Traveling With Yoda…By Lawnmower

Although it sounds like a David Lynch movie you meant to see but never managed to, the story of Paul Woods and his dog, Yoda, has not been filmed. Paul and Yoda left Alaska in 2005, headed for Virginia — 4500 miles away — where Paul claims his late mother left him a house. They’re not exactly making good time. Their average daytime speed is less than 15 miles per hour. You see, the pair is traveling on Paul’s red riding lawn mower. Even Paul admits it’s odd-sounding: “You’ve got to be pretty strange and pretty weird to be driving a tractor mower across country.” What? Who said that?

Paul’s decision to drive across the country on a lawn mower is based on finances: he claims he couldn’t afford to fly or take the train. Instead he drives his mower, sleeps in a tent, stops to work as a day laborer to pay for dog food, food for himself, and for gas.

Paul’s trip hasn’t been easy. He’s had fireworks shot at him, garbage tossed at him, been turned away at hotels, and been run off the road. He’s been flashed, solicited, and shot. However, Paul brushed that last incident aside, claiming he was wearing two shirts, so the shot “just peppered” him. One thing that hasn’t happened to him yet — he hasn’t gotten a speeding ticket.