And Now it is Time to Say Goodbye…

Time is funny. Seven weeks seemed liked an eternity. Sometimes during really tough days on the trip, or in the middle of the trip, when each day was like the day before it, the riders would all be saying “when is this going to be over?”. But now that it is, it seems like it went by in a flash. One minute we were in Oregon, full of energy and that  “we can do this” spirit, and the next we were splashing around in the Atlantic Ocean.

Some facts about the trip: Total Mileage: 3,734 miles; Hours Spent Riding (Including Stops): 302 hours; Total Vertical Feet: 127,000 Feet Climbed; Total Calories Used: 207,000 Calories; Pounds Lost: 3 Pounds-You can IMAGINE How MUCH I Ate; Personal Best Mileage for 1 Month: July-2,450 miles; Favorite Day of the Trip: The Teton Pass Day into Jackson, Wyoming; Toughest Day of the Trip: The ride from Casper to Lusk, Wyoming-106 miles and 100 degrees!; Tires Ruined on the Trip: 2; Flat Tires on the Trip: 5 ( plus some tubes ruined before I realized the tire had been destroyed); Amount of Bananas and Peanut Butter Eaten, and Gatorade Consumed: MORE THAN I COULD EVER KEEP TRACK OF. But, my Bike did great. I just came back from High Gear Cyclery and it took about 20 minutes to clean it, and that was it; NOTHING needed to be replaced, absolutely AMAZING.

So, in parting, I want to thank you all for sharing this experience with me. What started out as a way to raise funds, (which we did a LOT of) and then a way to send photos of where I was, became something that helped me remember each day in a way I wouldn’t have otherwise. The trip was everything that I could have hoped it would be – challenging, fun, a builder of new friendships, and rewarding beyond expression. I learned more about the U.S. in    52 days than I could have ever hoped for.

Things I will take away: After having  done this trip I have the sense that with enough training and planning, there is not much I can’t do if I want to. I have a better understanding of the people of the United States. I was staggered by the unbelievable Geographic diversity of America, Rain Forests of Oregon, High Desert; Plains; River Valleys, Rolling Hills, Waterfalls, Gorgeous Canyons. There were 2 women on the trip with cancer, and their grace and courage was an inspiration for me to overcome whatever aches  and pains I was experiencing and just do the ride. But mostly a sense of humility, for the chance to do the ride, for Peg who knew what this meant to me, and agreed to us being apart for 7 weeks. Mostly, how LUCKY I have been in my life.

So, again, thanks for all your caring, concern and attention.I hope You’ve enjoyed this as much as as I have, and….

See You On the Road

alan

Almost home, crossing the GWB

Almost home, crossing the GWB

Map that was in the lobby every night showing our progress

Map that was in the lobby every night showing our progress-the dark line across the top of America

What a feeling!

What a feeling!

 

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I Just Biked ACROSS America………

…and do I feel WONDERFUL! Tired, relieved, but great. A very emotional day, as you can imagine. We left Manchester early as we need to get to Rye High School by 11:30 as we we had a police escort for the last 3 miles to the beach. Since we left so early, we all stopped in Exeter, New Hampshire, the quintessential New England town, for coffee and once last pre-taper “snack”. This was after our final SAG stop no more than 8 miles prior. Anyway, we gathered at the school, had one FINAL sign-in sheet, then I said most of my good-byes as I was one of the few leaving that day.  Most of the riders had flights on Tuesday, and were staying together in New Hampshire for one last night. The police escort was great, we didn’t need to worry about stop signs or lights, and pretty much stayed together until the beach, where chaos reigned. As we turned into Wallis Sands Beach, I had trouble finding Peg due to the crowd, but we found each other, and it was great to be together again. After lots of hugs and kisses, me and 35 other riders, LOTS of family, schlepped our bikes across the sand to dip ourselves and our bikes in the Atlantic. What an indescribable feeling of accomplishment, pride, relief. It is slowly sinking in how unbelievable a trip this has been. After a while, the riders and staff had the ceremonial pouring of Pacific Ocean water into the Atlantic. We had gathered 2 bottles of water from the Pacific before we had left, and now officially, the trip was complete. I have posted lots of photos today, as every moment from the day is precious, as the people who have been my companions for the last 50 days.

