New Yorker makes trek, relies on kindness of strangers

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -  It may not be the most glamorous way to travel, but for Garth Poorman, it's the only way.

"At night, it's very communal, because I get the chance to meet new people and spend time with family," he explained.

The New Yorker, 36, quit his job and started his walk four months ago.  He set out from his hometown of West Hebron, NY, en route to New Orleans.  That's a lot of time on foot.  Poorman has gone through three pairs of shoes.

"This will be the last pair, and this will last me to New Orleans," he said, pointing out his new hiking books.

The trip spans more than 1,500 miles.  He walks up to 20 miles per day.  Poorman, the son of a pastor, says the trek is about more than just getting there.

"I just got really interested in whether or not I could walk halfway across country and do it solely relying on the hospitality of friends and strangers," he explained.

That hospitality includes a hot meal and a place to sleep nearly every night--not to mention feeling at home with people who just want to help.

The Snipes family of Tuskegee are the 80th group to take Poorman in so far.

"You give all the time -- you're supposed to give all the time. You're supposed to love everybody. You really do. You're supposed to love everybody," said Helen Snipes of Tuskegee.

Poorman chronicles his travels online and snaps pictures with hosts along the way.

"When you're out and you're walking and you're vulnerable, to know you have a place to stay--it's just a wonderful feeling," Poorman said.

Poorman will be walking through Montgomery Friday, and he's always looking for hosts.

If you'd like to help him on his journey, give him a call at (646) 706-6812 or check out his website.

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