A long walk that really matters

Print Article

What do you do when your 18-year-old son, with the promise and prime of his life ahead of him, dies from alcohol poisoning?

Barry Adkins went for a walk.

It wasn't just any walk: He has walked more than 1,000 miles, through deserts and mountain passes - seven days a week on the road, averaging 14 miles a day on his pedestrian trek.

His sojourn, dubbed Kevin's Last Walk, was not just to bring his son's ashes 1,450 miles from Gilbert, Ariz., to Kalispell.

It also was an expedition of hope and education. By sharing his family's tragedy, Adkins hopes to spare other youths the potentially fatal consequences of alcohol.

Along the way on his epic trek, Adkins has told and retold the story of his son's abrupt death in July 2005. He tells how Kevin had just moved into his own apartment the day before his death. He tells how the teen started partying with beer, then moved to hard liquor.

He replays Kevin's last message: At 2:30 a.m., Kevin left a voicemail for his sister, telling her how much fun he was having and that he had downed six double shots of Jack Daniels.

He tells how Kevin passed out later and never woke up. His blood-alcohol level was .36.

After he's done telling all this - often to rapt audiences of youths - Adkins talks about responsibility and how one responsible person could have prevented Kevin's tragedy.

Then he walks on, to the next highway and the next town and the next chance to make Kevin's death matter.

Along his walk, Adkins has spread his message to more than 7,000 people. And it's a message that should resonate with all parents - particularly at this time of year, when the summer party scene is picking up for youths.

Now the walk is nearing its end in Kalispell.

Kevin's Last Walk becomes Kevin's Last Stop on July 1 with a day of remembrance and fun at Majestic Valley Arena.

The end of the trail for Adkins will be a community event, with people invited to walk with him on the last stretch through the Flathead Valley.

It will be one more way for Adkins to share his message, his grief and his love for his son.

Adkins' daily online journal entries close with the prophetic statement:

"Something very good will come from this …"

We think it already has.

Print Article

Read More

Blue Ribbon event postponed

April 24, 2017 at 12:53 pm | Daily Inter Lake The Nurturing Center’s annual Blue Ribbon child abuse prevention event that had been planned for Tuesday afternoon at Kalispell’s Lawrence Park has been postponed, due to the death of the center’s ex...


Read More

Election manager says accuracy is paramount

April 24, 2017 at 8:00 am | Daily Inter Lake As the election manager for Flathead County, Monica Eisenzimer has seen some long days and nights. During the particularly busy 2012 general election, she went to work in the morning on Election D...


Read More

Libby High School students earn top honors

April 24, 2017 at 8:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Libby High School sophomore Justin Brewer and junior Sabra Hancock are taking care of business. The Libby team made the right moves during a business simulation to earn them top honors at the Mont...


Read More

The ‘Godfather of girls track’ led FVCC’s trailblazing Mountainettes to championship

April 24, 2017 at 8:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Neil Eliason may be the “Godfather of girls track” but the soft-spoken coaching legend didn’t earn the nickname the way the other dons did. This godfather ruled without an iron fist. “Oh my gosh, ...


Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2017 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy