Thursday, March 25, 2010
Brooks’ tour includes Holly Springs
By SUE WATSON
Robin Brooks left Seattle, Washington, September 13, 2009, and by March 5, 2010, she was in Holly Springs and a third of the way through her trip that will take her around the outside edge of the United States.
The 24-year-old is traveling on a bicycle. At five and a half months in, Brooks said she’s giving herself a year to finish the course.
After graduation from college, Brooks worked for a year and a half for the forestry service, where she learned a lot about camping and roughing it. Not ready to settle down to an 8 to 5 job, Brooks said she is following the example of Wendall Berry, who says “know your backyard.” Berry is a poet, essayist and novelist, philosopher, and farmer from Henry County, Kentucky.
Some lessons Brooks said she has learned in her tour are how friendly people are and how beautiful and diverse the country is.
“The first question people ask when they find out you are riding alone is, ‘Are you scared?’” she said. “I say ‘no.’ People are so encouraging.”
Landscapes are what Brooks said she sees most as she travels.
“I’m big on landscapes and how they can change just 10 miles down the road,” she said. “It’s a pretty incredible, beautiful, big country.”
Some other unexpected things that have come up on Brooks’ tour is how the South is a lot colder in winter than expected. She ran into snowstorms in Texas and Arkansas.
Brooks keeps up with friends using the Internet.
She said she worked to save money for the tour and keeps finances simple. Her only expenses are food and bike maintenance. She camps along the way and visits with friends on short stay-overs when she is in a city like Memphis. She’s gone through four tires and has lots of flats. She carries about 55 pounds of gear.
Having worked as a park ranger and an experienced backpacker and camper, Brooks said all she had to learn for this trip was how to tour on a bicycle.
“It was an easy transition,” she said.
From Holly Springs, Brooks was heading south to New Orleans via the Natchez Trace, then she will hit the coastline to Florida, peddle up the eastern seaboard, and complete her westward journey home across Canada.
“I didn’t know what to expect, going in,” she said. “I’ve loved it.”
For more on Brooks’ tour, visit her blog at http://rwsb.blogspot.com. Hear what she says about the places she’s visited and look at beautiful pictures she has taken along the way.
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