Sunday, March 16, 2008

Greetings, thanks, and farewell from Vienna!

I thought this would be my absolute last blogging post (and truth be told, I'm not sure how many people are checking at this point), but there will be one more once I finally figure out how to upload the video of my final day of hiking onto Youtube and then link it or import it to the blog. However, having come to Vienna this past week, I've been insanely busy in my old hometown (I was an exchange student here for six months in high school), so things have taken a little longer than I had hoped. But rest assured, the video will be online by the end of the month- and that's a guarantee.
In the meantime, as I bid usahiker.blogspot.com a fond farewell, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made my hike such a great adventure and such a successful fundraiser for the Fisher House Foundation. My first thanks go to the Fisher House Foundation itself for their support and cooperation. They were always eager to provide me with brochures, t-shirts, logistical aid, and moral support (but not van insurance). The work they do is so vital and terrific, as was their support of my efforts. Also, a big thank you as well goes out to the men and women of our armed forces for the work that they do protecting our freedom on a daily basis. And likewise, just as Fisher House, our troops, and I all helped each other out, so did everyone who donated to the Fisher House Foundation throughout the course of my hike. Thanks to you all for your generous support of a great cause.
While the number of people who helped me out personally is far too great to mention, a few also deserve special recognition here. These include all my couch surfing and hospitality club friends, the Ft. Kent, ME historical society, Don Whipple, Russ and Lisa Topmann, the staff of the Young House B & B in Millinocket, ME, Robert Burns, Cullen Blake, Adam Nebesar and Jason Kivett, John Tanski, the Youth Hostel in Dudley, MA, Greg Parker, Jackie Banks, Bruce and Lynda Limpert (and Lynda's sister), Anne and Jeff Bingaman, the Abrecht Family, Nick Spike, the gang from Jeopardy, Paris Goodnight, the Humphries Family, Kenny Kearse, Paul and Ellen Hickey, the Hoffmann and Matthews Families, Dan Sullivan, the Rotary Clubs of St. Augustine, Ormond Beach, and Daytona Beach, the VFW folks in Delray Beach- especially Linda Roman and Linda Makel, Alice and Craig McClelland, the Harter/Herndon Family, Richard Conkright, Jerry Hughes, and Roger Heise. Also, thanks to everyone who gave me free food (there were possibly hundreds of you!) and to all the reporters and media people who helped cover my trek. And finally, a huge thank you to my family for all their support and encouragement over the past seven months.
That's all for now- happy trails!
-David Madden, aka USAhiker
Vienna, Austria
March 16, 2008

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