A Yorkton man is walking across Canada.
Zayell Johnston started in B.C. and is in Saskatchewan making his way down to Regina.
Supply-wise, Johnston says it is always changing.
“When I started out in February in British Columbia I had at least 55 pounds on my back, including a 3-layer sleeping bag/tent, cooking apparatus , water, GPS, fork and spoon, a little roll-up mat, blow-up pillow…couple of other odds and ends.”
He says he will be in Yorkton sometime in early June, either on the 1st or 2nd, depending on the weather, and will take a week or two off to relax.
“Have a couple beers with the friends, maybe a couple burgers, enjoy the heat while it lasts.” he said enthusiastically.
When people partake in these kinds of activities, there is always a motive, whether it be raising awareness for cancer or mental illness.
But for Johnston, it’s none of those; in fact, he’s doing it so he can check it off his 5-year list of goals he wanted to accomplish after high school.
“I was crossing all that stuff off my list and this one was like at the tail end of it; I was supposed to finish this when I was 25-26, but I’m two years over,” he said. “I’m like 27 when I’m going to finish this, but better late than never right?”
His other goals on the list included finishing college, get a job in an industry he studied for, backpacking across Europe and “get abs.”
“I never really got the abs part,” he said with laughter.
Prior to starting his trek, Johnston did some training last year.
“I spent pretty much the whole summer before I started, basically running everyday, I was working out 3 to 5 times a week,” Johnston explained. “But then closer to the start point I kind of fell off the wagon a little bit around Christmas and kind of got a little lazy as we all do.”
The training sounds like it is paying dividends, as he said he walks approximately 50 kilometres per day.
Along the way, Johnston has encountered quite a few people.
“In Calgary, I met these random, elderly couple that didn’t know me at all but they offered me a place to stay at their farm, which kind of took me by surprise. I didn’t expect the kindness of strangers, you know usually you go with the ‘you don’t pick up a hitchhiker’ kind of mentality but they didn’t seem to mind.”
He also mentioned he has a list of all the people that have helped him out and in exchange for stopping alongside the road to give him food or other supplies, he gets them to sign a Canadian flag that he carries.
“It’s filling up pretty quick with signatures,” Johnston said.
Multiple offers for a ride have been made to Johnston whenever they pull over to talk to him, however he has declined all of them since he is doing a cross-country walk.
He plans on ending his cross country journey in St. Johns, Newfoundland.
You can follow him on his journey on Facebook at “justoutforawalk”, on Instagram, “Therealzayell”, or on Twitter at @zayellj.