A word about my roommate Curt. Getting a roommate is always somewhat of a crap shoot. There are lots of traits that could make sharing a room with a complete stranger for 50 days a real challenge. Curt was great. He was everything I could have hoped for, and I will miss him, but I am sure we will stay friends.

So my friends, the trip is over, I will do one more post as a recap, and then we will all move on, hopefully richer for the experience, I know it was incredible for me.

alan

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Last Load

Jeff, the group leader, and Mike ( with the hat) one of the mechanics, and toast writer, at the LAST SAG

Jeff, the group leader, and Mike ( with the hat) one of the mechanics, and toast writer, at the LAST SAG

Town square in Exeter, New Hamshire

Town square in Exeter, New Hampshire

All the women who did eh complete trip. 6 Riders, 3 Staff members

All the GREAT women who did the complete trip. Pam, Rebecca, Patti, Ronnie, Leslie, Cynthia, Ariyohani, Karen, Judy

On the way to the beach

On the way to the beach

The beginning of the end

The beginning of the end

Peg and me

Peg and me

7 weeks!

7 weeks!

Curt and me, unbelievable

Curt and me, unbelievable

Curt and me

Curt and me

Walking across the beach

Walking across the beach

Ariyohani and me

Ariyohani and me

Mark and me

Mark and me

Sym and me

Sym and me

Scene at the Beach

Scene at the Beach

In the Atlantic

In the Atlantic

UNBELIEVABLE!

UNBELIEVABLE!

Pacific meets Atlantic

Pacific meets Atlantic

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Darlin’ I’ll be Home Soon

Apologies to John Sebastian for butchering his verse, but by this time tomorrow, I will be HOME or close to home. After so many different beds in the last 50 days, it will feel nice to be back in my own bed, and not have to decide what clothes I am wearing by using the “sniff test”. Great day today in New Hampshire. It always surprises me how dissimilar Vermont and New Hampshire are. We spent a good deal of time on back roads today so we got a real good feeling for the terrain-LOTS of Short but STEEP hills, and the small towns-quaint and charming. Lots of streams running along the road side. We even rode past a paper mill, Monadnock Paper. This is a mill I have visited a few times in the past since in the “good old days” we used their paper for some beautiful print projects and lots of upscale Annual Reports. Tonight after Rap we are having our final dinner together, and we have all started talking about the reasons we have started and finished this trip, and what we will take away from it. Last night, Mike Petroni, who every night presented Mikey’s Minute, gave us his take on this. At the end, he gave a toast, which I present below. When he was done, there were a lot of us close to tears.

“I would like to raise a toast. To the mountains, to the plains, to blowing tail winds and passing rain, to smooth gears, to the crest of a climb, to the year of training, and to wonderful families understanding–to sweat, to salt, to challenging pain and overcoming it, to the seat of our saddles, to the meat of our thighs, to God and country…..to all the miles and men and women who are now and will forever be a part of us, may adventure live in and guide our hearts forever”

Well put Mikey!

After dinner tonight we all spoke a bit about our feelings. We all thanked the staff for their efforts. A funny story about the staff, today my rear tire was flat when I left the hotel room. We checked to make sure there was nothing in the tire, changed the tube, and I was off. EXCEPT, 20 miles later it was FLAT AGAIN. While I started the process to fix the tire by myself, Tom, who I was riding with called one of the staff. Next thing I know it was like a SWAT Team showing up, 1 van from one direction, 1 van from the opposite direction, AND 2 of the staff on their bikes, simply amazing! Jim did, finally after really working at it, find a 1/8″ piece of wire embedded in the tire, so it was good I didn’t fix it myself as I never would have found it. But we also all talked about the camaraderie, the constant caring and encouragement that we all have given each other, whether before each day’s ride, or during, that has enabled us to complete the ride. It was quite an evening.

