Some Personal Observations about the Walk

Here are some crazy stats that have come from the walk and some personal observations that have stuck with me as I made my way across the USA – not in any particular order.

3 things I do NOT care to ever see again: gravel, dump trucks & road kill!

  • Highest price paid for gas: $4.39 in Nevada
  • Lowest price paid for gas: $1.87 in New Jersey
  • State with best roads walked: Nevada
  • State with worst roads walked: Tie – California & Illinois
  • Best breakfast: Hotel Nevada in Ely, Nevada
  • Strangest sight: Maybell Colorado International Dog Show
  • Strangest sight #2: Mini church rest area in rural Iowa
  • Favorite big city: Brooklyn, NY
  • Favorite mid-size city: Carson City, Nevada
  • Favorite small cities: Tie – Hastings, NE & Fallon, NV
  • Favorite town: Delta, Utah
  • Favorite scenery walked through: Desert
  • My highest weight: 234 lbs
  • My lowest weight: 179 lbs
  • Miles walked: 3,206.75
  • Number of miles not walked on route: 2.9 (avalanche area in California)
  • Number of miles walked in error: 4.5
  • Number of times lost on walk: 0 (several times, always on purpose, I took another more scenic route ūüėČ
  • Feet walked: 16,931,640
  • Inches walked: 203,179,680
  • Number of 30″ steps: 6,772,656
  • Number of steps per foot: 3,386,328
  • Number of 7″ Nathan’s Hot Dogs walked (placed end to end without bun): 29,025,668
  • Valda’s favorite state to drive in: Tie – Nevada or Colorado
  • Valda’s least favorite state to drive in: Pennsylvania
  • Number of miles Valda put on RV during walk: 13,479
  • Weather days:
    • Rain: 15
    • Snow: 1
    • Wind: 1
  • Total days walked: 176.75
  • Total days off: 38.25
  • Miles per day: 15 (all 215 days)
  • Miles per day: 18 (of actual 176 days walked)
  • Hours walked: 1,069 (based on 3 mph)
  • Number of days I walked 20 miles or more: 72
  • Most consecutive 20-mile days: 9
  • Highest mileage day: 22.25
  • Shoe mileage:
    • Pair #1: 639.75
    • Pair #2: 615.25
    • Pair #3: 480
    • Pair #4: 476.25
    • Pair #5: 411
    • Pair #6: 584.5
  • Most exhilarating moment: seeing the Atlantic Ocean at Coney Island, NY!

New York Stats!

cropped-finish-at-coney-island.pngNew York – my final destination. It was a long time coming, but well worth the wait. I found walking down the canyons of Manhattan very exciting and crossing over and walking through Brooklyn the most exhilarating of experiences. I had arrived! Coney Island was all I had hoped and Nathan’s hot dogs were out of this world. All the people I met were fantastic and treated me like royalty. Our stay at the Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge was first rate and the NYC Marathon was a non-issue. It was a two-day span I had thought about for seven months and I was not disappointed. ūüėÄ

Here are the stats on my walk through New York:

  • Miles Walked: 24.75
  • Average Miles per Day: 12.37
  • Total Miles Walked:¬†3,206.75
  • % of Walk Completed: 100%
  • Days Walked: 2
  • Days Off: 0
  • Money Found: $0.48
  • Average Money Found per Day: $0.24
  • Average Money Found per Mile: $0.02
  • Counties Walked Through: 2 (New York and Kings)
  • State Highways: 0
  • US Highways: 1
  • County Roads: 0
  • Major Bridges Crossed: .5 (Hudson River) 1 (East River)
  • Most Unusual Find: Box of clothing on street

New Jersey Stats!

finish-at-coney-islandNew Jersey. I had dreaded walking through this state from the beginning, mainly due to what other people had said about the state. But, like so many times before, I was listening when I should have been just experiencing. The people I met there are just fantastic, from the Boy Scouts who walked with me to people we met on the streets. I was in a great deal of urban areas, but I was also in a great deal of beautiful country. I battled some inclement weather and an uncomfortable medical condition, but other than that, my experience in New Jersey was top notch. I especially liked the lower gasoline prices. New Jersey rocks!

Here are the stats on my walk through New Jersey:

  • Miles Walked: 80.75
  • Average Miles per Day: 14.75
  • Total Miles Walked:¬†3,183.75
  • % of Walk Completed: 99.3%
  • Days Walked: 5.5
  • Days Off: 2.5
  • Money Found: $13.54
  • Average Money Found per Day: $2.46
  • Average Money Found per Mile: $0.17
  • Counties Walked Through: 5 (Warren, Morris, Passaic, Bergen and Essex)
  • State Highways: 1
  • US Highways: 2
  • County Roads: 0
  • Major Bridges Crossed: .5 (Delaware River) .5 (Hudson River)
  • Most Unusual Find: Paint ball mask

Pennsylvania Stats!

