And so the journey begins...
On April 7th, 2015 we said our goodbyes and wished our son safe travels as he embarked on a 2,900 mile journey across America. We could not be more proud of our incredible son.
The following is a glimpse into how the story is unfolding. For more details, please follow us on Facebook at
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Keoni's journey starts in New York City. He was greeted by his dear friend Leahi and got a taste of college life, city life and had the time of his life... he had so much fun, it made it very hard to leave.
Day 1 ~ April 12, 2015... Saying goodbye at Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. Beautiful sunrise, feet in the water, well wishes from mom on FaceTime and the journey begins. For the first 10 miles Keoni couldn't believe his dream of walking was now a reality. He settled into his campsite after 15 miles and you will have to wait to hear the rest......
Day 2 - 5 ~ Blessings on day 2, Keoni was spotted walking down the Hwy and invited to spend the night at Nancy's home... there's much more to that story!!! Then Keoni hooked up with Lance, a family friend on day 3. He finished off New Jersey, toured Philly and was treated like family. So grateful!
Day 6- 10 ~ Keoni took a bus down to Washington DC... for many reasons, mostly saftey!!!! He stayed with the London family, was treated like royalty, toured DC and loved every minute of it. The London's made it hard for Keoni to leave... but gave him great advice and and helped him order his new cart.
Day 11 ~ Keoni walked 15 miles on the C&O Canal Towpath Trail... He loves trail walking and is happy to be off the Hwy. Keoni hunkered down for the night at Horsepen Branch and listened to the rain drops hit the top of his tent.
Day 12 & 13 ~ Keoni connected with friends of friend who made him feel like a son. They picked Keoni up and dropped him off on the trail two days in a row!!! They worried about him as the freezing levels dropped. They even took him to the shooting range!
Day 14 ~ Said goodbye to Kysa and Ken at Harpers Ferry... it was bittersweet, Keoni really loved his time with them. They spoiled him rotten. Keoni then walked 19 miles to Horseshoe Bend and camped out for the night.
Day 15 - Keoni walked 30 miles on the C&O Canal trail. Beautiful views and campsites every 5-10 miles makes it easy to know where he will be sleeping each night.
Day 16 & 17 ~ Continued on the C & O Canal Trail. Camped out at Indigo Neck and Old Town. Went through Paw Paw tunnel and saw some amazing sites along the way. This canal boarders Maryland and West Virgina... Keoni was walking on the Maryland side.
Day 18 ~ Keoni reached Cumberland, walked a total of 184 miles and said goodbye to the trail that housed him for 5 days. He had a delicious, much needed hot meal, spent the night under cover at the YMCA and was able to take a hot shower... Life is good!!!
Day 19 ~ After walking 24 miles in the rain, Keoni was treated to a free night stay at Mashach Browning's Cabin on the River in Grantsville, MD. Keoni said he could have lived there forever!
Day 20 - 23 ~ After walking 22 miles to Friendsville, Keoni said goodbye to Maryland and hello to West Virgina. He stayed in Morgantown for a few days with Mary Jo and Larry. Had some much needed down time, did laundry and restocked his food supply.
Day 24 ~ The start of the North Bend Rail Trail. Keoni walked 22 miles and connected with the West Virgina American Discovery Trail coordinators, Sharon and Paul in their home town of West Union. They took Keoni to dinner, showed him around their farm and made him feel very special.
Day 25 ~ Walked 35 miles on the NBRT. Keoni walked through several tunnels and ended in Petrolium to camp out for the night. Sadly, he missed Sharon and Paul... as they went to town and picked him up a DQ blizzard in hope to see him on the trail... I guess Keoni walked to fast... he would have loved it.
Day 26 ~ Another state done!! Goodbye West Virgina... Hello Ohio!!! 25 miles of walking and a much needed rest at the Presbyterian Church... Thank you Pastor Rick for treating Keoni to breakfast and giving him great advice for the road ahead.
Day 26 ~ After saying goodbye to Pastor Rick, Keoni walked 20 miles to Carthage campgrounds where he was treated to a free night stay, a shower and a laundry facility. A kind women who was also camping, surprised Keoni with a full pizza and gave him $20... with the hope he would pay it forward.
