Two Troup County residents are hosting a man that will walk through the area today as part of his multi-year cross-country walk.
Aben and Tamara Gentry will host walker George Throop as he treks from Valley, Ala., to Troup County today. Throop began his walk in September 2009, starting in Washington state and has the ultimate destination of Washington, D.C.
Throop, who lost his mother to cancer at a young age, has a goal is to raise awareness of cancer and help encourage people to reduce their risk by living healthier. He aims to inspire people to walk at least 20 minutes per day by walking 20 miles per day on his journey.
“We can take many steps in our daily lives toward preventing the risk of deadly cancers,” he wrote on his website enjoythewalk.org. “Amongst these steps, finding time for quality daily exercise is huge.”
As he travels, Throop depends on people along his route to give him a place to stay after each of his walks. The Gentrys didn’t know about Throop and his cause until he reached out to them through a website dedicated to connecting travelers with people willing to host them.
Aben Gentry said he became aware of couchsurfing.org while traveling in Europe, and liked the idea of it offering a way to interact with new and interesting people. The website helps verify travelers and gives background to ensure they are safe and allows hosts and their potential guests to interact and get to know each other beforehand.
“The whole couch surfing experience is interesting for those who haven’t tried it before,” he said. “It’s almost like picking up hitchhiker, but … you know what they’re like, you feel you know what they’re like and your comfortable (with them).”
Throop called the Gentrys and asked to stay with them as he made his way through the area, and they readily agreed, even before knowing about his cause. He’s the first person they’ve hosted through the site.
“I was really blown away to talk to him,” Aben Gentry said. “I didn’t spend too much time investigating his cause when I talked to him personally. He’s just an interesting guy to talk to. I know the basics of what he’s doing, and I definitely support the guy’s goals.”
For more information on Throop, his cause and a blog detailing his journey, go to enjoythewalk.org.