Last night on Highway A1A near St. Augustine, I drove past this 1928 Graham Paige Model 610 touring car, puttering down the road with hazard lights blinking and the words "Spark Your Dream" and "Argentina to Alaska: Done!" on the side.
Showing a remarkable lack of geographic knowledge, I told my children they were probably heading back home, forgetting that we live on a peninsula that doesn't get much South America-bound traffic.
The drivers are Herman and Candelaria Zapp, Argentineans who've been driving all over the Americas at a top speed of 35 mph with their two young sons. In 2003, they finished a 43,717-mile drive from Buenos Aires to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, in two years, eight months and 17 days.
The boys are enjoying the trip, Pampa never asks "are we there yet?" instead "Where are we going?"
Pampa was a product of the trip, as Herman Zapp told CNN:
... we got a romantic moment in Guatemala. In Belize we found out something with Canny. In Mexico, grows in the belly. And in North Carolina was born our son.
Planning next to cross Asia for three years, they're financing their travels in part with a book, Spark Your Dream, which sounds from its back cover to be as arduous as their journey:
Yes, since you're reading, sit here with us. Pack light. No, don't sit there, get yourself at the driver seat. Something good is going to happen in our lives so let's go and seize the moment. It will be a tour in the exterior world, which only reflects a fraction of the journey in your interior.
One thing that surprised me, from photos, is that the Zapps appear to be anatomically normal. I figured that crossing the world for six-plus years in an antique car with no shock absorbers would give you giant calloused baboon ass.
Kids who never ask "are we there yet"?
That's gonna make some folk jealous.
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I dread the day when Addie says anything that can't be answered with a handful of goldfish crackers. But for now, I'm really here to ask you to keep your eyes open for a job for Todd :O)
Thank you Roger for including us in your website. One of the things that we love to do now is to share our Dream with everybody and inspire the people to go for their Dreams. So we are happy so share this through your web.
Thanks, bye, the road is calling us.
I too just saw Herman in Washington DC. I only had the opportunity to say hello but what a remarkable story. I wish you well Herman, wherever you are tonight.
Had a good chat with them (bought the book) at Cumberland pioneer village (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) on 23 sept 2007. What a beautiful day. They are doing well. Hope to see them in Sri-Lanka and India in 2008.
I just saw the car here in NW Calgary, Alberta on John Laurie Blvd @ around noon Nov. 5th, 2007. All I could see is Herman (?) driving at the leisurely pace of 30 mph. His "hazard" indicators flashing. Good luck, safe travels.
I saw Herman and his family arriving at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta, Canada, on Nov. 11, 2007. (I was on vacation from Los Angeles.) It was amazing to see a family that had driven that far in a old car. It truly was inspiring. Didn't get a chance to talk to them as I was leaving and they were arriving. Will look for the book!
I met you folks in Regina, Sask, in Oct/07. I was relieved to see in this site that you had reached Parksville and are now proud parents of your third child. Congratulations!! You asked me to send comments once I read your book. Once I started I could not put it down!! I was impressed how you were able to remember, record and include the wonderful wisdom and knowledge of the people you met along the way. Our youngest son is well into it and there are others who have asked to read it. I cannot wait until you have a sequel from this run and your time through Asia etc. as I am sure it will be a great read! Happy New year to you all, best wishes for a safe and wonderful continuation of your dream!!! If you are ever back in Regina, I would hope for a longer visit and maybe time to host you. Rod.
Hi, spotted this amazing car (extended warranty must be long over) at the corner of View & Blanshard Streets in Victoria B.C. at 10.30AM on January 15th, 2008...amazing!!
I'm a Biology teacher with 1955 Chevys I'am reading your book and love it--inspires me to complete my dream to produce another rockabilly music album--this time on Gene Vincent songs. All the best in Asia--we would like to meet you. Don and Laida Lockwood.
Is it possible to get the ZAPP'S E-MAIL address? I MET THEM IN COASTA Rico some time ago. Thank you,Cameron
Nos movilizo muchisimo el ver el intervieu en A Viva Vos, los felicitamos, los acompanamos y deseamos que se contacten con nosotros. Vivimos en Las Vegas. Y somos Argentinos.
Monica y Mariano
Just saw them driving north in Sausalito, California yesterday afternoon (Saturday, just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco). People were smiling and waving as they passed through town and got a few honks from the Zapps. What a great life. Have a great journey.
I Just saw them here in Los Angeles CA, (outside an Argentinean Restaurant in Van Nuys) (bought the book) They look really good and Cande (the wife) is pregnant!! I'm going to read the book and try to live the adventure through the book until the day I could live my dream as they are living it now, I was really happy to see them and I hope to see them again somewhere else.