Day 27 & 28 ~ Keoni walked over 50 miles and camped at Lake Snowden and Lake Alma... The days have been hot and the people of Ohio have been so kind. They often stop to give Keoni water and a few bucks when they see him on the road.
Day 29 & 30 ~ My Mother's Day gift was having Keoni stay a couple of nights at a Days Inn in Jackson, Ohio. This allowed for a much needed rest for both of us... Keoni has walked over 160 miles in less then a week so I insisted that he take a break, see a few movies and relax!!! My gift was sleep!!!
Day 31 ~ Keoni left Jackson and walked 26 miles to Piketon, Ohio. He was welcomed by Pastor Jon Black at the Calvary Baptist Church and treated to dinner with his family. Keoni was lucky enough to sleep on one of the pews in his church... The blessings keep coming... God is good.
Day 32 ~ Today was an extra special day! I spoke with Sherri from Grace Fellowship Church in Peebles. I shared Keoni's story and asked if she new of a place for him to sleep that night. Well, talk about the royal treatment! Keoni said when he walked up to the church, everyone was outside waiting for him, it took his breath away! Talk about a heartfelt welcome! Several kids were at the church for an after school program, so he shared his story with them and answered questions. Keoni had pizza with the kids and then was invited by the youth group to check out Serpent Mound, which was an incredible sight. Then, to top it all off, The church treated Keoni to a hotel stay so he could shower and have a goodnight sleep!!! I'm just speechless and overcome with gratitude...Thank you Sherri and the entire Grace Fellowship Community.
Day 33 & 34 ~ Keoni walked 15 miles and stayed at the Sardinia Church of Christ, thanks to Pastor Kevin and continued 22 miles into Batavia, where he is now staying with friends of friends. It's time to say goodbye to the Appalachian Hwy. Route 32. Thank you for the wide shoulder to walk on, the kind people who stopped to give Keoni water and the beautiful sights.
Keoni has spent the last 6 days in Batavia, Ohio. A huge thank you to Thalia and Mattson Davis for connecting Keoni with Jack and Kathy... He has had the most enjoyable time visiting with this extraordinary couple, playing the piano with Kathy, driving a 1968 Camaro with Jack and touring the great city of Cincinnati... To top it all off, Mattson just happened to be visiting from our home town of Kona!!! We could not have planned it better if we tried!!! Kathy, Jake and Mattson... Thank you for your love, comparison and kindness... A bond has been created that will last a lifetime.
Day 41 ~ 25 long hard miles. As Keoni crossed the state line into Indiana, he had to balance his cart on 2 wheels which made for a long and challenging day. The wonderful guys at Delta Propeller where kind enough to solder the brake (look at the smiles on those guys faces!! I love it) but unfortunately it didn't hold. On a happy note, he ended the day at the Aurora Volunteer Fire Department where he was greeted with a warm welcome, shower, laundry facility, a cozy bed to sleep in and pizza!!! Thank you for your service gentleman and taking such great care of Keoni.
Day 42 ~ Some days are hard and others are EPIC!!! Keoni left the fire station with his broken cart and stumbled across a truck and trailer repair shop. He managed to get his cart fixed for $25... so it's solid and stronger then ever!!! Then after 25 miles of walking, Keoni arrived at the Versailies State Park where Brad, the Park Ranger, and his wife Jolene gave him the royal treatment... Brad has traveled all over the country and loves to pay it forward... and boy did he ever!!! Honestly, I don't even know where to start. When Keoni called to tell us about his day, he was on cloud nine... and all he could say was... and then.... and then... and then... and then!!!! There's simply not enough space to list it all... All I can say is THANK YOU Brad, Jolene and all of the campers who celebrated Memorial Day weekend at Versailies Sate Park.. you made Keoni feel so special.
Day 43 & 44 ~ Keoni walked 25 miles to Muscatatuck Park in North Vernon, Indiana, set up camp and after a restful sleep walked another 25 miles to Brownstown, Indiana. Unsure of where he was going to stay in Brownstown, Keoni was blessed yet again with the kindness of Sharon and her beautiful family. Keoni enjoyed hanging out with the kids and they've invited him to stay an extra day!!! Since Keoni's cart broke yet AGAIN, and with rain and thunderstorms in the forecast he might take them up on the offer. THANK YOU Sharon for your incredible kindness.
