Photo by Matt Stensland
David Muniz pushes his shopping cart Friday along U.S. Highway 40 on Rabbit Ears Pass.
Updated July 2, 2010 at 11:44 p.m.
Homeless man David Muniz finishes his journey from Greeley to Steamboat Springs pushing his shopping cart.
Rabbit Ears Pass The things David Muniz carries in his shopping cart and in his pockets as he travels through the Colorado mountains are a testament to the generosity of strangers. The fact that Muniz is pushing a shopping cart through the Colorado mountains is more a testament to his determination.
Muniz, who is homeless, left Greeley on June 22 on his way to Steamboat Springs. By Friday afternoon he was on Rabbit Ears Pass, 13 miles from the edge of town.
Starting at 7:30 or 8 a.m., Muniz walks all day, pushing the shopping cart with a sign that says “Walking for the Homeless.”
Muniz explains that inside the cart he has his tent, a fishing pole, firewood and bundles of granola bars donated by passers-by. Strangers also have helped him make the sign that goes on the outside of his cart and have donated money to him as he passes from town to town.
But Muniz is even more animated when he talks about the people he has met along the way.
“Man, I met so many people,” he said. “I’ve got so many friends now.”
As he took a break to talk near mile marker 149, on U.S. Highway 40, he showed off the small black notebook where he has been chronicling the people he has met and the donations he has received. Even as he stood there, a car pulled over ahead of him and Kendra Chandler, of Windsor, walked back to give him a granola bar. She said she read about him in the Windsor newspaper and wanted to contribute.
In Muniz’s journal he also keeps a record of where he has slept and the major events of his trip, including a bear encounter at a campground. He said he had his knife ready when the bear pressed against the outside of his tent, but the bear wandered off to a trash can instead.
Muniz said he heard a voice warning him before the bear approached, the same voice that started him on his journey. Four times now a woman’s voice has spoken to him, he said, and it told him, “Go on your journey. Find d….” and it trails off before he can hear more.
“It feels like you can feel her breath in my ear,” he said.
Muniz said he wonders if it is the voice of an angel telling him to find his destiny. Whatever — whoever — the voice belongs to, Muniz said he’s happy he took its advice to start his journey. He said he expects to end the trip in Steamboat, which was his home for five years ending in 2001. He used to work at Walmart and City Market, he said, and he hopes to find work again. His daughter lives in Craig, he said, and he’s happy to return to Steamboat.
“I wish I could keep going, but I like Steamboat,” he said. “I like the mountains.”
At the pace he was moving Friday afternoon, it was likely that he arrived in Steamboat by nightfall.