Now, just the fact that Ken Ilgunas set out to travel from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Shores of Texas is incredibly impressive to me. Personally, I would have tried to take a more scenic route, but that would defeat his purpose. Did I mention he has been doing this on foot? Being an adventurer myself, I would love to think that maybe one day when I’m stuck between jobs or just want to try something new I could take on a journey like this one, and hopefully learn about this country I live in, in a way I’ve never seen it before, like Ken did.
His goal: to conquer the XL Pipeline, and talk to numerous people about their feelings towards such a large task. The XL pipeline was going to be the route that TransCanada, a major oil and gas company in Canada, took to make a pipeline from the Tar Sands of Alberta to the Gulf of Texas, where the Tar Sands would be given to oil refineries. The people of TransCanada, and some of the people Ken talked to along the way thought this would be a great way to possibly a boost in the economy and a way to get oil and a great source of jobs. Others, who knew more about the destruction and environmental hazards of Tar Sands, strongly opposed this idea. They then took it upon themselves to make a stand and fight back, because all TransCanada needed was the ok from President Obama. As he travels, Ken gets to be a part of one of these rallies, and experiences some true passion from people who would no doubt be negatively affected by this Pipeline. It is great to see America standing up for themselves, and this time, it pays off. President Obama does not approve the building of the XL pipeline. But the peaceful protesters need to keep their guard up, because it looks like TransCanada may be re-applying. This fight may not be over.
Stories like this always excite me, trying something new and finding something great. One day, I want to travel like this, probably not as far, and probably with more than one pair of shoes. This story reminds me of a really good book I read this year, Wild, by Cheryl Strayed. I think today might be a great day for me to dust off my hiking boots and go for a little adventure, maybe I’ll learn something about the community I live in, or maybe I’ll learn something about myself. Either way, I’ll get to explore the outdoors and get in touch with nature.