Friday, May 30, 2014

Why did Lummis choose to walk across America?

Charles Lummis is an American classic: blustery, a little insecure, but ready for anything and willing to work hard to realize his dreams. His tramp across America is the perfect example. In some ways, it was less of a crazy notion in the 1880s than it is today. Trains, planes and automobiles were yet to make a trip across the continent a routine event.Transcontinental trains did not start running until the 1870s. Before that, getting across the continent involved arduous stage coach routes, or a slow, bumpy slog by wagon or horse. Some people walked, of course, but not many did it for fun!

Lummis owed some of his inspiration to the great naturalists, like Alexander von Humboldt and John Muir who logged long journeys of discovery through the Americas. Lummis was more interested in people. What he discovered on his tramp across America was eye-opening for him. It was an America he had never experienced back in New England. It changed his life. Our new tramp promises to open a few eyes as well. Who knows what we will find.

Jonathan Spaulding

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