No matter how many miles you average walking per day, one couple likely has you beat. Matt Grooms and Grace Nesseth have averaged 18 walking miles per day since Oct. 2, 2020, in a journey that has stretched nearly 1,900 miles and counting.
The couple, their dog Foxie and the baby stroller they affectionately call “Timmy,” started their walking journey on the shores of the Pacific Ocean at Huntington Beach, California, last October to raise awareness of the nonprofit organization “Time in a Bottle.”
Based in Iowa, “Time in a Bottle” provides home cleaning services to families of terminally ill adults and children with the ultimate goal of allowing families to make memories of their limited time together, per the organization’s website.
On Monday, Grooms, Nesseth, Foxie and their newest dog they found while walking through the Arizona Desert, Nemo, stopped in Conway and reflected on their journey to this point in an interview with the Log Cabin.
At the mouth of a side road off Highway 64 some eight miles outside of Conway, Nesseth told the Log Cabin that the couple’s idea to walk across America started with a book.
“[Grooms] read a book [that gave us] the idea to [walk across the country],” Nesseth said. “We’re trying to spread [awareness of Time in a Bottle] to other cities and states [around the country].”
Since Oct. 2, the couple has spent 104 days walking to get to Conway with the ultimate end goal of reaching Myrtle Beach, S.C. and the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. Last week’s winter storms, however, delayed their progress.
“We were held up in Russellville for 10 days,” Grooms said.
While the couple lived in California at the time they started their 2,600 mile walking journey to Myrtle Beach, Grooms and Nesseth are originally from Idaho and Iowa, respectively. Their apartment lease in California expired as they began the trip in October. With Timmy the baby stroller, which Grooms referred to as the couple’s “house,” and their two dogs in tow, they’ve now crossed through six states with many more to go ahead of their expected arrival in Myrtle Beach by June.
“We’re not in a rush,” Grooms said when asked about how much longer he expected them to walk before reaching the Atlantic Ocean. “We’re not trying to set any records.”
Both Grooms and Nesseth encouraged those who want to show support for their walk across America to donate to “Time in a Bottle” through the nonprofit’s website timeinabottle.org. And for those who aren’t able to donate, sharing their story is just as valuable, Nesseth said.
“Sharing our story helps a lot,” Nesseth said.
Grooms echoed her thoughts.
“[We’re using our social media platforms] to share our life, [spread] positivity, happiness and [a joy] for finding love in the little things,” Grooms said.
To keep up with Grooms and Nesseth’s journey, you can follow them on Twitter at @theggoldenroad or connect to them through their website at www.theggolden road.org. To learn more about “Time in a Bottle,” visit their website at www.timeinabottle.org.
Staff Writer Kolton Rutherford can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.