Sunday, August 18, 2013

An article and news footage from CBN

Click on this link and it will bring you to the article and within the article you can click on the video.  CBN did a good job interviewing Daniel.  Thank you to CBN for capturing Dan's final steps into the ocean!

Monday, August 12, 2013

The End

On day 99 this amazing journey came to and end.  After 2,514 miles and 5,404,877 footsteps taken, I have reached the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia Beach, VA.  I ran and JUMPED into the water around 12:30pm.  As I neared to ocean and the buildings began to fade and the horizen consisted of water, I could not help but simply smile and laugh.  There was so much going through my mind!  As I reached the beach the adrenaline was at full throttle.  I took the boots off, ran into the water, and dived in!   As I emerged there was a crew from CBN and The Catholic Virginian Newspaper as well as many random people taking pictures.

It felt weird after all this time to just be done.  It's been a day now, and I still haven't been able to process all that needs to be reflected on.  There have just been too many memories along the way and it feels surreal.  I have three days to relax and reflect on the trip.  I am fortunate enough to stay on the beach at First Landing State Park.  Last night as I watched the sun go down and the dolphins give me a show in the water I could not help but just think how much God has blessed me along the way.  Part of me is greatful to be done, but another part was thinking, "Great. I finished this pilgrimage but this is just a part of my life... just a step in growing closer to God.  Just because something has been accomplished does not mean life just stops."

Throughout this trip I have heard "There are a lot of crazies or bad people out there".  Now I would simply respond yes, but there are MORE good people.

This journey has been such a blessing!  Thank you to everyone who helped out along the way to make this trip possible, whether it was a donation, a meal, a place to sleep, a phone call or text (which sometimes got me through some of hard miles), a smile, a ride, a prayer, a song, and the list goes on.  I would like to give a special thanks to the people of my home parish of St. Peters in Forest lake, MN.  They have been very supportive along the way!  It was very powerful to see how much they helped me out and to hear stories from my mother.  It sometimes kept me going through some hard days.

There are so many thoughts running through my head I do not know where to start or finish.  So I am sorry for keeping this so short.  People have asked along the way if I will write a book, or asked what I am doing after this.  As of right now I have no idea and am trying to just have faith in God that he will show me what He wants me to do.


Daniel Reinke

The Finish Line

So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.
-2 Corinthians 5:17


Just want to say a special THANKS to my brother Robert who helped out a lot with the website throughout the whole trip!  Without his much needed help this website would have been nothing. 

Also a special THANKS to the parishioners of my home parish of St. Peters in Forest Lake, MN.  Thank you for all the support and Prayers!


DAY 99
 2,514 miles and 5,404,877 footsteps from the Pacific Ocean in Seaside, Oregon to the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia Beach, Virginia. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Day 98!!!

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the firmament proclaims the works of his hands.
-Psalm 19:2

Well, I am literally on the final stretch!  I have so much on the mind I do not even know what to say.  This past week has actually been one of the toughest ones so far, but I have been filled with joy and adrenaline.  It is so close I can smell that salt in the air!

Man have I been blessed on this journey.  I just want to say thank you to everyone who has helped out along the way, in many different ways.  I wanted to get a few pictures up of the kindness these past few days before I have pictures of the 'finish line' (which just so happens to be the Atlantic Ocean).

During this trip I cannot remember how many times I have said "do not fear for Christ is with you".  It has gotten me through a lot of interesting parts of the journey.  I cannot stop smiling at this part in the journey!  I cannot believe it is almost over and oddly enough I think I will kind of miss it, but I cannot wait to see family and friends!  It has been too long.  I plan to hit the beach and ocean around 1pm on Sunday, August 11th.  I plan to hit Virginia Beach and then head north to First Landing State Park for some needed rest and reflection of all the blessings of the journey.  Please continue to pray and keep following until Monday when I should be able to get some of the final pictures and videos and last comments up as I will not be able to get to a library on Sunday.

Here is a quick story from the other day.  I woke up at 2am to try and cram some miles in so that beach would near quicker.  As I walked down Highway 58 there were very few vehicles passing.  I would walk segmants without the headlamp turned on to enjoy the night and the stars.  My eyes would adjust to the low light more than you would think, but this time they did not see an animal soon enough.  I saw movement off to my left in the grass.  As I looked over I instantly said "oh no"...  There was a skunk turning its butt towards me and lifting its tail.  As I paused ready to get sprayed nothing happened so I began to run!  I never did get sprayed but if I had it would not have been the best way to start the morning off.  Thank God for that blessing of the morning.

Bud, Frank, Welton, Joe, and Bill invited me over for coffee and conversation over breakfast in Franklin, VA.  After eating they were kind enough to pay for the meal and coffee at the well known Fred's Restaurant in downtown Franklin.  This was one of the better breakfasts of the trip!

Also, here is the latest Google Earth maps and SPOT tracking beacon link of my location:

12 miles from where I sleep tonight to the edge of God's great U.S. of A! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Day 95

Your word is a lamp for my feet, 
a light for my path. -Psalm 199:105

I just came into the town of South Hill, VA and just hit 2,400 miles and 5,166,063 footsteps.  It was a blessing to have cooler weather for a week or so but it is starting to warm up again.  Campgrounds are few and far between on the route I am on.  It has been a few days since my last shower and I cannot wait to hit that ocean!

