Lawnmower man rides for U.S. troops

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On June 14, King Remsberg III jumped on a John Deere LT 150 lawnmower at 10 a.m. in Paso Robles, Calif., and began driving east.

Tuesday night, almost one month later, Remsberg rolled into Craig on his green machine en rout to New York City.

Remsberg's goal is to reach the Twin Towers Memorial in New York City on approximately Sept. 11 in commemoration of the terrorist attack last year.

His goal is to raise $100,000 in donations, all of which will be put toward care packages that will be sent to U.S. armed service members in the Middle East.

Remsberg, a Gulf War veteran, said he is doing this because he knows how the soldiers overseas feel right now.

"This is not a war you are trying to win but instead you are just trying to suppress the opposition," he said. "In these wars soldiers begin asking themselves, 'Why am I here?' I remember feeling like that in the Gulf War and what it meant to receive support from home."

Remsberg, who is going to begin pilot lessons soon at a school in Pennsylvania, said he sees this as an opportunity to travel the country.

"I used to live in Africa," he said. "But I've never taken time to explore my own country."

He chose to use a lawnmower because he thought it might help him get noticed along the way and generate more money for his fund-raising effort.

"It's definitely a spectacle," he said.

Remsberg stopped his lawnmower about 15 miles west of Craig on Highway 40 to take a break Tuesday afternoon.

Sunburned and a little fatigued, he asked what day of the week it was.

He had a reservation at the Super 8 Motel in Craig.

It would be only the third time since his trip began that he would sleep with a roof over his head. Usually he just pulls over and sleeps under the stars, he said.

He's hauling a tent in his trailer, but said he hasn't figured out how to put it up.

One of the other hotels Remsberg stayed in was in Las Vegas, where the owner hooked him up with a penthouse suite after Remsberg told him his story.

But Remsberg said he felt guilty spending the night in such luxurious conditions knowing he'd be roughing it again the next day.

"I couldn't even take advantage of the hot tub," he said. "But tonight I'm definitely taking a shower."

Remsberg said normally he cools off and bathes by jumping in streams along the side of the road.

His biggest challenge so far has been fatigue and boredom as he putters along at 5 miles per hour, he said, but he finds ways to entertain himself.

"I pick up car parts on the side of the road and try to figure out what kind of a car they are off of sometimes," he said. "I also bought a lot of Jack London books on tape."

Remsberg said he budgeted $3,000 for his journey, which includes the cost of his lawnmower.

He's hauling 17 gallons of gas, 3 gallons of water and 20 cans of tuna in a small trailer behind the mower.

The trailer also contains a blanket, tent and anything he picks up or receives along the way.

A girl gave him a doll three days ago.

"I don't know what I'm going to do with all of these things if people continue giving me stuff," he said.

In his first month of travel, Remsberg has received a significant amount of attention, he said.

"I've had people on lawnmowers come up and ask if they can follow," he said. "I said no, but from now on I'm going to let them."

He said no because the area he was in at the time had winding, dangerous roads.

He has been trying to keep to rural areas with less traffic and on roads with shoulders, he said.

He's has also received a lot of attention from law enforcement, being pulled over 10 times, but has not had any problems yet.

"When I tell them what I'm doing they understand," he said.

One police officer stopped him, found out he was from California then asked where he was going.

When Remsberg said New York the police officer immediately turned and began walking away.

Remsberg said he asked the officer where he was going and the officer said, "It sounds like too much paperwork for me."

Remsberg said people have been very friendly to him as he drives along the side of the road.

He's met a lot of people also, he said.

A few nights ago in Utah, he stayed with a motorcycle gang, he said.

Another night in the middle of the desert in Utah at about 2 or 3 a.m., Remsberg was driving along the side of the road when three guys pulled over and got out of the truck.

"I didn't know if I should grab my knife or shake their hands," he said.

It turned out the guys were just wondering what he was doing and he shook their hands after talking to them for awhile.

"So far I haven't had any problems," he said. "Just a few flat tires."

Standing on the side of the road just east of Maybell Tuesday Remsberg said he thought Northwest Colorado was "beautiful," and said he looked forward to spending the night in a hotel.

"It's going to be nice to lie down and watch television in an air-conditioned room," he said. "It's going to be great."

Those who want to donate money to Remsberg's cause can make checks payable to:

U.S. Troop Fund

American National Bank

720 S. Greenville Ave.

Allen, Texas 75002

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