Husband and wife team pack up their lives, bike and paint their way across the USA

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LAKIN, Kan. (KSNW) – We’ve heard of running across America, even driving across America, but now a husband and wife duo have added a new twist to the idea after putting their lives in Colorado on hold to begin a new adventure on the road.

Lewis and Denita Williams of Montrose, Colorado, started their journey more than a month ago on March 1. 

“I was kinda reevaluating my life at age 60, so I thought I needed to rattle the cage a little bit, do something different,” said Lewis Williams, Plein Air artist and biker.

Lewis did just that. He grabbed his bike, he and his wife made the trip to the west coast, and from there, dipped his back bike tire in the Pacific Ocean in San Diego and started on the nearly 4,000-mile trek east.

His wife Denita, by his side in their new home, a traveling van.

“They all know we’re crazy. It’s Lew and Denita, what do you expect,” said Denita Williams, wife and support system.

But this isn’t just biking across America, it’s painting across America. The couple has named the journey, ‘Paint My Way ‘Cross the USA – By Bike.’

Lewis is a Plein Air artist meaning he takes his talents outside studio walls and creates art in its natural setting. 

“You can catch the light and the colors out in the environment. But there’s a lot of energy in the way you paint because you paint very quickly,” he said.

Along the way, the couple stops at different landmarks, historical sites, or simply breathtaking scenes. Whenever they stumble on these settings, Lewis gets out his art kit and gets to work.

The couple started the journey following the Old Spanish National Historic Trail and now, they are on the Santa Fe Trail.

So far, the husband and wife team have made it around 2,000 miles.

He’s recreated Fort Union in New Mexico, Bent’s Fort in Colorado, and the next stop is Fort Larned here in Kansas.

“This is a five, almost six-month adventure that not many people are able to leave their home and do,” she said.

Lewis estimates he will have around 300 paintings by the end of the journey, all of which he plans to display in an art show after reaching the west coast and dipping his front bike tire in the Atlantic Ocean.

“There’s many levels of wonder and excitement on this trip, so, we’re very blessed,” he said.

The couple hopes to reach Bar Harbor, Maine by September.

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