A man from Washington state and his sidekick, Sam, are planning an epic cross-country journey on foot from the far northwest corner of the U.S. all the way down to Key West, Fla. As amazing as that sounds, consider this: Bruce Maynard is 74 years old, and Sam is the name he gave his self-rigged, solar-and-battery-powered jogging stroller.
The Bellingham Herald reports that Maynard, a businessman and former-smoker-turned-marathon-runner, has driven across the country many times for work but never really had a chance to do it slowly enough to appreciate the journey.
"I decided I wanted to really start walking and see what I could do," he said. "I found out I'm good at it."
Maynard isn’t performing this feat of endurance for money or any particular cause, but simply because he hopes to inspire others to see what they can do with some hard work and dedication. He plans to find small ways to help people along his trip, like raking leaves or volunteering for Habitat for Humanity.
Founder of Spectrum Ascona, a packaging supply firm, Maynard plans to keep up with his business through the computer and phone carried by Sam, his 120-pound mobile office.
A photo on the Bellingham Herald Web site shows Maynard with Sam, covered in solar panels and packed with “creature comforts,” including a tent. The solar panel will power Sam up hills and also provide juice for the computer and phone.
The route — calculated without any resting time — is estimated by Google Maps to be at least 44 days long. Maynard will fly home and back once a month to take care of business paperwork.
"I have good health," Maynard said. "I have the ability to do things. By God, I should be doing things."