As I go through this journey with my son, I am continually overcome with gratitude. Keoni is truly experiencing what our great country is made of!!!!
Day 45 & 46 ~ Jeff and I woke up to these wonderful smiles and the following text message from Sharon:
"We sent your wonderful son off this morning.. with mixed feelings, Nathan wanted him to stay and thinks we should adopt him! We wish him much happiness, safe travels and great experiences! You have done a great job raising a great person!"
A HUGE thank you to the beautiful, kind, loving Koch family... We are beyond grateful. Keoni thoroughly enjoyed his stay... The kids where unsure about having a stranger stay with them... But that changed very quickly. So much so, Keoni stay an extra day and has been invited to come back anytime!!! The blessings and kindness continue. Plus... As you can see from the pictures, Keoni got his cart fixed to perfection for free... Thank you guys!!!
Day 46 ~ Approximately 8 miles into Keoni's walk today, he was approached on the side of the road, by a gentlemen who worked at a small Barber Shop. He asked Keoni where he was going... Keoni replay "I'm walking to California Sir"... A little shocked, the barber told him to go to Gobbler Holler General Store, order lunch and tell them Dick sent him!!! Keoni enjoyed a Sloppy Joe! Thank you Dick! 13 miles later, Keoni arrived in Bedford, where he stayed in the old historic Rosemount Motel. Below you can see the before and after picture.
Day 48 ~ Keoni walked 20 miles to the Montgomery Ruritan Campground. He was greeted by Debbie and Dean Miller and treated incredibly well. Debbie drove Keoni into town and showed him around Amish country... he was fascinated by the Amish auction at Dinky's. I'm sad to share that he didn't bid on anything!!! Debbie and Dean then had Keoni over for a steak dinner and made him a breakfast sandwich in the morning, as he headed back on the road. A huge thank you to this amazing couple... we are forever grateful to you both.
Day 47 ~ Keoni enjoyed a Bluesprings Cavern Voyage Tour today... it was well worth the detour. Then it was 18 miles to the Martin State Forest Campground where he was greeted by Jim and extremely well taken care of. As you can see, the sights are beautiful and the roads are narrow and windy. Concerned for Keoni's safety, Jim drove Keoni into Shoals the following morning, treated him to breakfast and they said their goodbyes. Thank you Jim for having my son's best interest at heart.
Day 49 & 50 ~ Keoni walked 28 miles to Vincennes, Indiana. With storms rolling in, we felt it was best for him to stay at the newly remodeled Econo Lodge. The sheets were new, the carpet was new... it was so nice, he stayed not one night but two!!! Quite honestly... Keoni has walked over 750 miles thus far, so his legs were in need of a little R&R.
I would like to thank the head of the "Indiana's Historic Pathways" Facebook page... she not only helped Keoni find campsites to stay at in Indiana, but Illinois too. From the moment Keoni stepped foot in Indiana, she's had his best interest at heart. We are forever grateful... Many Mahalo's Megan!
Day 51 ~ Keoni walked 18 miles to the Raccoon Ridge Campground in Sumner, Illinios today. Not only did he say goodbye to Indiana and the state that's been so good to him... he also crossed over a time zone!!! This is very exciting, especially for mom who's in Hawaii. We've gone from a six hour time difference, to five!! Keoni's now on CST.
Two very special things to report. Keoni was interviewed for the Batevia, Ohio newspaper AND He received a VERY generous donation from the Talbert Family Foundation. Julie Talbert has blessed Keoni tremendously over the years, helping him with his quest to do Ironman and always willing to lend a hand. THANK YOU Julie for having Keoni's back, being such a HUGE supporter and just being YOU!
Days 51-56 ~ 130 miles in 6 days and Illinois done!!! A huge thank you to Kathy and Preacher Blake at Noble First Christan Church for feeding Keoni and taking him in for the night. Kathy was kind enough to allow Keoni to sleep in her camper! Then off to Charley Brown Campground and then the Salem Fire Department.
