Comments From Folks
Along the Way

The Final 4,000 miles

Link to Joe's main page.

Emails are posted when they arrive. Therefore, they are not always in chronological order.

January through June 2006

The Student Guest Book was closed at the conclusion of this project. The students tracked your emails on maps as a geography lesson. Thank you for participating. It was a lot of fun hearing from all of you.


Adventure Cycling Association would love to hear about the people and organizations who are improving lives by inspiring others to travel by bicycle. From rail-trails to multi-day fundraising event rides, we want to hear about the people who are getting others to travel on bikes more often. Please consider nominating someone you know for our one of our awards. Visit for more information.

(editor’s note: The preceeding email was forwarded by Dixie Moore with the KY Rails to Trails Council. If you know of anyone deserving this award, I encourage you to vote in the Bicycle Travel Champion category. You do know someone deserving this award, don’t you?)

Thank you Joe for the PR you are generating for the building of multi-purpose trails (railtrails and greenways) in Kentucky. The newspaper articles and exposure you are generating is invaluable.

Please feel free to come to one of our monthly meetings. We would be interested in learning how we could work together more. Our next meeting is Monday night, June 19th 6:30 in Lexington at 101 Vine. The schedule of meetings is on the website.

Also would you be interested in joining the bicycle relay that we are sponsoring on July 22nd from Lexington to Ashland (really Rush) to promote the development of the Lexington - Big Sandy Railtrail. See the website again for more details.

Dixie Moore, Secretary, C 859-227-6165 Kentucky Rails to Trails Council, Inc. PO Box 597, LexingtonKY40588-0597

Hey joe, that picture that you and i had taken in Frankfort, i was wanting a copy of that. The one on the website is too small to print out. My family would like to have this picture to put into my scrapbook. Could you send me a copy of that image so that i may print it out or either send it to me by mail at: Scott Paige         Louisville, KY

Dear Joe,

You are in Kentucky now and your task is almost complete. One can only imagine all the memories you have collected and how you captured the imagination and attention of the beautiful Ky. kids and all the others that followed your incredible journey.

We are disappointed to be missing your homecoming and celebration, however our plate at home is very full at this moment. Such is life. Josh and Eli have renamed you "Awesome Joe".  We hope to make it down in August for the reunion. Tell Barb I look forward to seeing her.


Mary B.


Look who I found on the hilltop overlooking the Kentucky Capitol June 8, 2006 about 5pm.

Rex and Joyce Evilsizor from Texas  6-15

Hi Joe;  Congratulations on your journey, it must have been a great adventure. I need a little advice; I'm 64 and just getting into biking again after many years of not riding one. I would like to know it there is a book or a map I can buy that tells me where there are some bike trails in Ky. I live in the Richmond area and just purchased a comfort bike to ride the neighborhood and paved bike trails. I would appreciate any advice you could give me. Thank you in advance.


Lou Kasitz     Richmond, KY          6-14

Joe: hope things are still going great. i'm sending today's story this way, and also mailing a copy to you, plus Byron Crawford's story. the story and photo were also sent to the Associated Press,and the photo was sent to the Appalachian Heritage Alliance. i hope ican make it Saturday.

Thanks!   Charlie         6-13

Would you happen to have Joe's home address?  Julie and I would like to send him a congratulatory card on the completion of his 14,000 mile journey. We also have a few pictures of our Springfield, IL, trip we took with Joe.  Thanks,

Wayne Loehring      6-13

(editor’s note:) Joe’s address is-   Joe Bowen   PO Box  425    Stanton, KY 40380

I'm Joe's cousin from Port Orchard, WA.  I had a Dell computer custom made for me several years ago - it has been in the shop enough times to pay for another new one ---Different Brand, however.  Yes,  PHOOEY !

Cindy Shawley Spore       WA,  6/12

(editor's note: An important component of this trip was Joe communicating to the school kids on the laptop while on the road. That Dell Computers would not honor their expensive contract to fix it next day, on-site, is, in my opinion, shameful.)



I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how nice it was to have the opportunity to meet you today in Frankfort at the Singing Bridge.  You are to be commended both for your accomplishment on the bike, but also as an ambassador for the Commonwealth of Kentucky!  I hope the weekend at the Gorge goes well and has many participants.  Take care and I hope to get to ride with you sometime (maybe we can tie a rope to Brian Billings and he can ride with us).

M. Chad LaRue, P.E. Director of Membership Services Kentucky Association of Highway Contractors 6/9


This is your cousin - 3rd or 4th removed!  I am Jim Powell and I was born in Powell County in 1939. You may remember my Grandfather Clayton Bowen. I still have several aunts and uncles that live in Stanton and Powell County. I talked with you several months ago while you were home from your bike ride. Three years ago I walked from Seattle to Miami. 3700 miles and 6 months later I walked into the Orange Bowl to complete the journey. Now I am seriously considering riding a bike from San Diego, California to Caribou, Maine next Spring/Summer. Would you be interested in joining me? Even if you are not, I would still like to meet you and ask some questions. I can drive up to Stanton any time at your convenience. Please let me hear from you. Thanks and stay safe out there.

Jim Powell             6/8

(editor’s note: San Diego to Maine next summer? Just wait till Barbara hears about this.)

Hey Joe!

I just wanted to remind you how proud we are of you here in Powell County! It is great to have such a positive influence like yourself in a county where there are so many negative things prominent, such as drug and alcohol abuse. Our youth needs something to keep their interest away from those things and I want to commend you for your help in that area. I am an employee of Whitaker Bank in Clay City. We have been decorating a bicycle this week to display in front of the bank next week for the Pedals and Blooms Festival. Decorating the bike has got me really excited about the festival. I hope the rest of your journey is safe and I look forward to welcoming you next weekend! Keep up the good work! Sincerely,

Cassandra Begley (I am the daughter of Garry & Kathy Chaney)      Clay City, KY     6/8

It was great having lunch with you today here in Jeffersontown.  Karen and Laura were really happy to see you once again.  I have ordered your book for you and it is being shipped directly to you.  Have an easy and safe trip home!

(special note to Editor)  Joe made me do it!

Bill Karrer    Taylorsville, KY        6/7

(editor’s note: You guys need adult supervision.)

Hi Joe,

Read Byron’s article today. Sorry we couldn’t hook you up to my Rotary club when you were here. I will be in Stanton with all your well-wishers on the 17th. What’s the best time to be there?

Bob Quaife        6/7

(editor’s note: see for details)

Greetings Joe:

I heard from someone that you were back on the bicycle.  I have kind of kept up with you on your web page.  What a wonderful thing you are doing, I have passed your project on to teachers I know.  Where are you living now, It looks as if you are no longer in Taylorsville?  Your stairway is doing well and is used every day. I would love to visit with you again sometime.  You do the best job of being out - making stories.

Roger Fisher               Jeffersonville, IN          6/6

Hey Joe,

This is Glenda up here on Cow Creek Rd. I have been reading about you and following you on the computer and stuff. I think it is so interesting. I was up til 2 a.m. this morning on the computer. I think it is just absolutely great what you are doing. I saw Barbara and two of her grandchildren at the library a month or so ago, and I was asking her about you.

