Walking Across America: Ostdick reaches the Pacific Ocean

Retired teacher's cross-country journey will now head south, visiting California missions in the final leg of his trip back to San Benito County

San Benito County adventurer and retired high school teacher Jim Ostdick's cross-country walking journey reached the Pacific Ocean on Saturday, Oct.1, thousands of miles from its start on the shores of Delaware.

Ostdick, whose walk was designed to raise awareness about the R.E.A.C.H. Foundation, stopped at Limantour Beach at the Point Reyes National Seashore on what he called "a perfectly sunny California beach day – it really could not have been any better!"

He was met by fellow R.E.A.C.H. San Benito board members Claudia Fisher and Don Pidd near Point Reyes Station and shared what Ostdick called "the rather emotional ending at the beach.

"Some mysterious salty liquid may or may not have leaked briefly from the area near my eye sockets," he told BenitoLink.  "I was subsequently treated to a lavish steak dinner at the Cattlemen's Restaurant in Petaluma."

On Sunday, Ostdick began a north to south Mission Walk in Sonoma, with plans to visit all of the Northern California Missions between there and San Juan Bautista, which he hopes to reach on or around Oct. 15.

"Eventually, I hope to complete a walking tour of all 21 Missions," he said. "I think I will take a little rest first, though!"

Adam Breen

Adam Breen has been a San Benito County resident since 1980 and graduated from Sacred Heart School and San Benito High School before earning a bachelor's degree from California State University, Fresno. A father of two sons, Adam has taught newspaper, English and yearbook at SBHS for the past decade, after six years as a magazine editor for Santa Clara University. He previously was editor of the Hollister Free Lance and content director for BenitoLink.