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.

The forecast called for a clear afternoon and I overheard a talk between Kansas and Nebraska.

Kansas: “Hey Nebraska, did you give heck to that little granola boy on the bamboo bike yesterday like you said you would?”

Nebraska “You betcha I did, Kansas. I gave it to him good and even scared em’ a bit with a tornado.”

Kansas: “Good stuff, good stuff. You know I been thinking. That kid ain’t too bad. He’s only trying to protect our land. Maybe we should take it easy on him.”

Nebraska. “You’re right Kansas. I’ll give him a little push today and put some southwestern winds at his back.”

Kansas. “That’s what I was thinking. While you’re at it move them clouds out of the way so he can charge up with his solar panel. He’ll need juice in his computer if he’s gonna keep spreading the good word of the planet.”

So just like that Nebraska sent southwestern winds my way and I had an easy day of pedaling in front of me. Nebraska didn’t take all of the clouds from the sky but enough to burn the skin on my nose and keep my cell phone charged all day. The winds were pretty mild today at about ten mph but the fact that they weren’t against me and actually with me allowed me to move along at speeds of 15+ miles per hour all day long. The forecast called for a clear day but showed a good chance of severe storms in the evening so I set my intentions of getting to Lincoln as early as I could. I stopped in the little town of Friend about thirty miles into the ride and didn’t find any local organic food. I wasn’t hungry yet anyway since I had loaded up on day old bread from behind the Subway this morning. A few towns over in Milford though I really scored. The dumpster outside the local market was filled with jugs of milk, half gallons of orange juice, ears of corn, and best of all Naked Blue Machine juice. I grabbed some of each and was set for the entire day. All of it was perfectly good and in sealed containers. As a matter of fact it was still cold so it must have been fresh from the cooler.

On I pedaled making excellent time. I crossed rivers boiling with muddy brown water, crops partially submerged from the storms, and “farms” packed with unhappy cows wallowing in mud and their own poop. It was astounding to see the condition of these meat raising slave factories. The cows were covered in mud, crammed into small spaces, and trucks were driving around them. The lives they were living must have been miserable. I am not a meat eater for many reasons but after seeing this I actually feel a little grossed out thinking about a hamburger. I’m into eating a wild deer that’s spent its life eating wild grasses but a cow that’s laid in its own poop and the poop of 100’s of other cows and is then slaughtered inhumanely and then ground up with 100’s of other cows just does not appeal to me. Not to mention that most hamburgers are not the meat of one cow and can contain meat of 100’s of cows.

Another sad thing I saw today was loads of crushed turtles all over the road. I’ve never seen so many dead turtles. It hurt me every time I saw one. I’ve seen so many dead animals on the side of the road on this trip and I find it unfair the slaughtering that takes place because of our desire for convenience and our need for speed. Humans are very special yes and in many ways we are the most superior creature on the planet. In other ways we are actually the most inferior. For example we are the best at causing destruction to the planet. I say let’s use our talents and superiority to create a planet we can be proud to live on.

I arrived in Lincoln, Nebraska, the state capital, at 3:30 and had squeezed in 75 miles in under 6.5 hours. The west side of the city where I entered did not impress me and was extremely unfriendly for a cyclist. I had another 5 miles to pedal to my warmshowers.com host and that took me nearly an hour. I arrived at Wanda’s house and was happy to be there with plenty of sunshine left in the day. I took this time to go through my gear and lighten my load. I took unnecessary stuff out of the trailer and will send some home or give it away. Also I weighed my trash and had .5 pounds accumulated over the last 12 days and now have a grand total of 4.5 pounds in 41 days. With the average American creating 4.5 pounds per day I have created 40 times less than the average American over the last 40 days. I was able to recycle all but a few scraps of this .5 pounds and have been able to recycle over 90% of the waste I’ve created. I do not include glass jars in this number because I give them to people that will use them for years to come.

A big storm came in with hail and all and I took that as an opportunity to bath in the rain. I grabbed my bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap and went for a run in just my yoga shorts. I lathered up and let the rain rinse me off and the hail just bounced right off me. Talk about an eco-friendly way of showering! No water wasted there. I put my clothes out to wash in the rain as well and I’ve been drinking rainwater the last few days as well as water bottles that I find on the side of the road. I think it’s safe to say I haven’t wasted any water yet on this trip. I still have not turned on a faucet except at a farm that had it’s own well back in the country near Napa, California.

The rest of the evening I spent on my computer writing and preparing my hard drive with photos and videos to send back to San Diego to be uploaded. I’m very excited to say that I’ve got a team of people developing that will be helping me to create a happier healthier planet.

Thanks so much to:

Dipika DabhiKelli BartlettWes ZoleckiHeidi Wanta CaboutJose ValdiviaMarc TeichmannRebekah UccelliniDane GottschallKelsey Shantz and Sean Aranda. Together we will make the world a happier and healthier place!

Update on Barefootin’ for Sustainability

530 total barefoot miles pedaled

$1.19 / mile pledged total!

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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!