Well, I guess my son Kyle is going to be in the bicycle race on June 17th. He is looking forward to it. I gave him my old bike and he has been working trying to fix it up. Kyle graduated from 5th grade 2 weeks ago and he will be going to middle school and Kayla starts Kindergarten. Bowen School better look out. She's a handful. Well Joe, I hope to see you on June 17th. Have a safe 2 weeks heading back!

Your Friend Always,    Glenda          Powell County, KY           6/3

I saw the story on local TV about Joe and his biking travels across the country and they included a website.  Since I enjoy bike riding on bike paths and different roads in my area, I was interested in reading about Joe's travels.  Good luck on the rest of Joe's trip and the students who are doing this as a school project.  Hopefully, the weather he faces ahead will be more cooperative than Springfield gave me as he traveled through this past week!  :)

Patty P.       Springfield, Illinois           5/31


It was great talking to you about your trip as you rode through Kankakee and my idea for a similar trip. I see now that you're in southern Indiana. Kankakee has been inundated with rain, and I hope you missed the big storms. Best wishes on your continued, safe journey home. Being the procrastinator that I am, I haven't had a chance to e-mail my story about you until now. I hope you enjoy it. If I'm ever in the Appalachia area of Kentucky, I'll look you up. You have a beautiful area that is crying for tourism and economic development to help the people. Hopefully, people will catch on to what your area offers. Thanks again for a wonderful story.

Roy Bernard        Kankakee, IL        5/30

Hey, Joe!
What a glorious day! Joe and David and I spent a good part of our ride back to Louisville (Chauffeured by Joe's wife, Suzanne) talking about our amazing encounter with you. You made my first century a memorable one and you tripped some fantastic early cycling memories for our pal Joe Ward. Definitely keep in touch. I'll be wondering if you find a Lincoln connection to your Taylorsville Civil War hero.
Looking forward to our next ride together,

Kirk Kandle     Louisville, KY   5/28   (editor’s note: in bicycle lingo, a “century” refers to riding 100 miles in one day.)

Hi Joe!

We got our computer up and running again so we checked in on you today.  Keep pedaling!

Paden and Dalton

ps. Tell my sister hello. Pete              5/27

Hi Joe,

Greeting from Yellow Springs, Ohio. I finally got time to check out your website, very interesting.  I saw the interview on Channel 2 and article in Dayton Daily News.  Attached is pdf version of the DDN article.  Take care, you never  know I may look you and Brian up sometime.  Cheers and keep up the good work!

Dan Carrigan         Yellow Springs, OH   (along the Little Miami Scenic Trail!)   5/26

Hi Joe,

I played tour guide for you for a few miles from Riverscape to Carillon Park on the 22nd.

I thought I'd send you my little paper on the Wright Flyer "Undulation" Problem. I put this together starting in 2003 for the TechFest 2003 Technical Festival in the Dayton Area that celebrated the 100th year of flight and the 200th year of Ohio statehood. I built a 1/32 scale Wright Flyer in a wind tunnel to demonstrate the instability of the early Wright Flyers. Students got to try flying it and learn about aircraft stability and a little control theory. I have had the demo at a lot of events since. You have my permission to distribute or use the information in the paper anyway you like. It was done as an educational exercise for the students and interested adults. Checkout the TechFest websites at:

And the pictures on my website at:

follow the events link to TechFest2003

This a great program we do to get students interested in Science, Engineering and Mathematics. If you don't have a program like this in your area yet consider getting one going. Our kids and our future need it.

The Engineer's Club building near Riverscape where the Stainless Steel Wright Flyer III is, is a historic building itself. The club goes back to early in the 1900's and was started by Col. Deeds and Charles Kettering. Orville Wright was an active member and leader. The club has  on display the number three Wright horizontal four cylinder engine. It is very similar to the 1903, 1904 and 1905 engines and was used during that time frame for experimentation by the Wrights. I am a member of the club and use it for business meetings and I'm involved monthly with the Miami Valley Consultants Network meeting that we have there.

Stephen W. Frey  SWFTEC/ICOD/ASC...  1-937-256-9698

Dayton, Ohio USA (the birthplace of aviation)       5/23

I saw the big wall display about Joe’s trip when my wife and I visited the gorge May 11-12. In case he’s getting homesick, here’s a photo I took of some mushrooms growing among the ferns along Rough Trail on May 12.

Tim Gaffney    OH  5/22


(editor's note: The display Tim mentioned is at the Gladie Educational Interpretive Center on Rt. 715 down in the Red River Gorge along the Red River National Scenic Byway. The display is maintained by Hope Crosby and follows Joe's entire trip. It's really cool.)


I just read about your trip in the Illinois Times (I live in Springfield, Illinois and sadly I missed your passing through - I would have loved to have visited with you seeking advice on bicycle equipment and strategies for the long distance road). I think that what you are doing is great! I would love to do exactly the same thing and hopefully I will get to do it in the near future. Anyway, Keep on pedaling and head up high!

Grant W. Cavins      5/19

Joe, I am really bummed about missing your arrival in Springfield, Illinois but found out after the fact by reading an article about you in the Illinois Times.  I'm sure you've heard many times, people say, "I would love to do what you're doing" but I would love to do what you're doing.  I hope to ride across the country someday even if it's piecemeal fashion and discover the true America.  I hope you have nice roads and good tailwinds for the remainder of your trip.  Keep on keeping on-

Aaron Shehan, Springfield, Illinois   5/20

I sent an email yesterday 5/18 saying Joe was traveling through Lebanon, IN and on to Noblesville about 20 miles away.  However, he was traveling East and not West as I incorrectly indicated. Sorry for the error.  I read that he indeed did make Noblesville yesterday evening even with the terrible weather we had.

Cinda Sullivan  Lebanon, IN      5/19

My son Jonathan and I just talked to Joe (12:30PM) at Arby's Restaurant in Lebanon, IN.  Arby's is located on the west edge of the city of Lebanon on St Rd 32.  A strong wind and rain delayed Joe's departure so we had the pleasure of talking with him while on our lunch hour.  He showed us the map of his journey that started April 05 from California.  My 20 year-old son was impressed with his story as was I.  He talked briefly about his findings from the Civil War and we sure would have liked to spend more time listening but had to get back to work.  The weather has cleared again and Joe's intentions were to make it to Noblesville, about 20 miles west of Lebanon, by evening.  It was great talking to Joe and we wish him well!

Cinda Sullivan Lebanon, IN  46052   5/18

We ran into Joe at the Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.  I had just finished a short bicycle trip in Illinois - just 320 miles.

After we saw him we thought "We should invite him to stay with us".  We went back looking for him, but he was gone.

Next time you are in Lincoln country, come see us!

Jim Cravens,    Springfield, IL      5/18

Whew!  I guess we would have a long day just chopping out one row of that corn in Illinois. And I suppose you can already see the short rows heading home.

