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Anniversary Sonnet

Hey Team,

Today is the “official” one-year anniversary of Amtrekker. Although yesterday was the 365th day thanks to leap year it was July 4th, 2007 when this adventure began. I’ve said it before but it’s still tough to believe things are still going.

I gave you haikus on day 100. I gave you limericks on day 200. I got angry emails on day 301 for the lack of poetry. So for the one-year anniversary I decided to rise to a new challenge.

The Amtrekker Sonnet:

Shall I compare a year of homelessness To a year of slavery to routines? Is it fair to say that “living the list” Is worth not having a spare pair of jeans? When again you wake to the alarm clock Take note of the expression on your face. Rather to give up; be outlined in chalk? Or set new goals and prepare to give chase? I took a road few would dare to travel. It makes for an uncomfortable life. A road to adventure paved with gravel. But one where the excitement trumps the strife. So long as there are things I need to do. So long lives Amtrekker’s podcast for you.

There it is. Tougher than I thought it More >

Thank You

Hey Team,

Today is the 365th day of Amtrekker. (Although officially tomorrow is the first anniversary…wacky leap year.) It’s hard to believe I’m still out on the road after all this time. I’m not sure which PART is hard to believe. Is it more of a surprise that it has taken me this long to accomplish my goals or that I’ve actually managed to afford being homeless and unemployed this long?

Regardless, I know I couldn’t be doing this without help and it’s amazing how many people have come together to make Amtrekker happen. Whether it be a small donation or the opportunity to hang glide or drive a racecar or even just being there to follow along and spread the word it’s amazing how much you have all done for me in the last year. I feel like, quite literally, I’m the smallest piece of the puzzle here and I’m just glad that I have the ability to share my adventures with all of you in turn.

So, although tomorrow is the “big day” and this weekend will be the celebratory trip to the bottom of the Grand Canyon I can’t help but think of this as an important day and get More >

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#17 Kiteboarding! [podcast]

Hey Team,

After a long wait I finally managed to stay in one place long enough to compress the kiteboarding video! Here it is!

“Amtrekker travels back to Charleston, SC to get dragged face first through the waters of the Atlantic Ocean in an effort to “try his hand at kiteboarding.”

Calamity ensues.”

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player. var WT1_1 = { params : { wmode : "opaque", allowscriptaccess : "always", allownetworking : "all", allowfullscreen : "true"}, flashvars : { file : "http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amtrekker.com%2Findex.php%3Fxspf%3Dtrue%26id%3D9", volume : "80", bufferlength : "5", controlbar : "over", 'logo.hide' : "false", shuffle : "false", playlist : "bottom"}, attr : { id : "WT1", name : "WT1"}, start : function() { swfobject.embedSWF("http://www.amtrekker.com/wp-content/uploads/player.swf", "WT1_1", "437", "522", "9.0.0", false, this.flashvars, this.params , this.attr ); } } WT1_1.start();

Here’s the YouTube link!

Thanks!

I’m done.

Brett.

If you enjoy the podcasts…why not donate?

Don’t let me stop you.

“Food” Stops

Hey Team,

It’s no secret that Greyhound is a long boring ride no matter where you’re going. (And mysteriously, I’m relatively sure, every ride takes about twenty-four hours.) But the problem I ran into yesterday was pretty unique and I’m not sure how much of it Greyhound was to blame for but they always make a handy scapegoat so they’re going to get a healthy dose of the blame too.

Since all of the rides are twenty-four hours long it becomes necessary to make food stops along the way occasionally to prevent mutiny. (Or is that just a boat thing? Can you have a bus mutiny? Butiny?) The rest stop couldn’t have come one second sooner yesterday. In true Amtrekker fashion I had gotten distracted by one thing or another all day and kept forgetting to eat.

Now it was coming up on 8pm and I was getting desperate for food. The bus driver pulls into a large parking lot and wakes me up from an uncomfortable half-sleep with the PA.

