With an army-print cap on his head and a white cross around his neck, Daryl Legault gazes down and turns to the book-marked pages of his favorite Bible verses.
“There are two scriptures that I live by,” he says. “John 8:12 and James 1:12.”
He begins with the chapter of James and starts reciting, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”
He reflects for a moment in silence.
“That one just really means a lot to me,” he says after the pause. “It just really goes with what I’m doing, you know?”
Daryl Legault, 49, walked across the country from Georgia to California. It’s no wonder why he says that he can relate to a man that perseveres under trial.
About two years and one week ago, Legault entered a church in Macon, Georgia and fell to his knees. The past few years had taken a toll on him. His wife had died from from cancer, he had recently lost his job and alcohol had become a problem in his life. He began praying to find some guidance on these issues, and the solution came to him in one word: “walk.”
“I just kept hearing the word “walk” in my head as I was praying,” Legault said. “So I packed up and started walking. I didn’t think I’d be walking for this long, but I have.”
And with that, Legault collected his tent, sleeping bag, water jug, jar of peanut butter, box of saltine crackers and a Bible, and his journey began.
Throughout the past two years, Legault has traveled across the Southern states, to the tip of Southern California and all the way up the California coast to Pollock Pines, where he arrived earlier this month. However, the foothills is not the last stop for Legaul. His final destination will be in Idaho.
Legault predicts that he will reach Idaho in about one month. Upon arrival, he plans to start a ministry for troubled youth.
“It was just something that God placed on my heart,” he said when asked what inspired this endeavor.
Legault calls this journey a “walk of faith” because he believes God helps him overcome obstacles on the trip and assists him through various ups and downs.
“God never lets me go hungry,” Legualt said. “I just put my faith in God.”
On a typical day, Legault will complete about 20 to 30 miles by foot. He travels on the back roads to avoid freeways or other busy streets, and refers to his printed directions from Map Quest that give instructions for walkers, rather than drivers. These directions span over several pages long, and based on the many folds, creases and tears, it is evident that these maps have been put to great use over the past two years.
After most days of walking, Legault sets up his tent and sleeping bag wherever he happens to be and camps out for the night. However, there are other times when he stays the night with various people he meets while traveling. He usually meets these people by stopping to chat while walking, or through the churches that he visits in different towns.
“I’ve encountered some very gracious people,” Legault said.
Whenever he arrives in a new town, he goes to the local church and starts talking to the pastor and various church-goers. He also offers his assistance with any projects or needs around the church, and always stays to attend the different services.
During his stay in the mountains of Northern California, Legault visited Pollock Pines Community Church, and was welcomed by numerous members and Pastor Eric Myers.
After a few days in Pollock Pines, Legault packed up his minimal belongings and continued his long trek to the final stop of Idaho.
It’s been a long journey for Legault, but despite how tired he’s been at certain points, he’s walked through it all. Legault has never accepted any offers for a ride from drivers on the roads where he’s walked.
He’s been through some bumps in the road, but he says that his faith in God never wavers and that this experience is ultimately all about sharing his faith with others.
“I want to let people know that anything is possible with God,” he said. “They can do anything through Him.”