The journey from Eyre took place on Wednesday 23 December, in the Bay of Morro after 12 months of historical end.

In January 2020, Jake Eyre and his furry companion Bella began their journey on foot in Miami, Florida, and eventually reached the west coast.

Today, 12 months later, Jake and Bella have reached their final destination, the Bay of Morro, and have been reunited with their families, just in time for the holidays.

It’s a little bittersweet. It was a great chapter in my life. The past year has been full of great experiences, but I’m also looking forward to the next chapter, Jake shared.

When he was in the Air Force, Jake met people who had completed their march through America. From that moment on, the idea stayed with him.

Something stood up in me and said: Okay, if you want to do it within a year of leaving the Air Force, do it – I just did, Jake explained.

After four years in the Air Force, Jake and Bella traveled to Miami, Florida, sold their car and got ready for an exciting adventure.

The beginning of Jake’s trip to Florida. Pictures of Jake Eyre

At first Jake’s family was a bit sceptical about his plan, but after they saw him do what he wanted, they were all on board: I’m lucky to have a family like I have. They’re very supportive.

As Jake and Bella continue their journey, the pandemic hits the United States hard. At one point he decided not to drive over Virginia because he had heard they had strict orders to stay at home, and he didn’t want to run into any roadblocks.

He courageously declared that COVID-19 did not greatly affect him and his journey. Jake said his roadmap contains less restrictive states and they will be welcomed with open arms.

Instead of going directly to the west coast, Jake walked along the east coast and eventually took the American Discovery Trail. At one point he decided to go his own way.

I was driving on roads that were in the middle of nowhere, country roads that hardly anyone has ever seen, and I saw a lot of raw beauty, Jake said.

Jake and Bella’s trip. Pictures of Jake Eyre

Utah is easy to qualify as a favourite state because of the beauty of the landscape and the friendliness of the people.

Jake’s walk started the same way. His own adventure with Bella. When Jake’s trip started, people wanted to give him money. You asked why he took that walk? Did he have a reason to send that message?

After doing some research, Jake asked people to donate to Back on My Feet.

I realized how many people want to give. I was ready – I had everything I needed – I’m glad Back on my Feed could play a role in all this, Jake said.

Back on My Feet works in 14 major cities from coast to coast, using escape and community to motivate and support people every step of the journey from homelessness to independence, according to the website backonmyfeet.org.

So far Jake has raised over $5,000 for the organization!

Now that Jake’s trip is over, he plans to move to Arkansas where he has family and attends a massage therapy school.

During his travels, Jake met a lot of people. He said: My view of mankind has changed. It’s not the people who go missing who care. If I were to tell anyone what I’ve learned from all this, it’s that people are pretty amazing.

And Bella, a sullen cross, also enjoyed every step of her journey.

She is a very energetic dog and loves to run. She’s as happy as can be. All I’m worried about is that if we stop, I’m gonna have to find something, run or something. But she’s fine. He’s my buddy, Jake said.

It’s not surprising that this chapter of Jake’s life has affected him.

It’s definitely something that gave me strength. If you want to do something, you have to do it yourself. I want to live like this for the rest of my life, and you have your whole life in your hands.

What started out as a fun outing turned into something Jake and his family could never have imagined.

And, yes, he’s heard all the Forrest Gump jokes.

To learn more about Jake’s walk through America, visit his Facebook page @jakeswalkacrossamerica.

Jake and Bella’s trip ended on Wednesday December 23rd in the Bay of Morro, with a historic end after having walked through America for 12 months.
Pictures of Jake Eyre’s family

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