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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Men Walking Across United States Pass Through San Francisco

Posted By on Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 2:51 PM

click to enlarge Will these four men become as famous as Forrest?
  • Will these four men become as famous as Forrest?

Four magicians have set out to walk nearly 3,000 miles across the United States -- from San Francisco to New York City.

And their reasoning is not much different from Forrest Gump's: Because they felt like it.

SF Weekly spoke to the crew via phone on Thursday as they walked down El Camino Real through San Mateo, carrying 50-pound packs and pushing a shopping cart; they are on their way to Yosemite.

"Nobody believed we were serious," said 28-year-old Edwin Bond. "But as soon as we started people offered to help or contribute in any way they could."

So we ask what kind of people would want to make that trek and why?

Well, the Hawaii natives tell us they were all street performers -- magicians, jugglers, and balloon artists, whose careers came to an end when the government in Waikiki bulldozed the streets where they performed.

The crew -- which includes Bond, Michael Nelsen, Bulla Lepen, and Arthur Stout -- got together and decided to take their magic on the road. And since none of them had seen all of the United States, they came up with this ambitious goal to walk across the nation to showcase their street performance, and document it along the way. Once they get to New York, they plan to turn it into a television series.

They start everyday at  6 a.m. and hike about 20 miles before stopping to camp for the night. As they passed through San Francisco on Tuesday and Wednesday, they captured footage of what they thought reflected true San Francisco -- street performers on Fisherman's Wharf and green businesses involved in sustainability.

Part of their trip is political. As they travel from town to town, they are talking to locals and documenting the current events happening. While they passed through Burlingame on Thursday, the men learned about the tired battle over high speed rail in San Mateo County

"There is so much to do and so much to see," Bond tells us. "Right now, I'm looking at a Mr. Pickle's sandwich shop and I'd love to check it out but there really isn't time -- we have to stay focused."

Crossing through towns and cities will be entertaining; But the excitment will end as the group makes its way through Yellowstone and the Appalachian Trails. As they head north, a large chunk of the trek will be along quiet back roads and desolate trails, which means they will have to stock up on food and water.

Already, the former military men are suffering from blisters and slight exhaustion; one of them wanted to stop and travel the rest of the way by car. But they are pushing through for now.

"He was really tired and he wasn't prepared," Bond said. "He just wanted to come along with us to lose weight."

You can keep up with their journey here.

Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF 

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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