Updated: Jun 16
A couple of major delays have probably prolonged the trip by about two weeks, but I should still be finishing during the month of November and hopefully, I’ll be home by Thanksgiving. That’s not why I’m writing today though.
I’m not as terribly emaciated as I usually am by week eleven of a very long hike and I actually have many of you to thank for this. I think I’m pretty strong and healthy, really, and this has come from eating well. During the hikes recounted in The Dying Fish, I pushed the bounds of malnutrition during strenuous endeavor and brushed as close to starvation as I ever hope to. I was paying my own way entirely on a mission that only I understood, learning the hard way about nutrition along the long haul.
This morning I felt it was about time to offer a big thank-you to those who’ve supported my long walk across America. I’m much healthier than I would have expected at this point in the march east and that’s because you all have kept me well fed. This is primarily where your money goes if you’ve contributed and this is certainly where your food has gone if you’re one of those who have contributed in the form of consumables. Goodness knows it’s always safer to just contribute groceries to bums like me, ensuring that your cash isn’t traded for whiskey.
So, thank you to those from my old workplace who gave something as I headed out the door on my way west. Thanks to those who’ve clicked the “Donate” button on my site—this has already helped sustain me. A great big thanks to my special friends who’ve sent food to post offices along the way. And here’s a big pre-thank you to the few people who’ve offered to send what I need when I need it. I can proceed with infinitely more confidence than I did through the days of my brook trout hikes when the monthly food dollars usually got me through to about the 20th.
Then, there’s a whole separate category of people that certainly need to be thanked—at least as much. These are the many generous souls along the way who noticed a heavily-laden hiker and decided to help him along. At times, this has simply taken the form of cash (yes, it’s always helpful). Food and water have also been beneficial. Then there are folks who’ve helped with the route ahead, filling me in on things that couldn’t have been determined from my own scanning of the map. There have been encounters already along lonely highways of the western mountains that will stay with me for life, moments that laid bare the generous heart of the American people.
I’ll conclude this list with one person I’ll mention by name—Susan. I can’t possibly list here nearly every way she’s obviated large and small challenges time and again while I’ve been out and she manages to do it remotely from Pennsylvania. So, thank you Susan for all you do and all your care and support.
Some have given to support the walk—the cause—while others have simply given to support the walker. It’s all equally appreciated and it may well keep me walking till Thanksgiving.