Caroline Killeen, who said her trip is a demonstration against the nuclear arms race, said she is headed to the Soviet Union "in the spirit of Samantha Smith," the U.S. schoolgirl who captured worldwide attention when she wrote a letter extolling the virtues of peace to former President Yuri V. Andropov and then traveled to Moscow at his invitation. Samantha was killed in a plane crash in 1985.
Riding alone with her belongings strapped to her blue 10-speed bicycle with a "Peace Tree to Moscow" sign on the back, Killeen has made ends meet with donations from supporters and strangers who see her pedaling down the road. Friends along the way have given her shelter at night.
With donations she's collected along the way, Killeen hopes to purchase a round-trip ticket to the Soviet Union. She wrote a letter to Mikhail S. Gorbachev asking for permission to plant a pinon tree-a tree native to New Mexico, she says, "where the nuclear nightmare began."