Howdy! I’m John Ball, Texas A&M class of ’78, aka. “The Walking Aggie.” You may remember me from back in 2015 when I made a coast-to-coast walk across America, or from 2019 when I walked across Europe. Well, I’m heading back out on the road again; this time I’ll be backpacking along the beautiful east coast of Australia.
Back in 2015, I walked 2686 miles from San Diego, Ca. to Daytona Beach, Fl. The thru-hike was unassisted (no support vehicles following along) and uninterrupted (no extended breaks). Carrying all the supplies and equipment I needed in my backpack, and through the generosity of hundreds of kind people, both Aggies and just nice folks along my route, plus the support of family and friends at home, I was able to hike from coast-to-coast across America. The purpose of that walk was to create an
endowed Aggie Ring Scholarship at Texas A&M. As it turned out, I was able to raise over $27,000 dollars, exceeding the minimum needed to create the scholarship. Donations were made by over 350 gracious donors and I’m happy to report that in each of the last eight years, my family and I have awarded Aggie rings to eight student, all U.S. military veterans. This tradition will continue annually into perpetuity.
Then, in 2019, I made a 2314 mile, 150 day hike across Europe. Beginning in Athens, Greece and ending in Oslo, Norway, that walk took me through Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. I had such an amazing time experiencing Europe’s diverse cultures, visiting so many historical cities and meeting literally thousands of the nicest people along the way.
So that brings me to my latest adventure. Beginning on 31 December 2023, I will begin a 76 day walk along Australia’s east coast. My route will begin in southern Australia in the city of Melbourne, continue hugging the coastline along Prince’s Highway (A1) through Sydney, and finish in Brisbane on 15 March 2024. The walk will be approximately 1300 miles and last 76 days. As in the past, I will be carrying necessary supplies in my backpack and the walk will be unassisted. As was the case with my walk across America and Europe, I’ll be wearing a Spot GPS device so followers can track me minute-by-minute. In addition, I’ll be posting videos, photos, and a daily journal on this website to keep all of you up to date on my travels.
So thanks for your interest in my walking adventures. I’m looking forward to seeing Australia’s beautiful coastline and appreciate all of you following along. Gig’em! John Ball ’78