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Relying on Cross-Country Kindness

Harrison Milanian en route to Laguna Beach on Sunday, July 28.

Harrison Milanian en route to Laguna Beach on Sunday, July 28.

Harrison Milanian never got a chance to see the face of the railroad

Harrison Milanian sets foot in the Pacific at  Main Beach on Sunday after departing on foot from Tampa, Fla., in May. Photo by Mike Altishin

Harrison Milanian sets foot in the Pacific at Main Beach on Sunday after departing on foot from Tampa, Fla., in May. Photo by Mike Altishin

engineer, who stopped a 200-car train somewhere between Amarillo, Tex., and New Mexico to briefly step off the engine and leave an unexpected gift for him below the track’s embankment.

“It blew my mind that he would risk his livelihood for a bottle of water,” said Milanian, who expects to conclude a coast-to-coast trek on foot in Laguna Beach at noon on Sunday, July 28, by walking into the ocean at Main Beach.

Along the way, the 22-year-old who set out May 6 from Tampa, Fla., with a mission to dispel negativity has spent little of his own money en route, lavished with kindnesses from strangers like the railroad engineer.

“I can’t even take it all,” said Milanian, who pushes a jogger’s baby stroller loaded with camping gear and four gallons of water. He covers 30 to 40 miles daily in 12 to 14 hours and consumes 8,000 calories a day. “It never fails to impress me,” he said of the daily offerings he receives of food and water.

Tuesday he spoke by phone from somewhere in the Mojave Desert after Laguna Beach resident David McVicker caught up with him.

McVicker invites the community to join him in welcoming Milanian at Main Beach and the nearby Cliff Restaurant.

McVicker, who performs weddings at the Cliff, got involved with the unusual expedition at the urging of his cousin, who spotted Milanian in Amarillo. The young man carries a sign with a Facebook address, which lists expected stops along his 2,800 mile  itinerary. McVicker agreed to his cousin’s suggestion that Laguna would be a perfect end point.1.2 trek imagejpeg_0

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By Friday, Harry Milanian had walked to Disneyland, but was escorted by security out of the park. He left without his trophy: a photo with Mickey Mouse.

Milanian, who owned his own catering company and worked as a sous chef, quit working to train for the trek by taking long walks with his dog, he said.

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  1. Steve says:

    Disneyland never ceases to amaze me. The unhappiness place on earth!Will greed ever go away?

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