Tomorrow is the end, on to the Atlantic to dip our bikes.

alan

Bridge across the Connecticut River into New Hampshire

Bridge across the Connecticut River into New Hampshire

Phill, the New Zealand Goat Herder

Phill, the New Zealand Goat Herder

Dan, Jay,Drew posing in front of the LAST "Welcome to.." sign

Dan, Jay,Drew posing in front of the LAST “Welcome to..” sign

Doug, John, Dave-3 VERY good riders at a SAG stop

Doug, John, Dave-3 VERY good riders at a SAG stop

Monadnock Paper Mills

Monadnock Paper Mills

Town square in Bennington, New Hampshire

Town square in Bennington, New Hampshire

Old meeting house in Francestown, New Hampshire

Old meeting house in Francestown, New Hampshire

 

 

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And the Rides Dwindle Down to a Precious Few

We crossed the Hudson River early this morning to  be, as Jesse Winchester sang “with the peaceful folk in the hills of old Vermont”. And Hills there were. We went through Bennington, then up over Hogback Mountain. When we found out that we would go past the graveyard where Robert Frost is buried, someone quipped, “maybe we should take the road less hilly”, no such luck. All the riders were pretty apprehensive about the climbing as this is the most we have done, over 5,000 vertical feet, since western South Dakota-seems like a LONG TIME AGO. But we all did fine. We were back to a climb of close to 10 miles for the first long part of the climb up Hogback Mountain. Along the way we had the constant noise of running water rushing downhill, unfortunately, it was going OPPOSITE of the way we were going. We then descended into the town of Wilmington, before the final ascent.The drop into Brattleboro was great. As expected we went through cute little towns, all with very New England style churches, and past nice farms.  And the drivers were very nice as we were on narrow roads, often in poor condition, often with no shoulder, and the drivers always gave us lots of room, with NO New York style attitude.

It is hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that I have spent close to 290 hours on my bike to go from Astoria to Brattleboro, and there are only about 10 more biking hours until I finish. Though all the riders will be sad to see it end, we are all TIRED. Despite that tiredness, we are all resolute to do what we first dreamed about many years ago, and trained all those months for, which is get to the Atlantic, having ridden EVERY MILE! Tomorrow, our last full riding day, we get to New Hampshire.

alan

The Hudson River, just north of Albany

The Hudson River, just north of Albany

Interesting barn on our way to Bennington, Vermont

Interesting barn on our way to Bennington, Vermont

One more to go!

One more to go!

Old First Church of Bennington, Vermont

Old First Church of Bennington, Vermont

Only in New England, pretty amazing

Only in New England, pretty amazing

Graveyard where Robert Frost is buried

Graveyard where Robert Frost is buried

View looking Southwest rom the summit of Hogback Mountain, approximate elevation 2,200 feet

View looking Southwest from the summit of Hogback Mountain, approximate elevation 2,200 feet

Some of our riders at the summit of Hogback Mountain. Not the ones on the left with the big engines, the ones on the right!

Some of our riders at the summit of Hogback Mountain. Not the ones on the left with the big engines, the ones on the right with those muscular legs!

 

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Almost to the Hudson River

So, here we are 4 miles west of the Hudson River which means that I am FURTHER East than most of the people reading this blog. As we approach the last great river we will cross, I think the geography of America can be defined by it’s waterways, so let me recap this trip through them.  We started this trip at the convergence of the Pacific Ocean and the Columbia River, then rode in the Columbia Valley, until leaving it for the Willamette River Valley. We then left river valleys for a few days, but soon enough picked up the Snake River, which we followed for well over a week through Idaho and western Wyoming. No more rivers until the Missouri, then finally the Mississippi. Then the Great Lakes, Niagara River and Falls, the Erie Canal/Mohawk River, and tomorrow finally the Hudson. There is still the Connecticut River separating Vermont from New Hampshire,  and THEN……THE ATLANTIC OCEAN! What a ride!

