Rather late then never. Here is a small list of people who helped us out during our travels through the US of A. We hope we didn't leave anyone out. If we did, please don't be offended:
Tom in Fredonia, Mr Snyder of Pennsylvania, The Monk family, The Army Corps of Engineers, the lady in the cornerstore North of Beaver creek, Mr. Zuch of Beaver Creek. Juanita Savage, Pedal Shop and Marietta adventure Co., Mike and Mary, the maintenance crews of Ohio's highway rest stations, Catfish Paradise in Marietta, Rick the mechanic and Helen the librarian. Brent, Stacy and their wild bunch, Tom, Devon, Enzo and everyone at Huntington Cycle and Sport, Dorene and the management at Carter Caves, James of Nitrous Junkies, Butch, Joe, Brian and Victoria of Owingsville. Ben and friends of Berea. Gary and Diane for giving us a sweet ride, The Eddies, Eastern Shore Cycles, the retired school teachers near Orange Beach, the MacDonalds staff in Bayou le Batre, Bernie and Barbara (and Nicky), the security officers at the Stennis space center rest station, the Newtons of Slidell, Cayun Mark, Cheetah, Bill and Patty. The mountain bikers at Norco and Martins Ferry. Special thanks to Captain Caroll, Kim, Grandma and Jan-ma. Special thanks also to Juanita and Christopher of Pecan Island.
Very special thanks to EUREKA! tents and Kristin at Johnson Outdoor. The libraries at Martin's Ferry, Steubenville OH, Oil City PA, Pensacola FL, Cameron and Johnsons Bayou LA, Brazoria, Pt. Comfort and Winnie TX.
Mary-Jo and Dick of Roses and the River, Doug and Latressa on Galveston Island. The police of Surfside Beach and the fire department of Bishop TX. Kirk and Joe, The painters in Aransan Pass with their wild stories. The Rockport bakery, Bay Area Cycles of Corpus Christi, Keith 'Oh Canada' Weiss. Richard the Zombiekiller of San Benito and Roberto for letting us fire some rounds with the .22
Will and Joel of Brownsville, Mark Clark and Carol Plum and the border officer who told us to keep our heads low.
All the grocery stores that didn't lock their dumpsters, all the MacDonalds Restaurants with free wifi and clean washrooms.
We had a great time with all of you and call ourselves proud to have met you!
Today a year ago, Hannah, Milo and I left a grey and drizzly Toronto behind us. It has gone incredibly fast this year and we feel that we have achieved a lot. We've traveled over 6000 kilometers, visited 4 countries and numerous states and provinces. The amount of flat tires goes uncounted but exceeds 50 easily. We encountered temperatures varying from -8 degrees in Pennsylvania to 49 degrees in Tabasco. I crashed once, outside of Tampico while screaming at the dog to shut up; Hannah crashed once too, outside of Villahermosa while screaming at me to get out of the way.
Outside of travelling we built a toilet, two chicken coops and a shack we call home, went fishing for shark, halibut, wahoo and lots of other fish that live in these waters. We learned about new plants, fruits and vegetables we had never seen before.
And yet our journey is just beginning and with everything we learn we feel we know less.
The meaning of us documenting our life and travels is to show all people that nothing is impossible and that if you want to do something you can. You are the only one holding yourself back. We believe that what we have done is nothing special except for that we made the choice to do it. Never let anyone tell you that 'you're crazy', that 'it can't be done' or anything else of sorts. We have come across people that say that what we have done is only possible because of our background, our skin color or our nationality. We disagree, I'm even inclined to say the opposite. Regardless of who you are, where you come from or whatever, you can do whatever you want. That is what we call a FREE LIFE.
It's hard to tell where to begin, that's what me and blogging comes down to. Even before Hannah and I embarked on our journey I had aspirations to start blogging about adventure/survival. Most of all I wanted to blog about 'urban survival', basically a guide to bringing being homeless or having to live with the least amount of money imaginable to a sort-of-comfortable level.
Ironically I find myself sitting in our handmade shack in a place that is even for Mexican standards remote and isolated. So writing about survival in an urban setting doesn't seem at order and about survival in the mountainous jungle behind our street I know little to none, I can identify about three plants and about most birds I can tell you that I've seen one before.
All this doesn't mean that I don't have anything to blog about.
We are still looking for a camera so we can upload videos on a regular basis because it simply would save time. Writing and editing blogposts has proven difficult and expensive as we live far from 'fast' internet.
With this camera we could keep regular updates about everything we are trying to achieve: the construction of the house, the washroom, or dry toilet that is really starting to take it's final shape with three walls nearing completion. We had a mild catastrophe when in the night after the first session of 'mudding' the entire wall fell down. Fault on my behalf: I hadn't properly attached the bamboo framing to the concrete posts. It turned out to be only half so bad because after the framing had been re-installed, properly this time, it was only little work to re-apply the still wet mud.
The house is at this point a very drafty shanty. The framing and roofstructure of the 'shack' are up. The only problem is that the framing is still exposed and all kinds of wood-eating insects have given proof of residence by leaving everything covered in sawdust.
Then there is the process of us generating our own electricity. We're still voluntarilly off-grid, the powerline still runs outside our lot and although our neighbours think we're crazy we are still set on generating our own 'juice'. I would love to build a bike-powered generator. I know they exist already in the Netherlands. Also there is Maya-pedal, an organisation that build all kinds of things our of bicycles: de-grainers, mills, waterpumps, you name it... I will try to find links and add them to this post later for those who are interested.
My personal challenge however is building something with an interchangeable mount so we have one device that can power a generator but also a mill, or 'molino' as it is known in Mexico.
Furthermore I would like to blog about the fish that swim in these water and the way the locals catch them.
Then there are our animals, who all have their stories too, the chickens with their round, mud chickencoop, the pig with it's A-frame shack made out of a recycled skid. All things we would like to talk about more in depth here on the website/blog. If I only knew where to begin.
David and Hannah - cyclists extraordinaire