Man shares story of Ohio journey
NEWTON FALLS – Fourth-graders at Newton Falls Intermediate School tracked the daily journey of local resident Arthur Dunn, 75, who walked around the perimeter of the state of Ohio in April and May.
Dunn spoke recently to the more than 100 fourth-grade students, sharing slides and information he kept in a daily diary of his trip around the state.
Dunn pushed a 100-pound cart containing food, clothing and other items with him and would stay in his tent at different locations in various weather conditions.
He said sometimes he would sleep in a church, under a tree or in a barn, usually to stay dry when it was raining. He made contacts with churches ahead of time so he could camp at the church.
He left on April 1 from Newton Falls and returned home on May 25. His trip took him along turnpikes, trails and railroads, as he walked facing the traffic. Dunn traveled the perimeter heading south and then north, averaging 20 miles per day.
Dunn stayed as close to the Ohio border as he could but did go into Kentucky. He said he traveled along the Ohio River. He decided to save the Lake Erie area for last so the weather would be warmer in late May than early April.
“People helped me out when they heard what I was doing and what the trip was about,” Dunn said.
Dunn called the school secretary from his cell phone around 2 p.m. each day and gave the latitude and longitude of where he was and the weather conditions.
The students in Robert Bauman’s class would determine Dunn’s location and mark it on a large Ohio map in classroom.
“I couldn’t believe how much farming is done in Ohio. I saw a turkey farm with 10,000 turkeys,” Dunn said.
Highlights of the walk included seeing the homes on large stilts that people who live near the Ohio River live in, the Mound Builders of southern Ohio, the location where Ohio, Indiana and Michigan meet, and the bay area at Sandusky.
He said the heat was extreme at times, and he was wind-burned, but he always carried a lot of water.
“I enjoyed the trip and met many wonderful people who often helped me when they learned what I was doing,” he said.
Dunn has taken three walking trips, with this being the longest one. His first trip was 335 miles walking from Cincinnati to Newton Falls and the second 460 miles from Newton Falls to the Shanksville, Pa., and the Pentagon, locations of the 9/11 attacks.
Student Blake Cox said he enjoyed hearing about the trip. ”It was fun to hear about all the different people he met and to keep track of where he was on the trip.”
Samantha Foor said she liked when the class made a special book for Dunn, which included writings from each student on what they learned from the trip.
Dunn, a retired Marine, has logged 29,000 jogging miles in 35 years.
“I am proud of what I did. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do anything you set your mind to,” he said.