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Walk Across Mass 2006

In the fall of 2006 I set out to walk across Massachusetts. At first it wasn’t a political cause. I was living in Cambridge, had broken up with a girlfriend, and was having trouble finding a job. I had grown up a Boy Scout and an Eagle Scout and wanted to get back to camping and hiking and nature, something I had precious little opportunity to do since moving to the city. I felt like I needed to hit the “reset” button.

I started out on the New York border in Williamstown and walked to North Adams and Charlemont along Route 2. On the tird night, I was staying with a family in Buckland. It was a solidly middle-class couple and, as I’d seen the election signs on front lawns during my trek, the conversation turned to the upcoming gubernatorial election. That night, while lying in my tent, I began to think what would it be like if I asked people who I met while I was walking if they could write something to the soon-to-be elected governor, whoever it would be? The next morning I found a cheap spiral-bound notebook and carried it with me. I never thought it would work until I got my very first message.. then another, then another, and another. By the time I reached Provincetown in the last weekend of October, I had over two hundred messages from across the state.

With the assistance of my State Senator, Ed Augustus, I had the honor of meeting Gov Deval Patrick shortly after his inauguration in January 2007. After that meeting I began to ponder the feasibility if walking across the entire country.

You can see more information from the 2006 walk, and all the messages, here.

Deval Patrick BJ Hill

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