5,000 Miles Across America
Nocturnal deserts. Ocean cliffs. Majestic redwoods. The Emerald Triangle. Wild west. River valleys. Cold. Heat. Darkness. Sandstorms. Oyster farming. Salt Mines. Cotton fields. Pecan groves. Kansas stockyards. Prisons. Churches. Dangerous traffic. Terrifying bridges. Horses and buggies. Marathns. Heaven. Hell. Eternity. Homelessness. Hopelessness. Abundance. Kindness. Loneliness. Exhaustion. Euphoria.
One man. One Bicycle. 5,000 miles.
"That guy, he's definitely craxy." In Florida, a stranger voiced what many people though of Paul Stutzman's plan to ride a bicycle, alone, from the extreme northwest corner of the United States to the southern tip of Key West.
The idea was born during Stutzman's thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, when he spent a Fourth of July observing small-town family scenes on front porches and lawns, and then began to wonder about the stories of families across the country. He decided he wanted to meet America.
Two years later, the adventure begins, and Paul Stutzman starts pedaling the long journey from one end of the country to another, hoping to hear America's stories.
He encounters people in all circumstances, from homelessness to rich abundance. He is greeted by both kindness and rudeness. The people he meets sometimes touch his life profoundly, and he in turn influences others'.
As he rolls (and sometimes pushes) through the diverse landscapes of this country, he watches America at work, at church, at play. Out of his patchwork of experiences comes a new perspective on the little slice of time in which we live and the immeasurable eternity beyond our human stories.
Paul V. Stutzman, an avid hiker and biker, writes of his adventures from his home in Berlin, Ohio.
After losing his wife to breast cancer in 2006, he left a long career in restaurant management to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in a search for personal healing and peace. The story of the trek that changed his life and faith is recounted in his first book, Hiking Through: Finding Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail.
In addition to writing, he speaks to groups about his hiking and biking adventures and the lessons learned during these exceptional experiences.
He can be contacted through his website at www.bikingthrough.com or directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Readers will find more photographs from his cross-country bicycle ride on the website.