The Walk

On August 18, 1999, Richard Nathan set out walking from Guysborough in Nova Scotia. On May 14, 2000, nine months and 4,000 miles later, he arrived in Barra del Tordo, a tiny fishing village in Tamaulipas, on the Gulf of Mexico.

Nathan’s journey was in part a personal odyssey, plumbing the depths of his physical and emotional strengths. It was in part the journey of an expatriate Englishmen in search of America, specifically the eastern seaboard of America, with its rich history stretching back hundreds of years. It was also the result of a remarkable story involving a group of English sailors marooned in Mexico in 1568. Three of these men walked 4,000 miles from Tamaulipas to Nova Scotia. Taking their achievement as his inspiration, Nathan made a similar journey in reverse. (See Historical Background)

In between Nova Scotia in Canada and Tamaulipas in Mexico, Nathan walked for 3,300 miles, through eighteen US states: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.

In Rye Beach, New Hampshire, Nathan was joined by Ulises, his faithful springer spaniel companion.

Some Images from the Walk

New England: Ulises gets into the Halloween spirit.

New York: Ulises enjoys the view from the top of Bald Mountain, the highlight of our strenuous stint on the Hudson Valley stretch of the Appalachian Trail.

Pennsylvania: Ulises stands outside the building where Abraham Lincoln made his famous Gettysburg Address. (Who’s that other guy?)

Virginia: “There lies Ulises like a rag doll!” Ulises takes a breather after walking the Manasass battlefield, at the exact spot where Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson acquired his famous sobriquet. 

North Carolina: Ulises climbs the 257 stairs of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. During the summer of 1999, America’s tallest lighthouse was moved to protect it from the Atlantic gales. It was closed to the public until April, 200, but Ulises and I enjoyed a special tour, courtesy of the friendly rangers at the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse National Park. 

South Carolina: Ulises decides he needs a break from walking and takes a carriage ride in the beautiful, historic town of Beaufort (pronounced ‘Bew-fut.’) 

Florida: Florida is blessed with some of America’s most gorgeous beaches, both on the Atlantic coast and along the Gulf of Mexico. Ulises enjoys the soft sand on Amelia Island, just a few miles north of Jacksonville.

Texas: Things started to get very hot and sticky once we got to South Texas. Even Ulises had to get himself a Texas hat!

Tamaulipas: This strikingly unimpressive orange globe marks the spot where Mexico’s Highway 180 is crossed by the Tropic of Cancer. The tropical zone begins about 200 miles south of the border at Brownsville, Texas, and about 80 miles north of our destination, Barra del Tordo. 

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