Updated: Jun 20
Our next family adventure begins on March 12, with a 10,000km bike tour from Morocco to Norway
It began on a beach in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Just a few days before returning home after a six-month bike tour across New Zealand, Australia and French Polynesia - our Oceania Odyssey - our sons sowed the seeds of the next ambitious family trip.
"We've decided we should keep biking and go to Europe!" declared Sitka.
"We want to see a soccer game," explained Heron.
"And eat pizza in Italy. When can we go?"
Soon afterward the plotting and planning started, with Mom and Dad firmly on board. We bought the board game Ticket to Ride Europe to get familiar with the continent. We waded through the evolving EuroVelo web site for route ideas. Even as we moved from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Whitehorse in the Great Canadian North and became full-on Yukoners, in our dreams we were riding along the Rhine River with baguettes sticking out of our panniers. On the road again.
Not long after a March Break cycling trip across Cuba, we sold our tandems to a lovely young family down the street. Now the boys have their own bikes and panniers, tested on summer tours of Alaska and the Canadian Rockies.
Ed first asked for unpaid leave from his dream high-school teaching job in January 2020. By the time the response was due, the world was in the beginnings of pandemic lockdown, so we pressed pause - knowing in a few weeks we could call "Time in" like kids letting a car pass their street hockey game.
The car became a fleet. A full year passed with no end in sight. We bided our time with oodles of Yukon exploration - canoeing the Stewart and Yukon Rivers to Dawson City, hiking in the Tombstone Mountains, mountain-biking the wild South Canol Road, then the even wilder North Canol from the border of the Northwest Territories.
And here we are, two years later. Covid be damned, we're going to Europe. Ed was graciously granted that unpaid leave by his supremely supportive principal and school board. Jocelyn is wresting herself away from her busy naturopathic clinic for a well-earned rest. And the boys have their eyes on a soccer match in Paris on April 20th. Lionel Messi even changed teams so we could watch him play.
Our Spanish visas came in last week. We have renters for our house, a new front pannier rack for Heron and a new zipper on our trusty tent. We're watching all the updates on restrictions and requirements to fly and get around Europe safely. It'll all change by the time we get there, but we're used to adapting as we go.
Most of all, we are psyched. All four of us. It's family epic time.
Check out our new Instagram page for fresh pics, and our new blog - on our new web site - for weekly updates on our European Epic. We're starting in Malaga, Spain, and we have a flight home from Oslo, Norway in August. In between, anything can happen.