Walking is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other, and that is how Jonathon Stalls and his two-year-old German Shepherd mix are crossing the country roughly following the American Discovery Trail...
walk (wôk) v. & n. walked, walk·ing, walks: an unhurried rate of movement on foot in order to engage with communities
Walking is as simple as putting one foot in front of the other, and that is how Jonathon Stalls and his two-year-old German Shepherd mix are crossing the country following the roughly American Discovery Trail.
“For the last three or four years I wanted to throw on a backpack and go for a trip,” said Stalls, Denver. “I spent some time living in Ireland and met a lot of backpackers and people who were traveling on foot.”
He said the attraction of the simplicity was what got him.
“The attraction of having everything you need in a backpack, the attraction of just learning more about this country walking through small town America, experiencing in a really raw way the communities of this country,” he said.
A recent college graduate, Stalls did not want all his walking to be for naught.
“I came across Kiva in my social entrepreneurship class at Metropolitan State College of Denver in the fall of 2007,” he said. “Kiva empowers individuals to lend $25 or more to an entrepreneur across the globe. By combining microfinance with the internet, Kiva is creating a global community of people connected through lending. Micro-finance is fundamentally designed to empower people.”
While on the walk, Stalls takes whatever chances he has to visit with groups, schools, and individuals about Kiva. On the site individuals can sign up alone, or become part of a lending tree with other individuals. Stalls said the lending tee associated with his walk at kivawalk.com has over $183,000 in loans.
Stalls is not on this adventure alone. Kanoa, a German Shepherd, Husky, Akita, Cattle Dog, Blue Heeler and Dalmatian mix, “I think,” is putting one foot in front of the other right along with him.
“He’s getting along well,” Stalls said. “His pads are getting a little sore so I put some boots on him. The test will be when we get into Utah and Nevada. We’ll see how he gets along on the pavement then I decide if I need to make other arrangements.”
Stalls has been joined by friends at various stops along the route, and has made many more along the way. He keeps a log of his travels, route map and other information on his site at Kivawalk.
The Internet is not only a tracking and reporting tool for Stalls, but also the way he finds accommodations.
Coachsurfing.com is a site where people can log on and see pictures of other peoples couches across the country. Contact information is given and travelers can reserve said couch for the night. Stalls said he used it to find his overnight in Stafford.