The Ride

Dustin and Katie are from Minneapolis MN. They began the Refuge Ride on the East Coast of GA and traveled 3,511 miles/5,650km for 97 days through 14 states to arrive on the West Coast of OR.


How it all began...

While performing in Switzerland, Dustin met a 10 year old boy who had just come from Syria. Dustin was told that the boy recently lost both of his parents because of the unrest. The moment was seared in Dustin's memory and he began thinking about how he could help the people of Syria affected by the civil war. After discussions with his wife Katie, the Refuge Ride was born.


During a spring training accident in Minnesota, Dustin broke his arm, delaying the ride for six weeks. On June 21, 2013 Dustin and Katie Kelm began riding 36 inch “big wheel” unicycles coast to coast across the United States.  


They rode unsupported, not relying on a support vehicle traveling with them throughout most of the tour.* In this way they identified with the many Syrian Refugees and Internally Displaced People who fled their homes with only the clothes on their backs. Support raised will aid those affected by the crisis in Syria.  


On October 9, 2013 Dustin and Katie completed their ride, having now unicycled across America to bring hope and help to displaced Syrians. Here are some stats from the ride:

  • 3511 miles/5650km
  • 97 days
  • 14 states: GA, AL, MS, TN, KY, IL, MO, KS, NE, CO, WY, UT, ID, OR
  • 11 flat tires
  • 1 broken hub
  • 822 gloves spotted on side of road
  • $39,500 in cash, check, and online donations (donations still welcome!)
  • approx. $19,000 worth of goods, services, food and lodging donated!
  • Katie is only the 2nd female to cross the USA on a unicycle
  • Dustin and Katie are the first pair of unicyclists to cross the USA

*Utilizing a last minute offer for a support vehicle to accompany Dustin and Katie from 1 September - 5 October greatly helped them get over the Rockies and through remote areas of the wild west.

The Refuge Ride Route

Day of Ride - Date - Cities Traveled - Miles 


GEORGIA

1 - June 21 - Tybee Island , Savannah, Pooler - (34) Trip Log

2 - June 22 - Pooler, Pembroke - (28) Trip Log

3 - June 23 - Pembroke, Brooklet, Statesboro - (29) Trip Log

4 - June 24 - Statesboro, Twin City, Swainsboro - (37) Trip Log

5 - June 25 - Rest/Logistics Work Day. (3.5) Trip Log

6 - June 26 - Swainsboro, Adrian, Dublin - (43) Trip Log

7 - June 27 - Dublin, Jeffersonville - (32) Route - Trip Log

8 - June 28 - Jeffersonville, Macon - (25) Route - Trip Log

9 - June 29 - Macon, Forsyth - (36) Route - Trip Log 1 - Log 2

10 - June 30 - Forsyth, Johnstonville, Liberty Hill, Orchard Hill, Griffin - (32) Route - Trip Log

11 - July 1 - Griffin, Peach Tree City, Tyrone (Home of OM USA!) - (33) Route - Trip Log

12 - July 2 - Tyrone, Palmetto, Austell, Marietta - (42) Route - Trip Log

13 - July 3 - Unicycle.com, Silver Comet Trail, Powder Springs, Hiram (38) Route - Trip Log

14 - July 4 - (SCT) Hiram, Dallas, Rockmart, Cedartown - (38) Route - Trip Log

15 - July 5 - (SCT) Cedartown, Chief Ladiga Trail, Piedmont AL - (26) Route - Trip Log


ALABAMA

16 - July 6 - Piedmont, Jacksonville, Anniston (24) Route - Trip Log

17 - July 7 - Anniston, Pell City - (29) Route - Trip Log 1 - Log 2

18 - July 8 - Pell City, Irondale (Birmingham) - (30) Route 565 miles (905km) completed! - Trip Log

July 9 - Pause Refuge Ride - Depart Atlanta for Switzerland

July 10-20 - Previously Scheduled UniShow Performances, Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux Switzerland

July 22 - Return to Birmingham AL

July 23 - RESUME REFUGE RIDE!

19 - July 23, Tue - Irondale, Birmingham, Gardendale - (16) Route

20 - July 24, Wed - Gardendale, Warrior, Hanceville, Cullman - (50) Route

21 - July 25, Thr - Cullman, Hartselle, Decatur - (34) Route

22 - July 26, Fri - Decatur, Florence - (50) Route

23 - July 27, Sat - Florence, Naches Trace Parkway, Iuka MS - (34) Route


MISSISSIPPI

24 - July 28, Sun - Iuka, Corinth, Selmer TN - (38) Route


TENNESSEE

25 - July 29, Mon - Selmer to Jackson - (43) Route

26 - July 30, Tue - Jackson to Medina - (10) Route

27 - July 31, Wed - Medina to Union City - (51) Route

28 - Aug 1, Thr - Union City, Hickman KENTUCKY Ferry Boat across Mississippi river, 

                         Sikeston MO - (55) Route


MISSOURI

29 - Aug 2, Fri - Sikeston, Chaffee, Cape Girardeau - (39) Route 998.2 miles (1,608km) completed!

30 - Aug 3, Sat - Cape Girardeau MO, East Cape Girardeau IL, Anna IL - (30) Route


ILLINOIS

31 - Aug 4, Sun - Anna, Cobden, Carbondale, Du Quoin - (39) Route

32 - Aug 5, Mon - Du Quoin, Sparta - (36) Route

33 - Aug 6, Tue - Sparta, New Athens, Freeburg, Belleville - (35) Route

34 - Aug 7, Wed - Belleville, St Louis MO, Maryland Heights MO - (34) Route


MISSOURI

35 - Aug 8, Thr - Rest/Planning Day in Maryland Heights MO - 1,178 miles ridden!

