Northern Tier USA 2017

User: ncle2809
Dates: 4 Jun 2017 - 2 Oct 2017
Duration: 4 months

Starting from Seattle in mid-June 2017, I'll be aiming to ride the Adventure Cycling Association's Northern Tier bicycle route with two other riders, Jim and John. We'll be self-supported, riding touring bicycles with pannier bags. My wife, Kate, will be joining us in early September to finish the ride with us.

Jim's riding to raise money for Parkinson's disease research as a tribute to his late father.

Monday 2 Oct 2017 11:02

View from Cadillac Mountain

Posted: Oct. 2, 2017, 3:02 p.m.

Sunday 1 Oct 2017 15:13

Well done boys! A fantastic achievement. Relish in it. As we are coming to the end of this part of our travel adventure we recall: SAYINGS along the way: i) 'the need for a stealth pee.'The boys had many more than Kate. If nothing else, it was a lot easier for them. ii) 'speaking with absolute confidence & no knowledge!' iii) 'time for a second breakfast' (just like Bilbo Baggins) AMUSING FOOD BRANDS: Smuckers ; Snick a doodle; Get along little doggy. THINGS We WONT MISS: The incessant noise of passing cars on Highways No 1; unnecessary, complicated shower taps with annoying water saving shower heads; light switches where on means off; alligator cracks on the road every few feet (these are caused by frost heave, which means parts of the road rise up or drop down resulting in very annoying and sometimes dangerous gaps.) THINGS That DO Your HEAD IN: signs that say 'you have reached the town line of Belfast' Yes we may have but this in fact means, 'suckers, you have at least another 15 miles with lots of hills yet to go before you reach your destination!' LASTING IMPRESSIONS: so many wild apple trees, pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere, missing out on the moose calling competition, the lovely aroma of passing fresh washing on the line...perhaps influenced by not being able to do laundry as often as desired! The smell of oil of many pine trees, the humus of the woods; trees, trees, trees, beautiful,coloured foliage, lakes, lakes and water everywhere. Finally, and most lasting of all, the brief, spontaneous, lovely encounters and conversations with so many friendly people along the way: Mike who is cycling the circuit of America; Brenda and all the beautiful bike angels like her. Brenda who called out to us from her window on the hottest day and at our lowest ebb, to invite us in to have cold drinks and the warmest hospitality; Brother ? A member of The Shakers - a small religious group, who carved out the most beautiful bowls from hardwood; the tow truck driver who was amazed at how far we had travelled and wanted to buy us something & give us a lift to the next town. Kate wanted to, Noel, of course, didn't. The young mum who apologised for Trump and thanked us for giving Americans the benefit of the name but a few. Travel emphasises many things but most of all, people are overall, good and just want to get on with their lives, love & do what's best for their families and live peacefully. If only the guys at the top could accept these plain, simple and powerful facts.

P.s there will be another blog or waypoint or two.

Posted: Oct. 1, 2017, 7:13 p.m.

Sunday 1 Oct 2017 11:30

We met up with John again which was great as we had not seen him for nearly 2 weeks. We also had the pleasure of meeting his wife Deb. We lunched together before John, Noel set off for their 20 mile Victory run with Kate in tow.

Posted: Oct. 1, 2017, 3:30 p.m.

Saturday 30 Sep 2017 16:14

We finally made it to Verona John & Caroline!

Posted: Sept. 30, 2017, 8:14 p.m.

Saturday 30 Sep 2017 16:02

Cool bridge to Verona Isand

Posted: Sept. 30, 2017, 8:02 p.m.

Saturday 30 Sep 2017 15:12

Lots of flea markets today. Here's a new project for you Ross!!

Posted: Sept. 30, 2017, 7:12 p.m.

Saturday 30 Sep 2017 11:54

Stopped for lunch at historic Belfast. Noel was approached by a number of people who were in awe of the fact that he had biked so far. It was nice.

Posted: Sept. 30, 2017, 3:54 p.m.

Friday 29 Sep 2017 16:46

Ok. It's official. Noel has arrived at the Atlantic, the other side of the USA!

Posted: Sept. 29, 2017, 8:46 p.m.

Thursday 28 Sep 2017 21:44

This is Dickens, the friendly Scottish terrier belonging to Martha, our lovely host

Posted: Sept. 29, 2017, 1:44 a.m.

Thursday 28 Sep 2017 21:29

Oak Gables B&B feels a bit like Cruden Farm. Kate couldn't be happier. Not so sure about the cat.

Posted: Sept. 29, 2017, 1:29 a.m.

Thursday 28 Sep 2017 21:23

This is more like it! A much easier day and trip to Damariscotta. ( don't these names get you?!). At last, we got in early so a chance to be slack tourists.

Posted: Sept. 29, 2017, 1:23 a.m.

Thursday 28 Sep 2017 11:52

Get your 🎃 for Halloween.

Weather much more benign.

Posted: Sept. 28, 2017, 3:52 p.m.

Wednesday 27 Sep 2017 18:10

In Brunswick @ the Daniel Hotel after an epic day in very trying conditions- around 28c but very humid and relentless hills. Might not have got here but for another bike angel - Brenda. She asked us in for a drink after we'd stopped outside her home checking the map. Give us a chance to cool down. Thanks Brenda and her cute cat.

Posted: Sept. 27, 2017, 10:10 p.m.

Wednesday 27 Sep 2017 15:04

This gives you an idea of how damn hot it was. Who says cows are not smart?

Posted: Sept. 27, 2017, 7:04 p.m.

Wednesday 27 Sep 2017 11:13

Definitely has been a Cleaves Trip! Perhaps just different spelling. Speaking of which, another piece of trivia.... 'll' does not seem to appear in American grammar eg: jeweler, counselor,chili.

Posted: Sept. 27, 2017, 3:13 p.m.

Tuesday 26 Sep 2017 18:34

Beautiful sunset this evening at Naples.

Posted: Sept. 26, 2017, 10:34 p.m.

Tuesday 26 Sep 2017 11:10

Noel 's birthday today. I had nothing to give him so had to think laterally. Gave him 2 red fallen autumn leaves, I really bad coffee from local diner and razor blades from right aid chain pharmacy store. ( he really needed those) . Also sang "Happy birthday to you" for most of the day. What more could he want?! Speaking of songs, we've had a number along the way. To name one; "All the leaves are brown & the sky is grey "(mamas & the papas). Tried to get Noel to sing the echo bit...not too successful. Again v warm day so set off early to head to Naples. Hit Sweden before that (weird names I know). V hilly leaving Sweden. At one point we were at the crest of a hill and before was a hyperbolic curve (complete U shape) of the next hill laid out before us . GULP!!! Lived to tell the tale. Re the photo: people put the most amazing and often kitch ornaments in their gardens. Sometimes, though they seem very real, particularly from a distance- like this 🦌. .. should've gone to spec savers!

Posted: Sept. 26, 2017, 3:10 p.m.

Tuesday 26 Sep 2017 11:01

Scenery keeps changing - rolling hills and rock fences

Posted: Sept. 26, 2017, 3:01 p.m.

Tuesday 26 Sep 2017 8:56

We've entered Maine - last state on the northern tier route!

Posted: Sept. 26, 2017, 12:56 p.m.

Monday 25 Sep 2017 15:11

Hung around the white Mountains youth hostel that we have to ourselves. Can now appreciate Yoko and John wanting to b sloths in bed for a month. We have been watching Yes Minister, lost in space and Shaun the sheep on YouTube! This is the life. This is my default position!

Posted: Sept. 25, 2017, 7:11 p.m.

Monday 25 Sep 2017 11:21

Ok Noel finally revealed the elevations to me on this map. At this point I passed out.

Posted: Sept. 25, 2017, 3:21 p.m.

Sunday 24 Sep 2017 19:06

Staying in Conway

Posted: Sept. 24, 2017, 11:06 p.m.

Sunday 24 Sep 2017 14:50

Some relief from the hills. Wanted to jump in but just stuck my face in. This just before we flew down the mountain for 4 miles. Sense of freedom as you fly down the middle of the road , assuming there are no cars behind you of course.

Posted: Sept. 24, 2017, 6:50 p.m.

Sunday 24 Sep 2017 13:16

OMG 😲 we made it. I actually had tears of sweat 💦 streaming from my helmet and down my back!

Posted: Sept. 24, 2017, 5:16 p.m.

Sunday 24 Sep 2017 11:56

Beautiful viewing from the top rather than from the bottom looking up!

Posted: Sept. 24, 2017, 3:56 p.m.

Sunday 24 Sep 2017 11:11

Absolutely beautiful country

Posted: Sept. 24, 2017, 3:11 p.m.

Sunday 24 Sep 2017 11:04

A hot day in the 90s, cycling through many beautiful woods.

Posted: Sept. 24, 2017, 3:04 p.m.

Sunday 24 Sep 2017 9:25

And slowly up we go through forests..,

Posted: Sept. 24, 2017, 1:25 p.m.

Sunday 24 Sep 2017 9:03

On the Kancamagus Hwy...

Posted: Sept. 24, 2017, 1:03 p.m.

Saturday 23 Sep 2017 20:55

Staying in North Lincoln. Tomorrow, the Kancamagus Highway!

Posted: Sept. 24, 2017, 12:55 a.m.

Saturday 23 Sep 2017 15:45

We crossed the Appalachian Trail this afternoon

Posted: Sept. 23, 2017, 7:45 p.m.

Saturday 23 Sep 2017 15:42

Scenery continues to be great

Posted: Sept. 23, 2017, 7:42 p.m.

Saturday 23 Sep 2017 15:10

Up early for breakfast at a diner on a cool morning. Then rode via Piermont, Haverhill and North Haverhill where climbing really started in ernest.

Posted: Sept. 23, 2017, 7:10 p.m.

Friday 22 Sep 2017 17:39

Ok. An editorial comment or two. It does our head in, the amount of plastic used here in the States. I asked for a glass; non existent. Yesterday we ordered two cokes from a roadside diner and could not believe that despite the Cokes being in cans, before we realised it the young woman had poured each into a plastic cup complete with lid and plastic straw wrapped in paper for us to drink from for a few minutes then to dispose. We are always mindful of trying to minimise our footprint as tourists but here it is very difficult. When we were at the fort a few days before and we saw exhibits of 16th Century intricately decorated pottery plates and cutlery, it struck me that in the future, others will look at relics of now. As they glance at polystyrene cups, plates, plastic cups and cutlery, don't think they will be as impressed. I'm sure the comments will be about how dumbed down civilisation was at this time; wanting immediate gratification only to dispose of it almost instantly.

Posted: Sept. 22, 2017, 9:39 p.m.

Friday 22 Sep 2017 17:23

Very cool place to have dinner before heading a mile or two outta town to Fairlie drive in hotel, our bed for the night. Yes, if there was a movie to be screened we could sit and watch from our bedroom window. We have a speaker in our room. Very 😎.

Posted: Sept. 22, 2017, 9:23 p.m.

Friday 22 Sep 2017 14:39

Magic autumn day, not too warm, being showered by falling autumn leaves, riding alongside brooks, streams, rivers, waterfalls. Absolutely beautiful and to top it off, the covered bridges that I remember from the movie, Bridges of Maddison County with Merryl Streep. We stopped for lunch in a small country town and met a delightful young woman; new mum of a 7 week old baby. She sat with us and like so many before her, wanted to know about our travels. On leaving us, she stated that she was currently embarrassed to be an American with Trump at the fore and thanked us for giving Americans the benefit of the doubt. We informed her that if it was any consolation, Australian politics had dumbed down significantly too

Posted: Sept. 22, 2017, 6:39 p.m.

Friday 22 Sep 2017 11:06

Two huge days of riding and climbing. Feels like boot camp when Noel sets alarm for 6.30 to start riding before 8am. First day, mother of a hill outside Middlebury. Climbed 2000ft! Today less so but still lots of hills. 12% grade. Going so slow up a hill, I get up close and personal with all the critters on the road. Amazingly coloured 🐛 orange & black, translucent. They can move quite fast but can't help but think they are on a death mission trying to cross the road. Must be like crossing the Nullaboor for them. I wish them well. Huge hills, huge distances , huge pumpkins. Nothing is small in 🇺🇸.

Posted: Sept. 22, 2017, 3:06 p.m.

Friday 22 Sep 2017 9:30

Cold and foggy start to the day but scenery still fantastic

Posted: Sept. 22, 2017, 1:30 p.m.

Thursday 21 Sep 2017 19:58

Staying in bed and breakfast in Bethel

Posted: Sept. 21, 2017, 11:58 p.m.

Thursday 21 Sep 2017 11:51

At the end of the climb was this sign...yeah

Posted: Sept. 21, 2017, 3:51 p.m.

Thursday 21 Sep 2017 10:08

Robert Frost memorial (more about him later from Kate)

Posted: Sept. 21, 2017, 2:08 p.m.

Thursday 21 Sep 2017 9:40

The general store at Ripton

Posted: Sept. 21, 2017, 1:40 p.m.

Thursday 21 Sep 2017 9:33

Stopped for a break at a great general store in Ripton...complete with a very old post box system

Posted: Sept. 21, 2017, 1:33 p.m.

Thursday 21 Sep 2017 9:24

Up early and up a hill towards Middlebury Gap....saw this sign but couldn't work out what it was trying to tell us

Posted: Sept. 21, 2017, 1:24 p.m.

Wednesday 20 Sep 2017 17:47

Noel just finished reading John Steinbeck's 'Travels with Charley' about Steinbeck's travels across the USA with Charley, the dog.

Highly recommended as it still described many unchanged aspects of the USA. Great book.

Posted: Sept. 20, 2017, 9:47 p.m.

Wednesday 20 Sep 2017 15:04

Ok, this is our kinda town....really lovely rural Middlebury in Vermont. Sign says it all really. Having a rest day. YIPPEE! Being a regular tourist. As you know, the writer's aspirations are not high. We are staying at a lovely, self contained 2 storey unit with lots of attention to detail and home comforts. Oh I am not ready to leave. Noel will drag me out of here tomorrow morning at sparrows as he sets the alarm for boot camp. It bothers me that he has bought lots of snack supplies. OMG, this means it's gonna be tough. It's gonna be like those 6.15am Monday morning spin classes where Caitlin yells over the doof doof music...."what are your goals?" "What are you here for?" "Dig deep". Guess what, I'm really happy being a shallow person! I said to my beloved Noel today, "I so love and respect your tenacity....I just don't wanna share in it!" Oh well, best I make the most of lard arsing on their lovely soft couch tonight watching crap T.V before the harsh Woody Allen reality sets in tomorrow. I read a local mag today and it quoted speaker Bill McKibben who gave the hopeful graduation speech to the MIIS graduates. By the way, the word graduation comes from the Latin 'gradus', meaning 'step'. (Noel's dad would've known that for sure)... anyway, as usual, I digress....back to the speech: " As you step out into your new lives, you are stepping into a world with dark shades of reality and light flashes of hope. You must step up, there is work to be done! " Good luck with that you graduates. Best I take that on board as I step out , onto my bike into the harsh reality of hills and more hills. Let's hope there are light flashes of hope I.e more downhills than up!

Posted: Sept. 20, 2017, 7:04 p.m.

Wednesday 20 Sep 2017 11:00

Otter Creek falls

Posted: Sept. 20, 2017, 3 p.m.

Wednesday 20 Sep 2017 9:37

Rest day today - bike maintenance, laundry and sightseeing. Here's a bit of history about John Deere

Posted: Sept. 20, 2017, 1:37 p.m.

Tuesday 19 Sep 2017 18:20

Despite all the hills and the heat....oh and I must add, my two lovely male companions were usually quite intent on having detailed conversations about the topography of the places we were about to embark on. I reckon there are two types of people in the world; those who want to know when they're gonna die; what challenges lie ahead, what obstacles they are to face, what hills, (literally), they are gonna climb and those who don't. I am the latter!! Things however did get much better after we arrived at our air B&B in Middlebury - a really comfortable, homely self contained unit in an interesting University or as they say here, College town with somewhat of a conscience, it seems.

Posted: Sept. 19, 2017, 10:20 p.m.

Tuesday 19 Sep 2017 13:04

Another scenic cemetery - divided by religion as usual

Posted: Sept. 19, 2017, 5:04 p.m.

Tuesday 19 Sep 2017 12:27

Somewhat amazingly we are now in Vermont!

Posted: Sept. 19, 2017, 4:27 p.m.

Tuesday 19 Sep 2017 12:20

We precisely followed these instructions. If only! Once off the ferry, It was a relatively inauspicious introduction to Vermont....The sweet smell of rotting apples, the smell of farms and a piggery and of course, a mother of a hill and it was hot. It felt a bit like when someone arrives from OS and drives down the Tulla to Melbourne city. It can only get better!

Posted: Sept. 19, 2017, 4:20 p.m.

Tuesday 19 Sep 2017 12:15

Crossing Lake Champlain by cable ferry to Vermont

Posted: Sept. 19, 2017, 4:15 p.m.

Tuesday 19 Sep 2017 11:06

Kate finally spat the dummy at the fort!

Posted: Sept. 19, 2017, 3:06 p.m.

Tuesday 19 Sep 2017 10:07

King's Garden @ Fort Ticonderoga

Posted: Sept. 19, 2017, 2:07 p.m.

Tuesday 19 Sep 2017 8:28

Spent last night in the Super 8 motel in Ticonderoga. Had a great meal at the Wagon Wheel restaurant nearby complete with cab sav and Paradox beer!

Posted: Sept. 19, 2017, 12:28 p.m.

Monday 18 Sep 2017 15:34

Arrived in Paradox this afternoon. Things are not what they seem here! An unseasonably warm day. We Crossed the Hudson River earlier today and passed many beautiful lakes as still as mill ponds. Just like mirrors. Stunning. As beautiful as it all seems, it gets to 4.30ish and I've had enough. After 74km and one mother of a hill that reached to the sky, I ask , How much further? 4 miles. FOUR MILES?!! Oooo things start to get ugly. At this point I'm so wishin I am home, sitting on Mavis' couch, having a cuppa with her and watching 'Good chef, Bad chef. '

Posted: Sept. 18, 2017, 7:34 p.m.

Monday 18 Sep 2017 14:55

After a hard 3km on loose dirt we came to this point

Posted: Sept. 18, 2017, 6:55 p.m.

Monday 18 Sep 2017 9:42

Our first moose..,,

Posted: Sept. 18, 2017, 1:42 p.m.

Sunday 17 Sep 2017 22:09

In a bed and breakfast in Newcomb

Posted: Sept. 18, 2017, 2:09 a.m.

Sunday 17 Sep 2017 16:16

The Adirondacks

Posted: Sept. 17, 2017, 8:16 p.m.

Sunday 17 Sep 2017 13:52

Custard's last stand

Posted: Sept. 17, 2017, 5:52 p.m.

Sunday 17 Sep 2017 13:49

Lunch stop after lots of hills on a hot day

Posted: Sept. 17, 2017, 5:49 p.m.

Sunday 17 Sep 2017 13:20

This barn stands out....

Posted: Sept. 17, 2017, 5:20 p.m.

Sunday 17 Sep 2017 11:55

Stopped at Blue mountain lake to have a coffee and demolish another of Betty's jelly (jam filled doughnuts) OMG, they are the best. They leave Sth Melb market's hot jam doughnuts for dead! There was the annual antique fair in the Main Street. Nothing special really but what was particularly abhorrent was the stall that had heaps of heads of deer, stuffed raccoons, bears, bison. Awful. What is even more bizarre is "Booth'sWildlife Creations" which "brings your hunt back to life." Would've been best to leave the wildlife alone in the first place. Have managed to take quite a few photos of deer up close. Gosh what an easy target they must be as they stand absolutely still, hoping you won't notice them.

Posted: Sept. 17, 2017, 3:55 p.m.

Sunday 17 Sep 2017 11:52

Stopped in Blue Mountain Lake for a coffee and a look at an antique festival

Posted: Sept. 17, 2017, 3:52 p.m.

Saturday 16 Sep 2017 18:28

Met this delightful guy, Mike who had been on the road since Jan 1st. He is doing a circuit of the States. He has done over 10,000 miles. Truly amazing! He worked as a vet in his own practice and sold it to begin the most amazing venture. We get to meet some incredibly inspiring people. John was telling us that once graduating from College as a vet you come out with a qualification and a $500,000 debt!!

Posted: Sept. 16, 2017, 10:28 p.m.

Saturday 16 Sep 2017 15:29

Day continues to be tough. Cleaned our chains ..... now for Kate's scrapbook and oh, there's wine

Posted: Sept. 16, 2017, 7:29 p.m.

