Comments From Folks
Along the Way

The First 10,000 miles

Link to Joe's main page.

If you have sent a message and it is not listed, please send it again. Sometimes they get lost in cyberspace

April through December 2005

The "Student's Guest Book" hosted by Stanton Elementary, Stanton, KY, is receiving comments along with the names or initials and locations from people who have met Joe along the road. We thought it would be fun to share them. We will edit with discretion and won't post street addresses, telephone numbers or e-mail addresses (unless it is to your advantage.)

Note: The Student Guest Book is no longer active.

You can also e-mail comments you would like to share on this page to:

Your Comments

Hey Joe,

What an awesome and exciting thing you are doing!  I hope that the Great Lakes region, in particular Michigan's Lake Michigan shoreline, will be on your itinerary when you start up again in the spring.  It is a beautiful region, as are many areas of our great state!  I now live in the Downriver area, south of Detroit, Michigan, where I work as an elementary school Media Clerk (librarian) in the Gibraltar School District. 

I see you started out in Lompoc.  That is my place of birth (1960) and my family left that area of California for northwest lower Michigan in 1966.  I don't know how we managed to end up here; but the Detroit area has a unique and cultural quality of its own.

Thanks for your great story!  I saw it first in Teacher Magazine, then checked out the web site.  I really loved your mention of Jimmy and Roselynn Carter and attending his Sunday School class. Best wishes,

Linnea Johnson   Brownstown, Michigan     12/7

Joe: I have followed you on a pretty regular basis since you left....I last saw you personally shortly after your visit to Frankfort, right before heading to California. Seems like you had a good 10,000 miles.  I admire you so much, not just for the ride and what it says to lots of good Americans but also for your personal stance and your personal presence around Taylorsville.  You just need to tell more people that your home is in eastern Kentucky but you reside in Taylorsville!!!!  Keep plugging and good luck on the next leg of the trip.

Tom Willis      Taylorsville, KY    12/3


Greetings! I read the article about you in today's Lexington Herald Leader. Although we have never met, we are related. Distantly, that is. Probably third or fourth cousins! My mother was a Lillian Bowen and was born and raised in Powell County. I was also born in Stanton in 1939. Mom married a Millard Powell from over on White Oak in Estill County. When I was very young they moved to Oldham County. Mom was Miss Powell County in 1938!!!!!!  Her father was Clayton Bowen and was the Powell County Road Superintendent for several years. I still have several aunts and uncles that live in Stanton. But the real reason I am contacting you is this:

 In 2003 I flew to Seattle along with an old high school football buddy. We touched the Space Needle on Sunday afternoon, June 1st and walked to Miami, Florida. I walked into the Orange Bowl, completing my journey but David continued on and walked all the way to Key West, or as far as he could go! I was 62 years of age at the time and turned 63 on the walk. It was quite an experience.

 Now I am contemplating riding a bike from San Diego, California to Caribou, Maine. I would like to straddle the US/Mexican border, start riding and then straddle the US/Canadian border near Caribou. The walk was a project, much like yours, to raise funds for the International Conference of Police Chaplains. I have been very involved with law enforcement chaplaincy since 1980 and presently serve the Oldham County Police at their Chaplain. I am the State representative for the ICPC. However, I  would rather have a riding companion then attempt this solo. I am talking about a starting date in the spring of 2007.

I am thinking of starting at or on a date that would get us in the vicinity of Grand Rapids, Michigan in the middle of July. That is where the Annual Training Seminar of the ICPC will be held in 2007. There will be hundreds of law enforcement chaplains from all over the world at the seminar. The 2006 seminar is in Indianapolis and I am to be one of the presenters. My subject will be "Making a Death Notification." Believe me, the Seminar would receive us with flags flying!

 I am a retired United Methodist preacher and with my knowledge of both churches and police departments, I can almost assure you that we would be staying under a roof most nights on the journey. On the walk most of our nights were spent under the stars in our little tents and sleeping bags. By the way, we did pass through Deadwood, South Dakota!!!!!!

 I think I can get a nice van and a driver that would go along with our gear, food , etc and allow us to concentrate solely on riding and enjoying the landscape.

 Even if you are not interested, I would very much like to meet you. I would be glad to drive over to Stanton some day soon and meet you. You just name the date and place. Maybe Hemlock Lodge at Natural Bridge would be nice and we could meet over a meal. The treat's on me!!!!!

Hoping to hear from you soon. God Bless, Joe.

Jim Powell    Louisville, KY       12/3

Mr. Bowen,

I so enjoyed your visit to our school this afternoon.  I find it fascinating that you are making this trip for the second time.  I am glad you told our students that the inspiration for your first trip was a book!!  I also was touched by your story of the butterflies.  I want to thank you for the book that you donated to our library.  I will write inside that it was given by you and a little about your journey so that the children will always remember.  Thanks again for allowing us to share in your travels.

Charlotte Denniston  Clay City Elementary Librarian    Clay City, KY      12/2

I read where Joe will be visiting schools this winter.  Is there anyway he can visit a classroom at Red River Valley?  Mrs. Elam’s class has been trying to follow him since September. I know it would thrill them to actually meet Joe and hear his stories. Also, we are still interested in the photos.  We have a super idea for a map and can't wait to get it started. It will be used as sort of a review through the winter, to keep him fresh in our minds (and since we got involved so late in the game). Look forward to hearing from you.

Rhonda Mayse   Red River Valley Elementary, Hazel Green, KY            12/1

November 12, 2005    Plains, Georgia

Jimmy Carter National Historic Site- Home of the 39th President

I was amazed at the amount of energy and devotion that Joe has for his cause. I was delighted to have him join us in our Historic Bike Tour of Plains, Georgia. I was one of the two park rangers that guided Joe around Plains and helped him get to meet Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. That was such a thrill for him and he relayed his message about his cause and travel tothem and others in Plains.

Joe also met some of our other staff members, Steve Theus, Robin Frazier, Kevin Alexander, Jeff Campbell, Kenny Wiseman, Annette Wise and Liz Angry. Joe was surprised by all the activities that he was going to be able to attend on Saturday and Sunday.

