Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I spotted this young man walking along the State Route this morning. The image of him walking begged for answers. This is not roadway that is friendly to pedestrians and it seems, unbeknownst to him he was just about 500 yards from a walking/bike path that stretches for some 30 miles from east to west, built upon an old rail bed.

The sleeping bag suggests one thing, but the tiny backpack certainly couldn't carry much that one would need to survive on the road.

Instantly I thought of Jesse White Crow who is walking across America. I dream at night about writing as good as Jesse. The images he paints linger on long after the words have faded. I wonder about the people he's encountered and those who tuck his walk card into their wallets.

One day when my daughter and I were driving along, I enthusiatically related the story of Jesse's walk and how the prospect of such an adventure was so exciting and daunting at the same time. Her reaction was certainly not what I expected and I was shocked when she said, "You mean he's walking and mooching off people along the way?"

Huh? As I said....shock. I've thought about her statement and perhaps she hasn't been beat down by life yet, and hasn't needed to dream those daydreams borne out of the sheer grind of putting food on the table, changing diapers and paying a mortgage. Several years of that will make a solo walk across America seem like a cruise to Tahiti.

Let's just say I believe that Jesse is seeing what people are made of. Some have open doors, open kitchens and open hearts. Others have locked the door and plastered it over with suspicion, distrust and a good dose of all about me.

I check out his site every day. So should you.

1 comment:

jeff said...

Evocative photo, reminds me of my misspent youth. I'll check out Jesse's website.