Today, I'd like to feature Dr. David W. Powers, author of a fascinating book about his travels. Not only does he chronicle his literal paths, but he also offers his straight forward thoughts and observations with no sugar coating attached.
The following is my book review and a special interview with Dr. Powers:
Becoming a Turtle
If someone asked you what animal most closely represents your personality and approach to life, what would it be? Would you choose the intimidating tiger, stalking its prey? Would the vision of a tiny, adorable Yorkie with a pink bow in her hair, hopping around on miniature legs and waiting for someone to pat her on the head be your choice? How about a graceful dolphin, skimming along the open ocean waters on a brilliantly sunny day?
Interestingly, Dr. David W. Powers opted for the turtle as his symbol of personal likeness. In his book, Becoming a Turtle: My Journey Across North America, he not only explains his similarities to the turtle, but also takes us on an amazing journey. He was engaged in a solo automobile trip from South Carolina to Alaska commencing May 26, 1999 in his 1991 Ford Explorer named Betsy, otherwise known as his "turtle shell." With 168,903 miles already logged on Betsy, it was intriguing to see exactly how far the shell would actually be transporting this turtle.
His extensive journey was not merely a wanderlust-induced road trip, but was also fueled by the ultimate purpose of participating in an Alaskan marathon that would benefit The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. There would be may miles to cover before reaching intended objective.
Complete with “Event Stops,” which were special breaks in the trip that were pre-planned for visiting friends, family, parks and important landmarks, Dr. Powers provided a day by day diary of his adventures, informing us of many fascinating facts and opinions about a wide variety of locations along his path. His sidebars offer information about different types of turtles, as well as key data about “must see” stops that he had encountered.
As a passionate travel lover, I could truly appreciate that he had taken the time to include details and helpful information as seen through the eyes of an enthusiastic and curiosity-driven turtle. Part of the adventure, as he points out in the book, is in the numerous characters one meets during the journey.
Don’t think for a moment that this turtle was living it up in the shell of luxury. He actually opted to spend most nights sleeping (or not) in his shell, Betsy, having parked in truck stops and campgrounds. So much for the thrill of the open road!! He even offers valuable tips of hygiene rules for travelers.
One would expect that his story would end on Day 46, which was July 12, 1999; however, he surprises the reader with an Epilogue bonus accounting of an ambitious climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.
I enjoyed the vivid descriptions, factual information and personal observations during his travels, as well as his habit of displaying his Christian flag to commemorate special moments. If you’ve ever had a desire to pack up your vehicle and head out on the open roads, you will absolutely devour this book! Visit http://www.drdavidpowers.com for additional information. LINK to purchase Becoming a Turtle is:http://stores.ebay.com/Museum-of-Unnatural-History/_i.html?_nkw=becoming&_sid=10428586
Interview with Dr. David W. Powers
Q. From reading your Web site, it appears that you are all of these:
Author, mountain climber, professional scuba diver, founder/Pastor of The Pilgrimage Church, martial art black belt, civilian and military combat paramedic, veteran of two branches of military service-Marines & Army, founding member of the Department of Homeland Security, trained improv actor, long distance marathon runner, bicyclist, husband, dad to three feral boys.You speak to groups on Teamwork, goal setting, perseverance and inspiration with a “get off your butt and do something” theme. Is there anything you’d like to add to these? You sound like someone with some amazing stories to write!
A. I'm definitely not a 'motivational' speaker, but I do love inspiring people to do something more, bigger, or better.
Q. I read that you are Founder/Pastor of The Pilgrimage Church-Could you elaborate more about this? A little bit of history of the church and its statement of faith?
A. We started on January 1, 2012, the first day of the year that the Mayans told us the world would end. We're non-denominational, more of a community church model, and very non-traditional in how we do things. Our focus is on social justice efforts, living out our faith in action. Our philosophy is that we're not a church, but a movement where church happens.
Q. I saw Becoming a Turtle—My Journey Across North America being offered on your Web site. Can you elaborate about the book? What message are you conveying in the book?
A. The book was written after I set off on a three month solo journey by automobile across North America. I drove from Myrtle Beach to Anchorage Alaska to run a marathon. Three months by myself, sleeping out of my car like a vagabond. It was an awesome adventure, and the book tells about it.
4 Q. Have you written other books that are available?
A. I have written several other books. One is on my Africa trip when I summited Mt. Kilimanjaro. In your line of work, another of my books is the collected stories and illustrations of my grandfather, a World War II Marine Corps veteran.
5 Q. What is the main message that you would like to convey to people through your business?
A. My main message that I try to convey through everything is that you have to find life balance before you can really enjoy life.
6 Q. You certainly are an action kind of guy—briefly, what journey has led you to where you are today?
A. I was inspired early on by my heritage. My people were Vikings, always exploring and seeking new lands. After all, it was the Vikings that first discovered the New World. That's in my blood and comes out as a wanderlust that keeps me wanting to travel and try new things.
Q. What makes Dr. David Powers smile?
I smile so much when my kids do silly things. They'll draw pics of me fighting zombies or these big huge superhero parties. Or they'll say the funniest things.
8 Q. After such a diversified background, what would surprise us about you?
A. I'm a softie and love romantic comedies.
Thank you for visiting today! May God richly bless you and keep you safe in His loving arms.