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.


  1. Russ Riggs here (the Gilletts from Paradise). Your journey is a fascinating one. It doesn't matter if you make it to Brigham City or all the way to the East Coast it will make a difference. Best of luck!

  2. Oh this is AWESOME David! If you make it to Blackwater, (Boonville, Columbia, Marshall) MO then you always have a bed and a hot meal at my house!
    I have always looked up to you since the first day I met you! God Bless and safe travels! :)