We were hosting a program at the Boyhood Farm of Jimmy Carter that Saturday afternoon with the Old Time Plow Club where we were squeezing sugarcane to get the juice and make syrup. He was also invited to be a guest at a dinner meeting for the Plains Historic Preservation Trust. I take it that he enjoyed his meal!!!!! Also he received another surprise when his brother-in-law showed up in Plains, with a bike, to visit him. Talk about a wonderful time. If the students would like to learn more about our area and our site, please visit or for our educational program page. I and the rest of the staff really enjoyed Joe and his stories from his travels and we send him off with our prayers and wishes that his travel goes well. We hope that we are able to see him again on his next ride. In closing I would like to say.......RIDE JOE RIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gabriel Laster,Park Ranger,  Jimmy Carter National Historic Site  (229) 824-4104 ext.33

November 15th, 2005

I met Joe yesterday in Hampton, Georgia.  Joe apparently had a close call with a car (that only claimed the existence of his bike mirror) and pulled off that busy road onto a sideroad in hopes for some respite from the traffic.  That was when he caught the bright colors of the flag I had hanging from my bicycle trailer where I was pulling my very tired, but beautiful one year old daughter.

You could imagine my surprise when I saw this older gentleman with his bicycle loaded down with luggage.  I figured he just wanted to ride with me, but his distressed demeanor suggested he needed something more significant.  His next words were all I needed to confirm that thought.

"You know the best way to get to Atlanta from here?" he asked with a look of great bewilderment.

"Atlanta man!  You are a ways from there and unless you have a GPS it would be hard for me to tell you how to get there without getting on some very dangerous roads"

"Well, can you just get me to the nearest hotel" he asked with an air of both relief and disappointment.

I had to think about it for a minute, but I figured why not and replied, "Sure, follow me and I'll get you there safely."

During our ride to the hotel I learned about his adventure and what brought him to this not so chance meeting with me and my daughter.  After he got to the hotel I went back to the house to get some maps to show him all the roads to take to get to Atlanta.  After we talked a bit, it was decided that I would just help him out myself the next morning and become his guide.

We left the next morning and had some great discussions on the way to the city.  Joe is definitely an inspiration.  Taking on a journey like that is spectacular.

I did not usually travel down that section of road with my daughter, but something that afternoon said to go a little further.  Had I not made the extra few pedal strokes I would not have had the great opportunity to meet such a great guy and save him from more inevitable close calls with Georgia motorists.

Sincerely, Jonathan and Juliana Matey (baby) Hampton, Georgia...home of the NASCAR Atlanta Motor Speedway     11/16

Jonathan Matey.      Jonathan Matey.     Juliana.

(Email from Georgia Joe Bowen to Kentucky Joe Bowen)


I live in Atlanta and was tracking Joe's route.  When will he be through Atlanta?  Does he have any events or stops planned?  I would like to meet him.

Believe it or not, my name is also Joe Bowen and we are almost the same age.  I have read his book on stilt walking from CA to KY.

I am mailing a contribution to AHA.


Joe Bowen       Atlanta, GA        11/16

Will you pass anywhere close to Purdy, Missouri?  I would love to have you talk to my 9th grade geography students. Hope all is well. Thanks,

Carl Geyer        Purdy, MO      11/16

Dear Joe,

I am Hannah Brewer.  I am a student in Mrs. Miller's class at Rogers Elementary.  We have seen that you are in Georgia and that is the state I did research on.

I am going to tell you about some places in Georgia. Callaway Garden is beautiful with green meadows, a lake, fishing, swimming and mountains. There is a festival in Georgia where they have the biggest golf tournament in the world.  Let me know if you know about some good places to visit.

Hannah Rogers, KY       11/16

Hey Joe

My name is Davis Morgan.  My granddaughter, Lexis, and I met you at Taco Belle in Brandon, MS on October 24th. You were going to Meridian the next day. Lexis plays soccer and you talked to her about your adventure. Lexis sent you an e mail, but it was returned undeliverable. She sent it to the "Student" address. Good luck on your travels and I know You are looking forward to seeing your grandchildren soon.

Davis Morgan     Brandon, MS        11/10

Subject: a request from the Herald-Leader

Dear Mr. Bowen,

My name is Peter Mathews, and I cover Powell County (among others) for the Herald-Leader. I asked my editor some time ago whether she'd like for me to keep up with your trip and she said yes. So far, though, I've done a terrible job.

I just read an Associated Press story saying you'd be back in Kentucky for Thanksgiving and wondered whether I could talk to you sometime soon about how your trip is going.  Since I'm probably easier to reach than you are, I'll put my contact info below. In the meantime, I'll catch up a bit on your web site, which I haven't been to for a while.

Hope you're staying warm and dry.

Peter Mathews              Lexington, KY             11/07

(Editor's note: Hmmm. You can make up for it by writing a good article.)


Hello Joe!

Our class (which includes your niece Alexa Bowen) wanted to let you know that we had a major celebration yesterday in your honor. We had a luau and beach day to celebrate your arrival in "The Sunshine State". Our classroom represented the state of Florida for your trip, and we are having a grand time doing so! We have attached some pictures for you to see. We are also sending some to the Clay City Times. Thanks so much for all that you have done! Remember the keys to a happy life: Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much!

Missy Case, Special Education,  Bowen Elementary    Bowen, KY        11/3


Good Morning!

I shared your story with the General Manager and he was delighted to hear that the children are talking about our ducks.  He would also like for me to let you know that we would like to send a gift basket of Peabody Duck items to the winner of the contest.  If you will let me know when you have chosen a winner or winners, we will get their information and send them a prize.

Jennifer Grady   Administrative Assistant

Executive Office     Peabody Hotel     Little Rock, AR       501-399-8009         11/02

Ducks in the Bob Bullock

*Editors note: OK, elementary students anywhere- The question is, "Where do the Peabody Ducks go when they get off the elevator?" (in the evening.) The prize for the best creative answer now stands at:  $15 First place, $10 Second place, $5 Third place  PLUS a gift basket of Peabody Duck stuff. My guess is that a gift basket from a hotel this fancy will be pretty cool. STUDENTS- SEND IN YOU ANSWERS!!


my name is Cindy Spencer and I am from Nampa Idaho. I am John and Liz Wickersham's granddaughter. (Pokey was my father) I was talking to my Gramma Liz today and she told me about what you are doing and I think it is awesome. Then I talked to Uncle Pete today too and he gave me your web address. I will also send it to my family here in Idaho so they can see what you are doing too. Good luck in your travels.

