Mike Boggs is a travelin’ man
Michael Boggs is a self-declared travelin’ man…by foot. Over the past 26 or 27 years, he figures he’s walked somewhere around 20,000 miles.
At this point, the man from South Carolina was in South Dakota for a jaunt across the state. He and his wife, Kathleen, stayed overnight at the Dakota House in Miller.
Boggs says he has always enjoyed walking, even as a kid. “It’s a hobby, it’s good exercise, and it’s expanded to walking around the country.” At this point, he’s “walked a lot of country,” but he has more miles to go.
Boggs is originally from Michigan. He and his wife were both educators, now retired. He taught, and later was school librarian. His wife taught nursing classes, and is presently writing a nursing textbook. They have two children and a granddaughter. Their daughter is a teacher in Charleston, S.C., and their son is a librarian in Phoenix, Ariz.
More than 20 years ago, he thought he’d walk across the county where he lived. That done, he thought he’d walk across the next county.
The first “extended” walk was across North Carolina, where he lived at the time. “That was quite an event, to make it across,” he observed. “Then I decided to go around the country.”
Some walkers make a straight shot from “Point A” to “Point B; Boggs literally wants to go “around” the country, walking through as many states as he can.
He’s already walked a southern route from east to west, and he’s walked from north to south along the eastern side of the U.S.
“I’ve kept a journal of all the trips,” Boggs said. He does not, however, post his adventures on an Internet site.
Boggs and his wife have developed a strategy. She makes reservations where they will stay along a route. She drives him to the point he wants to begin his walk for the day, and they’ll meet up when he’s completed that day’s walk.
“Our plans are to go all the way through South Dakota,” Boggs explained. “We started at the Wyoming border, and I walked along Highway 212 (Belle Fourche) for 60 or 70 miles going east. We started on the west side because our granddaughter was in the Black Hills, and we wanted to see her.”
However, they then traveled east (by car) to the Minnesota border, and he’s working his way back west.
After leaving Miller, Boggs’ destination was Highmore, which he said would be a two-day walk. His wife would pick him up half-way, they’d stay overnight in Highmore, and he’d begin the next day where he’d left off.
After walking along Highway 14 as far as Pierre, Boggs said he plans to take Highway 34 west…where there isn’t much traffic, and the towns are small, and few and far between.
He’s hoping to complete the trip through South Dakota this season, but if he doesn’t, he can start up where he left off next year. And then he can tackle the mountains of Montana, which he admits could be a challenge.
“I generally make about 15 miles a day,” Boggs said. “This trip, I’m doing about 13 miles a day.” He acknowledges, of course, that he’s some years older than when he first started those long hikes.
But the challenge, and the enjoyment of new places and new adventures hasn’t slackened. And he still has quite a bit of country to “go around.”