You can join an Evansville man's journey across America by foot.
Mark Stutsman says he started his journey on Saturday in San Francisco, and he has three reasons why. To help himself, to help others, and to bring light to child sexual abuse.
From San Francisco, Mark says he will continue east to Yosemite National Park, where he will spend a week or two seeing all that he can. He'll then travel north to Sacramento and travel US 50 east to reach his destination, Ocean City, MD., six to nine months later.
Mark says he will walk an average of 20 miles a day carrying his 45 pound pack with all of his essentials of living. He will mostly sleep from his small one man tent in parks and off the side of the road. He says he'll eat meals that require no cooking, high in carbs and protein.
Mark says he had always wanted to walk America. So, what sparked this?
"I first read a book of four short stories by Stephen King under his pseudonym, Richard Bachman, when I was in 6th grade. One of the short stories was, A Long Walk, Stephen King's first novel, about an annual walking contest in a totalitarian America where young men walk competing against each other for their lives," Mark says.
The book struck a chord with Mark, and while he didn't necessarily want to walk to his death, he definitely wanted to push himself to the brink. He decided that now was the time to do the unthinkable.
The 36-year-old father of four says he's been facing a profound tragedy from 30 years before. Mark says he was sexually abused as a young 6-7 year old boy, and just in the recent months has that occurrence come back to haunt him.
He says facing all the emotions that he didn't as a kid was a major driving force in wanting to escape and face his demons out on the road.
"At first, I had planned on just leaving. No updates, websites or anything like that. Then the more planning I did, I knew I could possibly do some good. So I have partnered with Darkness to Light, a nonprofit dedicated to shedding light on and preventing child sexual abuse. I have a donate tab on my website and Facebook for those that would like to donate to the cause," Mark says.
He will also be posting updates, pictures and stories of his adventure on the sites.
Marks says he's also walking for those who need encouragement. He asks that if you have a person who could use the encouragement and would like Mark to walk a day in their support or memory, to use his website or Facebook to nominate them.
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