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, April 22, 2013

One More Week Left in Florida!

As of this time next week, I should be heading to the bus station to begin my 24+ hour trip back to Texas. As of right now, I still need to raise at least another $100 or so just to start the trip. That leaves another $2000 or so to raise to finish it.

I have a New Page on this blog, in case you haven't noticed. I'm calling it my "Please and Thank You" page. On it I have listed, pretty explicitly, all of my "needs" and some of my "wants" for the second half of my cross-country bike trek, and I will be updating it regularly. I didn't have anything like this for the first half of my journey because I did not have the experience to know for sure what my needs were going to be, and I was still getting used to this blogger platform which has actually changed quite a bit since I first started using it. However, this time I do have that first half of the trip under my belt, so the estimates should be pretty on-target. Furthermore, I'm going to be more diligent in giving public recognition to the people who have been helping me (if they would like that). I was not as savvy about how to do that on this blog last time, but now that I have my "Please and Thank You" page, I feel I should be able to do that without too much difficulty.

For the record: This has all been an amazing Learning Process for me and although I wish I had known how to do everything from the beginning, there have been a lot of things I've had to figure out along the way instead, and I figure, that's okay, too!

Now, however, speaking of "Donations" if you would like to provide financial support for my trip, there is always the PayPal "Donate" button, and as you will see on my "Please and Thank You" page (linked in the upper part of the right-hand column), I have provided some other alternatives for sending money to me via my friend Alisa as well. There are also specific items you can purchase directly and then have them shipped to Alisa and she will then get them to me. Or...if you let me know in advance, I may be able to give you an upcoming host's address to which you may ship needed supplies. ALL types and levels of support are welcomed and appreciated!

And, speaking of Alisa...She has been so very generous to me over the last couple of months. She gave up her room to me, and I have made a mess of it with all of my boxes, etc. (which I will be clearing out this week, of course). She has been chauffering me around to and from the Christ Church Bazaar on Wednesdays, and to and from my storage unit, and of course, to get groceries. She's an awesome person and there is simply no way I could be doing what I'm doing without her support. I feel very lucky and grateful to count her as a friend.

Another person who has been particularly helpful is Mike Kieffer who manages the bazaar/flea market for Christ Church. Not only has he helped me with a free table at the market, he has offered his friendship and personal support as well, helping me to get connected with the local VFW here (and, thereby, to all of the other VFW's across the country), giving me some work to do and get paid for, and buying some of my few "man things" at the flea market. He is a wonderful man, and I have enjoyed getting to know him better as a friend during this second time around for me here in Florida.

I have one more week here before I will be taking a bus to Texas. I've chosen the bus over a plane because the price was significantly lower and, as Alisa and I agreed, it would give me more of an opportunity to meet and possibly talk with other people about my mission...which is really what this is all about! I am getting more excited about getting back on the road as I trudge through the remaining practical details I've had to handle here in Florida. Once again, I am looking at maps, e-mailing potential Warm Showers and Couch Surfing hosts, planning my route, and keeping my heart open in faith, as it has been through all of this, knowing that, things Will Work way or another! That is something else that this past year plus of experience has taught me: I have never gone hungry; I have never been without shelter; I have never been "completely broke" (although I was down to change a few times); and I am meeting so many wonderful and generous people, and learning so many life lessons from all of these experiences, I know it has been well Worth the Effort, and I am motivated to keep "efforting" as necessary to Finish what I have Started!

It continues to be an amazing adventure and I appreciate every person who has been a part of it with me as I continue to "Pedal for Peace"!

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