Colorado resident to share stories of his greatest adventure at local book store
For most of his life, Jerry Kopack followed the traditional blueprint of how to go about things: go to school, get a job, climb the ladder, retire. In 2005, Kopack opened a hospice at age 31, serving patients at the end of life and that is where he learned his greatest lesson — the value of time.
At 4 p.m. Saturday, Kopack, a Colorado resident, will share stories and read passages from his book, “The World Spins By,” at Off The Beaten Path on 9th Street in downtown Steamboat Springs.
The book discusses the importance of using the time you have on this planet to your advantage and chasing adventure. Kopack’s greatest adventure began when he grabbed his bike, boarded a plane and spent two years on a bikepacking journey around a large portion of the Asian continent.
Kopack slowly pedaled through some of the world’s largest mountains in Nepal and by war zones in Israel while coming across people who opened his eyes to what the world is truly like.
“Traveling taught me some really valuable lessons, one of which is that people are really just people with their own challenges, their own stresses, just struggling to get by and make a life,” Kopack said. “We think about people living in other countries being different or scary or wrong and really we are not that different.”
One of Kopack’s best examples of this occurred while he was biking the border of Israel and Lebanon. There were not many places to stay overnight in the area and Kopack took to Facebook and posted a call for help on a bikepacking page. Someone responded and offered their home despite not being in town. Kopack accepted the offer and never even met the homeowner.
“The World Spins By” includes many more anecdotes of Kopack’s travels and the new way he approaches life. When he set out on the journey, he was looking for a two-week reset to his life and had no idea it would result in a two-year journey on his bike in a faraway region of the world.
Kopack has shared his stories across Colorado and now globally when his book was released in January. His presentation at Off The Beaten Path will include a slide show and passage reading and will end with questions from the audience.
“The story is an adventure tale but also a rallying cry to inspire people to live now because tomorrow is not promised,” Kopack said. “We all sort of have this plan we are following in life and sometimes those plans don’t work out the way we think they are going to.”
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email tskulski@SteamboatPilot.com.
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