Alaska couple to travel world by motorcycle, treat dysentery in kids

KENAI — An Alaska couple plans to leave their home on the Kenai Peninsula this summer, not returning until they’ve crossed 86 countries on their motorcycles while treating children for dysentery.

“It’s going to be very rewarding,” Randy McKinney told the Peninsula Clarion. McKinney said he is a trained homeopath and decided to go on the trip with his wife, Lana McKinney, after they discussed feeling “owned” by their possessions.

“So I asked Lana if she’d be interested in a trip like this,” said Randy McKinney. “Her answer was, ‘My bags are already packed.’”

The McKinneys say their faith was also a major motivation for the trip. Both are Christians and said they felt God was telling them to take the trip. Lana McKinney said she wasn’t afraid of the risks.

“We could fear all kinds of things — we could fear drowning in the river today,” she said. “But we still move forward in faith.”

The couple expects their journey to take at least three to four years. They plan to educate kids on health care and provide clean water in addition to treating their illness.

Dysentery is a widespread bacterial disease frequently carried in water. It causes dehydration and is responsible for about 2.2 million deaths each year, according to the World Health Organization.

The McKinneys plan to head south from Alaska and drive all the way through South America, eventually turning north and boarding a ship in Rio de Janeiro. From there, they hope to cross the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, traveling the outer countries of Africa to the northern border of Finland and cross Russia and India before returning to Alaska.

The motorcycle is new to Lana McKinney, who was on her sixth ride ever on Saturday in Ninilchik.

“I grew up on horses,” she said. “It takes a little getting used to.”

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