Book review – 20 miles per cookie


Photo by Family on Bikes

20 miles per cookie is a book that depicts the amazing journey taken by the Vogel family from Idaho to La Paz, and then from Mazatlan to New York. It came to my attention while reading a great blog entry, written by a traveling dad, Talon, who along with his son Tigger journey the great wide world and write about it on their website.

The Vogels embark on a grand adventure consisting of a whopping 9300 miles, 19 states and 5 Mexican states, which sounds great, but the amazement factor kicks in when you realize that they did it on bikes, and the title refers to the ‘fuel’.

The main characters: John (aka Dad) is the head of the family, a teacher of many things and the head of the tricycle; Nancy (aka Mom and the author of the book) is the only female of the family, and she is as tough as the boys; the twins – Daryl and Davy – currently the holders of the world record as ‘the youngest people to cycle the Pan-American Highway”.

What I truly enjoyed about this book is that it describes the hard core facts, not a romanticized ‘traveling is perfect’ version. The family endures harsh weather – from blistering heat to non stop rain and bitter cold, flat tires, accidents, depression and bone crushing exhaustion. But they also find wonders of nature, see places others only dream of, and experience the kindness of strangers whom they affectionately call Road Angels.

It is written in a very ‘homey’ fashion, pictures are also present which will help you get a better picture of where these heroes traveled. The book also describes the different aspects of life, which vary from state to state, all the beauties that part of the US has to offer, the enthusiasm of the boys (8 years old at the time) who are capable of inventing games even in the vastness of the desert, the letters they write to family members, describing the adventure through their perception.

Do I think they were crazy to embark on such a formidable adventure? Absolutely not. I am sure that there were a lot of nay sayers out there, that the children will miss out on school (what better way to learn than from hands on experience or a visit to historic places?), that they are too young, etc etc. I take my hat off to John and Nancy for their decision, for teaching their children there’s more to learning than books.

And if that is not enough, this family of 4 resumed their adventurous path when they biked from Alaska to Argentina .

So if you are interested in their adventures, visit their website where you can find all the information about their trips – across America and to Argentina!

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