Cindy Spencer            Nampa, ID               10-30

I checked in with Joe.

Cliff Cheatwood        Pine Bluff, Arkansas       10-30

I read about Joe in the local newspaper and I'm now a fan.

Go Joe Go!!

Carolyn Bowen                Mississippi           11-02


I think Dad had given me your email several months ago, but I haven't been able to find it.  I was surprised when I found the article noting your 6,000th mile in the October 7th Wolfe County News.  The web site is now featuring your 8,000 mile.

I also forwarded the web site to the Lexington Kiwanis Club.

Several of the members have been asking about your trek.  If you have the time and inclination, we would love to have you visit with a trip update.
I am also the Kentucky Tennessee District Chair person for the Middle School level of Kiwanis known as Builders Club.  I am going to forward the web site link to my advisors across Kentucky, Tennessee and Northern Georgia, so hopefully you will hear from some of them.

I hope to see or hear from you soon.

Edye Bryant, along with Benny and Thelma
Ye Ole Country Peddler               Slade, KY            10/26


I've been following your itinerary. I've noticed that you are due in Perry, Fl. on day 218 and you're not going to Chiefland until day 219. Does that mean that you're staying in Perry for the night on day 218? If it is, and you don't have other plans, Omalene and I would love for you to spend the night with us. We have a 4-bedroom parsonage and there's just the two of us. If you would want to do that, then e-mail me and we'll be planning for you. When you get into town you can call me at home.  It would really be a thrill for us if you could stay.

Bro Bill Carpenter           Perry, FL          10/28

I hope Joe gets to visit Billy Carpenter in Perry FL. I worked with Billy with an engineering firm when they constructed the Blue Grass Parkway. This man worked eleven hours a day and drove to Dayton, OH for a revival six straight nights and was not late for work.  Billy Carpenter is an amazing man of God.

Steven Bowen               Lexington,  KY        10/30


While it's very likely that Joe took up with the ducks it is unlikely that he has taught them to peddle a bike!  Let's wait for further revelations.

Ken Thompson         Taylorsville, KY            10/22

*editor's note: We are pleased to announce the "situation" regarding the official complaint filed with the “Duck Question Rules Committee” concerning Mr. Bill Karrer’s qualifications to receive the cash prize has been successfully resolved.  Mr. Karrer was completely exonerated and as a show of good faith has offered to increase the value of the prize. Therefore, in the student contest to creatively answer the question, "Where do the Peabody Ducks go when they get off the elevator?" the first place prize is now $15, second place is $10, and third place is $5. Students- please email your answers!

Hi:  My name is Chantay and I work at the National Voting Rights Museum in Selma, AL. I met Joe Bowen in his travels. The Voting Rights Museum is the only museum dedicated solely to the voting rights movement. We are located next to the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The Edmund Pettus Bridge was the bridge where the marcher's were beaten by state troopers in 1965.

Chantay                  Selma, AL               10/27


That sounds great! I talked to the board last weekend and they think Joe sounds great and are really excited about him being the key note speaker.  Thanks for all your help and I will be in touch.

Annie          Frankfort, KY            10/27

I met Joe in the little town of Chunky MS. He said to tell everyone he is OK.

Jordan                         Chunky, MS                 10/25


Greetings from the Peabody!

Joe, we are so impressed with all of your accomplishments and are honored that you made our hotel part of you journey.

Today I spoke with Mr. Musser and he has informed me that our great little ducks have made a big splash with the elementary school children. We are so excited that we can be a part of this learning experience for children all over the country.

Once again congratulations for all of your accomplishment thus far and good luck on the rest of your journey!

P.S. The ducks say hello to all of the kids and can't wait to hear all of their stories about what they do after they leave the fountain.

Jennifer Grady,   Administrative Assistant Executive Office,  Three Statehouse Plaza  Little Rock, AR 72201 Phone 501-399-8009       10/23

Hey, All,

We are Steve and Patty Hughes and we live in Vicksburg, Mississippi. We were hiking in the Vicksburg National Military Park yesterday and when we completed our hike at the visitors' center, we started chatting with this cyclist because we also bike and were interested in his story. IT WAS JOE BOWEN! We had a very nice chat with him and set him on the road to a nice hotel and Cracker Barrel restaurant. He was really looking forward to that!!!! He said tomorrow, which would be today, that he will be biking across Mississippi, heading to Jackson and Meridian on Highway 80. My husband and I have biked that before, so we gave him some helpful hints. I am a retired teacher and principal and think that it is totally awesome that you guys are tracking Joe. Good luck!!!!!! Go, Joe,!!!!!!!

Steve and Patty Hughes       Vicksburg, MS     10/24

We met Joe having lunch 10/20. What an interesting guy!

The Thompsons        Little Rock, AR           10/22

I'll be watching and cheering! All best,

Marcia Tarbis Tofteland          Louisville, KY     10/20

Hi, just wanted to let you guys know I saw Joe today in Russellville Arkansas. I am a pharmacist at Wal-Mart and Joe stopped in for a few minutes and we had a short chat about his ride. Joe gave me this web address and said you guys would appreciate a short note and you would also put a flag on your map of where he had been sighted.

Joe said he was on his way to Little Rock, Arkansas for a meeting. He was in good health and I will pray for good health and weather on the rest of his journey. Joe is a very nice man and an excellent spokesperson for your schools.

John Cobb   Russellville, Arkansas    10/19


I noticed that you're traveling through Perry, FL., probably around Thursday, Nov. 3. I'll be looking for you, or maybe you could call me when you get into town.

My name is Bill Carpenter. I pastored the Bowen First Church of God for six years back in the 60's. My wife is Omalene (Morrison) Carpenter. We owned the place just at the eastern edge of Bowen next to Maloney Lumber Co. I think Callie Bowen owned the place at one time.

Would surely like to talk to you for a while if it would be possible. Like I said, I'll be looking for you to come down the road. I'm pastor of Perry First Church of God at present.

Bill          Perry, FL          10/26

I spoke to you in early October about getting our school involved in Joe's Ride.  There is a 2nd-3rd grade class that is trying to put together a map and some reports of some of the things he has seen.

