On day #183, we reach the beach at the end of the road

With a few thousand miles ahead, it would have been easy to feel alone. I didn't.

Today, we storm the beach. Walking the Black Horse Pike, the 322 and the state 50 (there’s that number again) on a gray winter’s day through south Jersey, I was reminded of something my friend Kevin wrote me last week. “We are here, you just don’t see us because we are all behind you.” It summed up everything about walking the past 3,486 miles, from Fisherman’s Wharf to the Music Pier. The daily words of encouragement, the e-mails, the tweets, the simplest of texts … they meant everything during the hardest stretches of open road; of endless road. I hung onto them like buoys in a storm. Some days they were the only communication I had before bedding down in a tent on a nameless road, seemingly alone. Remarkably (or maybe not so, given the magic of these six months), the messages would come from someone different each day — my wife, a friend, a nephew, even someone I had met two towns back. Setting forth, there was a want to be alone, a need to rebuild self-confidence and a desire for simple self-sufficiency. There was much to prove. To myself. But it didn’t take long to discover that this journey was no solo undertaking. It was the most collaborative effort with which I’ve been involved. The Onny and Oboe Fund is being built on the backs of all those who connected (and re-connected) since June 18 — exactly six months ago. And while this walk may conclude today in Ocean City, this was no finite race. The steps that have worn through seven pairs of sneakers were a beginning, not an end. And we march forward together, the hundreds of donors, family and friends (new and old) alongside the future recipients of this scholarship fund. Us dreamers united.
Today, WE storm the beach.

  1. karen knecht’s avatar

    YOU DID IT.. you must be so proud of yourself! Since you left SF in June, I’ve flown to Chicago twice… both times looking down on the terrain, impatiently fidgeting in my seat… imagining you walking, a clam came over me. Mike, I am absolutely in awe by what you have accomplished!! Congratulations and a big hug awaits you at 710 Wilshire!

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  2. dianna smith’s avatar

    wow! you have completed an amazing “feet” haha! i have always had donor checked on my drivers licence.i feel that it would be a blessing and honor to help someone in a way that it could save or improve their life. i new by being a donor i could be helping more than one person but now thru you i know that a few is up to 50! i had no idea. so proud of you for what you have done and the awarness you are spreading thru the states. wish i could be there to see you step onto the NJ shore. my thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and you cause. :D

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  3. Crystal Fritts’s avatar

    I’ve followed you on this journey and in some ways I am sad to see it end, or maybe these are tears of happiness and peace. You ROCK (or walk, whichever)!!

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  4. Cousin Rich’s avatar

    Congratulation on an unbelieveable accomplishment. The opportunity in a world driven by technology and greed for someone to take on a six month journey with purpose and determination is indeed a remarkable feat! It is a great pleasure to know that you never faltered and with an end goal in mind to bring about whatever changes you could to donor awareness and a cause that often is forgotten is a testimony to your spirit and individuality. Mike, Congrats. The entire family is VERY proud of you. You are awesome!

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  5. Cousin Rich’s avatar

    Another Dickens quote – “The men who learn endurance, are they who call the whole world, brother.”

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  6. Annmarie’s avatar

    Congratulations Michael – you’ve achieved something momentous and we have all been silently cheering you on – well done indeed!!!

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    1. Michaela’s avatar

      Your journey became our journey through your wonderful blog. We have followed you throughout the summer and fall and through you, we learned about your wonderful first wife and your amazing second wife, your great family, and the old and new friends that have helped you along the way. I’ve shared your blog with friends and family, hoping that they would enjoy it and also contribute to your worthy cause. Have a wonderful holiday with your family.

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