I’m still working in Beattyville on  Hwy. 52 and the people there are really excited with your return. I noticed last week they have installed signs along Ky 11 advising " Caution Bicycle Route"

Well, get you some rest while you can and we'll see ya when you get in.

Bernard Jr.          5/16

Howdy Joe, I was looking at your web site to check on you. I’m in Alaska now for a few weeks supporting the army for their deployment to Iraq. Any just wanted to say hello, it sure was nice running into a home town guy in north Carolina. Hope and I would love you to come visit us some day in Murphy. Take care and may god watch over you and keep you safe.,,,,,, your friends  roger and hope powell ( Murphy nc)  5/18

Joe, it was good talking to you today at Arby’s Restaurant in Lebanon, IN.  Wish my son and I could have taken a longer lunch break.  The sun is back out now so I assume you are headed for Noblesville, IN which I found out is only about 20 miles and not 35 as we told you.  Know you will be glad to get home and see your family and that won’t be long now.  We wish you well and I do hope you and your friends are able to bring honor due to the Civil War hero.

Cinda Sullivan Jonathan Sullivan Lebanon, IN  May 18, 2006


I just read about your trip in the Illinois Times (I live in Springfield, Illinois and sadly I missed your passing through - I would have loved to have visited with you seeking advice on bicycle equipment and strategies for the long distance road). I think that what you are doing is great! I would love to do exactly the same thing and hopefully I will get to do it in the near future. Anyway, Keep on pedaling and head up high!

Grant W. Cavins   5/18

Dear students,  I had the opportunity to meet Joe last night right here in Beardstown,   Illinois. He said to please let you know that he is doing fine and hopes that it does not rain. I met Joe at the Star Cafe in Beardstown, Illinois.  He is a terrific and wonderful person. I am sorry that I could not send this out last night but my internet server was down.  If you see Joe, please tell him we said,” Hello! It was an honor to meet him and a pleasure to talk with him.  Don't ever give up your dreams and stay in school!


Sherri         Beardstown, IL       5/13


Joe stayed with us in Galena Illinois at the Country Inns and Suites on Sunday May 7, 2006. What a trip he's on.  I was totally amazed.

Deb Dole

Front Desk Clerk   Galena, IL 5/13

Hello Joe,

Thank you for spending the night in Galena at our hotel, and making us a part of your long journey.  What a wonderful thing for the school kids to follow.

Ride safe, live long!!

:)Deb Dole    Galena, IL    5/13

(editor’s note: the following three emails were sent by our new friend, Chris. She not only wrote to the students, but also to the web site and to Joe. Thanks, Chris.)

I was lucky on May 10th when I saw Joe pedaling past my Elementary School in Alpha, Illinois. I was just pulling out of the parking lot, on my way to the High School, when Joe went by. I read about him in the newspaper (The Rock Island Argus) and was so surprised to see him on the road.

I followed him down the road and watched him turn towards the diner. Hmmmm, the idea came to me...."Why not buy him lunch". I thought I would run an errand, hoping that he would settle in at the diner, then I would sneak in and pay for his lunch, then sneak back out. Nope, that wasn't the case. When I pulled up in the parking space, Joe was under the little tree in the side yard, talking on his cell phone. Rats, that called for a change of plan. So I waited for him to end his conversation. I introduced myself (I am the art teacher at the AlWood Community Schools), told him about reading the article in the newspaper and that I wanted to treat him to lunch. I couldn't join him because I was on the way to the other school but we talked for a few minutes and I wrote abit in his journal. What a pleasure it was to talk with Joe. What a terrific guy and the love he has for those students that are tracking him! He is having quite an adventure and will continue to have one. He is going to inspire so many students. I am grateful that I could be a part of his adventure. I normally do not approach total strangers like that, but Joe was so friendly, one could not help but talk to him. Thank you for what you are doing. It is terrific!

Chris Fiedler

AlWood School; Art Teacher

Hi Joe,

It was a great pleasure to meet up with you in Alpha, Illinois as you were heading towards Galesburg. I hope that the road was kind to you and the weather was good. With the weather today (May 11th), you should have a great tail wind. I hope it isn*t blowing you off the road.

Thanks for doing this adventure for the kids. I hope it inspires everyone to go out and explore the world around them like you are doing. I know that I will be doing some exploring on my own because of you. Take care and have more fun out there on the road.

Chris Fiedler

that Art Teacher in Alpha, Illinois             5/11


I am Chris Fiedler who was lucky enough to meet up with Joe in Alpha, Illinois. The students down there are so lucky to have Joe traveling on his bike and seeing the USA. Oh, the adventures he is having and the sights that he is seeing! I hope this inspires students there to go out and explore the world. It is so incredibly beautiful out there and there is so much to learn about.

Yes, I did treat Joe to lunch and lucky was that when I found him pedaling by as I was heading off to the High School. He ate at the local diner with some of the other local folks. He charmed three ladies heading in for lunch. He was quite surprised as I was to find out that they were 86 years young.

When Joe reaches his destination, I hope all of you have a great time welcoming him. He told me of a bike rally. That is soooo nice. We lost a 3rd grade student to a semi-bike accident the night of our open house in September of 2005. If he had on a helmet, I think he would still be with us. A local hospital is sponsoring a bike rodeo at our elementary school. They gave every student a bike helmet and to this day, every student wears their helmets.

Well, time for me to close. Enjoy the day and have fun watching Joe*s trip. Take care.

Chris Fiedler

AlWood Elementary School   Alpha, Il        5/11

Julie and I met Joe while at Arlington Cemetery in Arlington, VA.  We spent almost an hour talking with him about his adventures.  Julie and I live in the St. Louis, MO area and are planning on traveling to Springfield, IL in May when Joe visits there.   Julie and I love visiting the State of Kentucky because of its natural beauty and friendly people. We especially love to visit the Lexington - Louisville area to see all the beautiful horse farms.

Good luck with your special classroom project.  We are glad to be a part of it!!

Wayne and Julie  St. Louis, MO       4/10

(editor’s note: Wayne and Julie did meet Joe a month later in Springfield, IL and took him to all the Lincoln sites. Thanks, you all.)

Hello, I met Joe last year when he rode through Jackson Hole Wyoming and he stopped in our Real Estate office in Teton Village.  I have been checking the _Where_s Joe? Site ever since.  It was a delight to meet him and follow his travels throughout our great U.S. My best to him, Sharon

Sharon M. Smitherman Sales Associate  Real Estate of Jackson Hole, WY         4/18

I met Joe and gave him directions on Saturday, 4/22/06.  He was in Homer, Michigan at 1:30 PM.  He stopped in the Stagecoach restaurant for directions to Battle Creek which is about 30 miles from Homer.  We visited for about half an hour and Joe shared many of his photos with me.  It was a fun visit and Joe was in great shape and wanted you to know he was still pedaling.

