Wheeled Migration

tour mapIn the summer of 2004, I sold or gave away most of my possessions from my apartment in Minneapolis and hit the road on my bicycle for a year, pulling a trailer full of gear behind me. The idea was to go south through the midwest, spend the winter along the gulf coast, go north along the east coast with the spring, and return to Minnesota via Canada in the summer. Because the movie Winged Migration was popular at the time, I called the Yahoo! Group that I used to communicate with my friends and family during the trip "Wheeled Migration." Below are the messages I sent to that group, in reverse chronological order, but you can find them in chronological order in the menu.

June 18: Da U.P. and northern Wisconsin

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 06/18/2015 - 09:43

I strained my right Achilles tendon just before I wrote you last time, so I made an effort to cut down on my daily miles. I decided to forego the Midwest Renewable Energy Association's annual Sustainability Fair this weekend (you may recall I visited their location in the second week of my trip and nothing was going on at that time) because I'd have to ride fast and hard for six days... besides, it happens every year. My joints are feeling much better now.

June 12: Reflections and Q&A

Submitted by Ben on Fri, 06/12/2015 - 12:09

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on June 12, 2005]
Some reflections on my ride through "the north":

The region I rode through is referred to as "Northern Ontario" even though it's south of most of Ontario -- it's just north of most of the inhabited part. Sometimes it's just called "the north" or even "northern Canada" even though it's actually south of most of the Canada-US border and the majority of the provinces!

May 31: Adventures in Montreal

Submitted by Ben on Sun, 05/31/2015 - 16:13

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on May 31, 2005] Hello again. I've covered a lot of ground since I last wrote, so I'm going to leave out a lot of details and focus on telling stories which I hope will interest you. I last wrote from Whitehall, New York, just south of the Adirondack mountains. Fortunately for me, Lake Champlain forms -- or rather, is formed by -- a pass through the mountains.

May 20: Hudson Valley

Submitted by Ben on Wed, 05/20/2015 - 13:11

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on May 20, 2005]
Greetings from Whitehall, New York, where the Hudson River valley becomes the Lake Champlain valley. I was planning to wait to write until my last day in the US, but I have time now and won't then, so...

I left New Jersey on Thursday the 12th and saw a little bit of the Catskills. The rocks are really beautiful: lots of gneiss and schist. I crossed the Appalachian Trail on Friday at the Bear Mountain bridge.

May 11: Adventures in New Jersey

Submitted by Ben on Mon, 05/11/2015 - 08:18

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on May 11, 2005]
It's my last night in New Jersey! If you've looked at my photos since my last message, you have a pretty good idea of what I've been up to, but here's a brief rundown:

I stayed in Montclair with Uncle Dave longer than I'd originally intended because my friend in Poughkeepsie isn't available to see me until this Saturday, and because he was willing to put up with me. ;-) I've made myself useful around the house.

April 29: Pennsylvaniadventures

Submitted by Ben on Wed, 04/29/2015 - 08:13

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on April 29, 2005]

Hi, folks! I'm back in Philadelphia, staying at my nephew's grandparents' (Jay and Elsa's) house. I hope to get back in shape (and see some sights around Philly) before I venture into the Garden State!

You already know most of what I was up to in Pittsburgh from the photos I posted [CMU Spring Carnival, nephew Nicholas's Christening, dedication of the Squirrel Hill Library], but here are a few other reflections...

April 14: Philadelphia

Submitted by Ben on Tue, 04/14/2015 - 08:37

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on April 14, 2005]
What a beautiful week of weather! I don't know when I've ever experienced seven days of perfect bicycling weather in a row. Unfortunately I wasn't able to appreciate the first five because I was sick, but I was dimly aware that I would otherwise have been appreciative!