Milwaukee to Chicago: Days 57 and 58

06/15 (Days 57) 

I woke up abruptly to the sound of rain. I thought I had left my bag open on the deck and that it was getting soaking wet but then realized it was right next to the couch I was sleeping on in the living room. It was gloomy and cold morning but it could have been worse. I figured the rain would probably stop a lot of people from joining us for the ride and I was ok with that, as I desired a relaxing day with close friends. Mitch, Casey, Brent, and I got down to Bradford beach at 10:30, just 1:30 after we were supposed to get there to meet anyone that might be joining on the ride. The rain had let up and although it still wasn’t a warm day it was still pleasant. And one guy from Milwaukee named Bruno joined us!

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Growing Power: Day 56

Today I finally visited Growing Power which is something I’ve been wanting to do for years now since I first saw them featured on the documentary Fresh. They are a 1% for the Planet recipient and through my Off the Grid adventure across America I am raising funds for them to keep on doing the amazing things they are doing. They have grown into a huge movement over the last few years so the amount I raise for them will be a tiny fraction of what they receive each year but I know they will put whatever I give to them to good use. 

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Sandhill Crane: Day 55

06/13 (Day 55)

I was up at 4:30 AM and started my day with a stunning sunrise as I pedaled over to the Monona Terrace. ABC channel 27 was meeting me there to air story on the Wake up Wisconsin morning show. I wasn’t exactly excited to be up at that time but it was worth it in my mind to spread some inspiration to the Madison area. We were shooting live with the capital building in the backdrop but the equipment wasn’t getting signal so we missed the first segment at 5:50. We moved closer to the lake for the 6:25 and had more technical difficulties. The third attempt we ended up in a much less ideal spot with noisy traffic and this time the signal was working. Besides the fact that I was drowned out by the traffic I was happy with the story that aired. Here is a link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAG34jhAlug

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RAIN WON’T STOP US: DAY 54

06/12 (Day 54)

The morning wasn’t much to speak of. Lars and John were off at work and I lounged around the house on my own until nearly 3:00. I still had a full battery on my laptop from the day before and I had a lot to do online so I used it until it was nearly dead. It was cloudy all morning but the air was warm and humid. Rain was in the forecast but not until after 5:00 when my outdoor gathering would begin. I watched the weather mulling over whether to move the gathering to an indoor location but waited until last minute to make the call. I was pretty certain it was going to rain though because if I have a gathering it’s pretty much going to rain, even if I’m in San Diego where it almost never does. My last five or so gatherings have been rained on. I’m not sure how to take that. Mother Nature doesn’t like to take it easy on me. It could be taken very negatively but maybe it is a message that it’s not going to be easy to create a healthier planet but I’ve got to push through the challenges. I ask myself what the message is every time and I’m not sure what it is but I at least try to take the rain for what it is and give gratitude to the earth for the fresh water. 

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NATURE AND PEACE: DAY 53

06/11 (Day 53)

I left Grant’s house at 3:30 as the clouds rolled in partially covering up the sun. It had been a hot day, 85+ degrees, and this cooled it off a bit. A few sprinkles fell from the sky and the humid air was full of vigor and life. Leaving town I was tremendously grateful to have spent time with great friends and rested my drained body. I stopped behind the grocery store on the way out and loaded my bag full of blackberries, apples, nectarines, spinach, and melons. This ten pounds of fruit would last me for about twenty-four hours.

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Hello Wisconsin: Day 50

06/08 (Day 50)

I woke up to another morning of being overly exhausted but was quite excited for what was to come. It was 6:30 and the sky was not completely covered with clouds although I can’t say it was quite sunny. I was on the road around 7:30 and hit up the Dubuque farmers market on my way eastward. I was amazed to see the streets covered with booths selling local food, crafts, and goods. Dubuque amazed me again today with its excitement for local culture and with their excitement about creating a healthy planet. My host Rob from Dubuque Bike Coop was set up down there and I learned about some of the great stuff they are doing. They make it easy for anyone to own a bike. For around $75 you can get a solid used ride. You can even use a bike for 3 months with a deposit that will be returned when you return the bike. 

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Dubuque Iowa: Day 49

06/07 (Day 49)

I woke up feeling quite refreshed to the sound of Shannon and Richard in the kitchen talking about whether or not I could eat their local organic eggs if they cooked them for me. I slept for a solid eight hours and I slept in a bit. When I went outside I found the sun peaking over the trees and blue sky was in sight. I spent the morning in their lovely house taking my time as I prepared for the day of biking. It was very pleasant morning and the enjoyable meaningful conversations from yesterday continued on with these intelligent people. They showed me all the wonderful food they are growing in their yard including lemons, strawberries, blueberries, and a handful of different types of herbs. They really live a life to admire here in Mount Vernon. The only problem with the morning was Mr. Jones, the dog, who insisted on disrupting my peace all morning as he tried to get at my food. Man having pets sure is a lot of work and it has taken away so much freedom from many of my friends that have them.

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Arrived in Iowa City: Day 48

06/06 (Day 48)

I woke up at 6:00 exhausted and definitely did not want to get out of bed. I had no choice though as Dan wanted to lock up the house when he left for work. I was out at 6:30 and it was a bit chilly but the sun was shining and I felt really good about that. I went for a morning stroll and hit the road at 8:00. 

The sun peaked out from the clouds from time to time as I biked but was mostly hidden behind the clouds. It was thirty miles to Iowa City from Williamsburg and having started my day at 8:00 I figured I would make it there at 11:00. I traveled on the small farm road and had a pretty pleasant morning. I was blessed to see a calf that had just been born within a few hours. The placenta was still hanging from the mom and the baby was trembling on its shaky legs as it took its first suckles from the moms utters. The mom licked the calf with affection and protected the calf from my view.

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