Holden school teacher hikes across Massachusetts to collect residents’ messages for the next governor
BJ Hill, an elementary school teacher from Holden, is walking across Massachusetts to ask residents he meets along the way to write their personal message for the next governor of Massachusetts. He will collect the notes in a journal and hand-deliver them to the winner of November’s election.
Mr Hill will start out from the New York border on Wednesday, July 4th and finish at the tip of Cape Cod on Thursday, July 26th. His 250-mile journey brings him along Routes 2, 9, 140, 28, and 6A from Williamstown, through the communities of North Adams, Northampton, Worcester, Wrentham, Wareham, Brewster, until reaching Provincetown.
He says he first got the idea to do the walk because of a disconnect between elected leaders and their constituents. “Once someone is elected into office, there are more demands and they get busy. It’s easy to become insulated within the 128 beltway. Collecting messages into a book is tangible way to connect the governor to folks in places like Florida, Leicester, and Hopedale.”
Mr Hill, 41, says he is an Independent who regularly follows politics. “I’m not walking to support any candidate or cause. I try to stay as unbiased as possible. I don’t edit or censor the messages. People can write whatever they feel is important to them, their families, or their communities, and know that their words will get in the governor’s hands.”
This is Mr Hill’s third trip across the Commonwealth. He walked similar routes for the same cause in 2006 and 2014. In 2008 he hiked from the Golden Gate Bridge to Copley Square to collect people’s thoughts, comments, and ideas for the next president. At an invitation from the White House, in 2011 he walked from Boston to Washington, D.C. to present those books to President Obama during a one-on-one meeting in the Oval Office.
“My last two treks across Massachusetts have been in autumn, when it’s much more comfortable to walk. My biggest challenge is staying hydrated and pacing myself to cover 15 to 20 miles a day in the heat and humidity.”
Mr Hill is looking for places where people meet and gather, like libraries, campuses, coffee shops, social service agencies, and political or civic groups, around the state to visit and collect messages for the governor. For more information, or to meet up with Mr Hill to give him your message, email email@example.com, tweet @WalkAcrossMass, or see Www.WalkAcrossMass.com .
Day# / Date / Start / Walk Along… / End in … / (Day’s Distance)
Day 01: Wed. July 04th Start in… NY-MA border / walk along… Rt. 2 / End in … N. Adams (10 miles)
Day 02: Thu. July 05th Start in… N. Adams / walk along… Rt. 2 / End in … Charlemont (18 miles)
Day 03: Fri. July 06th Start in… Charlemont / walk along… Rt. 2 / End in … Shelbourne Falls (8 miles)
Day 04: Sat. July 07th Start in… Shelbourne Falls / walk along… Rt. 116 / End in … Whately (15 miles)
Day 05: Sun. July 08th Start in… Whately / walk along… US 5 / End in … Northampton (9 miles)
Day 06: Mon. July 09th Start in… Northampton / walk along… Rt 9 – Rail Trail / End in … Amherst (8 miles)
Day 07: Tue. July 10th Start in… Amherst / walk along… Rt 9 / End in … Ware (19 miles)
Day 08: Wed. July 11th Start in… Ware / walk along… Rt 9 / End in … W. Brookfield (7 miles)
Day 09: Thu. July 12th Start in… W. Brookfield / walk along… Rt 9 / End in … Leicester (14 miles)
Day 10: Fri. July 13th Start in… Leicester / walk along… Rt. 9 / End in … Worcester (6 miles)
Day 11: Sat. July 14th Start in… DAY OFF / WEDDING 0 miles
Day 12: Sun. July 15th Start in… DAY OFF 0 miles
Day 13: Mon. July 16th Start in… Worcester / walk along… Rt. 122 / End in … Grafton (8 miles)
Day 14: Tue. July 17th Start in… Grafton / walk along… Rt. 140 / End in … Mendon (11 miles)
Day 15: Wed. July 18th Start in… Mendon / walk along… Rt. 140 / End in … Wrentham (13 miles)
Day 16: Thu. July 19th Start in… Wrentham / walk along… Rt. 140 / End in … Norton (12 miles)
Day 17: Fri. July 20th Start in… Norton / walk along… Rt. 44 / End in … W. Middleborough (18 miles)
Day 18: Sat. July 21st Start in… W. Middleborough / walk along… Rt. 28 / End in … Wareham (14 miles)
Day 19: Sun. July 22nd Start in… Wareham / walk along… Rts. 6 and 6A / End in … Sandwich (15 miles)
Day 20: Mon. July 23rd Start in… Sandwich / walk along… Route 6A / End in … Barnestable (12 miles)
Day 21: Tue. July 24th Start in… Barnestable / walk along… Route 6A – Rail Trail / End in … Orleans (19 miles)
Day 22: Wed. July 25th Start in… Orleans / walk along… Route 6 / End in … Provincetown (25 miles)
Day 23 Thu. July 26th Start in… Provincetown / walk along… Breakers / End in … Long Point Lighthouse (3 miles)