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Perspective: 3,000 miles

Jim Kline

Twenty years ago today, at 12 noon Pacific Daylight Time, I began pedaling a bicycle purchased and outfitted just one day earlier in Everett, Washington.

By late September, that 3000 mile journey would end in Sharpsburg, Maryland. Just two months earlier, a sudden and unexpected end to my teaching career had sent me reeling.

Many friends questioned why I would undertake the time and expense involved in this cross-country adventure while unemployed. My response? “When I'm battling winds, rain, heat, altitude, and traffic, I might become exhausted, but I won't be depressed.” I knew I needed a success at this point in my life, and completion of this solo journey provided it.

Carried with me were three family mementos — a micrometer once used by my machinist father, a cookie cutter belonging to my mother, and a pacifier reminding me of my infant grandson CJ.

Now, 20 years later, I look back on that ride with pride, nostalgia, and fondness. It was the best anti-depressant I could have imagined.

I'm Jim Kline, and that is my Perspective.

DeKalb County resident Jim Kline grew up in Genoa and earned a B.S. in Communications from the University of Illinois and an M.S. in Outdoor Teacher Education from Northern Illinois University.