For Colin Skinner, it all started when he was a hospital orderly in England in 1988.
He saw terminal cancer patients who weren't getting the care he thought they deserved.
"The hospital was good at curing people, but when they couldn't be cured, they didn't know what to do," he said.
The idea of hospice was just taking hold, but for the most part was not known to the public.
To call attention to the possibilities of hospice care, he walked north to south from one end of Britain to the other, talking to reporters and people on the street.
Then he went to the United States to take up his cause, walking from New York City to San Francisco.
Twenty-three years later, he's back in the States, taking a winding, walking tour of America. From New York City, it will take him 12,000 miles to get to San Francisco averaging 20 to 30 miles per day.
But he's making the trip in two separate legs. Two years ago, he went from New York City to Devil's Lake, N.D. He came back this year to finish the cross-country trip.
"I'm married now," he said in his thick British accent. "My wife won't let me be gone more than four months at a time."
Along the way, he has met up with bears, slept in airports and been down to his last dollar. He also has meet hundreds of interesting people, and he's spread the news about the good works that hospice is doing.
Skinner was in Havre on Tuesday. He's heading to Box Elder, then Loma and hopes to be in Great Falls by the weekend.
From there, he'll head to Yellowstone and eventually Arizona before turning back north to California.
During the past week, he's met up with friends he stayed with on his earlier trip to Montana.
In eastern Montana, he met Joe Black, who he stayed with 23 years ago. Black is now 87, but still sang danced and laughed with his visitor. He visited with nurse B. J. Allen in Saco, just as he did the last time.
Along the way, people talked to him, bought him food and even gave him money to donate to the local hospice.
While he was in Havre, he met with Lisa Genereux, the director of Bear Paw Hospice.
Usually between five and seven people are served by the local hospice, she said. The goal is to keep people in their home — whatever they call home — sometimes that might be a nursing home, she said. Hospice staff and volunteers keep clients as comfortable as possible, both mentally and physically.
"People feel more comfortable in their homes," she said.
The hospice's professional staff of nurses and doctors meet the physical needs of the clients, she said. But volunteers are often the best at keeping people comfortable, talking with them, helping them prepare meals or giving them rides to see doctors, friends or relatives.
Family members of the terminally ill can receive education on caregiver services, she said.
She praised Skinner for his work and his donation of money to Bear Paw Hospice. Money, she said, he collected while walking down U. S Highway 2.
But Skinner's biggest contribution, she said, is his education of people about hospice.
It's important to let people know about hospice services long before people need them, she said.