As Keoni walks, there are some days and some people that stand out and make a huge impact. Every state has had that special family and for Illinois it was the Richardson's!!! Troy Richardson works at the Salem Fire department and was disappointed to hear he would be missing Keoni's visit to their station... so he asked Keoni if he would be open to having their family pick him up the following day in Carlyle, drive him back to Salem, have him spend the night at their home, have a BBQ and drive him back to where they picked him up the previous day... Well, how could Keoni say no to that? This extraordinary family has touched our lives in more ways then one... I have had the privilege of getting to know them over the phone and I am truly taken back by their kindness. Thank you, thank you Richardson Family!!! We look forward to hosting you in Hawaii someday soon.
Day 57-59 Keoni crossed the Mississippi River and into Missouri. Thanks to the bond that was created with Jack and Kathy back in Betevia, Ohio... Keoni has two "Trail Angles" reaching out to family and friends to find him safe, comfortable places to stay. With that said, Keoni stayed with Brenda and Mike (Jack's dear friend from college) in Saint Louis, MO. They had a wonderful time together and showed Keoni all the sights. They went to the St. Louis Zoo, Science Center, Budweiser Headquarters and The St. Louis Arch... The Gateway to the West. This was a very symbolic moment for Keoni, as he said goodbye to the eastern part of the county.
Brenda, Mike and Keoni created a close bond in the three short days they were together... they had many special moments. As Brenda said, "I was very sad to see him go... we got very attached quickly. He is a wonderful kid and you should be very proud of him!"
Thank you Mike and Brenda for opening your home and your kind hearts to our son. We are forever grateful for your generosity and hospitality. Many, many Mahalo's to you both.
Day 60 ~ Keoni said his goodbyes to Mike and Brenda (which was not easy) and headed out on the Katy Trail... He walked 21 miles and stayed at a campsite by a baseball diamond.... so he had some evening entertainment. The next 200 miles will be trail walking, a refreshing change from highway walking.
Day 61-63 ~ Keoni is loving the Katy Trail! It's well marked, beautifully maintained and people from all over the world travel to Missouri to bike and hike this trail. Keoni has walked over 75 miles... He stayed in a hostel one night and camped in a gazebo another... There's one thing he's learned... when it rains it pours, so shelter is key!!!!
Day 64-65 ~ The incredible hospitality continues... thanks to Keoni's "Trail Angels" Jack and Kathy, he was connected with the Schwarz"s Family!!! Haley picked Keoni up from the Katy Trail, took him to their place in Columbia and spoiled him rotten for two days!!! Keoni played basketball and video games with their 8 year old son and toured Columbia. Haley, Beth and family.... Thank you, thank you, thank you for your generosity and kindness... I've loved getting to know you all.
Day 66-67 ~ During Keoni's visit to Columbia, he was able to connect with Nick, a friend he met while volunteering in Africa. They had a great time reminiscing and talked about a future trip together.
Nick... Keoni thoroughly enjoyed your time together. Thank you for showing him around Columbia, allowing him to crash at your place while the storm passed through and walking 10 miles with him back to the Katy Trail .... Many Mahalo's for everything.
Day 68-71 ~ Keoni completed 203 miles on the Katy Trail. The sights were beautiful... lots of hidden treasures. Keoni met lots of people who were also enjoying the trail... cyclist, hikers and people out for a daily run. The Katy Trail is something you might want to put on your "Bucket List".
Day 72 & 73 ~ Keoni left the Katy Trail and walked 36 LONG miles on roads with very little shoulder, to an RV Park. It didn't have a facility for campers... but they had water and a shaded place to pitch his tent.... Keoni was grateful for that. The following day he walked 22 miles, said goodbye to Missouri and found a campsite that had a restroom and shower... thank you Linn County Park!!! Keoni is now in Kansas, almost to the center of the country and in one of the longest states... another huge milestone!!!
Day 74 was like no other and completely unexpected. Keoni walked a few miles and was then picked up by Kate and her boys!! They drove Keoni up to Kansas City, gave him a tour of the city, fed him well and drove him to his next campsite... Keoni had a blast!!! What a gift!!!!
What did they do while they were in Kansas City? Here it is in Kate's words: The boys "made money" at the Federal Reserve Money Museum, then we went to the WW1 Monument and Union Station. Keoni found his favorite BBQ restaurant, located in KS.. so good, on any future trips, he will detour for it.. lol. He can also say he has been to Hooters.
THANK YOU AGAIN AND AGAIN KATE!!!
