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Northwoods native "Going Somewhere" with new book about cross-country bike tripSubmitted: 07/01/2014
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Northwoods native
CONOVER - Conover native Brian Benson never considered himself a cross-country bicyclist or a book author.

Now, he's both.

We met the Northland Pines High School graduate, and Brian told us about how he met a woman named Rachel on a backpacking trip through Guatemala " and how she wanted to bike across America.

"I pretty much instantly just said, 'yeah, I've been thinking about that forever!,'" Brian laughed, recalling the conversation. "I'd been thinking about it for about six seconds."

But Brian called himself head over heels for Rachel, and soon after, they set out from his parents' home near Conover " simply "headed west".

Brian got to know Rachel well, but over thousands of miles, sometimes they ran out of things to talk about.

"I ran out of things to think about, too," he said. "I had this idea that I was going to be thinking these deep, deep thoughts out on the road. But I wasn't. I was thinking, I really want a cheeseburger, or my butt hurts, or why I am I doing this?"

He says he got to know Rachel better than he could have imagined.

"You are exhausted and malnourished and unshowered, so you see each other at your best and your worst," he chuckled.

Years later, the journey is now a published book.

"I do feel good about it. I feel good mainly because Rachel really likes it," Brian said.

How else would Brian do a book reading and signing tour but by bike?

He'll travel the Northwoods and Upper Midwest.

You'll need to read the book to find out if Rachel and Brian made it to the West Coast " and to hear the end of stories like meeting this bike mechanic.

"This guy named Jeff was probably about seven feet tall and 500 pounds. I'm not exaggerating. Enormous," Brian said. "He was also, I should mention, too big to ride bikes. He broke bikes. He just couldn't do it."

This Northwoods native would love to tell you that tale and many others.

The book is called "Going Somewhere".

Brian has a book reading and signing on Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Mercer Library, and will do the same next Tuesday at the library in Washburn.

Follow the link below to purchase the book.

Related Weblinks:
Going Somewhere on Amazon

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 02/22/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

People hoping to keep a violent child sex offender from moving into their Forest County community needed to go to Shawano County to make their case today. Newswatch 12's Dakota Sherek is there and will bring you updates on what happens at the hearing and the judge's ruling which we expect tonight.

We talk to two local resource officers about how their jobs have changed over the years. Some of that change has happened because of school violence across the country and right here in the Northwoods.

And we talk to the executive director of the Birkebeiner race in Hayward about the enthusiasm people in the area have with the big event coming up this weekend.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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MINOCQUA - You don't need to wait for the grass to turn green for golfing.

Minocqua's Ice Golf is an end of season charity tournament coming up on March 3rd.

The tournament raised more than $18,000  last year for charities including the food pantry and Dr. Kate Hospice.

It has become a Northwoods tradition for some people.

"First year we had it, we had only like 35 golfers, now last year we had over 300 golfers," says Albee's owner Randy Albrecht.

If you don't have a group, they'll put into one.

After everyone is done putting, there will be dinner and a raffle.

For tickets and info call: Albee's Yacht Club at 715-356-1366 OR The Thirsty Whale at 715-356-7108.


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MADISON - An effort to clean up voting records caused problems for some voters during Tuesday's spring primary.

Some voters' information was removed, even though it was current.

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ELKHART, IN - Shelters are open to assist people forced from their homes by flooding as rivers swollen by heavy rain and melting snow rise in Indiana, Michigan and other parts of the Midwest.

Flood warnings are in effect for parts of several states Thursday, from Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio to Texas and Louisiana.

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TOMAHAWK - A two-time World Snowmobile Derby Champion raced for something bigger than just himself at last month's derby.

Tomahawk native Nick Van Strydonk decided to design a custom racing suit and matching helmet to be auctioned off the last day of the derby.

Wednesday, he lived up to that promise with a larger donation than he ever expected.

"I'm glad I was at work and sitting down in my chair because it was mind blowing," said Van Strydonk.

At this year's derby in Eagle River, Van Strydonk raced in a custom made suit and helmet which he planned to auction off the last day of the derby.

"It was actually a really cool suit and I only wore it once," said Van Strydonk.

He planned to raise enough money to send at least three veterans on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight which is about $1,500 but much like his competition, he blew that goal away.

"I believe we were just at $5,000," said Van Strydonk.

Strydonk donated $3,000 to the Honor Flight Foundation which will send six veterans on an upcoming flight. He also gave Wounded Warriors $1,000 and $500 to the Tomahawk VFW Post Wednesday.

"It never ceases to amaze me the gratitude and the love that the people of Tomahawk and surrounding A two-time World Snowmobile Derby Champion raced for something bigger than just himself at last month's derby.

Tomahawk native Nick Van Strydonk decided to design a custom racing suit and matching helmet to be auctioned off the last day of the derby.

Wednesday, he lived up to that promise with a larger donation than he ever expected.

"I'm glad I was at work and sitting down in my chair because it was mind blowing," said Van Strydonk.

At this year's derby in Eagle River, Van Strydonk raced in a custom made suit and helmet which he planned to auction off the last day of the derby.

"It was actually a really cool suit and I only wore it once," said Van Strydonk.

He planned to raise enough money to send at least three veterans on the Never Forgotten Honor Flight which is about $1,500 but much like his competition, he blew that goal away.

"I believe we were just at $5,000," said Van Strydonk.

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Play Video

WAUSAU - Anger over last Wednesday's Florida school shooting could force Congress to find some agreement on gun control. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) thinks it's about time.

The debate on gun rights and public safety has been a big focus since 17 people died at Stoneman Douglas High School.

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WAUSAU - Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) hopes to help family caregivers by offering them support and resources.

It's all part of the RAISE Family Caregivers Act signed into law by President Trump last month. RAISE stands for Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage.

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