Never Give up: Days 46 and 47

Day 46 (06/04)

I woke to a dreary, cold, rainy day and was not excited about it. The drawn blinds allowed me to sleep in until nearly 8:00 and when I walked outside I found my half open bag filling up with rain. It wasn’t even warm enjoyable rain. It was cold, depressing, bone chilling rain and there was no way I was going to bike in it. Instead I spent the morning somewhat lounging except not really. I would have liked to have used my computer or my cell phone but both were dead and the thick gray clouds didn’t allow the solar panels enough energy to even turn on either devices. Instead I washed my clothes in a pond as I stood out in the rain getting some of my only dry clothes wet as well. I also went for a little walk. A nap would have been smart but I have a pretty hard time not being productive.

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Wind at my Back: Day 41

05/30 (Day 41)

My body isn’t used to getting a lot of sleep right now so I woke up before the sun. I went outside and was very appreciative of the warm damp air. I can’t tell you if more tornadoes touched down or even if it rained much as I slept solid the entire night. There were some huge branches in the street but that could have been from yesterday during the day. I snuck back into bed and slept to a little past 7:30. I took advantage of having the quiet church to myself and prepared myself a simple breakfast and ate it as I sat at the table. Since I have been eating mostly food from the garbage I have not been taking the time to appreciate it or give thanks to the earth for giving it to me. I like to thank the earth for providing food and I usually say something along the lines of, “Thank you earth for this delicious and nutritious food in front of me. Please let it nourish my body. I will use this energy today from this food to create a happier healthier planet.” I like to take time to eat my food and appreciate it as it goes down. It’s better for digestion and it helps me to appreciate the simple things that give me life. This morning I took the time to be present with my food and I will continue to do so for the rest of the trip.

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Rob Greenfield Thunderstorm

Severe Thunderstorms and Tornadoes: Day 40

It was time to make a choice. Outrun the storm coming my way with a tornado watch in effect or take refuge in the barn that lay in front of me…

05/29 (Day 40)

The severe thunderstorms that were predicted to slam my tent with rain and hail during the night never came. When I awoke at 6:00 I was surprised that I hadn’t been awoken during the night to a good pummeling by Mother Nature. Still tired I was glad to be up early to go online and catch my story on the news. First I checked my phone though and had already gotten a text from Alissa saying that the SD card had malfunctioned and nothing was recorded. No big deal though because she said she’d drive over to Hastings to do the piece again. I was glad she was coming to reshoot because I think it will be an interesting piece for the people here in Nebraska. I don’t think they get overly exposed to content about making the earth a happier healthier place.

The city park was such a pleasant place to spend the morning. I had set up my tent right next to the kiddy pool, which wasn’t filled the for the season yet, but did however fill with some water from the morning rain and made for a good spot to wash off. I packed up and Alissa was at my camp before 9:00 to redo the piece. It went better then the first time and it was a good excuse to see her again. She’s really pretty. She brought a big smile to my face this morning.

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Barefoot Pedaling and Heavy Winds: Day 33 and 34

05/22 (Day 33)

My body felt as if there was a party balloon full of happiness expanding inside me ready to burst as I pedaled along the open Colorado road bare foot and bare chested.

Inspired again to be on my bicycle, I was flooded with joy. A bike is a magical thing and I often find that I can cure any boredom, or sadness of any sort just by getting on a bike and going for a ride. It’s fun, good for you, and good for the planet. What a great combination.

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Pedaling Through the Snow and 11,300 Feet Elevation: Day 27

05/16 (Day 27)

Minutes after I hit the road snow covered mounds thousands of feet above me presented themselves in a daunting manner. Rather than feeling fear I saw them as a right of passage to my freedom. Simply by pedaling one pedal at a time I would find myself climbing the snow covered mountains and I would reach the epic summit where my freedom would lay before me. From there I knew I would be seeing many miles of downhill and the great plains of the Midwest would open up to me in the near future. My challenges of frigid cold, snow, and mountain passes would be over in just a few more hours of hard pedaling. Freedom was awaiting me. I would shed my long underwear, bulky sleeping bag, and gear that would not serve a purpose on the populated eastern side of the country. Flat lands would yield easy pedaling and they were on my mind. Cities full of welcoming friends and family were in my imagination. The hardest work would be over. I felt nothing but excitement for what was to come and appreciation for the challenge that stood before me.

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A Little Bit of Luck: Day 16

05/05/2013 (Day 16)

Tears of thankfulness and appreciation streamed down my cheeks this afternoon as I pedaled across the western Utah desert thinking of the people that shaped may adolescent self into the man I am today. Particularly the tears came when I thought of my mom back in my hometown of Ashland, Wisconsin. I have so many people to be thankful for and for so many of them I did not realize it at the time they were in my daily life. Every one of the approximately 842 million seconds I have lived on this planet has lead to me being exactly where I am today and every one of the 100’s of thousands of human interactions I have had has made me who I am and effected my actions and words. In the moment you can’t know why something is happening or what you will get out of it. However, looking back on the people that have come in and out of my life and the experiences they have created for me brings deep feelings of appreciation to what I call my heart. I am the man I am today because of each of the people that have entered my life whether it was just for a day, a semester in school, my childhood, or decades.

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Days Blurring Together: Day 7

Update on bottom of this post:

“I knew I was going to make it when I started to take notes with pen and paper while ascending the Sierra Nevada’s.” To all those who think you can’t, YOU CAN!

(Day 7)

The days have blurred together. My comfortable home in San Diego seems like another life. I can faintly imagine my brown couch in my living room and vaguely remember my life back home. I am fully immersed in this adventure and everything else’s has ceased to exist. I’m sure that 4717 Santa Cruz still exists but I can’t fathom myself residing there or even conjure up an image of what my roommates might be doing.

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