Twenty Miles per Cookie By Nancy Sathre-Vogel
As a long term traveler myself, people called us crazy to quit our jobs and go to South East Asia for a year, so I surprised myself when Nancy Sathre-Vogel's family trip sounded even nuttier!
Early on she says, “There are moments on a long trip when you just want to go home: while your son is falling asleep on the triple bike, when it is raining on you and you have no tarp or when you run out of water in the desert but then you remember why you did it and how it is all worth it.” I was wondering would I agree with her? Could I undertake this journey? I did have those moments on our own trip, wondering, “Who is that man? Why did he bring me here? How did I agree to this nightmare?”
But then something happens such as a day when the family they sees whales and eats fresh blueberries from the bush and then a hawk swoops by and they remember this is why they are traveling. All the scrapes and rain and hard times are worth it because they are out on the road and having adventure, not in a cubicle or classroom marking time.
Nancy does discuss having to leave her three boys to visit with her mom who has cancer. I had similar family issues while on our trip and before we left, the what-ifs of family illness were something we discussed. I appreciate her sharing personal family stories as this is an issue that may worry travelers.
I enjoyed reading about her boys as stop to save Mr. Turtle who is in the middle of the road, in the heat of the desert, and later they save Mr. Tarantula. Her family works to help the wildlife they spot and are later saved by road angels who occasionally drive the boys to the top of a hill, give them a place to stay in the rain, or offer water when they are thirsty. The kindness of strangers really is incredible.
Her description of being stuck in a rainstorm on the side of the interstate highway huddling in a tent makes me think I would never bike across America, but to hear that even “Chatty McChatter McChattington” was speechless at the site of Zion makes me ready to undertake a similar trip, albeit by Greyhound bus! I agree with Nancy “that was what made the trip so fun and exciting—the fact that everyday was different and we never knew what kind of challenges our day would bring.”Continued on the next page