Bagpiper Finishes Trek Across U.S.
NEAH BAY, Wash. (AP) _ Daniel Smith, a 25-year-old bagpiper who spent the past two years hiking across the United States, finished his journey Saturday by wading into the Pacific Ocean nearly up to his kilt.
Smith, a college student, said his cross-country walk raised more than $25,000 for the American Cancer Society.
His parents from Wauwatosa, Wis., and about a dozen people he had met along his journey were on hand to see him complete his trek, which took him over 6,000 miles and through 30 states.
″I feel wonderful,″ Smith said in a telephone interview after wading in the Pacific Ocean at Washington’s Cape Flattery.
At the end of his walk, a dinner was held in honor of his achievement at the Makah Indian Tribe bingo hall. More than 70 people attended.
″It’s about time to move on to something else,″ he said. ″Now, I’d like to get a desk job.″
Of Scottish descent, Smith said he got interested in the bagpipe because ″I wanted to play something more melodic. ... I often wish it wasn’t something so loud.″
He wandered in a broad, zig-zag course across the United States on his way west, frequently staying in towns and cities to play his pipes or to take jobs.
The journey began April 1, 1985, in a blizzard at Quoddy Head State Park in Maine near the Canadian border.
Smith said he planned to take a train back to his home in Milwaukee, where he was a zoology student at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.
He said might return to complete his college education and that he might write a book about his experiences.
″The greatest purpose of this was to call attention to reflect on the blessings of good health,″ he said. ″I wanted to be able to help those less fortunate.″