Planning for the Big Trip: Inuvik to Denver

Well, we're getting ready for the big trip now, and have plenty of work to do. I'll post some of the research here so you can follow along or add in information as you see fit. If any of you have experience with the far north or other parts of the trip, we'd sure love to hear about it!

 Here are our plans as they stand:

About June 3, my brother Collin and his wife Marisa are going to fly us up to Inuvik in his small plane. We will have shipped our bikes in advance, and we hope to get to Inuvik about June 9. Within a day or so, we expect to be headed south on the Dempster highway!

Our expectation is that we'll ride south to Denver, probably going the US West Coast route and then coming across the desert, arriving in Denver around November 1. 


Trip Wrapup and Finances

Countryside near Mosquitoville, Vermont
Countryside near Mosquitoville, Vermont

Well, we're home and settling in to an altered reality. The cat is really lonely and there are lots of things to catch up on.

Miles: We went 691 miles on our big loop, didn't do the loop we planned since we went up into Canada and came back on the Northeast side of Vermont. Our biggest day was a 65-miler, and the shortest a 23-mile day. The average day was about 43 miles.

Route: The actual route is now posted, and you can see that we didn't go west of Vermont's fabulous Northeast Kingdom, but we did go up into Quebec as far as Magog.  read more here... lee mas aquí... »

Good maps and good riding


Our friend Roland gave us the Delorme atlases/gazeteers for New Hampshire and Maine, and they made all the difference in our trip. (We later bought the Vermont gazeteer.) We were able to get *good* information about little back roads, and always had options if we didn't like the highways we were on.

As bad as it sounds, I just ripped the appropriate pages out of the books and put them in my map case on my handlebar bag and we followed them along. They're wonderful and highly recommended. I've used them a bit in the past, but will probably always carry them in the future.

We're done and back


We made it to Manchester safely, packed up our bikes at the bike store, shipped them off FedEx Ground (hope they get home OK) and then mailed ourselves home today. Made it just fine - My son Mark picked us up at the airport.

Now that we have easy internet access we'll post more articles and pictures in the next day or so.

Dan Lewis


Thanks to Nancy's dear old brother (yes he is older) Dan, for the best gourmet meal this side of Italy and also a chance to see the "gang" again. Dan's building a second home on Goose Pond Road. Your all are welcome to stop by, and have a beer at sunset and watch the day settle into night on the newly contructed deck the "gang" built. It is a great tradition we all should all adopt. Stop what you are doing at sunset, have a seat in a comfortable chair and an watch the sun go down. Also thanks to Tod for giving us a lift 30 miles down the road. It would have been a 90 mile day with a deadline we would not have meet.

The Kindness of Strangers

They just never stop spoiling us.

As we rode south in Quebec on a gloomy, rainy afternoon, we decided it was time to find a place to camp, and saw a sign pointing to a campground on Lake Memphremagog. So we rode in toward it, but like most campgrounds this time of year, it was abandoned. There were some campers remaining there, but no people. So we rode around looking for a good spot.

But there was somebody there! A late-season fisherman, Pierre, a French-Canadian with nearly no English. But he could say "Hongree?" and offer us the world's best minnestrone. (Turns out he's a chef at a nearby ski area). And he could say "Sleep here?" and point into his spare camper, all set up. And he fed us in the morning his wonderful French toast with Quebec maple syrup.

If you're ever depressed, go for a bike tour.

We're about to forget how to camp.

Chasing the colors



Chasing the colors up the Connecticut River
Into Vermont and New Hampshire
We weave the state lines.
Searching for the change of colors.
Seaching, seeing, awed, stop.
Get off our bikes
Snapping a another photo
We ride on.


Another covered bridge along
the tour-de-covered-bridge.
Our friend and now our tour guide, Brad
guides us skillfully
through the back roads of his northern woods.
Snap, snap
We capture this early Autumn afternoon scene
Clouds racing in and out.
Wait, wait, the clouds are covering the green
the cloud is leaving,
uncovering the greenest of green fields,
it is unreal, nothing is this green
but freshly squeezed oil paint from a tube
of vermillion or forest green
but perhaps five shades lighter
Through the lens we capture
the simmering leaves, the distance hills
Snap, Got it!
ride on, around the next bend
A picturesque diary farm with dual silos
having seen better days.
Not much red here
we ride north
looking for the change of colors
we ride on, we ride into Canada.

Route Change!

Well, Nancy kept insisting on finding those colors, so we just kept heading north and more north until we went into Canada. So our original route is nothing like what we've done. We followed up Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont into Quebec, and now will come back down through Vermont to (hopefully) catch our plane in a week.
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