Jim Ostdick - Palomino Nation: My 2016 Crazyass Walk Across America

Palomino Nation - Jim Ostdick.jpg



Listen to the Big Blend Radio interview with Jim Ostdick, who discusses his new book “Palomino Nation: My 2016 Crazyass Walk Across America”, that covers his 3,300 mile cross-country walk that loosely followed the American Discovery Trail.

San Juan Bautista, California resident Jim Ostdick walked east-to-west across the United States in 2016 as a fundraiser to raise awareness for a regional parkway in San Benito County. His new book about the hike, Palomino Nation: My 2016 Crazyass Walk Across America, was recently released in both paperback and e-book formats on Amazon.

A 66-year old retired high school science teacher, Ostdick walked more than 3,300 miles from Cape Henlopen, Delaware to Point Reyes, California before finishing his hike at Mission San Juan Bautista last October. His book describes the geologic history of the continent and pays respect to the indigenous tribes of the land, as well as detailing his encounters with many generous and helpful “trail angels” of modern America.

Inspiration to share

Ostdick became inspired to do the walk when he joined the R.E.A.C.H. San Benito Parks Foundation, the non-profit organization that advocates for parks and trails across San Benito County. Another part of Ostdick’s motivation was his experience as a science teacher at the local high school. “At the high school there was a significant number of young people who didn’t have the same opportunities or guidance as some kids do. These kids and all of our hard-working families need something healthy and positive to bring us together. We need to step up and create affordable recreational opportunities for them.”

Additionally, the locale itself causes Ostdick to want to share it. “In San Benito County, we have the Mission San Juan Bautista and the compelling stories behind it. We have El Teatro Campesino, Indian Canyon, and a diverse, colorful cultural history. We have the San Andreas and Calaveras Fault systems and a unique geological history. We have two very active historical societies and the San Benito County Historical Park. And we have agricultural, ranching, and wine industries that showcase the very best of the real California. I would like to see all of that connected by accessible walking trails and bike paths.”

After crossing the country on foot, Ostdick wants to remind everyone to “slow down and see your local surroundings as they really are, rare and very much worth protecting for future generations. Take a walk, alone or with a friend, get in touch with Earth’s natural rhythms, and appreciate life at three miles per hour,” he suggests. Over the past several months, he has published informative articles about “Walking San Benito” in the online news source BenitoLink to acquaint local folks with the many hiking opportunities in the county.

About Palomino

Ostdick, 66, who goes by the nickname of Palomino, has had several experiences with long treks. “Since the age of 50, I rode the West Coast from Seattle to San Diego by bicycle,” he said. “I walked the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. And I bicycled the rest of the way around the perimeter of the lower forty-eight states to boot. Age doesn’t have to be a limiting factor as long as you are careful.”

He goes on to say, “People always ask me about my trail name, Palomino. It goes back to my jovial grandfather ‘Pop’ who encouraged me to just ‘relax, pal-o-mine.’ Whenever I need to get through something difficult, I remember Pop and I rely on that best version of myself to stay focused on the moment at hand. Somehow, the trail always seems to provide. The most interesting thing about human-powered long distance travel to me is that it combines focused self-reliance with the faith that help will be there when you need it.” 

Keep up with Jim Ostdick’s blog at www.PalominoDream.blogspot.com


“I just finished PALOMINO NATION and now I’m sad. I was enjoying my daily dose of Jim Ostdick’s walking adventures and the amazing stories of all his trail angels and of our beautiful country. Now what Jim? Please go on another crazyass walk across the country so I can read Part 2!” Lisa D. Smith – co-host of Big Blend Radio, and co-publisher of NationalParkTraveling.com and Parks & Travel Magazine


San Benito County Chamber





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