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Meet a Man Who Has Been to All 3,143 US Counties

Reid Williamson is one of 32 Extra Miler Club 'completers'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 24, 2012 2:30 PM CDT
Meet a Man Who Has Been to All 3,143 US Counties

Apparently visiting all 50 states wasn't enough for Reid Williamson: The 64-year-old is one of just 32 "completers," Extra Miler Club members known to have visited all 3,143 US counties. Washington Post columnist John Kelly takes a fascinating look at Williamson's quest, which started at age 14 after he received an atlas that outlined each of the country's counties as a gift. Alaska was the toughest state for him to conquer: It required three separate trips, one of which involved 29 flights. "I tried not to think about the money. I ate canned tuna fish afterwards for a while," he says.

But his quest wasn't just about crossing counties off a list, he tells the Post: "I travel for the purpose of seeing the face of the Earth," he says. But as for some of the more boring parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, "I might not have gone to some of them if I wasn't doing this." Interestingly, Williamson comes from Delaware, which has the fewest number of counties: three. Some Extra Milers are even more extreme, notes Kelly, insisting on crossing every county's border with another county. "There's like 19,000 of those," Williamson says. "I’m not doing that one." But he has traversed 107 of 110 state-to-state borders, and is nearly done with his quest to visit all 370 Colonial churches on the Eastern seaboard—though he's hit one snag. (More map stories.)

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