And miles to go...



Four months ago, an Amish Couple from Vermont set out for Canada and began an epic 1,400-mile journey for peace and environmental consciousness. After walking more than 1,000 miles from Vancouver, Ruah Swennerfelt and Louis Cox, both in their 60s, plan to arrive in SLO on March 27.

The couple plans to walk all the way to San Diego, spreading their message of social justice along the way.

Each day, the pair walks between 12 and 20 miles, depending on the terrain. Coming down Highway 1, they hope to average 13 miles a day.

The walk has been organized through a network of Quaker families who have offered the pair lodgings and food, and helped them plan the trip. In return, Swennerfelt and Cox talk to their hosts about their experience. The duo will appear at the SLO Library on March 27 at 7 p.m. Among other things, Swennerfelt said that they want to emphasize the connection people have to the environment and bring attention to global climate change. The trip is loosely modeled after the life of John Woolman--a Quaker preacher--who walked to Quaker farms in the 1700s speaking out against slavery and materialism.

Swennerfelt talked with New Times while busing from Monterey to Carmel.

"We don't have all the answers," Swennerfelt said. "But we hold the idea that we can make a difference, and we should be conscious of our actions."

The bus trip, necessary for that part of the journey because of a lack of safe pedestrian trails along that stretch of highway, marked one of the disappointments in the journey, she said. Otherwise, Swennerfelt said the trip has been positive, even with persistent rain and wind tailing them through Washington and Oregon. In general, she said, people have been very receptive to their message.

For more info about their trip, visit

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