New England

Our bikes arrived!


The bike store we shipped the bikes to called and said that the bikes arrived safely! We just have to get to Manchester, NH and put them together now.

Here we go: New England for the Fall Colors!


OK! We have tickets and this trip is going to happen! We fly to Manchester, New Hampshire this coming Wednesday, and start riding on Thursday. We'll be posting our adventures and pictures as we go and get a chance.



We're starting to keep closer and closer track of our budget, because we want to make a realistic budget for the big trip (from the Arctic Circle to the bottom of South America) which we hope to start next year (in 2006!).

So here's our budget for this one. We'll see how we do. We're figuring about $20/day/person. That will come out to about $400/person (not including airfare or shipping the bikes both ways). Hopefully we can do it!

Made it to Manchester


Originally uploaded by refay.
We got our bikes all put together today and got on the road. The wonderful folks at Alternative Bike helped us get all set and gave us an idea where to go. Our first little loop before family reunion on Saturday is to ride up and over toward the coast and back down toward Exeter. We're riding this afternoon in a light rain, sometimes heavier, and just working our way north.

Hannah Dustin - Don't mess with her!


These New Englanders are crazy about their history, of course. Every village has a marker about its own Revolutionary General. Yesterday we rode through Dunbarton, the hometown of General John Stark, an admirable man indeed.

But today we passed a memorial to Hannah Dustin. Hannah was carried away by Indians and taken to an island. But with her 10-year-old compatriot, she killed all the Indians, scalped them, and escaped back to home ground.

Don't mess with Hannah Dustin!

Troy Family Reunion


We rode our bikes along the entire coast of New Hampshire, yes the whole coast before noon on Saturday. Are you impressed? Well it was only 16 miles of coast line but it was so beautiful. Riding along the sea coast was such a treat. Moist area, surfers out in the rocklined shallows and eel grass marshes.

We rode to my cousin Janice's house in Stratham, NH where all my crazy troy relatives mingled for the the Troy Family Reunion, an afternoon of eating, drinking and general fun. Aunt Kay was the oldest at 96. (Fiesty old broad) It was wonderful seeing all the relatives I have not seen in ages.

We rode our bikes this morning from Stratham to Exeter to visit Randy's uncle and aunt. We rode 41 miles up to Dover where our new friend Roland walked up to us out of the blue at the grocery store and took us home for dinner. Wonderful evening with top notch people (and new friends). Wow. What a treat!

The Delights of the Warm Showers List


We love to meet people on our travels,and one of the ways to do is is the wonderful Warm Showers list, a hospitality list for touring cyclists. Most of the time the people on the list don't live where you want them to, but yesterday we hit the jackpot and got to spend the night with Brad and Sue Wyman, devoted touring cyclists, at their incredibly beautiful farmhouse-at-the-top-of-the-hill in West Dummer, New Hampshire. The delight of sharing the evening with them and exchanging cycling experiences was one of the high points of our trip so far.

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.

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.

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.

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