Henry Orman            Homer, MI             4/24


Joe was in Nappanee, Indiana on Thursday, April 27, 2006. My name is Becky Maust and I had the pleasure of waiting on Joe while he had the Thresher's Dinner in the Restaurant Barn at Amish Acres.  It was a pleasure to wait on him and hear about his travels. Thanks,

Becky Maust      Nappanee, IN         4/29

We know Joe (and a lot of his stories)!!! We're actually driving 100 miles or so just to see him and were hoping that you might know the name of the place he is staying in the Springfield-area.  Joe told us that he was going to be visiting the new Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, but that's all we have to go on.  And we're hoping that Saturday is the day he is actually going to be in Springfield...

Wayne and Julie           5/11

I am Hugh Boyt and I am a Deputy Sheriff with the Kankakee County Sheriff's Departmentin Kanakakee, Illinois. Kankakee is approx. 30-35 miles south of Chicago. I met Mr. Joe Bowen today, Wednesday May 3, 2006 at approx. 11:30 am while I was on a traffic stop on State Route 17 west.

As I was walking back to my police car I saw Mr. Bowen riding his bicycle loaded down and obvious he was riding cross country. I asked him where he was going and he pulled over to where I was and we began talking. He was such a polite gentleman and we discussed his journey and what his purpose was in riding his bicycle.  I gave him some tips with his directions and wished him a safe journey. Such an incredible man!

As he was about to leave he asked me to send this e-mail and to let his family know he was doing fine.  He appeared to me as looking very fit, healthy and his spirits seemed very high.  His next stop was Streator, Illinois where he was going to a Hotel for the night. I hope someday to meet Mr. Joe Bowen because first impressions tell alot about a person. Good Luck! Joe

Hugh Boyt    Kankakee, Illinois      5/3

Dear Joe,

I was reading the article about you in our local new paper the Rock Island Argus;  And saw that you are very interested in Abe Lincoln's history.  I know this may come late in the year for you; but I thought you would be interested in knowing that on October 18 in Princeton, IL at there Civil War Reenactment there will be two very intelligent and very knowledgeable gentleman who will be putting on a Douglas vs. Lincoln debate. They do not get together every year to do this. It's a once in a few years thing they do because of their schedules. The first time my husband and I heard them debating it just froze us in our tracks; along with the rest of the people there. They also look so... Much like Douglas and Lincoln that it just sets you back in time. I think you would really enjoy the sights and the knowledgeable un-script debate.


Katy Goossens  Orion, IL     5/10

(editors note: this email came with really cool Civil War themed wallpaper.)


I really enjoyed the article about your ride in the Moline Daily Dispatch. What kind of bicycle are you riding and how did you pick your route? Good luck, what a great adventure!

Jim        Moline, IL      5/10

Hello Joe.  I see you are on another journey. Bill & I are pulling out on our motorcycles and headed for MAINE.  I sure hope we cross paths, again. (I'm the lady with the black & yellow Harley.  We met in South Dakota)   just jogging your memory.
Just checking in to say hello!!!!
God be with you, always!!!
Remember the One who loves you, and then be different because of it.
Peggy Paul      Houston, TX   5/10

Good luck, Joe! I'm a newspaper editor in Moline, Ill., and a native Kentuckian. Joe stopped here overnight on May 9, and one of my reporters did a feature on him. Unfortunately, I was working nights and didn't get a chance to say "hi" to him. Best wishes, and best of luck on the road! -- Rebecca    Moline, IL  5/10

Joe,  Annette and I met you this afternoon in Dyersville, Iowa.  We stopped and had our picture taken with you in front of the farm house near the Field of Dreams.  It was so good of you to take the time to share your story with us and we wish you a safe trip back to Kentucky

Roger Overman and Annette Hoover   Dyersville, Iowa   5/9

Joe, It was a pleasure meeting you and taking your picture. Good Luck on the RIDE.

Jim Dunnigan    Dixon, IL   5/7

At Pres. Reagan's house.

Joe in front of Pres. Ronald Reagan's boyhood home. Picture taken and sent in by Jim Dunnigan. Thanks, Jim!

Just wanted you to know I was checking up on you !!!!!!  XXXOOO

Judy (John, Alex & Jon)         Louisville, Taylorsville, KY           4/28

I've sent this (following email) a few times before but for some reason it has failed to make it to the 'Comments From Folks Along the Way' section.  So here it is again, way late to be added, but I wanted someone to know we met a wonderful man & there was a comment from Gatlinburg TN. My Son and I enjoy reading comments about the RIDE from Joe and comments from all his friends (new & old) along the way. The best of luck to Joe and his family.

Jennifer (Dillon) Mosley & son; Austin Branham       Gatlinburg, TN     3/23

I sent the following E-mail on; March 16, 2006 and I just wanted to make sure you received it, so I'm resending it.

I just wanted to let everyone know that I got the pleasure of meeting Joe yesterday (3/15/06), as he was passing through Gatlinburg, TN. on his way towards NC and then on towards 'Home Sweet Home' - in the Beautiful state of Kentucky.

He is a truly AMAZING Man.  My 11 year old son was captivated by Mr. Bowen and  listened to his every  word  (play station 2 couldn't have pulled him away), I too very much enjoyed the company of Mr. Bowen. The worst part of his short stop was his leaving, we could have kept him and enjoyed his company for quite some time. We feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to meet such a wonderful person. My son said "Mom, this has to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for me to meet someone like him."

Thank you Mr. Bowen for stopping by our new home in Gatlinburg, TN.  You are welcome here anytime.  3/16/06

Mr. Bowen made my son's day, he has been telling everyone (teachers, Grandparents, neighbors...) about Mr. Bowen and their meeting. We would love to be in Williamson when you pass thru, I know Austin would be extremely excited. Formally from Kentucky - South Williamson & Pikeville (Kentucky will always be home)

Jennifer Dillon-Mosley & son; Austin K. Branham, Sam Mosley Gatlinburg, TN  4/28

(editor’s note- Jennifer and Sam, Sorry for the delay. I just received your email. I have no idea where they hide these things in cyberspace nor why they choose to send them when they do. Thanks for writing again. Oh, and by the way, we had already heard about your son, Austin, because Joe bragged about him for over a week. And no doubt, will again.)

Joe I last saw pedaling his bicycle out of Homer, Michigan about 2:00 PM on Saturday, 4/22/06.  He had stopped at the Stagecoach restaurant to inquire about his route to Battle Creek.  We visited for about half an hour and he headed north toward Battle Creek and a threatening sky.  I hope he missed the thunderstorms.  He wanted everyone to know "Joe is still pedaling.

Henry Orman        Homer, MI      4/22

This was my first trip to our Nation's Capital and on April 4th Wayne and I decided to take in Arlington Cemetery.  We had tried the day before, but the weather did not cooperate, the weather on this day was beautiful.  Our walk was detoured by a funeral in progress and so we took a different road.  As we walked down that other street, we came upon a man on a bicycle.  That man was Joe Bowen and he asked our help in searching for the gravesite of his neighbor’s son.  I found the grave and Wayne and I took Joe's picture while he held the picture of John David Morton.  We also asked that he take our picture beside the grave of one of our many heroes.  I guess I have been lucky and not been touched personally by the war, until this day.  The emotions that Joe showed to us will forever live in my heart as will the memory of that day and of John David.