Is there a way of getting a copy of the CD that contains photos of the trip to this point?

I know this would add a touch of excitement to the reports and the map as well.

Thank you,

Rhonda              Wolfe County, KY         10/24

Our cartoon researcher here at Ripley (Ripley’s Believe It or Not), Lucas Stram, forwarded your contact information on to me.  We are interested in featuring Mr. Bowen in one of our cartoons, and it would be most helpful if you or Mr. Bowen could supply us with a photo or two to assist our cartoonist with the drawing.  We’ve also forwarded information about the trip to our publisher in the U.K., Miles Kelly, to see if they would be interested in including Mr. Bowen’s ride in our third book, which should be published in October 2006.  In such case, they would want to acquire publication rights to any photos you could supply to us.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and I look forward to hearing from you! With best wishes,

Lucie M. Winborne  Executive Assistant, Intellectual Property Ripley Entertainment Inc.  7576 Kingspointe Parkway, Suite 188   Orlando, FL  32819            10/18


Joe, After reading about your experience at the Peabody Hotel, my students have a question. Where does the elevator take the ducks? This question has caused much discussion. Thanks and Be Careful! Remember the keys to a happy life: Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much!

Missy Case     Bowen Elementary     Bowen, KY          10/21

Hi Joe --

We are back in Wickenburg, AZ -- Sure enjoyed your visit -- and swapping tales about you and I back in 1967 -- in Moab, at Canyonlands, the Shaffer Trail.  Good to follow your progress -- Oklahoma City!   I was in Bald Knob, AK back in 1951 (?) just after a tornado went through and flattened the town -- completely -- Never saw such a site –

KC DenDooven        Wickenburg, AZ           10/21


Not being one to "duck" a challenge I believe that the ducks shared a fancy suite with Joe.  That is how he was able to stay in the "creme de la creme" (French for swank) hotel!

OK Ken,

when do I collect my ten bucks.  Everyone take note, I am copying this post to both Joe & Ken so they can't claim I didn't answer the challenge. Thanks.

Bill Karrer          Taylorsville,  KY        10/22

*editors note: There has been an official complaint filed with the “Duck Question Rules Committee” regarding Mr. Karrer’s qualifications to receive the prize. The rules specifically state that the cash prize is open to “all elementary school students.”

There seems to be a question as to whether or not Mr. Karrer falls into this category. The Fraudulent Claims Division of The Rules Committee is currently undergoing an investigation and is seeking verification, specifically: a valid birth certificate and letter from his classroom teacher.

The cash prize will be withheld until this matter is cleared up. Therefore, students are still encouraged to submit their best guess as to where the Peabody Hotel Ducks go when they get off the elevator. Rule 17, paragraph c) clearly states, however, that adults may submit an entry but only under the Adult Speculation Category.  Rule 17, paragraph e) states that " an inadvertent submission of an adult speculation into the Student Category, regardless of innocent intentions, is subject to a $10 penalty to be added to the cash prize in the Student Category.

good day joe,

i have been trying to follow your path. i could not get into your site until today. it has been interesting for the kids to see where you have been. derek and brittney ask about you quite often. all is well. i hope your trip is going well. i would stay away from florida for awhile, you might get wet. i will stay in touch now that i found your site.

ty, derek & brittney            ??            10/22

We live in Little Rock, Arkansas, and had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Joe on Thursday, Oct 20th at the bowling alley of all places.  Our children were out of school for the day so we were there playing and he rode up to get a bit of lunch.  Our boys were very impressed with the whole program and Joe spent alot of time visiting with them.  He showed them a map of his journey and we talked about his upcoming ride through Louisiana, which is our home state.  So glad we were lucky enough to meet him.  What a very interesting person.  Good luck on the rest of your ride Joe.

The Thompsons          Little Rock, AR            10/22


Don't know if you remember our group - the Spencer County Historical and Genealogical Society.  We meet on the fourth Monday of the month usually at the Spencer County library at 7:00 pm..  We would very much like for you to be our speaker at the January 23,2006 or the February 27, 2006 meeting.  Would that fit into your schedule?  We all are following your travels with much interest.

Mary J. Hite          Spencer County, KY           10/22

Hey Joe, you probably don't remember having coffee with me and some friends in a cafe in Gatlinburg, Tenn. in the fall of '67. We bought you a cup of coffee and talked about your trip. You were going to be Governor of Kentucky you said. I had been riding rented 10 speeds in the Holstein Valley while in college there and when I saw the bag on the back of your saddle that said 10,000 mile tour or something like that I had to try to meet you. I was excited about bicycling back then but didn't get my own bike until 1969. I still dream about taking a cross country trip. You fanned the flames of my imagination about biking and I have put many thousands of miles under my tires since then. Thank you. I am now in Michigan but if you will be going through Gatlinburg again on this trip, I will come down to meet you and maybe we can have more than a cup of coffee or I'll show you where the best cup of coffee in the state of Tennessee is served. How are your legs?

Mel Dickerson    University of Michigan         10/13

Hey Joe, I just looked at the web site to see how you are doing.  It looks like you are still doing well and enjoying yourself - but are you behaving?  Gary says to say “Hi.” We are doing well, and we just wanted you to know we are thinking about you.  Sonia the barber says hi - she got me a cowboy hat for my birthday so I'd fit in when I go out to Byers!  Stay safe, have fun, and go with God.  Love,

Diana (Williams) Huerta        Denver, CO          10/18

Hey Joe, You don't know me, but I have been somewhat following your progress.. I live in NW Arkansas, really Springdale, AR & was wanting to meet up with you. Maybe ride with you for a while... I am between jobs, being layed off in May.. so i am semi-retired... I have the time to ride alot.. I rode to Iowa from here & back in late May & June.. Only 1503 miles in 3 1/2 weeks.. not as much as you, that's for sure..  I might be all ready to late... to meet up with you... I ride an tadpole recumbent trike.. super, super fun... let me know what you think, OK??

thanks, ride safe!!

Ted Arriola       Springdale, Arkansas           10/18

Mr. Bowen,

I’m a researcher for Ripley Entertainment and I heard about your current cycling trip around the country. It sounds very impressive.

When you finish, we’d love to hear from you about it.

