Across the USA - From New Hampshire to Washington State

25th Anniversary Tour Preface

01/06/2006 15:44:00 by Administrator

This May, the Rear Admiral and I will be married for 25 years. We decided to do something big to celebrate our life together. We are planning on loading SeeMore up, and heading west.

On May 20th, we will ride east to Seabrook New Hampshire. There we will touch the Atlantic Ocean, and stay overnight before returning back home. School lets out around June 20th. Then we will continue this adventure.

Our first night will see us ride route 101 then 119 towards rte 9 in Brattleboro Vermont, and our second or third night will hopefully see us on the other side of the Green Mountains, in Bennington Vermont. From there we will follow the Erie Canal system across New York. We have traveled this way before, and are very excited to do it again. We plan to visit Dustin in Rochester, New York and then head into Fort Erie, Ontario across the Peace Bridge.

In Ontario we will be traveling through the towns of Dunnville, Port Boyer, Port Stanley, Wallacetown, and Marine City. Next we will cross into Michigan and travel through the towns of Capac, Silverwood, Bay City, Midland, Coleman, Lake George, and Ludington. At Ludington we will cross Lake Michigan via the ferry to Manitowoc, Wisconsin.

In Wisconsin, we will be traveling through the towns of Wrightstown, Shiocton, Shawano, Mattoon, Crandon, Eagle River, Conover, Boulder Junction, Mercer, Butternut, Clam Lake, Haugen, Cumberland, and Osceola. We cross the Mighty Mississippi River in St Paul Minnesota, will ride across Minnesota visiting towns named Dalbo, Milaca, Royalton, Long Prairie, Clitherall, Battle Lake, Pelican Rapids and Hawley.

We will cross North Dakota at Fargo, and visit the towns of Erie, Hope, Cooperstown, Binford, Warwick, Minnewaukan, Esmond, Rugby, Granville, Minot, Makoti, New Town and Williston. We will spend a while in Montana, while visiting Big Sky Country, we plan to do a night ride. We will also travel through the towns of Bainville, Colbertson, Poplar, Wolf Point, Frazer, Glasgow, Hindsdale, Saco, Malta, Wagner, Harlem, Chinook, Havre, Kremlin, Inverness, Lothair, Shelby, and Cut Bank.

From Cut Bank, we head north into Alberta Canada, before going across the "Road to the Sun" in Glacier National Park. Continuing our Montana experience, we will travel through the towns named Whitefish, Olney, Eureka, Libby, and Troy. Crossing into Idaho we will travel from Clark Fork to Sandpoint.

Our last state will be Washington. We will be traveling through Newport, Ione, Colville, Kettle Falls, Republic, Wauconda, Tonasket, Okanogan, Twisp, and Mazama. We will explore North Cascades National Park and continue through to Anacortes Washington where we will touch the Pacific Ocean.

That's the plan. We hope to finish by the end of August.

25th Anniversary Tour - Day 1

04/29/2006 03:47:49 by Administrator

From: Milford, NH
To: Portsmouth, NH
Mileage: 79.5

Cycling tradition has it that if you do a tour across the US you start by dipping your wheel in the ocean on one side and then when you make it to the other side you dip your wheel into the other ocean. Well I'm not sure if we are going to make it to the Pacific ocean or not but we did officially start our tour this weekend by riding from Milford, NH to Portsmouth, NH to stick SeeMore into the Atlantic Ocean. We originally intended to make this trip a little closer to our 25th anniversary on May 23rd but the weather was perfect and we were ready to go.

Portsmouth is about 75 miles from Milford, traveling the back roads. We have maps for NH that indicate the best routes for cyclist to travel. For some reason the Rear Admiral picked all of the best roads and we traveled through some of NH most beautiful places. We did not pass a single bad dog, dump or waste water treatment plant. There wasn't a cloud in the sky on either Saturday or Sunday and we only got slightly lost for about 5 miles. We started at about 8 am on Saturday and we were in Portsmouth at about 3 pm. We stopped for directions to the hotel at a bike shop and ended up chatting with the owner of Papa Wheelie about his bike tour last year in New Zealand.

We were able to get a reservation at the Courtyard Marriott in downtown Portsmouth. It was awesome. We had the pool and Jacuzzi all to ourselves! We went downtown and had dinner at the Gaslight restaurant and sat and watched the tourist on Market and Congress streets. Just before dinner we rode down to the pier and did the official wheel dip. Then took a short walk through Prescott park, a pretty little park right across the street from Strawberry Bank.

