The Washington Times - August 14, 2008, 06:24PM

By Nancy Sathre-Vogel

I love safaris!  I love watching wild animals in their natural state doing what they do best. 

I love the wildness of it, the adventure, the novelty, and the awe-inspiring power of the animals


Moose with calf in the brush (Photo courtesy Nancy Sathre Vogel)

We lived in Africa for many years and had many opportunities to go on safari.


The places were just as exotic as their names – Masai Mara, Ngorongoro, Nakuru.

Animals roamed free and we gazed in awe at them all – elephants, giraffes, lions, cheetahs, and jaguars, as well as thousands upon thousands of zebra, wildebeest, and bright pink flamingoes covering entire lakes. 

It was wild.  It was free.  It was power.  In short – it was exotic.

In my mind, I’ve always felt I had to cross some big body of water to find exotic – I certainly wouldn’t find it here in North America! 

Unless, of course, you consider the jungle of New York City exotic.  But animals like you’d find in the African savannas?  Nah.

Too close for comfort. A Black Bear ambles by. (Photo by Nancy Sathre Vogel)
The Alaska Highway has changed my mind.  I now know there is no reason to leave my own continent to find adventure.  One thousand, four-hundred and twenty-two miles of it, in fact.

As we cycled the Alaska Highway, I was stunned to discover we needed to pedal 250 miles between grocery stores – not just once, but over and over and over again.

The entire population of the Yukon is less than half of what can fit in the Giants’ stadium in New York City.

And exotic?  Absolutely.  Not only did I never dream I would be pedaling next to wild buffalo, I didn’t even know wild bison still lived!  I’ve seen bighorn sheep in photos – but to encounter them in the middle of the road? 

Something dreams are made of.  Caribou… bears… moose… 

Yeah, I would say British Columbia and the Yukon are just as exotic as Africa.

Whodathunkit?  Not me, that’s for sure.

The Vogel Family has reached Ground Zero, Dawson Creek, B.C. Canada completeing the first of many milestones and seeting a world record for Daryl and Davy as the youngest cyclists to complete the Alaskan Highway

Daryl and Davy watch the Buffalo Roam (Photo courtesy Nancy Sathre Vogel)

Read all about Vogel’s record setting Journey at:

Family on Bikes

– Part 1

– Part 2

– Part 3

– Part 4

- Part 5

- Part 6

- Part 7

Finding Santa Claus - The Vogels Reach North Pole, AK