It's Begun! First Days on Foot: An Update From The Road

It's begun! 

After kicking off his country-spanning walk-in Princeton, New Jersey on May 17th, James is official en route to San Francisco with 45 lbs. of water in tow. He's already clocked quite some distance too, having crossed the New Jersey border into Pennsylvania several days ago, now making his way through the rolling hill country of the Quaker State. 

James is still perfecting his daily routine on the road and making adjustments as needed. On Day 1 and Day 2, temperatures reached upwards of 95 degrees, which proved to be one of the first big obstacles he's encountered so far, and that's just on Day 1. 


In James' own words: 

"I exhausted myself, to a really bad point. I was so concerned with the distance that I forgot to take care of myself. I sat under a tree in someone's front yard and drank some of the water, which was very warm. My body physically couldn't cool itself down and the only way to do so was shade. After relaxing, I picked myself up to finish the day. I can't imagine if that happened to someone in the Tanzanian desert."

"Each day so far, there's been 3000+ feet of elevation to climb with all of the water that I have. Just carrying it, there would be no way to get it up all the hills, but having the cart makes a huge difference. Similar to a kid I saw in Tanzania, who did the same with a bike. When going up-hill, I feel all of the weight. Each time one foot comes up off the ground, I get pulled back and then step forward. Every step is like that. I can feel the extra energy being used. Even downhill, which seems like it'd be easier, is maybe even more tiring because all of the weight sits all on my calves and legs, instead of being throughout my body like it is walking uphill. I'm going to have huge legs after this."

Indeed, his legs will be absolutely tremendous in size once this journey is complete! Can't wait to see those legs, James.

Will James Leitner's legs look like this once he reaches San Francisco? Keep following his journey to find out!


The struggle for people to obtain clean water in the Serengeti or Sahara regions of Africa is made all the more daunting when considering the extreme weather conditions and rough terrain of those areas. Please consider supporting this cause to make a lasting difference in people's lives. 

Donate to the Philadelphia-Serengeti Alliance, a great non-profit organization that James is working with throughout the cross-country trek, here! 

Beyond creating more accessible sources of drinking water for Tanzanian people, any size donation also goes a long way towards supporting overall gender equality, education, and public health there. 

James has reached Towanda, PA, where he will be resting tonight and tomorrow, with Ridgebury, PA, Elmira, NY, Corning, NY, Bath, NY, Cohocton, NY, Dansville, NY, and Mount Morris, NY coming up after that! Once James reaches New York, he will be walking along country roads right next to to the Genesee Expressway (I-390). If you want to visit James, you'll be able to find him there.

Follow James on Twitter and Facebook for daily updates.