Kindness Campaign: California Man Treks Across Country

By  | 

NEWPORT, Maine (WABI) - Nearly 5,000 miles walked and plenty more to go.

It's a challenge a California man has taken to spread love and kindness around the US.

Three years ago, 65-year-old Randy Montgomery hit the open road to begin his journey with a purpose. We caught up with him in Newport.

"My walk is not how fast I can go. It's how many people I can talk to."

It's all about people. The connections we make ultimately shape our lives.

For one California man, it's the people he hasn't met that inspire him to walk.

"Everyone has been so friendly towards me, unbelievable. People ask me what's the bad things that have happened to you. Huh? 4,400 miles. Not one thing."

Randy Montgomery left behind a longtime logging career in California to hit the open road, armed with a backpack and a mission.

"A friend came by and left a book at my house; I've got a book that you have to read. Halfway through the book, something happened. So I took off walking three years ago on July 1, 2014."

He was inspired to connect with people from all walks of life after reading "The Circle Maker" by Mark Batterson, which is about the power of prayer circles.

"I decided I was going to do one around the United States to create something good in society because God knows we could use something good."

The 14,500 mile walk around the perimeter of the US may sound daunting to most.

"Yeah there have been bumps."

Those bumps included a bout of pneumonia while traveling through Minnesota and suffering a hernia while in New York, which forced Montgomery to fly home to California for surgery.

But not even that could deter him from completing his mission.

"And the rewards are the kindness of people. It restores my faith."

Nearly 5,000 walked, all with 75 pounds of gear on his back.

Yet the smile on Montgomery's face never fades. The idea of meeting new people encourages him to keep going.

"You don't gotta put a backpack on to walk, just every day walk out of your house with the thought of greeting everyone you see."

"I've not walked by one person in three years that I did not say hi, how are you?
Not one person. And every car that drives by me, I wave at them."

"If it takes ten years, it's ten years of wow...the most incredible life."

So where does Montgomery go from here? Wherever the road takes him.

He traveled through Newport Wednesday and hopes to make it to Eastport.

Once he's completed his trip around the country, Montgomery says he hopes to sail around the world.