Monday, October 13, 2014


After over 10,000 miles and 5-weeks this trip is over.  I know this because the night's hotel is not 10 hours away and I've been wearing cotton for a couple of days.   For our last dinner in Missoula we found what can only be considered the perfect place in consideration of the next trip.

And the next post will be in 6-months or so at the start of that epic ride from Europe across the Central Asia to Xian China.  Stay tuned...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sturgis, too

I hadn't planned on coming to Sturgis, but it turns out there are pluses: Now I know where it is, the Knuckle Saloon brews an excellent IPA, and I had a lovely ride through northeastern Wyoming and the historic mining country around Deadwood in the Black Hills. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Yes, we are in Sturgis and arrived in town appropriately.

The latest entry in my bike prep list is "Bring all spare parts".   New chain and front sprocket on order at the local dealer.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


We've had good twisty roads and some fall colour

Baseball has been limited to the sea side Cape Breton diamond in an earlier post and the odd playoff game in a sports bar, and we did manage a short run of Frank Lloyd Wright. 

We saw the Darwin Martin House in an unrestored state on Odyssey 1.  $46 million later, the pergola and coach house, which were torn down years ago, have been rebuilt and the house itself restored to its 1907 condition. 

Then to a Grand Rapids to see the meticulous Steelcase restoration of the Meyer May House - restoration costs, not disclosed. 

Ian: "they are all beginning to look the same."

Finally, I got inside Wingspread, HJ Johnson's home in Racine. A gracious, sprawling house, 

with a wonderful central space, and impractical but whimsical details, including a crows nest 


 and a fireplace designed (but apparently, not thought through) to burn 8 foot logs vertically.

The 100th Meridian West

Mitchell, South Dakota where we are ended up today is at 98 West.   The 100th Meridian West roughly marks the western boundary of the normal reach of moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, and the approximate boundary (although some areas do push the boundary slightly farther east) between the semi-arid climate to the west and the humid continental(north of about 37°N) and humid subtropical (south of about 37°N) climates to the east.   So in other words, we are almost home.

Friday, October 3, 2014

You Can't Get There From Here

Looking at a map of Vermont, New Hampshire and western Maine it is quickly noticed that while there are lots of roads running north and south there are very few going east to west.  As we needed to get from Bangor, Maine to Windsor, Vermont our transit of the New England mountains was going to take a few twist and turns and it went something like this.  Just a note that reading the directions out loud with a female BBC announcer voice makes it that much better - especially if you throw in a random exasperated "Recalculating" or two.

"Get on Odlin Rd and ride northeast"
"Turn left onto Hammond St"
"Get on Main Rd W and ride southeast"
"Turn right onto Safety Ln"
"Turn right onto Plymouth Rd"
"Turn left onto Dixmont Rd"
"Turn right onto W Plymouth Rd"
"Keep right onto Moosehead Trl"
"Arrive at Lower Detroit Rd and Moosehead Trl"
"Get on Moosehead Trl and ride southeast"
"Turn right onto Lower Detroit Rd"
"Arrive at Detroit Twn"
"Get on S Main St and ride southeast"
"Turn right onto Troy Rd"
"Turn right onto Detroit Rd"
"Turn right onto Bangor Rd"
"Turn left onto Lakeview Dr"
"Arrive at South China"
"Get on Lakeview Dr and ride southeast"
"Turn left onto N Belfast Ave"
"Turn left onto Bangor St"
"Turn right onto Cony St"
"Turn right onto Hwy 11"
"Arrive at Augusta"
"Get on Hwy 11 and ride south"
"Enter roundabout Memorial Cir"
"Take the 1st right onto Western Ave"
"Bear right onto Main St"
"Turn right onto Hwy 133"
"Keep left onto Hwy 133 W"
"Turn left onto Leeds Rd"
"Turn left onto Howes Corner Rd"
"Turn left onto Main St"
"Arrive at Hartford Twn"
"Get on Main St and ride southwest"
"Turn left onto Butterfield Rd"
"Turn left onto High St"
"Turn left onto Turner St"
"Turn right onto Loring Hill Rd"
"Arrive at Buckfield Twn"
"Get on Loring Hill Rd and ride north"
"Turn left onto Turner St"
"Turn right onto E Main St"
"Arrive at South Paris"
"Get on E Main St and ride northwest"
"Turn right onto Railroad St"
"Arrive at Railroad St and Road"
"Get on Railroad St and ride west"
"Keep right onto Railroad St"
"Turn left onto Glen Rd"
"Arrive at Glen House"
"Get on Hwy 16 and ride southwest"
"Turn left onto White Mountain Hwy"
"Turn left onto E Main St"
"Arrive at Conway"
"Get on E Main St and ride west"
"Turn right onto Kancamagus Hwy"
"Turn left onto Lumber Yard Dr"
"Arrive at Lincoln1"
"Get on Lumber Yard Dr and ride west"
"Turn left onto Kancamagus Hwy"
"Turn left onto Sawyer Hwy"
"Turn left onto Mt Moosilauke Hwy"
"Turn right onto Atwell Hill Rd"
"Arrive at Town of Wentworth"
"Get on Atwell Hill Rd and ride southeast"
"Turn right onto Mt Moosilauke Hwy"
"Turn right onto Bakers Hill Rd"
"Turn left onto Nh Route 10"
"Keep left onto John Thompson Way"
"Turn right onto Dorchester Rd"
"Arrive at Lyme"
"Get on Dorchester Rd and ride northwest"
"Turn left onto Main St"
"Keep left onto Road"
"Enter roundabout Lyme Rd"
"Take the 1st right onto Lyme Rd"
"Turn right onto Wentworth St"
"Turn left onto N Main St"
"Arrive at West Lebanon"
"Get on Main St and ride south"
"Turn right onto S Main St"
"Turn right onto Hwy 12a"
"Arrive at Hwy 103 and Jarvis Hill Rd and Windsor Rd"
"Get on Jarvis Hill Rd and ride northeast"
"Turn left onto Hwy 103"
"Turn right onto US 5"
"Turn left onto Back Mountain Rd"
"Turn left onto Ski Tow Rd"
"Keep right onto Hotel Rd"
"Arrive at Ascuteny Mountain Resort"

