Update November 2016

Wow....here we are...in November. It's hard to imagine that my last actual blog post was in July. It seems like yesterday, and also a lifetime ago. So many things have happened since then, mainly our story "going viral." My posts largely being on the instagram platform and telling short stories on there, live updates to over 100k followers. It was easy to neglect my blog of only 2 dozen followers in order to update a global audience. Yet, the blog can tell so much more...and I want to get back into that process. 

Folks joined in with us in the Keys and followed us up the coast of Florida and through the panhandle, on west and up north through Texas and Oklahoma. A quick stop in KC, then packing up in Nebraska. A trip with my Nephew to the Dakotas, and then finally on to Colorado. We had planned heading to the Pacific Northwest to finish our cross country trek...but Cancer came back in Bella's mouth and held us up in Ft. Collins for 6 weeks as we treated that. Unfortunately...the day we packed up to head down to Denver for the weekend to make our final decision on where we would go next, whether we would stay in Colorado near the CSU Vet school, come back to Nebraska to be around family, or make our final trip to the west coast to let Bella run around the Redwoods and sniff the PNW coast line, would be our last "road trip." We only made it down to Denver before her lungs were finally, yet suddenly, too effected by the masses growing in them to properly breathe. 

I said goodbye to her early the next morning, and it broke my heart. As much as I said that I wanted it to grow my heart rather than break it...I suppose I didn't realize that it had to break first before it could mend. 

Now, here I am in Denver...wondering what will come next in this journey. I just purchased a new computer, so I can finally have an easier time writing blog posts, as well as editing photos. I have a few things planned, a few ideas in the air...and am looking forward to what comes next. Yet, before I get deep into typing about my experiences....about the loss of Bella, I wanted to type this quick post to check in with everyone and see if the new subscribe button is working and if people are getting e-mail notifications when I post a blog. I'd like to type more on my blog...but also want some reassurance that it's being read, and those who want to read it are being notified of new posts.

Therefore, please comment below if you received a notification for this. I appreciate you helping me out with this, and this will be motivation to encourage me to update my blog, my photos, and my entire site more often. I miss the days when I had more focus on building the site, as it was very therapeutic, and I was honestly proud to building something that I could call my own. So again, please comment that you received this...where you're from, and how you found the blog. I'm already thankful for your help in advance.

Again, thanks for everyone who's been along for the journey so far...it's only just begun.


Much Love,


-Rob K.

Where we left off...in beautiful Savannah, GA

Of all the places that I "should've written about" during Bella and I's epic 5 month long adventure...nothing bothered me more than not writing about Savannah, Ga, while IN Savannah. For anyone that is a writer/painter/creator of any type, then you know a thing or two about inspiration. Some things need to be written about as they are happening, while you're surrounded by the atmosphere that inspires you to sit down and write it down, take the photo, or paint the scene to share it with others.


Thankfully, I've been given the chance for redemption, as fate brought me back here to this unbelievably charming city. Long story short on how we're back here, is that a friend needed a ride to North Carolina, and I couldn't resist the urge to come back to one of my favorite cities. 


While talking with my mother yesterday she asked: "What is it about Savannah that you like so much?" Well, I'll start off by saying that I was fortunate enough to have no expectations. I hadn't really heard much about this historic gem of the South. Rest easy, however, in knowing that no matter what I write about this place, it will exceed your expectations once you get the chance to visit, which I hope you do. Second, I said: "Because people WANT to be here, they Love being here, and it's easy to see why.

Driving into town from the North brings you across the beautiful Talmadge Memorial Bridge, which is extremely similar to the Arthur Ravenel Jr bridge in the not too distan Charleston, SC. As you cross over the Savannah River, you can see the historic downtown river front area of Savannah, and your first exit will take right into it's incredible historic district. The streets almost feel subterranean as you drive under the canopy of live oaks with Spanish moss hanging as if it were put there for decoration. The city FEELS alive, I feel as if it has it's own personality, it's own soul. I've never felt before, as if I could talk...to the city...and it would speak back.

The sidewalks are busy with some of the most beautiful people I've ever seen as they tour the city's unique history, dozens of parks from Oglethorpe's brilliant design, and countless restaurants, bars and shops. 

