Man walks across America, stops in Lewisburg - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Man walks across America, stops in Lewisburg

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LEWISBURG, W. Va (WVVA)--Bill Fairbanks is on a journey that's far from over.

He's walking across America. And the roads took him right to Lewisburg in Greenbrier County.

"I've always found walking to be very relaxing," he said.

At 75 years old, Fairbanks says this proves he's still got it.  "My doctor told me I'd probably fail at retirement," he said. He commented that he's noticed his health improved since he started the trek.

He started back in July 2009 after retiring from teaching Anthropology at a California community college. He and his wife Carole have not been counting the miles. 

"We just go where we want and do what we want," she told WVVA, "And that's what makes it fun."

Carole drives as Bill walks. 

"If I can get cell phone service," Bill said, "I will call her and tell her to come get me if I want to stop early."

Otherwise, Carole picks him up when his day is done, and takes him back to a hotel where they stay for a few days as he makes his way past the area. In the morning, she drops him back where he left off the day before. While he walks, she knits, or goes shopping, she confessed. She is a talented quilter.

The couple has used this trip to visit relatives they haven't seen in years due to distance, meet up with old friends, and tour the country. They have met people who enriched their lives along the way, too. These people often convince him to change his route.

"If someone recommends something to me, I might detour to see it," Bill said.

Fairbanks says he takes breaks for holidays, conferences, and injury-- he gashed his foot recently and had to wait for doctor approval before returning to the streets of America.

But aside from all of that, bad weather and even high elevation don't intimidate him, said Fairbanks. He has walked over the Rockies, across bridges over iconic American rivers, through thunderstorms and deserts. "The only thing I might do is take shelter during tornado warnings," he said, "That's about it."

If you see him on the streets of West Virginia, feel free to say hi. But he won't be here much longer-- Bill and Carole are headed into Virginia and up toward Richmond next before they make their way up to their final destination on the trip: Massachusetts.  

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