Day 1 with Keoni ~ tears streamed down my face as I gave my son a huge hug last night... It's been a long 2 1/2 months and we're going to enjoy every minute we have with him. Our day was full... We met Kate and her boys at the Wichita Zoo. I'm so grateful I was able to thank her in person for going out of her way multiple times on Keoni's behalf... She truly is amazing!!! Then we picked up Keoni's cart that needed another fix... Thank you Larry at Northcutt for doing an exceptional job.... We had a delicious dinner with Ann and Gary who have opened there home to all three of us... It has been a joy getting to know them. They have been so gracious and hospitable, it will be incredibly hard to say goodbye... We ended the night with a movie, "Me Earl and the Dying Girl"... As I sat in the theater, I looked over at my kids and thought... I'm the luckiest mom in the world!!! I wish I could freeze time.
Day 2 with a Keoni was all about reconstructing his cart so that he's prepared for the long, desolate stretched in Colorado, Arizona and California... We absolutely could not have done this without the help of Gary Patterson... He took the day off work and surprised Keoni with the aluminum that was needed. Before we new it, they were cutting, sanding and screwing it all together... What an incredible blessing!!! Thank you ever so much Gary for creating a survival cart for our son!!
Day 78-81 ~ was spent with Ann and Gary Patterson in Wichita, KS. Words can not express how blessed our family feels by their generosity and multiple gifts. Their unconditional willingness to help and guide was heartfelt and so appreciated... Not only did they invite Keoni into their gorgeous home, they welcomed the whole Smith clan... It was incredibly hard saying goodbye... So we hope to see them both again soon. Many Mahalos to this beautiful couple.
Day 82 ~ 18 miles of sun, rain and lightning. Since the conditions were unpredictable, Keoni wanted to walk alone. As he headed out, I was overcome with emotion... I often visualize Keoni out on the road, but actually witnessing it with my own two eyes was a whole other story. Large commuter trucks passing ever couple of seconds is enough to give a mother heart failure. Keoni's strength, determination and commitment has proven to us that he's a man on a mission and wise beyond his years. It was a very proud and tearful day for mom!! We ended the day with Mexican dinner and a movie...
Day 83 - What a great day. Keoni actually allowed me to walk with him from Hutchinson to Stafford in Kansas!! 24 miles in about 7 hours. We talked about everything- Past, present & future. The conversations were awesome and the legs were quite tired. I don't know how he has made it all this way. The half way point is just around the corner!! A very proud Dad am I!!
Day 84~ Happy Fourth of July 🇺🇸. Today was a huge, monumental day for Keoni... He has official walk halfway through the country!!! I was lucky enough to walk 10 miles with him today and loved every minute. It was so surreal... I'm one proud mom!!
On a side note... We had a surprise visit from Gary and Ann last night. They drove all the way from Wichita (2 1/2 hours) to hand deliver something to Keoni that arrived at their house!!! It was so wonderful to see them again, enjoy dinner and fireworks together. What a wonderful treat.... It was a day filled with sad goodbyes.
Day 85 ~ Jeff walked 12 miles with Keoni today before heading back to work. He left filled with pride and admiration for his son!!!
Day 86 ~ Our last full day with Keoni was spent walking, shopping, eating and organizing. Keoni and Kaili walked over 17 miles together in the wind!!! It was the hilliest section of Kansas, as we headed up to Garden City... So I have to say, Kaili was a trooper... Not to mention Keoni! Then we got some final supplies for the road ahead... Keoni thought about trading in his cart for a bike... Haha.
Day 87 ~ We said goodbye to Keoni, which was one of the hardest moments I've ever experienced as a mother. I'm beyond proud of my courageous son and quite honestly I have a whole new respect for him. He has 1,300 miles to go, so Keoni took a full day off and rested for the huge challenge ahead. Happy trails son... We love you so much.
Day 88-90 ~ Keoni has walked over 75 miles in the past 3 days. He said goodbye to Kansas as he entered Colorado today!! Three more states to go!!
A huge thank you to Kristen and Pastor Joe from Christ's New Covenant Church for showing Keoni around Syracuse, KS and providing him with a meal and a safe place to spend the night... It truly means a lot.
