Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Day 15, May 26th

Got up and hauled the house out of the ditch and started walking. The road to Vernal is "up." Somebody was concerned and asked the police to make sure I was alright. She was a state trooper who used to work in Logan. Nice lady. After an endless walk, I got to the view area above Vernal. There I met a fellow who was from Finland. Nice fellow that does research at one of the colleges, I believe. I cleaned up the view area before I left.
Made it to town just in time to receive $20 from a lady. I went to a restaurant and the owner brought me a water. Later he charged me half price for my meal. I cleaned his tables off and swept the restaurant.
I arrived at the bike shop, which is closed, and out came KP. He gave me a place to park and went right to work on my house wheels. He will put a bike together tomorrow. The Lord looks after me.

Day 14, May 25th

We have a day with little sun. Nice and cloudy with a gentle breeze. It was a good day for my rear wheel to self destruct. It works fine for walking, but the spokes have given up the ghost. Got about 20 more miles of walking into Vernal. There is a bike shop there called the Altitude Bike Shop. Tomorrow is Memorial Day, but maybe they will be open.
I'm having a siesta at the moment. Had a nice peanut butter and honey sandwich and some cool water. How can you beat that?
I found 35 cents on the road today and a fellow pulled over and gave me $20. He gave me the news that I had a 15 mile walk ahead of me. Oh well. One step at a time and I'll get there. Saw another lizard. This desert is a zoo. I'm going to go crawl under a bull dozer and take a nap.
Lofty thought:
I have a lot of time to consider life's perplexities as I put one foot in front of another all day long. Consider the case of the itch. The average itch does not require immediate scratching. If ignored some screaming and flailing of the limbs may occur but mental illness will not occur. No permanent damage may be expected. A major itch however, one that will throw a person on the ground and cause gnashing of teeth much like those in the Bible that had devils cast out, if one even considers postponement is still a question to me. I am forced on a daily basis to ignore the average itch. I fear what might occur if a major itch cometh. Will I just leap off the mountain? I hope this information is helpful.
The rains came and this little pig got his house onto a flat spot and got inside as fast as he could. I changed into dry clothes and made a sandwich for dinner. Nice to hear the rain on the roof and the thunder over yonder. Eight more miles to Vernal.
10:10pm comes around and there is a call from outside, "Are you in there bud?" I open up and it's a fellow named Rex. "I just thought you'd like a hot dinner. Jesus does love us." He had a pizza for me. this journey is turning out to be so good for so many people. I feel so privileged to be making it.

Day 13, May 24th

Had a good nights sleep. Got up and had a hose bath and did my laundry. Ate the two eggs that Steve brought me. Sacked out the rest of the day. I'll leave tonight when it cools down. Heat is going to be a big factor on this journey.

Having trouble deciding how best to go over the Colorado Rockies. a wrong decision could mean a week of pushing. 
I'll call Reed Baldwin and see if he has family in Vernal, Utah. Maybe I could get on their computer and learn something.
There is a little ground squirrel that peeks at me from behind things. I found a little cup laying about and filled it with water for him. What will he think when he discovers "Lake Cup?" 
I'm tempted to go this evening but my body is still tired. Believe I'll go in the morning. The Deseret News called a while ago. It would be good for the meaning of my journey if they did a story.
Tomorrow is Sunday. I doubt I'll make 25 miles in time for church.
I went through my things and decided I needed only 2 pair of pants and shirts and 3 pair of socks. The rest I will leave behind.
I fixed my hat so it won't blow off. Used a shoestring. I put Vaseline on and between my toes. Seems to help.
Steve has a bunch of animals I've enjoyed visiting with them during my stay. Spent some time cleaning up trash in the yard today during which time I saw a lizard. A lizard sighting is a pleasant event for me. There is a humming bird that is fascinated with the disks that hang from my flags. Maybe they are flying saucers to him.
Just had a visit from two little kids (6-7). Very polite and full of questions.
It's 9:00pm and Steve's people just brought me dinner. The world's a great place.

