Brock picking up speed as he approaches Rockies, deadline

By Don Coble Managing Editor
Posted 5/29/19

STURGIS, S.D. – A town famous for its biker bars and motorcycle rally seemed deserted as Ken Brock strolled along Moose Drive.

“It’s like everything else from these past few days – really …

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Brock picking up speed as he approaches Rockies, deadline

Posted

STURGIS, S.D. – A town famous for its biker bars and motorcycle rally seemed deserted as Ken Brock strolled along Moose Drive.

“It’s like everything else from these past few days – really desolate,” he said. “Everything’s closed up here.”

Many of the bars at Sturgis apparently remain closed until the annual summer festival, Brock said. For a 53-year Army veteran trying to walk from Amvets Post 86 in Keystone Heights to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, to raise awareness to post-traumatic stress disorder programs at Wounded Warrior Project, that’s just fine.

“It’s really been sparse up here,” Brock said after resuming his 2,650-mile journey last week. “It’s kind of good. I can walk and not worry. The peace and quiet have been good, and I’m really putting in the miles.”

Brock originally wanted to reach Idaho on July 3 so he could be part of the town’s Fourth of July celebration. He was called away from his mission by the Veteran’s Administration three weeks ago to to fill out routine paperwork in Florida. He asked for meeting that wasn’t scheduled when he left Keystone Heights on Feb. 1 to be postponed until his trip was completed, but the VA warned he could lose his benefits.

He left Wanblee, S.D., on May 9 and returned to Keystone Heights for the mandatory checkup. He returned to Wanblee on May 23 and immediately hit the road. In fact, he took a day off for rest and still walked 102 miles to Rapid City, S.D., in less than four days. It took just one day to walk another 29 miles to Sturgis.

“I went a couple days and didn’t see anyone,” Brock said. “Every once in a while, I’d see a car. There’s nothing out there. Nothing. Just a lot of flat, straight land.”

With 1,854 miles already behind him, Brock only has 796 to go. His route includes the northeast corner of Wyoming and into Montana.

While it’s more likely Brock will arrive in Coeur d’Alene in the middle of July, he now hopes the easy miles in the next couple weeks will get him closer to his original target date.

His brother, Terry, has followed with his service dog, Pam, and his 100-pound cart to help Ken make up lost time. Originally planned for two weeks, the brother now may stay three.

“It’s a longshot, a real longshot, but it’s something in my mind,” Brock said about arriving on time. “Once I get Pam back with me, it’s going to slow down. I won’t be able to do 30 miles a day. I’ll be lucky to get 20, especially once I get to the Rockies.

“But who knows? I’ve made it this far. It all depends on how far I make it in the next three weeks [with Terry]. Anything is possible.”

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