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Man pulling two-wheel cart roams the country for no particular cause

Marc Charleboise pulled his two-wheel cart along Highway 34 just east of Park Rapids on Monday morning. The Minot, N.D. native says he has walked 48,000 miles across the country since 1992. (Kevin Cederstrom/Enterprise)

A mysterious man pulling a two-wheel cart walking along Highway 34 outside Park Rapids drew curious looks Monday morning.

Marc Charleboise methodically marched his colorful cart bundled with his belongings as he made his way from the upper northeast edge of Hubbard County toward Park Rapids.

Charleboise is originally from Minot, N.D. said he has been pulling his cart on and off since 1992 when he walked out of California. Since then he’s been through 21 states and walked 48,000 miles.

We see hikers, bikers, runners and river paddlers through these parts somewhat regularly, particularly in the summer, and most do what they do for some greater cause.

Not Charleboise.

“I’m just running from glaciers right now,” he joked.

Charleboise is not walking to find a cure for cancer or raise political awareness. He’s walking to walk. To explain, he referenced the popular television sitcom “Seinfeld” which was a “show about nothing.”

“I’m out here because I don’t have a cause,” he said.

Charleboise broke his back as an infant and has lived with the pain all his life. He reinjured his back in 1995 after being hit by a pickup while walking in Texas, sending him flying 100 feet.

He claims he did not receive the medical care he needed and now continues to roam the country. Pulling a two-wheel cart helps keep his neck and back loose.

He depends on government benefits and, as he puts it, “the kindness of strangers.”

Ironically, his last name in Ojibwe means “wooden cart,” something he didn’t find out until eight years ago.

People often ask Charleboise how does he know how far he’s walked and he explains, “government agents put out little green signs written in Arabic.” Not many people get that joke, he said referring to the highway mile markers.

The red cart looks like something out of a circus or something a snake oil salesman may have used in the Old West. Charleboise has received plenty of press over the years. He finds humor in it all, noting his cart has been described as a gypsy wagon, circus wagon, ice cream cart and a thunder mug. His favorite though, is a Korean war veteran once told him the cart looked like a night soil wagon.

You’ll have to look that one up yourself.

From Park Rapids, Charleboise was spotted walking west on Highway 34 near Osage.

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