Saturday 16 Sep 2017 13:33

Kate fuelling up carefully ahead of tomorrow's ride with the world's best jam filled donut

Posted: Sept. 16, 2017, 5:33 p.m.

Saturday 16 Sep 2017 11:49

Noel busy working at Raquette local library. Planning the next few day. Wifi fast!

Posted: Sept. 16, 2017, 3:49 p.m.

Friday 15 Sep 2017 21:59

Staying in Raquette Lake Tap Room - rest day tomorrow

Posted: Sept. 16, 2017, 1:59 a.m.

Friday 15 Sep 2017 12:51

We're now in the Adirondacks

Posted: Sept. 15, 2017, 4:51 p.m.

Friday 15 Sep 2017 10:14

Leaves are ripe

Posted: Sept. 15, 2017, 2:14 p.m.

Friday 15 Sep 2017 8:57

Not long after leaving Boonville on a beautiful autumn morning

Posted: Sept. 15, 2017, 12:57 p.m.

Thursday 14 Sep 2017 18:04

Didn't take long for the Cleaves to trash the room though with our washing. Definitely go back to basics with being so exited to be able to do the laundry. Pity I don't have so much gusto back home. We head for the laundromat and so begins the introductory course 101 for DFTs. (dumb tourists) except we needed remedial. Two lovely women who looked like they had spent the day doing the washing....they had heaps!! We gave them many a laugh. Task 1 to complete: get change. OK that was easy. Competence achieved. This unit was definitely created to establish confidence in the DFT learner. Task 2: Course objective:to achieve getting really serious about "Learning about Laudromats Course 101" now. i)Place washing into machine.tick. ii) Close lid. Tick. iii) put quarters into coin slots (trick unit to sort the smart tourist from the dumbos ...unfortunately we're the latter. How many quarters does it take to make up $2? OK 8. Yeah correct. There are only 4 slots. Lively debate began amongst the Cleaves.... so you must do it twice and quickly...Yes? No? After the laughing subsided, the women came to our aid as the Cleaves began to argue and things heated up! Guess what you put 2 quarters in each slot! DFTs have to repeat this unit at a later time to ensure competency is achieved and fighting stops. Also choice of delicates cycle questionable as damn clothes were not spun AT ALL and no seperate spin cycle available. On to 2nd stage of course: Ability to Use Dryers - ok here we go. i) Put (sopping wet) clothes into dryer. Tick. ii) put quarters into slot. Ah ha learned from previous unit , we put 2 quarters in each slot. OMG nothing happens, it's not working, we've just used all our coins!! Only to finally realise that DFT (who shall remain nameless) had put coins into wrong dryer. Empty dryer working beautifully. Totally exhausted and dying for a drink, we say goodbye to the delightful women who spent the whole time laughing. They wished us well on our journey and thanked us for making their day.

Posted: Sept. 14, 2017, 10:04 p.m.

Thursday 14 Sep 2017 17:49

We stayed at The Victorian Country B&B - very classy. A standard to which I am more accustomed and a long way from the tent & one burner stove for Noel.

Posted: Sept. 14, 2017, 9:49 p.m.

Thursday 14 Sep 2017 11:53

One of the many log cabins along the way whilst biking thru upper NY State. So so quiet. When you stand still, you hear nothing. The silence is deafening. I love the solitude of the woods but I know I am definitely a city slicker when it is sooo quiet that I begin to feel slightly anxious. Also think I've seen too many scary movies of what might happen in the woods! Had a lovely night with our host Lenora who offered to take us to a diner when we realised the local bar was closed. We were saved from having cheese sangers for dinner. Thank God. As we got into her Subi, I sank my derrière into her leather seats. OMG I was in heaven! Take me to the moon and back! We sailed up those hills ..the ones I laboured up today.

Posted: Sept. 14, 2017, 3:53 p.m.

Thursday 14 Sep 2017 9:53

A magic Autumn day of riding along The Moose River road. Autumn leaves already magnificent. Reds, amber, sunflower yellow, burnt orange. Beautiful. ( Jan, you would love it.). Colours grow richer as the afternoon sun mellows. Wild apple trees on the side of the road with apples hanging like ornaments. Picture perfect. I ride each day with the picture of my darling mum, close and darling Mavis with her mate, Jan. This picture taken recently on her 97th birthday.

Posted: Sept. 14, 2017, 1:53 p.m.

Thursday 14 Sep 2017 9:47

We are like hobbits.We have Two breakfasts. Our first is from our food supplies - porridge or muesli. Our 2nd is when we hit a diner. Love the diners. Like Happy Days and / or stepping back to the 50's ..not that we remember that!

Posted: Sept. 14, 2017, 1:47 p.m.

Thursday 14 Sep 2017 9:47

'World famous Osceola Hotel'

Posted: Sept. 14, 2017, 1:47 p.m.

Wednesday 13 Sep 2017 21:57

Really warm day 26degreesC. Humid. Less kms but lotta hills. Walked up 2. I was in the lowest gear for those I managed to ride up. Thank goodness I have good balance, Like a tortoise, literally inch by inch. I could walk up faster. Why is it so that, always when on the crest of the hill and aiming to steer straight whilst in the lowest gear, a car, sounding like a Mac truck comes roaring up behind?! Went through Amish area.

Posted: Sept. 14, 2017, 1:57 a.m.

Wednesday 13 Sep 2017 16:23

Fall is coming...

Posted: Sept. 13, 2017, 8:23 p.m.

Wednesday 13 Sep 2017 13:18

Amish community have their own schools and children often have to walk often up to 1/2 mile. Parents do not have cars and do not take children to and from school. Must be hard in Winter!

Posted: Sept. 13, 2017, 5:18 p.m.

Wednesday 13 Sep 2017 9:14

We made it to Mexico!

Posted: Sept. 13, 2017, 1:14 p.m.

Tuesday 12 Sep 2017 20:52

The writer rode to her limit both yesterday and today. 8.30am start and 5.30ish finish with closing comment of "where the f&@$k is this place? Really starting to lose it !! OMG, amazing how a hot shower, glass of red and food replenishes the body and the soul. Beautiful end of summer/ Autumn days, 20ish degrees C. Great for riding. Some observations: back home there is a pub on every Cnr, here...a CHURCH: To name a few: Baptist bible church, Reformation Lutheran, Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word, Tabernacle Gospel, Church of Trinity Emmanuel etc etc ... WILDLIFE seen so far: 8 dead snakes, 6 barren geese, 5 squashed frogs, 4 live bambies (simply beautiful), 3 dead turtles, 2 black squirrels, 2 eagles, 1 live beaver (that was such a buzz), 1 live skunk, not within, nose thank God, one dead skunk in the middle of the road (like famous song) and of course.... a partridge in a pear tree!

Posted: Sept. 13, 2017, 12:52 a.m.

Tuesday 12 Sep 2017 14:24

Kate's first baaarrrn - complete with pond and ducks

Posted: Sept. 12, 2017, 6:24 p.m.

Tuesday 12 Sep 2017 13:55

Sign to Hannibal - think we'll hold off ordering fava beans from the diner.

Posted: Sept. 12, 2017, 5:55 p.m.

Tuesday 12 Sep 2017 8:33

Not all is rosy in this tourist town / lots of things shut or for sale

Posted: Sept. 12, 2017, 12:33 p.m.

Tuesday 12 Sep 2017 8:28

Small town politics....

Posted: Sept. 12, 2017, 12:28 p.m.

Monday 11 Sep 2017 17:27

Spent night in Sodus Point.

Posted: Sept. 11, 2017, 9:27 p.m.

Monday 11 Sep 2017 9:38

Fairpoint, a beautiful town on the canal

Posted: Sept. 11, 2017, 1:38 p.m.

Sunday 10 Sep 2017 21:52

Rochester - Ramada Hotel Airport

Posted: Sept. 11, 2017, 1:52 a.m.

Sunday 10 Sep 2017 15:15

Great afternoon spent at the Clothesline festival - an annual festival supporting the local Arts Museum. About 350 stalls displaying paintings, craft, clothes etc... some kitch, some outstanding. Every second person seemed to have a huge bag of popcorn. It finally got the better of me and I bought a small bag. As Marg would say, Deeeelicious! Like Lolly Gobble bliss bombs. To top it off I received an 'I love New York' show bag complete with badges and stickers. What a day! Rochester is an interesting city a bit bigger than Geelong. Currently undergoing major infrastructure works. Trip home on the bus this evening was interesting... we entered a poorer black area to see police cars everywhere. Something was definitely going on. One of the other passengers informed us that one black woman had tried to shoot another in the head. Certainly brings guns front and centre.

Posted: Sept. 10, 2017, 7:15 p.m.

Sunday 10 Sep 2017 13:36

Walking along University street, we saw this notice. Notice they don't include the 'i' for intersex.

Posted: Sept. 10, 2017, 5:36 p.m.

Sunday 10 Sep 2017 12:24

We were engrossed in a very powerful photographic exhibition , "Spark a Conversation" by Eugene Richards at the Kodak museum. Over 45 yrs of his career he entered people's lives in an incredibly personal way and captured poignant, painful moments of hurt, pain, poverty, despair. Most poignant for us were the photos attached to a project named "The knife & Gun Club" titled after the nickname given to ER@ Denver General Hospital....candid epiphanies relayed in the 1st person by those who witnessed life & death in rapid succession everyday as part of their life. Secondly, his time spent in a psychiatric hospital in Paraguay, of which he says, " The kinds of cruelty we'd witnessed here as well as in Kosovo, Hungary,Argentina, Armenia & Mexico; it is as if there is a kind of world agreement that once people are classified as mentally ill, you can do things to them that you can't possibly do to other people.

Posted: Sept. 10, 2017, 4:24 p.m.

Sunday 10 Sep 2017 11:15

A great day of playing tourist as we took the bus from outside our hotel into downtown Rochester. Bus system is easy to navigate and daily ticket cost all of $3. We comment many times that Oz is soo expensive. We headed to the Kodak company headquarters in and home of George Eastman, the founder.Really great to see all the old brownies and Leica cameras were a Beautiful design. One of the deluxe models had a matching compact and lipstick case! University street where had a sculpture walk which we loved. The area is a bit like Parkville.

Posted: Sept. 10, 2017, 3:15 p.m.

Saturday 9 Sep 2017 18:21

We are staying in a good hotel near the Rochester airport about 5 km out of town so we went into town on the excellent bus system to a very good predominantly vegetarian restaurant called the Owl House.

Posted: Sept. 9, 2017, 10:21 p.m.

Saturday 9 Sep 2017 11:52

Tonight's accomodation.....only joking!

Posted: Sept. 9, 2017, 3:52 p.m.

Saturday 9 Sep 2017 11:38

A nice place to sit....

Posted: Sept. 9, 2017, 3:38 p.m.

Saturday 9 Sep 2017 11:02

A classic old American church in Spencerport

Posted: Sept. 9, 2017, 3:02 p.m.

Saturday 9 Sep 2017 10:29

We continued riding along the Erie Canal

Posted: Sept. 9, 2017, 2:29 p.m.

Friday 8 Sep 2017 15:52

We got back to our hotel mid afternoon on a mission to do some washing to which our delightful front desk person Liz of "Dollingers Inn & Suites" assisted. She allowed me to go into the laundry behind the front desk and use the washing machine. I commented on the amount of washing & folding of linen she had to do. Whilst waiting for our washing, I decided to help. It was a novelty for me. Perhaps I can add this to my resume!

Posted: Sept. 8, 2017, 7:52 p.m.

Friday 8 Sep 2017 12:51

A good day of easy cycling to Morton to explore the area where Noel's brother, Ross and his family lived for a year in 1978. Ross was on a teacher exchange program and taught at a high school in Rochester where he had a very unfortunate experience of having a gun pointed at him by a student. Fortunately it ended well.
During our journey of 35 km,round trip we rode past many corn fields and apple orchards. All the houses we passed were as characterful and neat as Ross & Helen's (pictured previously). Love the fact that no houses have fences and there are rolling, lush green lawns, nearly always with lovely trees - fir, pine, oak to name a few. One out of every 3 houses we see has an American flag. The patriotism blows me away.

Posted: Sept. 8, 2017, 4:51 p.m.

Friday 8 Sep 2017 12:28

Kate buying apples on way back from Morton

Posted: Sept. 8, 2017, 4:28 p.m.

Friday 8 Sep 2017 12:03

Morton Baptist Church - Morton is a very quiet little hamlet. It must have been a bit isolated for Helen when Ross and the girls went off to school each day

Posted: Sept. 8, 2017, 4:03 p.m.

Friday 8 Sep 2017 11:55

The house where Ross, Helen, Janine & Di lived - we think?

Posted: Sept. 8, 2017, 3:55 p.m.

Friday 8 Sep 2017 11:53

And another one

Posted: Sept. 8, 2017, 3:53 p.m.

Friday 8 Sep 2017 11:52

More photos of the house

Posted: Sept. 8, 2017, 3:52 p.m.

Friday 8 Sep 2017 11:21

Unfortunately about a km from last photo Noel had his first puncture of the trip. Buggar!

Posted: Sept. 8, 2017, 3:21 p.m.

Friday 8 Sep 2017 11:07

On the way to Morton

Posted: Sept. 8, 2017, 3:07 p.m.

Thursday 7 Sep 2017 20:23

Back to those 74km....all good except for feeling of bone on bone in my butt and chaffing to go with it. OUCH!! All tolerable until...we hit our destination, Brockport. "Where's the hotel?" I eagerly ask Noel. 2 miles outta town is the reply....Not so happy at this point; in fact not happy before that...knackered actually. Lost it when the last two miles were uphill. Quite ugly in fact. 'Beauty' and politeness not regained until after hot shower, belly filled and a glass of red. Warmth towards all humanity absolutely regained when our delightful Uber driver, Anthony, all the way from Rockport, picked us up & returned us to the hotel & insisted on giving us protein bars as well as not charging us for the trip.

Posted: Sept. 8, 2017, 12:23 a.m.

Thursday 7 Sep 2017 14:09

We left our B&B, "DeFlippos" in Lockport @ approx 9am. Place was built in 1870 & taken over by this Italian family who over 70 yrs & 3 generations ran an ice business, followed by a restaurant/ b&b. Dominic & his 79 yr old dad were v hospitable & we got to enjoy their meat and veggie lasagna with the secret homemade sauce. Went to the cool cafe as previously mentioned and finally set off for the next 74 km along the Eire canal. Beautiful day going through a number of historic towns & locks. Flat riding (thank God!) One of the lovely aspects of travel are the many brief encounters along the way. We rode with David & Andrew, long time friends heading for New York, we chatted about travel, work, family, philosophy on life. Then we fared each other well. Like Noel I am blown away by people's friendliness & generosity, wishing us well, 'God blessing us' & overall,politeness. Not so sure this would happen back home quite so much.

Posted: Sept. 7, 2017, 6:09 p.m.

Thursday 7 Sep 2017 9:21

Kate's got her morning flat white and yes...the cup is that big!

Posted: Sept. 7, 2017, 1:21 p.m.

Thursday 7 Sep 2017 9:17

Inside a cool cafe in Lockport alongside the canal where the barista is making Kate a flat white in a real cup and she's very excited

Posted: Sept. 7, 2017, 1:17 p.m.

Thursday 7 Sep 2017 9:09

First look at Erie Canal

Posted: Sept. 7, 2017, 1:09 p.m.

Wednesday 6 Sep 2017 21:19


Posted: Sept. 7, 2017, 1:19 a.m.

Wednesday 6 Sep 2017 15:19

Can you imagine 'religion' being part of any local Government or other organisations' values in Oz?! Pretty amazing. I am struck by so many nuances and differences having been here all of 3 days. Firstly, everything is upside down or the opposite. Light switches are off when they are on, doors open the opposite way, street signs in one street actually indicate the name of the adjacent street, and horror of horrors, they drive on the wrong side of the road...very disconcerting when riding a bike. My brain is addled! All good for my first day of riding. Unfortunately, already resorted to being annoyed with Noel, who so carefully checks and re checks directions except when we headed down; flew down a steep hill going through an Indian reservation only to find that we had to return and go back up steep hill. NOT HAPPY JAN!! Thank God my spin classes paid off. Also disconcerting was going through Canada/USA border in a car lane with trucks one side and cars all around. Felt v. Exposed. I had to wait behind the line,a good distance away from Noel as he went thru check point. This took ages as customs guy "interrogated " Noel and Noel is gesticulating. What the hell ? What's the issue? Oh God Noel is gonna be detained and I'm left on the god damn bike?!.... All good, guy was v interested in Noel's travels!

Posted: Sept. 6, 2017, 7:19 p.m.

Wednesday 6 Sep 2017 10:48

It's me folks. I finally made it to Niagara Falls. I didn't even need to do a "Paddington bear"'with a string around my wrist with instructions to get here. Have to say Niagara Falls is really v impressive. Jan, I didn't do the speed boat but did the slow boat and it was amazing. The volume of water constantly flowing is incredible . In fact, Niagara has the highest volume of water of any waterfall in the world. Being back in a youth hostel was interesting. My first thought was,"I'm over sharing bathrooms and toilets", but after my initial negativity, it was fine. It's kind of nice being with other travellers.

Posted: Sept. 6, 2017, 2:48 p.m.

Tuesday 5 Sep 2017 19:12

Desoto on way to pub

Posted: Sept. 5, 2017, 11:12 p.m.

Tuesday 5 Sep 2017 15:47

Floral showcase

Posted: Sept. 5, 2017, 7:47 p.m.

Tuesday 5 Sep 2017 15:46

Floral House

Posted: Sept. 5, 2017, 7:46 p.m.

Tuesday 5 Sep 2017 13:58

Kate at Hershey store

Posted: Sept. 5, 2017, 5:58 p.m.

Tuesday 5 Sep 2017 12:41

Horseshoe Falls

Posted: Sept. 5, 2017, 4:41 p.m.

Tuesday 5 Sep 2017 12:31

OK it's still Noel blogging until Kate gets over the jet lag.

First part of the day was slow / lazy breakfast at the hostel with John and then we all went to fro pic bikes at Pedlers bike shop nearby. All was good except for reinstalling Kate's handlebar mounting. Mechanic tried for ages but couldn't work it out so Noel will have a try tomorrow night and if all else fails we will try another shop in Rochester in a few days.

Then we walked up and down the quiet shopping strip near the hostel finding a box to send Noel's camping gear to New York. The strip is either in decline or recovery but it's hard to tell which. Lots of closed shops etc.

We took the boat out to the Falls and got duly soaked. So much water constantly being pushed down.

Also walked through the tunnels behind the horseshoe Falls which gave you an even greater appreciation of the power of the water.

Last bit of tourism for the day was to have a look at the flower house which was great. Photos of some of the sights to follow.

Dinner nearby back at Tap brewery complete with a great musician.

We went into the centre

Posted: Sept. 5, 2017, 4:31 p.m.

Monday 4 Sep 2017 21:52

Busy day....John and I walked into falls area with clear skies and warm weather, so many tourists from all over the world. Lunch then back to hostel to wait for Kate. After a long wait she finally arrived- very exciting to see her after so long.

Assembled her bike in a fashion and will get bike shop to do the rest tomorrow. Our room was trashed in a remarkably short time.

Back into town for. Great Indian meal and then over to Falls to look at flood lights. Again it was very busy but heavens opened so we headed back to hostel by Uber.

Kate will be taking over the blog from tomorrow so be warned....the language may deteriorate depending on hills etc.

Photo us of one of the stately homes overlooking the falls.

Posted: Sept. 5, 2017, 1:52 a.m.

Sunday 3 Sep 2017 12:44

The Falls

Posted: Sept. 3, 2017, 4:44 p.m.

Sunday 3 Sep 2017 12:36

We made it to Niagara Falls! So many people from all over the world. Good atmosphere. This is the lead in to the Falls

Posted: Sept. 3, 2017, 4:36 p.m.

Sunday 3 Sep 2017 10:40

Reconstructed Fort Erie

Posted: Sept. 3, 2017, 2:40 p.m.

Sunday 3 Sep 2017 10:32

Cycled Trail was good - spotted this along the way

Posted: Sept. 3, 2017, 2:32 p.m.

Sunday 3 Sep 2017 10:26

Rained pretty much all night. John got up at 7 tried to wake me but I was dead to the world. He packed up in the rain and then about an hour later I woke up when it had stopped raining! We rode on the bike path to Fort Erie expecting rain but it didn't come. Spotted a few modern houses like this one before Fort Erie

Posted: Sept. 3, 2017, 2:26 p.m.