We left Liverpool on Thursday morning hoping to outrace the storm that was coming in behind us, we didn’t make it. Can’t complain as it was the first rain of any significance since Western South Dakota. But it was a THUNDERSTORM, with LOTS of LIGHTNING. All the riders sought shelter, some in office buildings, some in the ABB vans, some on people’s porches, my group ended up in a service station, that had 2 bays open, and about 15 of us crowded in, put our bikes under the eaves of the building, and waited it out. The 2 guys working on the cars were a lot of fun. Sym and I left while it was still raining, but no more lightning. On the way we passed through a town called Canastota, which has, of all things, a 9/11 memorial, complete with a beam from one of the towers. I can only assume that some first responders from this area worked at the site of the World Trade Center. Thursday night we stayed in the lovely little town of Little Falls, which is along the Canal. Like a lot of the small towns in upstate New York that we have ridden through, it seems like it is struggling, with lots of vacant stores and buildings. but with beautiful old brick structures throughout the town.

Friday we left Little Falls for Latham, the weather was warmer than it has been, but as we climbed on to a ridge, we found ourselves in dense fog, not the beautiful morning sun we had at the hotel. It gave everything an otherworldly quality, but forced us to pay a little more attention to the road and traffic, as visibility was greatly reduced. In the town of Ft.Plains, I had what is a daily occurrence for us, while waiting for the light to turn green, a car pulled up and an elderly woman asked “Where did you start your ride?” I replied, “Today, in Little Falls, but originally in Oregon”, “You mean the STATE?” and we had a nice chat after that. However the converse also occurs. Yesterday one of the riders got grazed by the mirror of a passing car. Luckily, he didn’t fall, he is okay and rode today, just a little shaken. And finally, after 47 days on the road, in the state of my birth, some driver finally flipped me the bird today, because he had to slow down to “share the road” with a biker, oh well. For lunch we stopped at a crazy place called “Jumpin’ Jack’s Drive-In”. Unbelievably busy, lots of fried stuff that I wouldn’t eat, but good Coffee Milk Shakes. Tomorrow is back to climbing as we cross the Hudson River and enter Vermont.

