Family on Bikes

A Family Cycles from the Arctic to Patagonia


Boise, Idaho, USA
August 31
Our family of four (with 13-year-old twin boys) dreamed the impossible dream and reached the unreachable star! On March 21, 2011 we pedaled the final mile to arrive at the end of the world in USHUAIA, Argentina! We spent three years cycling 17,300 miles through 15 countries starting in Alaska to get there.


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APRIL 26, 2012 10:13PM

dreams: a story

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Written and illustrated by Kelly Wilson

boatOnce upon a time, there was a woman who lived on a boat named “Dreams.”  This beautiful boat had taken her to many different lands during her life:  School, Marriage and Children.  These were all wonderful destinations that she had visited and found happiness in, just as many others had.  It was a busy and wonderful life, but she had set sail again in the hopes of finding Fulfillment as well!

globe“Dreams” was a good little boat, but there were many things to do on deck that kept the woman very busy.  Much of her time was spent making sure her children were safe, her family was fed, and the deck was swabbed.  To help keep the boat looking clean and to give her more time for her family, many things she loved to do were stored down in the hold of the boat.  She told herself she would get rid of them or do them…one day.

mop & bucketSometimes when she found a spare moment, she would stand at the rail and watch the world go by.  Occasionally far-off lands would appear in the distance.  She thought there would be plenty of time later to visit these lands.  For now, she was too busy and too tired to go through the effort of trying to reach the beautiful lands that seems so far away.

islandBecause she was so busy, she hadn’t had the time to stear her boat.  In fact, she had forgotten how!  This meant her “Dreams” really didn’t go anywhere in particular.  “Dreams” just bobbed up and down, drifting here and there in the Sea of “Life,” never quite catching the wind in her sails.  Her boat slowed and became heavy with the weight of all the things she had always meant to ”do one day.”

boatSometimes storms hit the Sea of “Life.”  These storms were temporary but the woman felt worried and out of control when they came.  Even after the storms ended, she was left feeling powerless to control “Dreams” or “Life.”  Her beloved “Dreams” had always sheltered her family and been their home, but the woman was still so scared the boat might break apart during one of these storms!  She began to lose confidence in her “Dreams.”

stormsShe became more worried with each storm.  During one of them she was so distracted that she didn’t notice when…some THING crawled up the side of  her ship and slithered down into the hold to take up permanent residence among all the other things she had once loved to do.

boat in stormThe thing liked the hold of the boat.  It was dark and had many places to hide.  The boat had taken on water during the storms.  It was so weighed down by all her lost passions and things she meant to do one day, that now it was always dripping and wet down there.

thingOne day, the woman paused in her work and looked up to see a beautiful land far away in the distance.  This land was unlike all the other lands she has seen.  It was exotic, different…foreign.  It was HER land of Fulfillment!

land of fulfillmentBut there was a problem,

Her boat was drifting in the wrong direction!  To get to the beautiful, exotic land of Fulfillment, she would have to steer the boat!  That meant doing things she had not done in a long time, for she had stopped steering completely when she became so busy in the Sea of Life.

steering wheelAnd then, there were the scary noises that came from the hold!

At first she had tried to ignore the noises, and when she couldn’t, she called them annoying.  They were loudest when she stood near the wheel of their boat, “Dreams.”  She started to avoid that area so she wouldn’t have to hear the scary words.

steering wheel for boat

But now she wanted to get to the land of fulfillment, and that meant she had to stand where she could hear the noises clearly.  The noises said terrible things to her:

terrible words

It was so scary listening to the bad things coming from the hold, that she put off steering the ship.  She told herself she was too busy anyway, and that it would take too long to get to the land of Fulfillment.

The noises in the hold started to become louder if she even moved toward the helm.  She wasn’t sure it was worth the effort to try…

But every time she began to forget… that beautiful land of fulfillment would appear again in the distance.

Finally the woman made a decision!  She had watched enough beautiful lands pass her by.  She was going to steer her boat to that land of fulfillment, even though she felt afraid!

boat with island

She walked over to take hold of the wheel, and to her horror…..

A Kraken slithered out of the hold and tried to strangle her with all of its slimy tentacles!

krakenIt was the Kraken of Doubt who had taken up residence in the hold of “Dreams.”

kraken of doubt

All eight slimy tentacles it grabbed at her, trying to keep her from Fulfillment.

She didn’t know what to do!  She had no weapons to battle such a terrible foe!  She backed away, wondering if she would have to abandon her precious “Dreams.”

She looked over her shoulder to the land of Fulfillment.  It was so beautiful it made her heart ache.

land of fulfillment in distance

But the woman did a brave and wonderful thing then:  she didn’t back down!  She remembered her decision to DO IT, and she WOULD steer her “Dreams” to the land of Fulfillment, and NOTHING…not even a KRAKEN of DOUBT was going to stop her!

She slipped past the Kraken’s tentacles and found a safe place on the other side of the ship.  She thought hard about what she could do.

She realized something very important.  She did not need weapons to battle the Kraken.  She needed to take away his home!

She cleaned all the things she no longer wanted out of the hold and then started doing all the things she loved to do that had been waiting for her.  Doing this took away the Kraken’s hiding place and also made the boat lighter, and easier to steer.  Now “Dreams” no longer took on water when storms came.  She also stopped believing the Kraken’s horrible, false words.  And finally, one step at a time, she walked bravely towards the wheel.

boxes floating in sea

With each step she took, the Kraken shuddered.  His tentacles shrunk.  Most of his teeth fell out!  He even looked like he might cry!

The Kraken wasn’t so scary now!

The Kraken looked up at the woman and pleaded for mercy.  “I was just trying to protect you!  I didn’t want you to be hurt or disappointed. Are you sure you want to go to that land?  It’s so far away and you don’t know anyone there, or any of their customs.  It’s so different from what you do now!” He wailed.  “Doesn’t that scare you?”

“Yes!” she cried.  “I’m very scared.  And while I’m grateful for your….um, concern, I’m confident now that I can guide my “Dreams” in the direction of Fulfillment.”

island in the sea

That final statement of confidence was her hidden weapon that transformed the Kraken of doubt into a…



A loyal, lovable (albeit a bit slimy) reminder of her determination, confidence and courage in her effort to do something to launch her Dreams towards Fulfillment.

 A final word of caution to our readers:  Be very careful with your Kraka-DO  Their stray tentacles can still trip you up while you are steering your boat towards the beautiful land of Fulfillment.  Your Kraka-Do needs your training and a firm, guiding hand.  If you don’t watch your Kraka-DO at all times, he could transform back into the Kraken of Doubt and cause all sorts of havoc on your boat of “Dreams!”


May all your dreams have smooth sailing towards fulfillment!

The Beginning

Many thanks to my friend Kelly Wilson for this story. You can read more of Kelly’s thoughts on her blog, The Dao of Doing

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dreams: a story is a post from: Family on Bikes. Sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive your free e-book: Bicycle Touring with Children; A Guide to Getting Started.

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