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The Good in America

by Loll Designs |

Trek’s hard working stallion appropriately named Chief, is a 1969 GMC Handi Van.
Who hasn’t thought about what a gift it would be to travel to every state in the USA just to see what’s within the borders? In the spirit of traveling authors and journalists like Terkle, Steinbeck, and Kuralt, Trek Thunder Kelly is doing just that. Travelling through Minnesota, the 35thstate on the road of his adventure, Trek stopped in at Loll HQ in Duluth last Thursday to say hi and see what Duluth has to offer. I have celebrated life twice with Trek in both 2010 and 2012 in the high desert north of Reno while participating in Burning Man, and so became acquainted with his genuine primal self. To say Trek is a crazy dude is an understatement. He has been on the road for more than 3 years, first travelling around the world, literally, then living as a hermit close to Monument Valley, and now visiting every state in the US searching for among other things, “The Good in America.” Trek plans to write a book about his journey but in the interim you can check out his website here. Trek’s red, white, and blue 1969 GMC Handi Van that he fondly calls Chief, complete with flames and racing stripes, carries him on his journey like a sort of wild iron pony. He even added solid steel bumpers and a roll cage to improve the outcome of his odds of hitting deer and having a roll over. A newer more fuel efficient vehicle might be more practical in today’s fuel conscious economy but somehow on this journey the suped-up van fits the brand that is Trek a whole lot better.
Thunder Kelly visits Park Point in Duluth, MN. Park Point is the largest sand spit in the world
While in Duluth I fed Trek at the Northern Waters Smokehaus, walked him out on Park Point across the Lift Bridge, drove him through downtown, parked in front of Bob Dylan’s childhood home at 519 3rd Street West and 5th Avenue North, stopped at upper Chester Creek, and attended a short speech by mayor Don Ness on sustainability and the city’s plan to use biomass to energize the city in the future. He spent the night at my house and helped me drop my kids at school the next day before we ventured off to Hawks Ridge to view the hawk migration, and then he had to be on his way. He is only spending a max of 5 days in each state. His next stops in Minnesota were the Split Rock Lighthouse on Lake Superior and then the headwaters of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca. Trek is part hermit but with a contradiction; he really enjoys meeting people and learning about their story, and he loves telling his. If I could sum up the vibe of what Trek is doing, I would say it feels like a touch of The WASP by The Doors with a heavy dose of present day mystic all wrapped up in a Kerouacian road trip filled with the people, the beauty, and the promise of what is America. At the time of this post Trek was having carburetor trouble while fighting strong west head winds in North Dakota; wish him luck. Follow Trek on his journey and vicariously share a part of living in the moment that is his way of life every day. Written by Greg Benson // Lollygagger