Friday, July 23, 2010

Here we go!

Friends, family, brothers & sisters of the Earth,

I am planning to embark upon the journey of a lifetime. An adventure into the heart of the United States of America, a country which I do not know well enough to suit my liking, after having been a part of it for my entire life. A journey of spiritual awakening, bonding with my fellow humans, discovering the lands, peoples and artifacts of the country which has shaped world policy and culture for the last century. This will also be a personal journey, connecting it all with my own body in a healthy, sustainably driven message of hope and progress.
In June of 2011, I plan to depart on a self-supported bicycle tour of unknown duration. I will begin at my family’s home in Trinidad, CA, and go North through Oregon and Washington before heading east through the northern states to arrive in Minnesota for the wedding of my good friend, Greg Krajacic in late summer. From there, I plan to spend winters in the south and summers in the north, traversing the country from top to bottom in the spring and fall. I will stay with friends, family, friends of friends and family of friends. I would love to visit each and every one of you along the way. I will also stay with strangers, with new friends, with other travelers and alone. I will blog and take photographs and stop for several weeks, or perhaps months, in several places. I will seek out centers of sustainable living, progressive ideas, intentional communities, and bright hope for the future of our planet. I will seek out ancient wisdom and natural order, and strive to follow the teachings of the wind and that water and the mountains. I will raft rivers and climb mountains and build fires and spend time in the wilderness alone. I will visit as many national parks, states, “cool” cities and places as I can, and I will come back when it feels time. I will live simply, breathe deeply, and keep my mind as well as all of my senses open to the teachings of the world.
I would love and appreciate your support on this journey. Though I am undertaking this journey by myself, I know that I need other people to make it happen. On a new website which I am creating, I will be posting my proposed route, along with photographs and a summary of my previous few days of adventure. If you or someone you know happens to be living or traveling near my proposed route, I’d love to say hi! I will be asking much of my fellow humans. Places to lay my body for the evening, hot meals, showers, internet access, etc. Though I am planning this journey alone, I do not plan on being lonely. I will stay connected to the community of people that I’ve become a part of over the past few years, and connect them to new people who I meet along the way. I am still in the planning phases of this journey, and just now gathering the resources, equipment and information that I will need to succeed. If you have the time and the inclination, I’d love to hear from you. Please read on!

These are a few things that I could use help with at this early stage:

1. If you’d like a visit and happen to be on my route in the first 3 months (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota), please send me your most up-to-date address and contact info. Also, if you know people in the area who you think would be happy to host me, please let me know.
2. If you’d like to ride with me, I’d love to have your company for any length of my trip. I expect to do most of the riding alone, so I won’t mind if you want to join me for an hour or a month!
3. Representation: I am actively seeking organizations and individuals which would be interested in being represented by, sending a message with or asking a specific task to be taken on during my journey.
4. Suggestions of the best places to see and things to do! Think low-budget, low tourist traffic, and ideally accessible by bicycle. Where have you traveled that shouldn’t be missed? Nationwide. Please check the website for a list of places that I am already planning on visiting.
5. Equipment: I’d love to give a new life to any of these things you may have laying around:
a. Front bicycle rack & panniers
b. Semi-pro digital SLR camera (not too fancy)
c. Cold-weather bicycling gear. I wear a men’s large in most things.
i. Skull cap
ii. Gloves
iii. Leggings
iv. Wind-resistant, form-fitting layers
d. Lightweight, waterproof bicycle cover
e. Keychain-sized USB flash drive, 4 GB capacity or higher – for backup!

I would like to take a moment to thank those few dozen of you who followed my journey in Southeast Asia. The comments and kind words that you gave me boosted my morale and stimulated my motivation to take on something even more fantastic and meaningful. Thank you.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Plan

Bike Trip across the US:

Mission: Make relationships and find opportunities for a fulfilling, sustainable, passionate and joyful life of hard work, celebration, education and compassion. Inspire others to do so. Learn about the country and people that I am a part of. Spread “FourYears. GO.”

• Guiding principles:

1. Listen and learn.
2. Everything is connected; gently help people to see what they are a part of, and cherish it, if they are so inclined.
3. Everything is constantly changing. Trying to keep things the same only promotes unplanned, often undesirable, change. Be the change you want to see in the world.
4. Find wisdom & let it speak to me.
5. Celebrate! Joy is essential to a good life.
6. Let the trip determine where and for how long I stay. Take opportunities as they arise.
7. Health is necessary for joy, awareness & survival.

• Primary Goals:

1. Listen to the problems, concerns, needs and desires of my countrymen. Strive to see things from their perspective.
2. Help people to see their connections. Bring a message and a physical example of sustainable travel, sustainable lifestyle, and urgent sustainable change wherever I go.
3. Meet up with, stay with, visit with and take an interest in the lives of friends and family, wherever they may be.
4. See the country and the people that I am a part of, that I am able to influence, that I represent to the world.
5. Visit towns and cities recommended by friends as outdoorsy, progressive, or just plain cool.
a. Visit sustainable communities, intentional communities, centers of progress and change.
6. Visit as many national parks as feasible, stay the night in the wilderness when possible.
7. Visit Indian Reservations and seek ancient wisdom from native elders.
8. Hit all of the states I have not yet seen.
9. Couch surf as much as possible to save money and spread the love and the message.
10. Blog the trip

• Secondary Goals

1. Support myself by finding employment in sustainable endeavors wherever I may be. (sponsors? Bike shops?)
2. Spend time in the wilderness to recharge.
3. Support myself by other means.
4. Travel by the seasons, summers in the mountains/north, winters in the desert/south
5. Visit all national tourist sites (Mt. Rushmore) that are reasonably priced.
6. Hike a piece of each of the big trails (Appalachian, PCT, Ozark, Continnental Divide)

Cities to Visit, in no particular order:

Oregon: Ashland, Eugene, Bend, Portland
Washington: Olympia,
Arizona: Flagstaff
Texas: Austin
Michigan: Ann Arbor
Colorado: Boulder, Nederland, Durango
Indiana: Bloomington (Charles Deam Wilderness)
North Carolina: Ashville, The Outer Banks, Turtle Island!
Kansas: Lawrence
Utah: Salt Lake City, Logan
Minnesota: Duluth, Minneapolis
Vermont: Burlington
Washington DC
Louisiana: New Orleans
New York: New York

If it is on the way:

Kentucky: Red River Gorge
Jon Young – inspired wilderness awareness programs