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Most people would probably admit to daydreaming about a great adventure, perhaps one that takes off into the wild blue yonder with no set travel rules, only a destination to be reached.
On July 19, two Lancaster natives set out on just such an adventure, backpacking down the southeast coast and across the deep south to Phoenix, Ariz.
“It’s our plan to film this as we go, to document the journey,” said Donny Pines, one half of the duo making the trip. “I’m a musician, and it’s always been my dream to travel and play music along the way. So we just decided to do this. I believe you can accomplish things and make things happen with just sheer grit and determination, and that’s one reason why we want to document what happens along the way.”
“One thing we want to prove is that you can get to where you want to go without a lot of money,” said DeeJay Smith, Pines’ traveling partner and a 2010 graduate of Lancaster High School. “I’m a musician, too, and on this trip it is our goal to be the two best traveling troubadors from South Carolina that we can possibly be.”
Some travel arrangements for the journey have been made in advance, however. Pines said they have arranged for places to spend the night in several major cities along the route, and they will catch rides to be handed off between friends. Otherwise, the pair will be walking and maybe even hitchhiking to reach Phoenix, where the end result will be a reunion with another Lancaster native, Josh Rhyner. Rhyner moved to Arizona several years ago and is the guitarist for the band “Ladybird”.
After Pines and Smith reach Phoenix, they will join up with the band for several tour dates across the country before being dropped off in Charleston on Aug. 18.
“We’re thinking it will only take us eight or nine days to get to Phoenix, but as long as we are there by Aug. 7 at the latest, we’ll still be on schedule,” Pines said. “I’m excited about riding along with the band, but I’m also excited about the journey itself. I’m the type of person who likes to inspire others. Maybe if people see that we’ve done this, it will spur them on to do something they’ve always wanted to do, but didn’t think there was a way.”
Pines said some people have told him the idea is too dangerous, but he doesn’t see it that way.
“I believe that the world is a nicer place than we’re told,” he said. “For sure, there’s a lot of negative stuff going on in the world, but I believe people are a lot nicer than we’re led to believe. Our culture is one of fear in a lot of ways, and there are a lot of things out there that people are afraid of, whether it ever even happens or not. I’m just not going to let fear get in my way, because accomplishing this means more to me than the fear of what might happen.”