Journals (Start to Finish) Our tours, start to finish

Nova Scotia Day 11

07/12/2005 03:21:22 by Administrator

From: Brooklyn
To: Bridgetown
Mileage: 62

Then there was a hill . . . .

But first, we carried the bikes on the back of the motor home into Grand Pre from the campground, since we didn't want to back pedal. We visited the Grand Pre Historical site and learned about the Acadian people and their farming techniques (Dyke building). In 1755 the Acadian's were expelled from this part of Nova Scotia by the British (mostly New Englanders) after the French beat up the British in a sneak attack. Someone had to be blamed, and since the Acadians were non-violent, they became an easy target. Longfellow's poem "Evangeline" tells of their hardship. Grand Pre is a must see, and don't forget to visit the gardens and outside exhibits. By the way, we are now on the Evangeline Trail, following the Bay of Fundy (and in Acadian country). This is the last route we will be able to do on this Nova Scotia trip because of the time limit. We then rode into Wolfville and biked around Acadia University, Next on to Kentsville and had a delicious Santa Fe Chicken pizza at Pizza Delight. We then visited the information booth at Kentsville. Almost all the information centers are brand new and very helpful. Stop in and ask questions. They are also putting in bottled water, they must have been listening to my suggestion that cyclist need water!

At the information center they told us of a rails-to-trail that runs all the way to Yarmouth. We just had to try it, but found that you really need fat tires. SeeMore did ok, but Mary and I fell twice (at a slow speed and no injuries) and Georges had a very tough time. So we had to follow Route 1 (busy) until we got off the Evangeline trail and rode route 201 for the rest of the ride. We had our first dog run in on the trip, but SeeMore out ran him and he was too tired to chase Georges. We also saw a skunk, SeeMore also quickly put some distance from the sighting.

We are camping at Valley View Provincial Park. . . .and now for the hill.

Here is the lay of the land. The Bay of Fundy is towards the west; then there is a mountain range, then farmland; and finally Route 1 in the valley. The campground is almost at the very top of the mountain. If you are biking, there are private campgrounds in Bridgetown. But we agreed to meet Mom and Dad at this park. The road up to it has 4 switchbacks and a very steep grade. We made it about 3/4 of the 5k climb, walked about 50 yards for a rest, then finished it off by riding the remaining. When we got to the park, there was yet another climb to our campsite! Dinner was spinach and roasted chicken (which is more expensive up here than lobster!). Mom out did herself again. The weather today, again, was near perfect! The hill took a lot out of us, so we decided against playing cards and went to bed after dinner.

Nova Scotia Day 12

07/13/2005 03:24:45 by Administrator

From: Bridgetown
To: Digby
Mileage: 34

What comes up, must come down. After breakfast we left Valley View Park and had a 5k downhill ride. The Rear Admiral kept the rear disc brake on until the final switchback (poor road conditions and cars). As soon as we rounded the last switch back, we "released the hounds" and reached 38 mph! Not the fastest speed, but a safe one. We road about 15 miles into Annapolis Royal and spent a couple of hours at the Tidal Power plant, and then the Royal Gardens. Next we had lunch in front of the fort and afterwards explored the downtown of Annapolis Royal. Our afternoon bike ride took us to the town of Digby. Rte 101 merges with rte 1 here, and it is not a very pleasurable ride. We arrived at Jaggars Campground and set up camp and lazed around. At night we went into Digby. Digby is famous for it's very large scallops. Since this really is an eating tour and not a biking tour, we went into town and ate the local fair (Large Scallops, Yummy!) and after dinner we explored Digby.

Tomorrow will be our last day of riding. Dad will drive us to Belliveau Cove so we can avoid the traffic on rte 101. Todays weather was near perfect again! We have been very very lucky!

Nova Scotia Day 13

07/14/2005 03:27:00 by Administrator

From: Belliveau Cove
To: Yarmouth
Mileage: 45

Today's four-letter word. . . . wind! Boy oh boy did it blow! We averaged 3 mph less then normal. I once got blown off the road onto the sidewalk outside of Yarmouth.

We began in Belliveau Cove, after getting a lift off of rte 101 (around the traffic). We could have ridden it, but why spoil a great trip. We started at a very large old church in Belliveau Cove. The fog rolled in and out, and the wind blew. We traveled through Acadian country. This is where the Acadians returned to after being deported out of Nova Scotia (to New England). The Acadians are very proud of their heritage. We saw lots of the ocean as we traveled through the small non-busy towns. We had lunch at Misha's CafÈ in Port Maitland. What a great find, we finished off our sandwiches with homemade lemon cheesecake. . oh my!

We are staying at a hotel in downtown Yarmouth (across from the Cat). We walked downtown (window shopping) then on to old town with the beautiful old ship captain's homes. We visited a little part of the Yarmouth County Museum, then had dinner on the waterfront. To celebrated another successful bike trip, we had a round of double margaritas.

Tomorrow we ride the Cat (ferry) back to Bar Harbor.

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!