Austin Shirley, alongside his friend Bryan Cochran and dog Archer have reached the final destination of their journey. Shirley started a mission called Chasing the Sun 2013 to help raise money and awareness for wounded service men and women by walking across the country.
Shirley left Jacksonville, Florida in October 2013 and stopped in Abilene earlier this year. During that time, the men raised $19,000 through the website, www.crowdrise.com.
The goal was to reach San Diego and raise $50,000. The men and dog arrived to the Pacific Ocean Friday afternoon and was greeted by a crowd of supporters. At the end, Chasing the Sun 2013 raised around $63,000.
They plan to drive back home this time.
ORIGINAL STORY (2/9/14):
A man and his dog are walking across the country to raise money for wounded service men and women.
Austin Shirley and his Siberian husky Archer left Jacksonville, Florida on October 9th 2013 to start a mission called Chasing The Sun. The fundraiser is a way to recognize the people who were hurt while in the line of duty. During his journey, his friend Bryan Cochran joined him as Shirley was passing by Shreveport, Louisiana.
The two men and the dog arrived to Abilene from Albany at around 1 a.m. on Sunday. The fire department arranged a hotel for them to stay in. Normally, Shirley would camp outside in a tent or a hammock but would stay in a hotel and accept food if it was offered to him for free.
The men say they try to walk at least 22 miles a day and plan on walking an additional 16 miles from Abilene. Shirley says they've received countless support from people including a man who donated $10,000.
Shirley admits that the elements are the hardest part of the adventure. He's determined to reach San Diego, California where he plans on jumping off a cliff and into the water.
So far, the men raised around $19,000 and believes it may take them three more weeks before leaving Texas.
To learn more about the cause, visit the Facebook page at Chasing the Sun 2013 or visit crowdrise.com.