The American Discovery Trail is an amazing cross country route that is excellent for hikers, decent for bikers, and useful for horses. The organization is constantly making improvements to make the only coast to coast trail continually better for any mode of travel.
In the meantime, we have learned that there are some sections of the trail that simply are not practical for travel by horse. Ted and Trevor, who have been a tremendous help, gathered information from locals and hikers who had recently traveled the back country trails of Nevada where the American Discovery Trail goes. Unfortunately, they learned that much of the trail in the wilderness areas have a greater shortage of water than anticipated as well as many sections of trail are quite dangerous for the horses. After getting in touch with Matt, who rode across America many years ago, he confirmed that this route was not an advisable way. Thus, we made the slightly disappointed decision of taking the accepted alternate route of staying in the highway 50 corridor- for the safety of the horses and the sake of water.
So if you notice we are not on our planned route- don’t worry- we aren’t lost (I don’t think!) The locals have been a tremendous help in sharing with us where the water can be found as well as the ranches close enough to get water. Then they often go the extra mile and call the ranchers to make sure we are welcome! People have just been so amazing! And when there isn’t water, we have found volunteers to bring us water in the buckets that Ace Stores so kindly donated. After all, horses drink far more water than we can feasibly carry- about 45 to 50 gallons a day. That’s about 400 pounds!
So as we travel, we will keep you informed about our proximity to the American Discovery Trail and our estimated route when we veer off the trail. At the moment, we plan to stay near highway 50 until Ely, where we meet back up with the trail. As we have learned already- even the best laid plans are, however, subject to change without notice!