25th Anniversary Tour - Day 2

04/30/2006 03:50:52 by Administrator

From: Portsmouth, NH
To: Milford, NH
Mileage: 83

New Hampshire in the spring! Our views were filled with old farm houses, continuous stone walls, forsythia and azalea bushes, flowering cherry trees, white churches, and rolling hills to name a few. We do not take for granite, living in New Hampshire ;-)!

The trip home on Sunday was just as pretty, except for our slight misdirection, which forced us through what is normally a pretty bad section of road. It turned out to be not quite so bad (after all), and the drivers were courteous. We didn't get home until around 5 pm with a total of about 83 miles for the day. We actually averaged a better speed on Sunday but were really delayed because we stopped to visit with a guy who was out working in his yard. We stopped to ask him about his new motor home and the next thing you know he offered us a tour. He and his wife had just retired and purchased this 2006 Lazy Daze class C motor home, 26.5 footer. So naturally we had to check it out. They will be traveling to Cheyenne, Wyoming this summer to the same rally that Noel's parents are planning to attend. It's a small world. One thing about being on a bike, you seem to meet some of the nicest people.

25th Anniversary Tour - Day 3

06/17/2006 03:56:33 by Administrator

From: Milford, NH
To: Brattleboro, VT
Mileage: 64

Getting up Saturday was easy. Our goal today was to get to Brattleboro from home, with a stop over in Fitzwilliam to visit our friends, Perry and Roberta Nadeau. We have ridden most of today's roads before. We followed Rte 101 until the bottom Temple Mountain, and turned left after Gary's Harvest Restaurant. It is quieter going to this way west in New Hampshire. When we entered Temple center, we were greeted with a road closure sign for West road. Stopping in the Temple Market, we were given great work around directions that eventually led us back to West road and towards Jaffrey. We continued riding through the very hilly Monadnock mountain range. We circled Mount Monadnack (old baldy) as we road toward Fitzwilliam.

We arrived at the Nadeau 'compound' on Laurel Lake just in time for lunch. Roberta made sandwiches, and we had a picnic lunch on their boat in the middle of the lake. THANK YOU NADEAUS! What a great couple of hours. With full bellies, and a pretty nice down hill ride, we were off following Rte 119 towards Hinsdale. The ride was quiet for the most part, but still pretty hilly. In Hinsdale we took a break at the town park. The park had a friendly "welcome and stay" feeling, and we sat and enjoy it. Getting back on SeeMore, we rode to about a mile from Brattleboro when a few drops of rain begin to hit my knees. SeeMore immediately made a hard left turn into Tastefully Done, an Ice Cream and Sandwich Shop on Rte 119. SeeMore enjoyed sitting under the porch, and Mary and I enjoy some GREAT ice cream while the water came pouring down from the heavens.

The rainstorm was heavy but short, and we continued over the Connecticut River into Brattleboro. Our night was spend at the Dalem Chalet Motel (which was also on top of another hill!) and had dinner down the hill, and across the street. A good challenging day to test and see how fit we are. Tomorrow, the Green Mountains!

25th Anniversary Tour - Day 4

06/18/2006 03:58:29 by Administrator

From: Brattleboro, VT
To: Bennington, VT
Mileage: 42

Wilmington by 9:45 am, Bennington by 12:30, piece of cake. . . .yeah right. The temperatures reached 95 degrees today. The Rear Admiral and I were finishing off breakfast at the Royal Diner, which is located at the base of Hogback Mountain, at 7:00am. We knew it was going to be hot as we climbed the Green Mountains of Vermont. We also knew that it was motorcycle weekend in Loudon, NH and Rte 9 would be a major route for people coming back and returning to their homes in New York. Only about 35 vehicles pass us as we climbed up and over Hogback Mountain. It was so quiet at times, we could not believe our luck. On the west side of Marlboro, we got our first flat tire of the trip. It had been such a long time that we had a flat (over 1700 miles). We pulled into the highway department's area, I found a small stream and located the small hole. We were patched and on our way in about 10 minutes, not bad for being rusty.

We continued to climb, and Mary spotted a fawn by the side of the road. I was looking out for moose, but didn't see this shy creature today. Once on Hogback, we tried to absorb the 100-mile view. We felt on top of the world, for now, knowing that Searsburg Mountain was 15 miles to the west. Riding into Wilmington, we stopped at the Shaw's supermarket for some oranges and Gatorade.

