Walkin’ to Oregon

I get into a conversation at Vista Point, at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge with an Irishman who’s walking from Santa Cruz to the Oregon border. His name is Major Finbar O’Shaughnessy of Hollywood, Ireland, which is just outside Dublin. Even though he’s sweating up a storm after five days journey with a heavy backpack and camping outdoors, I offer to drive him into Sausalito for free. He’s fallen behind his pack of hiking buddies and I don’t think he’ll break any rules in order to catch up. I ask him about the soldier camouflage he’s wearing, so he tells me he’s on a furlough from a 4-year tour of duty in Afghanistan with the Royal Irish Mounted Rangers. He’s going back into service after this adventure. The guy’s in shape and looks about 40 years-old but he tells me he has seven grown kids back home and a (knowing) wife. He’s lived a full life and he's a lifer with a few weeks of independence to call his own. After the drop off, he insists on sending me a bottle of Irish whisky when he returns home, for the favor I provide. Cheerio, mate.


2 thoughts on “Walkin’ to Oregon

  1. My name is Sholla, my husband and I met Finbar July 1st 2009, in Park Rapids MN outside of the Mongolian Restaurant. We knew he was suppose to be in the Lake George area, as our friend, Christine, had told us about meeting him 2 days prior, in Walker MN. We knew he was on this charity cross country hike, from Duluth MN, to Glacier National Park, Montana. We offered him a ride to Lake George, but we needed to run the kids home to Akeley MN, first. While at our house, Christine stopped by, a whole new group of friends started. Finbar stayed with us for 3 days, and we dropped him off to meet up with his group at Itasca State Park, MN, on the night of July 3rd, 2009.
    So glad to hear of his continued travels, had been thinking about him. Like you, he offered a bottle of Irish Whiskey to us for our hospitality. Hope to see him again some day, and thank you for posting this, we were concerned when we couldn’t find his page after we had got online

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