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Missouri walker nearing end of cross-country trek
Anthony Lambing, 26, began his cross-country walk across America five months ago and reached Yuma earlier this week on his way to the coast.
After walking for over 2,300 miles since he left Charleston, S.C., on Aug. 8, Lambing needed a place to stay for the night and was taken in by the firefighters of Rural/Metro Fire Department Station 2 on Wednesday evening.
Firefighter Steven Bay decided to join Lambing on his walk from the Foothills into town Thursday. The two stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch before grabbing a drink at Starbucks so Bay could hear more about Lambing's journey.
Lambing said that the idea of making a trek across the United States intrigued him because it simply presented a unique challenge. He noted that he's always been adventurous but got so caught up with day-to-day life that he hadn't gotten to travel as much as he has always wanted to.
In order to make the trip happen, he decided to sell his car months before leaving his hometown of St. Louis.
“Back home, I live a mile and a half away from where I work. So I sold my car and started walking to work and that freed up what used to be gas money, insurance money and a car payment.”
Lambing said that he initially thought that walking across the country would take years but after much research on cross-country travel he was surprised to learn that it could be done in about three to six months depending on pace.
Lambing said he has traveled, on average, at a pace of about 3 mph for about six to seven hours a day.
Through calling other people who had walked across America and researching other walker's personal experiences, one of the suggestions that he frequently received, aside from the common sense suggestions, was the advice to “walk his own walk.”
Lambing explained that one's personality has a lot to do with how you experience your cross-country adventure.
“There's no real rules... do it however it best suits you,” he said, noting that between pitching a tent in various parks and other locations he has also stayed (as possible) in motels or hotels about once a week based on his own personal preference.
When asked about the ups and downs of his journey, Lambing commented that he hasn't really ever regretted his decision but said that he felt homesick when the St. Louis Cardinals won the 2011 World Series and he had to watch the game from a lonely motel room in Texas at the time.
“I was wishing that there was a familiar face to high five,” he said.
But, he's been able to keep in touch with family and friends by means of his trusty iPhone which also allows him to blog throughout his journey.
With the exception of being told to get off someone's property in Louisiana while the person was holding a shotgun, he noted that most of his experiences have been very positive: He spent his Thanksgiving with a kind family of strangers in Texas.
With about 180 miles of road before him, Lambing estimates that he will stop next in Felicity, Calif., and complete his journey to San Diego in 14 days, two weeks ahead of schedule. There he plans to meet up with his parents and younger brother who are flying into town for his arrival.
He concluded that he is anxious about the transition back into the daily grind as it may prove difficult for him after five months of walking.
“I hear it is kind of hard to transition back to normal life and I can attest to that already in small volumes,” he said. “There's times where I do take a few days off from walking because of weather and it's an unsettling sort of feeling. I'm so used to seeing something brand new everyday and having my days filled up with walking that... after a little bit my foot starts tapping.”
Visit www.anthonywalksamerica.com for more information about his journey or to donate to help him complete his walk.
Sarah Womer can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6858. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSSarahWomer or on Twitter at @YSSarahWomer.