An Old Man’s Solo Bicycle Tour: A Hózhó Journey of Wellness for Mother Earth and her Children–Seeking Sponsors
Honoring the Indigenous Spirit and Land
Promoting Climate Change Awareness and Its Solution: Living in Harmony, Balance and Beauty with Nature, Others, and Ourselves
In these times of great climate change, social polarization, and possible extinction of vast numbers of species, including our own, indigenous peoples can teach us much about living in balance and harmony with nature and each other. These cultures had sacred relationships with nature and the land. Their very lives depended on it.
Hózhó is a Navajo word that is usually translated as “balance and beauty,” but is actually a complex concept that embodies the Navajo belief system of principles that guide their thoughts, behaviors, actions, and speech, emphasizing the importance of harmony, balance, and beauty.1 Hózhó is about wellness. Our battered planet is in bad need of wellness, as are so many of Mother Nature’s children, including humankind. Hózhó is grounded in the sacredness of the land. To really know the land and nature, you must directly experience it. Aside from walking, there is no better way to directly experience a broad stretch of the land and Nature than bicycling.
In September 2022, at age 74, I am planning a once in a lifetime adventure: a solo bicycle tour beginning in St. George, UT, and ending in St. Augustine, FL. Starting with the sacred canyon country of Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico, first on the Utah Cliffs Loop and then the Western Express Route (all routes from Adventure Cycling.org). Dropping south from Dolores, CO, some 387 miles of wending backroads on NM western border, I will continue eastward along the Southern Tier of the Trans-American Bicycle Route (Image) at Silver City, NM, heading eventually to St. Augustine, FL. Total trip distance, some 3,252 miles. I will be crossing three deserts, several mountain ranges, and numerous Southwestern, Central, and Southeastern American Indian peoples’ lands and sacred sites. In addition to the many wilderness areas, national and state parks, and other interesting natural areas along the route, there is the possibility of additional side trips. The attached appendix has a spread sheet of my route and Bio.
I will be crossing lands of the Pueblo tribes of Hopi, Zuni, Acoma, and Laguna; the Navajo; Apache; and the Ute. Further east on my journey, the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Cherokee, and Seminole.
The tour will cover two deserts, the state of Texas, and along the lower portions of LA, MS, and AL, ending in St Augustine, FL. Along the way, I will be posting photos, journal entries, and photo journaling videos of my experiences on my website blog at darrellyardley.com.
My tour will be compiled into a book format that weaves together my tour experiences and American Indian spirituality with my background in evolution, ecology, neurobiology, and psychology. I hope to experience a taste at least of the deep spiritual connection of the indigenous peoples with these sacred lands. An overall “theme” is the importance of balance, harmony, and deep respect for nature and our connection to it.
If I can average 50 miles a day, a distance I am working toward, I am estimating about $4000-$6000 for the tour itself. Add $2000 or so for writing and self-publishing the book (my third). I am estimating a total of at least, $8000, and am seeking sponsors of all or part of this.
To follow my posts about my bicycle tour, follow #BicycleTour2022
For helping me fund this cause and adventure, I am offering donation bonuses:
GoFundMe.org Donations Bonuses:
$25– Free autographed copy of my book, WindWalker: Journey into Science, Self, and Spirit
$50—Free autographed copies of my latest book, Guru on the Mountain:Chiggers, Lizards & Desert Heat: My Vision Quest to Discover the Source of Spirit, and WindWalker
$100 or above—Free autographed copy of Tour book when it comes out, plus both Guru and WindWalker autographed copies now.
Below is a short revised bio and the tour routes I am currently planning:
Darrell G. Yardley, PhD, LPC, Author, is Professor Emeritus of Zoology at Clemson University, licensed professional counselor (retired), Dr. Yardley is a national speaker and educator, and avid bicycler and gardener. In fact, he has recently sold his truck and is bicycling full time as a lifestyle change in support of doing his part for climate change. His credo is: reduce, repair, repurpose, recycle, and rot (rot being a stand-in for “compost”); living in balance and harmony with Nature and each other, and walking and riding softly on the land.
In addition to his two books, WindWalker: Journey into Science, Self, and Spirit(2000) and The Guru on the Mountain: Chiggers, Lizards & Desert Heat: My Vision Quest to Discover the Source of Spirit (2020), he has published over 75 scientific papers in professional journals in evolutionary genetics, two Psychobiology of Healing manuals, for which he lectured nationally for continuing education credits to mental health counselors, social workers, and nurses from 2001-2004.
|Utah Cliffs Loop||St George, UT||Hatch, UT||113||Zion NP, Bryce Canyon, Sevier Desert|
|North||Hatch, UT||Panguitch, UT||15|
|Western Express||3||Cedar City, UT||Dolores, CO||441||Cedar Breaks, Escalante, and Natural Bridges National Monuments; Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks; and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.|
|Drop South||Dolores, CO||Silver City, NM||387||No Adventure Cycling maps on this stretch. I’ll be “winging it” through Navajo country. Thank goodness for Google Maps’ bicycle routes!|
|Gila Dwellings loop||Silver City, NM||60|
|Southern Tier||2||San Lorenzo, NM||El Paso, TX||158|
|4||El Paso, Tx||Del Rio, TX||432.6|
|5||Del Rio, Tx||Navasota, TX||433|
|5||Navasota, TX||New Roads, LA||389|
|6||New Roads, LA||DeFuniak Springs, FL||432|
|7||DeFuniak Springs, FL||St. Augustine, FL||391|