That's the way it looked on paper, on the road it looked a lot more like this

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ear Worm

You know that song that gets stuck in your head when a stranger walks by humming a tune or you see something that starts the internal jukebox playing - that's an ear worm.  Riding along The Bay of Fundy this morning with its "Worlds Highest Tides", this is the ear worm that was my soundtrack for the day.

It did start to feel like the opening of Apocalypse Now over the last few days.  To paraphrase Willard "Moncton... We're still only in Moncton." as what was supposed to be a simple service stop turned into something a little more involved and delayed.  But I digress.  

After completing the whole of the Cabot Trail if was off to Prince Edward Island where we rode on some red dirt out to a light house.

Quite frankly there's not much else to do other than that and ride the "World's Longest Bridge Over Ice Covered Water" - and we did that too.

As mentioned we headed down along the Bay Of Fundy to check out the tidal features making sure that we adhere to all the rules before venturing down to the shore.

The tides up at the top of the bay average close to 40ft and have created some impressive erosional features.

There were some great roads and vistas to behold and yes Mother Nature has had her paint brush out.

We crossed into the USA after lunch - only 3500 more miles to go.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Patron Saint of Travellers

Conditions improved in Cabot Strait, presumably with divine intervention,

after several strolls through Port anx Basques. 

Newfoundland was followed by five sunny days discovering Nova Scotia. 

Glenora Distillery and Inn - an admirable business model and wonderful Cape Breton stop. The distillery successfully defended a law suit by the Scotch Whisky Association to allow it to use "Glen" in its Glen Breton Rare Single Malt Whisky 

And just up the road, Cabot Links. Given his fondness for quoting Mark Twain - "Golf is a good walk spoiled."- next time I'll come without Ian. 

Then the Cabot Trail. 

Because every odyssey needs baseball, here is Pleasant Bay's field of dreams. 

Meat Cove for the World famous chowder. 

And the ride out.

We ticked off our 10th province with PEI. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014


plural noun: landmarks
  1. 1.
    an object or feature of a landscape or town that is easily seen and recognized from a distance, especially one that enables someone to establish their location.
    "the spire was once a landmark for ships sailing up the river"
    synonyms:markermarkindicatorbeaconcairn More
  2. 2.
    an event, discovery, or change marking an important stage or turning point in something.
    "the birth of a child is an important landmark in the lives of all concerned"
Landmarks are important on a trip.  They can mark the passage of time and distance.  Landmarks also guide and orient you when called upon to do so.  We have seen a lot of landmarks over the last few days that have both marked how far we have come and how far we still have to go.

One of the very first of very few reservations made in advance of us leaving was at the Glenora Distillery.  This has been a mark on my internal map for quite some time and of course we took it all in starting with the tour.  First the fermentation tanks.

Then the still.

And some sampling.

The tour of course exited through the gift shop and souvenirs were purchased.


I'm pretty sure someone in the bar told us that if you feed a unicorn an exclusive diet of peat moss, barley and fresh spring water it will pee single malt whiskey.  Anyways, that's bottle #44 out of that cask and measures out at something like 116 proof - cask strength indeed.

The next day was a delight as we got up and around Cape Breton on the Cabot Trail.  But first Brian had to check out some of the other activities available on the island.  Nice location but its too bad all that natural vegetation was dug up and a lawn put down.

At the very top of Cape Breton down the end of a dirt road is a small hamlet called Meat Cove.  I don't know about you but I have a long list of places in the middle of nowhere at the ends of roads that I need to get to at some point and this was one of those places.

And for what reason could someone need to go to a place like this?  For the fish chowder of course, which that day consisted of snow crab, haddock, scallops and mussels.

It was awesome yummy good.