Man pulling a cart turns heads
Marc Charlebois, 63, says he has been pulling his hand-built cart around the countryside since 1992. Just 100 miles short of 54,000 miles, he was turning heads as he moved west towards Beloit on K-9 (dog highway, as he called it) on Friday afternoon.
Originally from Minot, North Dakota, Charlebois said it all started with a firecracker. When he was a young child, he was thrown backwards after shooting fireworks and suffered a back injury. He said he was injured again in 1976 with a broken neck and that nobody believed in the pain he was experiencing. He began to self medicate and then took up his long-distance journey on foot.
"They just hung me out to dry," Charlebois said. "I built this cart and began to walk."
When asked if he had ever seen the movie 'Forest Gump', he replied that he had been gumping before Gump ever gumped.
Charlebois says he is a painter and said he is part Ojibwe. He learned that his name translates into meaning 'wooden cart'. His cart averages 450 pounds.
Just seven years ago, Charlebois said he landed in the ditch after being struck by a vehicle. Ironically, he said it decompressed his spine and gave him three years without the pain he had always known.
Charlebois said just as he crossed into Mitchell County on Friday, he was greeted by a law enforcement officer.
"I have been stopped so many times. I guess I don't walk fast enough, but I sure have received a lot of waves in this county, laughed Charlebois."
Although Charlebois doesn't have an agenda, he averages 19.4 miles a day pulling his cart and says he has everything he needs. He keeps a journal and plans on moving straight forward. To California maybe? He says he sleeps in ditches as he pulls his attached rolled up tarp over the cart and himself for sleeping.
"It looks just like an old small piece of farm equipment and nobody has ever bothered me," said Charlebois.
So, destination unknown, Charlebois says he marches to a different tune and expressed his motto as being, "Fame and Fortune, Hades if I don't change my ways, and Death on the Highway."
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