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updated: 4/24/2013 9:34 PM

Father-son bike trip to raise money for well in Africa

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Scott McCanles

On May 1, 2013, Scott McCanles and his son Kurt are embarking on an 8,000-mile expedition by bicycle through South America, whilst raising money to fund a well in Africa. Their goals are enormously ambitious in and of themselves, however, the trip differs from those attempted by most cycle-tourists given the area of the world chosen and for a few other reasons.

This trip will be a continuation of Kurt's 2010 cycling tour, as they will begin where he left off in Cuenca, Ecuador. They will brave the infamous terrain of the Ecuadorian Andes, the choking altitude of the Peruvian highlands, the hurricane-force winds of the Bolivian Antiplano, the broken road of the Chilean Carretera Austral, and the bitter cold temperatures of Argentina's Patagonia. They will be in Ushuaia, Argentina eight months later to celebrate New Year's Eve in the world's southernmost city.

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In 1996, alcoholism drove Scott out of his son's life and though they have stayed in contact, the father missed a large part of his youth. Scott have lived in Chicago and Kurt in Washington State. Having gone through recovery and adopting a healthy lifestyle, they find a desire to reconnect, and are at the right point to undertake this journey to learn about forgotten cultures, explore unspoiled landscapes, and rediscover one another. Kurt has cycled over 20,000 miles through 24 countries and 22 U.S. states while Scott is new to cycling.

This is an opportunity of a lifetime for a father-son duo who haven't lived together for over 17 years. They will support one another as they venture into areas seldom traveled by bicycle. They will cycle 45 miles per day, 5 days a week, reserving weekends for tasks such as updating the progress for their followers. They are setting aside four separate weeks to volunteer in local communities.

They have decided to raise $10,000 for The Water Project because they strongly believe in the power of giving and even a small donation will ensure clean water, a humanitarian necessity. They are working overtime to fund this adventure out of their own savings so 100 percent of donations will go directly to funding this well project. Once funded, donors can track the well's progress via GPS coordinates and photographs.

They will also be maintaining a video-blog of our travels during our trip and are currently in the process of filming a short fundraising video. Visit http://thewaterproject.org/community/profile/kurt-mccanles.

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