Saturday 2 Sep 2017 19:26

After lunch we cycled in an excellent if a bit boring cycle path to our campsite a few miles before Fort Erie.

We sprinted the distance to beat a rain shower which we did. Tents up ready for next downpour overnight. Looks like some entertainment under a big tent tonight which suits us.

We're aiming to get to Niagara Falls tomorrow so I can start to pack up the camping gear to post to New York.

Some thoughts on my camping gear;

Tent: Macpac Microlight - very happy with it. Great bathtub floor which is typical of Macpac. USA style tents have a thinner floor and need an additional footprint under the tent. I like the kiwi style better.

Stove: my 30 year old Trangia performed as it always had - perfectly! I used Yellow Heat which is an anti-freeze for fuel as you can't buy metho here.

Trangia fuel bottle: great design - very happy

Thermarest Prolite Plus sleeping pad - ok; as with similar products I've used over it works fine. I used Jim's thicker bigger and heavier thermarest once and I'd look at that next time as it was amazing. John had an REI copy of the neo air which had a bad leak which he's fixed multiple times.

Sea to summit inflatable pillow - just a Pass - it has a slow leak and isn't that great anyway.

Mont Helium 300 sleeping bag - loved it! I Sea to summit silk inner sheet / love it.

Watching a good country band inside a marquee tent and it is freezing.

Posted: Sept. 2, 2017, 11:26 p.m.

Saturday 2 Sep 2017 13:17

Stone on the facade is quite different to others in area

Posted: Sept. 2, 2017, 5:17 p.m.

Saturday 2 Sep 2017 13:12

Nice ride through Lake Erie coastal towns like Dunnvile, Lowbanks, Barnaby, Camelot Beach.

Having lunch in Port Colburne. We loved this sign - reckon it could have been placed in Montana to describe the next 3000 miles!

Posted: Sept. 2, 2017, 5:12 p.m.

Friday 1 Sep 2017 18:48

Camping outside Dunnville in a conservation park. We have the camping routine pretty well down pat now - it is really cold at night so Im tucked up inside my Mont Helium sleeping bag

Posted: Sept. 1, 2017, 10:48 p.m.

Friday 1 Sep 2017 15:27

On the same stretch we cycled through another tunnel of trees

Posted: Sept. 1, 2017, 7:27 p.m.

Friday 1 Sep 2017 14:59

The road we cycled on after lunch was one of the trips highlights- quiet, not too rough and for the first time in Canada, adjacent to lake Eirie for the entire time. Lots of water birds....

Posted: Sept. 1, 2017, 6:59 p.m.

Friday 1 Sep 2017 13:59

Posted: Sept. 1, 2017, 5:59 p.m.

Friday 1 Sep 2017 10:46

More wind turbines

Posted: Sept. 1, 2017, 2:46 p.m.

Friday 1 Sep 2017 10:27

Nice to pack the tents up in dry conditions this morning but it was seriously cold - 5C.

Posted: Sept. 1, 2017, 2:27 p.m.

Thursday 31 Aug 2017 15:15

Shorter day than for a long time but between sons headwinds and mean hills from shoreline back to ridge it was harder than the 40 odd miles suggested. Staying outside Port Ryerse in a Christian Campground with great facilities right on the lake

Posted: Aug. 31, 2017, 7:15 p.m.

Thursday 31 Aug 2017 12:42

Lunch stop

Posted: Aug. 31, 2017, 4:42 p.m.

Thursday 31 Aug 2017 9:34

Port Burwell lighthouse after leaving our camp this morning

Posted: Aug. 31, 2017, 1:34 p.m.

Wednesday 30 Aug 2017 18:32

Camping in Port Burwell after 79 miles

Posted: Aug. 30, 2017, 10:32 p.m.

Wednesday 30 Aug 2017 16:56

Lots of wind turbines like these. We were taking photos when an engineer drove by and asked if we wanted a tour - really good to see them close up

Posted: Aug. 30, 2017, 8:56 p.m.

Wednesday 30 Aug 2017 16:09

Port Bruce - weather looked ugly but gradually improved

Posted: Aug. 30, 2017, 8:09 p.m.

Wednesday 30 Aug 2017 14:23

Rode down into Port Stanley (photo) and then up the steepest hill of the trip. Very reminiscent of Cornwall

Posted: Aug. 30, 2017, 6:23 p.m.

Wednesday 30 Aug 2017 10:22

Lots of evidence of British heritage, this home was in New Glasgow

Posted: Aug. 30, 2017, 2:22 p.m.

Wednesday 30 Aug 2017 8:39

Up early. Could be an 80 mile day unless a warm showers host pops up in a closer town. Lots of huge wind turbines on farm land. Lots of the farms had solar arrays that tracked the sun

Posted: Aug. 30, 2017, 12:39 p.m.

Tuesday 29 Aug 2017 21:30

Camping after a very long day - 77 miles. Countryside nothing to speak of until we arrived at Lake Eire. Roads often pretty bad and more highly used by vehicles than we'd like. Tough day....

Posted: Aug. 30, 2017, 1:30 a.m.

Tuesday 29 Aug 2017 13:13

Rode along the new Trans Canada Trail....hmmmm?

Posted: Aug. 29, 2017, 5:13 p.m.

Tuesday 29 Aug 2017 12:04

Crossed into Canada for the next ten days or so

Posted: Aug. 29, 2017, 4:04 p.m.

Tuesday 29 Aug 2017 11:30

Rode to Marine City and now waiting for ferry to Canada

Posted: Aug. 29, 2017, 3:30 p.m.

Monday 28 Aug 2017 15:19

Had lunch with my 'cousin' Lisa and her two children. She had the letter shown in the photo that my dad wrote to what she can only assume to be a relation. She found the letter in her father'a effects. I explained Dad's passion for family history in the latter part of his life. Great to meet her.

Posted: Aug. 28, 2017, 7:19 p.m.

Monday 28 Aug 2017 14:46

Lisa drove me around Marysville but nothing to see other than Canada's industrial side across the river. Then went to nearby Port Huron which had a bit more life but really there was no one out on the streets on a cool grey day. Found a great cafe eventually - Raven.

Posted: Aug. 28, 2017, 6:46 p.m.

Monday 28 Aug 2017 11:54

Marysville school - a bit bigger than the one Dad taught at

Posted: Aug. 28, 2017, 3:54 p.m.

Monday 28 Aug 2017 11:49

A Marysville mural

Posted: Aug. 28, 2017, 3:49 p.m.

Monday 28 Aug 2017 11:28

I did make it into Marysville - sadly not quite the same lovely village our family lived in when I was very young

Posted: Aug. 28, 2017, 3:28 p.m.

Monday 28 Aug 2017 10:59

This is the ex-shopping mall I mentioned - now re-purposed as a storage centre

Posted: Aug. 28, 2017, 2:59 p.m.

Sunday 27 Aug 2017 22:25

Epic day - 91 miles with much of it into slight head or cross wind. 8.5 hours on the bike.

We had only intended to ride 65 miles but the motel was booked out so pushed onto the outskirts of Marysville! We're staying in a great motel but the outside car park and adjoining buildings look like the set from the 'walking dead'. Directly opposite the motel is a large building formerly used as a shopping mall with huge car park. The mall closed and is now a self storage centre.

Posted: Aug. 28, 2017, 2:25 a.m.

Sunday 27 Aug 2017 11:36

Even water engineers have a sense of humour/ another water tower

Posted: Aug. 27, 2017, 3:36 p.m.

Sunday 27 Aug 2017 10:39

I love these buildings - no idea whether they are protected by planning laws but suspect they aren't

Posted: Aug. 27, 2017, 2:39 p.m.

Sunday 27 Aug 2017 9:50

Downtown Vassar picture theatre

Posted: Aug. 27, 2017, 1:50 p.m.

Sunday 27 Aug 2017 8:39

We stayed at Yellowstone Campground- RVs squeezed together and a crappy overflow camping space but they did have a statue of Yogi

Posted: Aug. 27, 2017, 12:39 p.m.

Saturday 26 Aug 2017 18:06

Camping in Frankenmuth - sort of like a mock German village....nsmes of streets, building styles etc. Packed with tourists

Posted: Aug. 26, 2017, 10:06 p.m.

Saturday 26 Aug 2017 14:38

Interesting morning cycling along cycle paths then farming land and some of the worst roads we've seen. We were zig zagging trying to not disappear down the cracks and potholes. Got lost coming through Bay City where bike path disappeared. City is reinventing itself with a focus on the river which runs through it but there's lots of work to do. Photo is of my milkshake being made on an old machine

Posted: Aug. 26, 2017, 6:38 p.m.

Friday 25 Aug 2017 19:15

What a great day!

We saw Amish; cycled in clear skies; ate great food (including from the Cops & Donuts bakery) and then managed to talk our way into staying at a Christian Campground as the only campers.

Posted: Aug. 25, 2017, 11:15 p.m.

Friday 25 Aug 2017 19:00

On the way to our campground

Posted: Aug. 25, 2017, 11 p.m.

Friday 25 Aug 2017 16:34

All day we saw signs of the Amish

Posted: Aug. 25, 2017, 8:34 p.m.

Friday 25 Aug 2017 16:08

Spotted this in Clare - 9 cops bought a historic bakery that was closing, renamed it and it's been a boom

Posted: Aug. 25, 2017, 8:08 p.m.

Friday 25 Aug 2017 15:28

Pere Marquette Rail Trail in Farwell

Posted: Aug. 25, 2017, 7:28 p.m.

Friday 25 Aug 2017 10:10

Barn of the day. Coldest morning so far - 5c....glad we were in motel

Posted: Aug. 25, 2017, 2:10 p.m.

Thursday 24 Aug 2017 18:43

Sign outside the motel

Posted: Aug. 24, 2017, 10:43 p.m.

Thursday 24 Aug 2017 18:19

Staying in LeRoy in very basic but welcoming motel. Good days cycling, farewelled Frosine. Cool conditions.Photo is of car outside the motel. Saw some Amish ride by in carts.

Posted: Aug. 24, 2017, 10:19 p.m.

Thursday 24 Aug 2017 17:26

These must be the best maintained barns in USA

Posted: Aug. 24, 2017, 9:26 p.m.

Thursday 24 Aug 2017 12:55

This barn needs red paint

Posted: Aug. 24, 2017, 4:55 p.m.

Thursday 24 Aug 2017 11:38

Small town of Free Soil with three churches. Ride had been good - lots of road kill sadly. Saw a large hawk sitting on a deer carcass about to have breakfast.

Posted: Aug. 24, 2017, 3:38 p.m.

Thursday 24 Aug 2017 8:34

Downtown Manistee after a fast and cold pack up from campground- 79 miles to go!

Posted: Aug. 24, 2017, 12:34 p.m.

Wednesday 23 Aug 2017 20:58

Camped outside Manistee in a busy marina. Big day tomorrow as John and I try to make distance through Michigan

Posted: Aug. 24, 2017, 12:58 a.m.

Wednesday 23 Aug 2017 15:58

One for Jon D: looks coastal erosion but its on Lake Michigan!

Posted: Aug. 23, 2017, 7:58 p.m.

Wednesday 23 Aug 2017 12:52

Classic motel

Posted: Aug. 23, 2017, 4:52 p.m.

Wednesday 23 Aug 2017 12:21

Hard to imagine this is a lake - Lake Michigan

Posted: Aug. 23, 2017, 4:21 p.m.

Tuesday 22 Aug 2017 22:13

Camping at Platte Lake Campground

Posted: Aug. 23, 2017, 2:13 a.m.

Tuesday 22 Aug 2017 17:52

More from Empire

Posted: Aug. 22, 2017, 9:52 p.m.

Tuesday 22 Aug 2017 17:51

Weather improved throughout the day. Last village of the day was another stunner - Empire.

Posted: Aug. 22, 2017, 9:51 p.m.

Tuesday 22 Aug 2017 14:36

Barn of the day

Posted: Aug. 22, 2017, 6:36 p.m.

Tuesday 22 Aug 2017 12:20

Sutton's Bay shop - after our first ride in the rain in over 2 months of riding. Mainly on very good bike track/rail trail

Posted: Aug. 22, 2017, 4:20 p.m.

Tuesday 22 Aug 2017 9:27

Leaving Traverse City under a very cloudy and threatening sky

Posted: Aug. 22, 2017, 1:27 p.m.

Monday 21 Aug 2017 12:57

Traverse City oozes cool

Posted: Aug. 21, 2017, 4:57 p.m.

Monday 21 Aug 2017 12:46

Traverse City

Posted: Aug. 21, 2017, 4:46 p.m.

Monday 21 Aug 2017 10:57

Rest day in Traverse City: just dropped bike into store for a well deserved thorough clean to get rid of grit and sand

Posted: Aug. 21, 2017, 2:57 p.m.

Sunday 20 Aug 2017 20:21

We're camping in the Traverse City State Park Campgrounds. A very nice campground wedged between the bike path we rode on for last 8 miles and a busy road and the airport.

Not every night is a highlight - tonight's was riding 3 miles to a laundrette and having subway for dinner.

Posted: Aug. 21, 2017, 12:21 a.m.

Sunday 20 Aug 2017 15:04

fields of gold....

Posted: Aug. 20, 2017, 7:04 p.m.

Sunday 20 Aug 2017 14:38

Another classic 100 year old barn in a farming area

Posted: Aug. 20, 2017, 6:38 p.m.

Sunday 20 Aug 2017 14:13

Probably the only moose I might get to see.....

Posted: Aug. 20, 2017, 6:13 p.m.

Sunday 20 Aug 2017 11:02

Modest cabin on Torch Lake

Posted: Aug. 20, 2017, 3:02 p.m.

Saturday 19 Aug 2017 20:28

Camping in Eastport

Posted: Aug. 20, 2017, 12:28 a.m.

Saturday 19 Aug 2017 16:02

Modest cabins,...

Posted: Aug. 19, 2017, 8:02 p.m.

Saturday 19 Aug 2017 12:56

Stunning Charlevoix

Posted: Aug. 19, 2017, 4:56 p.m.

Saturday 19 Aug 2017 12:49

Applecore Cottage!

Posted: Aug. 19, 2017, 4:49 p.m.

Saturday 19 Aug 2017 11:32

Great bike track between the Uber flash and cool towns of Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Bay Shire etc

Posted: Aug. 19, 2017, 3:32 p.m.

Saturday 19 Aug 2017 9:42

Our lovely hosts - Mike & Charr ....& Jethro

Posted: Aug. 19, 2017, 1:42 p.m.

Friday 18 Aug 2017 19:13

Arrived at our warm showers hosts for the night in Petoskey

Posted: Aug. 18, 2017, 11:13 p.m.

Friday 18 Aug 2017 17:33

More homes along the tunnel

Posted: Aug. 18, 2017, 9:33 p.m.

Friday 18 Aug 2017 17:33

Houses along the Tunnel of Trees were amazing

Posted: Aug. 18, 2017, 9:33 p.m.

Friday 18 Aug 2017 16:03

Tunnel of trees - 30 km of narrow beautiful road

Posted: Aug. 18, 2017, 8:03 p.m.

Friday 18 Aug 2017 14:15

Sand dunes along Lake Michigan

Posted: Aug. 18, 2017, 6:15 p.m.

Friday 18 Aug 2017 13:18

Late start to try to miss rain showers.....barn of the day

Posted: Aug. 18, 2017, 5:18 p.m.

Thursday 17 Aug 2017 19:26

Had lazy rest day in Mackinaw City. Mainly around the motel with short trips out to the main strips for a huge buffet brunch and dinner. Frosene joined us again tonight and will ride with us tomorrow along the west coast of the Michigan mitten. Highlight tomorrow should be the 'tunnel of trees'

Posted: Aug. 17, 2017, 11:26 p.m.

Wednesday 16 Aug 2017 17:25

Caught the ferry to the 'mitten' - the major land mass of Michigan shaped like a mitten. Staying in a motel in Mackinaw City because we expect bad weather tomorrow- rest day!

Posted: Aug. 16, 2017, 9:25 p.m.

Wednesday 16 Aug 2017 15:35

Huge hotel overlooking the lake

Posted: Aug. 16, 2017, 7:35 p.m.

Wednesday 16 Aug 2017 15:34

Lots of horse drawn carriages on the island

Posted: Aug. 16, 2017, 7:34 p.m.

Wednesday 16 Aug 2017 15:14

Picture postcard homes

Posted: Aug. 16, 2017, 7:14 p.m.

Wednesday 16 Aug 2017 14:34

It's hard to realise that the immense water body is a Lakeview- Lake Michigan & Huron. We rode our bikes around the Island

Posted: Aug. 16, 2017, 6:34 p.m.

Wednesday 16 Aug 2017 14:22

More images from Mackinac Island

Posted: Aug. 16, 2017, 6:22 p.m.

Wednesday 16 Aug 2017 13:46

Mackinac Island is Uber touristy but incredibly picturesque one nice day. No motorised vehicles but a million bicycles being ridden in all directions by people who haven't ridden off for a while. Made the logging trucks seem safer...

Posted: Aug. 16, 2017, 5:46 p.m.

Wednesday 16 Aug 2017 13:11

Took ferry out to Mackinac Island

Posted: Aug. 16, 2017, 5:11 p.m.

Wednesday 16 Aug 2017 10:51

Mackinaw bridge - supposed to be longest suspension bridge in world at 5 miles

Posted: Aug. 16, 2017, 2:51 p.m.

Wednesday 16 Aug 2017 10:10

After donating a significant volume of blood to the Michigan mosquito Air Force we headed off again. Easy ride at first and then into a headwind. Cornish pastors are big here....

Posted: Aug. 16, 2017, 2:10 p.m.

Tuesday 15 Aug 2017 19:07

Lake Michigan from our campground

Posted: Aug. 15, 2017, 11:07 p.m.

Tuesday 15 Aug 2017 17:20

The amazing Lake Michigan - last 5 miles to campground were a bit like Great Ocean Road. We got to ride on our private bike track - actually US highest 2 because of roadworks which we could ignore.

Posted: Aug. 15, 2017, 9:20 p.m.

Tuesday 15 Aug 2017 15:34

Lakefront home on Lake Michigan

Posted: Aug. 15, 2017, 7:34 p.m.

Tuesday 15 Aug 2017 9:58

Barn of the day as we cycled along US highway 2

Posted: Aug. 15, 2017, 1:58 p.m.

Tuesday 15 Aug 2017 9:15

Farewelled Frocine as she takes a rest day while we head off. Photo is of Manistique lighthouse on the Hyde Lake Michigan

Posted: Aug. 15, 2017, 1:15 p.m.

Monday 14 Aug 2017 21:13

Celebrating our riding with Frocine from Washington in Manistique in Marley's bar

Posted: Aug. 15, 2017, 1:13 a.m.

Monday 14 Aug 2017 13:35

Lunch stop in Rapid River

Posted: Aug. 14, 2017, 5:35 p.m.

Monday 14 Aug 2017 10:43

1st lighthouse of the trip along Lake Michigan from Escanaba

Posted: Aug. 14, 2017, 2:43 p.m.

Monday 14 Aug 2017 10:30

John enjoying a second breakfast in Escanaba.

We're heading across the upper peninsula of Michigan for a few days before catching a ferry via Mackinac Island to Mackinaw City in Michigan's 'mitten'

Posted: Aug. 14, 2017, 2:30 p.m.

Sunday 13 Aug 2017 22:29

Staying at a lovely warm showers hosts home in Escanada after a great cycling day on good roads in nice weather.

Posted: Aug. 14, 2017, 2:29 a.m.

Sunday 13 Aug 2017 14:42

One of the features of the last few weeks has been the number off all terrain vehicles we've seen - these were outside a pub

Posted: Aug. 13, 2017, 7:42 p.m.

Sunday 13 Aug 2017 8:39

Paint River

Posted: Aug. 13, 2017, 1:39 p.m.

Saturday 12 Aug 2017 12:08

We entered Michigan today - also managed to get lost lost twice...

Posted: Aug. 12, 2017, 5:08 p.m.

Saturday 12 Aug 2017 7:43

Our hosts dog - Bob

Posted: Aug. 12, 2017, 12:43 p.m.

Saturday 12 Aug 2017 7:40

Arrived in Crystal Falls and settled in the campground for the night. Good ride on rollers but roads varied from ok to terrible.

Kate asked about politics discussion last night - Tara's friend (Jennifer) is pretty like minded - not a Trump fan; loves twitter.

Forgot to say that we saw a few bald eagles this morning / very cool.

