Long Distance Travelers Make Unexpected Connection - Fox 2 News Headlines

Long Distance Travelers Make Unexpected Connection

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A one in a million shot as two men meet at a small cafe in California. Both men happen to be traveling across the country for different reasons but the messages of love they're trying to portray are not so different.

One man traveling 3,500 miles from east coast to west coast, the other man just 50 miles short of the west coast and they happened to meet at Granny's Kitchen.

Millions of things had to line up just perfectly for these two to meet up but the impossible happened.

"I was walking and I'm cold, man so I'm walking and I saw this old guy running...he's got shorts on," Steve Fugate said.

"We just happened to be on this rout at the same time." Ernest Andrus said. "I said, 'Hi there. Where are you headed?' and he said 'West, where are you headed?'"

One running east a few miles a day, the other heading west at a brisk walk - carrying this heap of supplies with him.

Coping with the loss of his wife, 90-year-old Ernest Andrus has vowed to run to the east coast to touch his foot in the Atlantic Ocean.

"I stayed with her and held her hand for about a week, she was in a coma and we had a memorial service for her last Thursday and I figured running is my therapy," Andrus said.

The seemingly impossible task now seems all the more possible bumping into another wayward adventurer who is just wrapping up his cross country adventure.

"This Thursday I do 5.66 and then on Saturday, and then next Monday I'll do 7 miles," Andrus said.

Both men have lived with purpose. Both men are former navy, both men are ridiculously determined, and both have endured the heart ache of losing children to suicide - inspiring their extraordinary physical adventures.

"I want no young person to miss out on loving life like my little boy did a 26 and my little girl did at 36," Fugate said. "I can relate. My oldest daughter committed suicide."

Meeting these men you feel like anything is possible, but Steve says his journey has a very specific message for the world.

"My life is the epitome of the opposite end of the spectrum where you don't want to be here anymore. You don't have the right to take your own life, it doesn't just belong to you, it belongs to your loved ones too," Fulton said.

So the nomads travel on.

Now the two men are close friends. Ernie has quite a ways to go. It's going to take him at least 4 years to make it to the east coast. Steve only has 50 miles to get to the east coast.

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