Two months after he started in Minnesota, Jamie Buckley stopped in the Quad Cities this week to talk about his experiences. Buckley says the biggest challenge so far has been the weather — high winds and heavy rain.
“Up at Crow Wing State Park outside of Brainerd, Minnesota, we got about six inches of rain there one night and it was like somebody was throwing buckets of water at the side of my tent,” Buckley says. “It was no fun.” Several years ago, having never hiked or camped, Buckley hiked the Appalachian Trail, then the Pacific Crest Trail. Now, with very little prior kayaking experience, he’s taking on the Mississippi. With two months still to go, Buckley says his trip has been a humbling experience that’s changed his life.
“You realize what things in life you have taken for granted, a hot shower, water coming out of a spigot, a bed,” Buckley says. “It’s the simple things in life we take for granted and it’s the simple things in life that put a smile on your face.” He’s talked about the International Rotary’s “End Polio Now” campaign at seven clubs so far and will probably meet with at least eight more before reaching the Gulf of Mexico.
He aims to see the gulf by October 24th, which is World Polio Day.
(By Herb Trix, WVIK, Rock Island)