Day 12, May 23rd

Woke up to rain on the roof. That's a great sound. It quit after a few minutes, so I probably won't be running in the rain. I'm going to get breakfast and get on the road.
I did 14 miles before I realized I needed a rest. I looked down a dirt driveway and I could see chickens. There was a llama in a far pen. Wondering if there was a place for me, I went down and met Steve. He gave me a banana an some sunscreen and a place in an open hay barn out of the sun. He said he'd bring me some farm fresh eggs later. I'm parked and have found an arm chair and an old container that when upside down makes a nice table. I already have a friendly dog for my companion. I'm way off the highway so it's quiet.
Steve rides a big motorcycle and is covered with tattoos. He gave me everything he could.
When I went to the grocery store earlier, a Christian lady with two of her grandchildren came and the little boy offered a stick of gun. The little girl (7 years old about) offered a candy. The lady gave me $30.
When I woke up this morning, there was $5 on my bike. When I came out of the library there was an orange on my bike. The world is full of fine folk.
Steve just returned with an Arby's sandwich for me. Steve's place has many treasures. He sees value in most everything like me. It's an interesting place to wander in. Fire ants are the main predator here. They are not in my immediate area however.
When I was traveling today, I came across a prairie dog town. I haven't seen one of those for years. I stopped and watched for a while. I was tempted to get out my string and catch one. I resisted. It would be more of a pain for the prairie dog than it would be fun for me.
It is interesting to me how I've changed over the years. As a youngster I had no idea about animals and their feeling. I killed what I could kill. Now I rescue bugs and don't kill flies. To me, every life enjoys a warm day just like I do. Everything wants to see their tomorrows. I wish they understood I will not harm them. It would be fun to pet the deer and hold the prairie dogs.
Steve just returned with some fruit for me. "What ye do for the least of these you do for me."
It is about 6:30 and very peaceful here. Steve is moving about the place feeding his animals. He asked that I respect them. He doesn't kill anything he doesn't have to. I'm looking forward to talking with him tomorrow. Such a charitable fellow.
I wanted to mention that a Christian motorcycle rider by the name of Jimmy O'Lexy stopped and offered help and encouragement a few days ago.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Day 11, May 22nd, Birthday (72 years)

Woke up to the birds singing and a nice day. Did my laundry and shaved. Breakfast is a banana and peanut butter and orange juice. Pat and Laurie were the nice ladies that put me up for the night somewhere near the junction of 87 and state road 35.
Came down into Duchesne from 35 on 87. All downhill, no shoulder, many trucks, scary.
When you start a journey, you have certain reasons. As you go along that number changes. If I succeed I hope the journey will be an encouragement to people. Life itself is a series of parts. When I look at the 3000+ miles to go it seems impossible. However, I can do a mile. Some people can't face tomorrow. Maybe it is best to put tomorrow off and deal with today. Let tomorrow take care of itself. There is a scripture that deals with this.
Another thought is that an act can change things. Maybe my journey will make some problem somebody has be more doable. So this journey is not just for me. It is for you too. An act can change things, any act.
I'm sitting in a field of dirt. I ran out of energy. I'll rest a spell and then go on. Maybe the wind will favor me later.
Got back on the road and stretched my distance to more than 30 miles. I'm learning to function in this traffic. I feel okay about being on 40.
Made it to Myton, a town about 15 miles out of Roosevelt. Had a nice talk with a police officer who was going to make sure I made it up the coming hill if I chose to do it at night. Said I was parked fine and could even have a fire if I wanted. I'm bushed, so I'm going right to bed.

Day 10, May 21st

Had a nice night. Time for breakfast. I'm told I have 10 miles of downhill into Hanna where my friend, Kevin Harrison, is working.
I made a drag for the grade to sort of get an idea of what a drag could do. That particular drag was to heavy to allow progress. Maybe next time. I adjusted the brakes a couple of times and had a nice 10 miles. Before I left I saw a really big porcupine.
Got into Hanna and Kevin fed me all I could eat. He made a birthday cookie with a candle. We had fun. Nice fellow.