There’s definitely a place for you in our daily cartoon with your latest travels.

Beyond that, we’re always looking for new people to include in our next hardback book. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to ask.

Good luck on your trip!

Lucas Stram      Ripley Entertainment, Inc.(Ripley’s Believe it or Not)        NC and London, England       9/30

Hello from Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma City National Memorial.

Joe stopped in and visited with the Rangers today.

He is to be commended on a worthy project and as he said, the children are the greatest asset of our country.

We wish him well on his trip and hope that he makes it home safely.

Bob Duke, Park Ranger,  Oklahoma City National Memorial         OK     10/11

Hi everyone! My husband and I were lucky enough to meet Joe and his friend Cliff in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco ,California on April 17th, 2005. We had a nice long conversation, especially my husband, who has also ridden his bike across the United States. My husband, Jim, rode Route 66 from Santa Monica, California, to South Carolina. Have a great trip, Joe!

Judith and James Bradbury  San Francisco, CA      10/10

Joe Bowen stopped in the Claremore Daily Progress around noon today (Thursday, Oct. 13). He was eager to talk about his visit to our town some 37 years ago. His memories about Will Rogers, our hometown hero, and his (Joe's) 1968 visit to the Will Rogers Memorial so many years ago was intriguing. Joe visited with another colorful character from Claremore's past, J.M. Davis, while on his first visit. Mr. Davis has since died and we now have the J.M. Davis Gun Museum which houses one of the largest gun collections in the world. Joe also recalled the Long's Wax Museum that has been gone since sometime in the late 1970s. It burned. He had a story to tell about riding in a Cadillac that Mr. Long said Jaclyn Kennedy and her children had ridden in. Thanks for remembering us here in Claremore, Joe. We enjoyed meeting you and learning about your work with the students and more.

Clarice Doyle       Claremore,  OK   10/13


my name is Billy Prince and i had an encounter with Joe today. after passing this fella on the highway going to seymour, tx. my wife and i commented that someone must really need to get somewhere bad to ride a bike the nearly 50 mile stretch of nothingness to Wichita Falls,TX that lies between. on my return an hour later we passed Joe again and he was making good time for someone toting all that! about 12:30 or so i stopped in Holliday,TX, to fill up with gas at a convenience store and there’s this fella taking a break from the ride.

i asked how long it took to make the trip from seymour to here and he said about 3 hours, i went on in and payed up and returned back to ask where he was headed and he said Florida

"well my jaw kinda dropped"  long ride i!! we introduced ourselves and the conversations began, i asked did he see the Camels back in Dundee and he said he must've missed them, said he'd liked to have taken some pics of that, told me he had, i believe, 7000 miles or so on his trip, wow!! "time has a way of passing" i was in a bit of a hurry. if not, i would've enjoyed chatting more. He's a real nice fella and i wish him Luck on his journey. P.S. i can take some pics of the Dundee Camels and send em via email to show what Joe missed.
Billy Prince,        (somewhere out West,  TX?)      10/8

Count me in on your tracking .... 25 years ago, I provided national publicity support for Joe throughout his Stiltwalk Across America when I worked with the U.S. Jaycees. He broke the world record for distance stiltwalking at halftime of a professional soccer game in Tulsa and I was on hand to witness that as well as when he finished his trek in Bowen, Kentucky. It was wonderful to see him again for the first time since then tonight (October 12) back in Tulsa. He has hardly changed and continues to have a heart bigger than the countryside he has traveled. We talked for three hours but it just as easily could've been thirty if we had decided to ignore our watches.

Ken Harwood       Tulsa, Oklahoma           10/12

I am still looking in on you, Joe. Best wishes to you.
God Bless you this day.

Kathryn Cox       10/10

I met Joe on Scenic Highway 71 near the town of Mountainburg, Arkansas, located in the Ozark National Forest. I had stopped to see the progress on the new Lake Fort Smith dam construction project when Joe rode up. He introduced himself and told me about his journey. It was certainly my pleasure to meet Joe and found the information about his travels fascinating. Joe was on his way to Little Rock, Arkansas and was planning on making it to the town of Ozark to spend the night. I pray Joe finds nothing but good fortune throughout his travels. Best wishes,

Elkins, Arkansas          10-17-05

Hi Everyone,

Joe just left our motel, Arthur Murray's.  I sent him off with clean clothes for another week on the road. I think we can all learn from him, you can do anything you set your mind to. It has been a pleasure to meet and talk with him. You can see where he stayed by going to
Good luck to all you students in your endeavors.

Nancy Zeorlin     Noel, MO.        10/16

My name is David Mink, and I'm a reporter for the Coffeyville Journal in Coffeyville, Kansas. I met with Joe yesterday (Oct. 14) and interviewed him for a story in our paper. I also took Joe into the downtown area and showed him where the citizens of Coffeyville fought back against the Dalton Gang, a group of robbers who tried to rob two of our banks at once in 1892. I showed him the original Condon Bank, which still stands to this day. I also took him down "Death Alley," the alley which the Daltons used to attempt their escape. I took pictures of Joe at a mural depicting the beaten robbers, as well. The folks of Coffeyville were glad to have Joe stop through on his trip, and we wish him a safe journey home.  Sincerely,

David Mink     Coffeyville,   KS   10/15

We wanted to sign in on the guest book but could not find it anywhere. Will this do? We ran into Joe east of town and had him over for dinner.Great fun listening to his stories. Let us know if this will get on the guestbook and if not, how do we do it? (editor’s note- If you have trouble with the link from the “Where’s Joe” page, simply send an email to )Tom and Dona Devine      Las Cruces, NM           10/6

Will Joe be passing through Indiana ? Thanks Steve Glotzbach New Albany, IN, located just north of the Ohio River and Louisville KY.

Stephen R. Glotzbach       New Albany, IN           10/16

Hi Cuz, I've been following you since Mom said you were on the road. I work at the Library and I've shared some of your whereabouts with my co-workers. They also say, "Go, Joe, go"! Love,
Cousin Wendy from Idaho        10/17

Hi, Greetings from East Idaho. Sadly we missed Joe when he passed through. Have ridden the same Idaho roads many times. Hope he had a pleasant time in Idaho. Will continue to check in from time to time. Wish him good luck and a safe ride.

