Sunday, January 20, 2013

An article about my hike for Salon.com

Today, an article I wrote printed in Salon.com. It's an overview of my hike from the beginning until I reached Albion, Nebraska, which was a turning point in many ways.

 

16 comments:

Charles Clayton said...

Great article! I'll bet it will add greatly to your readership. I know I'll be checking this blog daily! Keep up the excellent work.

Michael said...

Great article! When you're on Oprah I hope you're wearing a sweater that says "All I need is this effing Sweater!"

Anthony Funari said...

I just read your article in Salon.com. Simply an amazing peace, blending together the voices of Thoreau, Abbey, and McKibben. I teach an environmental unit in Comp II course that looks at the controversy surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline and will certainly assign your blog as required reading.

gar said...

Mahatma Gandhi would be impressed. Good luck on the rest of your journey.

monikernc said...

Thank you so much for the salon article - well written. it's the blog, only 'prosier', more objective and journalistic...advantages to both styles and i enjoy them each for their own merits. i have tweeted the link to @billmckibben in hopes he will retweet it to all who follow him.
so happy for you that OK is behind you and hoping that national forests in TX are in your path and they provide great camping for you on some of the final legs of this fantastic journey.
is there any chance you will walk back to alberta so we can keep reading?
stay safe, have fun, remember all of us who wait anxiously and eagerly for each and every post...

Joe said...

Thank you for telling the story of the "cultural" and material poverty of the Oklahoma rural lands who have missed out on the 20th and are on their way to doing so in the 21ist century. All that oil only enriched the oil giants while destroying their environment and leaving them poorer. You would think people like that would be up in arms against the Keystone pipeline; but they buy the corporate probaganda.

Anonymous said...

i found this and thought this might help you to consider the cow a friendly creature... http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/07/cows-best-friends

Eileen Smith Le Van said...

Ken, I just discovered your story. God bless you for caring so deeply about our planet- our homr and the future home of generations to come. I admire and honor your willingness to face such difficulties and hardship for what you believe. You will be in my daily prayers as you complete your journey, and I will more actively advocate for the defeat of the pipeline. If you're ever in Pennsylvanis, you're welcome in my church and my home anytime! Pr. Eileen Smith LeVan

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken! Just read your article on Salon. For people like me who are not as educated as yourself on this subject, what books can you recommend? Also, more importantly, what can we do to oppose the XL Pipeline? Hopefully you are working on a follow up article that outlines what steps we can take to make sure that the pipeline is not approved.

Wolverine said...

What an amazing journey! This is the kind of hiking I DREAM of doing! May I have your permission to link your blog to mine? Check me out at: wolverinehikesmichigan.blogspot.com

Beren said...

Just read your article on Salon, and figured I'd stop by and check out your blog. I'm immensely impressed by what you're doing, and equally impressed with how well written your article and blog posts are. I'm embarrassed to admit that I wasn't aware of the XL pipeline until reading your article (shows just how "in the loop" I am). I appreciated your perspective on the issue and plan to read more about it. On a separate note, I find adventure stories like your cross-country hike fascinating, and I've wanted to do something similar for a long time. Unfortunately, I don't think my wife would be too keen on the idea. Stay safe and I'm looking forward to reading more of your story.

stevevdodd said...

I just found out about you as a result of your Salon article. I intend to be a regular follower.

Anonymous said...

A NYT article on the Nebraska pipeline decision led me to Google, which offered up your Salon article, which led me to your wonderful blog and several hours of satisfied reading. I spent many years in Kansas and have travelled through NE and OK, but never on foot. Your travelogue provides valuable insight into Midwest culture. I appreciate your passion and your writing and your grounded adventure. I'm more educated about the pipeline and about humanity from having read your blog and the comment section. And I look forward to the day I will read your first novel, as this sort of rich life experience begs to inform that art form. Thank you. ~ A Fan

issy said...

An interesting story and incredible journey.  I just read this blog from the beginning of your trip.  I thought the comments themselves to be an interesting "voice" of humanity - from love & affection to anger & pettiness.  It just continues my belief in the natural goodness and full-heartedness of people.  Even the seemingly grumpiest of us can crack a smile on occasion.