Rode until about 8:00pm and then went to ask a lady if I could stay on some grass out by the road. She directed me to a gazebo with lights. I'm writing by those lights now. I'm parked on a lawn in what looks like the Garden of Eden. The Lord sure has placed some wonderful people in my path. I'm gonna just curl up and go to sleep.

Day 9, May 20th

Slept great last night. I spread one of those thin metal blankets over my sleeping bag and I was toasty. I'm ready to roll. 
Had some issues with my toes yesterday. They was arguing or something. Cleaned them up and trimmed them and put vaseline on them. I believe they will get along better today. 
The way I push the bike, one leg groweth, and the other does not. I'm going to look like a one legged popeye pretty soon.
I'd better get breakfast going and get on the road. Looks like my hand found scrambled eggs with ham. Ummm.
I'm stuck for the time being. The grade is steep and I've been fighting a head wind all day. The wind has picked up so that I cannot make progress. I've backed Laura off the road. I'll wait for the wind to diminish. She's a rocking, but I believe she's safe for now. Sitting here for a while, I'm glad I stopped. This wind would have blown me back down the hill. I'm sitting with my back to Laura, keeping her from twisting. I'm glad I stopped. I've made 3 miles in 4 1/2 hours so far. No riding, all pulling.
I was back at it for some time when a fellow (Lee) stopped. He offered to haul me over the summit. Instead I accepted a Milkyway candy and asked him to call my wife when he got to civilization. Such a nice fellow. He offered me gloves. We discussed the grade on the other side and decided I'd need a drag. Later his daughter and family arrived with two old tires for my drag.
Keven, who visited with me yesterday, arrived when I was 3 miles from the summit and was getting ready to call it a day. He was concerned about a series of tight curves ahead with no shoulder and tandem oil trucks descending. He took me to have a look and we decided I could easily cause an accident there. We put the bike in his truck and I held on to Laura from the tailgate and we got past the bad area.
Later, when I was a ways down the other side, Lee's kids arrived with the tires. What a great family.
A Mrs. Barns turned around and gave me some water. If I need anything, I'm to stop when I get to Hanna. Kevin brought me two bananas for potassium. We may celebrate my birthday together when I get to Hanna. 
I had a good meal and am ready to sleep. Nine hours of pushing today. I'm holding up well. Wish I could talk to my family. Still no phone service. Four or five feet of snow beside the road, but not very cold. Only partially froze the water.

Day 8, May 19th

I was cold last night. I got up and put on my plastic rain jacket. The arm was ripped so repaired it with tape. I spent some of the night thinking about how to make a drag so that going down the other side of the mountain will be safer. Guess I better get up the mountain first.
I was getting ready to travel and 5 geese landed in the field next to me. They went right to eating.
Ennis and Geri Gibbs brought me an egg salad sandwich for breakfast. Earlier Mr. Gibbs drove by and turned around. He thought I was an ice cream wagon. We had a great visit. Wonderful people.
It is amazing the different view points one gets from people concerning how far a place is away or how steep a hill can be. One fellow told me a town was not on that highway. The next fellow told me the highway runs right through that town. I guess I'll find out when I get there. Everyone is doing their best to help me.
Came into a section of the canyon and watched 4 ducks fly from one end to the other and back again. They had to be playing. When I arrived at my parking place I was greeted by a ground squirrel. Ground squirrels and me go way back. I used to lasso them out of their holes when I was a boy. I would put a loop in the hole along with a few blades of grass. When the grass moved I gave a yank and out came the squirrel. 
This country is quiet when the traffic is gone. the wind and the water talk and an occasional bird. Maybe I'm just deaf. 
When I was parked for the night a young fellow, Kevin Harrison (43 years with six children), came and visited a while. He's coming back tomorrow to check on my progress. Said he'd help me over the summit if I needed it. He says it is steep up there. He filled up my water jugs. Nice fellow. Works with Basin Electric in Lehi. He's doing a job in Hanna, Utah, a town I'll get to in a day or two or three.
My daughter, Jennifer, called today. Brody, her son, asked her for some money. When she asked later what he had bought he told her nothing, "there was a man who looked like he needed it." What a wonderful thing the boy has learned. His mom and dad are like that . I have a great family.
I think I'm sitting on an ant pile. I better move. 
I wonder if the quaking aspens and the evergreens (pines, firs??) had a set to long, long ago? There are great stands of them here but they don't seem to intermingle much.
It is supposed to freeze tonight. I'm ready. No phone signal here.