As we climbed out of Wilmington, the traffic increased, the temperature rose, and the grade got steeper. On the last part of our ascent up Searsburg, we were (barely) passed by two elderly gentlemen, each riding their own moped/scooter. I think they were maxed out at 10 mph. When we reach the top, they were waiting for us and cheering us on! What an experience.

We stopped in the General Store at the top of the 3-mile downhill, that would lead us into Bennington, for another Gatorade and some more stretching. Then the fun began. We reached 46 mph going downhill. We would have reached higher, but the Rear Admiral put on her brake a couple of times. She has to feel safe, or this trip is no fun and I agree.

We rode through main street in Bennington, past the Hemmings gas station and up the hill leading out of town, then turned and rode back through town. We didn't want Katelyn (who picked us up and brought us home) to experience the Sunday traffic (parking lot) jam.

I have a couple more days of school, then Kate will drop us back in Bennington to continue!

25th Anniversary Tour - Day 5

06/21/2006 04:00:29 by Administrator

From: Bennington, VT
To: Schenectady, NY
Mileage: 55

We were on the road at about 1:30PM. Kate (thank you sweetie) drove us back out to Bennington, VT to take up where we left off on Sunday. Here we go! Fully loaded!

Today was a 10. Temperatures were in the low 80's and the sky was bright blue. We cycled on route 7 into New York over rolling hills a pretty views of farms. We had a nice gradual climb up to Brunswick where we picked up route 142. Route 142 skirts downtown Troy nicely and is mostly downhill!. We sailed over the Hudson River into Waterford and then down to Cohoes where we started to look for start of the Erie Canal trail. We've been to this end of the Canal trail so we had a pretty good idea of the general vicinity of where to look. We were stopped by a very nice man who asked us if we were on tour, not only did he show us how to get to the trail he gave us a few tips on places to stay for the night. Thank you Rich!

The canal trail was beautiful, like riding through a big lush green tunnel. Once in a while there is a glimpse of the Mohawk River. Lots of hikers, cyclist and runners were on the trail, it's great to see the trail so well used.

We took a short break in Niskayuna, at a small park on the trail overlooking the Mohawk River. We found a quiet bench and watched the boats go by. After a quick snack and some stretches we were on our way to Schenectady. The Mohawk trail disappears at either end of Schenectady. You need to ride through downtown, past Union college. This reminds us of the areas in Boston around NorthEastern and BC/BU.

Tonight we are at the "lovely" L and M motel in Schenectady. We rate it a 3. It right off the bike path though, and we did have chinese food delivered. We fought over the broccoli

25th Anniversary Tour - Day 6

06/22/2006 03:08:11 by Administrator

From: Schenectady, NY
To: Little Falls, NY
Mileage: 59

Today was another 10. Stop us if you hear this record before! Had the free continental breakfast at L and M Motel, cold cereal, coffee, and orange juice. It held me well for the morning, but the Rear Admiral needs her lumberjack special!

We love the Erie Canal. It is a cyclist's paradise. The morning saw us riding through light rain. It could rain like this everyday, and it would be perfect for the farmers and the bicycle riders. We saw multitudes of birds, rabbits, turtles, squirrels, and woodchucks. The towpath is crushed stone through most of today's travels. We are using a 20 x 1.50 tire in the front and a 26 x 2.00 tire in the back. So we move through the trail slower than riding on pavement, but we manage just fine.

We were brought to a stop at the Information Booth in downtown Canajoharie by one the volunteers. He was impressed with SeeMore and his town. The trail way runs right through downtown and this part of the trail is paved. Canajoharie does everything to attract cyclist and boaters into down town. He directed us to a deli/used furniture store. That is NOT a typo. We had extremely tasty sandwiches while sitting at a dining room table that could be yours for $29.99 (table only, no chairs).

After Canajoharie we rode into Fort Plain and then on toward Little Falls. We had some rough going about 8 miles east of Herkimer Mansion. The trail was very muddy and not maintained. Mary asked if I had made a wrong turn. We stopped at Herkimer Mansion for a look-see. This homestead was built in 1764 and was owned by General Nicholas Herkimer, Palatine hero of the Battle of Oriskany. That's what the sign said, don't shoot the messenger.

We are hold up at the Best Western Motel in downtown Little Falls. Life is really hard on us! We walked downtown Little Falls and window shopped, purchase salad and fruit for dinner AND CHOCOLATE ECLAIRS. Remember, it's not about the riding; it's about the eating!