November 1, 2014

Missouri woman bicycling across county, traveling across world

Stops in Standish en route to Florida

James Kuch
Carla Norton from Kansas City, Mo., stopped in Standish on her way around the world using only her bicycle.
By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
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ARENAC COUNTY — If you had the opportunity to travel around the world, would you do it?

That’s exactly what Carla Norton, 25, of Kansas City, Mo. is doing.

Norton stopped at the Standish Historical Depot on Thursday, Aug. 4, 751.7 miles into her worldwide journey. Allen and Janell Wheeler, of Standish, gave Norton a place to rest on her way through Arenac County.

Norton rode through Standish on US-23. She added that she is thankful for the Wheelers for taking her in for the night.

“I have only met terrific people along my way,” she said. “I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ This is great. I have camped out behind bakeries and fairgrounds, so this is great.”

“My mom called my wife from the depot and asked if Carla could stay with us,” Allen Wheeler said. “We already have some family that is staying this week, but (Janell) said, ‘We got one more visitor staying the night.’”

Norton said her trip began at Osceola, Wis. because it was a good starting point.

“We drove 500 miles from Missouri and picked a spot,” she said. “It was not really planned; I just started there.”

Norton said she hopes to make it around the world on her bicycle and by sailboat, doing volunteer work for room and board. She added that she feels like she was destined to take this trip.

“Ever since I was 15 or 16 (years old) I have wanted to do this,” she said. “I wanted to get out of the country, learn about different cultures, meet people.”

Norton said she recently graduated from the University of Kansas and thought this was the perfect time to take the trip.

“I don’t have kids, I don’t have debt, I feel like this is a good time in my life to take advantage of this and just go out and do it,” she said.

Norton wants to travel the world by bicycle and sailboat to be as eco-friendly as possible. She added that she also does not have much money, and traveling by bicycle may be the best option she has for seeing the world.

“I only have about $1,000 in the bank right now,” she said. “I think getting around the world by human power and the elements, like the wind, is pretty cool.”

Norton said she rides between 50 and 75 miles per day and plans on getting to Lansing before heading to Niagara Falls.

“I want to work my way back toward Rhode Island,” she said. “I used to live there for a while and I have some friends there.”

From Rhode Island, Norton said she plans on traveling down the Atlantic Coast to Georgia or Florida, where she hopes to get on a boat and head to Europe.

“Maybe I won’t find a boat that is going to Europe,” she said. “Maybe it will be going to South America, or Hawaii or Alaska. I will work as a crew member (on a boat) for room and board.”

Norton said she does not have an exact plan on where she will go.

“I really want to hit six of the seven continents,” she said. “I think I will avoid Antarctica.”

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