The ride was conceived in 2008, on a walk from the lowest point in the United States (Badwater) to the highest (Mt. Whitney.) Daniel and Derek had each experienced significant involuntary disruptions of their own lives, and were “walking their own, individual trails of tears. Out of those walks, an idea was birthed. Our idea was to support others in moving beyond the hurt that comes from the disruption of a child’s and family’s “developmental/human ecology.”

As there are many Trails of Tears on earth, the one most familiar to Americans is the Cherokee Trail of Tears, from Georgia to Oklahoma. We chose this trail as the first trail we will retrace. And, we are riding the trail backward, as a symbol of finding and winding our ways back home – while fully knowing that home will never be the same, yet the journey matters.

Daniel and Derek both have deep interests in family systems that support kids and that support adult thriving. While on the ride, we will continue to adapt Derek’s work in youth development to supporting people who are going through the disruption/change of their family/network ecologies.

They’ll use the ride to promote the idea that people everywhere have been dislocated, that dislocation disrupts the healthy human ecology that protects most people, and this disruption has long term (life long and generational) effects. They are both committed to supporting children, youth and adults in living their own journey from disruption and dislocation to resilience through connection.

The Ride is being sponsored by The Changing Children’s Worlds Foundation.