As I was going through a small town headed towards South Hill last night I was stopped by a friendly woman named Amanda.  I talked with her for a while before leaving town.  The sun was starting to go down and I decided to plunge into the night for a while to cover some ground and to make it closer to the finish line.  I was forced to picth my tent right off the highway.  After getting a few hours of sleep and putting on my sweat drenched clothes again I hit the road and stopped at the first gas station that I came upon.  As I walked in I saw Amanda again!  It's a small world I guess you could say!  She was kind enough to make me a breakfast and coffee for free!  I planned on doing this trip with what money I had saved and the items and food that I packed, but I am always blown away by people's generosity.  What an unexpected blessing.  Just ONE of the many stories of kindness and generousity along the way.   Also, as I walked into South Hill, I was dreaming of a shower to wash off the three days worth of grit and sweat.  I was randomly able to make daily Mass at a rather unusual time (noon).  Some nice women hooked me up with a guy named Doug who managed a place called Shepard's Inn who let me shower for free!  I walked down the road smiling thinking of what a blessing something as simple as a shower can be.  Thank you!

Throughout this trip I have also been stopped by maybe twenty, or so, police officers and park rangers.  They have been very kind and definatly living out the "serve" part of there job.  I have been given homemade cookies, fruit, directions, and even short rides to a grocery store or a place to camp when storms have been biting at my heels.  I just wanted to say thank you to all that have helped out along the way.

I have heard I am about 120 miles from Virginia Beach!  I figure it will take around 3-4 days and I will arrive either this Saturday or Sunday.  It is still tough going, even being this close, but I believe that as I get within a day or two of the ocean (when I can start to smell that salt) the adrenaline will start to kick in.  I dont know if I will be able to hold back from running!  I plan to spend two or three days on the coast and relax and enjoy the beauty while reflecting on the trip.

Also, here is the latest Google Earth maps and SPOT tracking beacon link of my location:

That yellow line reflects about 110 miles as a crow flies from my last location (looking East) to the coast (+/-).

Sunday, August 4, 2013

5 Million Step Challenge

Well the trip is winding down.  I have reached 5 million footsteps and am currently at about 2,350 miles in total walking distance.  I am in Rocky Mount, Virginia and figure I have about 200-250 miles to go (until Virginia Beach).  I will not reach 6 million steps so figured I would issue one last 'Challenge'. In this 'Year of Faith', this trip has turned out to really relate with that.  It has been a constant learning experience on how to have more faith in God.  The first 'Challenge' post was on faith and it seems fitting to end with one on faith.  Even after coming this far I find it hard to have a genuine fullness of trust and faith in God through hardships and challenges.  It can be so easy to forget about all the blessings that God has given me and all the times that He has delivered me from something difficult.  For some people TRUE faith may come easy, but for me it seems to be a constant battle.  Some people may have the faith of Moses, but I think for most it is a slow learning process.  Each step on this trip has been a step closer to God.  There are too many stories to tell and most have not been shared on the website but I would like to take you back in time for a quick summary of this trip.

Starting out I did not know where I would even begin the trip.  I took a Greyhound bus to the coastAL tow of Seaside, OR.  From there I began walking East.  During the first week of walking toward and into Portland I relied on family for directing me on places to stay, roads to take, etc.  I also stayed at a few motels to help my body and mind get used to all the walking.  At this point in the trip my faith was pretty weak.  As the trip continued I slowly relied more and more on God and just the simple fact that He would provide.   During this trip I have walked through many 'bad' or troubled neighborhoods in different cities, and not always during daylight, but God always kept me safe.  Also, crossing long stretches of desolate and desertlike areas of up to 100 miles with limited water and food...  God provided.  Many people would offer short rides or water and food.  In crossing the Grand Tetons through winding roads with little to no shoulders...  God provided safety from cars cruising by and also from the many bears that I heard about that were coming out of hibernation and were hungry.  Walking hot roads where rattle snakes come out to warm up...  God provided safety from stepping on a few that I didn't see until the last second, and probably many that I didn't see.  On occasion I would take a ride from anybody who offered if I felt compelled to do so...  God provided safety and great conversations and stories from them.  In crossing a 1,000 mile stretches of corn fields...  God kept me from going insane with great down-to-earth kindness from passersby and friendly locals.  Walking through the night and walking during many hours of complete darkness...  God provided safety from vehicles and whatever else may have been lurking about...  Walking through rain, heat, hail, wind, humidity...  God provided amazing weather throughout the whole trip.  I was blessed with probably less than 10 rain days, and breaks from whatever weather was starting to get to me.  There were also many times while walking that I noticed drivers texting or simply being unaware of their surroundings...  God provided safety from them.  Also, in talking to anyone I came in contact with no matter the place or time...  God provided good conversations and kindness on their part.

These are just a few examples of how God has taken care of me, not to mention all the donations and help along the way.  I saved enough to do this trip but it was certainly a budget and without peoples' generosity in many different ways I would not have been able to do this trip.  It's so hard to think of all the blessings when walking in rain for 3 days straight, feeling the pain of blisters or strained muscles, sweating day and night through humidity for days on end... but when looking back we are always taken care of and blessed with God's loving surplus.  Without God this trip and I are nothing.  With God...  amazing things can and did happen.

I challenge you to try to strive for that true faith of Moses...  faith to expect the seas to part, in every moment of your day.

Some of you may remember an earlier post where I met some bikers back in the great plains who were also crossing the country.  I just got word that they made it to the coast!   Congratulations to Johnny and Audrey!

Also, here is the latest Google Earth maps and SPOT tracking beacon link of my location:

"Be my rock of refuge, my stronghold to give me safety; for you are my rock and fortress." and "You are my hope, Lord; my trust"
-Psalm 71:3, 5