An adventure at Holy Land USA had been on my bucket list for years. Abandoned since the mid 1980s, the Christian theme park is frequently featured on top ten lists of sites for urban exploration. The crumbling remains sit on the peak of a hill in one of Waterbury’s more downtrodden neighborhoods. It’s focal point is a 56-foot cross. Barbed wire hugs the base of the massive structure, wrapping around “our lady of peace.” The park is something quite different from the biblical world brought to life by local attorney, John Baptist Greco over 60 years ago. Headless statues and dilapidated buildings make it difficult to imagine that Holy Land USA used to welcome 40,000 visited annually.
When I set out to ride my bike across the country, there were some weird ass looks and some naysayers. But there always will be, no matter what you set out to do. And then you get out there and it’s beautiful and it’s challenging and it changes you. Adventures, especially long ones, are pure magic for our well-being, letting us reflect about the hard stuff and giving us permission to have entire days of thinking about everything and nothing at the same time. The days turn into weeks, the moon shines and hides, and the body shifts its calluses from the soul to the feet. It’s so simple and so freeing.
Joel and I have seen each other a few times while he’s been on the trail and each time is better. It’s pretty incredible to watch the transformation of someone you love, knowing how it feels at least somewhat and finding my own power in challenge through his stories. He’ll be home next week and I can’t wait. But until then, I hope he soaks up a few more little bits of trail life to bring back to home life. Because a home life with more of a trail life vibe... yea, maybe that’s what we all need.
❤️ @boeljehnke ❤️
Looking up for a different perspective of Pont del Bisbe, or Bishop’s Bridge, in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. If you look closely at the underside of the bridge, there is a mysterious skull with a dagger pierced through it. It is said that if you walk under it, look up and make a wish, your wish will be granted. I guess good things are waiting to be discovered when you look up! :)