Thursday, February 28, 2013

Day 001 - Atlantic City to McKee City NJ

The temps were in the 40's and the steady early morning rain subsided as it was time to start the walk.

A big thank you to Fox 29 Philly, KYW radio and Gwynedd Mercy College (Joan's alma mater) for providing coverage of the send off. The link to the Fox interview is in the MEDIA COVERAGE section of my blog.

Thirty Liberty Bell Wanderers came down to see me off. I started by dipping my shoes in the Atlantic facing west and heading for another large body of water. US 40 is joined with US 322 for the first 13 miles. It is a busy 4 lane highway thru a heavily commercialized area.

The walk got off to a late start due to a car fire that shut down the Walt Whitman Bridge which had everyone scrambling for alternate routes. Carol Talaga is the first person to be listed on my blog as completing an entire days walk with me. Because of the late start we finished the 14 miles right at sundown.

The first time I was in Atlantic City was by accident. We were dating and Joan had made reservations for a bus trip to Ocean City, NJ. She told me to meet her at the Reading Terminal. Unfortunately I was at the terminal in Philly and she was in Norristown. By the time I called her Mom who drove down to get her (way before cell phones) the bus had left.

I checked the bus terminal in Philly and found that they had regular departures for Atlantic City and had her catch a train to Philly. I am so prone to getting sun burned that I remember setting up a blanket under the boardwalk.

As Joan was fond of saying - today was a good day (she even said it on the day hospice was first mentioned).

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Beginnings of US 40

Joan bought me the book "US 40 Today" which was written by a married couple who traveled US 40 coast to coast in 1983 and tried to take the exact same pictures that a college professor did in his book "US 40" in 1953.

I am trying to take the same pictures 30 / 60 years later. The first picture is looking down at the War Memorial at the intersection of Ventnor & Albany two blocks from the ocean.

The 1953 picture was taken from the Roosevelt Hotel which was imploded in 1979. The 1983 picture was taken from the Mayfair Building which suffered a similar fate. The building manager of the Enclave, a high rise condo was kind enough to let me go on their roof which was the closest I could get to recreating the shot.

In both of the earlier pictures there was a very distinct building on the left with a clock tower where there is now a parking lot. I confirmed with a historian in the Atlantic City library that it was the old Atlantic City High School which relocated in1994.

Walk will start tomorrow from the boardwalk at Albany Ave between 10 & 11 AM. Fox 29 Philly is planning a live interview at 9:30.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Jenn Sommermann

I met Jenn Sommermann a couple weeks ago. She is an amazing woman. She is a stage III ovarian cancer survivor on the home stretch of completing 50 triathlons in all 50 states by age 50 to raise awareness for ovarian cancer and $100,000for OCRF.

She just made arrangements to walk 14 miles with me on Sunday, June 9 from Newton to Halstead Kansas after she completes a triathlon in Brooklyn, Iowa on Saturday.

Think tortoise and the hare. Her blog is

Monday, February 18, 2013


Many people have asked what my routine will be during the walk.

Each morning I will attempt to find someone who can follow me as I leave my car at the endpoint of that days walk. They will then drop me off at the start point of the walk. I will walk the 14 miles to my car. I will be in total control with my only restriction being that I want to be back to my car by sunset.

Thanks to fellow walker Carol and my brother Dan for suggesting this simple routine.

Friday, February 15, 2013

How you can help

Everyone is asking me what they can do to help with the walk. There has been such an amazing outpouring of support that there are only two things that I need.

First is awareness. Please continue to tell everyone that you know that would be interested in my journey to tell everyone they know ...

Second is lodging. I have confirmed lodging for the first 17 days from Atlantic City to Hancock, MD (240 miles). No hotel chain has offered support. If anyone knows of someone that could supply lodging along US Route 40 between Hancock MD and Wheeling WV let me know.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

All systems are go for Feb 28

18 days from now I will finally get to start walking. The only really major item left on the pre takeoff check list is packing. Think about putting everything you need for the next eight months in the trunk of your car.

Tax refund received, oil tank filled, utilities notified, custom orthotics in. Every newspaper and TV station between AC and Pittsburgh notified thanks to web site from Joan's college classmate Peg.

Tentatively plan to start walking between 10 & 11 AM on Thursday, Feb 28. I will start from where US 40 / Albany Ave / US 322 / Black Horse Pike runs into the ocean in Atlantic City. Everyone can meet one block from the ocean at O'Donnell Memorial Park at the corner of N Albany & Atlantic.