Guest Post: Custom Canines' Pedal 4 Paws Journey Recap


This is a guest post from Lisa and Jeff Arndt, a couple who recently biked cross-country to raise awareness and funds for a cause providing service dogs to children with autism. To read their other posts about this adventure, click here and here.


My husband and I took an amazing journey by tandem bicycle across the southern tier of the United States from March 9 through April 29 with Bubba's Pampered Pedalers. Since we embarked on the Pedal 4 Paws ride as a fundraiser for Custom Canines Service Dog Academy, Verizon provided us with several devices: a Samsung Galaxy tablet and Samsung Note II phone, as well as portable charging systems. Custom Canines is a nonprofit organization supported by volunteers who train amazing service dogs and place them free of charge with people who find the dogs help change their lives.

These devices from Verizon proved invaluable, and we used them almost continuously along the 52-day, 2,858 mile journey, in sometimes very remote areas of the southern United States. We blogged daily about our journey to keep our loved ones (and anyone else interested) informed with the help of the Samsung tablet. There were many times on country roads in Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas where we saw nothing but Border Patrol vehicles and a few wild horses for 6-7 hours, but we could still text our friends, take photos, and one day we even Skyped in the hot desert sun with our young godchildren in Wisconsin who were building a snowman while we were sweltering. It was amazing, and we were so thankful to Verizon for its strong signal and network.

We mounted the Note II to the handlebar of our tandem. We downloaded our cue sheets here so we could follow along on our route turn by turn. We used it to find restaurants in upcoming towns and daily weather reports. Through dust and sand storms in the desert to the one rainy day we rode through, the heat and humidity of many days, the cold of innumerable nights in our tent, and even when we used them so much the battery drained, the devices never missed a beat. We have amazing pictures that we will cherish and reminisce of the amazing scenery, lovely people and animals we shared the road with, the majority taken with the Note II.

People are welcome to read more about the actual journey on the Custom Canines blog. We were able to raise about $10,000 for Custom Canines, which is short of our goal but still incredibly humbling and will be put to good use to fund the raising and training of more amazing service dogs for children who need them. We always need and gratefully accept donations.

We are loyal Verizon customers already and are forever grateful to the company for its generous donation of the devices and including us on their Midwest blog. What did we learn from this amazing journey we completed? Whatever your dream or bucket list, do not wait for tomorrow. Live your life to the fullest today; slow down and enjoy the small things. We will always be grateful we took this trip and the sacrifices we made to make it happen. Thank you to the entire team at Verizon!

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