theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

Local News

September 30, 2013

California man stops in Ada during mission to protest Keystone XL

(Continued)

Ada — Traveling alone

Before he began his journey, Harris spent two weeks visiting friends in California, Idaho, Colorado and Texas. His mother met him in Fort Worth, Texas, and she drove him to Houston so he could start his cross-country trek.

Harris is on the road six days a week, but he rests on the seventh day. He tries to walk at least 25 miles a day but doesn’t always reach that goal.

Sometimes he finds a campsite, and sometimes people put him up for the night. He carries some supplies  — bread, energy bars and other items — and some people have offered to feed him.

Harris travels alone, and he occasionally feels bored or lonely. As he walks, he thinks about his plans for the night or makes lists of what he should read next.

When Harris began his journey, he wore a sign announcing that he was a peace pilgrim. The sign drew people’s attention, but it did not lead to the kind of conversation that Harris had in mind.

Harris tried putting the sign on his cart, but that did not work either. So he gave up on the sign and relied on Twitter, blogs and word of mouth to promote his message.

Harris said he knows that his journey is unlikely to influence public opinion about the pipeline, but he will keep going despite doubts, shin splints and other problems.

“I say I’ll go until it’s just not right, but I keep waking up every day and the road still beckons,” he said. “So I’ll go until it doesn’t make sense, I think.”

People can follow Harris’ travels on Facebook or visit his blog, http://pipelinepilgrimage.wordpress.com.

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