Peace Pilgrim II

The Peace Pilgrim (aka Mildred Lisette Norman) is fairly famous. In 1953 she began walking across America, wearing a shirt that said "Peace Pilgrim," and vowed to keep walking "until mankind has learned the way of peace." She was already an experienced walker when she started this, having been the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian trail in one season. She walked for 28 years until her death in 1981, logging over 25,000 miles.

Peace Pilgrim II (aka Ronald Podrow) isn't quite as famous or inspirational. In 1989, inspired by the first Peace Pilgrim, he adopted her name and also began walking to promote peace. But unlike her, he wasn't an experienced walker. From wikipedia:

Peace Pilgrim II was only able to walk the first year of his pilgrimage. After 2,000 miles on foot, his hips required surgical replacement, but he continued his pilgrimage thereafter with the aid of a donated car and Social Security benefits.

Peace Pilgrim II wrote a book about his experiences, Enjoying the Journey: The Adventures, Travels, and Teachings of Peace Pilgrim II. It was published in 1995.

More info.

     Posted By: Alex - Sun Jul 02, 2017
     Category: Exercise and Fitness | War

This is an interesting post, especially coming on the heels of (pun unintended) the post about the letter carrier retirement village. Several years ago, while serving on a county trails committee, I did the calculations for my distance walked over my postal career, subtracting for holidays, vacations, and the last seven years when I had a driving route serving almost entirely curbside boxes. The total was still over 40,000 miles. I'm lucky in that I haven't had any hip or knee problems like many of my fellow retirees, although I do wear orthopedic insoles in my shoes to keep my feet properly oriented. I still enjoy walking and am fortunate to live next to a state park with several miles of trails from which to choose.
Posted by Fritz G on 07/02/17 at 07:24 AM
Wow Fritz, you've got the peace pilgrim beat! That's a lot of miles. You've piqued my interest. How many miles did you cover a day? How many years did you walk? Did the postal service pay for new shoes, as I'm sure they wore out fairly quickly.
Posted by Courtney on 07/02/17 at 10:03 AM
I averaged about 10 miles a day on walking routes, so roughly 50 miles a week, minus about four weeks off for vacations and holidays would work out to about 2,400 miles a year. I did walking routes for just over 20 years, and the curbside delivery route after that until retirement time. Ten years walking equals about one trip around the circumference of the earth! Some routes were longer than others, for example, if the houses were mostly single-family ranch homes, it was a lot more walking. I had (and active carriers still have) an annual clothing allowance, but that had to cover all uniforms, not just shoes. In fact, I wasn't able to use it for shoes for at least the first five years, due to having to buy all the summer and winter clothing first. So in the beginning I had to buy my own. Shoes wore out and had to be replaced at least once a year, until I finally had the seniority to bid on and get a mounted (driving) route. After that, shoes lasted a much longer time, lol.
We walked in all weather, up and down steps, in snow and occasionally on icy sidewalks, during hot and humid summers and single digit winter weather, rain, snow, or shine. It's a pretty tough job, actually, but the pay was pretty good, at least if you didn't live in a big city where cost of living is outrageously high. I also liked being able to retire after 30 years of combined federal service, leaving me a lot of time to pursue other interests, including travel and a lot of unpaid public service positions and volunteer work, which I still continue to do.
Posted by Fritz G on 07/02/17 at 10:45 AM
Having had both hips replaced, albeit 5 yrs. apart (after 30 yrs. treading concrete factory floors,) I personally would have given serious thought to just writing the book, rather than resuming the trekking. Especially considering that there was virtually no chance that anyone was really paying attention.
Posted by John on 07/02/17 at 11:52 AM
I initially misread the line about Peace Pilgrim II's hip replacement; I though it said he needed lip replacement surgery! Yeah, that was weird... and a reminder I'm overdue for my eye exam.
Posted by Brian on 07/02/17 at 09:40 PM
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