Woman sets out to see America with her mower
— When most people set out on a crosscountry journey, they prep a car or bicycle, but one woman who stopped here while making such a journey Thursday was towing a much different ride: a Honda HT-3813 lawn mower.
Kelly Dvorak, 23, began her trek in her hometown of Byron, Mich., on June 24 after graduating from Central Michigan University with a degree in geology. Yearning to travel after graduation but lacking the funds to leave home, Dvorak said she came up with a plan: mow lawns in each place she visits as a way to raise money to continue the trip.
“I like to travel in the summertime and I just wanted to see all the states,” she said Thursday morning. “So this just seemed like a good way to fund the trip and travel as long as I want.”
Dvorak said the trip will help her find her favorite state, after which she plans put down roots and start a career related to her studies.
She said does not have a set fee for her services, but instead lets customers pay what they want and even employs a barter system. In Maine, she did some work in exchange for a haircut after the lady recognized her in the parking lot of a store. In Hartford, Conn., she did work in exchange for a tour around the capitol building.
Dvorak said she plans to visit the 48 continental states. So far, she’s traveled to Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. She said the next few states she will travel to include Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Dvorak spends nights in Wal-Mart parking lots and state parks, where she sets up her bedroom in the trailer after unloading the equipment. The trailer includes a small window on the side and a solar panel, which she uses to charge her phone and laptop, she said.
She has also met generous families who have asked her to stay for dinner and spend a night in their homes. Her plan was not to use the trailer, but instead her mower, which is liquidcooled tractor.
“Originally, I was going to drive the lawn mower across the country and I thought that lawn mower would hold up, it’s liquidcooled, so the motor would last longer,” she said.
However, due to safety concerns, Dvorak decided to load her trailer to her Saturn SUV and travel that way.
On Thursday, Dvorak stopped in Elkton to see her aunt and uncle, Suzanne and Glenn Wright. Suzanne said she found out about her niece’s plan through Facebook.
Suzanne said she and Glenn donated a push mower as another mode for her to cut lawns, as well as some other items for her trip.
“I think it’s great,” Dvorak said. “I think it’s really cool, really generous of them.”
Her parents are supportive of her choice to travel around the country, but they do have some safety concerns, Dvorak said. She she checks in with her par- ents and sending them her location via her phone.
Suzanne said she shares the same concerns as Dvorak’s parents for her safety, but knows Dvorak will be safe.
“I know Kelly can take of herself and she’s got a great head on her shoulders,” Su- zanne said.
To follow Dvorak’s journey, visit www.facebook. com/ mowingacrossamerica/.
Kelly Dvorak sits on her Honda HT-3813 tractor with her weed whacker and push mower donated to her by her aunt and uncle, Suzanne and Glenn Wright, on Thursday.