Over the weekend, people in Collinsville, Illinois, caught a glimpse of an odd and whimsical sight that's been spotted in states across the U.S. – a man dressed in a bear costume, walking merrily down the road.
His name is Jesse Larios, but he also goes by Bear Sun. He's hoofing it from Los Angeles to New York, wearing a bear suit the whole way.
Larios started on July 5 and hopes to arrive in Times Square in about a month. To make it by then, he'll have to go 30 miles a day instead of his average of 28.
It's a 2,800-mile trip that has so far included triple-digit heat in the Mojave Desert and monsoon rains in Arizona.
With no support vehicle, KSDK reports Larios is making the trip by carrying water, protein bars, and a tent to sleep in along state highways and back roads.
Larios says the people he’s come in contact with have treated him well so far.
"How will I be treated? You know, let, let's see how it goes. And now there are people that have been a very humane, a lot of humanity out there. A lot of good," Larios told KSDK.
Why is he braving such extremes across such a long distance? Well, he's raising money for five causes, including breast cancer research, mental health issues, autism, the disabled community, and environmental issues.
However, Larios says his main goal is to simply make people smile.