Fishing and catching turtles: day 52

06/10 (Day 52)

I woke up to the sun after another comfortable night in bed. Wow, the pleasure it is to sleep in a bed in a room that I have to myself. It is certainly a pleasure that I often take for granted. Although since I do travel so often and rent out my room in San Diego, I very much appreciate it when I do have my own room at home. 

On that topic here is side note to the idea of renting out a room in your home. I’ve found that the average American and so many of my friends are locked down to their life at home because rent consumes such a large portion of their income. If they had that extra $300 to $1000 to spend they would have financial freedom to travel. I take advantage of Airbnb and Craigslist.org to rent out my room when I’m not there or even sometimes when I am there but want to reduce the cost of my rent. I have a camper in my driveway that I’ve turned into a 4th bedroom. Some months I even make money on my rent by doing this and I get to sleep in the comfortable camper. Sure it’s a bit less convenient but worth saving me $700. A lot can be done with $700. If you don’t have a camper you can let someone store one in your driveway for free so that you have a free extra bedroom for your house. If I do this year around it saves me about $8,400, which is a substantial amount to use for traveling. When I went to Hawaii in February I rented out my room and brought $750 with me which paid for my whole trip, except flights, instead of going to rent. I even had $116 left over to donate to Guitars in the Classroom. 

So back to my day. I decided to take the day off and stay in Boscobel rather than riding up to Organic Valley in La Farge. I was torn, as I really wanted to visit them since they are one of the most sustainable agriculture businesses in the country and I love what they are doing. But I knew that it was more important to rest my sore legs and to catch up online. It would have been an extra day of pedaling and an extra 55 miles. My solar panel has not been functioning properly the last couple days and has been working very sporadically. I don’t know if it is the battery or the panel but in a full days sun I can only get about 40% charge. It’s been very frustrating as I am dependent on it to communicate with everyone. I decided to plug into the wall today, for only the second time on this trip. I figured the positive impact I could make by being online for the day was far greater than the little bit of electricity I would be using to run my highly efficient Macbook Air. It’s not like I was watching Netflix or anything, I was spreading knowledge and inspiration to create a healthier planet. It was so nice to not have to be paying constant attention to every drop in percentage of my battery life. I’ve been working so efficiently to maximize my output for the battery life that I’ve had the last 50 days. I still was conscious today about conserving battery by dimming the screen to the lowest settings and turning off wifi when it wasn’t being used. Over the course of the day I plugged in for about 4 hours. I need to do research to find out how much electricity that consumed. It was fun and enjoyable to be on the computer freely and to make the connections that I needed to. I love being on the computer and I love social media and it very rarely gets old for me.

It was a beautiful day in Boscobel and I took breaks throughout the day to go outside. Grant was at work so I had the house to myself for the most part which helped me to get a lot done. At 3:00 the two of us biked over to his dads house to pick up some fishing poles and headed over to the quarry. I am so glad I didn’t miss this opportunity to spend some time on the lake. From our perch above the lake I could see more turtles in one spot than I have ever before in my life and I’ve been a turtle catcher since I could get out into nature by myself. I counted upwards of fifty turtles at one time. The two of us walked along the edge of the clear lake spotting Bass and Bluegill and casting our jigs at them. We caught over 50 bass and many of them I was able to watch swim over to my lure and suck it up into their mouths. It is so exciting and fun to watch fish in their natural environment feeding on prey, or what they thought was prey at least. I also spent time trying to catch turtles with my bare hands as I swam through weeds so thick that most people would think they would wrap me up and drown me. That’s where the turtles where though. I was unsuccessful at actually catching one but beyond successful at enjoying myself. The water was a very pleasurable temperature and it was so refreshing to be in it. The last week of rain had muddied up all the rivers and had them flowing at dangerous levels and speeds keeping me out of them. Not to mention they were full of agricultural run off. I don’t think I’d bathed in over a week but I am confident in saying that I wasn’t smelly since everyone I’d hugged over the last few days had told me this. The water refreshed my body and mind as it always does. Water along with the sun is the source of my happiness. In an instant my day can be refreshed and rejuvenated by jumping into a natural body of water.

We released all of the bass except three that I took home for dinner. Riding without the trailer was joyous and I realized just how fast this racing bike is. Grant and I raced through the town, him in his car, and me on my bike, and I was able to cruise at the speed limit of 25 miles per hour. He beat me home but I was just behind him the whole way. This is the life here in rural Wisconsin. Life is simple and life is easy here. I understand why people choose to take this path and I could easily be happy spending the rest of my life living simply, fishing and walking through nature. I know though to create the world I want to see I have to be out there in the world experiencing it first hand and expanding my knowledge so that I can pass it on to others. 

As the light faded we pedaled back to his house and had another relaxing night at home. We cooked up the bass over a fire in the same tinfoil that I had used the night prior to cook venison, and had taken from the garbage prior to that. I felt proud of my resourcefulness. The bass was covered in scales and it took me over a half hour to eat it and it was not an easy meal but I appreciated the nourishment in my body nonetheless. With the sun not going down until 9:30 it was 11:00 before I knew it and 12:00 before I got in bed, and 1:30 before I rested my head on my pillow as I had more writing to do. Another night in a comfortable bed happy healthy and excited to be alive.

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This adventure is now a book! Dude Making a Difference is the exciting and inspirational story of my bike ride across the USA on a bamboo bike. Go to www.RobGreenfield.tv/Dude to get a copy or learn more about it. 100% of my proceeds are donated to environmental grassroots nonprofits!