Day 7, May 18th, Sunday

Got some miles out and came to a church in Oakley. Went in for services. Met Jane and Mark Davis. What remarkable parents they are. I met two of their children (Claire and Christian). They are accomplished musicians at 13 and 19. I just finished a sandwich Mrs. Davis made me for "later". 
Road to Woodland and got permission to park in the grass beside a driveway. The sun is going down and it's windy. I did 14 miles today. Tomorrow I start up Wolf Mountain on 35 out of Francis. I may loose phone reception for a few days. I think it is about 70 miles to the next town. That might be 4 or 5 days for me in this country. I'm just guessing. Looking forward to the solitude. My wind and my pedalers are getting stronger.
Everybody has been nice on my journey. Met some nice people at the Davies who emailed a picture home for me. I can't remember a name. The people here brought a complete meal of ribs, salad, potatoes, and rolls. People are great. As a closing note, a nice but rather intoxicated lady stopped to say I was welcome anytime. She gave me several motherly pats to assure me I was welcome. Then she drove away. I hope she makes it to where she is going.

Day 6, May 17th

Sunny day. I'm having bacon and scrambled eggs for breakfast. Police visited last night but let me stay. I had a very good nights sleep. Heading into Coalville for groceries, water, and information as to the best route to Heber. I'm starting at 94 miles.
What a nice day. People were helpful all day long. One young man caught up to me after he got off work at the grocery store where I made purchases. People in the front yard went for water and money to help on my journey. Some bikers from Ogden saved me from an extra hill with a better route and a little money as well.
When I got to the end of my day I arrived in Peoa, Utah. They gave permission to stay in the park and my neighbor for the night (Kelly) fixed me dinner. We had a good conversation. She lived in a teepee for 2 years. She will email pictures home.
I made 20 miles today, half push half ride. It was a good days work. My window looks out over a mountain and I can still hear the robins singing or arguing perhaps. I have some horses for my neighbors on the other side. Life is great. I thank the Lord for mine. It's a half a day bike ride to a grocery store from Peoa. 
I was strong all day, but 20 miles seems about all I can do for the shape I'm in. Tomorrow?? I talk to the wife and some of the kids everyday. I'm at 114 miles. Great sunset this evening. 
P.S. Kelly is an artist and gave me a special set of cards. They are the Golden Rule story starter cards. Twenty-two hand drawn images to color. Each accompanied by an historical quote. I feel like she gave me a part of her life. I will treasure it.

Day 5, May 16th

Left Morgan, Utah early and rode/walked to the Devil's Slide on I-84. Took a picture. The devil must have a hard hind end.
I'm traveling along a river. When the semi-trucks have gone by it is quiet except for the soft sounds of the current and occasionally the soft rattle of the quakies in the wind. There is a lot of what I think are cottonwoods. Hold it. Four deer walked up. All does, no bucks. What a wonderful country we have. There are pines or firs along the river and higher up. 
I'm sitting on the ground in front of my bicycle eating a peanut butter sandwich with my wife's homemade bread. Hard to beat that.
Yesterday I decorated Laura and the bike with reflector stuff given by a fellow and his daughter. We look like a Christmas tree.
A crane flew by. He looks so lazy with his long legs dragging. I'm the only one here at the view area. 