Savannah College of Art Design (SCAD) brings an eclectic group of people that have a style that I can truly appreciate, and the presence of their artistic spirit is felt across the city. I actually entertained enrolling there I was so intrigued as I met students having group photography and sketch classes in the open fields of Forsyth Park. That was until I found out that 18 months of a GI Bill isn't going to do much good against the cost of tuition, unless I planned on knocking off a diamond store along my travels.

Speaking of Forsyth Park....that is where I'm at...right now. Sitting on a bench, typing with a wireless keyboard and my iPhone. We're about 20 yards from the fountain, while Bella rests in the shade. Though it's hot, the locals are used to it and so are their dogs, it seems every other person has a pooch with them, and that makes it all the more lovable for me. We are currently blessed to have a man singing as he plays the guitar along with the harmonica. Our last trip someone had a brass instrument and I can't remember the exact piece...but it was beautiful. Again, the entirety of the park is lined with the oak trees and the Spanish moss, as well as a variety of trees and flowers that I'm not going to pretend I know what they are. I've shared Live videos on my Facebook feed, and I often do that because there are just not enough words, and if there are...I simply don't know them. 

The houses here....the places that you can live in and call your home...are unlike any other place that I've seen. Charleston, I suppose, has many similar, but they seem to be unrealistic for a man of my financial background to live in. Here in Savannah, the historic district seems to go on and on and there seem to be a healthy amount of options that are attainable. Just a few blocks from the park, my friend owns a beautiful Victorian home with 4 bedrooms 2 1/2 bath, I believe built in the 1890's, if I remember correctly. This house cost around $300k, and though to some may still seem expensive, it's a reality for a dual income household, especially if you take advantage of some revolutionary new movements such as AirBnB and rent out one of those bedrooms often enough to actually help pay toward the mortgage.

Okay, I'm getting off track here, let's see if I can wrap this up and get Bella and I back on the road. We stopped here so I could type a bit before we headed on down to Florida. Yup, we have some white sand beaches and an air boat ride in store for us. I can't tell you how excited I am about that.

So, let me just say this one last thing about Savannah, and perhaps I'll come back and write more again someday....but today I'll finish with mentioning the people. Granted, many people are tourists and transplants, but as I mentioned before...they LOVE being here. I'm not sure I've ever been welcomed into more conversations and invited to join in on more celebrations than here. "We're taking the boat out tomorrow, you should come!" 
 "Meet us out at Tybee island!" "We're having a barbecue, come on over!" "Have you been to this restaurant? Meet us there tonight!"


Tybee Island....man...that reminds me of how much more there is to write about this area. Bonaventure cemetery...the Savannah Wildlife Refuge. There truly are not enough words, or at least, there is not enough time for me to type them out at the moment....as it's time for us to get moving down to the Sunshine state. 

Looks like I'll have to come back and write more....I hope to see you there!


-Rob n Bella


Ride2Recovery, on the road to transformation.

Well, here we are...in Gulfport, Mississippi. 5 days of cycling and about 330 miles are behind us, with another 90 ahead of us tomorrow until we reach our final destination of New Orleans, LA. I've never been to New Orleans, and I'm looking forward to it. In fact, I hadn't been to Alabama or Mississippi for that matter. Though cycling through a state may seem like one of the best ways to see it, when you're focus is being spent mostly on drafting from the wheel in front of you so that you can rest long enough to power forward and help push the hand cyclists up the hills....or which way to adjust your butt on your seat so it's not on fire, or you're simply in the middle of a pack of bikes at 18 or even 23 miles per hour, it's a bit difficult to really take in the culture of an area. So, I'll need to be making more trips back to these areas at some point in my journey. Whether it be on this trip, or decades from now, I'm sure it will happen.