alan

Waiting out the rain in Liverpool, New York

Waiting out the rain in Liverpool, New York

Waiting out the rain in a Service Station in Liverpool, New York

Waiting out the rain in a Service Station in Liverpool, New York

9/11 Memorial, Canastota, New York

9/11 Memorial, Canastota, New York

Old Herkimer Fort Church, Herkimer New York

Old Herkimer Fort Church, Herkimer New York, built in 1767

Mohawk River at Little Falls, NY

Mohawk River at Little Falls, NY

Erie Canal at Little Falls, NY

Erie Canal at Little Falls, NY

Erie Canal at dusk

Erie Canal at dusk

Lock number 8 on the Erie Canal, near Rotterdam Junction, NY

Lock number 8 on the Erie Canal, near Rotterdam Junction, NY

Jumpin' Jack's Drive-In, near Colonie NY

Jumpin’ Jack’s Drive-In, near Colonie NY

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Upstate New York

Tuesday we left Niagara Falls to start the last leg of the trip. We rode through some beautiful marsh-like areas, and had our first SAG stop overlooking a nature preserve. These areas reminded me of the wetlands near the Atlantic, except they are fresh water, so the plants look slightly different. We were able to watch Heron as we snacked and re-fueled. After that we rode through more farm land with rolling hills, and made our way to Rochester. We actually rode past Rochester Institute of Technology, Alma Mater of many of my friends in the printing business. Leaving Rochester on Wednesday, we rode along the Erie Canal for over 20 miles. The tow-path has been turned into a bike path, and it was lovely. Not only were there no cars, but we rode through lots of small villages that line the canal, they very much reminded me of Lambertville, New Jersey. One of riders said that he felt like he was riding in an Impressionist painting. It was fun to see and ride along something that was such a vital part of not only developing the western part of the USA, as it connected the Hudson River to the Great Lakes, but also cemented NYC’s spot as a center of commerce. When we left the the towpath, we entered Palmyra, where Joseph Smith had his epiphany that led to “The Book of Mormon”-NOT the show, the religion. After that the route was on roads that had a lot of activity, and was probably the least scenic segment we have had so far. We did however go past a house that had a lawn full of “assemblages” from old bicycles, there was no explanation, and it didn’t seem like a house where you would want to ring the doorbell and ask. I’ve posted a picture of another person I’ve met on the trip, Sym. He rides a classic touring bike, and definitely lives his life by his own rules. He is vegan-sort of, and has traveled and hiked all over the world, and will continue to do so. A VERY interesting person, we get along great. Last night at Rap, Pam, who is the “health person” on staff, brought up a really interesting topic. She spoke about “dialing back” the caloric intake.  After 45 days of ingesting almost anything and everything we saw, since we are using 5,000 to 6,000 calories a day on average, we will soon go back to “normal” calorie burn, but our stomach will still be looking for LOTS of food, and “plumping up” is a distinct possibility. On this trip there has hardly been an ice cream store that we have passed without someone or many people from the ride getting something, and not a small cone, If today was any indication, this will be a difficult goal to achieve. Will let you know how I do.

alan

SAG stop at the Tonandaga Wildlife Preserve

SAG stop at the Tonandaga Wildlife Preserve

Queuing up for Lunch

Queuing up for Lunch

Farm near village of Bergen in Upstate New York

Farm near village of Bergen in Upstate New York

The Erie Canal

The Erie Canal

Lock on The Erie Canal

Lock on The Erie Canal

Sym, with his Lawrence of Arabia headgear, and me

Sym, with his Lawrence of Arabia headgear, and me

Crewing on the Erie Canal

Crewing on the Erie Canal

Bikes from last year's ABB North Tour?

Bikes from last year’s ABB North Tour?

Rolling hills of Upstate New York

Rolling hills of Upstate New York

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LAST Rest Day

So, here I am on our last rest day, hard to believe. Before my musings begin, one last reminder that if you want to contribute to either The Bass Foundation, or City-Meals on Wheels, my ride is almost over, so please donate, thanks.

Emma and I did some touristy stuff, what else, in Niagara Falls today. Last night we asked the hotel concierge about “The Maid of the Mist”, he said, “the best 15 minutes of your life”, and “you are going to get wet”, when we asked whether or not they gave us ponchos, he said yes, “but it is like using a screen door on a submarine.”, wonder how many times he has used that line. Well he was half right, it was great fun, not THE best 15 minutes of our lives, and we did get WET, like being in the Splash Zone at Sea World. The boats go right up to both Falls, and just kind of sit there. It felt like the end of “A Perfect Storm” with that wall of water coming at them, except we were safe. Then we walked all over the American side, after having walked to the Canadian side last night. We had a great day, and it was wonderful of Emma to come visit me. She flies out tonight to NYC to go to work tomorrow morning, Great spending time with her. She is a Great Person, I Love Her.

Back to ride stuff. Hard to imagine that we have ridden over 3,100 miles in the 6 weeks since we left the Pacific Coast. When I think back to that day, which seems like a REALLY LONG TIME ago, I am amazed at how much physical and emotional energy the group possessed at that time. I am reading a novel, on a kindle no less, called “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein. A wonderful book where the narrator is the wise and wonderful family dog. One of the recurring themes is “that which we manifest is before us”. That sums up this ride perfectly as the ability to get up and ride almost every day, for anywhere from 5 to 9 hours, has taken that ability to visualize this trip in it’s totality, and deal with the inevitable pains, both physical and psychic, that we have all experienced along the way. The leaders have done their part by ALWAYS focusing on the positive, and thereby helping us all stay on track. The week ahead looks to have more cool weather, INCREDIBLE, a few days through New York that will be relatively flat, then the LAST 3 days of MOUNTAINS through Vermont and New Hampshire before seeing the Atlantic. My adrenaline gets going just writing about it.

