1 0 Posts from: June, 2012
post icon

Along the Erie Canal

Posted by on June 26th, 2012 2 Comments

May 28 2012 DSC 9039 548x284 Along the Erie Canal

From Massachusetts, we rode through some lovely New England towns on our way back into New York state. It seemed each little village was featured up on a hill with a tall church steeple you could see from miles away. The roads were beautifully empty of traffic – it was a bicyclists dream. Except those hills. We had more hills and climbing on this day than most days of the entire trip. Up and down we went with few breaks in between, ascending 780 meters (2560 feet) in only 60 kilometers (37 miles) or so. It was a lot of work with the weight we pull! We made camp at an RV park on top of the last hill of the day, and slept well despite the lumpy, uneven grounds of the tent sites.

We looked at the map the next day and didn’t know what our destination would be, or where we would stay. The city of Troy was about 70km away, and if we made it there, we’d have to make it out to the other side to find camping – and that would make for a bit of a long haul. If we stopped before Troy, we would have to make up the lack of mileage later. Normally, we pretty much know where we will stay each night – and even when we don’t, we have had a lot of success staying in people’s lawns. In built up urban areas, this type of camping is a bit harder to come by than out in the country. We have, however, gotten quite comfortable living within the ‘unknown,’ and in fact, it seems that it is in these situations where something miraculous usually happens, like how we first met up with Hob and Deb back in Virginia.

…continue reading this post »

post icon

A taste of New England

Posted by on June 7th, 2012 2 Comments
May 17 2012 DSC 8922 548x316 A taste of New England

Springtime in the north east

After we said goodbye to the Atlantic Ocean and were officially headed home, we realized we were only one days ride from Hob and Deb, whom we had met serendipitously a few weeks earlier in Virginia. We called them up, and despite the short notice, they insisted we come stay at their place (even though they had just returned from their own tour a few days prior). Hob had warned us that central Connecticut was hilly, and of course he was right – after 30 years of bike touring, he knew his state pretty well. We arrived exhausted as we hadn’t really battled many hills since leaving Panama a few weeks earlier. Hob gave us a tour of his wonderful 200+ year-old house and property that he and Deb have worked on tirelessly for years to restore to the beauty that it is now. Deb prepared a wonderful meal and the kids fell asleep easily when bedtime rolled around.

photo1 548x394 A taste of New England

Hob and Deb on their Santana touring tandem.

After the sun set, we talked for hours with Hob and Deb. Despite our differences in age, it felt like we were old friends – we had a common level of understanding of kindness and generosity in the world, of risk taking and adventure, of stupidity and mishaps that lead to learning in a whole new way. There are things you can share with a fellow bike tourist that they understand only too well! We learned more about their 100,000 miles of bicycle touring – what started it all, and how the cycling actually took a back burner to their interest in long-distance hiking. Over the years, these (now retired) school teachers have hiked every long trail in America, as well as thousands of miles spent tracing old pilgrimage routes in Europe. Their stories were inspiring and led us to dream about what a lifetime of adventure could look like. We said goodbye the next morning, but are certain our paths will once again cross as this amazing couple are a wealth of knowledge on biking, hiking, and pilgrimage walks around the world.

…continue reading this post »