Man Walking Across US Stops in Billings. He’s Wildly Interesting
This week on our show we met a very interesting person.
Many media people like to rattle off all of the celebrities and singers/bands they've met. It's also one of the most frequently asked questions we get when we speak to classrooms or whatever. "Who is the most famous person you've ever met?" I usually share one of the one-or-two meetings that really stand out to me and move on.
The thing about celebrities is that they're sometimes not that interesting to interview or meet. They might be amazing singers or entertainers, but they get tired of getting asked the same questions a million times, especially by media people. Totally understandable.
This week on our show, we met what is honestly one of the most intriguing individuals I have ever met. No joke. He's not a celebrity, but his story could easily be a film or a book. A vlog at minimum. His name is Peter Lilly and he's walking (for the most part) from Miami to Seattle.
Picking up odd jobs along the way.
I heard about Peter Lilly through a friend's post on social media. She owns a staffing agency in Billings and had shared that this guy was walking from Florida to the Pacific Northwest, raising awareness and funds for brain cancer research. "Lori," I asked, "can we please meet this guy?" I mean... imagine walking from Miami to Seattle?! He stopped by bright and early a day later to chat on-air, before heading off to a job site for the day. Listen to the full interview at the bottom of this story.
He left Miami almost a year ago.
Peter lost both his dad and grandmother to brain cancer and he's been a bit of a free spirit since. He told us he's traversed the US once before, taking the southern route through Texas. This time, he left Miami in May of 2022. He made it to Wyoming before stopping to work and hunker down for the winter in Casper and Douglas. Now he's back on the trail to Washington.
Like a turtle, with his house on his back.
Nikki Vega tried to lift Lilly's massive backpack and could barely get it off the ground. It's basically his entire life, including gear to sleep somewhat comfortably outside. When temps dip much below -0, Lilly has other ways of keeping warm, including shelters or churches. Perhaps a friend's couch along the way.
We could've talked to this guy for an hour.
He showed up right on time at 6 am and we opened the mics for about 15 minutes This guy's story was fascinating. He's intelligent, bouncing from various passions and topics brilliantly. I could have asked him at least twenty more questions about his journey. When he left our studio a half hour later, we just sat there with our heads spinning for a moment. Take a listen.
If you'd like to follow Peter Lilly's travels, here's his Instagram, Facebook, and the GoFundMe account PeterPanTravelsForCancer HERE. Of course, quite a few people attempt walking across the US each year. This person is currently strolling across the United States to raise awareness about water scarcity.