alan

Emma and me by the Falls

Emma and me by the Falls

Emma and me on the Maid of the Mist observation deck

Emma and me on the Maid of the Mist observation deck

American Falls from the Maid of the Mist

American Falls from the Maid of the Mist

American Falls from the Maid of the Mist

American Falls from the Maid of the Mist

The Canadian Falls from the Maid of the Mist

The Canadian Falls from the Maid of the Mist

Emma and me in our Ponchos

Emma and me in our Maid of the Mist Ponchos

American Fall in the foreground, Canadian or Horseshoe Falls in teh background

American Fall in the foreground, Canadian or Horseshoe Falls in teh background

The Maid of the Mist in front of Canadian Falls

The Maid of the Mist in front of Canadian Falls

American Falls from Luna Island

American Falls from Luna Island

Bridal Veil Falls

Bridal Veil Falls

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Back in the USA

So we’ve left the land of Alex Trebyk, and returned to the land of Mickey D’s. The last 2 days we have scooted across the plain of Ontario, north of Lake Erie. More rolling hills, more sunny days,more tail winds, though today we encountered some VERY STEEP, but short, climbs. Yesterday’s ride took us to Brantford, Ontario, boyhood home of “The Great One”, Wayne Gretzky. In fact our hotel, which was just off of Wayne Gretzky Drive, had a little “shrine” to him, with photos and other paraphernalia in a display, including a great photo of him as a small kid, probably about 10, with Gordie Howe. On the way to Brantford we stopped at a charming fruit stand, House’s, and bought lots of stuff, which the van carted backed to the hotel for us-GREAT Blueberries. Today’s ride took us back to the USA, we are spending the night in Niagara Falls, and tomorrow is a rest day, our last. It was interesting getting in line with the cars coming across the Rainbow Bridge to go through customs. Didn’t have nearly as nice a customs agent as we did going into Canada, and we didn’t cross as a group, since customs was at the end of the day’s ride when we were all spread out, but we’re back in the “land of cheeseburgers” as Steve Miller sang. I will start posting some photos of the people I ride with, or just hang out with. Today there is a photo of Cynthia and me at loading, Also a picture of Tom in front of the American Falls. Both Cynthia and Tom are from the Bay area.

alan

House's Farm Market

House’s Farm Market

Local berries, YUM!

Local berries, YUM!

Wayne Gretzky Boulevard in Brantford, Ontario

Wayne Gretzky Boulevard in Brantford, Ontario

Cynthia and me at Loading

Cynthia and me at Loading

Something you don't see in the States, a backyard Hockey Rink

Something you don’t see in the States, a backyard Hockey Rink

Barn near Brantford

Barn near Brantford

Old barn near the US/Canadian border

Old barn near the US/Canadian border

Tom, one of the people I hang out with

Tom, one of the people I hang out with

Queuing up with the cars to go through customs

Queuing up with the cars to go through customs

Back in the USA

Back in the USA

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Into Canada….Eh!