Dave and Denyse Munson      Rigby, Jefferson County, Idaho10/19

My name is Kellie Glenn.  I am a resident of Campton, Kentucky.  I am also a student at the Wolfe County Learning Center.  I am 23 years of age and I have a 3-month-old baby boy. It’s amazing that you have ridden your bicycle for such a distance.  It is very inspirational.  I was reading the journal entry where you met with the Apache Indians.  That is something I have always wanted to do because I’m of Apache heritage as well.  I was adopted when I was 2 and a half so I really don't know my real family.  Anyways, I was wondering how many bicycle tires you have gone through?  How much oil to lube up your gears?It was fun to e-mail you and I hope to hear from you.  Good luck and safe traveling.                                          Kellie C. Glenn        Campton, KY           10/12

Hello Joe, How are you doing? My name is Anthony Mason and I live in Wolfe County, KY. I’m currently staying at Dessie Scot Childrens Home. I’m studying for my GED at Wolfe county learning center. Kay and Julie are very good teachers. They said hello. So, you are riding your bike around the world? Man, that sounds like a lot of fun. I would love to do something like that. I got on the internet and looked up your web page and there was some pretty interesting things on there. I looked at your biography and it seems like you have had a pretty interesting life. It says that you walked over 3,000 miles on stilts. It said that you held the world record for the longest walk on stilts. I bet that was really hard too do. Was it? It also says that you were in “Ripleys Belive It or Not”. That’s soo kewl. I’m 17 years old and originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. It’s really different living in a big city than what it is living in a little town in Wolfe County. But I really like it here. It is peaceful and calm. Well, sir, you just keep up all your good work. We are all really proud of you and we all pray for you every day. So keep doing what you do and stay focused. Write me back. I’ll be waiting. Your Friend and Fan.

        Pine Ridge, KY          10/12

Hello Again,

This is Gena from San Bernardino. I had the honor of visiting with Joe and Barbara while they were here. Joe is just incredibly fascinating to me. I enjoy his company and stories immensely. Barbara's Mom Liz, her Uncle Charles and my daughter, Antonia and I all had breakfast yesterday. We had a great time. Joe presented me with a project challenge.With my knowledge of the computer and unlimited Internet resources, I will work hard to complete it for him. Details of this will show up in a later entry. For now, my family and I wish him the very best.

Gena     San Bernardino, CA              9/20

Ken Noble of Oceanside CA, the northern most town in San Diego County. I was born in Perry County and grew up in Breathitt and Wolfe Counties. I am a graduate of Wolfe County in 82. I was reading about the ride through Pacifica, California. My wife and I were newlyweds there. The headwinds Joe experienced are something I and every bike rider experience. Great to see Joe's progress.

Ken      Oceanside, CA             10/1

Good luck and safe travels, Joe!
Maureen McMahon       Philadelphia, Pennsylvania     10/3


I spoke w/Joe while I was at work one day.
A very interesting gentleman, to say the least! It is wonderful what he's doing!! My name is Kay Nevinger from Austin, TX     10/3

Shayla Tipton-16 years old-  Duncan, AZ,

Travis Tipton-12 years old-  Duncan, AZ            9/25

Roger Spurrier     (Utah?)          10/3

Joe stopped by our office at Teton Village, Wyoming. It was wonderful to meet him.Please wish him well. I have been checking in on Joe ever since he stopped in Teton Village, Wyoming and told me about his travels. I so enjoyed meeting him and found his travels to be most interesting and exciting for the children in your schools. Please wish him well from me. Best regards,

Sharon M. Smitherman, (Sales Associate, Real Estate of Jackson Hole)    Wilson, Wyoming                 9/16

Thanks for the inspiring visit to our school. You made the children's day.

Julie, Copper Rim Elementary, AZ      9/24

I live in Alamogordo, NM and met Joe at Cloudcroft 16 miles up the mountain. He looked great and it was fun talking with him.

Yvonne Boyle, Alamogordo, NM                   10/1

Joe...Me and my little brother met you on your journey through AZ. You were eating at one of our little restaurants in the small town of Duncan. You showed us your bike and told us about what you were doing. I thought this was so awesome that I had to come home and get on your site. Good luck in all you do and be careful on the way.

Love, Shayla and Travis Tipton,   Duncan, AZ        9/26

Hi Joe, I am the state coordinator for the Kentucky Junior Historical Society (KJHS). Every year we have a State Convention where students from across Kentucky come to compete in project competitions, quick recall tournaments and learn more about Kentucky's exciting heritage.  I have been following your journey.  I think you would be an incredible keynote speaker for the event and wanted to see if there was any way possible that you might be able to attend.  Our convention is March 24th and 25 th 2006.  Good luck and I look forward to hearing from you!

Annie W. Voelkert, KJHS Coordinator   Frankfort, KY                9/22

Joe, I and your wife’s uncle, Chuck McGee, worked together for 20 years in San Bernardino. I got mail this morning telling of your trek on bike across America. Congratulations on your efforts and more so at the starting to be ripe age of 62.  I have lived here in Kunming, China, since 2/19/98. In the first 4 years I rode a bike most of the time but after having the 10th one stolen, I gave up and now walk. You have probably heard of Ali-ba-ba and the Forty Thieves, well I’m sure they were from here!!!! AGAIN; CONGRATULATIONS. By for now.

Dempse Ross,   Kunming, China                     9/21

My friends and I were at the Grand Canyon this past weekend and met Joe after we finished our hike back to the top. He came right up to our friend Kristin and asked how she was doing. To which I think she replied that she was pretty spent. The rest of us, Corbin, Judd, Superguy, and I kind of gathered around and we all began talking like we were old friends. He told us about his journey, where he's been and where he was going and about his days there at the Grand Canyon. He also told us about the first visit he made there 38 years ago. I guess he said he was going to ride out to New Orleans to do some volunteer work. Very cool guy. Very inspirational.

-Wade,  Las Vegas, NV               9/14

Joe, What a great experience to see the country not just once but twice. I hope you have another memorable trip.

Cindy,       Elizabeth, WV         9/12

Maryland is watching Joe ride.

The Nolin family, Potomac, MD          9/12

The team at True North Dentistry had the opportunity to meet Joe.