Here's a photo from their house of the lake.

Posted: Aug. 12, 2017, 12:40 p.m.

Saturday 12 Aug 2017 7:36

The amazing Tara cooking us breakfast

Posted: Aug. 12, 2017, 12:36 p.m.

Friday 11 Aug 2017 17:32

Just had the most amazing night with our hosts Tara & Darren and their friend Jen in Tara & Darren's house in Phelps.

We're in this self-contained cabin shown in the photo.

Dinner was great food and wine and great conversation ranging from Tara and her two young boys amazing Transamerica trip on a trandem cycle. Great stories. Lots of politics talk.

Posted: Aug. 11, 2017, 10:32 p.m.

Friday 11 Aug 2017 13:16

County Road K

Posted: Aug. 11, 2017, 6:16 p.m.

Friday 11 Aug 2017 11:15

On the way into Boulder Junction

Posted: Aug. 11, 2017, 4:15 p.m.

Friday 11 Aug 2017 9:52

On the road again in better but still cool weather. Rode about 10 miles and then moved onto the 'heart of Vilas County Bike Trail' which seems great

Posted: Aug. 11, 2017, 2:52 p.m.

Thursday 10 Aug 2017 17:13

Rest day in Mercer: I was beginning to think we'd been over-reacting to the weather forecast when the heavens opened up so am now pretty happy with the decision! Found a cafe that did a very fair version of chai. Watching 'I, Robot' on TV which is actually one of the first times we've used a TV on the trip. Dinner at a German restaurant- for me if was a big pretzel, veggie pizza and red cabbage plus a German beer

Posted: Aug. 10, 2017, 10:13 p.m.

Wednesday 9 Aug 2017 16:10

Arrived at our destination for next 2 nights - Mercer and staying in Loons Nest Motel. Loons are a duck like bird.

Photo is of Main Street.

Ride continued to be hilly with lots of turns but not the navigational complexity of the last few days,

We got within about 4 miles of Mercer when the road had been ripped up and replaced with very loose gravel. Apparently it's only been a few days like this and I'd expected to be Tarmac soon but for today it was the worst road I've been able to bike through. Rear wheel keep out and when we got into Mercer I noticed John's rear wheel had a big chunk missing. He has a spare so well change it tomorrow.

Thunderstorms due soon and over tomorrow,

Posted: Aug. 9, 2017, 9:10 p.m.

Wednesday 9 Aug 2017 10:58

I've mentioned the road surfaces a few times / here's why!

We came upon a road crew patching the deep cracks in the road with bitumen dripped into the crack and then covered with what seemed to be toilet paper. The cracks were every 1-5 metres and so you end up with a chess board for a road. The patching doesn't seem to last long leaving more deep cracks which we ride over...

Posted: Aug. 9, 2017, 3:58 p.m.

Wednesday 9 Aug 2017 10:06

Great ride through a national forest on both sides of road for about 14 miles - sadly still no elk.

Stopped in Glidden for a break. Loved this shop and car...

Posted: Aug. 9, 2017, 3:06 p.m.

Tuesday 8 Aug 2017 19:44

Staying in Clam Lake Motel. We rode 69 miles with a bit less elevation than yesterday but still lots of climbing. We didn't get away until after 10 because of hassles doing our laundry in the morning. Ride early on was through some farms carved out of the forests. Later it became forests winding through lakes ancient lakeside homes. Last part was through an elk crossing area but sadly didn't see any. Heard something though. Weather perfect but storms are brewing. Ate dinner in a bar hence the photo....

Posted: Aug. 9, 2017, 12:44 a.m.

Tuesday 8 Aug 2017 13:42

Today's lunch stop - seemed appropriate given we're in an Indian reservation

Posted: Aug. 8, 2017, 6:42 p.m.

Monday 7 Aug 2017 20:44

What a great day!

Awoke to steady drips from the saturated trees above my tent. We packed up pretty quickly in heavy fog and with lights blazing headed back towards Taylor's Falls. We had to climb out of TF but what we hadn't reckoned on was roadworks. There was only one lane going up and no shoulder plus huge deep cracks in pavement. I got honked a few times and abused them back as e had nowhere else to go as it is the only road. We bailed out when we could and turned into StCroix Falls for breakfast. Fog lifted but we weren't going up that hill. A bike angel turned up who said he'd go home and get his car and show us how to get into a bike track. The track was great; climbing slowly with lovely trees. Route took us through complex turns which made navigation hard. Saw lots of deer; osprey including one carrying a large animal.

Staying in Birchwood Motel drying out tents etc. nice room before we trashed it...

Posted: Aug. 8, 2017, 1:44 a.m.

Monday 7 Aug 2017 16:02

Another great barn...

Posted: Aug. 7, 2017, 9:02 p.m.

Monday 7 Aug 2017 11:35

Balsam Lake - countryside getting hillier

Posted: Aug. 7, 2017, 4:35 p.m.

Monday 7 Aug 2017 10:02

Met a guy in StCroix who was on a bike. He went home abc got his car and led us to this track.

Posted: Aug. 7, 2017, 3:02 p.m.

Monday 7 Aug 2017 7:36

Stopped for breakfast after a damp pack up and ugly ride on a very foggy morning. Breakfast tasted pretty good though - beats the tortillas and peanut butter we had for dinner last night because of the rain!

Oh, and we entered Wisconsin.

Posted: Aug. 7, 2017, 12:36 p.m.

Sunday 6 Aug 2017 16:19

Photo is of St Croix River. We're camping at the interstate park - river is border with Wisconsin. Our perfect record of not getting rained on was dashed tonight. I'd just spoken with Kate and was putting up my Macpac Microlight tent when the heavens opened as had been threatened for a few days. I got my tent up quickly bug Johns MSR takes a lot longer so I fear it is soaked inside. We're bunkered down in a kids game room at the moment but rain has stopped and it's just spitting. Send🍷

Posted: Aug. 6, 2017, 9:19 p.m.

Sunday 6 Aug 2017 15:27

Arrived at our destination for tonight - at the suggestion of Donn - Taylor's Falls via a short cut which saved us 27 miles.

Photo is of a classic drive in restaurant with window service

Posted: Aug. 6, 2017, 8:27 p.m.

Sunday 6 Aug 2017 12:53

Today's lunch spot was recommended by Donn - shows the strong Swedish background

Posted: Aug. 6, 2017, 5:53 p.m.

Sunday 6 Aug 2017 12:00

Typical old grain store and barn

Posted: Aug. 6, 2017, 5 p.m.

Sunday 6 Aug 2017 11:17

Hard to leave Donn's amazing bunkhouse but we finally managed to leave at 9. Roads continued to be tough on the bike and my fillings.

Posted: Aug. 6, 2017, 4:17 p.m.

Saturday 5 Aug 2017 16:51

Staying in the Dablo Bicycle Bunkhouse which is a converted barn on a farm. Around 10 years ago the owner was asked by two cyclists if they could camp on his farm and it just took off from there. It's the best I've seen - he doesn't want money - just happy for if to bc used. Amazing man.

Earlier today I had just walked into a cafe and noticed John talking to a guy outside. Nothing unusual- we attract attention everywhere. What was different was that he came into the cafe and put $20 on the table for our lunch and said welcome to his town.

Posted: Aug. 5, 2017, 9:51 p.m.

Saturday 5 Aug 2017 9:01

Mighty Mississippi River which starts in this state

Posted: Aug. 5, 2017, 2:01 p.m.

Saturday 5 Aug 2017 8:43

The view from our campsite in the town park of the cafe where we ate last night. Lots of interest in our ride.

After we ate and then put our tents up I went across the road to the town bar. I intended to try to charge my phone and read my book whilst having a beer. John was writing postcards back at his tent.

I walked into the bar and asked for a beer - immediately a guy asks where I'm from and then offers to buy me a beer. We ended up talking about Trump, gun laws and health care. He was the local mayor. He voted for Trump, mainly because of job promises; has over 100 guns. Had a great night talking with him and his wife.

Woke up this morning to an incredibly heavy dew which soaked the tents.

Posted: Aug. 5, 2017, 1:43 p.m.

Friday 4 Aug 2017 17:04

Arrived at our destination for today - Bowlus. Cool cafe.

Posted: Aug. 4, 2017, 10:04 p.m.

Friday 4 Aug 2017 15:35

Great sculpture at Holdingford

Posted: Aug. 4, 2017, 8:35 p.m.

Friday 4 Aug 2017 15:32

Our first covered bridge

Posted: Aug. 4, 2017, 8:32 p.m.

Friday 4 Aug 2017 14:03

And the bike path rolls on...past small towns and open farming country

Posted: Aug. 4, 2017, 7:03 p.m.

Friday 4 Aug 2017 10:32

West Union / a tiny but cute place on the trail

Posted: Aug. 4, 2017, 3:32 p.m.

Friday 4 Aug 2017 9:59

On the road again; this time on the Lake Wobegon Trail

Posted: Aug. 4, 2017, 2:59 p.m.

Thursday 3 Aug 2017 15:44

Rest day in Alexandria started off really cold with max temp of 15c and rain easing to drizzle.

Looked trough a museum dedicated to a rock tablet with runes that was found here proving the Vikings came here in 14th C.

Posted: Aug. 3, 2017, 8:44 p.m.

Wednesday 2 Aug 2017 21:10

Arrived safe in Alexandria around 530pm on the bike path. We literally ran into Harold and Jennifer (our warm showers hosts) on the path. They were out exercising two of their 5 dogs.

They cooked us a great meal. Great way to finish the day.

We spoke with Jim at lunchtime and he is with his family which is great.

Posted: Aug. 3, 2017, 2:10 a.m.

Wednesday 2 Aug 2017 15:41

On the Central Lakes State Trail.....surprisingly gradually uphill

Posted: Aug. 2, 2017, 8:41 p.m.

Wednesday 2 Aug 2017 11:12

Stopped for a snack in Fergus Falls

Posted: Aug. 2, 2017, 4:12 p.m.

Wednesday 2 Aug 2017 9:55

The countryside is changing - more hills, loads of lakes and many more trees

Posted: Aug. 2, 2017, 2:55 p.m.

Wednesday 2 Aug 2017 8:36

Classic barn- riding on quiet fresh Tarmac off the main roads

Posted: Aug. 2, 2017, 1:36 p.m.

Tuesday 1 Aug 2017 18:51

Photo of our camp site by Pelican Lake.

We had terrible news this afternoon - Jim had been struck by a car on his way to his son's house in Rochester. He is in a ED with a broken collarbone but thankfully seems to be OK in other respects. He is hopeful of returning to the ride after he recovers at home. Our thoughts are with he and Meg.

Jim had been riding in a direct route for Rochester ie off the Adventure Cycling Association route maps. Whilst there's no guarantees, the ACA does try to pick roads that offer the best visibility, shoulders and traffic. John and I generally stick to the ACA route.

For example, our ride tomorrow features a long stretch in a rail trail.

We also all try to be as visible as possible - bright clothing and lots of reflective strips etc plus rear lights.

Please don't worry about us - we'd prefer you send good vibes to Jim and Meg

Posted: Aug. 1, 2017, 11:51 p.m.

Tuesday 1 Aug 2017 15:44

Arrived in Pelican Springs for the night after about 54 miles of nice riding through farming country and lakes.

Posted: Aug. 1, 2017, 8:44 p.m.

Tuesday 1 Aug 2017 11:48

Fence on the way to Cormorant

Posted: Aug. 1, 2017, 4:48 p.m.

Tuesday 1 Aug 2017 9:27

Today's water tower - in the small town of Sabin, Minnesota. We're back on the road after a relaxing rest day in Fargo and the day trip to Detroit Lakes

Posted: Aug. 1, 2017, 2:27 p.m.

Monday 31 Jul 2017 10:48

Our bike shop in a former railway station

Posted: July 31, 2017, 3:48 p.m.

Monday 31 Jul 2017 10:44

Downtown Fargo....,very vibrant. Nice old buildings gradually evolving into loft apartments

Posted: July 31, 2017, 3:44 p.m.

Monday 31 Jul 2017 10:43

Enjoying our rest day / currently sitting on a deck chair overlooking one of the Detroit Lakes at John's cousins apartment. Photo is from earlier in Fargo

Posted: July 31, 2017, 3:43 p.m.

Monday 31 Jul 2017 10:25

Out for breakfast in a very cool city - Fargo.

Lots on as shown by the cafe notice board

Posted: July 31, 2017, 3:25 p.m.

Monday 31 Jul 2017 8:18

Our room at Moorhead with a few friends...,

Posted: July 31, 2017, 1:18 p.m.

Sunday 30 Jul 2017 16:18

We made it to Fargo! John and I are staying in a lovely, eclectic warm showers home full of people, cats and dogs. It's actually located in Minnesota although only a few miles from downtown Fargo. Jim, as usual, headed off on his own and we met for lunch but he told us he'd decided to leave us and head asap for his sons home in Rochester, Minnesota (I think).

We'd talked about hiring a car in a few days time to do a flying trip there for his granddaughter's birthday but he decided he'd rather ride. He'll join us in a week or do.

The ride into Fargo was long as we tried to find bike tracks with the aim of dropping our bikes off for service tonight. We'd given up when a guy rode by and introduced himself as the owner of the shop we were heading for. In a city the size of Geelong the odds of that happening are high. He arranged for the shop to stay open. We ubered to Moorhead.

Today's ride was around 67 miles. Weather getting more humid but still pretty hot.

Posted: July 30, 2017, 9:18 p.m.

Saturday 29 Jul 2017 17:08

Photo is of Sheyenne River just past our campsite at the Little Yellowstone Campground.

We rode about 61 miles.

I loved most of the ride, particularly the first half. We were riding on a good road, cool conditions and fairly flat and dead straight roads past fields of gold (wheat) on one side and green on the other (soy beans).

The straight roads go with the land parcel system here which divides land into sections where each is one square mile. The toads off the highway are numbered from the last town but called avenues even though most are dirt.

Had to hold about 2 miles up hill to get a signal so i could talk to Kate and Mary tonight.

Ps watch out for the Bernie Sanders speech in US senate where he contrasts US and Australian health systems and outcomes.

Tomorrow we are aiming to get to Fargo and Minnesota. Rest day in Fargo!

Posted: July 29, 2017, 10:08 p.m.

Saturday 29 Jul 2017 16:27

James River

Posted: July 29, 2017, 9:27 p.m.

Saturday 29 Jul 2017 10:10

Today's hill. We've had a really enjoyable ride so far....

Posted: July 29, 2017, 3:10 p.m.

Friday 28 Jul 2017 18:39

The area is particularly dry.....

Posted: July 28, 2017, 11:39 p.m.

Friday 28 Jul 2017 18:37

Arrived in Gackle - our destination for the night where we are staying in the Honey Hut. It is a bike hostel run by a young family who also run a honey farm!

It's another quiet town with a a small store, a small cafe and a bar.

We did about 40 miles today with a crosswind.

Posted: July 28, 2017, 11:37 p.m.

Friday 28 Jul 2017 12:03

Today's route through a largely flat plain with intermittent rolling hills. Lots of lakes although lots dry

Posted: July 28, 2017, 5:03 p.m.

Friday 28 Jul 2017 11:25

Arts grant perhaps?

Posted: July 28, 2017, 4:25 p.m.

Thursday 27 Jul 2017 19:14

Arrived in Napoleon. Staying in a DIY motel. Doors were open and we have to leave cash on a table!

Left gear there and headed to only restaurant in thus small town.

We did about 81 miles today. We actually had to wear our raincoats a couple of times.

Posted: July 28, 2017, 12:14 a.m.

Thursday 27 Jul 2017 16:27

And the road rolled on....with bumps every 10 m because of cracks that have been poorly sealed. Shakes the fillings out of our teeth.

Posted: July 27, 2017, 9:27 p.m.

Thursday 27 Jul 2017 11:44

Field of sunflowers

Posted: July 27, 2017, 4:44 p.m.

Thursday 27 Jul 2017 9:14

Benedictines saved me again! Left Bismarck with a bout of Johns diarrhoea. Stopped st a supermarket for some stoppers and off we went through the sprawling city of Bismarck. Needed a toilet badly and found the University of Mary Benedictine centre

Posted: July 27, 2017, 2:14 p.m.

Wednesday 26 Jul 2017 20:17

Photo is of the Missouri River from a high point once used by the Mandan tribe.

We walked back into town and had lunch in an original 1930s restaurant. Guys ubered back to the apartment but I stayed in and walked around some more. Very spread out once you left the CBD.

We took Mark out for dinner to another cool bar/restaurant for dinner.

Posted: July 27, 2017, 1:17 a.m.

Wednesday 26 Jul 2017 13:54

Outside the Cspitol building . Sculpture is made of rebar steel

Posted: July 26, 2017, 6:54 p.m.

Wednesday 26 Jul 2017 13:02

I like Bismarck! It has a really good feel - bars, pizza places, hipster shops and set out well ......but too spread out in parts.

John was crook for most of the day with a gut problem. Jim and I had breakfast in a cool diner after we'd dropped Jim's bike off to get spoke fixed, new tyre and drive train cleaned. As Jim says 'these bikes take a pounding!'

We all took an über into the centre to see the State Capitol building (like our state parliament and administration combined) - somewhat amazingly the two branches only come together to sit every second year).

Photo is of an internal corridor in the Art Deco building.

Posted: July 26, 2017, 6:02 p.m.

Tuesday 25 Jul 2017 20:16

Arrived in Bismarck after close to 80 miles in cooler conditions and either a strong or neutral side wind. Had lunch near the buildings in this photo. Staying in a warm showers hosts one bedroom apartment. Bags and bikes everywhere!

Posted: July 26, 2017, 1:16 a.m.

Tuesday 25 Jul 2017 7:40

Great experience staying with the Benedictine monks - Father Odo a highlight. Ate breakfast in silence - my kind of place.

Posted: July 25, 2017, 1:40 p.m.

Monday 24 Jul 2017 19:11

Assumption Abbey, Richardton

Posted: July 25, 2017, 1:11 a.m.

Monday 24 Jul 2017 16:02

Very tough morning for me at least. Headed off early to beat heat and wind aiming to get at least to Richardton if not beyond. Felt fine early but with about 15 miles to go to our lunch stop at Dickinson I ran out of energy despite eating and drinking. Every time I had another energy bar it would work for 20 minutes if so and then I'd be flat as a tack and struggling to turn the pedals. Lots of hills and a cross wind most of the time. Temperature pushing 100 again. Literally limped in to the lunch stop but after three cups of coffee, 4 slices of toast and a large frittata plus a fruit said and a slice of Lemon merengue pie I had energy! Next 25 miles weren't a big deal. I think we did around 65 miles to get to Richardton where we are staying in the Assumption Abbey. As soon as we arrived the Father in charge of lost tourists swept us into a huge cafeteria to feed us. It's the somewhat usual story - Benedictine monks here but few new ones and certainly not enough to keep the 2000 acre property as it once was managed. The photo here us of a sculpture on the road here.

Posted: July 24, 2017, 10:02 p.m.

Sunday 23 Jul 2017 11:22


Posted: July 23, 2017, 5:22 p.m.

Sunday 23 Jul 2017 11:06

We had to work hard but we did find someone to drive us through the national park. Scenery was great but I was a little disappointed that the buffalo we saw were in very small herds. Still great to see them though - also saw large prairie dog 'towns' and wild horses.

Posted: July 23, 2017, 5:06 p.m.

Saturday 22 Jul 2017 19:57

John and I went to 'Medora- the musical' in a 3000 seat amphitheatre overlooking the badlands

Posted: July 23, 2017, 1:57 a.m.

Saturday 22 Jul 2017 15:09

Arrived in Medora - staying at the Campground

Posted: July 22, 2017, 9:09 p.m.

Saturday 22 Jul 2017 13:56

More stunning scenery

Posted: July 22, 2017, 7:56 p.m.

Saturday 22 Jul 2017 13:29

Getting closer to Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Posted: July 22, 2017, 7:29 p.m.

Saturday 22 Jul 2017 13:26

The road to Medora just kept getting better as we entered the badlands....and the road surface got better with freshly laid bitumen and a strong tail or slightly crosswind.

And my bum was pretty good today!

Posted: July 22, 2017, 7:26 p.m.

Saturday 22 Jul 2017 11:04

We entered North Dakota with a howling tailwind

Posted: July 22, 2017, 5:04 p.m.

Friday 21 Jul 2017 19:51

Lazy day in our amazing warm showers hosts house before she took us out to a Mexican restaurant for dinner and then drove us to the Makoshika State Park - eroded sandstone badlands.

