine months before he gets to the West Coast and dips his feet in the Pacific Ocean.


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