Day 91-94 ~ Unfortunately, I don't have any photo's to share.... Keoni is in the middle of nowhere, but thanks to his inReach, GPS tracker... I'm confident that he's fine. Keoni walked a record 43 miles today and in the past 6 days, he's walked a total of 175 miles. As you can see from the map below, he's covering a lot of ground and feeling strong.
I would love to take a moment to thank Maurice, the owner of the Santa Fe Inn in Las Animas, CO... he gifted Keoni a free night stay at his hotel on Day 93. The blessings, support and encouragement continues, as Keoni makes his way to the coast.
Day 95-97 ~ From Keoni: I've officially made it to the Rockies and tomorrow I'll be walking over my first mountain pass. As most of you know I've been having cart trouble and the poor fella has finally given out. It'll be hard to say good bye. Lucky for me the amazing Julie Talbert came to my aid and got me a new cart so I'm fully operational for the mountains to come. On another note I had a few long days, and in the last few days have been recovering at the sands motel where the awesome owners discounted my room and even gave me an extra night for free. There's a lot to be grateful for out here. Thank you all for the support!
Days 96- 100 ~ Keoni has been putting in some serious mileage and major elevation gain! In fact, on day 99 he walked a record 47 miles and climbed to 9,414 feet. He had to stop several times to catch his breath, his head was pounding, the mosquitoes were biting, but he kept going. I was watching him on his inReach tracker, wondering if he would ever stop walking!! Well he didn't, so I had to scramble to find him a place to camp in Ft. Garland, population... 800. Without going into detail, I was able to connect Keoni with Ken who owned a pizza restaurant and had a key to the local church. Ken hooked Keoni up with a cot and gave him some chicken Alfredo for dinner... The perfect way to end a long day. Keoni woke up the next morning and walked another 29 miles to Alamosa where he spent two, much needed nights in a hotel.
Linda, Ken, Ft. Garland volunteer fire chief and all the other people I called in Ft. Garland... THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. You all are amazing!!
Day 101 was extraordinary, life changing and a day Keoni will never forget. He walked 31 miles to Del Norte and noticed a sign for The Organic Peddlers Hostel. He was welcomed with open arms, had delicious organic food and visited with AMAZING people. If you ever get a chance to chat with Keoni... ask him about his time in Del Norte!
Day 102-104 ~ The trip down to Pagosa Springs was everything Keoni hoped it would be and so much more. The sights were magnificent and the company was a pleasant surprise. Thank you Eileen for making the journey extra special. ~ Once in Pagosa Springs, Keoni enjoyed a few days of sightseeing and the Great Pagosa Hot Springs… A real treat for a tired body. I'm going to let Keoni's beautiful pictures tell the rest of the story.
Keoni camped beside a couple from HILO!!! Karin and Dave~ Thank you for everything... Dinner, conversation and being at the right place at the right time! It truly is a small world!Mahalo to you both I know Keoni will be seeing you both again soon.
Day 105 was a long 41 mile walk to Bayfield where Keoni stayed at the Riverside RV Park... Thank you Stephanie for welcoming him with open arms and treating him to some ice cream! You're a doll.
Day 106 was another 20 miles into Durango. Keoni was able to hop on a river trail for a bit, which was a nice change of pace. While in Durango, Keoni was gifted 2 nights at the Days End... and this was a gift from friends, of friends, of friends!!! Thank you Bulen Family for your incredible generosity! Keoni also got some new boots... so he's ready for the last 800 miles! He's almost there!
Day 111 ~ While in Cortez, Keoni stayed at La Mesa RV Park and camped beside Dan and his wife. They heard Keoni was walking across the country and invited him to join them for breakfast. After chatting about his upcoming route, Dan suggested that Keoni take US162 to the 163... which is the highway they filmed "Forrest Gump" on. If there's one thing Keoni's learned... "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get." So Keoni's plans changed for the BETTER! Thank you Dan for the wonderful advice and delicious meal.
Days 112-114 I stayed at a little bed and breakfast called Kelly's Place, close to the Utah border. Ended up staying an extra day gladly because of flash floods. Had some great food and did some hiking to some old ruins they had north of the property. And best of all I got adopted by a young family for my stay! Thank you Tim, Sadie and littles Badger for taking me to the demolition derby, treating me to food and the good times! You guys are awesome!
