FORSYTH COUNTY -- Two area teens are heading to the west coast in a unique way.
Forsyth County resident Jacob Whedbee and Norcross resident Musunga Mubuso began hiking on Monday from the Forsyth County Courthouse in downtown Cumming and will continue west for more than six months before reaching San Diego, a journey of about 2,000 miles.
“How it all came to be was I was filling out college applications and I was just like, ‘Do I really want to go to college this year? Do I really want to, like, give up my youth before I actually get to experience life itself?’” Mubuso said.
The two said they are family friends who attend church together and said they want to take the trip while they are still young enough. Mubuso first made plans for the trip with another partner but invited Whedbee when that fell through.
“I didn’t really look a lot into it until he invited me,” Whedbee said. “At first I was like, ‘Maybe I want to do a two-month thing,’ but then I was just like, ‘Why wouldn’t I do this? This is amazing.’”
Both have some experience with hiking, as Whedbee is a former Scout and Mubuso has hiked portions of the Appalachian Trail.
The route from the southeast to the west coast was partially inspired by a friend who made a similar journey.
“He biked, but we wanted to walk or do something out of the ordinary to, like, shock people,” Mubuso said.
“We’re pretty much taking the same route he took,” Whedbee added. “We’re going to be going through Alabama, then Mississippi, then northern Louisiana … Once we get in Texas, we’re going to take Interstate 20.”
The first stop will be in Rome, which they expect to take a few days. Along the trip, the two will camp in tents each night.
To make the journey a reality, there will be some helping hands along the way.
“We have a couple of friends in different states that are going to drop off food and stuff, like, that are going to pick up in case of emergencies,” Mubuso said. “So, we’re pretty prepared for the worst situations.”
Of course, along the way there are some sites and experiences the two are interested in.
“The Pacific Crest Trail, honestly,” Mubuso said, “and the Aztec Falls. It’s this cliff jumping place where you jump straight into the water… and just to go all the way to the San Diego and just touch the ocean.
“In 10 or 20 years when I have kids, just being like, ‘Well, when I was 19, I walked across the country. What are you doing, guys?’”
“I’ve never been over there. The furthest west I’ve been is Texas,” Whedbee said. “I just want to see what that whole climate is like, just experience it.”
Updates on the journey and information or making donations can be found at Gofundme.com/jmhaa.