Cyclist Floyd Lampart made it to Lubec, Maine, Wednesday, completing the first leg in his 12,000-mile fundraising trip around the perimeter of the lower 48 states.
Lampart, who is raising funds for the Tri-Lakes Humane Society in Saranac Lake, plans to stop at the most eastern, western, southern and northern post offices in the continental United States.
The 67-year-old left his home in Lake Clear on Thursday, April 4, and traveled about 485 miles to get to the Lubec post office, which is near the Canadian border.
Lake Clear resident Floyd Lampart poses for a photo in front of the post office in Lubec, Maine. The post office is one of four geographically distant ones that Lampart will visit on his 12,000-mile trip around the perimeter of the continental United States.
(Photo provided by Floyd Lampart)
(Enterprise map — Peter Crowley)
"It's going very arduously," Lampart said by phone late Wednesday morning, shortly after leaving the first post office. "I've had really crappy weather and a lot of wind and rain, and it's been the toughest one week of bike riding that I've ever done. But it's going fine. I'm moving right along, just gritting my teeth. Things will get better, I'm sure."
While in Lubec, Lampart planned to take a side trip to a lighthouse in West Quoddy Head, the most easterly point in the lower 48 states.
From Maine, Lampart will head down the East Coast to a post office in Key West, Fla. He'll then head to San Diego, Calif., and up the West Coast to a post office in La Push, Wash. From there, he'll go to the final post office in Angle Inlet, Minn., before heading home.
The journey is expected to take about six months.
Lampart expects to average about 75 to 100 miles per day. So far, he's been able to stay within that range. However, the distance per day isn't always something he can control. Right now, because the weather isn't conducive to camping, his daily destinations are determined by where motels are located.
"I've had to push it a couple of days, but out of necessity more than anything else because there was no place to stay," he said. "If I would have been camping, I could have stopped anyplace. I mean, there's still snow in places up here in New England. The lakes are still frozen over, and it's winter."
"I talked to one old-timer yesterday, and he said it's the crummiest spring that he can remember. This guy was in his 70s. It's not a very good spring for anybody, I guess."
Lampart said that the highlight of the trip has been that he's met a lot of nice people.
"I just stopped this morning at a chocolatier here in Lubec," he said. "I just wanted some chocolate. I pulled in, and I said, 'Can I buy some dark chocolate?' The guy said, 'I've been reading about you in the paper.' So he just gave me a bunch of chocolate and wished me well, and I gave him the Facebook page."
Because of the length of his trip and because it is for these causes, he has attracted media attention along the way.
While Lampart is doing the trip for fun and an adventure, he's also raising money for programs that benefit animals. He owns two cocker spaniels, a springer spaniel and two cats.
He hopes to raise $20,000 for a sprinkler system at the Tri-Lakes Humane Society, which houses dogs and cats, and $100,000 for a new veterinary clinic at the Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah.
Lampart chose Best Friends Animal Society because he wanted to "enable the clinic to diagnose and investigate illness more quickly so that all the animals in the Society's care are healthy, happy and ready for their forever homes," according to a press release.
Lampart and his wife, Martha, are longtime, loyal donors to the Utah organization and usually visit the society's sanctuary in Kanab at least once a year. They have adopted five dogs from Best Friends over the past seven years.
To follow Lampart's progress and for more information about Best Friends, visit Facebook at www.facebook.com/PedalForPawsBikeRideBestFriends.
People who want to make a pledge to the Tri-Lakes Humane Society can visit their website or call Martha Lampart at 518-891-0319 or email email@example.com.