Out Of The Wild: An Alaskan's Adventure To Find America

My name is John. I was born and raised in Alaska. I have been hearing how the American Dream is no longer possible for my generation; how the pursuit of a college education will leave my peers and me in crippling debt; and America is no longer the beacon of hope it once was. Too many of my generation believe what they are hearing. I am not going to surrender to such news.

I believe what made America great in the past can make it great again. I know many small business owners that are living their American Dream right now. I have heard these people talk about their dreams. They work harder than anyone I know every minute of every day. These are dreamers that act on their dreams. I want to chase my dream in the same way. My personal motto is, “Risk much, forgive much, and gain much”. I want to pursue a career in film. I want to chase my dream too.

I need to see more of this country to better understand my homeland. I want to meet the people who make this country work. Upon graduation from high school I am riding my bicycle 6,000 miles from Kodiak, Alaska to Key West, Florida to find my America. I am not going on this tour just to ride my bike. My plan is to document the people I meet that have put their dreams to work. I will interview them in their environment and interview the people they serve.

Using my bicycle, a tent, and a camera I will tell this story in a documentary I call “Finding My America”. I will begin in my hometown of Kodiak, Alaska on May 22, 2012. I am partnering with small businesses that will sponsor this trip. I am working with many Subway restaurant owners who are sponsoring me in exchange for a commercial I will make and post on the Internet.

When my trip is complete, I want to share what I learn with everyone. Look for the finished documentary in the late fall of 2012. The blog will serve as a behind the scenes update to chronicle my grand adventure. I am accepting financial support from anyone interested in inspiring my generation to embrace the hard work of bringing America back to a new era of greatness. I hope to tell the stories of the real American dream. I hope to raise enough money to pay for college without student loans. Help me tell this American story. Together we can be the difference.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Subway of Statesboro, Georgia

This is the commercial I made for the Statesboro, Georgia Subway. Thanks again to Mr. Jim Good for inviting me to stop by on my bike trip! This video has taken me awhile to post, so I appreciate the viewers that are still out there. The trip was amazing!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Key West

This is it.  I am here, Key West, Florida.  I am ready to be done and sleep in a bed I can call my own for a while.  I will take my bike to a shop and catch a ride to Winter Park, Florida where I will be living for the next two years.  I have a Subway Commercial to finish for the wonderful people of Statesboro, GA.  Then I need to start working on editing the amazing film I shot for my documentary.   This is going to be a fun story to tell.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

Almost done!

I had the privilege to ride with Joseph Rivers today near Cocoa Beach. He is a professor at Full Sail University where I will be attending this fall. I'm almost done!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Riding with the Camden Bicycle Club!

This is the "Saturday Ride" with the Camden Bicycle Club in Camden County, GA on August 25th. Thanks to all of them for their support of my trip. I was able to ride with my Aunt Judy!

Friday, August 24, 2012

On the Coast of South Georgia, August 23, 2012

I have made my way to Coastal Georgia! This is near St. Marys with my Aunt Judy and Uncle Chris taking me out for a little kayaking. If you have been following me from the start, you will recall a blog of me and some friends kayaking in Kodiak. This experience was totally different. Warm. Calm. Alligators. Yep, I saw an alligator. From a distance, but I saw him.

This is also where my Mom's family lives, so I have been with my Aunt Barbara, my Granny and Papa, and as I mentioned, Aunt Judy and Uncle Chris. This area is also home of the Camden Bicycle Club(That will be another blog).

Friday, August 17, 2012

It was really nice of Brad and Bonnie Troth to let me stay in their house here in Peachtree City, GA. The end is so close now!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What I did while I was... not blogging :/

I went and I saw the gateway to the east! Or one of the rings from Halo :) as I like to see it.

I also hung out with My 5th grade teacher! Mrs. Tonya!

Then I went to Illinois to chill with my uncle Chris, we watched lots of Lord of the Rings:)

This is Brother Wayne, he let me sleep in his church. He is nice.

This is the first Subway I have seen in a long time! A storm is a bruin.. so I think I might take shelter in its fresh walls.

And my journey ends in this mammoth sized hole:) 

I apologize for the lack of coverage. Sometimes it is tough.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

On Friday August 10 I visited Mammoth Cave with our friends the Ward family. Austin and I had a blast in this HUGE cave. Put it on your list of things to see! And, a big THANK YOU to the Ward's for letting me crash with them in Lebanon, TN.

Change of plans!

Alright, so maybe I did fall off the face of the earth there for a second.. or a week. I would blame it on uploading difficulties or no access to wifi if it weren't for the fact that I just haven't uploaded because I have been having a blast! Kansas was pretty much like reliving "Fivol Goes West". I don't know how to describe it any other way. No water, no shade, lots of sun. Half the time I was in Kansas my phone was over heated and not wanting to work so I didn't capture much of its beauty. But trust me, you didn't miss much.

