Utah man approaching the end of his ‘Walk America’ campaign in Lubec

Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 6:55 PM EST
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MILBRIDGE, Maine (WABI) - Driving around the state the last few weeks, you may have seen a man pushing a cart along the road, with a sign that says “You do you.” His name is Isaiah Shields, and he’s walking to Lubec to complete a journey that started in May of 2020.

His goal? To walk from the western most point in the U.S. to the eastern most point.

With just 60 miles left to go, the obvious question for Isaiah Shields is, “Why?”

Why walk from his home in Utah, to Cape Alva in Washington state, to the Quoddy Head Light House in Lubec, via Montana, Texas and Florida; pushing a cart full of supplies and sleeping in a tent, while going through twelve pairs of shoes?

“I wish there was a more concrete answer but honestly, it just sounded like fun,” Shields said. “Some people have ideas to restore an old Corvette in their garage. Some people have ideas to start a band with their buddies. I one day had the idea to just walk for a really long time. As far as why that would be something that sounds appealing to me? I just wanted to see a lot of places. I wanted to take a survey of what the human experience looks like, and see a lot of different lifestyles and come to a better understanding of what it really means to either be an American or be a person. I figured, what better way to do that than to just go everywhere at a pace where you can take it all in, and that was all there was to it.”

A lot can be learned on this kind of journey, including about oneself.

“You go to a job and you have to devote a lot of your best waking hours and energy to another task. A lot of those hours have been given back to me. So I’ve had a lot of time to sort of reflect upon what’s worth doing with a human life and what’s worth doing with my life, and so I have in a way become more aware of other people’s time and their generosity, and what my needs are and how that reflects on everyone else, and how privileged I am to be able to do this.”

Unfortunately for Isaiah, there is often a lot left to learn about the places he’s walked through.

“Everywhere I go has stories worth seeing and things worth reading about, but I am on foot and I’ve had to tear myself away from probably over a thousand cities and towns that deserve more time. I’m just trying to taste it all, and take it all in.”

Walking through Maine, Isaiah says he’s learned why Maine is unique, in a way most Mainers are already aware of.

“Maine, it’s just very authentic. There’s an authenticity here that you don’t see in a lot of places. The only people hanging out in Millbridge are its residents. You know, they don’t have to dress up for anybody.”

After approximately 8,500 miles on foot, Isaiah’s trip is almost over. He’s scheduled to finish up on November 13th in Lubec at sunrise, exactly eighteen months to the day from when it started.

“I’ve had a lot of dreams with putting my hand on that white and red, candy striped lighthouse. So it’ll be a pretty surreal moment to be there and actually be in Lubec, and I’m excited to see what it’s like.”

In the end, Isaiah says the biggest lesson he’s learned is one he hopes everyone can take away from his journey across the country, without walking even one mile in his shoes.

“The world is on a good trajectory. You can always find something terrible happening, but it’s doing well. We’re doing pretty okay.”

You can follow Isaiah’S incredible journey from its beginning to its end this weekend in Lubec by checking out Isaiah Glen Shields on Facebook.