Wayne and I stood talking with Joe for over an hour and I must say that I was intrigued by our new friend.  Later that day we found that Joe was also staying at the same hotel we were.  I don't believe that our meeting was by chance, too many events led to us being in that exact spot at the same time as Joe.  Wayne and I met him the morning that he left to continue his journey to Gettysburg (I'm sure he was behind schedule after that).

Meeting Joe was the highlight of my trip and I have told everyone to visit his web site.  He is truly an inspiration to me and I look forward to seeing him again.  Wayne and I plan on meeting him in Springfield, IL in May and spending a few hours with him.  Joe Bowen will forever be in my prayers and in my heart.

Julie Barker  Wayne Loehring    4/13

I wish we could have visited with you and Barb before you left again. Have a good ride and I enjoy reading your stories from the road.

Elizabeth    4/8

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

Go Joe Go!!

Carolyn Bowen              11/02/05

(editor’s note: Sorry about the delay, Carolyn. I post the messages when I receive them.)

I learned about Joe’s ride in Kentucky Living and will share his story with my kids.

Scott Cooke        3/21

We have a link to Joe’s page on the Spencer County Kentucky Library’s homepage so that Spencer County can keep up with Joe.  He spoke at the local historical society meeting on January 23, 2006.      Lisa    1/24

What a wonderful journey for Joe!  I'm enjoying reading about his adventures on the web and in print.

Paula Drury Swan Taylorsville KY   4/15

Good luck Joe. Here's wishing Joe a safe trip in the spring....

Bonnie Hodge Viola, AR USA   12/31/05

(editor’s note: Bonnie, sorry about the delay in posting your message. I just received it.)

Hi Students,

I am a kindergarten teacher in Harrisville, West Virginia, (near Parkersburg).  A good friend of mine met Joe in Jackson Co., WV last evening.  She was having dinner at a restaurant with her daughter at the same time Joe was there.  They struck up a conversation and learned that they both were deeply interested in cancer research.  She works with the American Cancer Society and so do I, as I am a cancer survivor.  Isn't it neat that they were able to build a quick friendship!!  I understand that Joe may have lost his first wife to cancer. She said her daughter remarked in the car after dinner that she so wished Joe could be her "grandfather!"

I haven't had a chance to meet Joe but I'm glad he is helping you to learn about our country.  My students and I just finished reading "Flat Stanley" and we are mailing our paper "Stanleys" across the United States this week.  If your class would like to host a "Stanley" for a couple of weeks, just email me your address.  We'd love to learn more about your state! Sincerely,

Mrs. Kathy White

Kindergarten teacher Harrisville Elementary Harrisville, WV    3/28


Just wanted to say I met Joe earlier today at Boo's Colonial, where he was having some lunch in Weston, WV on his way to Elkins.

My name is John Clise and I'm a reporter for The Weston Democrat and radio station WHAW 980 AM.

Joe was a fantastic interview. He was ready to talk about his adventures and more than ready to talk about his home in Eastern Kentucky.

Meeting him was great and I hope to make it down to his neck of the woods over the summer. Maybe in time to attend the upcoming festival.

We'll have a story in the paper next Wednesday and you can check out his story for the radio station at in the next day or so. Let us know what you think.

Take care and thanks,

John Clise     Weston, WV        3/30

Truly an inspiration to me.  I enjoyed meeting Joe last night at the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Ripley, WV.  His stories are incredible as well as the man on his journey.  I will continue to keep Joe in my prayers and share his story and website with others. Thanks so much for the opportunity to share his adventure.

Judy M. Watson,  American Cancer Society, South Atlantic Division Community Income Manager Rt. 1 Box 52 Harrisville, WV 3/28

Hi Joe

Just wanted to pass along what a wonderful experience some of my students received in listening to you speak in our school yesterday (3/28/06). They were motivated and the message was delivered in a sincere and heartfelt manner.  Thanks again!  Best of Luck!

Jim Mahan, Principal,  Ripley Middle School, Ripley, West Virginia         4/14

I met Joe last night about 13.5 miles outside of Washington, D.C. He was on the C&O Canal National Park towpath. We chatted for a few minutes before Joe had to hurry off in order to beat a line of rolling thunderstorms. The metro area was under a tornado watch at the time. He was planning to stay in Rosslyn, Virginia, which is just across the Francis Scott Key Bridge from Georgetown. Joe was looking fit as a fiddle. I sure hope he beat the downpour!

Kim Kassing of Falls Church, Virginia            4/4

Hi Joe,

Just a note to let you know that Pearl and I are keeping up with you.  Good luck on your trip and ride, Joe, ride.

Jerry and Pearl Morton

Stanton, KY                         4/3

hey joe:

Mike jones and cindy freed here from pine creek PA. Met you yesterday at waterville. You had 15 miles to go headed for slate run. Hope you had a good nights rest and a good hot meal. Will be following your progress. Hope that you are enjoying our rails to trails. Know you will especially enjoy riding through the Grand Canyon. Keep your eyes to the sky for the bald eagles.

HAPPY BIKING               Pine Creek, PA          4/12

April 4, 2006

Meeting Joe Bowen was a chance encounter.  Julie and I had wanted to visit Arlington Cemetery the day before, but the weather was rainy and cold so we changed our plans and toured Arlington the next day, April 4th.

Joe was on his bike and had stopped in a particular section of Arlington looking for a specific veteran's headstone.  He asked Julie and I if we would mind helping him look for this headstone and we were willing to assist.  It was then that Joe told us the story of Sergeant First Class John David Morton.  John David was a Soldier from eastern Kentucky (Cane Creek) who was killed in Dec, 2005, while serving with the US Army in Afghanistan.  Joe told us that he had promised John David's parents that he would find their son's gravesite whenever he visited Arlington.   April 4th was that day.

Julie and I were humbled by this event.  The war in Afghanistan had just become personal for us.  Joe showed us a picture of John David and told us about the memorial service he had attended in John David's home town.  What a fine young man!  A family man.  A Soldier.   A Hero.  Julie and I will never forget this day.  What an honor it was for us to be asked to help Joe find John David Morton's final resting place.

Our chance meeting with Joe at Arlington was the highlight of our trip to the Washington DC area.  We wish Joe all the best in his bike travels and we are planning on meeting up with Joe in May whenever he visits the Springfield, IL area.

Wayne Loehring    Julie Barker            4/13

It was an honor for Congressman Rogers to see Joe here in Washington.  Joe's site looks great!  His trip is a fun, neat way to learn about American history.  Thank you for all you are doing to help educate our students in Eastern Kentucky.

Leslie Cupp   Communications Director, Office of U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers 2406 Rayburn House Office Building,  Washington, DC 20515  202-225-4601

Just met Joe on the C&O Canal in Potomac , Maryland .Only spent a few minutes talking but  what a fascinating story--Best of luck to him on the rest of his journey!!!

