Sitting in a wooden chair outside the Brandin’ Iron Café in Caliente, Bethany Garth looked tired. Tired from a long day’s ride on bicycles. She and her husband Dave had just come in from Rachel.
The couple is on the final segment of a two-year around-the-world bicycle trek.
Both graduates, of Auburn University, have been on the road since August, 2011.
Garth said this was a dream of his to cycle around the world, “and God has been making it possible for us. We believe this trip is a dream from God, so we’re doing it.” He said he and his brother John rode across the United States in 2003, “and that’s when the dream of going around the world began to develop.”
Bethany said she also had a desire to travel, but when she married Dave in 2009, she was not fully aware of what his ultimate dream was, but was open to the idea.
“This kind of travel is really quite affordable,” Dave said, “and is a great way to engage culture as you go.” Bethany said it doesn’t cost as much as you might think. “We camp at night. We have our tent, have our stove, we shop at grocery stores, and cook our own food. Our biggest expense is food.” However, she did admit, from time to time, they have stayed the night in a motel.
Dave said he just saved his money over time, to make this trek, and is using mostly personal finances, donations from friends and family, not money from sponsors.
The current leg of their adventure started in May in Vancouver, British Columbia, and they are heading to St. George, Utah, where they will fly to a Garth family reunion in Tennessee.
Bethany said they started their trip in 2011 in Maine, riding to Alabama. From there they flew to Guatemala, flew to southern Chili and rode north through Chili, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador.
From South America, they flew to Europe and spent six months traveling in several central European countries, working their way to northern Europe and over to England. She said they were in London for the Olympics, “but we didn’t have much money, so we just went to the free stuff.”
From London, they flew to Istanbul, Turkey, and on to China, where they cycled to Singapore, and then flew to Vancouver, in May of this year.
They traveled in Oregon and California, mostly along the coast to San Francisco, then over to Yosemite Park, then to Tonopah and on the Extra Terrestrial Highway, heading to Panaca and St. George, Utah.
“We wanted to go along U.S. Highway 50,” Bethany said, “supposedly the Loneliest highway in America, but we think now the E.T. Highway is really the loneliest. Between Tonopah and Caliente, there was only one place to get water and/or groceries, and that was Rachel.”
Being both from the south, Bethany said they have really enjoyed how wide and expansive, and desolate Nevada is, “we’re pleased with the route that we chose.”
Of all the places and people they have met in the past two years, the Garth’s said the region of Patagonia in Argentina and Chili has the most natural beauty, as well as the Columbia River Gorge between Oregon and Washington, and the people in England, the most friendly and hospitable. “It was the first place we had been in almost a year, where the native language was English, and probably because the Olympics were there had a lot to do with the atmosphere we experienced.”
The Garths do maintain a website, www.garthsontour.com, about their trip. Bethany said, “Every week I try to put an article about where we have been or what we are doing, and maybe some information about the locations, about our gear, and ourselves. You can also see a map that has a little tab for all of the places we have slept in the past two years.”
Garth said he does not have plans to write a book about their adventures, but will have wonderful stories to tell their future offspring someday.