Biker to circle country, treks through Boone
There's no mistaking Leo Deever. If the sign on his bike doesn't give him away, the terrier on board will.
"Not anyone with a dog riding bikes; I'm the only one," he said.
Deever's nationwide travels started in Missouri, and this week he hit Boone. He stopped by Boone Drug downtown Tuesday to share stories and wisdom from his life on the road.
"The reason I wanted to start, I wanted to see if you could ride across the United States," he said.
And ride he has - up and down the northwest coast and beyond. The number of states, well, "that's not the point," he said.
"That's what people don't understand," Deever said, "There's tourists who will [ride] for awhile and quit... you can't just do it overnight."
Deever says he's 55-years-old and has been riding for five years. His first dog, Max, was stolen in Nebraska. The 8-month-old terrier, Sassy Max, was a gift from some fans. She's lived her whole life on the road and "loves it," he said.
He hesitates to guess how many states they lack, but said he's probably "almost half-way through."
Of course, "that's not the point."
"People ask me why I'm going in circles, but you know what, that's the point, and people don't understand," he said. "I ain't going to give up until I've accomplished all of it."
The point, he said, is to truly see everything, "go everywhere, do everything."
Occasionally, that means doubling back, visiting a state he's already trekked through, because there's always more to see. It can be a dangerous journey. Take his ride through Big Horn Mountain National Park.
"You was way, way up there," he said. "If you had dropped off a ledge, they'd have never found you."
His bike was even hit by a car one time, but he said it still beats his last job - washing dishes in a restaurant. "I got to thinking while washing, you know, I ain't going to stay here and do this for the rest of my life," he said.
Deever spends his days on the road and his nights camping or staying in the occasional motel. He takes a month off every now and then, "when [he] need[s] to rest," but it's all with his goals in mind.
He assures he never gets lonely and never thinks he made a mistake. Traveling gives him perspective. "Some places are completely different, then other places are almost the same," he said.
Boone, for example reminds him of Jackson Hole, Wyo.
"I love it here," Deever said. "I like mountain country."
And chances are he'll see a lot more. His newest goal is to raise money for the Humane Society, "to make sure every animal has a home."
For more information, or pictures from his travels, visit http://www.myspace.com/leoandmaxacrossamerica.