Photo by Gary Gerard, Times-Union
Photo by Gary Gerard, Times-Union
They said they wanted to find “the real Americans,” not the stereotypes, so Ken and Julie-Anne Fox, two Australians in search of America, took off on a bicycle journey that would cover more than 8,500 miles in at least half a year.
The two were spotted recently traveling north on Ind. 15 after having lunch at Center Lake. Pedaling alongside faster vehicles, the two kept up a steady pace with their touring bikes – packed full with supplies they would need – but not too fast to take a minute to talk. In fact, they said, visiting with “really great” people was a highlight of the trip.
They started their trip at the end of April in Lincoln, Mass., and from their took in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Lake Placid and the finger lakes of western New York. Their itinerary runs from East Coast to West Coast, and eventually from there south to Mexico, zig-zagging along the way to take in anything interesting they hear about.
One of their goals is to spend no money on accommodations. So far they have mostly camped, but sometimes they accept offers from newly met people to visit in their homes. They have also taken advantage of the hospitality of Warmshowers, a free worldwide hospitality exchange for touring cyclists.
They had spent the morning in Denver when the road took them into Warsaw. They visited Central Park then wandered around taking pictures of statues. By late afternoon they were heading toward Goshen where they would have a place to stay. After that they cycle on to northern Michigan and plan to meet friends in Wisconsin by the end of July.
This trip is not for the faint of heart, however. Ken explained, “We are both avid travellers, cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts.”
Ken, a nurse, and Julie-Anne, a secretary in a hospital, have lived in California since 2005. They’ve participated in numerous sports such as triathlons and running races of all lengths, as well as hiking, camping, overseas travel and backcountry adventuring. They have also participated in cycling races and tours throughout the west.
When they decided to take on this project, they both resigned their jobs, returned to Australia to visit family, then came back ready to tour.
Julie-Anne said that even though they expected Americans to be friendly, they are most impressed by the generosity of Americans, exclaiming, “This has been off the charts!”
Their trip can be followed on their blog at travellingfoxes68.wordpress.com