Featured Hiker: Granny D, Featured Store: Larson’s General (La Crosse, WI)

Featured Hiker: Granny D, Featured Store: Larson’s General (La Crosse, WI)

This winter, we’ve been very focused on two things: hikers and stores. So it seems very natural to create a ‘feature’ where we highlight one of each.

At the age of 88, Doris Haddock—who became known as “Granny D”—left Pasadena, California on foot and walked 3,200 miles across the continental United States to Washington, D.C. to advocate for campaign finance reform. Today is her birthday, or rather it would be if she hadn’t died in 2010. She set off on January 1st, 1999 from the Rose Bowl Tournament of Roses Parade and arrived in D.C. on February 29th (leap year!), 2000. She took a southerly route, walking through the American Southwest, Texas, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, the Virginias, and Maryland, averaging 10 miles per day. She walked the last several with a bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives and Senators. Along the way, she spoke as frequently as she could, talking passionately about the need to get money out of politics. She helped to create the political support for the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law of 2002. Unfortunately, their bill didn’t solve the problem. We need more Granny Ds.

While she was not a ‘hiker’ in the traditional sense—and we can’t be sure how she felt about hummus—she rates as one of the all-time great walkers. She set an example of both how the act of walking can be used as a tool in a democracy and how to be an active citizen as a senior, (she also ran for Senate unsuccessfully when she was 94!) So, today we celebrate Granny D—I suspect that this small episode of US history has largely been forgotten. If you’d like to learn more, YouTube has many clips of her speeches and there was a documentary released called, Granny D Goes to Washington—unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be available online. We would be thrilled if someone, inspired by her example, happened to be enjoying our Hiker’s Hummus along their way. If you know of someone like that, drop us a line.

(Photo by Tom Williams, 2/29/2000, Public Domain)

Since they placed their first wholesale order last year, we’ve been stanning this shop from afar. So if you find yourself in La Crosse, you should visit Larson’s General and let us know what you think. It’s the 21st Century general store that every community needs, with a strong focus on sustainability. Not only do they sell local goods and foods (like uBu Foods), but they are a “refillery.” They have more than 200 bulk items, including culinary ingredients, cleaning products, and things like shampoo. We’re proud that they stock our Macha Chili Oils and Hiker’s Hummus.


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