Going the Distance
Cross-country walker raises awareness of Victory Junction
By Eugenia Jones
Sixty-four year old Steve Young, wearing his hat and carrying an eighty pound pack, was noticed by many last Wednesday and Thursday as he trudged along HWY 27 with his hiking stick. After spending Wednesday night camped in Whitley City, Young resumed walking southward as part of his effort to bring awareness to Victory Junction-a a medically safe, yet exhilarating 84-acre camp in Randleman, North Carolina, that challenges children who have serious medical conditions to try things they never imagined possible.
Young is nearing the end of his walk across America to raise awareness for Victory Junction Camp which according to https://victoryjunction.org, was the dream of Adam Petty, a fourth generation race car driver from the famous Petty family and a rising star in the sport. Adam’s passion for racing was equaled only by his compassion for others, especially children. Between races, he often visited children in pediatric hospitals. After his tragic death in a racing accident at the age of nineteen, Adam’s family and friends joined together to fulfill his dream of a camp to serve children with serious medical conditions. Adam’s vision became a reality when Victory Junction opened its gates in 2004.
Young, a lifelong fan of Nascar racing, began his journey on March 10, 2020, just one week before COVID-19 began having a major impact on the United States. Young, who has lived in Patrick Springs, Virginia for thirteen years, plans to complete his journey at his second home just outside of Fort Laurderdale, Florida. A native Floridian, Young walked across the United States to California from his home in Virginia. He then trekked back to Arizona before moving northward to the upper part of the U.S. From there, Young headed for the East Coast. He meandered through McCreary County as part of the final leg of his journey to Florida. So far, Young has logged just under 10,000 miles.
Young is writing a book about his journey and hopes to have it published by the end of next year. He logs his adventures daily and stops at public libraries along the way to transfer his log entries to USB flash drive.
“I’m tentatively saying the title of my book will be along the lines of “One Man’s Journey of Hope and Faith” and “I Went Out for Milk and Kept Going,” Young remarked.
Typically, Young contacts local government officials before arriving in towns to let them know who he is and what he is doing. Through county officials, he finds camping locations and other information.
“Judge Greene in this county is a really nice man,” Young said. “He told me about the County Park and said I could camp there for the night.”
Young does not accept direct donations for Victory Junction, but instead distributes information and raises awareness for the camp. Those wishing to contribute to Victory Junction can make donations directly to the camp at: https://victoryjunction.org.