Itís not every day you see a horse travelling along Highway 98.
Asheville, N.C., couple Hannah Lauzon and Kevin Harvey have been trekking along the Southeast since September with little money or planning, but a lot of luck.
"We are doing the best thing in the world, which I think is playing music, eating good food and drinking beer," Harvey said.
Playing music under the name Five Cent Fiddle, the duo has been on a band tour of sorts while making their way to New Orleans. What makes this tour different is that their shows are spontaneous and instead of a bus, they travel by horseback and bicycle.
"We needed a way to travel cheap, and travel with our animals," Harvey said.
The journey started on the East Coast with Lauzon on her 14-year-old horse, Meadow Lark, while Harvey walked alongside with their dog, Olive. Eventually, Harvey got a bike, which Olive runs alongside wearing a vest with bulky pockets.
While making their trek, Lauzon and Harvey have relied on the kindness of strangers to take them and their animals in. In return, the hosts are usually treated to live music.
"This is the coolest band tour," Harvey said. "We've had a lot of success with no set dates."
Throughout their trip so far, the couple has stayed in the Florida Panhandle the longest, with a two-week stay over Christmas with friends in Panama City. Most of the trip, they move slowly but surely every day, heading west for about 15-20 miles before stopping to give Meadow a rest. They crossed into Destin and over the Marler Bridge into Fort Walton Beach mid-week.
Last weekend, the two musicians landed in Santa Rosa Beach, fittingly during the 30A Songwriter's Festival. It was a happy accident.
"Everything you plan is not nearly as cool as the things that just happen," Harvey said.
The couple has made rest stops at various places, from Gulfside Trail Rides' campground to abandoned lots to guest houses and were once even treated to a night at a pet-friendly hotel from a stranger in Americus, Ga. Everywhere they've stopped, they've been met with people who want to take their photos or write a story about them. WJHG Channel 7 in Panama City even did a 2-minute story on the couple before The Sun came across them riding down Highway 98.
Being on the open road with your pets has its dangers, Harvey admits. However, they do everything in their power to stay safe and warm during the winter season.
"We are careful, we're cautious," he said. "There's not a lot to fear."
Back home in Asheville, Harvey is a recording engineer and Lauzon does carriage rides for special events, but if they had it their way, they'd rather not return to their regular routine.
"We'd rather not go back to normal life," Harvey said, using air quotation marks. "We'll probably build a gypsy wagon or something."
FOLLOW ALONG: Read about Five Cent Fiddle's adventures around the country through their blog, fivecentfiddle.blogspot.com. You can also listen to their music at reverbnation.com/fivecentfiddle.
Destin Log reporter Savannah Chastain contributed to this story.