We’re done! We reached the Pacific on Sunday afternoon, completing the end of our journey from the Atlantic (yes, we walked every step of the way, and yes, we’ve enjoyed taking advantage of every escalator, travelator or moving walkway since finishing) and heralding the beginning of our next challenge; how little can two people walk over the next six months? Seriously, we’re knackered. Still, in spite of this, upon reaching the ocean Lucy insisted that we not just walk to the waters edge, but also walk to the end of the adjacent pier to complete the walk – seeing as technically that was land too… To be sure, we did both. Luckily, it wasn’t low tide.
We’ll be flying back home tomorrow, and are looking forward to returning to a world of fry ups, fish and chips and Cadbury’s (so I might think about food a bit too much…), and also rain; lovely, miserable rain. However, there’ll be other things we’ll miss, and other things we’ll be glad to leave behind too. Therefore, our final blog will be akin to one of those crappy TV clip shows which reminisce about all the other crap you already know. Woo.
We’ll definitely miss people being nice. At first, we were suspicious of random offers of kindness; people offering us lifts, food, money and shelter. The only people who are nice to you at home are those who wish to kidnap you and keep you in their basement (that’s how I met Lucy, anyway). Here, people are just nice. It still unnerves me, but then I get easily unnerved (for example, on three separate occasions since we’ve been walking, I’ve jumped when I’ve seen my shadow). Contrary to my previously understood stereotype, all the American police we’ve met have been friendly and unintimidating. To clarify, my understanding of American police before coming here was a mixture of Chief Wiggum of The Simpsons, the cast of Police Academy and Steven Seagal. Despite being stopped and having 911 called on us on numerous occasions, the most menacing a police officer has ever been to us is to offer us a bottle of water.
Food has been a mixed bag. Home made food, sugary pies and a few fast food chains have been excellent. However, a lot of the other food has left us baffled. I’m not a big tea drinker or anything, but I do know that it’s meant to be hot. Iced tea fails hideously at this. Cheese definitely isn’t meant to come in a can and chocolate needs no explanation; we haven’t even bothered trying Hershey’s after initially falling for its evil disguise as Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. What I will remember America for though, more than anything else, will be the magnificent 4×4 animal style at In N Out Burger; four mustard coated burgers, four slices of cheese, a pile of onions and a massive gloop of sauce. Mmmm…gloopy.
Whilst we won’t miss walking, we’ll miss our walking diet even less. In particular, we will never eat, smell, or be within 100 feet of a trail bar ever again. The idea of a trail bar stirs up feelings of violence within us. Especially a trail bar which has moulded in my pocket under the desert sun to the shape of my leg. Please, please, please – never again. On the other hand, Gatorade Number 2 Lemon and Lime flavour has become an essential part of our diet, which I can consume litres of at once. It’s going to be difficult to maintain my current diet of around 4,000 calories a day, but I’ll give it a go.
It’ll be odd adjusting to our British wildlife (‘ooh! – a pigeon’ is about as exciting as it gets). During our walk we’ve seen deer, possums, lizards, wild turkeys, snakes, coyotes, chipmunks, jack rabbits, road runners (humorously, whenever I see one, I always say ‘meep, meep’. It never gets old), hummingbirds and lots of other creatures too. Snakes aside, they’ve been a lot of fun. One animal we won’t miss though is The Dog. We’ve been chased by one labradoodle too many during our walk; small, yelpy dogs of Britain beware. We’re coming back radicalised, angry and possibly armed with small rocks.
I can’t pretend I’m not looking forward to watching Jon Snow front the news again (for Americans, Jon Snow is an increasingly befuddled but generally wonderful newsreader who also possesses the world’s greatest tie collection). Better than relying on either frothing at the mouth rants on Fox or local TV news coverage over the thrilling race for the Sanitation Commissioner. Coverage of the UK has almost solely focused on the royal family and what they’re wearing. Camilla Parker-Bowles has been featured more than David Cameron on the news. Mind you, the less Lucy sees of David Cameron, the better for her health. I couldn’t possibly comment, of course. However, despite not having any news, American news satire is way ahead of ours at home. Alastair McGowan’s impressions on BBC2 don’t quite match up.
We’ll be definitely be bringing stuff back with us; a suitcase of Mountain Dew, for starters. But also copious ice in drinks, vanilla in our Pepsi, pecans in everything and always having a cooler full of drinks on hand. But, most importantly, we’ll be bringing back the concept of ‘not walking’. It’ll be bloody ace.