"Gorilla Guy" raises $30,000 for primates
Other than having to sit out one day to nurse a cold and severe shin splints, a Woodinville man who walked from Seattle to Portland to benefit...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Other than having to sit out one day to nurse a cold and severe shin splints, a Woodinville man who walked from Seattle to Portland to benefit Africa's mountain gorillas said the adventure was a great success.
"The response was fantastic," said Drew Nichol, 42, whose 228-mile walk netted more than $30,000 in donations and pledges to assist the nonprofit Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, which works in Africa to protect the last 700 mountain gorillas on Earth.
Nichol, an Eastside mortgage-loan officer who began his 10-day walk at the Woodland Park Zoo June 6, said the unseasonably cold temperatures, sometimes dipping into the 40s, presented a challenge.
And on the soggy first afternoon of his walk, he said, "it felt like someone was soaking me with a hose" from Seward Park to Renton.
After five days on the road, he rested one day in a cabin near Tenino, Thurston County, to ease his sore leg and recover from a cold, before completing his journey to Portland's Oregon Zoo.
Back at work this week, Nichol said, "My toes are still numb and I have a funky tan on my left leg from wearing a knee brace."
Nichol, whom acquaintances sometimes call "the Crazy Gorilla Guy" because his office is filled with gorilla paraphernalia, has felt a growing connection to the animals since he saw the remake of "King Kong" in 2005.
He's finishing up a DVD to benefit the gorilla project and plans to visit Rwanda to see the gorillas for the first time this fall.
Details of his campaign are on his Web site, www.gorillasinourmidst.org.
Jack Broom: 206-464-2222 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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