Bicycling brothers cross into U.S.The Berg brothers, the Starkweather, N.D., natives who are bicycling from Alaska to Argentina to raise money for Habitat for Humanity, have crossed the Canada-U.S. border.
By: By Kevin Bonham, Foum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
The Berg brothers, the Starkweather, N.D., natives who are bicycling from Alaska to Argentina to raise money for Habitat for Humanity, have crossed the Canada-U.S. border.
They’ve been traveling through eastern Washington this past week, heading toward Portland, Ore., their next temporary destination on “Bound South: Three Brothers’ Expedition from Alaska to Argentina,” a 20,000-mile adventure that will last until May 2012.
Isaiah, 19, Nathan, 24, and David Berg, 22, began the journey Aug. 11 in Anchorage. Their goal is not only to raise $60,000 to build a house in the Red River Valley with Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity, but also to help build it.
They’re traveling along what is known as the Pan American Highway, a popular long-distance bicycle route. While many cyclists travel with support vehicles and teams of assistants, they’re riding alone, with just the gear they can stuff into their saddlebags.
They have no prearranged stops or reservations at hotels or motels. Rather, they rely a great deal of the time on the generosity of people along the way.
They’ve been writing and posting photos and recording audio snippets on their blog, www.boundsouth.org.
Here are some excerpts from David Berg’s posts, of his impressions while pedaling through eastern Washington this past week:
“It’s not the landscape (we just said goodbye to the Rockies and it’s unlike anything we have seen thus far on the road) vineyards, or wineries.
“Rather, it’s familiar because it reminds us of home. Everything about it — the friendliness and warmth most small towns hone, agriculture, back roads to explore, open skies fit for sunrises and sunsets, home cooked meals of meat and potatoes, and so much more — seems to remind us of North Dakota.
“Between Spokane and Walla Walla, we traversed rolling stubble fields of harvested wheat on dirt and gravel roads. Rolling along, we had plenty of opportunities to pick apples from abandoned farmsteads, wave to farmers working the land, and chat with country folk after their dogs chased us down.
“In the small town of Diamond, Wash., (a town very similar in size to Starkweather), we found shelter from the rain in a family’s garage. At times, I wondered where we were and why we were climbing some of the steepest grades we have seen thus far (on a mud-tracked prairie road, too), yet I felt at home.
“As we ride closer to the Oregon coast along the Columbia River in the sage brush-covered desert land of southern Washington and northern Oregon, the Palouse, a gem in the Pacific Northwest, pulls me back. It is a place I won’t soon forget.”
Some of the people they’ve met along the way won’t soon forget them either.
Chuck and Pam Guptill, who offered their garage for them to stay a night in Diamond, Wash., read the post and responded:
“Dear Berg Brothers: You have captured the real essence of the Palouse Region with these photos. Come back next spring when the wheat and barley crops are green, and waving in the wind. It’s spectacular. Thank you for mentioning Diamond, Wash. We were more than happy to host you for the night in our garage. Take care and safe travels.”
Kevin Bonham is a reporter
for the Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum