JAMES LEITNER recently passed through Shiawassee County during his cross-country backpacking trek to raise awareness for the worldwide struggle for clean water. Leitner’s journey, named “Walk Across the USA,” began in New Jersey on Wednesday, May 17 and should wrap up in San Francisco sometime in October. Leitner will walk 3,215 miles on his way to San Francisco while carting 10 gallons of water, which is meant to represent the daily struggle of the approximately 800 million people around the world who do not have access to clean water.
The watershed technician, who most recently lived in West Virginia, has been averaging 27 to 28 miles walked per day, and has spent his nights camping and staying in the occasional hotel. He has also utilized apps like Couchsurfing and Warmshowers to find local places to stay along his route. Leitner reports that Shiawassee County residents were “very friendly” as he made his journey through the southern portion of the county in mid-June.
Anyone interested in following Leitner’s journey can log onto www.missioncleanwater.com, where persons can sign up for a newsletter and donate to the cause.