So, if I'm not able to dive into the culture of these areas...why would I choose to leave Bella and put myself through physical suffering? Simply, because my mind needed it. The camaraderie, of course, is a huge factor in what put a smile on my face for the first few days here. There have been many great instances of hugs, smiles, laughter, and new friendships. However, along with those friendships come conversation...which for some people can be extremely cathartic as they may have never opened up to someone about their struggles before. However, for me...many know that in person it is hard to shut me up. Silence is extremely uncomfortable for me and I just babble...about anything. Plus, I do have a lot of curiosities and ask questions because I genuinely want to know. Various topics come up: family, work, travel, hobbies, and of course; unloading my baggage and offering to listen and learn about others. Often times I'll just be reading a sign out loud in the voice of a character I've made up or impersonating someone else. A few people love it and laugh, and others want to shove a sock in my mouth. The worst part is....I'll just end up talking more to make it seem not so awkward.

When I push myself to my limits, however, there is no energy left to converse. There is no time to focus on all of the problems in my world, let alone those of the entire world. My mind is consumed with what is immediately at hand. Riding a bicycle from point A to point B is a lot simpler than coming up with ways of how I'm going to help save the universe.

"Pedal...shift...dig...reach...push the bar...boost the rider...help your comrade."

Legs...knees...butt...back...shoulder....they all hurt. I want it to be over. I want to stop. Only 20 miles in, 60 to go....

"Pedal...shift...dig...here comes the bridge...catch your buddy, help him push the riders up the bridge."

I have nothing. I push in short bursts and can barely keep up. I can't push any longer...I don't have the strength. I need to fall back. I have failed.

"No, you didn't fail. You came here without training and need to be proud of what you've been able to do. Manage your expectations. Focus on your own ride. They have this. Fall back...fall back far enough where you can't hear the call for pushers, because you are now doing more harm than good when you answer it. It's okay...you're not conditioned for this...though it's difficult to fall back and leave your buds to finish pushing without you, be proud of what you've been able to do."  -end of monologue tangent

Well.... maybe my thought process is rarely a clean slate....and the few times that it really is...may just be when I'm operating at full capacity and not over it. Once I'm pushing beyond my limits, perhaps I'm being counterproductive once again.

I suppose the point that I'm trying to get at tonight is that pushing your physical limits and focusing on one thing completely is sometimes necessary to help do a hard reset of the mind. Through writing this and reading it back to myself I see that pushing them too far or having unrealistic expectations can lead to only more questions and clouds.

Balance...how often I need reminded about it's importance. 

On Ride2Recovery's website they mention that challenges will push a rider physically and mentally. That pushing, is helping me hit the reset button and to come out the other side, once again transformed into a man with a bit more of a purpose and sense of self. I must not allow the fact that I couldn't push as much as I wanted to distract me. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to even finish this ride out of the blue, and here we are with only one more day left and I'll have completed another challenge alongside some of the most motivating and inspiring people that I've ever met.

The people....oh the people. Earlier, I mentioned my need to shut up and reset the brain. Well, luckily those short moments of "suffering meditation" can do a mini reset, if not at least close a few browser windows. Those little resets allow me to open up and be "myself" a little bit more. For those of you that have been following along the last few years, you understand that I've been searching for who that person is and often talked of dropping "the character." Today, I went full happy mode, perhaps manic could be used to describe the extreme high that I was experiencing...and when I caught myself in it, I became self conscious and a bit paranoid that everyone was thinking I was crazy, but that's an entire conversation in and of itself. Either way, I believe I'm in company that understands  my crazy, and have made a lot of new friends along the way.

The main staff are base of the  Ride2Recovery family tree, and they're welcoming arms and smiles have me feeling right at home. Meeting all the new riders has been much easier because of the welcoming staff. When you participate in a challenge such as this...you truly do form bonds with those you ride and room with. There aren't many times in life where I've put in grueling work kind alongside another person or a team without befriending them. These challenges are a way to facilitate those bonds and bridge gaps with people you may never have crossed otherwise.

Well...I'm not sure if this was written in a way that could be followed, but as always, I tried my best to verbalize what I was feeling tonight.

It's 10:22, the alarm is set for 6:15, and I am not going to stay up as late as I did on night one. Therefore, this is goodnight.

Almost forgot...there's a storm coming in that could derail tomorrow's final leg into New Orleans, so do your anti lightning/flooding dance to help us finish the challenge safely.

Thanks again,

Rob K. 

Photo Credit Tif Skuce

Photo Credit Tif Skuce