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Jordan Dibb checks in from the road

Jordan Dibb is pictured early on his journey to Miami.

According to the official Facebook page of I Walk for Love, the group Jordan Dibb formed for his fundraising walk from Minneapolis to Miami, as of Friday night the Farmington High School graduate had taken 530,900 steps and walked 287 miles in 13 days. He's still got a long way to go and a lot of money to raise to hit his goal of $100,000 for relief efforts in Haiti. But he took some time on the second of his weekly rest days -- in Madison, Wis. -- to check in and let us know how things are going.

The trip has been great so far! I had no idea I'd meet so many great people on this trip! I was nervous when I left that I may not get the same kind of support as I was getting from my home towns as I would from other towns, but so far the majority of them have been very positive and supportive!

Physically, I got my butt handed to me the first few days. You kind of forget that along with walking 24-plus miles every day, you're strapping on a 40-pound pack. My feet were swollen and a pinky toenail fell off. It's gotten easier, but at the end of the day, after walking, my body is tired and I can't even imagine taking another step. But somehow in the morning I'm always ready to go!

The lowlight: One day, a week into my walk, I had walked 28 miles through 80-degree sun all day and came into a small Wisconsin town where I had cabin reservations for the night. When I got there at 7:30 p.m., my reservations were no longer there and there weren't any cabins left. I wandered around the small town asking the residents if they'd mind me camping out in there backyard for the night. I gave them my card and told them my story, but no one trusted me or my story. Then a cop drove up and told me I had to turn around and "go back where I came from." He didn't care about my "walk across America" or the fact I had business cards that had my name and cause on them.

He said he only cared about getting me out of his town. I told him that I wouldn't speak to anyone and just continue along my way. He said "absolutely not." I was tired, bruised and my shoes were stained red by the blood from my feet. I had given up and decided that if no cares about this "stupid walk," I don't understand why I do either. I started to dig through my pack for my phone to call home and get picked up. Only then did I find a photo that a young girl had given me a day before I left, buried deep in my pack. The photo was of her birth mother who lives in Haiti. She hasn't heard from her mother since the quakes and asked me that when I get to Haiti, would I pass around the photo and look for her. I had told her "absolutely." The moment I saw that picture my strength came back to me and I buckled up my pack. I put on my meanest face and told the officer he would have to arrest me, because I was going to continue through town and towards my destination: Haiti. It was a showdown that John Wayne would've been jealous of, as we stared angrily into each other's eyes and a tumbleweed rolled past. He must have known I meant business cause he stepped aside and I limped past. And somehow, that was my trip's highlight as well. The sense of purpose and determination was the best feeling I've ever experienced, and I'm not letting anyone take that away from me!

So I'm still very much geared up about the walk and raising the donations! I'm really just focused now on spreading the word even more and getting those donations in! $1! Thats all I'm asking for. If you can't part with a single dollar.... Well, I don't even know what to tell you...

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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