Liam Burnell, 40, is hiking from Winthrop, Maine to Los Angeles, California to promote his book 'Take Courage America' and he passed through Biddeford on Tuesday while walking on the Eastern Trail. Burnell expects to finish his journey across America by late next spring. ED PIERCE/Journal Tribune

Liam Burnell, 40, is hiking from Winthrop, Maine to Los Angeles, California to promote his book ‘Take Courage America’ and he passed through Biddeford on Tuesday while walking on the Eastern Trail. Burnell expects to finish his journey across America by late next spring. ED PIERCE/Journal Tribune

BIDDEFORD — Brimming with confidence and a belief that the American people are inherently decent and good, a Maine author has set out on a 4,000-mile journey across America to promote his new book “Take Courage America.”

Liam Burnell, 40, launched his epic trek from Wintrop on July 26 and on Tuesday he passed through Biddeford while walking on the Eastern Trail.

So far, he’s hiking at a pace of about 15 miles a day and says his intent in writing the book and making the journey is to draw attention to the fact that the world is not as dangerous as the TV news makes it look, and he’s walking through cities and the rural countryside to prove his point.

“After watching the hysteria of the last presidential election unfold on network television, I realized that Americans really need to hear some more level-headed perspectives,” Burnell said. “We have a lot of work to get done to solve our nation’s problems, and we have to work together. The last thing we need is to treat our neighbors like enemies just because they voted for someone we don’t like.”

Burnell is an experienced long distance hiker and said that when he was 25, he once walked from Maine to Asheville, North Carolina.

“From that experience, I knew I could walk a long way,” he said. “I’ve found that this time I’m actually making better progress.”

In his book “Take Courage America,” Burnell offers unique perspectives about many of the scariest issues of our time, and shows how most perceived danger exists only in our own imagination. He suggests in the book that many people are actually making the world a more dangerous place by letting fear influence their lifestyles and important decisions. 

“In my opinion, we’ll all be safer if we approach difficult and challenging issues with courage and faith,” he said.

In making this journey, Burnell said the response he’s received along the way has been positive.

“Folks have been so supportive,” he said. “I’ve been encouraged by people who’ve told me their philosophy about life.”

Being outdoors all day long and surrounded by nature, Burnell said he’s observed a number of animals in the early part of his walk, including deer, turtles and many differemt types of birds.

“And just this morning I saw a fox while I was walking through Scarborough,” he said. “That was really unexpected.”

Leaving Maine headed south, Burnell said he’s expecting to pass through Portsmouth, New Hampshire and then will stop in Boston to buy some new hiking shoes.

“The ones I’m wearing are getting worn out,” he said. “But the equipment and material that I’ve brought are holding up.”

In his backpack, Burnell is carrying a tent, bedroll, extra clothing, extra socks, a copy of his book and water. He begins each day a little after dawn and walks until he’s tired in the evening.

In taking time off from his job as a farm worker, Burnell said he’s making a personal sacrifice to alter our culture and inspire others with a positive vision for our country.

“I’m hoping my journey and this book will change people’s lives,” he said. “Many can benefit from its perspective.”

To order a copy of Burnell’s book, visit takecourageamerica.wordpress.com

— Executive Editor Ed Pierce can be reached at 282-1535 ext. 326 or by email at [email protected] 


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