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Sunday, June 12, 2011

The walk around the Earth – great feat of Dave Kunst.

The Arctic challenge has enthused walking – more people are now walking in Marina in the morning and pantry is abuzz with talks of points in pedometer.

The Arctic is the region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and all or parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost.  In the recent few years, there has been concern that the observed change in Arctic temperatures and sea ice cover may be a harbinger of global climate changes to come.  There are lurking fears that  global warming melts ice that causes the seas to warm further since more sunlight is absorbed by a dark ocean rather than being reflected by white ice. 

In a bid to do something, people are advised to walk more or rather restrict the use of carbon emitting vehicles.  Walking around the World is estimated to be around 24,903.4 mile (40,078 km) and recently during March 2011 - David Ragsdale completed a trip.!

The story of Dave Kunst who walked around the earth first is extremely impressive.  This man born in Caledonia, Minnesota in 1939 began his trek on June 20, 1970 and completed it in 5th October 1974 – in between there were painful experiences though. 

Dave’s journey began at Waseca, Minnesota with his brother John, a letter of recommendation from Sen. Hubert Humphrey, a scroll to be signed by officials along the way, $1000 and a mule named Willie Makeit carrying camping supplies. The brothers walked to New York City with Willie Makeit, then flew to Portugal, where they acquired a second mule.   Dave and John walked across Europe and visited Monaco, where they met Princess Grace, and Italy.

It certainly was not an easy task.  Quite unfortunately John was shot dead by bandits in Afghanistan in Oct 1972;  Dave was also shot in the chest during the same attack, but survived by playing dead. After spending 4 months recovering from his injuries, Dave resumed his journey along with his brother Pete, from the spot where John was killed. They  were denied access to the USSR, so they flew from India to Australia.  Pete returned home during the Australia-leg of the trek, where Dave continued on alone, by this time on his 3rd mule which also died on the way.  Dave claimed to have walked  20 million steps.  The brothers were commemorated in June 2004 with a plaque in their hometown of Caledonia, Minnesota. The inscription reads: "Caledonia: Birthplace of the Earthwalkers David, Peter and John Kunst."

at khyber pass

When this adventurer sought out his journey, people remarked his odyssey as  "two asses and a mule." It was expected that they would wound up and call for help sooner.   They had their share of misfortunes – being mistaken for smugglers in Spain, chased in a French village, stoned by anti-americans in Iran and Turkey and finally tragedy struck at Afghan.  They walked through the Khyber Pass – walked through Lahore and into the Amritsar, Punjab visiting the famous Golden temple.  They reached New Delhi, reached Calcutta then crossed the Indian Ocean to reach Perth. He flew back to USA and touched Newport beach, California

That was the legendary walk of David Kunst which lasted for 1576 days from 10/6/1970 to 5/10/1974 – it is reported that when travelling by ship between land masses, the walked the decks of the ship.
the route of Dave

………………… so, how much you have walked this day !

Regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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