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.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Tennessee Excursion - Part IV - Back to Rugby and Viewing the Venus Transit Enroute to Baton Rouge

After saying our good-bye's at Bee Rock, Randy and I headed back to Rugby for another couple of nights at his parents' house. We traveled with his mother into the nearby town of Jamestown, where we visited a home/business called "Mixon's Emporium". Here we found an unusual combination of children's clothes, garden plants, and guns! But what was probably most unique was the presence of a Giant Rooster in whose "belly" were housed a collection of locally donated books - part of a network of "Little Free Libraries" that are now popping up all over the country and world. Little Free Library.Org

On our way back to the house, Randy's mother was informed by "The Plant Lady" that she had seen some rare orchids in the front fields. We stopped the car at the driveway entrance and took turns looking, to no avail. Later, however, Randy was able to find them and like the turtle dreams I used to have, once one was spotted, then it seemed others appeared "everywhere". Turned out this rare orchid was of the Ragged Fringed variety, or Platanthera lacera. Randy's photo was highlighted in a related post in the June 11 issue of Rugby Week

I really enjoyed my stay at "Roslyn". Loved the character of the old house, with its dark-stained wood everywhere. I have always appreciated old houses that have stood the test of time, much like old trees that stand out in the middle of a leafy forest. It was a welcome retreat and it was great to spend time with Randy's mother and step-father again. This time, I promise I won't be forgetting the experience any time soon!

From Rugby we traveled back to Baton Rouge, however, there was another "event" going on that day, something that would not happen again for 105 years: The Transit of Venus Across the Sun!

Though the skies were somewhat cloudy, Randy and I persevered. Stopping first at a rest stop and then at exits 15-30 minutes apart, Randy was intent on capturing as many photos as possible. It was kind of cool to be able to share another very "special occasion" with my friend. As I think Mark Twain once said: "Sorrow can take care of itself. Joy is better shared."

**And Thanks to Randy for sharing photos for this blog. : )

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