I’ve always had a fascination with people we’ve seen walking, who appear to have come from nowhere and seem to be going in the same direction. I still think about the lady in the Mojave we saw trekking along in the middle of nowhere, like she had been dropped out of the sky from a spaceship.
Well guess what?
Turns out if you live long enough, and meet enough people, you’ll eventually solve most of your alien-abduction questions with real human answers. (I said most. I still think it happens, but maybe not to as many people as I theorized, after traveling all over hell and creation with George in a big truck.)
So there’s this guy, they call him “Cargo,” and he started walking due North eleven months ago in Ushuaia, Argentina, toward Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Yep. I said walking. And he’s made it on foot through South and Central America, in less than a year. He’s on track to make Prudhoe Bay in 20 months. On foot. The guy is walking, and has been at an average of 17-30 miles a day for 11 months. I think I might have mentioned all this, but dang. Talk about an adventure.
I got connected with Cargo through George’s Uncle Mike’s best friend, who happens to be married to Cargo’s sister. (How’s that for some far-flung familial connection?) Anyway, I got to “meet” him over the phone shortly after he made it to the U.S. and had to stop — his tenth pair of shoes for the journey had given him a couple of blisters he needed to heal up.
The longer we chatted, the more I realized how much of a trucker attitude I recognized in Cargo’s statements about his journey, which is one he can’t do a lot of trip planning for, because it hasn’t been done like he’s doing it before. Cargo told me, “I believe if you go, and you’re resourceful and determined, you can accomplish anything.” He went on to say, “I have zero control over what is going to be on my road ahead. I just have to take it as it comes and focus on my walk and getting there.”
While Cargo believes the hardest part of his trip has been accomplished, he doesn’t think he’s seen the worst in a physical sense. “I think the hardest parts are done as far as breaking barriers for other people who haven’t done it, but I’m not so sure I’ve seen the biggest physical challenges yet.”
You’d think some of the biggest concerns with traveling on foot through foreign and somewhat undeveloped countries would be language barriers and personal safety – robbery, theft, kidnapping. Oddly enough, these things never really concerned Cargo as much as just being flat out run-down by someone who was looking at their cell phone while driving. It’s still his main concern, even in the states, where he will be unable to walk on the highways. His frontage road route may prove to be more dangerous than any he’s traveled thus far.
His journey will continue, up the Western states and through Oregon, where he has a brand-new grand-daughter he hasn’t met yet. If everything stays on track he will make Prudhoe Bay in 18 months – a world record and unprecedented accomplishment.
And now you know, if you see a guy trekking through the middle of nowhere, looking like he’s traveling the same direction, it just might be Cargo, and he wasn’t abducted by aliens.
Yet. (He still hasn’t done New Mexico. We’ll stay tuned on his Facebook page and keep you posted.)