PEORIA — Dean Troutman saved the most important and longest trek for his past as the 90-12 months-previous Princeville guy strategies to wander close to 10 miles a working day for the future calendar year to raise revenue for St. Jude Kid’s Clinic.
And if all goes right, he’ll stop up in North Carolina this slide, Texas this wintertime and dwelling by about midsummer 2022. But there are no promises.
“There are no guarantees,” he said while resting in Eureka, four times into his vacation. He’s being at firehouses, churches and other locations if he can together the way. If not, he’ll camp out beneath the stars. “I’m well prepared for this, to be long gone for a calendar year, but I may well not get out of Illinois. Who appreciates?
“Some of these previous human body sections could give out, and when they do, I have to stop,” he said with a chuckle.
But his purpose is to wander around 3,500 miles from final Saturday till next July to raise revenue for St. Jude Kid’s Medical center. His Facebook webpage states, “His aspiration is for every person to donate $36 which accounts for a penny a mile.”
To donate, go to his web page, www.troutmantrek.com. Individuals donations, he mentioned, are key to his achievements.
“It is really likely to depend upon my wellbeing and the donations. If they retain sending their cash to St. Jude, then I will maintain going for walks,” he reported.
Troutman has been getting these prolonged treks for a long time. On his first fundraising trek, a 700-mile jaunt all around Illinois in 2015, he raised $70,000 for Troutman Park in Princeville, named in honor of his late spouse, Peg. He walked from Memphis to Princeville a 12 months afterwards, boosting $10,000 for St. Jude.
Then in 2017, he tried an 80-working day, 1,200-mile trek from south Texas back property to Princeville, but a knee injury sidelined him just three days into the journey. His sister lives down there, and he hopes he would make it to her dwelling this time around, in February.
His granddaughter, Carrie Christ, who lives in Cincinnati, is proud of her grandpa but also kind of nervous for him.
“To be trustworthy, I undoubtedly fret about him but know that a little something like this gives him goal. When my grandma passed absent, he desired something,” she explained. “He’s been a supporter of St. Jude for many years and years, so it just appeared organic (to him) to increase money for them. As soon as once again, these walks give him reason.
“He really enjoys assembly new persons, listening to their tales and telling his,” Christ reported. “I fret, but I know that if it receives to be as well challenging (healthwise), he’s promised that he would end and be content with no matter what he’s attained.”
The route he selected – which is about a major oval about the southeastern part of the United States – is by layout. The North Carolina halt in October is to attend the yearly Troutman family members reunion in Troutman, N.C.
“So I imagined that if I still left in this article in July, then I could arrive at the first of October,” he reported.
The shift farther south is to steer clear of the wintertime chilly, he claimed, introducing, “I have to go a means west to use up the winter, so I figured I’d go to see my sister in Victoria, Texas.
“I should really be there by the middle to conclusion of February,” he claimed. “Then, I’ll start again dwelling.”
He bought maps for each and every state, plotted out his system and saw where by the towns and the streets ended up. He plans to keep in firehouses, churches, metropolis buildings or, at times, outside if he cannot organize everything.
His trademark yellow “buggy,” as he calls it, has a sleeping bag, foods, at least four pairs of shoes, clothing and other essentials.
He walks as significantly as the day allows. Sometimes it is only a few miles, like seven or eight. Other times, he’ll go about 20 or 30. He carries a sandwich with him and a couple treats. He drinks only h2o and a glass of orange juice every morning. And for people who need to have their every day cup of joe in the early morning, Troutman forgoes that on these visits.
Most of the time, he walks by itself, but he has a GPS tracker on his cell phone so folks can preserve up with his progress and know where he is. Christ hopes to strike the street with him when he hits Ohio.
“I reside in Cincinnati and will be going for walks with him, for a working day, when he arrives close by,” she said. “I can not wait around to satisfy up with him for the reason that I haven’t been again to Princeville in a whilst because of COVID.
“I typically go residence for the once-a-year 5K for Troutman Park, and I operate/stroll with my grandpa,” Christ said.
When he’s carried out walks for several years, Troutman said this is it. He is carried out following this. He hopes to finish the complete calendar year, but irrespective of what comes about, he’ll be content with how it turns out.
“I am heading to go as significantly as I can go,” he explained. “I’m not indicating how much I’m heading, but I am going to go as much and as extensive as I can.”