by Lisa Tome
Scott Bunting never met his grandfather, the late Walter "Scott" Bunting II.
Through photographs and research, he has gotten to know him very well.
Bunting II was born in 1886 and died before Scott, 62, of Colora, was born. Bunting II farmed in the former Village of Mount Vernon, which was located on the Chester/Lancaster county line along the east branch of the Octoraro Creek.
On April 26, 1915, Bunting II left Mount Vernon in a 1911 Model T Ford and traveled cross country with his friend, Spencer McClure. The 8,760 mile trip took him months.
On April 26, 2015, Scott Bunting will make the same journey on a 1999 Honda Goldwing motorcycle. During the trip, Scott will recreate some of the 115 photographs which chronicle his grandfather's trip a century ago.
"We still have the camera. I wish we had the car," said Scott Bunting. "My grandfather died four years before I was born."
Bunting II returned from his trip July 30, 1915. Bunting's plan is to return to the area on or about May 22 this year. "We'd love to take three months, but that's cost-prohibitive," said Bunting, who gathered donations on a go fund me account to offset the cost.
He is battling stage 4 cancer and the trip is on his bucket list.
"My mother does not like motorcycles but she is encouraging me to make the trip," Bunting said. He got the okay from his doctor in January to move forward.
He has spent a significant amount of time researching the journey. Some of the information came from newspaper clippings and history found at Union Presbyterian Church in Colerain, where Bunting II is buried.
This is Bunting's second cross country trip. He and his son went to some of the places Bunting II visited in 2012.
He will be accompanied on this journey by family members David and Susan Moore. David Moore worked tirelessly to restore the photos which Bunting hopes to emulate. Other friends and family will also join for portions of the trip.
"My brother-in-law (David Moore) has been restoring the photos on and off for five years. Trying to ascertain where the photos were taken is like a jigsaw puzzle," Bunting said.
"Some of it we will not be able to duplicate because the stuff is not intact. Percentage-wise at most 30 percent is what we'll truly be able to recreate," he said.
He is looking forward to seeing Pike's Peak and the Petrified Forest. As his grandfather did, he plans to visit a tribe of Native Americans in New Mexico.
"We have had meetings to determine where we will go and where we will stay," he said.
Bunting is a Navy veteran. He retired in 2007 from the Army Corps of Engineers where he processed data from hydrographic surveys. That work experience has helped him with mapping.
"The trip is this thing that gets me motivated and gives me something to look forward to, something to focus on," he said.
"When he (Bunting II) make the trip, the people at home didn't think they'd make it. (The reactions) I've gotten have been mixed. The longest I've ridden on my motorcycle is eight hours," he said.
The trip has also pushed him to expand himself socially. He joined a social network and a motorcycle club. He will meet people along the way from both groups.
"You have to enjoy everyday," he said.
Upon returning he may share his journey by putting a book together or may take his story to public television.