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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Your Sunday Reading: John Hedge Rocks

Wanderlust. I've had it ever since we'd drive down Hiway 99 to L.A. as a child. To this day, I can recite the names of towns along the way, and think nothing of blasting up I-5, across Arizona or New Mexico, or pointing the car in a general direction and following the road. Six hours? I'm just getting started!

I know others here have it as well. Sometimes the most comfortable place to be is on a trip. Earlier this year, I came across a traveler who simply blows me away. John Hedge posted on a travel board one day. He's in his seventies, has little money, is diabetic and wears hearing aids. But he'd decided to go on a solo train trip across the USA and back. We all wrote back to him, and encouraged him to keep a blog. Here's an excerpt from the Poor Boy's Train Trip blog.

"I noticed the kitchen door was still open and I dashed across the platform, luggage and all, and heard the two short blasts from the Chief that indicated it was pulling out. I have hopped on many freight trains on the fly, but it is the first time I ever hopped on a moving passenger train. ....The dining steward says who the hell are you and how did you get in here. I told him my story and he says quite a feat for a man your age, but federal regulations say you can't be in here. "

He's interwoven details about his trip, along with stories about his life. What makes John Hedge special is his honesty, humility and his courage to let things fly and go. I've met many travellers, some travel like each trip is a competition. But not John. He simply answered a long dormant call in his heart, packed his bags, and went. You can drop him a line on his blog. He's home now!

1 comment:

Kanani said...

Update: Here's what someone wrote to me:

"He's my new idol. I don't know which is the more amazing, the story of his present trip (in old age and with a myriad of health issues, none of which he lets get in the way of his plans) or the interspersed stories of his travels as a kid, which would make a novel in themselves.

He's heading for the UK next year, and is already making his plans with the help of the UK branch. He's travelling in winter, yet planning to camp!

What a guy."

The person who wrote this is from the UK. She's one of the people helping him plan his trip.