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.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Baton Rouge, LA to ... Tennessee!?! : ))

Having covered over 835 miles in 44 days to get to Baton Rouge, LA to spend some time with a friend whom I have not seen in 25 years, I have been offered the opportunity to travel with him to spend some time with other college friends kayaking, camping, and possibly even caving in the rolling hills of Tennessee.

Although I hesitated at first, because of the time it would take away from my bicycle journey, I have also had to acknowledge that my last 60 mile push into Baton Rouge really took a toll on me. Coming up on four days now, and I am still suffering from some rather disconcerting swelling of my calves and ankles, as well as a tightness in my chest/diaphragm making it a bit hard to draw a full breath. I am hoping the back and forth of the heat of the sun and cold of the waters in which we will be kayaking today will work their magic to reduce this swelling. Furthermore, there is a big bonfire planned for Saturday night where I will have even more opportunities to talk about my trip with friends and friends of friends.

As suggested above, this is going to take a bit of time out of what I had originally allotted for my cross-country transit to Santa Barbara. Nevertheless, at the pace I've been going, I would have been hard-pressed to make it by July 21st anyway, and, although I have not said anything about it so far, I have always had a "Plan B" in the back of my mind, just in case it looked like I was not going to be able to make that deadline.

So, "Plan B" is as follows: I will go as far as I reasonably can (at this point I am aiming for Tucson, AZ as I already have a definite contact there). Then, I will take a bus from Tucson (or wherever I get to) to Santa Barbara. I will attend the Peace Leadership Workshop from July 22nd through the 29th. Then I will take the bus back to Tucson and proceed west to complete my bike trip. What happens after that is yet to be determined! : )

I have already priced the round-trip bus ticket, at between $212 and $300. I will definitely be looking at other, potentially less expensive options as well, but that is what I have to plan for right now. In addition, one way for me to lighten the load, and therefore to speed up a bit, is to NOT carry as much of my own food with me. However, that in turn means I have to spend at least a little more on food I purchase along the way. I'm estimating those expenses in total to be about $40-70/week. I also need to consider carrying more water and electrolytes (store-bought sports drinks or electrolyte powder from Cliff Bar), as the next several weeks through Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona are going to be particularly difficult because of the heat.

In other words, I need to raise between $450 and $750 to get to Santa Barbara in time to attend the Peace Leadership Workshop. This does not include any additional money I might have to raise for the $850 tuition, part of which I Have been able to cover so far with New Member sign-ups (i.e. over 100 names and if I can get those 100 or so people to sign up more people, then I won't need to sign up all of them directly myself). (I have some more direct e-mail work to do in that area, but if I do not have your name, zip code, and e-mail address on my list yet, and you want to be added, please let me know as soon as possible.)

So, that is "where I'm at" right now! A little annoyed with the leg-swelling issues, but hoping the rest and change-up of activities will help with that. Still extremely grateful for all of the support I have already received from friends and "strangers" I now consider friends as well. Still needing more of that support to continue my journey, so please use the PayPal "Donate" button in the right column if you would like to help me along my way.

It has been an Amazing Journey so far! I wish I had more time to write about it, but being able to keep going means, taking more time to focus on fundraising and saving "the rest of the story" for later, and I apologize for that, but that's the reality of the situation right now. Kind of like when public radio stations do their fundraising, you have to "make the call" and help them reach their fundraising goals before they go back to their "regularly scheduled programming"! : )

So, please, "Make the Call" (i.e. make whatever donation you can via my PayPal "Donate" button. : ))

Thanks Everyone! Here's to "Turtle Power" and "Keepin' On, Keepin' On!"

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