Through PennsylvaniaI made it across Pennsylvania! It was something I thought about for over a year and now I’m done with it. It was quite a challenge, but with a lot of help, I finally figured it out. PA was a state of contrasts. Generally everyone we met was helpful and good to us and interested in what we were doing. However, it is the first state where we were refused water (GoGo Gas station right inside the line from WV), and a place to spend the night (Frackville post of the PA State Police). Mostly it was a great experience. SR 45 from Altoona to Mifflinberg is a great highway to walk or drive. It was a three-week period that is now behind me and I’m glad I don’t have to walk back through the state going the other direction.

Here are the stats on my walk through Pennsylvania:

  • Miles Walked: 340
  • Average Miles per Day: 17
  • Total Miles Walked: 3,103
  • % of Walk Completed: 97%
  • Days Walked: 20
  • Days Off: 3
  • Money Found: $9.44
  • Average Money Found per Day: $0.47
  • Average Money Found per Mile: $0.03
  • Counties Walked Through: 14 (Washington, Allegheny, Westmoreland, Indiana, Cambria, Blair, Mifflin, Centre, Union, Northumberland, Columbia, Schuylkill, Lehigh and Northhampton)
  • State Highways: 9
  • US Highways: 2
  • County Roads: 6
  • Major Bridges Crossed: 2.5 (Monongahela, Susquehanna, half of Delaware)
  • Most Unusual Find: Fire extinguisher (one of those big clunky kinds you see hanging on walls of old buildings)

West Virginia Stats

What can I say about West Virginia? It was a very brief walk through the chimney portion of the state. We were in the town of Weirton all of the way and before we could even get settled to being in the state, we were out of it. My brother Ron joined me on this segment of the walk and in fact we walked in three states that¬†day. I can’t say I got a true picture of WV by being in the state for only two hours, but it was on my route and it counts as a state I walked through!

Here are the stats on my walk through West Virginia:

  • Miles Walked: 6.5
  • Average Miles per Day: 13
  • Total Miles Walked: 2,763
  • % of Walk Completed: 86%
  • Days Walked: .5
  • Days Off: 0
  • Money found: $0.07
  • Average Money Found per Day: $0.14
  • Average Money Found per Mile: $0.01
  • Counties Walked Through: 1 (Hancock)
  • State Highways: 2
  • US Highways: 0
  • County Roads: 0
  • Major Bridges Crossed: 1/2 (Ohio River)
  • Most Unusual Find: Blue lid to Tupperware container

Ohio Stats!

Pennsylvania MapOhio started out flat, like eastern Indiana, and stayed that way until I got to the Zanesville area where the terrain began to turn hilly and was dotted with small family farms and pastures full of cows. We picked up US 22 at this point and traveled it through this picturesque terrain. We entered Ohio on a windy Sunday in September and in fact the state suffered major power outages while we were walking through. Some 750,000 people were without power for a number of days. The people we met were very gracious and took the power failures in stride. It was a pretty state and one I hope to spend more time in exploring the rich heritage of their past Presidents.

  • Miles Walked: 247
  • Average Miles per Day: 17.5
  • Total Miles Walked: 2,756.5
  • % of Walk Completed: 86%
  • Days Walked: 14
  • Days Off: 2.5
  • Money Found: $6.19
  • Average Money Found per Day: $0.44
  • Average Money Found per Mile: $0.025
  • Counties Walked Through: 11 (Preble, Miami, Montgomery, Clark, Madison, Franklin, Licking, Muskingum, Guernsey, Harrison & Jefferson)
  • State Highways: 2
  • US Highways: 2
  • County Roads: 1
  • Major Bridges Crossed: 1/2 (Ohio River)
  • Most Unusual Find: A blue light flashlight (we use it almost daily)

Indiana Stats!

Rick Hammersley Walks IndianaIndiana was a homecoming for me. It was great to get into the state and see several friends and relatives in the Indy area. As always, the people are what makes a place memorable. The visit was exhausting, but all too brief. Thanks again to all of you who supported Valda & me in our various fundraisers. Now it is on to points East!

