Lawnmower-riding boy reaches Washington
September 26, 1997
Web posted at: 6:53 p.m. EDT (2253 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Ending his cross-country journey on a
lawnmower, 12-year-old Ryan Tripp rode into the nation's
capital and accomplished something few politicians have done:
he trimmed the Capitol.
Well, sort of. Tripp clipped the west front lawn of the
U.S. Capitol Thursday after riding more than 3,000 miles
on a gigantic, twin-engine mower. He was riding to set the
long-distance world record on a mower
"I went over to the library and got a book, and they had a record in
there for a man that drove 2,034 miles," he said. "So we planned
a route ... about 3,200 miles."
Tripp, of Beaver, Utah, spent 42 days driving across the
nation on the gleaming yellow mower to raise money for a
family friend's infant who needs a liver transplant.
Two-month-old Whitnie Pender has a rare disease called
biliary atresia, which prevents her liver from functioning
Tripp has raised about $4,000 for her, a figure far short of
his $250,000 goal. Tripp, who missed five weeks of school,
hopes an appearance on David Letterman will help boost
During the long journey, Tripp woke at 6 a.m. every morning
and rode along the shoulders of roads until about 10 mph (16
kph) until 8 p.m. or 9 p.m.
Asked Thursday how he would respond the next time his dad
asks him to cut the yard, Tripp said, "I'm going to tell him
Donations to the Whitnie Pender Fund can be made
to the Utah Independent Bank in Beaver at 801-438-2433.