My last day on the road (by Davy)

After a journey of nearly three years from the northern tip of Alaska to the southern tip of Argentina we were ready for our very last day on the road. It started out like any other day. We had camped in a forest of partially rotten trees behind an abandoned logging camp. The trees were covered with craggy strands of greenish moss reminding me of an old man’s whiskers. The ground was covered in very thick moss.

Dad had gotten a fire going before I woke up and I got out of my tent into the freezing morning air of Argentina. Clouds covering the whole sky didn’t help with the cold either. I walked over to the fire to warm up and saw Daryl (my very annoying little brother) already there. Mom made a small breakfast and helped Dad pack the sleeping bags, tents and the rest of the gear.

When it was time to leave we put the fire out and got on our bikes and started riding. Dad and Daryl shared a tandem and Mom and I each had our own single bike.

We rode for a while until the sun came out. It was amazingly beautiful. We were going up a hill with a good view of a lake and the sun sparked off of the lake and illuminated all the trees.

We got to an overlook on the top of the hill where Roberto and Mabel, the couple we were going to be staying with, were waiting for us in a car. They were going to ride the rest of the way with us. We stopped to take a break, talk, and take pictures of the morning. After a little while we saw another bicyclist coming up the hill. He stopped to talk to us. His name was Matt and Mom knew him through his mom; she had taken us out to breakfast in Mexico City.

Eventually we started down the other side of the hill as a group of seven. While we were going down to Ushuaia the clouds overtook the sun and plunged the countryside back into shade. 

We entered a valley with green trees and snow-capped jagged mountains surrounding us. Clouds hung low in the sky, obscuring the tops of the peaks.

We kept going and came around a corner and saw a huge sign saying USHUAIA. I pedaled past it first and waited for Mom and Dad. When they came I shouted, “I made it through first! Ha, ha!”  I had been on the road for a long time and the whole time I said, “We are going to Ushuaia.” It felt fantastic to finally be there.

Matt left us there and we pedaled on to go to the famous “End of the World” sign with Roberto and Mabel. When we got there Daryl jumped off the back of the tandem and ran ahead and touched the sign first. He didn’t have to push a bike. I got to it next.

Roberto and Mabel took videos and pictures while we threw our helmets up in the air and shouted, “We made it!”

Then they brought us to their house and we stayed there.

That actually isn’t the most southern End of the World sign. We went to the real sign a couple of days later as a day ride. It was only about 22 kilometers so it wasn’t very hard. When I saw the sign I was thinking, “This is the end, no more riding for a long time.”

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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12 Responses to My last day on the road (by Davy)

  1. Thomas | JusGetaway August 29, 2011 at 6:03 am #

    What an amazing last day Davy! I only wish I could have enjoyed some of the wonders you and your family have. Sounds like the last day was a thrilling as the many others I have read about.

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  2. wandering educators August 29, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    HOW exciting, Davy – and you’ve shared it so well. you made me feel like i was there with you (without all the biking!) – thanks for writing of your hard work, daily life, and joy at finishing!!

    did you fly home? what did you do with your bikes and gear?

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  3. Theodora August 30, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    Great writing, Davy. That must have felt AMAZING. Are you back on your bike now?

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  4. Sailor August 31, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    Wow! That is so interesting! I was so thrilled to see the picture of you guys in Ushuaia!

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  5. NvGtravels August 31, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    Hey congratulations to you all and thanks for sharing the experience!

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  6. Sophie September 1, 2011 at 5:39 am #

    What a feat! Must feel a bit weird to be finished, too, though, no? Europe north to south next? ;)

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  7. Lori September 1, 2011 at 7:15 am #

    I cannot believe you are at the end of the trip, Davy. Interesting trip and I’m sure great years for you – it seems that you have had great experiences from what you’ve shared here. I also don’t think it’s over for you – I think it will only be a break:)

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  8. Klara September 2, 2011 at 3:39 am #

    wow you really did it! maximum respect for the whole team! u were there really at the southern end of the continent;) congrats und bigup!

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  9. Tracy September 5, 2011 at 7:14 am #

    Great writing! I can’t believe you crossed first … what did your brother think of that?

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  10. Dave and Deb September 12, 2011 at 12:04 am #

    Congratulations on a great accomplishment and a great article. We are looking forward to seeing what you all have in store next!

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  11. Annie@GreenGlobalTravel December 3, 2013 at 7:27 am #

    I can almost feel your sense of accomplishment from here. What a wonderful trek, well done! Must have been so weird to know it was your last day after three years…

    Thanks for sharing!

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Raising Miro on the Road of Life – Travel Podcast » Blog Archive » Podcast Episode #27 – Family on Bikes-Part 1 - August 31, 2011

    [...] of the journey. In Davy Vogel’s own words: Davy writes about his last day on the road on the FamilyonBikes.org blog. Here’s an excerpt  [...]

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