So all the worrying that the staff did about crossing into the border turned out to be for nothing. We had a very early start, load at 6:15 so that by 6:45 we would all be queued up and ready to roll. We crossed over the the Blue Water Bridge, which crosses the St. Clair River into Ontario. The bridge is VERY busy with trucks, and they STOP TRAFFIC for us while we cross. That all went very smoothly. At the foot of the bridge is Canadian Customs, as we are now in Canada. It is sort of like coming home after a vacation overseas,, sometimes you get an agent who is a  stickler for details, and other times you get a “Jamaican Style” agent, who exudes “no problem, just go through”. In the past apparently, there have been “stickler types” who looked at EVERY Passport-all 45 of them. There is one guy on the trip, Phil, who is from New Zealand, who is ALWAYS making a joke. He was SWORN to silence until we got through customs, so as not to antagonize the Customs Agents. But, today it was simple. The agent asked us “Where are you going tonight?”, we all answered “London”, “And tomorrow night?”, we all answered “Brantford”, “And then?”, “Niagara Falls”, to which came the response, “Safe travels”. That was it, and we all pedaled out of there as quickly as possible, with Phil make comments as loudly as he could. After that we had a very lovely day, nice flat country, cool temperatures, nice farms, cute small towns, winds out of the SW, and since we were primarily headed East, it all worked out well. To understand the topography, if you have ever driven to Chicago, and noticed that Indiana and Ohio have NO hills, well we are on that same plain just further north. We did add another new crop to our repertoire,Tobacco, didn’t know it could grow this far north, and don’t know why they grow it, but there are huge fields of it.  Tomorrow we stay in Ontario, before heading into Niagara Falls on Sunday, with a day off on Monday, our LAST ONE. I am particularly excited as our daughter Emma is flying up to spend Sunday evening and Monday with me, doing the touristy stuff at the falls

alan

Queuing up to go into Canada

Queuing up to go into Canada

Canada

Canada

Farm in the early morning sun

Farm in the early morning sun

Friendly guys

Friendly guys

Tobacco growing in Canada

Tobacco growing in Canada

Small church outside Delaware, Ontario

Small church outside Mt. Brydges, Ontario

Beautiful flag and flower display,we saw them in almost every small town

Beautiful flag and flower display,we saw them in almost every small town

Ice Cream stop

Ice Cream stop

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To the Canadian Border

The last 2 days have been relatively easy, rolling hills, nice weather, with a little head wind. We’ve made our way across Michigan and are now in Port Huron ready to cross into Canada tomorrow morning. Along the way we have started to get into more populated communities, still very rural, but now we see people mowing their lawns, and doing things to their houses, something we haven’t seen in many weeks. The roads are still beautiful and we ride many miles looking at the wildflowers that line the road between us and the crops, usually corn. Yesterday we had a SAG stop at someone’s house. The couple befriended ABB a few years ago, and rather than do the SAG in a field, she opens up her backyard and house to us. Her name is Sandra Reeves and it was nice to meet and speak with her. She also has a neat old tractor on her front yard, not something uncommon in farm country. We have passed some farms that are are called “Centennial Farms”. These are farms that have been owned and operated by the same family for 100 years, pretty incredible. Rode through more of the same today to reach Port Huron. I was surprised at how “Caribbean-like” it looks, a beautiful turquoise color, can’t seem to find out why, when I asked the clerk at the front desk, she told me “I’ve never been to the Caribbean”, to which I relied that it was a very different color even from Lake Michigan, her response was “I’ve never seen Lake Michigan”. I figured I had gone as far as I should go. We are all very excited about the border crossing first thing tomorrow, the leaders are nervous, not quite sure why, hopefully I will NOT find out why.

alan

Old tractor at Sandra Reeves' farm

Old tractor at Sandra Reeves’ farm

SAG Stop at the Reeves' farm

SAG Stop at the Reeves’ farm

Centennial Farm, Owned by the SAME Family for 100 Years, Welcome to the Heartland

Centennial Farm, Owned by the SAME Family for 100 Years, Welcome to the Heartland

Wildflower #1

Wildflower #1

Typical small Michigan farm

Typical small Michigan farm

Wildflowers #2, in front of corn stalks

Wildflowers #2, in front of corn stalks

Wildflowers #3, between the road and a corn field

Wildflowers #3, between the road and a corn field

View from our SAG stop

View from one of today’s SAG stops

The Three Amigos

The Three Amigos

Looking across Lake Huron towards Canada

Looking across Lake Huron towards Canada

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