Dr. David Yang, DMD, Dr. Richard Shannon DDS, PC

Sarah M, Barbie H, Lindsee H, Elisha S,Susie G, Sarah F

Joe is such an amazing person.

He is a great example of love and compassion.

It was an honor visiting with him. And PLEASE send him our best wishes.

Barbie      Flagstaff, AZ          9/9

Joe's bike ride is being followed by:

Wolfe County Public Library Campton, KY 41301                                       9/9

Our fifth grade students talked to Joe Bowen on the phone today. (Actually they are still talking to him as I write.) We put him on speakerphone so that all of the class could hear. The students asked him questions, and it was SO, SO interesting. Joe did a great job of telling stories about his trip and telling the students about his adventures.

The students had researched the states that Joe has visited so they asked some really good questions.

Every student asked at least one question, and some asked two or three. It was cool for the kids to actually get to hear Joe's voice.   He is now a "real person" to them and has spoken to each of them personally.

Kim Graham, Principal, Rogers Elementary School, Rogers, KY             9/9

I just clicked on to see where Joe is and enjoyed reading about the Little Prayer Chapel that Joe visited on Sept 5th.

Lloyd Fantz, Stanton, KY 9/7

Me again. After further reading I realized you would like to know where I am from. I am originally from Lebanon, TN. Currently, my family and I live in Michigan City, Indiana, on the southern shore of Lake Michigan.

Bobby McGee and Family        Michigan City, IN          9/7

My family and I were at the Grand Canyon last week and met Joe and "Canyon Maverick".... what and inspiration to all of us. It is great to have real life role models such as Joe for our boys (11 and 7) to have the chance to meet and talk to. Keep up the great work and God Bless.

The Hollingsworth's from Florida                9/7

God Bless you all the way. Praying for you to return safely and bring back a lot of good stories.

Serena/Powell Co Tourism,  Stanton, KY                                9/7

Thanks for all you are doing to support Joe's ride.

Glenn Duff, Pine Ridge, KY                       9/7

Hello ~ We met Joe Bowen and 'Maverick' at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, Arizona, at the Phantom Ranch. What a wonderful evening listening to the stories from both of these interesting men- realizing they had never met before either. Ride Joe Ride..

Blessing to you in every way

Priscilla   ~ from Lititz, PA        9/6

God Bless that guy!

Tim LeDonne, Danville, KY        9/6

Sunny skies, cool temperatures, and a tail wind to you, Joe. You've got a lot of guts and our prayers are with you all the way for a safe return.

Tim LeDonne, Danville, KY            9/4

Hello JOE.

How are you doing? Hope you are having nice time with your riding. I am a friend of Lonna and she told me about you and she gave me your website. I am from Jordan.....take care..bye for now..

Omar,        Jordan                    9/2

Hi, Joe we see you are at it again! Don't see how you can do it, but we wish you well on this big adventure! When you know when you will be in the Phoenix area we would very much like to see you or at least talk to you. We can't very well put you up like we did in 67 since we live full time in our motor home but we do have a spare couch! Give us a call or send an email when you know your schedule for this area! We send our love and our prayers for a safe trip.

We wish you well on this endeavor and pray for a safe journey. Please be careful at all times! Say hello to Barbara for us.

Love, Art and Bettie, Phoenix, AZ           9/1

Just wanted to say Hi and let you know you are in my prayers and I like following you on the website.  Hope you are well.  Keep safe.  Hope to see you upon your return to Kentucky.

Love you

Lorie Pace, Old Heady Constr, Louisville, KY    8/31

Asalamu Alaikkum (Peace Be To You),

I try to call you, and email you. Inshallah (God Willing), this will reach you. I just wanted to tell you that I love you, Ahmed, Ross, Kyle, Shelby and Youssef love you, too. We miss you and pray that you come home safe. Please be careful. Fi' Amani Allah (Leave you in God's protection)

Lonna jo, Louisville, KY           8/31

Hello Joe,

We made it to where we were going, Lake Tahoe. If you recall I left you a note outside the bathing facilities by the Grand Canyon, remember the “Go Cards” note. Anyway I said that I'd look into your website and I am amazed at what you're doing. Keep on riding and good luck with the 14,000 miles, I think you were on, 5,436 when we met. Good luck with your travels.  Ride safe.

Duncan Morel           Anchorage, KY       8/31

Hi there,

My name is Danny and I met Joe on Monday at the Grand Canyon. He was sitting in the shade in full 'biking gear' at the watchtower, waiting to cool off a little. I was curious, on what an old man is doing there in biking equipment, so I asked him. He's a very friendly guy and he told me about his project of riding through America with a bike. And he told me as well that he is in contact with thousands of kids and trying to teach them online. Joe asked me to write a little mail so the kids can look for my roots and make a little pushpin on a map. So here is my story:

Born in AUE ( Saxony, former East Germany (look SW of Chemnitz near the Czech Border), lived in Regensburg (Bavaria), joint Air Force and stationed in Fürstenfeldbruck, Memmingen (Bavaria), Jever (close to Wilhelmshaven, North Sea), and now stationed in Alamogordo, NM (Holloman AFB). Good Luck finding these places.

And Joe!!!!! If you ever ride through Alamogordo , NM please mail me.

Cu Danny,  Germany (currently, NM)     8/30

Hi. Joanna and Jack . We were on vacation out west and we met Joe at the entrance to Arches National Park. We saw his Kentucky shirt and stopped and had a very nice chat with him.

Location ?                     8/30

I had the privilege of meeting Joe when he spent a night of rest as our guest at our Motel, Kootenai Valley Motel, in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. In all my 68 years I have never met a more fascinating person. I only wish he had more time to spend with us so we could have enjoyed his remarkable stories. He has promised to come back here if he ever gets to Idaho again and this time we will hog tie him so he can't get away until we are done picking his brain.

I have followed his trip everyday since meeting him and he is in our prayers for a safe and wonderful journey.

Diane Ireland, Kootenai Valley Motel,  Bonners Ferry, Idaho   8/26

Just a note to let you know I'm tracking Joe's progress. I live in Western Kentucky just north of Murray. Attached is a photo of a 3-wheeled cycle I ride. I have ridden a regular 2-wheeled bicycle for over 22,000 miles and then started riding this one. IT'S GREAT FUN!!