Day 117 ~ Keoni walked 35 miles into Arizona!!! He passed through Kayenta and camped outside a motel in Tsegi. He was able to eat at a local cafe and it looks like he had some four legged companionship.
Days 116 ~ "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your going to get".... Keoni walked the stretch of highway they filmed Forrest Gump!
Day 115 ~ Keoni walked 40 miles into Utah and up to Bluff. it was a long wet walk with little to no place to pitch a tent. Tim form Cadillac Ranch RV Park came to Keoni's rescue... We are beyond grateful for his kindness.
Day 118-120 ~ Did you know it's monsoon season in Arizona? Keoni experienced it firsthand! 38 miles of walking in the pouring rain makes for a miserable day! After a cold, wet night… Keoni woke up and walked 25 miles into Tuba City where he spent a couple of nights in a hotel. A bed never felt so good! The picture is Elephant Feet Monument.
Day 121~ 25 miles to Cameron. Day 122 ~ 33 miles to Desert View Campground. Day 123 & 124 ~ 26 miles around the Grand Canyon and a day of exploring!!! Keoni said the Grand Canyon was unlike anything he's ever seen... Absolutely amazing!! While walking he saw lots of wildlife (elk, birds) and enjoyed listening to nature. One of the trip highlights by far!!!
Day 125 ~ Keoni walked 29 miles to the Flintstones's Campground in Bedrock City, AZ... Thank you for taking such great care of him... Yabba Dabba Doo!!!!
Day 126 and 127 ~ Keoni walked 20 miles to Red Lake where he stayed at a hostel... it was a nice change of pace, so much so, he walked 10 miles (his shortest day yet) to Williams the following day. Keoni stayed at The Historic Grand Canyon Hostel... he had a wonderful time and met people form all over the world. Keoni would like to thank Julian, from Germany for taking him back to the Grand Canyon to watch the sunset, dinner and great conversation.... Keoni had a fantastic time.
Day 128 ~ Keoni walked 18 miles to Ash Fork were he was warmly welcomed by Katie, the proud owner of the Interstate 40 Grand Canyon RV Park. Not only did she accommodate Keoni for FREE, she feed him a wonderful meal too... We could not be more grateful to her and her kindness. Here is a short note from Kathie that sums up their evening together... Keoni was a very happy camper!
DDay 129 ~ Keoni walked 20 miles to Seligman and what a GREAT day it was!!! He ran into Greg, who was on a two week road trip with is family... and I think he summed up the day perfectly!!! We are looking forward to meeting you at the finish Greg, thank you for everything.
I drove past Keoni on Route 66, 2 miles before the town of Seligman AZ. It was mid day when I spoke with him on the far west side of Seligman. He was going to camp out for the day at the RV resort. He mentioned they gave him a camp spot for free. I gave him a bag of Nacho chips and a pop tarts. I figured the junk food won't harm him with all the calories he is burning. He also mentioned that some construction workers gave him a fluorescent orange vest to wear and flashing beacon light for safety. We talked about cross the extreme hot California desert. He told me he would most likely do it at night. I crossed interstate I-40 last night in my RV and experienced temps around 100f at 9:00 pm. It was 111F around 8:00pm.
Please let me know if I can help in anyway.
Day 130 ~ As Keoni headed out on his 25 miles walk to Peach Springs, AZ he was surprised by his dear friend Leahi and friends. There's nothing like seeing a familiar face... especially Leahi's!!! She was there for Keoni at the beginning of his journey and again when the end is in sight!!! Talk about true friendship... Thank you Leahi for ALWAYS being there for Keoni, through thick and thin... we love you so much.
After a couple hours of catching up, the ladies were back on the road... traveling east to New York for college. Keoni settled into camp and toured the Grand Canyon Caverns... he said it was "awesome".
Day 131 ~ After walking 38 miles in 100 degree heat, Keoni was rescued by one of Jeff's friends from High School. Nadine greeted Keoni in Kingman, AZ with a cold Propel, which he guzzled down. Then she took him to dinner, went to the store to pick up some salt tablets for the desert, cool shower and cozy bed. That's what Keoni calls a full day ending on a happy note!!! Thank you Nadine for your many gifts... Keoni, Jeff and I are beyond grateful.... You are officially Keoni's Arizona Trail Angel.