Henryetta Community Welcomes Hometown Hero Walking Across America
HENRYETTA, Oklahoma - Friday, Henryetta community members joined together and walked with a hometown hero as he returned home on his walk across America.
Ryan Ray started his 3,000-mile journey in Los Angeles, and in 92 days he’s walked over 1,400 miles. He hopes his walk will inspire others.
“Things that seem impossible can be done if you just take it one step at a time and don't give up," Ray said.
For this stop on his 3,000-mile journey from LA to New York, Ray has some company, like 9-year-old Phoenix McKay, the son of a supporter.
"You have to be really strong," Phoenix said.
With a police and fire truck escort, about two dozen people in town walked with him for about four miles to a celebration in his honor as he takes a break from literally Walking Across America.
When Ray started the adventure in February, his plan was to challenge himself. It's his life lesson, and one he hopes will inspire everyone.
"Finding the courage within yourself, and being brave and doing what your heart tells you to do. Your heart is speaking to you, we all have dreams," he said.
Since he took his first step, with 60 pounds on his back, he averages about 25 miles a day and walks ten days before taking a one day break.
"This is a departure from my comfort zone in every single sense of the word. Having said that, and despite that, this is one of the most rewarding, fulfilling experiences of my life. I've never done anything that has brought me so much joy," Ray said.
He said sleeping in a tent, battling bugs, walking through rain and heat for the experience has been worth it.
"You can live your life outside of the box, do something you love and just find joy in your life," Ray said.
He said the hardest part about his journey is finding somewhere to shower. His next stops will take him through Arkansas and Missouri, so he'll be looking for some kind people along the way.
You can keep up with Ray’s route and get volunteer information online.