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On the trail of another fat man walking August 31, 2006

Posted by Ron Warnick in People, Road trips.
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The Desert Dispatch of Barstow, Calif., caught up with Gary Long, who’s another obese man who’s walking Route 66 to lose weight.

On his first walking leg, he went from St. Louis to New York City. He lost about 80 pounds, and is down to 300. He’s now walking from Los Angeles to St. Louis. You can keep up with him at afatmansjourney.com.

Long told about a hair-raising experience in Ohio:

During his journey, Long has encountered a rattlesnake and a bear and has been covered in ticks and leeches, he said. One night on the first leg of his trip, he was in Ohio and had walked 20 miles that day. In the early evening, there was a flash flood, and he was soaked. He started to get cold, and hypothermia set in; the right side of his body went numb, and his legs started to give out.

Then, an older man and woman stopped their car and after talking to him handed him a key to their nearby cabin. If it weren’t for the cabin, Long said, “I would have died that night.”

Long was inspired by Steve Vaught of thefatmanwalking.com, who walked across America for the same reason as Long. It didn’t work as well as he’d hoped — he didn’t lose as much weight as anticipated, his marriage dissolved, and a book deal went bust. But in the past few days, Vaught wrote that he is preparing to walk across the globe and document his journey on his Web site more throughly. He’s planning on expanding the site’s offerings and use income from it to help support his family.

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