Those who say it can't be done
should get out of the way of those who are doing it.

It's only a few more kilometers until John and Nancy Vogel reach their destination, which they may do today (barring unforeseen weather or other conditions).

Departing Prudhoe Bay, Alaska

They began this journey over 2 1/2 years ago in June 2008.

On that date they were in the arctic, the tippity-top of the world, the land of the midnight sun.

Now they find themselves on the opposite end of the earth, the 'land of fire' Tierra del Fuego, the southern most point in South America.

And how did they get from there to here you ask?

On bicycle.

(Oh, and they have two boys in tow.)

Pretty amazing boys at that. Twins Daryl and Davy who were just 11 years old when their odyssey began.

They will enter the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest people to accomplish this Homeric voyage from Alaska to Argentina on bicycle.

An inspirational story that portrays the possibility of doing the impossible.

Pedaling Alaska

Not just the impossibility of doing something that's difficult to do - like traversing two continents on pedal power

- but of having a dream and believing you can accomplish it.

Of finding the courage to do something unconventional and discovering the determination to make it happen.

At a time when many Americans were entering a recession, the Vogel family created a different reality for themselves.

They refused to live within the expectations established by society, or to find excuses for why living their dream would be impossible.

While some were 'downsizing' just to make ends meet, the Vogel's were undertaking a family expedition that would bond, bind and build their family - and for less per month than most Americans spend on their mortgage- proving that an unconventional life-changing adventure doesn't require bucoo bucks, but only a shift in values.

In the Andes

You can learn more about the Vogel Family on their website,

1. Who are you? (Names, ages of your family members, and something unique about you)

We are 56-year-old John (aka Dad), 50-year-old Nancy (aka Mom), and 13-year-old twins Davy and Daryl.

John and I are now old foagies who refuse to give in to Mother Nature and the boys are the most incredible young men on earth.

2.How does your family travel? What adventure are you pursuing?
(Living abroad, by plane, boat, country hopping, road trip, bike trip, etc.)

We are now in the final days of a nearly-three-year adventure cycling from the tippy top of North America in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to the pointy end of South America in Ushuaia.

3. What is your family vision/mission? Why do you do what you do?

Welcome to Argentina

Our vision has been to cycle the length of the Americas - and we're nearly there!

We're feeling pretty darn invincible right about now with ony 220 km left to pedal.

What comes next?  We have no idea. If you find out, will you let us know??

Why do we do it?  Because the bikes are the best way to travel.  Period.

On the bikes, we are connected with Mother Nature, see tiny villages that you can't get to know traveling on bus or car, meet way more people than otherwise, and are like little kids out riding their bikes with the wind in our hair and the sun on our cheeks!

4. What challenges have you overcome to do what you’re doing?

What challenges, you ask?  We could be here till 2020 with that list.

Davy in Canyonlands

We've cycled through it all - over 15,000 passes, through barren deserts, in rain and snow and hail and sun, braved sub-zero temps and sweated like crazy in outrageous heat.
5. What would you tell others who want to live an unconventional family life?

Do it.  Normal is overrated.

At the end of your life, do you want to look back and think, "I wish I woulda.."?  Or do you want to sit in your rocker when you're old and gray and say, "I lived life on my own terms"?



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7 Responses

  1. Heidi

    Another family I would love to meet. We need to have an “Unconventional Family Convention”. Where we could all learn and be inspired by each other.

  2. Bluegreen Kirk

    Great post love that they did it together. I just wonder what do you do for that long with you kids education? I guess homeschooling is what most parents do.

    • Rachel

      It’s an education in itself, I would think 🙂 They do have a section on their website about homeschooling.


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