Suzy and Evie      Potomac, MD     4/6

It was great taking to you today on the Canal---Hope you made it to Frederick and on to Gettysburg----enjoy the C&O.           zarina, MD           4/7

hello joe i just thought i would see how you are doing this is jamie from middlefork         4/7

Hello - Mr. Joe Bowen met with Congressman Rogers in Washington, DC on Tuesday, April 4.  Joe asked me to pass on the attached photos and I am doing so.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  Best,


Leslie Cupp   Communications Director  Office of U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers 2406 Rayburn House Office Building  Washington, DC 20515  202-225-4601          4/4


Yesterday afternoon it was my great privilege and pleasure to ride 28 miles alongside your friend Joe Bowen, getting to know and respect him, and hearing of his great exploit in riding his bicycle all over this country of ours.

It was a beautifully sunny Sunday afternoon, the first day of daylight savings time and therefore the most gradual afternoon we've had since early last fall.  Joe told me of his adventures and of the people he's met and state capitols he's visited.

He asked me what I did, and when I told him he requested I write and tell "the kids."

I am a Circuit Judge in the three easternmost counties of West Virginia.  That means I'm a trial judge in cases of all kinds, criminal and civil.  I've been a judge here for about 14 years so far.  Although I rotate my "seat" over the county seats of the three counties, for several years I heard cases in the historic courthouse where abolitionist John Brown was tired after his failed raid on Harper's Ferry in his attempt to free the slaves.  While presiding over court in that famous courthouse, and for several years afterwards, I served as a regular tour guide, telling its story to curious tourist from many parts of the world.

Many think that it was John Brown's raid which provided the final spark that ignited our country's Civil War.  Brown hoped that his life and actions would serve as a beacon for others to inspire and bring about the end of slavery in America.  The details of his actions still reverberate in history.

In a very different way I think Joe wishes for his life and actions to serve as inspiration to others.  I know he thinks about "the kids" who are following his adventure and hopes they gain something positive from the example of his long ride of discovery.

As I last saw Joe yesterday evening he was pedaling off towards Harper's Ferry and his evening's rest and probable day off the bicycle, as rain is expected today and Joe said he'd probably use the day to explore Harper's Ferry National Historic Park.  From there I believe he plans to cross the Potomac River (the Potomac and the Shenandoah converge at Harper's Ferry) and to ride the famous tow path of the C & O Canal theremaining 70 some miles into the heart of Washington DC.

Joe is a hardy soul and just a positive and energetic person.  I feel blessed to have met him.  I wish him a safe ride and the best of luck as he continues his quest.

David H. Sanders

Circuit Judge for the 23rd Judicial Circuit of West Virginia comprised of Jefferson, Berkeley and Morgan counties  100 West King Street, Martinsburg WV 25401                      4/3

Dear Joe,

We absolutely loved having you as our keynote speaker for the 44th Annual KJHS Convention. I know you had to work your travel schedule around our event and I really appreciate your flexibility. So many teachers and students have passed along wonderful compliments about your visit.

It was so very nice to meet you and your lovely wife. Best wishes and much luck on the rest of your journey! Please keep us posted.


Annie W. Voelkert, KJHS State Coordinator        3/31


We are enjoying hearing our teacher read your stories from the road.  We can’t wait ‘til you come back to Red River. Have a safe trip! Mrs. Elam’s Class Red River Valley Elementary, Hazel Green, KY            3/30

I wanted to share with you my great joy in the wonderful experience for my students.  My name is Jim Mahan and I am the principal of Ripley Middle School in Ripley, West Virginia.  I received word that Mr. Joe Bowen was lodged in our area.  I was also told he would be willing to stop by and speak with our kids.  That opportunity became a reality and the kids and teachers were blown away with his genuine heart, motivating style, and warmth.  He truly is a wonderful ambassador for your organization.  My spirits, as well as the spirits of my kids, were uplifted through this engagement.  Thank you once again.

Jim Mahan, Principal  Ripley Middle School, Ripley, WV    3/29

Hello Joe,

This is Brian McCommon from The Parkersburg News. We met today at Ripley Middle School. I just wanted to let you know that the little article that Christina will write will come out next week. Once it is out, I will send you a couple of copies. It was great to meet you! Respectfully,

Brian McCommon  The Parkersburg News - Jackson County        3/28

Hi Joe!

You look wonderful….I'm enjoying reading about you on the web and in print!  I just read a wonderful story about you in the Kentucky Living magazine.  I hope all is well for you.

Paula,       Taylorsville, KY            3/15

Hello.  Our extended family moved to Powell County about 4 years ago. We have been reading about your trip with great admiration.  What a testimony to the positive power of the human spirit!

My Dad and I just got our bikes "tuned" up and wanted to do some rides. We are both a bit spoiled, having moved here from Mississippi (rails to trails everywhere!) and northern Virginia (bike trails everywhere).  We were surprised to learn that there are no bike trails in the Boone National Forest, that includes Natural Bridge, Cave Run, and the Gorge. Thanks again, and best of luck on the last 4,000 miles,

Jane Huffman Hayes (daughter) and Dave Huffman (father)    Powell County, KY   3/15

I am a recent college graduate who just completed my student teaching in Menifee County, Kentucky.  During my rotation in a 4th grade classroom, I was asked by my supervising teacher, Rebecca Roach, to create a unit of study for social studies.  Mrs. Roach suggested that I become familiar with Joe Bowen's journey across America and integrate it into my unit.

At the time Mr. Bowen was traveling through Arizona and so I felt it would be a great way to begin a study on the Southwest Region of the U.S.  The unit began in the computer lab and allowed students to form their own inquiry based questions about Joe's travel through the southwest.  It provided the perfect opportunity to provide a mini-lesson on internet safety and finding reliable sources for information on the web.  By the end of the 3 week unit, students had completed several projects all based on the southwest region.  Students created travel brochures, wrote poetry, cooked southwest cuisine for their classmates, sang regional songs, and built shelters that resembled the homes of the Navajo.  We also had a guest speaker who had visited the southwest and shared her photographs and stories.  To integrate language arts, the students began keeping a journal which was similar to the one kept by Joe and a natural integration for science followed with a unit study on geology.

Joe's adventure was the perfect kick off for our unit of study. There were so many possibilities using Joe's information to create lessons that I felt I had found a gold mine.   What was even more wonderful was that Joe provided a wonderful example of what can be done with a little bit of imagination and some hard work.  Thanks Joe!!!

