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In Search of the Man with the Giant Cross

“I will be meeting up with Tom on Monday somewhere in Connecticut, so you can follow along on the Vagabond Journey Travelogue . . .” I spoke to the listeners of The EDGE Albuquerque.

A man needs to make good on such boasts.

Going in search of the man with the giant cross. I emailed Tom, and got a response that said he would be somewhere on RT 1 in Connecticut.

“Will continue down rt1 if you want to catch up and walk awhile, see you soon, Tom”

So this is what I will do:

Travel the route that Tom Helling walked from Bangor to CT. Scope out the lay of the land by car, inquire at some major cross roads if anyone had seen the man with the cross — “What did you think? — and then finally try to find him . . . somewhere on the side of the highway.

I suppose this needle in a haystack operation should not be that difficult. The smokescreen down there should be pretty thin: I do not think that there are many other men walking down RT 1 with 10′ Jesus crosses over their shoulders.


I met Tom Helling on the side of highway 1A outside of Bangor, Maine in early January. It was his first full day out on his walking journey from Maine to Mexico. I interviewed him, wrote a story.

Such a flood of attention came on the heels of that story that the only recourse available was to meet back up with the man with the giant cross, as he walks across the USA.

I collect my gear:

X- pad of paper

X -mini pencils

X – Asus laptop

X – Alphasmart writing device

X- voice recorder

X – camera

X – granola bars

X – water bottles

X – backpack

My mission is simple:

To follow up with Tom and  find out what has been through since we last met. I want to find out how the Road has been as he walked for nearly two months through through four states — facing rainstorm, hail, and sun. I want to talk with him about the people he has met on his journey, the trials, tribulations, sunny days, and stormy weather — I want to connect the dots on this tale.

Read the initial article, A Cross America

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Filed under: Journalism, USA

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 80 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3169 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Puketi Forest, New ZealandMap