Editor’s Note: “Fatherhood On the Go” is the multi-part story of Remy Stevensen and his family. Please read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 & Part 5. Also, consider donating to this cause (links removed, campaign over) to make Remy’s ride a success!
So, the end of this road has come. It came at the intersection of HWY 30 and the entrance of a Super Wal-Mart in Iowa. Many people have told us to not see this adventure as a failure, but that has been a rough conclusion to get to. I have begun to accept that shit happens and that no matter what choice we made, we did the best that we could against so many odds. Sometimes adventurers have to dip out of the dungeons, get back to the village for repairs, potions and better equipment. I just wish that the DM could have thrown in some better loot!
(BTW, this episode is brought to you by D&D)
I miss all the hats I was able to wear; father, mechanic, navigator and husband. I still wear them now but it’s not the same. When we were riding, I constantly had to switch them, now that we are temporarily done some will just collect dust for a time. I have realized that being a parent is tough no matter where you are or what you are doing, unless of course, you are a lazy P.O.S. expletive-bag parent. We all have roles which we fill; the thief can be the comedic relief, bad guy and save the party once or twice too!
So – journey’s over. This leg of it, at least. We’re in Maine now, planning the rest of our lives.
Zach asked me about the “comfort of the home.” Not having a house to return to never really crossed my mind. My brain switched over to the road, something I do not think all people can (or even want to) do. Comfort is a trap. My children became the safety net. When all was seeming to collapse around us, we gained energy from the children. At mile 89 of our longest day, I was done – kaput! The wind and hills battered us all day while the rest of our friends, family and God rested. The sun was a hair on the western horizon, which was behind us, when Cait’s light died and mine was dim. Then from behind me Counsel hoots “O YEAH!” so loud and in a way that would have made Chief Crazy Horse proud. We ended up yelping, hooting and hollering for the last 6 miles. My son helped me reign in all my roles to get us off the road. Having your children cheering you, helping you push out an extra six miles when you can’t; that’s comforting.
What about the kids’ experiences?
I would be a liar if I said I knew what they are taking away from this short adventure. We see this as foundational work. Your children learn more in their first five years of life than they will learn the rest of it. Our children have seen bison, lizards, lots of different birds and, oh goodness, the scenery! Seeing these things in person, sharing the same time and space with creatures we share this earth with helps establish a connection. It is a connection we consider very important for our children to have. Not to diss staying at home and watching pictures of animals show up on t.v. or colouring trees in a book but in our book they just don’t compare with the real deal. Our children have seen backroads, highways, mountains, windmills, rivers and the sky from thousands of different locations. They were able to meet their great-grandparents, that’s important on so many levels. Lastly, and most importantly, our children we able to spend time with their parents and share in our adventure.
What are our next plans?
Well, that deals with why this post is long overdue. Cait and I are working on a plan to help out the local community here in Maine. We want to implement some organic farming on our family land and to be able to host our fellow bicyclists and adventurers. I have been working on raising some capital (raising money is not my strong point) to buy things for the farm, learning about laws and loans, and of course there has been the good ol’ manual labor.
In September we are flying to Bulgaria – we just aren’t sure how long we will be staying. In Bulgaria, we plan on trading some labor for room and board and also gaining some more knowledge, experience and memories! Over the summer, more plans will be set and we will have a clearer picture of the next five(ish) years.
I apologize for the tardiness of this post. Thanks for reading!
Editor’s Note: Thank you for your donations!
“Fatherhood On the Go” is the multi-part story of Remy Stevensen and his family, who are beginning a nomadic lifestyle by biking across the country with two children and all the while, raising money for Charity: Water. Their ultimate goal is to travel to impoverished nations to implement the infrastructure for which they’re raising money. 8BitDad was proud to help Remy and family get the word out about this charity, and get them closer to their goal.