I had my doubts. Now I know. I should not be here. This is no country for old men. It’s a country for young people. Freewheelin’. Surfin’.

And there, in the middle of it all, am I, cycling through what must be one of the most beautiful parts of the world. Trying to raise awareness and money for An Saol in California. Trying to cycle 1,000 km with my two friends. Sweating in the heat. Getting a sore back side. Being so tired and exhausted each evening that it’s almost impossible to gather my thoughts.

I am thinking how much Pádraig must have enjoyed it when he was here one summer on his first J1. He probably said it, but I don’t remember. Or maybe I was too busy to listen. Now I’m thinking it should be him traveling up from Hollywood to Napa, going to the out-of-this-world beaches, enjoying the sun on his skin, listening to the sea, the music, the people.

Someone wrote to me that Pádraig was the original ‘Into the Wild’ person. If I think what all of this means … The point is that he should be doing this trip. And so he will. This thing about Alaska I’ve been on for a long time is not a pipe dream.

What I’m doing here these days is good, at least it’s meant to be good. An Saol and the An Saol Project is reaching people who will share it with their friends, they will spread the word here in the US. And who knows? These two weeks of being in a country for young and beautiful people doing the impossible might help making the impossible possible.

(And really: I’m not so old – and neither are my two co-cyclists and friends!)