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Pastor Completes U.S. Unicycle Trek

August 10, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ The rubber tread was worn, but the humble unicycle tire took Lutheran pastor Lars Clausen across America to help the Eskimos to whom he once ministered.

``It’s a great adventure and it’s a way for me to help the Eskimos of Alaska,″ Clausen, 41, said Saturday as he ended his trek at the Statue of Liberty. His wife and two children, both on unicycles, joined him for the ferry ride to the statue in New York Harbor.

Clausen made the 5,000-mile journey to raise money for an endowment fund for the Inupiat Eskimos of the Seward Peninsula, where he had his first preaching assignment.

``These Eskimos have been our teachers and our mentors,″ said Anne Clausen, who with her husband spent 3 1/2 years with the Inupiats.

Clausen had raised $250,000 for the Seward Peninsula Lutheran Endowment Fund, with a total of $5 million.

Clausen said he rode 50 to 60 miles daily, taking breaks to eat and drink. He started at 5 a.m. and rode until midafternoon each day.

In the next few days, Clausen plans to set out to repeat the journey westward. He will ride to Greenbank on Whidbey Island in Washington state, where he began his trek in April.


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