The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Union County

May 11, 2014

Generosity sustains Lewisburg hiker

EUREKA, NEV. — For the past 11 days, Norman Horn has traveled through six mountain passes, 30 hours of rain and 2 inches of snow.

The 2002 Lewisburg High School graduate is hiking through the most desolate parts of Nevada as part of his cross-country walk to raise money for his nonprofit, Coast 2 Coast for the Kids, which provides funds for pediatric cancer.

“I’ve had three days of pretty bad weather, where I’ve been cold and wet and damp and struggling to move forward. But things are looking up,” he said in a phone interview Sunday evening.

Horn started his trek from San Francisco about a month ago. Since leaving California, towns have been farther and farther apart, and he’s had to more carefully ration his food and water. He’s planned his trip so that he can stop at towns every few days to get more supplies.“I’ve got to plan all my gear around these tiny little towns,” he said.

Horn carries about 50 to 70 pounds of gear, including a tent, sleeping bag, first-aid kit, stove, water and food, in a jogging stroller that he picked up in Nevada.

Twice on Saturday, strangers he encountered along Route 50 gave him water bottles. The first was a police officer, who gave him several bottles, and then a few more came from a New York couple driving cross-country. “Those were morale boosters,” Horn said.

It’s not the first time Horn’s encountered the kindness of strangers. When his jogging stroller broke near Austin, Nev,, he found it hard to go much farther. A Milton woman, whom Horn knew only through Coast 2 Coast’s Facebook page, contacted friend of hers in the area who drove 12 hours to pick Horn up, take him to a store to help him resupply and then dropped him off where they found him.

Earlier, a wheel on Horn’s stroller got a flat tire, but he received help repairing it from a group of Philadelphians.

What keeps Horn going are all the families affected by pediatric cancer who have reached out to him and the support he’s been getting from social media sites like Facebook.

“It’s a blessing to me to have people to push me along,” he said.

Donations to Coast 2 Coast for the Kids can be made at www.http://coast2coastftk.com/. The foundation has raised 5 percent of its goal, with 172 days left in its drive.

n Email comments to rstoneback@dailyitem.com.

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