NEW ENGLAND and NOVA SCOTIA explored from the seat of a bicycle in the midst of autumn colors and cool temperatures while accompanied by nine cycling friends....what could be BETTER?
Follow along with my BikingwithBill.org daily journal entries filled with commentary and photos of our adventures on and off the bike.
We begin in the hills of New Hampshire and Vermont and cycle the Lighthouse Trail to Bar Harbor, ME where the ferry departs to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
Our welcome to Nova Scotia, the beautiful Canadian Maritime Province, is amplified by the awesome scenery, the spirited people, and a unique culture shaped by the sea. Join us on Cape Breton Island and the Cabot Trail where we will cycle the seacoast by day, and enjoy the evening performances at the Celtic Music Festival. Come along with "Renner's Riders" as we ride together again in the hills of New England and along the craggy coastline of Nova Scotia! "Allons y"!
We departed Naples, FL on Sunday morning September12 for the planned 12 day trip north. We were traveling by car to New London, NH where we would begin with friends our bicycle journey in New England and Nova Scotia. A bike rack carrying my TREK and a new women specific carbon fiber Specialized Ruby Elite was secured tso the trunk of Joyce's brand new Honda Accord. All weather bike clothing and gear and the suitcases full of everything we thought we would need over the course of the next 6 weeks filled the trunk and back seat. Not due in New London, NH until September 24, we had time to leisurely visit family and friends on the way north.
First stop was Savannah, GA, the Belle of the South, where we viewed by horse drawn carriage the many squares and historic homes shaded by giant live oak trees covered in Spanish moss. We explored the riverfront area along with the other tourists and walked the city streets in the evening. It is an interesting and enjoyable city to visit.
We had great visits with family members in NJ, MD, VA, CT, and NY State. We wandered through the campus of Princeton University, visited the sights in Washington, DC and Old Town Alexandria, VA. We also had time to bike on 6 of the days en route.
I remembered thinking what a beautiful town is little Keene, NH when passing through on my bike in 2006. We were fortunate to spend a couple of days there just before driving the final leg of the trip into New London. One day after cycling for 2 hours in the morning, we decided to climb Monadnock Mountain. It was a mistake!! We should have relaxed with a good book.
The "assault" to the 3200 ft summkit was an exhausting "rock climb", often on all 4's in order to manuever forward up the rocky face. There was NO trail--just white dots marked on the rocks every 20 yards or so. Of course we expected a path or TRAIL up the mountain, but from the very beginning to the wind-swept peak we climbed on and jover rocks and boulders. We met many youthful would-be mountain climbers who had turned back--unsuccessfully--, but we climbed to the top. WOW!
Our celebration on reaching the summit with a group of high schoolers on a Christian retreat activity was short lived, knowing we faced the same rocky obstacles on the way DOWN. (But what a thrill to have accomplished the feat!) Five states are visible from the summit.
Monadnock Mountain is the "second most frequently climbed (or attempted) mountain in the world". Only Mt Fuji (Japan) surpasses this NH jewel.
With aching legs, Bill
Posted: Sat, 26 September 2009
DAY 2 FINAL PREPARATIONS
On our last day in New London, NH
we worked on the final preparations for our trip.The van and trailer required the installation
of racks for the bikes and luggage, and we all needed to do some shopping for
last minute needs.We repacked our bags
and loaded the van for the 300 mile trip to Bar Harbor, ME
The group van is an
8 passenger 2003 Chevrolet V8 with a towing package.The “Wells Cargo” trailer (clever name) has
the capacity for 8 bikes including 2 recumbants, and all of our luggage and
spare parts.Peter and Dan did most of
the drilling and hammering work in the van today, as I stood by to provide
medical care for their banged- up and bloody fingers.
The sugar shack at
Peter’s makes 30 to 40 gallons of sweet maple syrup each year, which is sold
(or given away) under the brand name: “All Tapped Out”.We took a look.There are also 4 or 5 active bee hives on the
property providing 150 to 200 lbs of honey and a study in the society of bee
The afternoon hours
were given over to a bike ride with Joyce and Elizabeth.It was the clearest of days with a bright
blue sky as we rode alongside Little Sunapee Lake into town and on to PleasantLake.The hills are challenging: long and relatively steep, and PLENTIFUL. We enjoyed the last tune-up day.Now it is on to Maine
and Nova Scotia!
Posted: Mon, 30 November -0001
DAY 7 BARRINGTON TO SHELBURNE, NOVA SCOTIA
The 45 mile route
today took us from the “bleak” town of Barrington
to the “sensational” little shore town of Sherburne,
Nova Scotia. It is here on a
waterfront set, only a short walk from our B&B, that the two part
mini-series “Moby Dick” is being filmed for TV.
We have been
hearing about the excitement for days from folks in the towns along the coast.
“Donald Sutherland, William Hurt., Ethan Hawke etc. are all in Shelburne for
the movie”, we were told.We were
looking forward to our visit.
It was a very
pleasant morning, but it got greyer and more cloudy as we rode the last few
miles into town. The last few miles into town were ridden in the rain. The landscape was easy on the eyes; the rocky
shoreline, the tidal bogs, the rivers,and forests in their autumn dress.
We noticed many
homes with stacks of lobster traps in the yard.In front of one home with a barking yellow Lab, I stopped.The owner came out from behind his traps to
chat-(I love the Nova Scotia
accent).He told me he was busy getting
his lobster traps ready for the opening of the season “on the last Monday in
We rode into
Shelburne and went directly to our B&B on the waterfront.
nearby were an indication of the “smartness” and appeal of Shelburne.
We had reserved all
of the rooms at the inn, but one.The
We were excited to hear was movie star Donald Sutherland,
staying with his wife.We saw him only
to wave hello as he departed for the set located down the street.
The church above is
on the film set.It was built there 2
weeks ago for the movie, but gives the appearance of being more than 100 years
old.Amazing!Donald Sutherland will play the part of the
Elizabeth’s and Peter’s birthdays, we dined at the best spot in town.Great group, great night!