I wish them all the best, health and happiness!
Just met these folks last night at the Austin Car Club meeting and herd their incredible and interesting story,the family and car have arrived safely in Australia, what a dream, wife Cande is still pregnant,but only just,baby is due in about a week.This is the continuance of their dream starting off again in Australia. Good luck to them and I am looking forward to catching up with them again soon
hey guys!!!! we got our newborn he is an Aussie, and his name is marco Wallaby! would you like to see him, check this link and look for the family.
Please if you want to write us you can email us to firstname.lastname@example.org and our website is www.sparkyourdream.net
Met these lovely people in our country town of Heyfield, Victora, Australia. I great pleasure to meet and speak to them. They are a great inspiration to everyone who has a dream. Keep on "truckin". All The Very best wishes. Malcolm Hillier
Hi Herman and Candelaria;
I met you in Vancouver, BC a while back. I am amazed to see you made it to Australia. Did you buy your fishing boat, or did you find some other way to get to OZ? Good luck in your travels; you certainly are living your dream. Say hi to the three kids. Have a good tioem.
Saw them last night in Gawler SA. What lovely people, all 6 of them. They were in convoy with 2 other Graham Paiges and helped me out with some light on the subject from the well-travelled headlights when I was putting petrol in my Falcon ute in the dark.
Met the Zapps at the Cornish Festival on the Kadina Oval. Herman is an inspiration to all that have a dream - he is so friendly and made time to talk to everyone that approached him.
Met Herman in Perth, Western Australia at the Veteran Car Club's Spares Shed on 24th June 09. They provided a better wooden wheel for the Graham. Cande was doing school work for the kids that morning so we missed meeting another extra/ordinary person. Really enjoying the book, and only up to Costa Rica.
Just arrived back in Fremantle after 3 weeks in the north. We were camped next to this remarkable family and their equally remarkable car in the Karajini national Park. What a nice family they are , and we were especially taken with the way Herman romped with his kids and seemed to be delighted with everything he saw. The way everyone who stopped by was welcomed shows how they manage to do the impossible ; i.e, continue after all these years on the road - they make friends wherever they go. Buena suerte!
We stopped and chatted with Hermann and Cande and their lovely children at a roadhouse on the Victoria Highway about 100 K west of Fitzroy Crossing. We were enroute to Broome, and they were headed for Darwin.
We couldn't do much to help them (they had a problem with a leaking seal) but we bought their book, which we have been reading with great interest.
Hermann and Cande, we will keep track of your travels. Via con Dios!
Alice and Mike
Hola ,tuve la oportunidad de verlos en Sidney,que hermoso es lo que estan haciendo .Termine de leer su libro y senti que viaje con ustedes,piensan escribir otro?con el recorrido que estan haciendo ahora...besos y muchos abrazos .Ana
Herman and Cande and the 4 children stayed with us in Keppel Sands for a couple of days on their way down the Queensland coast. They had previously met my eldest daughter, Dyani, in Geraldton WA (she lives in Perth but was in Geraldton for a wedding). She told them to call in on us in Queensland, which they did. A fascinating couple with a philosophy on life that we could all take note of. The children are delightful. They left us several weeks ago and when I spoke to Herman today, 14th December 2009, they were in Sydney NSW. They are planning to spend New Year in Sydney (to see the fireworks light up the Sydney Harbour Bridge) and will then head for New Zealand in the first week of January. They would probably appreciate a Christmas wish on their email: email@example.com
They spread goodwill and happiness wherever they go.
I met Herman Zapp back in October of 2008 at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Amazed with the vintage car I approached him and talked for awhile. I gave him my business card. I was in the US that time attending Oracle OpenWorld. He said that someday together with his family they will chase their dreams in the Philippines. Time flies and almost memories gone until recently I got an email from him saying they are in Japan and heading next to the Philippines. As of this writing, they are already in Manila but still waiting for the well loved car from Japan.
They are very much welcome to share their dreams to the Filipinos. Indeed, we are very happy to share our traditions and cultures to them. We shall be happy to become a part of their dreams.
I am personally in touch with the Zapps and on behalf of the Filipinos, MABUHAY AND WELCOME TO THE PEARL OF THE ORIENT!
Hi we ran into them in Omaru, New Zealand in March 2010 and had a chat and took some pictures, what an amazing journey.
.. we met in greensboro nc..i came with the homebirth midwife,,i was to be your doula..i read up on you periodically...and keep you in my prayers..keep rolling...peace and much love ,