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We plan our lives in long, unbroken stretches that intersect our dreams the way highways connect the city dots on a road map. But in the end we learn that life is lived in the side roads, alleys, and detours.
Alan Christoffersen's diary
My name is Alan Christoffersen and this is the second journal of my walk. I'm writing from a hospital room in Spokane, Washington. I'm not sure how you came to be holding my book—truthfully, I don't even know if you are—but if you're reading my story, welcome to my journey.
You don't know much about me. I'm a thirty-two-year-old former advertising executive, and sixteen days ago I walked away from my home in Bridle Trails, Seattle, leaving everything behind, which, frankly, wasn't much by the time I started my trek. I'm walking to Key West, Florida—that's about 3,500 miles, give or take a few steps.
Before my life imploded, I was, as one of my clients put it, "the poster child for the American dream"—a happily married, successful advertising executive with a gorgeous wife (McKale), a thriving advertising agency with a wall of awards and accolades, and a $2 million home with horse property and two luxury cars parked in the garage.
Then the universe switched the tracks beneath me, and in just five weeks I lost it all. My slide began when McKale broke her neck in a horse-riding accident. Four weeks later she died of complications. While I was caring for her in the hospital, my clients were stolen by my partner, Kyle Craig, and my financial world collapsed, leading to the foreclosure of my home and repossession of my cars.
With my wife, business, house, and cars gone, I packed up what I needed to survive and started my walk to Key West.
I'm not trying to set any records or wind up in any newspapers. I'm certainly not the first to cross the continent by foot; I'm at least a century too late for that. In fact, the first attempt was made more than two hundred years ago by a man named John Ledyard, who planned to walk across Siberia, ride a Russian fur-trade vessel across the ocean to (what is now) Alaska, and then walk the rest of the way to Washington, D.C., where Thomas Jefferson would warmly greet him. Such are the plans of men. Ledyard only made it as far as Siberia, where Russian Empress, Catherine the Great, had him arrested and sent to Poland.
Since then, no less than a few thousand pioneers, prospectors, and mountainmen have crossed the continent without air-cushioned walking shoes, paved roads, or, unbelievably, a single McDonald's.
Even in our day there is a sizable list of countrycrossers, including an eighty-nine-year-old woman who walked from California to Washington, D.C., and a New Jersey man who ran from New Brunswick to San Francisco in exactly sixty days.
Nearly all of these travelers carried causes with them, from political reform to childhood obesity. Not me. The only torch I'm carrying is the one for my wife.
From MILES TO GO by Richard Paul Evans
Copyright © 2011 Richard Paul Evans
Join Richard Paul Evans on the physical and spiritual odyssey of Alan Christoffersen, who lost everything—including his beloved wife—all at the same time.
The first step in Alan’s journey was The Walk, where he decided to walk from his home in Bellevue, Washington to Key West, Florida. The second is Miles to Go , where he meets Angel, a stranger who cares for him after he is seriously injured. Alan knows Angel is special because his deceased wife told him in a dream that he wouldn’t die—and he would meet Angel! But what causes the sadness in Angel’s eyes, and can Alan help her heal spiritually the way she’s caring for his physical wounds?
Alan’s journey is a metaphor for the tragedies we all endure—and how we respond to them.
Large Print Hardcover Book : 528 pages
Publisher: Simon And Schuster, Inc. ( April 05, 2011 )
Item #: 13-390000
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 x 1.04inches
Product Weight: 19.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)