Posted: July 22, 2017, 1:51 a.m.

Friday 21 Jul 2017 12:13

Just arrived in Glendive after less than 4 hours delightfully easy riding 49 miles with a nice tailwind. Just had a large chocolate malt milkshake and am contemplating a second. Think we're staying with a warm showers host tonight...

Posted: July 21, 2017, 6:13 p.m.

Friday 21 Jul 2017 9:06

What a difference a day makes! Wind favourable; early start and 19 degrees Fahrenheit cooler. Country moving into the badlands.

Posted: July 21, 2017, 3:06 p.m.

Thursday 20 Jul 2017 20:32

This is the sign on the motel where we are staying

Posted: July 21, 2017, 2:32 a.m.

Thursday 20 Jul 2017 20:09

A couple of images from Circle

Posted: July 21, 2017, 2:09 a.m.

Thursday 20 Jul 2017 16:03

To quote Robin Williams today was 'hot damn hot'. A hard day at the office- about 52 miles and 300 hills in some of the hottest conditions I've cycled in. Hot dry wind which seemed to be dehydrating us by the minute. Bum was giving me grief today as well which didn't help. The hills were rolling - up then down and straight back up again and then repeat! Wind was either cross or head wind. But....we got got to our destination of Circle.

Posted: July 20, 2017, 10:03 p.m.

Thursday 20 Jul 2017 11:35

Lunch stop on a hot day - the only shade for 30 miles

Posted: July 20, 2017, 5:35 p.m.

Wednesday 19 Jul 2017 22:06

Arrived in Wolf Point after a fairly long hot day travelling around 85 miles through sparsely farmed country and an Indian reservation (Fort Peck). Wind was in our favour. Temp close to 100 again.

Staying in a motel partly because we'd heard lots of warnings about the town. After seeing if tonight I think it was a good move. Just Hac to go to the supermarket after dark and there were a lot of disheveled people out and about plus a lot more police than I'd seen before.

Posted: July 20, 2017, 4:06 a.m.

Wednesday 19 Jul 2017 10:36

And then the dinosaurs moved into the bar......

Posted: July 19, 2017, 4:36 p.m.

Wednesday 19 Jul 2017 9:40

'Bike angels' stopped us in the form of 2 guys investigating the route for an tour they are organising next year. One guys works in a Manhattan bike shop in Soho. They stuffed our pockets and bags full of Clif bars and Pringles!

Posted: July 19, 2017, 3:40 p.m.

Wednesday 19 Jul 2017 8:18

Israeli bikers doing the Northern Tier from east to west

Posted: July 19, 2017, 2:18 p.m.

Tuesday 18 Jul 2017 20:06

Sitting in a bar - let's paint the picture...

Sitting at the bar are three guys wearing 10 gallon cowboy hats, starched white shirts, blue jeans and cowboy boots. Music is predominantly country but out of the blue comes Divinyl's 'I touch myself'.

Constructing a veggie meal was an effort / toasted cheese sandwich, baked spud and a green salad which didn't fill me up so waiting on fries.

It gets better - a man and two boys walk in - Hutterites (pacifists who in this area travel around selling great produce)- selling potatoes and peas!

Posted: July 19, 2017, 2:06 a.m.

Tuesday 18 Jul 2017 18:29

Our campsite for the night in the very small town of Hinsdale. If has five churches, a magic cafe where I had the best thick shake, a gun shop and a bar. The campsite is a town park with a war memorial. Tough day today - only did 40 miles - hopefully better winds tomorrow.

Posted: July 19, 2017, 12:29 a.m.

Tuesday 18 Jul 2017 13:23

Our lunch stop at Saco after 25 miles in about 4 hours due to a strong headwind. Country has been open grasslands with very small numbers of cattle. Intend calling it a day soon in Hinsdale and hope for better winds tomorrow.

One of the du things has been the long trains carrying containers or coal that goes past close to the road. We wave at them down they often toot the horn which we love.

Posted: July 18, 2017, 7:23 p.m.

Monday 17 Jul 2017 21:10

Another faded glory...

Posted: July 18, 2017, 3:10 a.m.

Monday 17 Jul 2017 21:04

Just finished a great pizza and had a great conversation with a young American kid and his black lab! They are travelling around the country hitchhiking. While we were talking a ute started spraying for mossies in front of us.

Posted: July 18, 2017, 3:04 a.m.

Monday 17 Jul 2017 19:57

One of the features I love is the classic old neon signs - this one is at our motel

Posted: July 18, 2017, 1:57 a.m.

Monday 17 Jul 2017 19:39

Just arrived in Malta! Around 89 miles through a wide range of terrain ranging from farming country like you might see in VICTORIA through to something more like the Yorkshire dales.

We didn't have any supportive winds today, in fact we had a light head wing of cross wind at times.

Posted: July 18, 2017, 1:39 a.m.

Monday 17 Jul 2017 13:02

Classic barn

Posted: July 17, 2017, 7:02 p.m.

Monday 17 Jul 2017 12:58

One of the features of this trip is how many businesses have closed

Posted: July 17, 2017, 6:58 p.m.

Sunday 16 Jul 2017 21:24

All day today we rode near a railway line which comes into Havre. We saw massive locomotives towing huge numbers of bogeys as well as one passenger train. This photo shows a maintenance area near our motel

Posted: July 17, 2017, 3:24 a.m.

Sunday 16 Jul 2017 20:03

Amazing....we are now sitting in Havre waiting on our Mexican food after riding 127 miles (204 km). About 8 hours actual riding in amazing conditions- strong tailwind.

Posted: July 17, 2017, 2:03 a.m.

Sunday 16 Jul 2017 13:17

Chester for lunch after a sometimes very fast ride and sometimes slower when the wind dropped for a while. We've done 66 miles and my bum confirms it! The trip was a bit like the road through the Mallee - railway line parallel to the road and lots of farming activities. We met the guy from Yorkshire and his US mate. They are on fast road bikes and carrying no gear with the support of the van we saw yesterday. They are doing at least 100 miles a day.

Posted: July 16, 2017, 7:17 p.m.

Sunday 16 Jul 2017 8:22

On the road - flying along

Posted: July 16, 2017, 2:22 p.m.

Saturday 15 Jul 2017 15:14

Arrived in Cut Bank about 315 after leaving camp around 7am. Another scorcher but this time we had wind - headwinds, crosswinds and finally (and joyously) tailwinds! We pushed through to the border town - Del Bonita. It consists of a general store and possibly one other somewhat dubious store. The general store pictured was a gem. A place stuck in time. We walked in and nearly tripped over the oxygen tube to the owner's dad who was sitting in the window. Nice guy running it kept providing drinks and food until we were done. I drank a litre of coke and a huge chocolate bar. Desperately needed both. We went outside and checked the temp - 97 at around 11.

Crossed the border with no major hassles other than a few more questions.

Scenery changed during the ride from distant views of the Rockies as we rode through farming country - either flat or more commonly, rolling hills. Photos follow. Some of the highlights - loads of prairie dogs poking their heads out of holes in the road; no trees in sight; canola crops against the black sky as we headed to our destination; dodging a massive thunderstorm; rolling hills and a strong tailwind for the last 7 miles. Not sure where we're staying yet but we've decided not to have a rest day and push on tomorrow.

Distance today 73 miles and 2532 feet gain.

Posted: July 15, 2017, 9:14 p.m.

Saturday 15 Jul 2017 11:30

More scenery

Posted: July 15, 2017, 5:30 p.m.

Saturday 15 Jul 2017 10:00

Some of the prairie scenery

Posted: July 15, 2017, 4 p.m.

Friday 14 Jul 2017 10:52

Arrived in Cardston around 1 after nice ride through open country. Here's a view of the Rockies as we rode away from them. Ps My ankle is much better and 'go bombers!'

Posted: July 14, 2017, 4:52 p.m.

Friday 14 Jul 2017 8:03

Note to Ross: here's breakfast!

Posted: July 14, 2017, 2:03 p.m.

Thursday 13 Jul 2017 20:54

Having breakfast in an early opener before the short but mean haul out of Waterton and then what should be a short day to Cardston. Photo us from last night looking out over the lake. Feels like town is in an amphitheater surrounded by mountains. Campground was full of prairie dogs which look like squirrels but act like meerkats. They dig mean holes which I kept avoiding. Ankle feels much better.

Posted: July 14, 2017, 2:54 a.m.

Thursday 13 Jul 2017 14:28

Rode into Watertown Lakes via tough hills and the meanest bike track I've seen. Scenery worth the pain..,,

Posted: July 13, 2017, 8:28 p.m.

Thursday 13 Jul 2017 11:39

Crossed over into Canada - was a little worried I might have got it wrong and did need an ESTA but the customs guy was more interested in my Brooks saddle. Then had a funny moment at the Alberta sign where some Chinese tourists wanted photos with us and hung a flag off my bike!

Posted: July 13, 2017, 5:39 p.m.

Thursday 13 Jul 2017 10:16

Day started with a heavy dew - wet tents! Found the two socks and headband I lost last night! Then managed to twist my ankle when I stepped out of the porta potti in the campsite straight into a hole. Luckily between John and Jim it's like an episode of 'Breaking Bad' so Jim gave me a swag of anti-inflammatory tablets and off we went. I thought it'd be a tough day and I was right. Stunning scenery as we rode by Chief Mountain.

Posted: July 13, 2017, 4:16 p.m.

Wednesday 12 Jul 2017 18:52

Staying at Chewing Blackbones Campground run by a Native American tribe. Tomorrow we cross into Canada!

Posted: July 13, 2017, 12:52 a.m.

Wednesday 12 Jul 2017 9:49

Wow....what a day! Today was the best day so far - we woke again at 430 and were riding at 530 to beat some of the tourist traffic heading up the 'Going to the sun' road to Logan Pass. We decided to split up thinking it would be safer for cars to pass us if we were on our own. I set off last and early on the road was OK but as we started climbing the road became narrower and narrower with our shoulder. The cars started coming up much earlier than we anticipated but were pretty good at avoiding me as I climbed up at 3mph! Road variety in slope but was very steep at times. The views were exhilarating as you'll see in the images. Lots of people made positive comments as they passed me and not one had a negative word. At one stage I though I was getting near the Pass when I looked up and saw the road seeming miles above me. The final push was fantastic as lots of people who had driven up congratulated me and urged me on until I hit the Pass. About 4 hours climbing. What a buzz! At 6664 feet it is the highest Pass we've climbed.

Posted: July 12, 2017, 3:49 p.m.

Wednesday 12 Jul 2017 9:32

Posted: July 12, 2017, 3:32 p.m.

Wednesday 12 Jul 2017 8:54

Posted: July 12, 2017, 2:54 p.m.

Wednesday 12 Jul 2017 8:13

Posted: July 12, 2017, 2:13 p.m.

Wednesday 12 Jul 2017 8:09

Posted: July 12, 2017, 2:09 p.m.

Wednesday 12 Jul 2017 7:46

Posted: July 12, 2017, 1:46 p.m.

Tuesday 11 Jul 2017 15:26

Lake McDonald Lodge and the famous red shuttles

Posted: July 11, 2017, 9:26 p.m.

Tuesday 11 Jul 2017 12:27

Arrived at Avalanche Campground inside the Glacier National Park at 11 after getting up at 430am. It felt like a race to get here on two fronts - first, part of the Going to the Sun Road is closed to bikes after 11 and secondly, the campground fills up fast. 46 miles and 2600 feet climbing. Even in overcast conditions the mountains are spectacular. The campground is a bit up the mountain so tomorrow we have 16 miles to climb to get to Logan Pass - our last major Pass. Took a shuttle bus back down the mountain to Lake McDonald for lunch. Torrential rain whilst we were in a restaurant but it then cleared up fairly quickly. Loads of tourists in and around the 1930s LM lodge.

All pretty tired after this morning which was very taxing because of the need to push so hard. We're all nodding off at any opportunity- in odds off waiting for the shuttle down to LM and John woke me up to get on the bus and I jumped up so fast I left my hat on the bench. It's one of my late fathers cricket hats so I was a bit sad thinking I might have lost it but when we returned a few hours later there it was..waiting for me.

Campsite basic but nice - definitely need to use the bear boxes to store food overnight.

Posted: July 11, 2017, 6:27 p.m.

Monday 10 Jul 2017 9:12

Downtown Whitefish

Posted: July 10, 2017, 3:12 p.m.

Monday 10 Jul 2017 9:08

Farewell to Brenden as he heads to Seattle

Posted: July 10, 2017, 3:08 p.m.

Sunday 9 Jul 2017 19:50

Team Fox plus Brenden

Posted: July 10, 2017, 1:50 a.m.

Sunday 9 Jul 2017 18:27

Arrived in Whitefish around 1 and met up with Jim and Brenden from Boston. Brenden is cycling the Northern Tier from East to West. Jim had secured a great warm showers host. Sort of like Airbnb but free for cyclists. Problem was the hosts had gone away for weekend so we could camp in back yard but no toilets of showers. After three hot days without showers John and I decided on the hostel. We'll move to Jim's site tomorrow arvo. Lots of washing, shave and shower later we are now in local brewery! Major League Baseball is on the TV - world is good! Met lots of cyclists today. Some weekend warriors, some on USA/Canada trips and one brit on a big north/south trip.

Posted: July 10, 2017, 12:27 a.m.

Sunday 9 Jul 2017 11:58

Started seeing impressive entrances to farming properties

Posted: July 9, 2017, 5:58 p.m.

Sunday 9 Jul 2017 11:20

Stunning farming country on way into Whitefish

Posted: July 9, 2017, 5:20 p.m.

Sunday 9 Jul 2017 8:06's either an osprey chick of a bald eagle chick or .....

Posted: July 9, 2017, 2:06 p.m.

Sunday 9 Jul 2017 7:14

Packing up - this is where we spent the afternoon yesterday. Camp next door. They shut the building over night so we had to use the ports potty on the 8th tee this morning. One of the more scenic spots for a crap..... cold overnight and heavy dew this morning so wet tents to carry

Posted: July 9, 2017, 1:14 p.m.

Saturday 8 Jul 2017 17:59

Ok....feeling satisfied now. Two beers, packet of chips, veggie burger and chips and this desert!

Posted: July 8, 2017, 11:59 p.m.

Saturday 8 Jul 2017 15:04

Arrived in Fortine around 130 - temp had risen dramatically so we headed to only shop which is a golf course club house. They also had a basic campground and the lure of staying here in an air con bar was too much. We'll put the tents up later when in cools down.No showers again....wet wipes come in handy!

Enjoying a cold beer at the moment!

Posted: July 8, 2017, 9:04 p.m.

Saturday 8 Jul 2017 11:01

Arrived at Eureka - lunch at a Mexican restaurant before we do the last 20 miles to campsite

Posted: July 8, 2017, 5:01 p.m.

Saturday 8 Jul 2017 8:42

Rock climbers

Posted: July 8, 2017, 2:42 p.m.

Saturday 8 Jul 2017 7:59

On way to Eureka from Rocky Gorge Campground- left about 0710. No visits from the camp beat

Posted: July 8, 2017, 1:59 p.m.

Friday 7 Jul 2017 9:38

View from near Libby Dam

Posted: July 7, 2017, 3:38 p.m.

Friday 7 Jul 2017 9:36

Map of area

Posted: July 7, 2017, 3:36 p.m.

Friday 7 Jul 2017 9:27

On the road around 720. Nice ride to get to Libby Dam in cool conditions. Then started climbing but the grades very generally good and beautiful scenery - Lake Koocanusa - helped. Arrived at Rocky Gorge Campground after around 42 miles and xx feet of climbing. Stunning view of the lake from our site. No showers here but we had a swim in the lake to cool off which was great because temp was probably over 100 again. Had a snooze under a tree which was great, Surprisingly there isn't much time for that sort of thing. Saw a bald eagle swoop down and grab a fish which was great. Had a brief sunshower late in the day. Photo is of Libby Dam.

Posted: July 7, 2017, 3:27 p.m.

Thursday 6 Jul 2017 16:03

Arrived at Libby around 2 in 98 degrees. Headed for Maccas to cool off. Great ride today (52 miles and 3462 feet of climbing) through stunning scenery. Camping on a town campground again. Place doesn't have showers but as often happens the local laundrette offers showers. All a bit weird but it works. Town is full of eagle sculptures and is tremendously spear out, also had lots of casinos - not sure what they are / police machines perhaps. May head to one for cooling ale later after we cook dinner. Heading off early tomorrow morning.

Posted: July 6, 2017, 10:03 p.m.

Thursday 6 Jul 2017 11:37

Kootenai Falls - lunch stop

Posted: July 6, 2017, 5:37 p.m.

Thursday 6 Jul 2017 8:58

More scenery from this morning

Posted: July 6, 2017, 2:58 p.m.

Wednesday 5 Jul 2017 15:40

Arrived at tonight's stop just after the turn off for the start of the trek through the Rockies around 3ish. 46 miles 2363 feet elevation. Pretty comfortable and scenic ride. Saddle sores much improved but had my first spill of the trip- luckily at zero speed. Foot and then wheel slipped as I was taking off and bike's weight just took me down. No major damage - just some skin and lost pride! Staying in a cute little cabin in pretty RV park. Got very excited at the only shop for miles selling pizza so we ordered a great veggie one and in horror realised they sell 'take & bake' ie you're meant to cook it yourself. John asked the park hosts if they'd cook it for us and tony amazement they did and it was great. We spoke with Jim who had ridden around 170 miles in the last 2 days to get to Eureka where Meg will pick him up and go back to Whitefish for 2 days. He said the hills have been very tough. As a result I re-thought our plan to get to Glacier National Park. I just know we can't ride the distances that Jim can in these hills and heat. New plan is for us to get to Libby tomorrow night (6th) (51miles), ride to an unnamed Campground the next day (7th) (47 miles); ride to a Campground after Striker the next day (8th) (50 miles); ride to Whitefish the next day (9th) (31 miles) and have a rest day the next day on the tenth before heading to Avalanche Campground in Glacier NP on the 11th. Jim's on a very different schedule which will see him back in Eureka during Friday 7th and probably cycling to Whitefish. Starting to think Jim might get his days to explore Glacier NP before we get there. I think we'll end up 2 days behind my projected itinerary but I don't think that's a problem unless it continues to blow out.

Posted: July 5, 2017, 10:40 p.m.

Wednesday 5 Jul 2017 13:45

Big sky country indeed!

Posted: July 5, 2017, 7:45 p.m.

Wednesday 5 Jul 2017 12:37

Left Idaho and entered Montana - 'big sky country' where we'll be for a while because of its size. Moved into 'mountain time' putting our watches forward an hour. Already the countryside has changed - big hills and probably foothills of the Rockies, thick forests and beautiful rivers and lakes.

Posted: July 5, 2017, 6:37 p.m.

Wednesday 5 Jul 2017 11:11

Hmmm? A huge number of old trucks in a huge rock quarry.

Posted: July 5, 2017, 6:11 p.m.

Wednesday 5 Jul 2017 10:41

Just leaving Clark Fork after stuffing my face with carrot cake

Posted: July 5, 2017, 5:41 p.m.

Tuesday 4 Jul 2017 10:49

4th July

Posted: July 4, 2017, 5:49 p.m.

Tuesday 4 Jul 2017 10:46

4h July

Posted: July 4, 2017, 5:46 p.m.

Tuesday 4 Jul 2017 10:42

Even the local brewery gets involved!

Posted: July 4, 2017, 5:42 p.m.

Tuesday 4 Jul 2017 10:13

Happy 4th July! Woke up early to help Jim get an early start on his sprint to see Meg in Whitefish. We continued to snooze after he left which was great. Got up eventually and joined the expectant crowd along Main Street for the parade. I wasn't disappointed. Real community feel to it with every group you could think off plus lots of small businesses celebrating their role. Here's a few of the photos.....

Did planning for next week - John and I will aim to do in 4 days what Jim will do in 3 stopping after Heron, in Libby and Eureka along the way.

Posted: July 4, 2017, 5:13 p.m.

Monday 3 Jul 2017 16:49

Every day brings new challenges and so many things happen it's hard to keep up.

We left the crappy overpriced Campground about 0630 and had breakfast at the nearby Macca's. Love the hot cakes! Good fast ride early; bit too fast because we missed our turn off and did about 14 extra miles including hills as a result. My bum was giving me heaps at this stage; quite difficult to sit on the saddle. We turned back and eventually found the right road which took us along a beautiful road along the lake. At some stage when I'd spent all my petrol tickets I stopped for a break and realised my saddle was loose and also had turned off centre. This probably explained why the ride had been so hard. I've got a couple of saddle sores which I've been managing with John's sage advice but the saddle changed did me in. It was much better after I tightened it up. I started taking antibiotics last night as one of the sores seemed to be infected. Good morning to those eating breakfast.

