It sounds like a tall-tale from an era long forgotten: two men from Washington trek across the United States on foot in hopes of starting their own business, a brewery, in Massachusetts. It might end up as a tall-tale in an era yet unknown, but this story is happening right now.
It sounds like a tall-tale from an era long forgotten, two men from Washington trek across the United States on foot in hopes of starting their own business, a brewery, in Massachusetts. It might end up as a tall-tale in an era yet unknown, but this story is happening right now.
With a frontier-like spirit, Julian Paschen, 23 and Brian Johnson, 22 from Everett, Wash., are living that tall-tale, and on Friday, Nov. 25, they found themselves in Wellington.
"After deciding we wanted to open up a brewery, we quit our jobs and then figured we would walk to Massachusetts," said Paschen. Wellington is about 1,900 miles away from their home in Washington, but the two men have taken the scenic route, traveling just under 4,000 miles so far, and all on foot.
"We've gone down the West coast, we started approximately in Seattle, Wash., and went down highway 101 ... all the way down to Los Angeles, Calf.," Johnson said. "Then we just kind of started heading East, into Arizona and New Mexico."
So why would two 20-something men from the northwest corner of the United States to set out on foot for the northeast corner?
"Because we haven't seen our country," Paschen said. "We figured it was about time."
They have been on the adventure for nearly four months. Both men's families had their reservations about the idea.
"My dad and my mom totally thought I was insane," Johnson said with a laugh. "I had my dad threatening to break my legs so I couldn't go."
"My parents thought I was a little nuts," Paschen said. "But when I left, I had them saying 'I wish I could go with you, I wish I was 30 years younger,' and they're very supportive now."
Their dream of making brews was conjured up one night, like all good ideas, while they were drinking some brews.
"We really like beer," Paschen said. "I think we were setting around a bonfire one night and we said it would be good to make it."
Johnson and Paschen have a friend who is a machinist in Massachusetts, and he will make their brewing equipment.
As they have traveled, the duo has found work along the way to keep funding their trip.
"We've come across some very kind and generous people," Paschen said. "The most challenging part has probably been finding employment because we also look for work along the way." Their last job they said was in Atwater, Calif., remodeling a house.
As one can imagine, they must have some trusty shoes.
"Mine are about to go, I've got a crack in the bottom of them," Johnson said of his hiking boots. But Paschen's Sperry boat moccasins are still going strong.
Page 2 of 2 - "These are actually the shoes that I left in," he said. "I picked them because they're easy to slip off and on, and they're light." The two men said they don't really need much as they go along their way with a full set of camping gear on their backs. From Wellington, they're not sure which direction they will go next.
"We're never sure where this trip will take us," Paschen stated. They do have enhanced IDs, which act as a passport, allowing them to travel into Canada or Mexico if they so choose.
With the support of their family, the two men continue on their journey.
"It's not about the places that you see, or the places that you go, it's about the people that you meet," Paschen said.
It's just over 1,600 miles from Wellington to Massachusetts, but Johnson and Pachen's trip will be much longer than that. As they inspire the people they meet along the way, those people inspire them.
"We've met so many great people, so just their energy ... totally keeps us going and inspires us to keep moving," Johnson said.
Wellington Daily News