After Kansas comes Missouri, or as cyclists like to call it misery. The Ozarks sent fear down my spine so I made the decision to go north and follow an old railroad track that has been turned into a biker trail known as the Katy Trail. This allowed me to blast through "Misery" in two days!

Then Kentucky, land of hills and dogs eager to chase... enough said.

And now for the news that this post is titled after. There has been a change of plans. I am no longer going the extra 1000 miles to the coast in Virginia and then down through North and South Carolina. I am taking a shortcut through Tennessee and Alabama.

Ive made this choice for 2 reasons. 1000 extra miles is a long way to travel. And I think I am beginning to run out of steam. The mental game of touring across America has beaten me the past couple of days and I know I can finish the trip but my mind wants me to do it quicker... Nothing will be affected by the change in course, in fact I think the documentary and such may gain some from a change in direction :)

Anyway, there is the news.

Now hopefully I can get these blogs posted...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sebree, KY 8-6 and 8-7-12

This is from a Baptist Church in Sebree, KY that hosts cyclists for FREE! Can I get an amen? I camped out here with another cyclist, Jeremy. I realize this makes me sound like a crazy, lonely, cat person. Oh well, part of life alone on the road I guess. As this is posting, I am making my way south to Mammoth Cave.

Crossing the Ohio River

This was filmed on Saturday, August 4, 2012. I crossed from Illinois into Kentucky on a ferry across the Ohio River. One of the ways to travel to my hometown is by ferry, as many of you know that have followed me from the beginning. But that ferry goes across the Gulf of Alaska, the open ocean of the North Pacific. This ferry is SO different! I love my America!

Monday, August 6, 2012

St. Louis Arch, Gateway to the West 8-1-12

...or for me, Gateway to the East

This is so out of order, but given my trouble with uploading I thought it was better to just post what hasn't failed! This is teaching me patience:) So, enjoy my look at the arch and bear with me when I back track later and show stuff about Colorado.

Rest in Peace, Cookie Lady

My mom just told me that "The Cookie Lady" from Afton, VA passed away a few weeks ago. This was a woman who had been showing kindness to the many cyclists that passed through Virginia since the 70's. I posted the link from Adventure Cycling below so you could all read about her. I will hopefully be able to take a photo of her place when I pass through there in a couple of weeks. I really wanted to meet this kind woman. http://bit.ly/Mn2V08

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I haven't dropped off the Earth.... 8-4-12

My time in Missouri was great. Seeing my 5th grade teacher was especially nice. Then my Uncle Chris, Aunt Nikki and cousin Garrett spent time with me in Illinois. That was fantastic, being able to see family. Today I biked out of Illinois and into Kentucky. I am having a very hard time uploading my video blogs, so I apologize for that. But it is coming. I am loving the process of finding my America!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

St. Louis! 7-31-12 and 8-1-12

I am in St. Louis with my 5th grade teacher and her husband. It is great to see people I know on this trip! I should be able to upload while I am here, so stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Katy Trail

A message from John via his family! I am on Missouri's Katy Trail. You can find information about it online. It is a great place for a cycling vacation. More to come when I am in a more connected location!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Following the yellow brick road...

I'm sitting in a library right now trying to figure out how it is possible that my documentary adventure is still a float. The boat that is my dream is filled with patched up holes and duck tape repaired seams. The majority of this trip has not gone according to plan and for a while that had me stressed out.

But I am on the adventure of a lifetime and I refuse to let kinks in my hose ruin my attitude! I have discovered that you can't prepare for a trip like this, you can only really depend on the beggining and the end. sometimes not even that. Still, the middle is the part that is completley unknown and that is good (sometimes). I recently just learned that my hard drive is alive and well! Thankgoodness!!! That was deffinitly not planned, but in the process I met great people. learned from my mistakes and grew from it all.

I'm absorbing a great deal of things while I'm on this trip and I have no intention to be swayed by a kink again.

If I had to sum up what I have learned on this trip so far, I would say that the world is filled with people who are all a different shade of kindness. The pure evil that is publisized on the television is such a minute percent of the people in this world. Which is a relief. I left Kodiak not sure of what my documentary was going to look like.."what if the America I found was lame?"... but now I know for certain that America is one of the friendliest places on earth. And the American dream is very alive.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Hard Drive Lost and Found 7-26-12

This is guest blogger Anna, sister of John.

Look what came in the mail today; your hard drive! it was in the box with the damaged camera, but when we plugged it in to the laptop the files were safe. A modern day miracle! Now, should I take a sneak peek at all the awesome footage?