Captain America - walking along Idaho's Hwy 55

Driving into McCall to run errands a couple days ago, I see this guy walking along the shoulder of Hwy 55, just outside town:

(Photo credit: David Holsted,

He's hard to miss.

In one hand he holds a shield with a bold red, white and blue design (hidden behind his left leg in photo above), and in the other, a flag wrapped around a staff. His belonging are in the backpack.

He strides purposefully along the shoulder, eyes focused on the pavement, hardly noticing the cars whizzing by him.

My first thought is, "Well, it's getting close to Halloween. Maybe he works in one of the nearby restaurants?"

But his head down, destination-in-mind style of walking makes me toss out that notion.

Finishing my errands and driving back toward New Meadows close to an hour later, I pass Captain American again, about three miles farther down the highway. By now, I remember reading something about such a character roaming the country, for some cause, but that's all I remember. I'm tempted to stop, take a photo, ask who he is and what he's doing. But he's along a stretch of highway with little shoulder and a 55 MPH speed limit. I decide to keep driving toward home.

I expected to see something about him in the McCall weekly newspaper, which came out yesterday. Nothing.

A Google search discloses the following basic background: He's a young man named Scott Mullens, and he's been on a walkabout since 2009. He didn't start as Captain America; sometimes he dressed as Superman. He grew up in a Dalton, GA orphanage. His cause has always been to draw attention to the plight of homeless vets and to raise money for local VFW posts along his route. He's now on a mission to visit every state capitol, and walk the outlines of every state. He figures he'll be walking until 2020, when he'll be 38 years old. 

According to an interview with reporter Mark Olson of the Chaska Herald (Minnesota) published July 1, 2011, "As he walks, Mullens listens to an iPod he found on the side of the road containing 3,000 songs. Although, he noted, he only can listen to about 30 percent of the music – bypassing the Brittney Spears and Hannah Montana songs for the Conway Twitty and Travis Tritt."

Given his route and direction when I saw him, I'm guessing he's left Boise, and is on his way to Olympia, Wash. Maybe I'll see him again when I head back to Washington.

Happy trails, young man.
Rebecca WallickComment