I put a walmart bag on my seat and have had no soreness. Maybe that's a biking solution?
Laura just floats along behind me. I cooked two meals today. There were no stores in two towns (Hennifer and Echo). 
Took a bath tonight in a reservoir. Felt great. I'm parked about 30 feet from a frontage road. The sun is about down and I'm sleepy. Good night.

Day 3 & 4, May 14th & 15th

Today I tried the sail brakes. On a given slope they will let me reach a certain speed. It felt good to feel them working. Much of the day the wind was at my back. The sails are a help.
Had a little dizziness today so I got a hamburger. No more dizziness. I'm learning about this life. A lady stopped ahead of me and gave me $10, then she gave me another $20. I had the biggest most caloric thing Subway had to offer. I crave calories. The body quits without them.
Sardine Canyon seems like weeks ago. At the rate I'm going I'll be out of the Rockies in a month. I talked with a fellow today. I have to go over a pass in Colorado that starts at 4000 ft and goes to 10,000+ ft. I'll probably die there. I've gone up Weber Canyon headed for Heber.
I got some special tubes for the house wheels in Ogden this morning. I travelled from 10am to 7pm today. Sleep will be good. This is where I stayed in Morgan, Utah.
I am resting on day 4, May 15th.

Day 2, May 13th

Made 22 miles so far today. It is 5:00pm, so traffic is bad in Ogden, Utah. I'm at a Fresh Market parking lot leaning against a light pole. Nice and sunny and warm.
I was pedaling along and I saw, at the edge of a field, that a large pipe had broken so I took a shower. Paul, my father-in-law, stopped and asked me if I needed anything. Nice to have family. 
I went a ways farther and a nice lady, Julie Milton, pulled me over and was happy with my journey. Later I had a flat tire. I was laying down beside the house at one point so someone reported and injured or dead man. When I got back with the tire 3 police cars and an ambulance were there. The tire was still flat so the police took me to get it fixed and one car stayed there and watched my stuff (the Harrisville police). They were very nice.
As I was writing this days doings a fellow stopped and showed me the best way to get to highway 40. The Lord takes good care of me. Without that fellow's directions I would have gone way out of my way. Not much energy today.
I decided to have dinner (mixed vegetables, chicken, and powerade). I have 4 seagulls to share with. I think one of them said, "Is this cardboard?" I ended up at a church and got a wipe down bath and did some laundry in the sink. Did 22 miles today.

Day 1, May 12th

Left home about 8am. Got to my parking spot in Perry about 5:30pm. It's raining. sounds nice on the roof.
I made 28 miles today. One 5 mile stretch took me 5 1/2 hours to traverse. When I saw the 7 miles downhill sign, I thought I'd gone to heaven. Are all the slopes downhill in heaven? That 7 miles was done on wet pavement. That worried me at first, but the bakes did well. I even stopped to talk to two people on that slope. One had a flat tire and the other was just curious. Nice fellow. He gave me four bottles of orange juice. Probably saved my bacon. I was mighty thirsty.
My body did well. Both legs still work and I didn't exhale either of my lungs. I've had a little rest and some chicken so I'm good to go. Laura (the house) wasn't a bit of help. She just hung back there and enjoyed being pulled. I don't see that she has any damage.
Wayne Norman slowed down and waved as he went by. Nice to see a familiar face. Got texts and calls from several of the kids. I have a great family.
Almost forgot. Two young men stopped and pushed me two or three hundred feet. Nice kids. No blisters.
This is a picture of where I stopped for the first night.

Monday, May 12, 2014


This is the route I've chosen so far.

Paradise to Brigham City to Ogden to Salt Lake City To ???


Am I a man or am I a muppet (from the Muppet Movie)? Is my name David or Don Quixote? It is the night before I leave. 20% chance of rain tomorrow. What will the months ahead bring. I fell down in the shower yesterday, so I am probably not the 30-year-old I envision myself. Still I am determined. How hard can it be to put one foot after another, pedal once and then again. I am definitely a David.
I plan to leave about 8:00am or as soon as the kids leave for school I have permission to stay in a parking lot in Perry, Utah, 26 miles away. There is a 5 mile hill between here and there that I can't ride up. I walked 26+ miles once in 10 1/2 hours. I should make the parking lot sometime tomorrow night. I hope that hill in not littered with discarded treasures after my passage.
The wife is making me cookies for the journey. I'd throw the iron lung out beside the road before I'd part with the cookies.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

So What is the Deal?