Here are the stats on my walk through Indiana:

  • Miles Walked: 154.5
  • Average Miles per Day: 19.25
  • Total Miles Walked:¬†2,509.5
  • % of Walk Completed: 78%
  • Days Walked: 8
  • Days Off: 4
  • Money Found:¬†$3.67
  • Average Money Found per Day: $0.46
  • Average Money Found per Mile: $0.025
  • Number of Counties Walked Through: 9 (Vermillion, Fountain, Montgomery, Boone, Hendricks, Marion, Hancock, Henry, Wayne)
  • State Highways: 0
  • US Highways: 2
  • County Highways: 0
  • Major Bridges Crossed: 1 (Wabash River)
  • Most Unusual Find: Jeff Gordon #24 Nascar toy Hotwheels car

Note: Finding these cars is not unusual in its own right, but they are always #8 and #20 cars and I just kick them out of the way. Finding a #24 is highly unusual, thus it is a winner.

Illinois Stats!

Rick Walks Illinois

The walk through Illinois was pretty brief compared to other states. I took only one day off and zipped through the state on a pretty good clip. Part of the reason was I had to be in Indianapolis on a specific date and had no choice. The state was typical of the plain states, corn, corn and maybe a bean field now and then. The roads I walked were not the greatest, but I got through cleanly and that’s what counts. I was joined by several guest walkers and enjoyed all of those occasions. The people were friendly as they have been all along the journey. Had some good meals and good corn on the cob. I wandered with a purpose and enjoyed every minute.

Here are the stats from my walk through Illinois:

  • Miles Walked: 229.25
  • Average Miles per Day: 19
  • Total Miles Walked: 2,355
  • % of Walk Completed:¬†73%
  • Days Walked: 12
  • Days Off: 1
  • Money Found: $5.99
  • Average Money Found per Day: $0.50
  • Average Money Found per Mile: $0.025
  • Number of Counties Walked Through: 10 (Hancock, McDonough, Fulton, Mason,¬†Logan, McLean, DeWitt, Piatt, Champaign & Vermillion)
  • State Highways: 0
  • US Highways: 2
  • County Highways: 2
  • Major Bridges Crossed: 2 (Mississippi River and Illinois River)
  • Most Unusual Find: Child’s slinky toy

Iowa Stats!

Rick Walks IowaI enjoyed my walk through Iowa despite some hot and humid weather early on. I was joined by my cousin Jim and wife Deb on the second day and enjoyed their company. The terrain surprised me, but I was told that a glacier made the bottom two counties in Iowa rather hilly and that the flat part which I expected, was further north. The people were very receptive and friendly and I met several I’ll never forget. All and all I was impressed. I was told that there was only corn and soy beans in Iowa and that proved correct. Except for a half dozen fields of hay, I saw no other crop.

Here are the stats from my walk through Iowa:

  • Miles Walked: 266.5
  • Average Miles per Day: 19.75
  • % of Walk Completed:¬†66%
  • Days Walked: 13.5
  • Days Off: 2.5
  • Money Found: $3.68
  • Average Money Found per Day: $0.27
  • Average Money Found per Mile: $0.014
  • Counties Walked Through: 10 (Fremont, Page, Taylor, Ringgold, Decatur, Wayne, Appanose, Davis, Van Buren and Lee)
  • State Highways Walked: 2
  • US Highways Walked: 3
  • Major Bridges Crossed: 1.5 (half bridge at Missouri River and the Des Moines River)
  • Most Unusual Find: a real horseshoe from a real horse

Nebraska Stats!

Nebraska Walking Trail

Nebraska was a nice change of pace for me. No mountains to contend with and the walk mainly went through rural areas dotted here and there with small towns. We had a halfway layover in Hastings and it was nice to see old friends and family. The heat and humidity was tough but I know that in a month or so, fall weather will be with us. Once more the people I met made the walk memorable. The scenery may change from ocean to mountains to desert, but the generosity of strangers never changes. The people are a States’ best asset. Thanks to the TV stations and radio station and several newspapers for their interest. Your coverage makes my job so much easier. All in all, it was a great experience.

Here are the stats from my walk through Nebraska:

  • Miles Walked:¬†354.25
  • Average Miles per Day: 18
  • % of Walk Completed:¬†58%
  • Days Walked:¬†19.75
  • Days Off:¬†5.25
  • Money Found: $5.54
  • Average Money Found per Day: $0.28
  • Average Money Found per Mile: $0.015
  • Counties Walked Through:¬†12 (Dundy, Hitchcock, Red Willow, Furnas, Phelps, Kearney, Adams, Clay, Fillmore, Saline, Lancaster, Otoe)
  • State Highways Walked:¬†3
  • US Highways Walked:¬†2
  • County Roads Walked:¬†2
  • Major bridges Crossed: 1/2 (Bridge over Missouri River/Other Half Goes to Iowa ūüėČ
  • Most Unusual Find:¬†Estwing Carpenter Claw Hammer (almost new, $35.00)