Jack Huffman's first time in Sedalia was Wednesday, which was Day 49 of his journey from Dana Point, Calif., to Washington, D.C.

It was a very pleasant day in Sedalia for a walk, with a high of about 80.

Huffman is crossing America on foot, bringing with him about 150 pounds of gear all the way.

The reason he's walking nearly 3,000 miles is to raise money for the Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund.

“All donations will go to help our Veterans who made the sacrifices so we can pursue our dreams in the land of the free. The Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund help injured soldiers pay their living expenses and provide assistance to the families of the fallen,” according to Huffman's website.

Although the weather Wednesday was perfect, Huffman still had a bit of trouble in the State Fair City, namely a flat tire, which he promptly fixed himself, right there on the Katy Trail.

“The storms, looks like they're coming in about 6 today, and I'm just looking to put some miles in and hopefully be able to find some cover before they come in,” Huffman said.

Shelter can take the form of a shelter house at a state or city park, a store, a church or a motel.

“Sometimes I just get stuck out in it. There's nothing I can do about it,” Huffman admitted.

He also admitted he hasn't sleep that well on his lengthy journey.

“Over the last 49 days, I think I've really had maybe like two nights that were actually decent. Other than that, I've been out in the cold, the blizzards, rain, heat. The cold nights are really the harder ones, when it drops down to 20 degrees in Arizona, then be 80 degrees during the day,” Huffman told KSIS.

“I did 45 miles on Easter in a blizzard out in Arizona. I actually found it quite amusing to have snowflakes falling as big as my fist out in the middle of the desert in the middle of nowhere,” Huffman recalled.

“I've gone through a few blizzards, a lot of heat, sandstorms, just a little bit of everything. Mother Nature does not hold back,” he stressed.

He hopes to reach Washington DC, “as soon as possible.”

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Randy Kirby
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Raising money for the Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund keeps Huffman driven to complete his journey, which began March 14. He normally averages 55 miles a day. But that number varies greatly from day to day.

“They take care of Veterans and their families (in the form of helping to pay electric bills, mortgage payments, etc.) just taking care of those basic needs to take care of them,” he said.

Huffman's goal is to raise $500,000 for the fund. As of Day 49, he has helped raise $265,000.

But this is not Huffman's first such adventure.

“This is my third crossing of the US,” he told KSIS. “In 2019, I did California to Georgia in 79 days for St. Jude's. And then last summer, I did Florida to Michigan, also for the Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund. I've done some smaller ones across my home state of Michigan for the D-Man Foundation, they work with people with quadriplegia who can't walk and talk. I just try to help out a whole bunch of people,” Huffman said.

You can follow Huffman's trek across America on Facebook.

Jack's “significant other” is Tamara, and she dutifully posts daily updates which run at least 15 minutes, to keep interested parties informed about Jack's progress on his trip.

Jack Huffman
Jack Huffman
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When not criss-crossing the country, Huffman spends time working as a fire performer, a balance performer and various other circus acts. He also has amazing carpentry skills, in addition to doing electrical work and plumbing.

“I've actually dropped, I think, about 15 pounds so far on this trip,” Huffman said. “So I'm losing weight very, very quickly. A lot of it's just trying to keep your body warm in the cold, and overheating on hot days. Your body is just exerting crazy amounts of energy.”

As for daily food intake, Huffman said sometimes he is at the mercy of small-town gas stations, i.e. pizza.

“The generosity of the communities has just been absolutely outstanding. Some people have no idea what I'm doing. They just kind of assume I'm a homeless guy, but offer food, water, money, just anything, they are just very, very kind people all the way across America,” Huffman said.

“But I do have lots of people who do come out, because they do know what I'm doing, and they come out to support,” he noted.

Huffman, 37, grew up in Royal Oak, Michigan. “That's my home state,” he said.

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Randy Kirby
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This reporter did not detect a distinct Michigan accent in Huffman at all. “I travel across the US, I just pick up little bits here and there.”

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I asked Jack how many miles he averages per day.

“I typically do between 30 and 60 miles a day. I think I'm averaging right around 40 miles a day right now, toting my 150 pounds (of gear) with me, up and down, through the Rocky Mountains, across the desert. I mean, just yesterday, I did about 10,000 feet up and down through Missouri here, and that was about 45 miles,” Huffman said.

His plan was to hop onto Highway 50 and head east Wednesday, and go on to Syracuse, Centerline and Jefferson City.

“There are only so many places I can cross the Mississippi,” Huffman noted. “That needs to be pinpointed.”

Huffman travels with a generator that charges a 500-watt camping battery, a solar battery bank, time time-lapse camera, medical supplies, a tent, a sleeping bag, food and water.

“It's quite an ordeal, trying to keep connected with the communities while I'm so rogue out in the middle of nowhere,” Huffman stated.

To follow Jack on his arduous journey, go to jaxwalk.com with daily GPS updates and daily time-lapse videos.

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Randy Kirby
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