My husband and I sold our home, purchased a comfy fifth-wheel trailer, and have been on the road since October of 2010. We are photographers and want to capture this wonderful world in all its beauty. We, too, have found people to be kind, open-hearted, and wanting to talk. It is disconcerting to not get a wave back as we pass some people along the way. I just try to imagine that they have something other than a stranger passing by on their mind. I am constantly made "re-aware" that every single one of those people that we meet and that we don't meet have a full life, too. They have friends or they don't, they have cousins and brothers and sisters, they have funny stories (never laughed so hard sometimes!), and they are all, every one, just trying to figure it out as they go along. As Dory, in Finding Nemo said, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming." Or, in your case, Ken, just keep walking and keep on smilin'!

issy said...

An interesting story and incredible journey.  I just read this blog from the beginning of your trip.  I thought the comments themselves to be an interesting "voice" of humanity - from love & affection to anger & pettiness.  It just continues my belief in the natural goodness and full-heartedness of people.  Even the seemingly grumpiest of us can crack a smile on occasion.

My husband and I sold our home, purchased a comfy fifth-wheel trailer, and have been on the road since October of 2010. We are photographers and want to capture this wonderful world in all its beauty. We, too, have found people to be kind, open-hearted, and wanting to talk. It is disconcerting to not get a wave back as we pass some people along the way. I just try to imagine that they have something other than a stranger passing by on their mind. I am constantly made "re-aware" that every single one of those people that we meet and that we don't meet have a full life, too. They have friends or they don't, they have cousins and brothers and sisters, they have funny stories (never laughed so hard sometimes!), and they are all, every one, just trying to figure it out as they go along. As Dory, in Finding Nemo said, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming." Or, in your case, Ken, just keep walking and keep on smilin'!

Anonymous said...


Peabody Pete,

I did read the article that you wrote for Salon.com and appreciate learning about more background on the reason for your Keystone XL journey.

As of January 22, 2013, the Governor of Nebraska signed an agreement with TransCanada to allow them to bury their Phase 4 Keystone XL pipeline using their " revised " route that will take the pipe through a " less provocative " part of Nebraska, which avoids the Sand Hills region, but still crosses the huge Ogallala aquifer. I don't know what route TransCanada will take, because the Sand Hills region covers over 1/4th of the land mass of Nebraska taking in the north central and western part of the state. 1/4th of Nebraska is ALL Sand Hills. It is very sparsely populated, so there are not very many people being effected. I assume that the route you walked across the Ogallala aquifer in Nebraska will be changed by TransCanada somehow... maybe a little further to the east.

Even though Nebraska's Governor has okayed the building of the pipeline, there are way too many unanswered questions about the potential and actual environmental damage that will be done to this sensitive Sand Hills type landscape. The Nebraska portion of the Keystone XL might still be contested, but the forces of progress seem to have the upper hand.

This is either a political compromise for the common good at best OR the forcing of a Canadian oil company's wants onto the American public at worst.

Meanwhile, we are learning that President Obama actually DID already give the okay for TransCanada back in March of 2012 to extend their Keystone XL pipeline south from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf coast of Texas.

You already reported this as a fact. TransCanada is laying pipe as fast as it can through Oklahoma into Texas.

Why did President Obama do that ? Obama has the facts at his disposal. He is sitting in the Catbird seat. He sees ALL. What he decides is what is best for the common good and not just for the few...right ?

The TransCanada corporation is very sophisticated at using local laws and politics to ram their projects through. They decided to divide the Keystone XL pipeline into two parts to make it more palatable to the American public.

The northern part, the so called Phase 4, crosses the International border between the US and Canada. Crossing the International border requires lots of national discussion and the okay of President Obama via our State Department to even start working on it. However, TransCanada is working this political chess game from ALL sides. Nebraska is a tough sell. TransCanada has it's own spin on the issue. Maybe, they can razzle dazzle until the Americans don't know if they are coming or going. Then, BOOM, the multinational corporation goes in for the easy layup, eh ?

Meanwhile, the southern part, the so called Phase 3, uses existing American pipeline companies, which TransCanada already owns, to merely extend existing pipelines, which means a lot less political scrutiny. Phase 3 was an easy layup with Obama giving that part his blessing. Phase 3 is where TransCanada was allowed to start laying a second massive oil pipe from Cushing, Oklahoma down to the Texas Gulf coast, but it has not forgotten about Phase 4.

I hope that you are avoiding the current strain of flu that is spreading all over America. Winter is not a good time to be out in the elements like you are. I have been suffering from the flu since November 6th of last year. I would not have survived being in the hinterland like you are right now. I really appreciate reading your blog from the warmth and safety of my own home.