Cross Country Walker Finds Kahoka Residents Good and Generous
By Mike Scott
A stranger walked into Kahoka last week, and will take good memories of Kahoka with him for the rest of his long journey.
Twenty-six year old Chris Allen, a smiling young man with a strong handshake, left his home town of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on May 1, and set out to walk across America. He arrived in Kahoka on Day 172 of his trek, some 1300 miles from home.
I asked him, “Why?”
“Why not,” Allen answered. “It was kind of a spur of the moment decision.”
Within five weeks, Allen had sold his possessions, including his truck, and walked away from his last year of college.
“I can say that I just felt compelled to do it,” he added.
He has no timeline, and often doesn’t even know what day of the week it is. After walking 25-30 miles per day, pushing his baby jogger loaded with gear, he looks for a place to sleep at night. Sometimes he’ll pitch a tent at park, or a church, or alongside the road. Kahoka welcomed him, literally, and generous people provided him a room for two nights at the Welcome Inn.
“People have been so incredibily generous and helpful. If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that people really are generally good,” he said.
Allen spent two days in Kahoka, waiting for new walking shoes and colder weather gear to arrive in the mail.
His trip has provided some unforgettable experiences, including nearly being hit by a speeding car in Illinois. ?Shortly thereafter, a stranger offered him a reflective vest.
After following Highway 136 for nearly 200 miles, Allen headed for Highway 36, a busier road, but with better shoulders to walk on.
Each morning hi looks at his map, and choses a destination 25-35 miles away. If he misses a turn, he just continues on.
His only goal is to keep headed west, and to arrive in Boulder, Colorado, by December 1. Allen plans to spend the winter in Boulder, and get a job to support himself.
Next spring, it’s on to California. And the--who knows?
Allen’s amazing trip and be followed at his blog at www.allensjourney.com.