James and I hosted two young men – Min Ho Park Jaewon Heo – from South Korea who were riding bicycles this summer from Los Angeles to New York. They contacted us through Warmshowers.org, where we offer a room for bicycle riders to stay as they travel across America. They are following Route 66 from Amarillo to Edmond, then turning north to Stillwater and then Kansas City, before turning back east towards St. Louis.
We had a chance to visit with them about their travels and below are a few tidbits of information we discovered:
- They both served in the Korean military. Every male serves two years. North Korean aggression is a really big deal to them and their country.
- South Korea is about the size of Oklahoma.
- They rode across the Mojave desert and got stuck without water or cell phone service. Luckily a passing motorist stopped and gave them water so they could go on to their next stop. It took them 1 week to cross the Mojave.
- They thought the Grand Canyon was very spectacular. Their favorite stop on the trip so far. They did say they were not doing a lot of tourists stuff, instead just traveling and meeting people along the way. “No time, just pedal.”
- They spoke broken English but used Google Translate quite a bit to communicate with us.
- Both were on summer break from “University”.
- They were fans of President Trump because “he is doing something about North Korea.” It was quite obvious North Korea is a major cause of concern for them.
We fed them dinner and breakfast. They were doing a lot of camping, a few hotels, and just started staying at Warmshowers hosts, which they liked a lot. It is always interesting to meet people from other cultures and we enjoy sharing our hometown with travelers.