Jodi Blackburn

Rebecca Roach- Supervising Teacher  Botts Elementary, Botts, KY      3/8

Hello Joe, my neighbor noticed your story in the Warren Rural Elect. mag. wanted me to read it, said he used to work construction with you, I think around Louisville, his name is Earl Lindsey, do you remember Earl? Good luck on the ride, you make all of old retiree's want to get out and do something. lol

Kenny                                   3/6

Hi Joe,

You are quite a guy!  (spoken from the perspective of a wife of a fellow adventurer!)  I married a man who wanted to travel.  Little did I know, that it would involve a trip across the country and it would be on a bicycle!  When we left Seattle in 1990, we were young, healthy and 29 years old.  4705 miles and 3 months later, we arrived in Bar Harbour, ME.  Luckily, we were young, healthy and still married!  Two weeks later, we left for a 1 year, 30 country backpacking tour which only seemed to whet our appetite for a married life of travel, which now includes our 2 girls, ages 10 and 13.  Being a journalism major, David even wrote a book.  Over the years, David's father got involved in biking.  This summer, my father-in-law is joining the Adventure Cyclist anniversary tour across the country.  I have sent him a copy of your article in the Kentucky magazine and I KNOW he will be following your progress this spring.  So will I!  Good luck, Godspeed and stay safe.  Our family will be thinking about you as the four of us ride in BRAG this June (Bike Ride Across Georgia). I've sent your web page to my child's teacher.  Hopefully, they will be involved as well!  Take good care. Fondly,

Susan Wooten           Murray, KY              3 / 4

Hi Joe

Just a quick Hello to say well done.  You may / may not remember the Australian family who met you the day before you left on this fantastic journey in the street and at the Chamber of Commerce building.

We have been following your fantastic feat. Wishing you well. Take care always.

Best Regards David, Catherine, Nicolas and Nathan

Australia              3/3

Hi Joe,

This is Karen (Brewer) Gardner, I ran across the website with the info about your second bike trip.  I e-mailed before but have not heard from you. It has been many, many years since we have seen each other, guess it was running into you at Morehead the last time I saw you, that was just a few years ago.

I live in Pensacola, Florida now.  Am married to a navy retiree and have two children and one granddaughter who is the joy of my life.  I think it is wonderful you are repeating your bike trip.  I cannot imagine such an undertaking at our age so I really admire your dedication and fortitude.  I really miss the hills of Kentucky and love coming back home when I get the chance.  Mom (Irene Brewer) is still living there with my sister.  She is the one who told me you were cycling again.

Have a great last part of the trip this spring.  I would love to get my granddaughter hooked into your school program, they live in Orlando so do not know if this is possible or not.  Let me know.

May God be with you and the wind always at your back.  Happy riding.

Karen               Pensacola, FL            2/27

Dear Joe,

Thank you for coming out to our school. I hope you had a good time with us. Was it hard to walk on those sticks? Did you have fun riding your bike down the hallway? We are going to be following the rest of your journey on these laptops. Sincerely,

Taylor Spencer             Rogers, KY        2/16

Dear Joe Bowen.

Thank you for coming to our school, Rogers ELEMENTARY. I wish you could tell us more of your storys. It was fun meeting you. I miss you very much. See you later. Comeback and see us. ?                   Rogers, KY               2/16

Thank you for coming to our school Joe Bowen.  Thank you for telling us stories.  Have a good journey.  We will be emailing you more. Thank you,

Brandon Reynolds and Joe Williams     Rogers Elementary   Rogers, KY          2/16

Hi Joe Bowen,

Thank you for coming to Rogers Elementary School. Thanks for telling about the trips you took on your bike. My favorite story was when you told us about you on your horse and you thought you seen a grizzly bear but it was your dog.

Kennedy Patrick          Rogers, KY        2/16

Dear Mr. Bowen,

Thank you so much for taking the time to come to Rogers Elementary to visit with out students and tell about your adventures bicycling across America.  Our students enjoyed your visit tremendously and talked about it for several days afterwards.

Our school was awarded an HP Technology for Teaching grant for the year 2004-2005.  At the end of this grant period, we had an opportunity to apply in the next round of competition which was for a Technology for Leadership grant for the year 2005-2006.  Our team was the only team chosen to receive this extension from the state of Kentucky.  The other 15 teams were from all parts of the United States and Canada.  Our project was to follow your journey bicycling across America.  Our plan was for our students to research and study the different states that you will be traveling through, their climates, the animals that live there, and their habitats. Our students will be corresponding with you via e-mail as well as corresponding with a partner school in Canada.

In September 2005, our school traveled to Orlando, Florida to talk about our proposed project with the other recipients of this HP grant.As we were introducing our plan, several of the other 15 teams and our HP leaders had already heard about your travels.  You had actually gone through the hometown of one our HP leaders from California. The few that had not heard about your project went to their laptops and pulled up your web page to see where you were at that time. The HP leaders were and still are excited about our grant proposal.

Our HP technology equipment is now up and running and we will be corresponding with you and learning more about the states you have visited and will be visiting in the future.

In July, we will be going to San Diego, California and showcasing the work we have done with your travels. We certainly will have exciting, as well as educational, information to share as this national conference.

Once again thank you for coming to our school and allowing our students to meet you in person.   They have been studying about your adventures and will continue to follow your journey.  Thanks for your patience and for answering the questions that our students had.  You made them feel special.


Rogers Elementary Staff        Rogers, KY        1/31

Mr Joe Bowen,

You may or not recall who I am. Just to refresh your memory, I was one of the students who introduced myself when you talked to the first group. I'm the one who organized the 108 chairs in our small auditorium for you. Whether you remember me or not, I will never forget you. Joe you are my new hero and idol who I will always look up to. When I first met you I was so intrigued of your life story. I almost couldn't believe all the things you did. When listening to your stories it kind of reminded of this movie "Big Fish". The movie is basically about this father who tells his son stories of his whole life that the son thought was impossible. I felt like a five year old listening to my grandfather telling me a bedtime stories. But was even more amazing that every you have experienced has happened. That is so AWESOME!

Mr. Joe Bowen, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for coming to my school and opening so many doors of imagination in my life. I felt listening to you I could do anything and achieve what I want. You are an incredible, caring, strong, and loving man who cares so much for the world and the society that lives in it. You're like superman! Instead of flying you ride your bike and walk on stilts, which is really COOL!! Joe I want to say congratulations on every thing you have accomplished in life. Keep riding your bike and keep sharing your stories. Until next time...! Love always,

Alex Aponte        Louisville, KY        1/30

Hey Joe, I am the guy that was in the first time you talked and came up to shake your hand. I thought that you were very inspiring and you have squeezed so much into one lifetime that I can never match even half of what you have done. I also think that it is cool that you are still doing it, riding your bike, and visiting the people that you saw the first time around. It was cool and I enjoyed it. Thank you.

Shane Gall       Louisville, KY    1/30

Dear Mr. Bowen,

My name is Tiffany Bailey and I just wanted to say that although I didn't get to come to hear you speak I commend you for what you did. That takes great courage and determination! I want to tell you I hope you continue on your journey and may God bless you and keep you in good health. Once again thanks! Sincerely,

Tiffany Bailey      Louisville, KY       1/30

Hi Mr. Bowen! I wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your speech yesterday.  You are very inspirational. You let me know that anything is possible. In addition, that people look up to people who try to do different things than normal. You let me know that I can do anything that I set my mind to! I hope that you succeed on your journey that you are taken now and that you conquer the unconquerable. Thank you very much.