We closed in on Sandpoint and rode along a bike track for 6 miles including a bike bridge which was cool. I took previous photo from the bridge.

We're staying in a bit pricey but great motel with multiple rooms and a small kitchen - luxury.

I had a quick shower and then we dropped our bikes off at a great bike shop. I was keen to find out what a metal sound was - turned out to be my bell reverberating! The other guys had a few issues - in both cases they needed new tyres. I bought a burrito sized tube of bike butter for my butt.

Bike sorted I went in search of a fix for my saddle sores at an urgent care clinic. Turns out our diagnosis and starting antibiotics was a good decision. Hopefully it'll clear up in a few days. In other news I take blood pressure meds and was light headed on a rest day in Republic and checked blood pressure at chemist and it had dropped to 104/64. I reduced my meds a little and today it was even lower. I'll keep getting it checked but the doctor suspected I could even go off them whilst in the trip. I'll stay on them but keep cutting down the tablets. Proof exercise does work. My weight has also dropped by about 3-4 kg's as well.

Whilst waiting to see the two nurses and doctor I realised I'd stuffed up the itinerary between here and Whitefish. Jim's wife (Meg) and son are coming to Whitefish and we were hoping to meet up but there's no way John or I (& my problematic bum) can do the distance in time so Jim is going to do a sprint to get there in time. John and I will follow the day after tomorrow and meet him in Whitefish. I not worried about the overall itinerary but meeting up along the way with family is hard to make work.

We did 48 miles today and climbed around 2000 feet. Weather not super hot, probably mid 80s.

Sandpoint is a really nice town full of restaurants and bars and beautifully laid out. Will add more photos tomorrow but here's a cute Alice in Wonderland hare.

In answer to my brother, I've only seen a few Trump posters so far. Suspect that might change in Montana onwards until we get to New England.

Posted: July 3, 2017, 11:49 p.m.

Monday 3 Jul 2017 12:08

Just arrived at Sandpoint after a tough morning

Posted: July 3, 2017, 7:08 p.m.

Sunday 2 Jul 2017 19:00

Today was great early; lovely cycling alongside lakes/rivers. Huge lunch and then ride into Newport. Another hot day pushing 99. Struggled to find accomodation because of 4th July long weekend. Ride 4 miles out to find a Campground on mean, steep gravel roads only to find it was full so we had to ride back. Staying at a fairly crappy private Campground in town. Rode 60 miles and climbed 2956 feet. Photo us of Team Fox's office at Macca's booking motel in Sandpoint where we will have a rest day.

Posted: July 3, 2017, 2 a.m.

Sunday 2 Jul 2017 16:03

One state down....many to go!

Posted: July 2, 2017, 11:03 p.m.

Sunday 2 Jul 2017 10:34

Great ride on mainly flat quiet roads alongside a beautiful river. Entered an area controlled by the Kalispel tribe who own the restaurant that were about to have an early lunch

Posted: July 2, 2017, 5:34 p.m.

Sunday 2 Jul 2017 7:02

It's a tough life.....

Posted: July 2, 2017, 2:02 p.m.

Saturday 1 Jul 2017 20:03

Now happily sitting in an air conditioned motel in Ione, post-dinner. All is good. Photo is from the motel. What a day! We started early, up at 5ish but the Council worker had locked the toilets, now none of us had a problem with the odd stealth pee but doing a number 2 on the pitch where the little kids play soccer seemed a bridge too far. We packed up and then found an early opening breakfast place and all was good. The kids can play soccer safely....

We rode a diversion through Colville and the scenery was lovely / farming land, nice valley etc but if was a bit hilly. The hills were the theme for the day. We expected hills to take us to a plateau and all in all an OK day. How wrong we were! The hills didn't stop - sometimes really steep including one wrong turn that was the steepest climb of the trip. Sometimes we thought the road was flat but in fact we we were still always climbing. We were chased by a dog at one point. I outsped it but then was faced with a steep climb when I was spent. We were also running low on water at one point but asked a young woman in her house for water which she was happy to provide. We climbed on, getting frustrated as to why we all felt so tired. Eventually and quite dramatically came the huge descent to Ione. When we checked the ride stats we found why we were tired - we'd ridden 58 miles and climbed 4675 feet in 90 degree weather.

Posted: July 2, 2017, 3:03 a.m.

Saturday 1 Jul 2017 10:20

After climbing out of Colville

Posted: July 1, 2017, 5:20 p.m.

Friday 30 Jun 2017 19:54

Home for tonight - will sleep well after 47 miles and 1251m of elevation.

Posted: July 1, 2017, 2:54 a.m.

Friday 30 Jun 2017 15:14

Arrived Kettle Falls in the heat of the day. Strangely the town is well away and up hill....from a lovely lake. Camping tonight but first priority was a milkshake!

Posted: June 30, 2017, 10:14 p.m.

Friday 30 Jun 2017 11:46

We made it - Sherman Pass! Last Pass for the Cascades!

Posted: June 30, 2017, 6:46 p.m.

Friday 30 Jun 2017 10:38

Lunch stop with around two more miles of climbing and 400 more feet of elevation

Posted: June 30, 2017, 5:38 p.m.

Friday 30 Jun 2017 8:51

Early stop after around 6 miles

Posted: June 30, 2017, 3:51 p.m.

Thursday 29 Jun 2017 19:48

Tomorrow we aim to cross Sherman Pass at 5575 feet - our final Pass in the Cascades. Not sure if you can read the elevation map but it shows the various passes and the grades. We'll be aiming to hit the road early to get as far up the #%### hill before it heats up. Aiming for Kettle Falls tomorrow night.

Posted: June 30, 2017, 2:48 a.m.

Thursday 29 Jun 2017 19:20

A great rest day in Republic. Had a leisurely 2.5 hour breakfast on the motel terrace followed by doing our laundry (including drying it out the front of the motel because the laundry dryer didn't work). No one batted an eyelid. This is a seriously chilled western themed town. The small amount of traffic stopped If you thought about crossing the street. People were particularly nice as well.

Posted: June 30, 2017, 2:20 a.m.

Wednesday 28 Jun 2017 17:44

Tonight's dinner - huge and I finished it easily!

Posted: June 29, 2017, 12:44 a.m.

Wednesday 28 Jun 2017 15:21

Arrived at our destination, Republic, at 2pm after 40.6 miles and 3989 feet of climbing over our third Pass. Felt pretty good except for a very sore bum. Will have a rest day before we tackle the last Pass in the Cascades. We decided to stay in a cheap motel in town rather than camp 5 miles out. Here's us drying off our tents which gig a bit damp overnight.

Posted: June 28, 2017, 10:21 p.m.

Wednesday 28 Jun 2017 12:58

John at Wauconda Pass. Climb big as hard as we'd expected bug it was great to start early to beat the heat

Posted: June 28, 2017, 7:58 p.m.

Wednesday 28 Jun 2017 11:29

Lunch break at Wauconda. A big of a ghost shop/ once had a restaurant but now has a very basic post office and a fridge to sell cold soft drinks. Even though weather not quite as hot as it's been we still appreciated the cold drinks.

Posted: June 28, 2017, 6:29 p.m.

Wednesday 28 Jun 2017 8:15

Munchies break after 6 mile climbing to this valley with cascades in the far distance

Posted: June 28, 2017, 3:15 p.m.

Tuesday 27 Jun 2017 15:26

A surprisingly tough 28 miles today with 1094 feet of elevation saw us get to Tonasket around 1ish after an 8am start and breakfast in Omak.

The countryside is hilly but really dry and unfortunately we head a fairly strong head or side wide for the whole way.

Tonasket has a nice visitors centre and allows cyclists to camp at the rear. The nearby laundrette has really good showers.

Lunch in a very nice cafe under a tree escaping the 93 degree heat. Photo shows Jim and John working on blogs etc.

Posted: June 27, 2017, 10:26 p.m.

Monday 26 Jun 2017 16:34

Arrived at Okanogan around 4pm after 78 miles. It was a mega diversion necessary because of the blocked Loup Loup Pass. Camping in American Legion Park.

Posted: June 26, 2017, 11:34 p.m.

Monday 26 Jun 2017 13:42

Escaping the heat in the only shade for miles

Posted: June 26, 2017, 8:42 p.m.

Monday 26 Jun 2017 12:56

Massive orchard area irrigated from this lake. Temp = bloody hot

Posted: June 26, 2017, 7:56 p.m.

Monday 26 Jun 2017 10:53

Pateros- our brunch stop at 1030 after 42miles. Country became much dryer after we crossed Washington Pass, some of the countryside today has reminded me of Kiewa Valley

Posted: June 26, 2017, 5:53 p.m.

Monday 26 Jun 2017 8:16

Carlton after 20 miles. Left at 0630 to try to beat the heat.

Posted: June 26, 2017, 3:16 p.m.

Sunday 25 Jun 2017 20:19

Our first rest day- yeah! The hostel in Winthrop is one of the best I've stayed in - great lounges etc and a good kitchen which we've used a lot. Had a nice night last night drinking a few beers and talking with Henry - a young bike mechanic from Minneapolis who is walking the Pacific Crest Trail from Canada to Mexico ala the book and movie 'wild'. He's the first southbound walker this year so he's had to contend with thick snow and icy slopes.

We cooked up a big breakfast of eggs and potatoes to start the day. We had a look at an arts and crafts market and then looked in a great book shop before being seduced into a camping store. I bought another water filter because the weather is so hot that we will need to top up bottles in the Passes that we still need to cross. Spent the rest of the day in the hostel reorganising our gear. More ice cream around lunch, reading and resting up. Tomorrow we were due to go over the Loup Loup Pass to Omak but the road is washed out so we have to divert a long way south before coming back north. We think we need to cover around 75 miles tomorrow along river valleys aiming for Okanogan.

Posted: June 26, 2017, 3:19 a.m.

Sunday 25 Jun 2017 20:18


Posted: June 26, 2017, 3:18 a.m.

Saturday 24 Jun 2017 19:02

Arrived in Winthrop around 12 after easy 13.5 miles. Damn hot / around 34 again. Staying in a very cool hostel. Did bugger all this afternoon other than our washing. About to have beer and veggie spaghetti. Winthrop is a themed town modelled on a western town eg Deadwood. More photos tomorrow.

Posted: June 25, 2017, 2:02 a.m.

Friday 23 Jun 2017 18:36

Arrived Mazuma at 6pm after an epic 55miles and 6087 feet elevation gain. Free camped in a disused town Campground. Dinner at only restaurant- food and beers equally glorious after today. Amazingly I didn't cramp at all. Ive been taking magnesium tablets but needed more - this is where American Mustard came through. I think I sucked a whole bottle dry. Quite tired now......

Posted: June 24, 2017, 1:36 a.m.

Friday 23 Jun 2017 16:23

Arrived at Washington Pass (5477 feet) at 5pm. We had a mild or so descent from Rainy Pass and then the steepest climb of the day which is where I dropped down to second and finally first gear. Trust me when I say most tortoises would have passed me on that stretch.Lots of stops, more muesli bars and more water and then we arrived at Washington Pass at 5pm.

Posted: June 23, 2017, 11:23 p.m.

Friday 23 Jun 2017 15:13

OMG!!!! Today was epic. We set off at 0800 to beat some of the 25C heat as we would be climbing for all bar 45 minutes today. Scenery is breathtaking, rivalling Kashmir. Snow capped mountains, green rivers and countless waterfalls. Did I say it was hot...... I changed my cog/sprocket combination over early this year after realising how ##### steep and long the first 5 mountain passes will be. I had low gears before but added about two more lower gears. I used them today. The grades peaked at 10% but were often 5-8% for 30 miles. This is not a typo. Mostly I rode in 3/14 gear up to Rainy Pass (4875 feet). Dehydration was a real issue - I carried about 4.2 litres water but needed John's filter straw to get me all the way. Ran out of energy early but then ate some muesli bars and I think lunch helped - English muffins with peanut better. Arrived at Rainy Pass around 3pm (see photo).

Posted: June 23, 2017, 10:13 p.m.

Thursday 22 Jun 2017 19:58

Arrived at Colonial Creek Campground ( see photo if TeamFox). Beautiful setting in trees on a Diablo Lake. Got in late and phaffed around trying to find vacant campsite. Pretty weary but felt much better when group next to us offered us a beer.

Posted: June 23, 2017, 2:58 a.m.

Thursday 22 Jun 2017 14:32

Arrived in Newhalem, weather hot; gradual climbing about to get not so gradual.

Scenery spectacular; weather sunny and hot.

Cramping an issue - Jim swears by mustard so we've stocked up on small bottles to suck on as we climb. Bizarre but if it works then magic. Mobile coverage for AT& T sucks.

Posted: June 22, 2017, 9:32 p.m.

Thursday 22 Jun 2017 11:14

Scenery along the way

Posted: June 22, 2017, 6:14 p.m.

Wednesday 21 Jun 2017 17:03

Arrived in Concrete where every northern tier cyclist takes a photo of the wheat silos.

Aimed for a camping site but it was closed so we hunted around and eventually settled on the Cascade Mountain lodge which is a small motel and a Korean restaurant run by a young Korean couple. They were so accomodating with our bikes. Jim and I went into restaurant for a beer and she'd brought out Korean popcorn followed by honeydew melon and three bottles of mineral water.

It was a great day cycling - nice weather and distant views of the Cascades and cycling next to a big green blue river with forests around us.

We all felt pretty good today and terrain was friendly and a tail wind for parts. We covered 51 miles and 1400 feet elevation.

We're heading to Colonial Creek Campground tomorrow night as the 'staging ground' for the assault on Washington Pass the following day.

Posted: June 22, 2017, 12:03 a.m.

Wednesday 21 Jun 2017 15:16

First view of the Cascades....knees started trembling at the thought of riding over them

Posted: June 21, 2017, 10:16 p.m.

Wednesday 21 Jun 2017 14:28

Team Fox in the Cascade Trail

Posted: June 21, 2017, 9:28 p.m.

Wednesday 21 Jun 2017 12:14

Brunch - amazing!

Posted: June 21, 2017, 7:14 p.m.

Wednesday 21 Jun 2017 11:59

Good morning cycling through some flat (yeh!) farming land. It's pretty exciting to be finally on the way east. Arrived in Burlington and having lunch at this great little cafe. Here's Team Fox about to fuel up...

Posted: June 21, 2017, 6:59 p.m.

Tuesday 20 Jun 2017 20:24

Spending the night at Pioneer Trails RV Camp ins basic cabin surrounded by the biggest RVs I've ever seen - bit like being in the land of the giants.

Today's ride was great. We covered 34 miles and 2386 feet of elevation plus around 6 miles on a ferry. Not sure whether it was having breakfast at the camp or a chocolate shake in a fantastic soda shop near the ferry terminal at Port Townsend or the 2 huge baked spuds and salad at Wendy's in Oak Harbor but I seemed to have more energy!

The day had a bit of everything. Port Townsend had some magnificent stone commercial buildings in the Main Street. Ferry to Whitney Island was short but it looked like we were heading into wet weather. Quite cold today with a head wind at times that was quite strong. We actually had to pedal down one exposed hill at one stage.

Then we rode past the naval air station and were overflown by F-18s.

We crossed a very cool bridge over Deception Pass: see photo.

We decided not to head to the traditional starting point of the northern tier - Anacortes. Instead we are heading to intersect the route outside the town.

We seem to have entered the part of the trip where I keep looking for things. Last John nicked my headlamp thinking it was mine which sent me into a frenzy of emptying bags in my very small tent whilst it was raining. Today it's the sponge I use to clean my stove ...gone!

Nice to be a warm room tonight with lights as we've been hitting the tents around 830/9 each night because it's been cold.

Also on the positive side I don't seem to be cramping like I was last - cramps suck when you are trying to get inside a one man tent or a sleeping bag.

Posted: June 21, 2017, 3:24 a.m.

Tuesday 20 Jun 2017 13:23

Lunch stop at Oak Harbor after 17.5 miles riding.

For those interested Jim's local TV station in Omaha did a follow up story on the trip:

Posted: June 20, 2017, 8:23 p.m.

Monday 19 Jun 2017 17:47

Arrived at Port Townsend Fort Worden State Park at 5pm after 35.9 miles and around 3100 feet of climbing. Lots of climbing before breakfast which wasn't part of the plan. Had brunch at Fort Ludlow resort around 1130, running on fumes. Lots of interest from manager of resort which was nice- apparently we will be in a newsletter she sends out. John sent some gear home. I'm going to see what I can do to lighten my load as well- hills are hard carrying a tractor. Nice scenery for most of day as we rode above or next to water including a nice bike path into Port Townsend.

Posted: June 20, 2017, 12:47 a.m.

Monday 19 Jun 2017 10:36

Hills....,here's John struggling up the 10th hill of the morning before breakfast

Posted: June 19, 2017, 5:36 p.m.

Sunday 18 Jun 2017 17:44

Some reflections on day 1 and of hostel life:

Leaving the hostel was a bit of an ordeal. Luckily all of the other people in my 4 person dorm were up at the same time. The dorms are male/female which was kind of nice - less belching and farting which is how I remember hostel life. I shared with two German girls who were partying every night and sleeping late, an Israeli guy driving around USA and two young American girls. Definitely more conversation than you'd get in a motel or hotel and great common areas abc kitchen. I even managed to sleep really well last night.

Leaving involves packing up 6 bags, dragging them downstairs and then finding a worker to open up a laneway to access my bike and then trying to get all the bags onto the bike.

Ferry ride was very pretty - going through narrow straits with houses dotted in very thick forested areas.

Following the maps worked ok with only one moment where we resorted to google maps.

Campsite is great, even a hot shower. Everything is new so there's lots of cursing as we look for the glove we just took off and find it buried under another pile. I expect packing up tomorrow won't be pretty either but we will get better!

Posted: June 19, 2017, 12:44 a.m.

Sunday 18 Jun 2017 15:34

Arrived at Kitsap State Park after a great ride through green trees on both sides of the road. Lots of hills - around 1500 feet of climbing and 24 miles. Lots of minor gear issues during the day. Bags not being closed properly, Jim's chain coming off a few times etc.

Posted: June 18, 2017, 10:34 p.m.

Sunday 18 Jun 2017 13:37

First lunch stop for the biggest burrito I've ever seen. We've only ridden around 9 miles so far so couldn't manage to finish the burrito.

Posted: June 18, 2017, 8:37 p.m.

Sunday 18 Jun 2017 9:50

And so it starts...waiting for ferry to Bremerton. Bike feels like a Massey ferguson tractor without the motor!

Posted: June 18, 2017, 4:50 p.m.

Saturday 17 Jun 2017 15:40

Ok, it's getting real now. Met up with Jim and John at the Green Tortoise. Great to finally meet up. Bit of talk about gear, training (I haven't done enough), what we like to do outside of cycling. Jim handed over the Team Fox cycling gear - bit like a footy guernsey ceremony!

Then walked back to velo cycles to pick his bike which had also sustained some damage during the flight. Bought another cycling top - thankfully I think that's it for gear.

Walked around town getting to know each other and ended up under the space needle. John is on left and Jim on the right.

Then back to our hostels to try to get packed up. Whilst I'd been fairly organised in packing at home, the packing for the plane threw that out the window as I had to empty most bags to fit everything into the two cartons. It's all over the floor at the moment.

We are aiming to catch 10am ferry to Bremerton tomorrow to start the journey.

Posted: June 17, 2017, 10:40 p.m.

Friday 16 Jun 2017 20:00

A good day. Walked miles looking to pick up last bits of cycling gear. Turns out I have big feet even in the USA! Eventually found rain booties to fit me at the REI store.

Went to Pop Art museum near space needle- pretty cool place. Features on Star Trek, sci fi, horror, music and fantasy. Funniest part was having a phone conversation with Kate whilst watching a serious discussion about significance of Texas Chainsaw Massacre film.

Picked up my bike. Brake problem was due to a cable being damaged in the flight.

Spoke with Jim and he also had bike problems but the same shop fixed his bike as well. We're all meeting up tomorrow for breakfast and expect to be starting the trip on Sunday.

Some reflections on Seattle - City of.....:

  • rain...
  • salmon
  • weed
  • coffee
  • beer
  • really nice people

Not as many Tatts, beards or graffiti as Melbourne either!

