Seeing "the walker" a few days ago reminded me of this book.
"A Walk Across America" by Peter Jenkins.
Peter sets out with a backpack and his dog in the 1970's and walks from the northeast to New Orleans, finds the love of his life and he and his wife walk to the Pacific Ocean. Along the way his dog is accidentally killed, he lives with a black family for several months while working at a sawmill in North Carolina, meets a mountain hermit and he and his wife are befriended by an old rancher in Colorado.
I think you will find this a very interesting book.