The Mission

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David Merritt's Route from Coast to Coast.

Want to walk with David Merritt? Call 540-309-6150.

He will let you know where and how to find him and will be thrilled to hear from you.

Hello! My name is David Merritt. 

Using my skills developed as a North Carolina Outward Bound School alumni I am going to walk coast-to-coast starting in my birth town of Virginia Beach, Virginia and ending in San Diego, California. I intend to ask the people of this great nation "How do we come back together?" After years of division and polarization we must begin a new process of listening to each other again as Americans. This is our strength not our weakness. I will literally and figuratively walk down the middle of the road and invite all those that will walk with me to share their vision of a better nation. I will publish my findings and perhaps this will lead to a better understanding of "how" we come back to one another as one of the greatest countries and cultures that has ever existed on this little blue planet.  The entire world is watching and waiting. I graduated from the North Carolina Outward Bound School in 1981 and attribute my "never give up" attitude from taking a three month semester course in Morganton, NC.

Why Me?

Why not is maybe a better question. I have been called a walking contradiction and I have to admit they are probably on to something. I have three college degrees and no high school diploma or GED. My years as a kid were split between being on the streets in the ghetto of Portsmouth, Virginia and living summers on farms in Mt. Olive, North Carolina and Bedford County, Virginia. I love playing percussion (congas) as much as I enjoy quiet time just drawing with my pen and inks. I eat sweet and sour foods and like both flavors. I have made a decent living as both a builder of log homes and timber frames and a professional mountain guide and outdoor educator. This walk seems natural to me. Our national dialogue has become one of mistrust and opposition at best or hateful and violent at worst. When the divorce word was used in my happy home I knew it was insidious and things had to change. You see I come from a divorced family as well and I knew I had to draw the line somewhere. The national divide had crept into my home (or I call "my clan"), and my conscience. I am walking to examine the "macroscopic" divide of our nation and the "microscopic" divide in my own clan. I hope to grow and I hope to share. Come walk with me for 10 minutes or 10 miles and tell me your ideas about "how we come back together as Americans". I promise to listen. Donations are appreciated  and the proceeds from t-shirt and banner sales will all go to support the walk and the final publications and results.  Thank you in advance for your support and consideration.

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