By Ben |

[originally posted to the Wheeled Migration mailing list on August 2, 2004]

Hello, everyone! This is a test of the mailing list, I suppose, and also an update on my departure plans.

I plan to leave Tuesday morning, August 10, one week from tomorrow. The first day I'll ride from my home in Minneapolis through St. Paul and Stillwater, MN, to a state park just across the St. Croix River in Wisconsin.

Assuming all goes well after that first day, I'll continue east as far as Menomonie before following a bike trail south to rejoin the St. Croix. After following the river as far as La Crosse, I'll turn east again on another bike trail and then jog south through the hills of southwest Wisconsin to my first destination, an ecovillage/artist community called Dreamtime Village. That's as far as I've planned in detail.

After Dreamtime Village, I'll head roughly due north and then east to visit some friends near Appleton the weekend of August 21st (assuming I'm not delayed) and then take the ferry across Lake Michigan into Michigan.

For those who like to ask how I'm training for the trip, I finally have an answer: I'm carrying a lot of junk around on my bike trailer. Yesterday I pulled a heavy load of books to sell to used bookstores, and today I carried four full loads of stuff that didn't sell at Saturday's yard sale to various discount shops. And then there's the stuff I'm storing... looks like there are four or five loads left.

I'll share one story from the yard sale... In the morning, a little boy -- maybe age 9 -- came by and asked if we had any free stuff. We did, and he found an old cell phone with a dead battery. I showed him how to remove the battery if he wanted to replace it, or "You could just wear the phone and look cool." He biked off with it, and a few minutes later he came back with some friends (slightly older) who wanted to know if we had any more cell phones! Of course we didn't, but we pointed them to the rest of the free stuff. 

A few hours later, the same boy came back and said he wanted to buy the color TV, but he didn't have the $25. He asked what he could buy for a dollar, and I pointed him to my stereo whose turntable is broken, but the dubbing deck and radio work fine. Turned out he had only 67 cents, but I let him have it since no one else had expressed interest, and I knew he'd get good use out of it.

He came back again as we were starting to close up and asked what he could buy for a quarter. I asked him what he'd like and he went straight to the stereo cabinet I'd had the stereo in earlier. I'd been asking for $1, but again there were no other buyers, and I was about to throw it out, so... 25 cents. He had no way to transport the thing, so I put it on my trailer and walked him home with it. When we got to his house a bunch of boys swarmed out and carried it inside, like Jawas with a 'droid.

Anyhow, that was the high point of the sale for me. See you next week!