Posted: June 17, 2017, 3 a.m.

Friday 16 Jun 2017 10:43

Just visited REI central - for Aussies its like paddy Palin the size of Myer. Amazing - has an outside cycle track to test bikes and this huge indoor rock climbing wall.

Posted: June 16, 2017, 5:43 p.m.

Thursday 15 Jun 2017 15:49

Seattle has a great food and general market above the waterfront- Pike Place Market. Teeming with tourists on a damp day. A lot like Victoria Market in Melbourne but didn't hear them needing to glam Pike Place up (unlike Melbourne Council).

Posted: June 15, 2017, 10:49 p.m.

Thursday 15 Jun 2017 14:48

Amazing Amazon employee playspace being built here with dog walking park! Bike is put back together - just dropped it at a bike shop to check it but all good which is a nice feeling

Posted: June 15, 2017, 9:48 p.m.

Thursday 15 Jun 2017 9:46

Happiness is ...... my bike and gear making it to Seattle!

Ps still can't get emails working properly. Can send and read within USA from phone but after that not sure.

Ok... back to the unpacking

Posted: June 15, 2017, 4:46 p.m.

Wednesday 14 Jun 2017 17:13

Made it to Seattle! Not without some hassles. Bike didn't get on same plane as I did from LA but I've been promised it'll be delivered to City hostel tonight. Had intended to stay at Green Tortoise but I managed to book wrong month! Never mind, city hostel also seems good. Fingers crossed the bike turns up. Not sure my outward emails are working yet. Have got a usa phone though.

Seattle has a very Melbourne feel in parts - loads of bars and people enjoying the sun sitting outside in cafes etc. Loads of hipsters and the music grunge feel.

Posted: June 15, 2017, 12:13 a.m.

Sunday 4 Jun 2017 13:10

Last training ride and first with all of the pannier bags. Just need to fit a motor!

Posted: June 4, 2017, 3:10 a.m.

Northern Tier USA 2017

User: ncle2809
Dates: 4 Jun 2017 - 2 Oct 2017
Duration: 4 months

Starting from Seattle in mid-June 2017, I'll be aiming to ride the Adventure Cycling Association's Northern Tier bicycle route with two other riders, Jim and John. We'll be self-supported, riding touring bicycles with pannier bags. My wife, Kate, will be joining us in early September to finish the ride with us.

Jim's riding to raise money for Parkinson's disease research as a tribute to his late father.

Commenting is closed.

Oh no, I'm so disappointed to hear of you missing the moose calling competition. It's dashed my hopes for that close up moose photo! xx

Congrats on finishing this part of the trip, I'm just catching up now and it looks like you've seen some fantastic places. Can't wait to hear about it all when you get home! (And a very late happy birthday to Noel, sorry I missed it!)

Woo hoo! I am in awe of you both , cannot wait to hear more . Enjoy being a tourist. H x

OMG I'm so sorry for not being in touch earlier. Noel we were thinking of you on your birthday, hope you had a lovely day and a huge congratulations for the the most amazing achievement you really are a driven person and we all could learn a lot from you, don't just think about it do it. Cant wait to hear all your stories when you get home. And Skatey so proud of you for your trip you really are a trooper, good wife and my hero. Im sure there were times when you could have given up and you kept going, I need you back here to encourage me, so proud of you both. Im so sorry I haven't contacted you sooner, we have had Jeni here for 10 days, feeling pretty down after her 4 month trip with the in laws from hell, then David came as Suzi was in hospital in Melbourne having quite a big proceedure, now Len is in hospital in Yarrawonga with this terrible flu that is going around Australia, and yesterday mum was taken by ambulance to Wangaratta hospital with the same thing, bit worried as she only weighs 49kg, so hope she rallies back from it. Now to top things of all our toilets are blocked, great, had the drain man yesterday and he can't even unblock the drains, so the found the plumber that did the plumbing on the house and he is coming today, they think the block is under the concrete in the garage and you can't get to it unless you dig up the concrete, great, I am having Nay, Prue, Sarah and all the kids for lunch today, going to be a pretty shitty day I think (excuse the pun). Im sure you wanted to here all about my plumbing problems, while some madman has shot so many people in Las Vegas, its a sad old world, time for you to get home safely.
Russell is selling the business which is great, but then he said he might spend some time home with me which is not so great. Sarah and Ryan are going well. Have to tell you, when Jeni was here, georgia was also here for a day here and there, anyway Jeni still smokes, but really tries to hide it from any children . She was outside having a cigarette and Georgia wanted to go out and I said to Jeni don't worry she only wants to go down the back. Well on Saturday she was laying on the lawn at her place with Ryan and she sat up and said"Daddy I think I want to go inside and relax and have a cigarette" WELL do you think that went down well, I take full responsibility, but god help it when she comes home from school and says fuck (Im not taking the blame for that) children soak up everything. Do hope I hear from you soon if you are still talking to me after being a slack friend, love you both heaps

Congrats to all! An accomplishment of honor and commitment so rightly deserved!

Congratulations and well done to Kate, Noel and John!

You are all amazing and what an adventure. Thanks for the blog and the wonderful adventure. Enjoy the celebrations.

Love Maureen and Mark xxx

and Kate too !
lots of love Marg, Derek Toby and Coda Dawg xxxx

I am so very proud of you Noel and Kate.
Hope you are enjoying the celebration dinner.
Noel you planned this trip to the nth degree and it has all paid off.
Just an amazing achievement.
Thank you for the blog and hope it continues for the rest of the holiday.
Stay safe
Love Mary

Well done both of you and we hope that Verona Island was as good as Verona, Italy. Looking forward to hearing about your adventures first hand! Love from us, John & Caroline Xx

Great effort , so proud Tiger spirit. What about the tats? R

Woohoo Noel! What a journey; what an achievement. The elevations map made it real for me! I bet you're already planning your next challenge! Love from Jan and Keith xx

Finally worked out how to put a comment on this outdated computer of mine, what a trip, to bad you havent got more time to keep going up to the maritimes of Canada, you would love it.

Thanks Anth. Always better once we hit our destination and have a glass of red or two . K x

I'm a bit late Noel but Happy Birthday for Tues. I am really enjoying the pics and blog
Hope your not doing it to hard Kate.

Happy Birthday Noel ... how does it feel to turn 35? There, that should put a big smile on your face! Happy pedaling -- almost over.

Noel and Kate, I am reading simultaneously ( or nearly) both those Steinbeck books I mentioned and really enjoying the 50 year later version ? If you care to keep pedalling you could visit the Steinbeck ( Center( USA spelling) in Salinas California and his pickup camper Rocinante is on display . Not sure Kate would endorse the notion though. Re Helen, she gets test results Monday. Keep enjoying and safe travels R

Hi Kate and Noel, this trip is incredible, and you're both looking so fit!! What else could you be to undertake such an adventure. Loving the views, experiences and hearing your take on those you're meeting along the way; Enjoy the rest of the journey, and travel safely. Love Rosemary & Jim xx

Happy birthday Noel! Keith tells me it's 13 past eight at night where you are so I'm hoping that you are enjoying a wonderful meal with Kate and John and that they're attending to your every whim!

Happy Birthday Noel!! You certainly won't forget this one, how special.
Loving the scenery and Kate the The Bridges of Madison County! The elevation map looked scarey but sure you are up to it. Continue to enjoy and inspire us all. Much love Maureen and Mark xxx

Noel have begun reading Steinbeck book you mentioned and loving it too. Also got Geert Mak IN AMERICA book which retraces Steinbck's book 50years later which should be a great follow up.

Happy birthday Noel ( you are lucky you can celebrate for two days)
Hope you have a great day
Tried to ring but no luck
Wow what a ride these last days.
Good luck for the last bit.
Wish we were all there to cheer as you and Kate cross the finish line.
Stay safe
xx Mary

hey Kate and Noel - What a ride that was over the mountains
- very impressive !! You are gettin' closer to destination I see! Yip!
Coda turned three yday - just happened to get a microchip place email stating her birth date a week ago so knew the exact date - naturally had a party w two dog guests - will send you a pic via your email.
Lots of love ,

Agree, massive admiration for physical achievement and keeping up a fabulous blog. Helen x

Hey Ross, the birthday boy thanks you for your comments and so do i. Praise the Lord that we did the last mountain climb yesterday in hot conditions . Is Helen OK? K & N x

We have our fingers crossed for a close up moose photo! Probably thanks to Rocky and Bullwinkle, but there's something very cute about those creatures. Safe riding xx

Happy birthday brother for the 26th. Finish line must be so close so please give way to all mooses & make sure Kate does not bring any injured ones home for Kirsty to house. Great work too Kate. You both have such brilliant achievements. We are in awe but no touch of jealousy. Just on 50 years ago some of those hills were hard work in a massively overloaded Toyota Celica so there is no envy here , just great admiration !Staysafe R&H

Sounds like you're enjoying Vermont, hills and all. I forgot those hills, but then again, we were in a car. Hope the colors are spectacular! Looking forward to seeing your smiling faces!😎

Hi Kate and Noel, so lovely to see you both and follow your continuing adventure. Kate you are looking great, as always but the training will certainly help with the riding I am sure. Inspire us both. Continue to enjoy and lots of love to you both. Maurs and Mark xxx

Did not think your iron folks endeavours would be topped so quickly but the news today is that a British cyclist has just completed a circumnavigation of the planet in 79 days. And you thought your bum was sore Kate! Scenery looks great so keep enjoying and stay safe.R

Looking happy after a big spit! You really are looking great Kate. X

Oh Kate, I bet that Tap Room Hotel chair was in your thoughts as well!

Omg Kate your blogs are so descriptive- loved the Laundromat and now your tale of today.
Hope you are now recovered with a glass of red and a comfy chair.
just as well you did those spin classes.
very proud of you too Kate.
stay safe and stay happy ( not snappy!!!)

So glad to see you together as team Port.
Your weather looks beautiful and the autumn leaves cooperating too.
So Kate the spin classes paid off eh.
Does Noel yell at you as inspiration like the classes? Or do you just yell at him to remind him of home?
Cats to Adelaide on Saturday Noel; could be a struggle. Jake decided against the bus but going to Tigers v GWS.

Just loved the laundromat tale, so impressed you have the energy to head back to the blog! It is greatly appreciated. Please keep it up with your fabulous good cheer. Love from Athens! What a lucky bunch we are xxx

You guys sounds like us at the laundromat -- European laundromats are even worse. At least ours are in English. Enjoying your comments -- time for a beer! See you soon...

Hi Noel and Skatey, just got around to reading your last few days comments, the laundromat must have been fun, not. The Amish country is interesting, and I think you might be in the middle of the autumn leaves by the look of it. I think you do a wonderful job but don't envy your trip, I should have been your back up driver. I have bought a bird with richmond colours on it and when the wind blows its wings go round and round, it is being put up out the front tomorrow, it will really stand out, so let the stand off begin. will let you know how it goes, love to you both Glen

Enjoyed dinner with you on Wednesday in our desolate corner of the world. I sent you an email and a message on Facebook. Made good miles in 2 days. Watch around Cranberry Lake, a moose and her 2 calves were seen there recently.

Hi Kate and Noel,
We're really enjoying your posts and are so pleased to hear that you're running into so many kind people who unwittingly provide simple pleasures such as the soft car seat! Oh the things we take for granted.
When you mentioned humidity and hills in the same post I cringed. I still remember burning thighs riding up Lincoln Rd in Essendon years ago. It would hardly be classified as a hill but I had to get off and walk home. Guess you're not sorry you didn't invite me along!
Keith enjoyed driving through an Amish area when he was on a business trip years ago in Ohio. He took lots of photos of Amish road signs - really interesting lifestyle.
Your list of wildlife seen sounds like one of those boy scout camping songs that keeps being added to after each chorus!
I can imagine that the Kodak museum photographic exhibition was fabulous. Keith and I went to a photographic museum in Stockholm called Fotografiska and loved looking at a display which was mainly black and white photos depicting the destruction of African environments due to human greed and urban sprawl. Photos of animals formally inhabiting the areas were superimposed on the wasteland. It was so powerful and mesmerising.
Hoping for low humidity and lots of flat riding for you all.
Jan and Keith xx

wow you are getting close now but some hills ahead ( according to John)
Hope your parcel arrived safely?
Darci is off tomorrow to Central Australia and Kristy doing well.
Footy finals fever is mounting with Sydney v Geelong tonight- go swannies.
weather is meant to be shocking this afternoon ( rain, hail) and so much snow on the ski slopes.
Hope you get to see the autumn colors.
Stay safe and pedal hard Kate - know you can do it.
Love Mary

Kate, easy on the junk theme please, prefer to see them as rustic relics!Some might say I resemble those remarks P S those hounds would just lick you to death but the guys with the rifle who have wed their sister for three generations might be a different situation R

Mexico in the morning and Rome in afternoon, that southern hurricane has really got you moving! Keep safe pedalling R

Hola. ¿Cómo estás? ---- as they say in Mexico. Enjoy the autumn weather!

Love post Sep 12, good on you, but 8 snakes!! Imagine if they weren't dead....
And Glen, I am following you now!! Those pesky neighbours sound a real pain. I am off tomorrow so fingers crossed they will not say I am a day late when I check in! Keep up the great posts. Helen x

Kate....have been following your travels. Jim & I had a thought about trying to connect with you & Noel before you return to Oz. I'm going to send you an email -- hopefully you can respond & we can see a possibility of getting together. Barb

Hi my dear friends Skatey and Noel. Love reading your posts. Cant believe Noel has only had 1 flat tyre. I must say when I say I couldn't possibly do what your doing, it certainly is the only way to see true America, not the tourist route. You know Richmond beat Geelong which was great, hope the underdog wins. It is 5.30am here and I'm off to see mum and pick her up from hospital as she has had a virus. I am bringing Jeni back for a few weeks a bit or r&r after her wonderful camping trip!!!. Still getting complaints from the neighbours about the ute this time and the barrow in the front garden, one more complaint and I am going out to buy every football clubs garden gnome and put them across the front of the house, I don't care what it costs (nothing saying we can't have garden ornaments!!!) House no 1 on the block (can't remember their names are about to be thrown off the block as they haven't done anything, I know it is junk tv but i love it. I'll tell you more later if you want to know, just thought you might like to hear some news from home (not very exciting). I'm missing you heaps but stay very safe and enjoy it for me too. Love you both

Small popcorn! Sounds a great day, as does occasionally getting a bus! Kodak also sounded worthwhile. H x

Loving your Rochester blog. Did you get your bike checked over Kate? Kodak town was a real buzz. Cheers

Yep, you found it and it brings back so many memories from 1978. Thanks for taking the time to check it out. R& H

This journey has been just fabulous and think I have followed every mile (or kilometre as we like to say here). Loved the documentary and now following your route Kate with Noel. You are my inspiration both of you. Safe travels in Trumpland ...... sounds like a good name for a theme park! Regards Ann R

Hi Kate and Noel,
How lovely to run into such fabulous people. Uber driver Anthony sounds like a lovely boy as does Dominic and his dad. Kindness is everything isn't it (although I'm sure it's hard to maintain when unnecessarily having to cycle back uphill and also when faced with the prospect of bathroom sharing - even if it does turn out to be ok!) That Niagara slow boat sounds just fine to me - especially if it means more time taking in the beauty. When I saw the size of that coffee cup my first thought related to toilet stops! I hope you're cycling with an understanding team!
Missing you already! Take care, love from Jan and Keith x

Great postings. Knew you were not a dead end girl Kate, now you have a bum to prove it!Estimate about 10 miles from Morton so if the super Uber driver is still around it might be a good way to go. Need to promote such good deeds like the Uber guy as good news seems to be such a slow traveller. Well done dynamic duo. Where is John now and how is Jim recovering? R

What a day! But a wonderful story about the Uber driver. Helen x

Hooray I sat down and worked out your blog, now I'm right I will keep up with you guys.
What an amazing achievement Noel, you should be so proud of yourself. Make sure you keep your cool with Skatey on the next leg, I can hear her swearing from here.
The weather here has been freezing, snowing in dandenongs ect.
I am missing your already Skatey, hurry home even though you just got there.
How was your flight?
I have Georgia tomorrow and the folding arm awning is going up which will be great.
Have gone 3 nights in a row without stillnox, and a night without Lyrica, not a great day today but will battle on.
Had another complaint about the wheelbarrow being in the front garden and Russells ute parked outside the tennis court, I wish some of these people would get a life (or just f... off)
Love and stay safe, Glen and Russ

N&K great news to hear Cleaves clan reunited at Niagara.Even better news to note bike is in for check up after Noel's assembly job ( those two leftover bolts may be needed) When you pass 954 County Line Rd. Morton ( may now be called Hamlin but doubt it) please take a photo if house is still there. You might also see a barn next door if it is still standing. Do not think they ever formalised our clan statue despite our suggestions, but ...... Enjoy R& H

So glad to hear Kate arrived safely, excellent planning Noel. I am looking forward to Kate's blog immensely. Helen x

Hey Noel,
THANKS - I have so enjoyed your blog - often became quite addicted and checked it as soon as I woke up ( I know 'get yer own life' applies).
I loved the barn of the day pics.
Look forward to hearing about the final part of the trip (swearwords inclusive).
Hey Kate,
WELCOME to your next adventure - pleased you didn't need to use your 'Please take care of this Bear and Deliver safely to Niagara' tag that Noel promised to make for you.
lots of love, Marg xxx

Great job. Take time out to really enjoy the surrounds. Am very surprised at cold temps at end of summer. We used to go to a flea market near Buffalo every month ( cannot recall name of place)but did not buy many spirit stoves there. Enjoy and congrats. Keep safe R

So glad Kate is about to head over and join you. I really enjoy your updates and pics. Constantly in awe of you and John. Helen x

Looks like you are having a great journey Noel. Nearly at Niagara Falls that's exciting! Keep it up :)

Noel, been enjoying following you and John across the country. I love the photos and comments. I'm lining up my own tour--going to do the southern tier starting in San Diego in late February. In the process of getting geared up. I go to Fargo this weekend to pick up my Surly. Ordered the Tubus racks that John said you recommended. Thanks again for the inspiration and advice. Safe journey, my friend! Pass along my best to John. Later, Mark (in Bismarck).

Noel you are really blitzing now and so close to former home of the Buffalo Bills . Do not get any madcap ideas of being the first 50 plus Aussie guy to attempt to ride a bike over the Falls to land on the U S A side. After what you have been through, it might be a breeze but best to let Kate get over jetlag before attempting to cicumnavigate the mighty village of Morton! Like Mary , so very proud of your achievements. Continued safe pedalling. Go Kate!

Loving rural America but some of the motels look very basic
so glad you caught up with Lisa and visiting Marysville.
Getting so close now to the finish and this weekend catching up with Kate.
continued safe travels
so proud of you Noel

xx Mary

I have been interested in the no. of art deco buildings or faux ones you have snapped. You are really getting close now as Detroit looms ( & Marysville too I see) Continued safe travels. R

The motel was very, very basic and had lots of room for maintenance but saying that it was great!

I love that car.
Did you go to Karaoke?
The motel looks suss. Kate xx

Noel, just think of the treasures/rustic relics to be found in that great barn shot. Surely you had room in a saddle bag for a few trophy finds! Keep safe R

Hi Noel,
Thanks for wonderful photos and positive commentary. Love the barns, scenery, and inspiration. Well done and bet you can't wait till the wonderful Kate joins you too. She is looking very fit! Love to you all. Maureen and Mark xx

Love the barns and excited about seeing more of these.
The shop with the flower sculptures (?) is special too. K x

Hope you did not lose that Subway meal after spinning around in that machine R

Hey Ross, hope you're doing some training in the lead up to your bike ride! Good on you for doing this but this is one occasion when you're best to not go like 'a bat outta hell' and do some solid preparation. Your baby brother would say the same; reckon your son in law would agree too. Go Ross!

