Community completes 238K mile ‘journey’ to the moon

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Journey to the Moon logo, with astronaut PHOTO COURTESY OF BTAYLOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS
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Ralph Porpora and family committed to Journey to the Moon as a nod to his family’s traditional participation in the Full Moon Ride.PHOTO COURTESY OF BTAYLOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS
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Journey to the Moon logo, with astronaut PHOTO COURTESY OF BTAYLOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS
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Ralph Porpora and family committed to Journey to the Moon as a nod to his family’s traditional participation in the Full Moon Ride.PHOTO COURTESY OF BTAYLOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS

A community of hikers and cyclists completed the 2020-21 Journey to the Moon on May 28 after Memorial Day weekend, completing a 238,000 “journey” to outer space.

Each earth mile was recorded in “LHT Miles.” Each LHT mile equaled 22 miles, or the length of the the Lawrence Hopewell Trail, making the virtual journey 10,818 LHT miles in length.

“The virtual event brought LHT fans and friends together to collectively hike and bike 238,000 miles to the moon. Journey to the Moon was launched on Oct. 14, 2020, to celebrate the month’s two full moons,” said Ruth Markoe, LHT board member and leader of the Journey to the Moon project.

David Pelovitz, of Lawrence Township, logged the most miles and the most trips — 1294.8 miles across 209 trips.

He was awarded a gift card to Sourland Cycles in Hopewell for his incredible efforts, according to information provided by BTaylor Public Affairs.

Alyssa Katz was the winner of the last Starbucks gift card raffle.

And it was Regina Podhorin-Zilinski of Trenton who pushed the LHT past its 238,000-mile goal.

Anyone who tracked miles at any time is eligible for a thank you prize, as well. Those individuals can email info@lhtrail.org the LHT from the account used to log miles and share their mailing addresses.

The LHT had 1,030 unique mileage submissions from approximately 95 participants who logged miles on or off the LHT by biking, walking, jogging, skating, walking their dogs, or even from a treadmill or spin bike.

Many participants shared photos and stories as they uploaded their miles, including Samantha Bean, who had a close and inspiring encounter with a red-tailed hawk; and Ralph Porpora, who committed to Journey to the Moon as a nod to his family’s traditional participation in the Full Moon Ride, according to the statement.

Throughout the journey, the LHT kept participants informed with a new Journey to the Moon Facebook group, which featured over 80 posts, updates, photos and raffle winners. These included a series of Moon Fun Facts — a series of pop culture, food, culture, and science factoids relating to the moon and covering everything from traditional Chinese mooncakes and R.E.M.’s hit “Man on the Moon” to beloved TV shows Moonlighting “and the Honeymooners (“You’re going to the Moon, Alice!”), according to the statement.

Journey to the Moon was created as a way to foster connection and inspire trail use despite the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the LHT to cancel its annual Full Moon Ride, according to the statement. The LHT hopes to host an in-person Full Moon Ride later this year, with details to follow.