36 - Aug 9, Fri - Maryland Heights, Katy Trail, Augusta, Washington - (41) Route

37 - Aug 10, Sat - Katy Trail: Washington, Hermann - (33) Route

38 - Aug 11, Sun - Katy Trail: Hermann, Jefferson City - (51) Route

39 - Aug 12, Mon - Jefferson City, Tipton, Sedalia - (52) Route

40 - Aug 13, Tue - Sedalia, Warrensburg - (35) Route

41 - Aug 14, Wed - Warrensburg, Lee's Summit, Grandview - (48) Route

42 - Aug 15, Thr - Grandview, Olathe KS, Lawrence KS - (50) Route


KANSAS

43 - Aug 16, Fri - Lawrence, Topeka - (35) Route

44 - Aug 17, Sat - Rest Day

45 - Aug 18, Sun - Topeka, Wamego - (41) Route

46 - Aug 19, Mon - Wamego, Manhattan, Clay Center - (51) Route

47 - Aug 20, Tue - Clay Center, Concordia - (45) Route

48 - Aug 21, Wed - Concordia, Mankato - (42) Route

49 - Aug 22, Thr - Mankato, Smith Center - (31) Route

50 - Aug 23, Fri - Smith Center, Phillipsburg, Norton - (61) Route

51 - Aug 24, Sat - Norton, Oberlin - (35) Route

52 - Aug 25, Sun - Oberlin, Atwood - (28) Route

53 - Aug 26, Mon - Atwood, St Francis - (41 ) Route

54 - Aug 27, Tue - St Francis, NEBRASKA, Wray CO - (41) Route


COLORADO

55 - Aug 28, Wed - Wray, Yuma - (26) Route

56 - Aug 29, Thr - Yuma, Ft Morgan - (60) Route

57 - Aug 30, Fri - Ft Morgan, Greeley - (55) Route

58 - Aug 31, Sat - Greeley, Ft Collins - (32) Route

59 - Sept 1, Sun - Ft Collins Rest Day

Routing from this point is not exact on a daily basis. Dustin's parents volunteered to drive a support vehicle for a few weeks:

-This allowed us to cover whatever distance we were capable of in a day.

-It increased lodging possibilities in remote areas.

-The vehicle carried our rack packs, greatly reducing the weight of the unicycles as we traversed mountain areas.

60 - Sept 2, Mon - Ft Collins toward Laramie WY - (54) Route


WYOMING (363) Route

61 - Sept 3, Tue - staying in Laramie - (39) Route

62 - Sept 4, Wed - staying in Medicine Bow - (53) Route

63 - Sept 5, Thr - staying in Rawlins - (49) Route

64 - Sept 6, Fri - staying in Rawlins - (52) Route

65 - Sept 7, Sat - staying in Green River - (55) Route

66 - Sept 8, Sun - staying in Green River - Rest Day

67 - Sept 9, Mon - staying in Little America - (43) Route

68 - Sept 10, Tue - staying in Kemmerer - (50) Route


UTAH (30) Route

69 - Sept 11, Wed - staying in Fish Haven ID (45) Route


IDAHO (430) Route

70 - Sept 12, Thr - staying in Montpelier - (40) Route

71 - Sept 13, Fri - staying in Lava Hot Springs - (45) Route

72 - Sept 14, Sat - staying in Pocatello - (43) Route

73 - Sept 15, Sun - staying in Burley - (45) Route

74 - Sept 16, Mon - staying in Burley - (41) Route

75 - Sept 17, Tue - staying in Twin Falls - (40) Route

76 - Sept 18, Wed - rest day in Twin Falls - 2,820 miles (4,538km) to this point!

77 - Sept 19, Thr - staying in Bliss (46) Route

78 - Sept 20, Fri - staying in Mountain Home - (40) Route

79 - Sept 21, Sat - staying in Mountain Home - (43) Route

80 - Sept 22, Sun - staying in Nampa - (34) Route

81 - Sept 23, Mon - Rest Day, staying in Nampa - 2,985 miles (4,804km) to this point!


OREGON (494) Route

82 - Sept 24, Tue - staying in Ontario OR - (40) Route

83 - Sept 25, Wed - staying in Vale - (40) Route

84 - Sept 26, Thr - staying in Juntura - (43) Route

85 - Sept 27, Fri - staying in Hines - (44) Route

86 - Sept 28, Sat - staying in Hines - (53) Route

87 - Sept 29, Sun - staying in Bend - (14) Route

88 - Sept 30, Mon - staying in Bend - Rest Day

89 - Oct 1, Tue - Hampton to Bend - (57) Route

90 - Oct 2, Wed - Bend to Sisters - (23) Route

91 - Oct 3, Thr - Maintenance delay due to broken hub. 3,303 miles (5,316 km) to this point.

92 - Oct 4, Fri - Sisters to Belknap Springs - (43) Route

93 - Oct 5, Sat - Belknap Springs to Blue River - (15) Route

94 - Oct 6, Sun - Blue River to Eugene - (43) Route

95 - Oct 7, Mon - Eugene to Blachly - (41) Route

96 - Oct 8, Tue - Blachly to Florence - (37) Route

97 - Oct 9, Wed - Florence to Yachats, estimated time of arrival 2:00 Pacific Time - (26) Route

Ended at Yachats Ocean Rd. ocean view parking area. Pre and post arrival reception/celebration at Yachats Inn Teahouse Pavillion.


The End? The people of Syria still need your help! Click   to donate!