He has made it to Damascus, Virginia.
After 500+ miles of Virginia, Keller said he was thankful to be on the doorstep of his home state. During Virginia, Keller met up with his old youth director, Harrison, hiked a couple days with him. He also got to meet up with his father who has taken a couple months off work to finish the trail with Keller. Accordingly his father got the trail name, Keller's Dad. Keller has surpassed the 1,700 mile mark and has just three states left with about 500 miles left.
Yesterday, Ally and I got the chance to have dinner with Keller and his Dad. We were stoked to see them and share a meal with them. Keller is already planning his next adventure to Yosemite and it looks like I get to join him on this one. I will keep you all updated with the next big, WHY NOT adventure. Laughing about mishaps and silly stuff that they have done on the trail, Keller is enjoying his time with his Dad.
As we were returning to our car, Keller saw a guy across the street and asked him how he was doing. (This is normal behavior for Keller, we often joke with him that he has friends everywhere.) The guy came across the street and began to give Keller his life story. From never being able to leave Damascus to having "16" children, Keller got his life story in a short five minute period. Keller's Dad, Ally, I hung back as we walked down the street. Keller's dad informed us that this happens all the time on the trail. Ally and I didn't doubt the absolute truth of that statement. Ally said that she doesn't think Keller ever learned "stranger danger", and I can't agree more. However, I am not sure there is a man or woman on earth that is a true stranger to Keller. I think on some level Keller knows everyone or at least knows the desires of their hearts.
Keller might have gotten his trail name from his poor listening skills, but that might be his strongest skill. I have yet to figure out what makes Keller so easy to talk to and connect with. Yet I know that I can and I know that complete strangers can. Keller has an incredible strength in being able to connect with people. This is why everyone should meet Keller. Keller doesn't do life like many of us, he opens the door to friends and strangers alike. His dreams are big, his heart is big, and his love is bigger.