PALMYRA, Maine - Of course I had to stop. You kidding me?
A guy rolling a huge rubber ball painted like a globe, walking along a relatively lightly traveled section of U.S. Highway 2 in Maine - this had to be a story, and I had to get some answers.
His name is Erik Bendl, he's from Kentucky, and this is what he does when he's not making a living as a carpenter. He's on his way to Acadia National Park, having left from Washington, D.C. in April.
Bendl is "walking the world for diabetes awareness," as it says on his website, www.worldguy.org. His mother, former Kentucky state Rep. Gerta Bendl, died from the effects of diabetes at age 55 in 1987. His answer to fight the all-too-common disease: exercise. He's certainly practicing what he preaches. He lugs his tethered 80-pound ball about 10 miles a day, with his son, Ethan, 19, and dog, Nice, along for the walk.
Each day he gets a ride back to his van, parked where they left from that morning. I saw him Aug. 8. From his website, I see that he probably reached Acadia today.