Neatly cropped salty hair, a close-trimmed white beard, and a charming British accent made Naz Yacoob one of the more unusual of the folks traveling across America that have dropped by the Roundup to share their story.
A native of London, Yacoob is walking from the West Coast to the East Coast.
He left California in February and expects to reach his destination by September — though he hasn’t decided exactly where that destination might be, except it will be a smaller city or town in a mid-Atlantic state.
He is walking to raise funds for disabled children and Type 2 Diabetes, a condition from which he suffers. He said he cannot solicit money in the U.S., but has a Facebook site where his followers can see his progress and, if they’re in Britain, make donations. The site is “nazacrossamerica” on Facebook.
The 66-year-old engineer said he came to realize the importance of walking in his life a little more than two years ago. He “did” The Way of St. James, a 500-plus mile pilgrimage from Saint Jean Pied de Port, France to the Cathedral of St. James in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
“You don’t ‘do’ The Way of St. James, it ‘does’ you,” Yacoob said. For him the pilgrimage allowed him to discover his love of walking.
Since then he has made a 200-mile walk and now is doing the 3,000-plus miles across the U.S.
Some day he may make the trek from the south end of Great Britain to the northern most part of Scotland, which is known as Lands End, he said.
“The amount of positive responses from people I’ve met so far made me cry. They have been so generous. I didn’t know what to expect, but I’ve been bowled over by the people and all the positive vibes.”