Brittany Bridgewater      Louisville, KY           1/30

Dear Joe, Thank you for coming to Butler and speaking before my class. Your experiences are once in a lifetime. Your are a funny person and has had fun. Thanks again for coming and maybe we should go water skiing behind a plane.

(email was unsigned)            Louisville, KY            1/30

Hey Mr. Bowen.

I just wanted to let you know that with you coming to visit our school and talk to us about your experience was very appreciated.. I did have to leave it early so I didn't get the last 30 minutes of your little speech thing. But its pretty awesome how you accomplish everything you did. Like its people like you out there they make it believable to be able to accomplish anything. I know you've been told this over and over again and I know that or already know.. but what you have done was astonishing.. Its actually kinda unbelievable if you think about it.. but just wanted to show you some appreciation! Thank you and I’ve been sharing with everyone the things you have accomplished and will always remember the experience you gave me and my classmates yesterday

Michelle           Louisville, KY              1/30

Hay Joe I just wanted to say that it was cool what you did and all that. I just wanted to tell you that the coolest thing about it was you got to meet Elvis Presley. You came to my school today, Beattyville Elementary January 27th 2006 i thought you were the coolest and i just wanted to say thanks.

Wildkid        Beattyville, KY            1/27

Hey Joe, How are you...I’m in Mrs. Bailys class right now and we’re all having class and just guess who we’re talking about...........YOU.  He,He!!! Well I enjoyed listening to you yesterday during 3rd period. I think you're a real / nice/ goodhearted person forreal. Mrs Baily told us that your not coming back next year so thanks for letting us meet you. I love the fact that you don't have a weekly routine where you wake up go to work, come home, clean and go to bed. Kinda like your living your life as though it’s your last. I want to do that when I’m older but not only that you mentioned to me that you had children too. So you lived your life and raised your kids and yet you still want to go water are full of energy mom and dad and grandma aren’t that full of life. Just your presence in the room, I felt  a good vibe. You’re just a joy to be around. But im going to go and get to work bc were starting a lesson so take care.Love always!  PS WRITE BAK...OR COME BAK B4 THE SKOO YR'S UP AND TELL US WHAT YOU'VE DONE SINCE THEN....

ASHLEE     Louisville, KY             1/25

Joe, i will have fun. i will try 2 do something as incredible as u someday!!!! i dont know how u do it....i am still trying 2 figure that out, stilt walking across america....I CAN'T BELIVE IT!!!!!!ok.....well talk 2 u later....bye!! sincerely

Donovan Clements!!!!           Taylorsville, KY           1/25

Dear Mr. Bowen,

You recently visited my school (Butler High) and I wanted to say thank you so much for taking the time!! You are truly an amazing person. You have accomplished so much and done so many things. What stories you must hold!! I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing with us and congratulate you on such a wonderful life. If I do in my lifetime even a fraction of the things that you have done, it would be amazing. Keep on going, and once again -- thank you! God Bless and good luck!!

Jamie Beaven         Louisville, KY         1/25

We love Joe Bowen, We love Joe Bowen, We love Joe Bowen!

I have had so much positive feedback about Joe's visit to BTHS that I cannot express it all.  The teachers were so appreciative that he would take time out of his busy schedule to share his life story with our lucky students.  He is truly Kentucky's "Unbridled Spirit".  His message of letting NOTHING stand in the way of achieving goals was of invaluable significance.  I believe students cannot hear it enough.

Students were enthralled with his presence.  They saw him as believable, real, and enthusiastic and a good role model.  His life is interesting and it makes Joe Bowen an inspiration like no other.  Many students saw a resemblance between Joe Bowen and the beloved "Forrest Gump" because Joe overcame obstacles, but it didn't stop him from conquering the world in Joe Bowen fashion: biking, stilts, stories, and discoveries.

Thanks for the bottom of my heart, for enriching the lives of my students.

Pascal Bailey   Butler Traditional High School   Louisville, KY    1/25

It could not have gone more perfectly.  My students were enthralled.

Pascal Bailey     Butler Traditional High School     Louisville, KY        1/24

hey Joe, my name is Donovan Clements.u spoke 2 the MWMS students about your trip across america. i thought it was really awsome how u did that on stilts!!!!i bet it was really 2 u later.....bye!!

Donovan        Taylorsville, KY        1/23

Joe, The story I wrote about you and the other long-haul trekkers is in the current issue of American Way and on the website. You can read it at:

Thanks so much for agreeing to speak with me--and happy travels (and I'll let you know if anything happens with any other news outlets),

Jenna Schnuer, freelance writer           Washington, DC           1/15

Mr. Bowen,

I read the article in the Lexington Herald Leader a few weeks ago and I absolutely loved it. About two weeks before I read that article a friend and I talked about doing a cross-country bike ride of our own, then I read the article about you. I don't know if you get any offers or have thought about it but we were wondering if you might like some company on your trip? If not I completely understand. If you would, I would love to talk to you more about it to see how you would feel about it. But as I have read about you on the website you are a busy man. But if you get a chance just e-mail me back. Hope to talk to you soon.

Josh Ray        1/8

Hello All

Don't forget our special guest speaker for the January meeting is Joe Bowen, who will talk about his ride across America.  This should be a very interesting program and we should all encourage others to come to hear him speak.  Everyone bring at least one other person. Keep the date on your calendar:  January 23rd, 7:00 PM at the Spencer County Public Library meeting room. Bill, please invite the city/County fathers to attend. Loretta, please post in the Library. Regards,

John Lilly, Taylorsville, KY            1/8

Joe, Danny Caudell sent this article about you, WOW!!! Am I impressed! I am very proud of what you are doing and am also very envious of you. Keep it up. This is exactly what our kids today need to hear and see.

Ed Sparks               1/8

Hi, good folks, I have been trying to mail some things to Joe Bowen, the 62-year old man who recently bicycled across the United States on your behalf.  I'm sure you know who I mean. Can you please let me know how I can mail him something - or - let him know that I am trying to contact him.  I am an old friend from his very first bicycle days some 38 years ago. Thank you so much for your help.  I do hope Joe is okay.

Terby Barnes   Moab, UT        1/7

Joe and Terby skiing.

(editor's note: This is Joe and Terby skiing in 1967. This was the same bunch that did the skiing behind the airplane.)

Greetings: Welcome back home to the Taylorsville area. As a Taylorsville resident, I have found it very interesting to read of your journeys in the Spencer Magnet. I am a Media Specialist (librarian) at Mt. Washington Middle School and would love to have you speak to some of my male students as part of the "real men read" program. I have a program where I bring in local folks to read to a group of 30 or less boys who often times find it hard to think about reading being cool. I conduct this program once a month, on a date that is convenient for the speaker from 1:50- 2:40. I do hope this might be something that you would be interested in. I can select the reading material, or you can supply your own. My biggest hope for this program is for these middle school boys to see that grown people do read, that reading is part of everyday life and it is perfectly acceptable to read. If you are able to work this into your schedule it would be great. Thank you for taking time to consider this invitation. Sincerely,

Gretchen Williams Nation, Media Specialist Mt. Washington Middle School, Mt. Washington, KY            12/28