Eastern USA (Start of Trip)

Taking care of our brother and sister

One morning we were stopped by a couple of starving dogs on the side of the road. We got these little guys, who we named Choco and Peanut, to follow us for a mile into the next town. We bought them food and dug up some ribs and chicken from the grocery dumpster. They were well fed and ready for a home. None of the locals were interested in giving them a home, so we were ready to take them with us. Luckily just before we left, a lady who worked for the local humane society stopped by and offered to take them in. Great to know that we took care of these two, our little brother and sister.

Rane managed to rig together a doggy cart on the back of his trailer.

Choco and Peanut getting a much needed drink from our jelly jar

Choco and Peanut getting a much needed drink from our jelly jar

Missouri- Hot and Hilly

I decided to bike with the trashfreeway.com team for a while. As we made our way across the hot and hilly state of Missouri, we made it a point to jump in the bodies of water we crossed to cool down.

Jaime and Naomi (right to left) of trashfreeway.com after a dip in the water

Jaime and Naomi (right to left) of trashfreeway.com after a dip in the water

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Climbing the Missouri hills with the ladies

Climbing the Missouri hills with the ladies

Missouri Morning Sunrise from the tent

Missouri Morning Sunrise from the tent

I cook a mean beans and more beans over my pop can stove

I cook a mean beans and more beans over my pop can stove

More of Missouri

View from up high in one of the Missouri water towers View from up high in one of the Missouri water towers[/captio

Rane and I gathering food for dinner.

Watermelon Social Hour

Watermelon Social Hour

Watermelon Gone

Watermelon Gone

The Mississippi

I rolled into Chester IL on the edge of the Mississippi River. Fun fact, Popeye the sailor is from Chester. A couple local fishermen going out for Catfish offered me stinky rotten cheese bait and advised I camp on an embankment next to the river. I voted yes, and so did the sheriff in the local jail when I asked his permission amidst the yelling of inmates. I slept to the quiet sound of barges rolling by, and the noisy sound of dogs barking at me and sniffing my presence. Just as I was about to take off in the morning I saw a man canoeing down the river. Alan Palmer managed to hear me and came over for an hour long conversation. He had been canoeing from Montana since May and was headed towards New Orleans. Crazy to think, life on a canoe, with enough food an water in the boat for days at a time. Alan took off and so did I. After crossing the river I met another couple travellers Naomi and Jaime of trashfreeway.com had been travelling the TransAmerica bike route for almost 40 days from Virginia. They flagged me down as I passed a gas station, we exchanged food and started biking together. A day filled with questions, giggles and breaks led us to Farmington Missouri where they were going to stay at a Bike Hostel. There I met the third member of their team, Rane, a professional saxaphonist and exotic fruit grower from Miami. The evening was fun filled as yet another biker joined us at the hostel. Connor was coming from Washington solo on his way to Maine. We ate, sang, and talked everything life on the road.

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Alan Palmer canoeing down the Mississippi River

Alan Palmer canoeing down the Mississippi River

The great Mississippi River, bridge from Chester IL to Missouri

The great Mississippi River, bridge from Chester IL to Missouri

Kentucky

Enjoy some views of my two days in good ole Kentucky.

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A Monastery Visit

South of Louisville Kentucky in the middle of Bourbon country lies a little nugget of heaven: The Abbey of Gethsemani monastery. There is a popular monk there named Brother Paul Quenon. Paul is a published poet, photographer, friend of Thomas Merton, and appointed Uncle in our family. I rode into the monastery in time for Vespers, one of the times of prayer held before dinner. After prayer I ate a potluck dinner with Brother Paul and his local friend Finden Johnson, published author of several books. We ate on the front porch of Thomas Merton's old hermitage. The sun set in the hills of Kentucky as we ate, drank, and talked about the cultivation of marijuana in Kentucky and survival on international roads.

IMG_1564Entrance to Church at Abbey of Gethsemani Monastery

Fenton Johnson and I eating outside of Thomas Merton's hermitage

Fenton Johnson and I eating outside of Thomas Merton's hermitage

Paul sleeps under an open wood shed (shown below) 365 days a year. So I join him. He wakes up before me for the 3:15 am Vigils prayer. The evenings there in Bardstown Kentucky are filled with fog, intense moonlight, and the howling of dogs looking for late night conversation. Paul and I had a busy day as we hiked up and down the knobs of the Monastery property. In the heat of the afternoon we cooled off by swimming in one of the many small lakes. We felt at peace. After more prayer we ate toasted cheese sandwiches and drank wine overlooking the property. I have yet to find a more peaceful place in this world than the Monastery. Paul is my spiritual guide, and I thank him for his guidance and fun.

IMG_1586Brother Paul Quenon

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Boren Indiana

Shout out to Becky and Terry OConnor who fed me a great dinner and breakfast after bible study in Boren Indiana!

Shout out to Becky and Terry OConnor who fed me a great dinner and breakfast after meeting them at their bible study in Boren Indiana!

Hoosier Weekend in Indy

After the first two days of biking and 165 miles on the tires, it was time to hang out with my big sis Christine in Indianapolis. The weekend was fun filled with a trip to the Indiana State Fair, a walk along the Indy canal, and a night out in Broad Ripple to watch some stand up comedy. So great hanging out with my sis!

Walk along Indy Canal

Walk along Indy Canal