Hello I'm Bernie McDonald from Columbia, Missouri. I teach yoga and have a passion for walking. Currently I am working towards a goal of walking 100 miles in every US state; passing through towns, parks and down open roads. I stop in at yoga studios to take or teach classes along my travels, use public transportation so I can travel without a car, take lots of pictures and am working towards writing a book.
In 2013, I attempted to walk across the country beginning from Maine. I walked 800 miles to Richmond, Virginia before halting due to injury. While resting and recovering, I formulated a new hybrid plan of attack: 100 miles of walking per state, using train or bus to cover the remaining distances, and going to all 50 states. In 2016, I used my hybrid travel method to cover 10 states consecutively; spanning from North Carolina to Washington state to quench my original desire of traveling coast to coast. Since fall 2017 I've conquered 15 more states to now be at 30 states completed.
My motivation for this project has always been to learn. To that end, my project has been a very moving success. The experiences over the course of my travels have dramatically deepened my understanding of American life, the applications of yoga and the state of the natural world. In time, I aspire to take on a role supporting design of communities that are walkable, have a healthy local business climate and maintain their original natural surroundings.
Inspiration for this project comes from:
Beautiful Lake Annecy in France; where I discovered all day walking was possible
The supportive community of Portland, Maine with special thanks to my former employer Scratch Baking Co
This American Life Episode 494 featuring the amazing Andrew Forsthoefel's walk across the country
The Perennial Plate food adventure series from Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine
Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope run across Canada
Photographer Matt Black and his Geography of Poverty project
Special thanks to Kim Lindner, Drew Piester & Tim Eaton for taking my picture