“Okay, folks. Time for a food stop. You only have fifteen minutes so don’t straggle.”

Bleary eyed, I stumbled out the bus door to the less than welcome sight of the Golden More >

#29 Drive a Race Car!

Hey Team,

What an incredible day I just had the opportunity to live through! Made even more incredible by the four days of hell preceding it. So in true Amtrekker fashion I’m going to go ahead and pretend all of the bad stuff involving trying to get where I am now didn’t happen and we’ll just focus on all the awesome.

Huron, SD is amazing. And they seem to love Amtrekkers.

When it looked like I wasn’t going to be able to make it to Huron in time for a practice session Friday night Karl (the guy that got the ball rolling on this little adventure) drove three hours each way to come pick me up in Willmar, MN (Which the residents will have you know is pronounced wilmer, one syllable. Not will-mar…like it’s spelled.) and MADE SURE I got where I needed to be to get familiar with the car I was supposed to drive.

After we pulled into the fairgrounds where the raceway is located we were quickly surrounded by a small audience mostly made up of people associated with the racing team that was allowing me to borrow their car. Mike owned the car and Michael, his son, is the regular More >

Greenie Green?!

Hey Team,

Here’s a quick story since I still haven’t been in one place near an outlet long enough to compress this week’s video.

I jumped off the bus at about five o’clock this morning in Chicago several shades shy of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and decided to meet up with a friend for breakfast before making my next move towards Huron, South Dakota.

Since I had about an hour and a half to kill before Julianne would be up for work I thought, “Why bother taking the metro when I can just walk and explore a piece of the city I’ve never been.” After scoping a map near a metro stop I accosted the nearest security guard for directions to Halsted Street. He seemed really hesitant to tell me where it was and kept asking me for the address I was trying to get to but finally gave in.

After walking for about an hour I finally started to think I might know where I was. Which coincidentally is nearly the exact same moment a toothless man in dirty clothes walked up to me and said, “Do you know where you are?”

“Yeah, this is Halsted St!” If you know me at all you know More >

Toxic Stupidity Spill

Hey Team,

Here’s a super quick update so I can go jump on a bus real quick and go try to clean up the stupidity spill I caused this morning. (Which, once again, wouldn’t be a problem if I were capable of planning ahead more than half a step. But that’s what makes me so endearing, right? Right? Arrgh.)

Had I looked into the actual logistics of what my head thought sounded like a perfect plan for this week I would have discovered that there is only one bus a day that heads toward the great (I assume) state of South Dakota. And it leaves at 11pm. From New York. Arriving almost two days later.

So suddenly I found myself under a ridiculous time crunch that would either prevent me from driving a race car in South Dakota or going through a coal mine in Pennsylvania. Luckily the coal mine isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. But several people have already put in the legwork to ensure that the race car adventure happens this Friday. (Which means I assured everyone I’d be there by Thursday. Which is officially impossible unless I can stir up a ride somewhere from the Chicago area. It’s not detrimental More >

Pseudo-sport Olympics

Hey Team,

I’m sorry so many of you out there couldn’t partake in the 1st Annual Pseudo-sports Olympics…because yesterday was AWESOME!

The Olympics are a testament to the competition and sportsmanship inherent in the human spirit. A grand event dedicated to the best in us and an opportunity for us all to vicariously experience greatness.

The PSEUDO-SPORT Olympics are more like thirty people running around in a park all day playing games they haven’t played since elementary school. In short it’s a grand event dedicated to the fun we all forget to keep having when we all “grow up.”

It started with a five-inning game of kickball that (let’s be honest) wouldn’t have been kickball without the occasional bloody toe or unexpected blow to the head while running down the baseline. There was even plenty of screaming about what constitutes “baby bouncies” and how wide the imaginary bases were. It was like none of us had ever grown up (that was supposed to sound more positive and less pathetic than I think it came out).

Also, blue team won that round. No big deal…but I feel that should be pointed out.

Next up was horseshoes and badminton which were both awesome but tougher to organize teams More >