Keith Pardue,    Almo, KY    42020     8/26

Three wheeler.

Following Joe all the way. I hope to cross the U.S. on my bike within the next 2 years. I'm early retired at 54yrs old and always had the dream and will live it. My wife and I presently live in Lakeland FL.  It's great this ride that Joe is doing. Will be following.

Roger Stegner,  Lakeland, FL        8/24

Hi Ya,

I'm sort of a relative to his lady friend. She's the niece of a man that I've known for 22 years. We had dinner with them and her mom at a place called "Home Town Buffet" a few days before he started out on his Bike Riding journey. If you could, let Joe know that we are thinking of him. I put the map of his current location, Utah, on my computer as the desktop background. I also purchased "Stiltwalk" the book and there was an inscription inside. Joe is an interesting person and fun to talk with. We all wish Jeanie and him the very best.

The Drakes and The McGees,    San Bernardino, CA     8/22

(Editor's note: It may appear from various comments that a number of different women are going out to visit Joe while he is on his trip. I assure you that is not the case.  Some parts of the South follow a tradition shared by the great 19th century Russian novels in that a single name is simply not enough. Originally, a person has their first, middle and last name. Each has a diminutive. They can be used in various combinations. A nick name, description, initial, or a number could also apply. The point is- everyone is referring to the same lovely lady.)

What a great school project! Thanks Mr. Bowen and students. Ride safe.

Timothy Work,   Sandusky, Ohio    8/21



Hi, This is Joe Bowen checking in from Moab, Utah.; This is the only place in the Western Hemisphere that has more natural arches than the Red River and Natural Bridge country of Kentucky. Thanks for using the bicycle trip to help our children.  Sincerely,

Joe Bowen,  On the Bicycle     8/19

Hi! My name is Amber Daniels. We met Joe in Farmington, NM. What a great Guy! He is an inspiration to all of us! We were having a business meeting in a restaurant, that he stopped in and he sat down with us for a while and we had a great conversation with him.He told us of where all he had been and where all he was going. My husband and I own a business called Twin Vision Cable Contractors here. I gave my card to Joe with my e-mail address on it @  Feel free to e-mail me back on either address. Andy and I Have three wonderful children, Cole Ty, and Andi and we will be tracking Joe! Go Joe!    Be Safe!  Sincerely,

Amber & Andy Daniels & Family,  Farmington, NM      8/18

Joe spoke to my Tourism, Historic Preservation, and Recreation Advisory Committee at the Bluegrass Area Development District before embarking on his voyage. From all the committee members and the Bluegrass ADD, we wish him the best of luck and look forward to hearing from him upon his return to the Bluegrass State.

Lora B. Littleton, Lexington, KY

Community Development Specialist Bluegrass Area Development District 699 Perimeter Dr. Lexington, KY  40517 Phone: 859-269-8021 x268 Fax:  859-269-7917 E-mail:;       8/17

We meet Joe on the Durango-Silverton Train on Aug. 11, 2005. We all 3 really enjoyed our visit with him and wanted to follow his travels, in hopes of maybe having him as a guest here in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Suzanne, Tayler, and Kyle, Edmond, Oklahoma     8/17

Sunday, August 14. Met Joe at Pablo's Pizza in Grand Junction, Colorado around 1:30 pm. He had ridden in from Delta, Colorado about 40 miles away. Had a great discussion with him. We hope he writes a book about the changes he's seen since his last great bicycle adventure.  Best wishes,

Dave Shishim, Grand Junction, CO     8/14

Hello To Everyone in Kentucky,

Joe had breakfast at my store, Daylight Donuts and Cafe in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, August 9th or 10th. He visited with several other customers in the shop. Everyone enjoyed his bubbling self. What a wonderful representative of Kentucky and humanity. We all took several pictures that came out great. Maybe he will share his picture with Roy Rogers. Please give our best from Pagosa Springs. We'll keep catching up on his trip.

Regards, Linda P Lee    Pagosa Springs, CO      8/12

Hi, I don't know if my previous e-mail went through so I wanted to make sure it did. This is a cool ride that Joe is doing for education. Joe stopped in at the Aztec Ruins in Aztec, New Mexico on Wednesday August 10th. It was great to meet him. My name is Connie Snell and I am a Park Ranger at the Aztec Ruins in Aztec, New Mexico. Good luck with your project.

Connie,  Aztec, NM      8/11

Hi, I found out about Joe's travels from a friend (Gary Curtis) of mine in Denver. If I can't make the trip myself I love making it vicariously. I will pass the information on to my daughter's 5th grade class.

Dean Tahtinen   Petoskey, Michigan     8/10

Joe is a good friend of mine I follow him and email him regularly. Occasionally speak to him on his cell,

Bill Karrer  Taylorsville, KY, 40071      8/8


If you talk or e-mail Joe, tell him the reporter from the Cumbres and Toltec found his Web site! For your student's info, my name is Karen Boehler and I live near Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA. (I met Joe while I was on a motorcycle vacation.) "I do this really moronic thing that the government doesn't want me to do. It's called thinking." - George Carlin

KAB  Alamogordo, NM       8/8

This educational adventure is a great idea! Rogers Elementary at Rogers, KY will be following Joe all year. We began school on the 3rd for students and have a map in the hall for tracking him. Several classes are doing projects and activities during this school year. My 4th and 5th grade will be doing several different writing, reading, and social studies projects; we would love to hear what your teachers have planned for that grade level. I am also a former Powell County High BD and Middle School 7th grade special education teacher. Tell everyone that I said hello and good luck on their projects. (editor’s note: teachers- you can contact Ms Miller at

Pam Miller, Rogers, KY    8/7

I met up with Joe on the beginning of the climb of Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. Later after playing leapfrog with Joe, we met up for lunch at the park Alpine Center just past the top of the mountain. I've been following the journey of "Joe" since our meeting.

Doug, Estes Park, CO       8/7

Hello - I live in Loveland, Colorado and had the opportunity to briefly meet Joe when he was in town. His trip is exciting to me and I enjoy checking the web site to see how Joe's journey is progressing. Best wishes to all from Colorado,

Jo Schmidt, Loveland, CO       8/6

More comments on the next page:

Comments from Folks Along the Way
The Final 4,000 miles