Man crossing U.S. barefoot stops to visit grandparents in Kennett, Mo.

Monday, October 27, 2008

KENNETT, Mo. — Dashiel Alsup, 19, of Coaldale, Colo., recently took a short break from walking across the country barefoot to spend some time with his grandparents in

Kennett.

Alsup is making the trek in an effort to raise awareness for

Soles4Souls, an organization seeking donations of shoes to aid people around the world.

Alsup left Ocean Shores, Wash., on May 2. About 2,600 miles later, he stopped by the house of Orville and Sybil Alsup for a week-long break. He is traveling to Jacksonville, Fla.

Alsup said he is averaging 20 to 25 miles per day. He uses mile markers to keep track of his progress.

"I stick to the main highways," Alsup said. "A lot of people try to give me rides."

Alsup also keeps a blog of his journey at asinglepebble.blogspot.com and updates it every five to seven days.

 "I had some time and wasn’t sure if I was ready to go to college, so I decided to make the trip," he said. "Then I started looking for a cause to help and I ran across Soles4Souls. It just made sense."

While Alsup isn’t making the entire trip barefoot, he did say about 70 percent of the trip has been barefoot. He rubs Vaseline on his feet to keep them from taking too much damage.

"There are places I simply can’t go barefoot, like construction zones, really rough patches and such, so I’ve been using flip-flops for those places," Alsup said. "As long as I can make the majority of the trip barefoot I’ll be satisfied."

When Alsup leaves Kennett, his next stop will be in Nashville, Tenn. He will be visiting a friend of his father, as well as the Soles4Souls headquarters.

For more information on Soles4Souls, go to www.soles4souls.org.

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