I've had an idea for a month or two. I wanted to make a little house for homeless people that would satisfy their needs and still be light enough to pull behind a bicycle. So I've been putting something together.

Wayne, owner of Joyride Bikes on Main in Logan, Utah gave me a couple of pretty nice bikes when I went to ask for some junk parts for another project. He has been very helpful with this project as well.

I turned these bikes into the wheels and suspension system for the house.

Here are a few pictures during construction and testing.

Considering my reasons for the journey, I've asked a friend to put a few thought's on the house. Here is a completed picture.

I plan to leave Paradise where I live the Monday after Mother's Day. My wife set that date. I'll head south and then east over the mountains. Somewhere out there, I will find the person I've built the house for. I'll continue east until I find that persons. The journey can't be more than about 3000 miles. I'll run into Atlantic Ocean about then. The house is not a house boat.

I'm 72 in May so my plans may exceed my abilities. We will see. There are some passes that are 9000 feet in altitude on my route. By the way, I'll try to put my route on the blog as I figure it out.

Random thinking and remembering:

When the house was mostly done, I got under it and pushed it up. I don't suppose it was more than 100 pounds or so. The wheels were not on. I hope to end up with under 175 pounds to pull.

There is a hill near us that leads down into what the locals call the bottoms. It is a 11% grade of about 500 foot length. I gave it a go with the house the other day and was able to control the speed fine.

When I got stopped at the bottom, I put a strap attached at two places on the house that went over my shoulder and hauled everything back up the hill. A lot of this journey is going to be done with the strap.

The house door is made of clear Lexon (24” x 23”). The house is made out of 5 sheets of 3/16” plywood – some aluminum channel that I didn't use on one of the cannons years ago, bike parts, and 4-5 sets of crutches.

I made a wood cook stove out of an old fire extinguisher.

 I boiled an egg in a #10 can, so I think it will work for the cooking.

I almost forgot, I built a couple of wind brakes/sails for the house. They are 6 square feet each and will help slow me on those long mountain grades. I should get a push from them when I have a tail wind.

David Cullumber gave me a 5 watt portable solar panel and two wind up lights (LED). I know some very nice and thoughtful people. I can recharge my phone and running lights.

I have a clothesline and a place of privacy where I can take a shower.

I'm thinking about how I'm going to eat. Perhaps grasshoppers and the occasional fresh enough road kill will have to do at times. I wonder if I can east those things? The closest I've ever come is sour milk. We'll see. I want to live like some people have to on the journey. I guess I'll find out what I am made of out there.

I gave the house a test run behind the 4-wheeler yesterday. She just floats along so pretty like. A policeman stopped me. He had trouble figuring out what to do with the old timer that evidently had no knowledge of the rules. The 4-wheeler wasn't registered, there were not stop lights on the house (I don't need stop lights when I pull it with my bicycle), and 4-wheelers aren't even allowed where I now was. He was nice. Things worked out. It was an exciting day. It was a day of mercy, not justice.

I think I will name the house Laura after Laura Ingalls. After all, this little house might cross the prairie sometime too.

Remembering back, I went up to John and Jennifer Willis' place a while back, and they gave me a bed for Laura. Emily, their daughter put the flowers and sayings on Laura. Jennifer is doing this blog for me so those interested can come along with me as it were.

I asked Emily to put “Jesus loves us” on Laura. It always comes back to Jesus I find. On the front top she wrote “Could compassion and sharing end hunger and homelessness?” I think that's a good question. Many will see. I hope these thoughts make a difference to some. I hope my journey makes a difference. I wouldn't feel right unless I gave it my best try. I guess that's all anyone can do.