Pedaling for Peace

On April 15, 2012 I started riding my bicycle cross-country from Jacksonville, Florida in voluntary support of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) and the work of author and Peace Leadership Director for the NAPF, Paul K. Chappell. By July 4th, I had covered over 1300 miles to just west of Luling, Texas where a major mechanical failure brought this first stage of my cross-country journey to an end. After storing my bicycle and trailer with my aunt and uncle in Weatherford, Texas, I flew from Dallas to Santa Barbara, California to attend the NAPF First Annual Peace Leadership Summer Workshop. I then lived and worked in Santa Barbara for several more months before I returned to Jacksonville and sold off the rest of my possessions that I could to help fund a continuation of my journey. Starting June 8, 2013 and ending August 9, 2013, I rode from Weatherford, through 400 miles of the central Texas hill country, including Austin, Texas, back to Luling. It was at this point that a friend of mine invited me to work for a brief period in Pennsylvania before flying me back to Santa Barbara where I continued volunteering for the NAPF as well as for the Santa Barbara Bike Coalition. As of August 9th, 2014 I began"Stage III" of my cross-country adventure, this time heading south from Santa Barbara to San Diego and then east to El Paso, TX. It was there that illness, winter weather, and diminishing resources brought that leg of my journey to an end. After staying with another friend in Columbus, GA for several months, I moved "back home" to Kentucky to stay with my dad for a while and build a better "resource base" for future endeavors including review and further tracking and primitive survival skills training at Tom Brown, Jr's Tracker School , and a possible longer tour of the east coast, northern tier, and north west coast back down to Santa Barbara, CA.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Can Already Feel Myself Growing Beyond Limitations

It's kind of funny really... Most of you may not realize this but...I'm a closet introvert! And yet, here I am getting ready to start on a journey that I'm sure will stretch all of my limits - physically, mentally-emotionally, practically, and spiritually.

In the last few weeks, I've learned how to sell things via E-bay and today I figured out how to add a PayPal button to this site (even received my first donation...Thanks, TS! : )). This may not seem like a big deal to some of you (especially younger folks who have grown up with computers) but, honestly, all of this digital stuff is a bit overwhelming for me so what may seem like "baby steps" for some are more like "quantum leaps" for me. But, that's okay, I want to be an "old turtle" that can still learn "new tricks." : )

Although I am most comfortable writing - I'm going to be making videos on this trip as well and posting them to YouTube, something I still need to learn how to do. I expect the first few videos will be kind of rough, but, hopefully, they will get better with time.

Furthermore, in spite of the fact that I am still feeling like crap physically after my trip to New Jersey, I am feeling encouraged as well - in fact, there have been very few people with whom I have discussed my plans who have not offered words of encouragement and support.

I guess, for people who have known me for a while, I have already developed a certain "reputation" over the years - for doing what I say I'm going to matter how crazy it might seem. : ) I may not always do things as quickly as I think I will, but - eventually, with my "Turtle Power" I do follow through.

All-in-all though, I know this trip really isn't just about "me" - I am going to be relying on a lot of support from others along the way - whether it is a couch to sleep on or a place to set-up my tent, or a bag of mung beans here and there. So as much as I may be on my own journey, it is humbling to know that I will not be able to face the challenges alone - just as it would be for anyone in this world today.

We are All In This Together - and we Have to Find better ways of living with one another and with the Natural World. Part of my motivation for making this trip is to help with that basic understanding - to be a "mobile bridge" if you will to help people "cross-over" from one point of view to another and to start re-thinking all of this - all the choices we have made and are making.

It is never too late to Change Your Mind - to try a different approach, to take some chances and just see what the Universe has to show you. : )

(P.S. I just realized it was 12 years ago today that I joined the US Navy - May 25, 1999! Yet another "leap of faith"... so I guess this has become kind of a habit with me. : ))

Update: 6-5-2011 - First YouTube Video posted - Not a big deal really, just a short demo for my Total Gym that I'm selling on e-bay and the "Accessory Caddy" I designed for it. But - there ya' go - another "leap" for me. : ))