Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Crosscoutry Mower Trip

Joined by his dog Yoda, Paul Woods travels by day and sleeps in a tent at night. His vehicle: a riding mower. "You've got to be pretty strange and pretty weird to be driving a tractor mower across country," Woods, 44, said.

The Herald Journal of Logan caught up with Woods in the parking lot of Beaver Mountain ski resort, 107 miles north of Salt Lake City, near the Idaho border.

Woods' ultimate destination is Virginia, where he claims his late mother left him a house. He said he took care of her in Alaska until her death.

Woods said he left Alaska in 2005 and has been riding his mower or getting rides from sympathetic pickup drivers who hoist his vehicle in the back of the truck.

The mower's maximum speed is 15 mph, but it's weighted down by tools, snacks and the dog.

"I've spent more time fixing it than driving it," Woods said.

The president of Beaver Mountain, Ted Seeholzer, said it took Woods two days to drive 27 miles up U.S. 89 to reach the resort.

He spent two nights in a tent in the parking lot. Employees gave him a power cord so he could watch the 1971 movie "Billy Jack" on a portable DVD player.

"He bummed some tools, bought some gas and food," Seeholzer said by phone Wednesday. "He talked to everybody in the place, walked in like he was part of the company."

Woods departed Wednesday for the next town on U.S. 89, Garden City. The cold, windy canyon doesn't bother him.

"This is not cold," he told the Herald Journal. "Alaska can be cold. ... You have to wear goggles or your eyeballs will freeze."


Information from: The Herald Journal,

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press.

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