Noel you have so inspired me that I am about to take off on heroic 10 kms uphill ride to Mooloolaba to see our farmer friends from Berrigan. Garage sale bike has buckle in front wheel but so has new owner. Have set long term goal of riding 73 kms in one day on or around my 73rd birthday .Glad you are enjoying the Great Lakes Safe travels R

Looks great and staying close to Lake Michigan and National Park area. From the map , only issue is that your bikes will have to be amphipian to advance further but guess you have that covered. If you can climb the Rockies ok, a bit of water will be too easy for you guys. Doing brilliantly. So proud. R

Hi Noel
What kind people there are in the world. I hope we Aussies would do the same to strangers, but sadly I am not so sure.
Getting close to Kate arriving which is exciting for you both.
Noel I have spoken to Br Sean who says there are several Carmelite parishes in New Jersey that he believes will store your gear. He is going to send them an email once I know the dates. His brothers place is too far away ( Buffalo)
Keep safe
Love Mary

G'day Noel.
Well the start of another week here. Standing (yes standing) at my desk and looking out the window at the snow on Mount Wellington.
I know it doesn't feel like it some times but you current job over there is the way to go.
And reading about it and seeing the awesome photos keeps us all going.
From what I hear Kate will have a Lance Armstrong physique by the time she gets there. Possibly slightly less drugs involved but a whole lot more bad language.
Keep on enjoying mate; I sure am.
PS: Jake 21 tomorrow = WTF !!

Yeah, that's what I'm gettin ' anxious about...peddling! My Sunday church has become the spinclass riding chamber in Bay st.complete with booming doof doof music and a young, super fit, Lulu Lemon clad instructor yelling thru a mike...'come on my tribe, what are you here for? ' 'what are your goals?' I want to yell back..'to get off this damn bike & head to the nearest cafe for pancakes and ice cream!

Wow, you are going so well, now for the Great Lakes districts. Kate start pedalling soon! Keep safe R

Love the country roads with the trees. What amazing people ...Tara and her family and host, Bob. Hope you invited them to Oz so we could return the hospitality.
Come on Noel, don't keep us hanging...without stating too much, what about the politics? Give us some goss! K xx

Looks great cycling and glad to hear you have had a rest. Fingers crossed for good weather conditions. Helen x

Awesome photo! Sounds like a great dinner and John is looking great with that big smile! Safe journey to you both!

What seems to 'strike' me with many of your photos....apart from the lovely landscapes, lots of lakes and rivers, is the quirkiness of the 'human landscape' eg the food caravan on the Indian Reservation and that it all has the qualities of living in the fifties. Have to say, the generosity of locals is outstanding. Speaking of being locked in the fifties, with our Aussie current 'white policy' and other self absorbed outlooks ; not so sure if people here would extend that degree of hospitality! Would still like to hold onto the hope though.
Noely, the photo of your trashed room on the 8th, must've felt so much like home!!! Kate xxx

Hey Noel,
The travels sound both amazing and at times difficult - the stories you are going to have to tell after this!
It is wonderful to have you posting so much information and look forward to continuing to read.
I hope to catch up with Kate briefly before you she heads off to join you.

Hey Noel,
Your latest few days look amazing and it must be great to be received in such a friendly and generous manner.
Should send a few of the tourism proponents from Tassie over to get some lessons.
Looks a beautiful area and sounds like you are out of the really hot weather now.
Keep up the great work on the notes and photos; loving the trip.
Best wishes from us Tassie Dooles

Hi Ross & Helen, surprisingly Minnesota gave me more insight into the love of hunting than say, Montana. Had conversations with people about numbers of guns they own (club house leader is 100) and what they hunt - deer and prairie dogs. Have been asked about our gun laws - definite passion based on constitution. Favourite observation was a combined small Macca's and petrol station/convenience store that sold ammo!

Great snapshot of the best of rural USA. Fascinated to know when you get closer to deer hunting areas if the diners / coffee houses still attract old Ford pickups/utes with gun racks in back windows holding high powered rifles & not locked! Continued safe & enjoyable riding. Really look forward to reading the blog and study the great photos. R,l

Loving your pics and updates. The bike trail looked like my kind of cycling! Bunk House looks great. The generosity of strangers is wonderful. H x

Kate's reminded me to respond to some of the comments:

Very happy with the bombers - not sure god well they'd go in finals but great to see them winning. AFL site is great for highlights and scores do I can follow it fairly well.

To Kate - no, you can't have full size cow sculptures in our garden.

Trump: I do hear conversations in places like Maccas amongst older guys ( they seem to use it like a men's shed). Seems like they are still giving him more time but are sick of twitter talk etc.

We add 2 days ahead of schedule but that's good as we may need them - worse case we will chill out in Niagara as Jon said.

Gee flood level at Bowlus must be high to strand that ladies bike so high. Think there still could be some goodies on it so hope you got some spares brother. Bombers came from 10 points down against Carlton 3 minutes to go to snatch agreat win. Safe travels Ross

Beautiful country & lovely pics. Do you think those cows would look good in our garden?! I'm excited about seeing and going through covered bridges. Always reminds me of that movie, "Bridges of Maddison County." K xx

Such a shock to hear about Jim.Like all others, we extend our best wishes for speedy recovery. Take extra care & continued safe travels Ross & Helen

Ugh, so sorry to hear about Jim's bad news. Looks like you made it across the Northern Great Plains and are into the Midwest. Give my best to John (let him know I got his message about the Surlys in Fargo--I'm thankful for the news). Take care and stay safe. I enjoy following your trip on this app. My best, Mark (Bismarck)

Hi Noel,

Such bad news for Jim, but glad he is ok although cannot imagine his deep disappointment. Stay safe . Helen x

Thank God Jim is ok as it could have been much worse.
please give him my best wishes and I do hope he can join you for the end of the trip.
As we always say "stay safe"

Love Mary

Love the look of Fargo. Signs etc look very 50s, somehow. The people you have come across seem amazingly friendly and hospitable . Much talk of Trump or is it a bit like 'don't mention the war?' K x

Fargo looks great but I agree I think you are needed in Washington! OMG
Do not skimp on the rest days, it looks so so tough.

Helen x

Great to talk to you at the weekend
Fargo looks great and you are getting some furry friends popping in to see you.
What an adventure and the blog takes us with you well almost.
Stay safe
So proud
Love Mary

Jeez Noel you guys are flying now. According to your map you look about half way across. Better slow up a bit or you'll have to chill out in Niagara till Kate gets there.
Not a bad option though you could prepare for the romance of reunion.
Is the breeze smelling more of BS the closer you get to the east coast?
Bet the folks of Fargo are happy with the man at the top.

Noel, on your bike asap, detour to Washington. You are on short list for White House Communication Director position Good luck Ross

Hope that Jim is not off to Rochester NY as it would be at least 1300 mile ride( not far from Morton Noel) but guess the name is not unique. Hope your bike service went ok and you enjoy Fargo as look forward to report on the city. Getting closer brother! Well done Ross

Fargo here you come ( hope You are going that way as want detailed description) Must be great sense of achievement having come so far and climbed so high. Kate you worry too much about climate as Donald has it under control once he can get control of his own office and fire a few more folks . He does make America grate! Continued safe travels Noel and mates. Ross

That looks like my kinda road! Must be dry judging by the sign.
We had a terrible day of high nth winds today(sat). 18 degrees in July. Mavis' roof to her 'lean to' came off. Absolutely no issue with climate change though despite what weather we & you are experiencing! K x

Bismarck looks really cool. The name certainly doesn't conjure up what this place seems. For me, at least, I think of dry, boring history classes.
Now Noely, have the Benedictines 'got under your skin' somehow?!!

Hi, Noel! A true pleasure meeting you and John and Jim! I found "TrackMyTour" this morning and I'm excited to follow the rest of your adventures! Safe travels and here's to tailwinds! - Mark

Noel just checked where Bismark was in case you had taken a wrong turn and ended up in Europe but all good & for $389 you can fly directly from there to NY City in case you were wondering ( courtesy Dr Google) Glad last couple of days have been better,certainly very interesting reading from afar. I am off to pickup old bike in Maroochydore at exorbitant cost to try to ride a few miles around here but may take a fair time to get up to speed and no doubt make me even in awe of your epic! Safe pedalling Ross

Hey Noel,
They are serious big cows they have over there. Must be a bugger come milking time.
Got some bad new about Kate's trip down here; I think the excess baggage on the way home was a large wallaby from Coles Bay. At least it will keep the lawn neat.
Your scenery looks awesome and so jealous of the great natural areas.
Jeez you are nearly there now. LOL comments about the actual musical ?! K x

"Praise the Lord" about your derrière today!

Yeah. Another state & onto Theodore Roosevelt Nat. Park. K x

What a wonderful warm showers host. Badlands looks fantastic. Glad you got to go to Mexican as you were hoping for. Equally specky, walk today along Coles Bay, sandstone amazing. Large gulls making similar calls to the eerie sounds of English gulls on Cornish coastline.
Blue and female wrens as common as our sparrows back home. This place is heaven on earth. Wish you were here Noely. K xx

Much better news & far more human.Keep in mind this is a great challenge you are undertaking, not a death challenge. Enjoy that milkshake! Ross

Agree too.
More rest days needed Noel- you are looking v tired ( and thin)
It doesn't sound like fun at the moment.
please take care as it is just too hot for this level of exercise

xx Mary

Well said Ross!

Mate this seems more like torture than fun. What about sleeping in shade of that tank in day and travelling partly at night with myriad LED flashing lights.?Failing that consult clause 32 of Trek Rules which grants 500 miles of hitch hiking in temps above 90 degrees! Feel your pain but not sure I fully understand! Ross

Did you feel like you were on the set of a Western? X

HaHaHa you painted the picture well.
It must be hard to get enough fuel in when you are using so much energy on the bike so enjoy the fries.
Hope you get to catch up with Lisa ( Dad would be over the moon)
Stay safe

x Mary

Hey Noel!! I am so proud of you! I am envious! I am still hoping to catch a meal with you when you arrive in Michigan if possible! I think what you are doing is amazing. I sincerely hope that you are having the time of your life. <3

Well painted picture! Helen S

Head winds remind me of mate who rode from Perth to Melb. On old coaster brake bike, no gears, no frills. One day on Nullabor he said he rode all day against massive head winds only to find he had travelled less than 30 miles. Sat in roadhouse for a day, got headwind and 140 miles in one day! Safe winds, safe pedalling. Your blog is great and you are all inspirational. Ross

Ooo the motel sign looks like it's from the Jetsons.

Love the old sign too in Malta. (Did you somehow go the wrong way?!). That sign conveys everything available in that little town including picking up a bit of ammo along the way!

Fabulous sign, the huge advantage of being off the beaten track. Ditto, hope a rest day is coming up! Thanks for the blog. Helen

Wow that sign covers a multitude of sins
hope you manage to get some decent food.
also hope you have a rest day coming up soon!!!
Catching up on my sleep after Wimbledon and cheering on Roger.
Travel safe Noel John & Jim

xx Mary

I love the classic barn. Looking forward to seeing some of my leg of the journey k x

Lovely photo Noel. You look so happy and relaxed. K xx

Hi Noel
Really enjoying the blog and pics. Good win by bombers on Fri

Top ride Noel, great distance, no wonder your bum is sore, could it be wind burn from excessive speed? Ross

Great work guys, real Bomber spirit but the heat must be debilitating. Eat your grits Noel, much better than Coke Ross

Think you mean go Crows

Great effort Noel, you will soon be able to ride up hill in your dreams but do not forget to eat something substantial as you look to have dropped a fair bit of weight. Top scenery. Top effort from you all. Keep safe but beware drug peddlers!, Ross

Looks amazing :) hope the ankle is feeling better .

So well done Noely!
4 hours climbing?!! 45 mins in foundation spin class is hell!
Did it remind you of your days doing the Melbourne marathon with your darling mum and dad at the finish line encouraging you on and congratulating you at the finish line?
Glad to see you got the leggings. Much love Kate

Utterly Devine scenery; that which makes you feel as though you are an ant in a huge universe. Very grounding. X Kate

Gosh Noel, you said that this area far exceeded your incredibly high expectations; from the little I see,it looks heavenly.
You know how daggy I think your dad's cricket hats are but I am glad you found it to take it with you on the journey. Love you Kate x

In awe of you Noel.
What a magnificent achievement.
Stay safe
Love Mary

Well done Noel following you all the way. Sitting here is Tassie following Jill's eventual move. Looking forward to seeing Kate next weekend. Regards Ann Rymill

Too tired to comment further. Brilliant ride. Well done!! Ross


Great photo Team Fox. Kate

Sounds like you covered all the food groups at the golf club in Fortine. Not so keen on the look of that dessert with the fake cream (yuk!) can appreciate though after toughing it out on a bike, devouring anything with a mammoth calorie count like that would go down well. Feeling sick after would be a definite!

Keep the blog rolling! Very glad to hear you are a bit more comfortable, and smiling in every pic!Perfect old school dessert after such hard work. Confess, aside from the fact I could not do the ride, the shower situation would be a deal breaker! In awe of you all .
Keep safe, Helen

Great scenery brother & glad to hear all good. Check those wheel nuts before descent! Doing great and get those eggs easy over!, Ross

Stunning scenery. Kate x

Noel, your revised itin.still sounds hellish,trying to ride a bike with pack gear that would give a mule a hernia, in bloody hot weather, over the Rockies.....?We arrived home a bit worse for wear after 2 days of travel from Anchorage but feel none of your pain. Scenery is truly memorable so keep pedalling and keep safe.Go Noel Gump! Ross& Helen

Hi Noel,
Glad the caboose is starting to repair.
With that kind of pain in the A you would have thought you were back at work.
Montana should be great; so envious.
You guys are just awesome.
Best wishes from us Tassie Dooles

Hi Noel
Glad to hear you are feeling a little more comfortable.
also pleased to hear you are revising the schedule although bloody hell it still sounds very tough.
scenery is amazing, quite stunning.
How was your first 4th July?
all good here.
good travels over the next few days
Love Mary

Absolutely love the lakes and the carrot cake sounds pretty damn good too. Kate

Hi Noel.
Am with Kate, we are supposed to be packing, but waisting time reading your blog. We are going to start soon, I think. Hope your backside is a bit better, I am feeling your pain. Your are doing a mighty job Noel. Talk soon Glen

Take it easy brother and look after your health.All going well with internal flights in Anchorage & Seattle we head home tomorrow & glacial Melb. Enjoy, very proud of your achievements Ross

Looks amazing Noel , don't think you are missing much here .
Although i think the Bombers want you to come back (0-2 since you have been gone :-p ) now I have the link I will be keeping a close eye on your journey .

Loving the blog Noel. Hope you recover soon. Sounding very positive with a few challenges, well done. Mark hopped on his bike yesterday after many months so inspiring this end....Take care xxxx

Loving your blog/ pics of rural USA but really sorry to hear about saddle probs , take care. H xx

Ooo I love the sculpture of the hare.
Yes, exercise is great for health but if you have work that hard to lower blood pressure hmmm !! I know you would be so pleased to reduce those meds Noel. Let's hope the saddled sores get under control quickly. Love you. Xx

How about a state analysis for geographically challenged eg how far above sea level, total distance travelled, how many Trump posters have you liberated, wild life count. Can you beat seeing a beaver cross the road (supposedly rarely seen as nocturnal) Look forward to your postings and enjoying it vicariously without a numb bum ! Ross

I remember riding through England and arriving at into a new county..sense of achievement. Noely, you definitely must've felt the same arriving at Idaho.
...Not so so about biscuits and gravy on the breakfast menu!

Scenery does look beautiful. The lakes look like mirrors.

Hi Noel

Great to talk to you over the weekend.
scenery looks superb, not that you see much while your cycling along dodging dogs and timber trucks.
Bombers had bad loss to Brisbane.
Hope the next few days are more flat and the heat subsides and you are able to get some choice in vegetarian meals.
love Mary

Hi Noel,
Those ongoing f#$@en hills sound punishing. The suntan must look awesome by now though.
With all those great meals it just as well you are burning it of.
You would have enjoyed Saturday night here. Went to see Holy Holy at the Republic Bar. Poor Jake was the designated driver.
Only 1 degree in the mornings here lately so kind on envious of your heat.

Think that dog was actually a brown bear so you did well to out run it. Understand the soccer kids are very grateful to you too for your thoughtful, empathetic response. Great work. Hard to believe you are facing extreme temps when we were dodging floating glacial ice and orcas today. Keep safe Ross

Looks a lovely spot to free camp. Reckon you'll be safe from bears tonight. X
wish you had've bought that tee shirt Ross.

That is not a milk shake unless it comes in an aluminium container but no doubt it will help forget that climb. Saw a T shirt in Ketchikan today featuring a bear chasing a bike ( or was it 3 bikes?) labelled Meals on Wheels. Did not buy it brother! Continued great pedalling Ross

Keep that hard slog going you elderly bikies. Doing amazingly well and really enjoy the blog. Know it is not polite but it is really hard work on this cruise and could return as trainee sumo wrestler given all the food and drink. North to Alaska we go. Ross

Hi Noel,
Wish I had have realised you were going to Pateros.
My council had a really great linkage to there (Mayor to Mayor) for a while.
They had a massive wildfire there that destroyed a lot of the town and we used their plight as bushfire readiness messaging for our community.
You could have been Kingborough Ambassador for a day !
The heat must be really tough and I assume they are all concerned about fire again.
Keep up the great work you guys.

just want to wish you all well over the next days of hard climbing.
do hope it is not too hot and windy
with you in spirit
love Mary

The irrigation area looks lovely. Why don't you jump into the water?
Gee John and Jim, stating the obvious - you both look hot and weary.
Where are Ross & Helen with the frozen oranges?! K x

Hey Noel,
Looking at that mural you would think you are back in Tassie.
Lots of chopping down of trees, truckin them away, denuding hills.
The hills do look slightly bigger though.
Glad to hear that you are not likely to add to the native roadkill tally. Bet they have plenty of time to get out of he way.
Keep up the yeast based rehydration regime.

Noel, my dear, I am thinking that at once you are amazing & stupid. Pleased you are eating well, drinking lots & sucking on mustard. May good luck continue for you & your fellow riders. After this experience you will all have to be buried together - with partners at a place that you all loved.

Wow brother I feel every mountain and descent too for and with you. It is so surreal to be on the Canadian side in bus and train , at the same time you are slogging your guts out, but all we can do is applaud your determination and feel really proud to have such an adventurous tortured soul of a brother. Go brother go! ( now in Whistler) Ross

Just amazing Noel , such a big thank you for adding to blog after such tough rides.sucking on mustard.... great that it works! Helen

Noel, Mark and I so enjoying your blog. Inspiring us with your beautiful descriptions. We feel as though we are there (almost!). Well done. Maureen and Mark xxx

Loving your blog!!!
wow those hills/ mountains look big.
Hope the mustard works with cramping


x Mary

Whoa those mountains in the distance look a bit daunting.
True character building material soon eh.
I know you are saying f#$k character I already have enough of it.
Reminds me of the view of the Ironbound Range that you have to walk over on the Tassie south coast track. And look how that ended............!
The places you are getting to look awesome. What a privilege to be out there.
Enjoy mate; I am there with you.

Feels good here too to know you are finally pointing in the right direction but keep your longjohns close if, like Jasper, you strike snow flurries. Safe travels Ross

I've put on weight just looking at the size of those meals!! Kate x

Gosh, still looks like you have a lot of gear which weighs a ton! X

Continue to enjoy your postings.Felt your pain today when we passed several riders with packs of gear battling mountains , rain and cold on the Canadian side near Jasper. Again watch out for bears and elks on toilet excursions! Ross

Hills...... carrying a tractor OMG ! in absolute awe of you all. Looks very pretty....Loving your updates

Go brother go! To share your load we walked for an hour at leisurely pace around Lake Louise Also spotted grizzly bear and two cubs so hope they do not stray your way! (We saw ours on bus on Trans Canadian Hwy!) Safe pedalling to you all Ross

Looking great Noel.
Sure the fitness will build rapidly.
We are there with you and will use foul language randomly as moral support.

I am so proud of you too my love.
You look really fit but not as fit as Jim!!
Love you and as I always say to you every weekend morning as you set off..."ride safely." K x

I can feel your excitement and i am excited for you.
Dont go too hard too early!
Swannies beat richmond in a thriller.
Good luck to you all
X Mary

The Amazon play space has nothing on DHHS bike facilities! Be kind to the Americans. Has your bike arrived yet?

Well brother so far so good but do not envy you at all given the topography of Vancouver nor the rain and chill! Hope you are doing better than yours truly re jet lag and sleep. I am zonked out with very little sleep but tour we are on has started great so just need to get sleep pattern in gear. Talking of gears, hope your low gear is fine, wind is on your back and you have a great start to your marathon. Both Helen and I are so proud of your aspiration and vision and wish you every success and no bum chafing. Ross

Good news, onwards and most probably upwards from here.
I got test 87!!!
Love this blog

Stay safe and have fun


Now that is good news. May have thrown a less experienced traveller! H x

Amazing ! Safe travels , best Helen x

Thanks Noel
Looking forward to tracking your progress.
safe travels
Much Love