Unless you’re very new to this blog, you know that the Vogels mean a lot to me. I had the great fortune of being able to meet the family, and spend a few days with them, during their latest cycling adventure from Alaska to Argentina when we were in Cusco, Peru, at the same time. Their adventures, and Nancy’s encouragement, are what helped me decide to begin world travels with my son. Because of this I was very interested when Nancy asked me if I wouldn’t mind reviewing their latest book.
When I received the electronic copy I immediately set aside my reading of A Clash of Kings and begin digging in. The book offers details from their bicycle trip across America which started when their twin boys were only 8 years old. The first thing that struck me was the humor followed by her pure honesty: After a long, frustrating day of cycling, she snaps at her husband and tells him to “shut the f**k up.” She also shares several of her most . . . not-so-intelligent decisions and errors.
Interspersed with the narrative are some photos during the trip, which was fun for me since the boys were almost 13 when I met them, as well as excerpts of notes the kids wrote family members. I thought this was an additional nice touch, helping you get the experience from not only the mother of the group, but also the young kids.
Additionally inspiring are the meetings with people she refers to as Road Angels. These are people who have appeared out of nowhere to help the family out. So often we hear only the cynical, pessimistic side of people. It was amazing and refreshing to read about all the times perfect strangers opened the doors, their wallets, etc., to help this family during their journey.
Twenty Miles per Cookie is a book that is touching, funny, and inspiring. If you’ve ever wanted to do something like travel the world, do a bicycle, hiking, or other adventure with your children, or even just on your own, but thought you couldn’t do it, this book will have you thinking otherwise. And you’ll be steadily entertained the whole time.