Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Day 23 - East Conway to Portland, 55 miles

We finished our Ride Across America today in Portland ME.   Portland to Portland is done!  What a wonderful bike tour, precious time spent together, and great experiences meeting such friendly people all across the USA.   Fantastic to live in a free country where we can have this kind of experience.  We thank all our friends and family for your encouragement and support. And a special thanks to all the veterans for the freedom to do this. 

First stop this morning in the sunshine!  Maine was only 2 miles away. 

We made it!!  East End Beach Portland ME.  We can hardly believe it!

Todays route

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Day 22 - Lincoln to East Conway, 42 miles

Today we faced the final climb of this tour - Kancamagus Pass.  This is also in our high point in the eastern US.  We rode route 112 up the pass and over to Conway.  The climb to the top from Lincoln was 13 miles.  The weather stayed cool and cloudy all day with temps from 55F on the pass to 70F in Conway.  As we neared the pass a light rain started, but thankfully the rain stopped as we headed down the other side.  


Mountain views during the climb. We have been riding in the White Mountains National Forest the last two days. 

At the top!  Yahoo we made it!  The grade over the last 4 miles was 9%.  

Todays route

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Day 21 - Woodsville to Lincoln, 27 miles

Today we rode route 10 to North Haverville NH, then turned onto route 116 for the climb up to Kinsman Notch.  Route 116 merges with route 112 and then on 112 into Lincoln. 


We did our best to time things so we would not be descending the pass in the rain.  It had rained overnight but somehow it avoided us today during our ride. It did start up after we checked in to our hotel!


The climb started very steep on narrow roads, but as we gained altitude the grades eased and the road shoulders were much wider.


And our rest day really helped!


Beautiful views!

The leaves are starting to turn!

The lake called Beaver Pond near the top.

Once again, no sign for the pass, called Kinsman Notch.  But there was the sign for the Appalachian Trail right at the top.  Mark’s brother Scott hiked the trail end-to-end.  

Todays route

Friday, August 25, 2023

Day Off - 8/25/2023 - Woodsville NH

Very nice to have a day off after riding for 11 days, over the Adirondacks, and through Middlebury Gap.   A day of rest, time to give the tandem a checkup, and planning for the challenges ahead has been really relaxing.


Raining most of the day so no sightseeing.  Chilling out is what we needed.  Nice lodge with big comfortable rooms. 

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Day 20 - Lebanon to Woodsville, 42 miles

Another beautiful sunny day for bike riding.  The day started very cool but got all the way up to 75F - we can’t remember when it was last that warm!  We took a combination of NH art 10 and River Road north from Lebanon, around the Dartmouth  College campus at Hanover, and along the Connecticut River to Woodsville.  We had some beautiful views of the river valley. 

Covered bridge on the Connecticut River Rd

View of the Connecticut River valley, looking over to Vermont from the NH side.   

Todays route

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Day 19 - Ripton VT to Lebanon NH, 61 miles

We woke up to a beautiful clear blue sky.   The temps were in the 50s - great for climbing mountain passes.  The B&B provided a tasty breakfast to start our day.  With Middlebury Gap ahead of us and the very steep slopes we encountered yesterday we were a bit apprehensive.   The road from Ripton up to the Gap turned out to be very doable and we were over the top sooner than we thought.  

We took route 125 east from Ripton through the Middlebury Gap to route 100 heading south.  Then we turned onto route 107 east again, and over to route 14 heading south into Lebanon NH.   


Sherri on top at Middlebury Gap.  No sign for the pass but the Long Trail crosses here. 

Rebuilding Vermont.  We encountered a lot of roadwork today. Everything from bridges being replaced to repairing big landslides.   Numerous one lane road situations and at times needing to walk the bike.

Much of the route ran along the clear waters of the White River.

Todays route

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Day 18 - Ticonderoga NY to Ripton VT, 30 miles

The conditions today were perfect for bike riding; sunny, cool, and almost no wind.  Our route was from Ticonderoga to the Lake Champlain ferry crossing, into Vermont, on route 74 and then route 30 into Middlebury VT.  

The conditions were great but we had other challenges …


There were some very steep hills on the way into Middlebury.   Our bottom brackets started making some serious noise.  By the time we got to Middlebury it was clear that we could not continue on without overhauling the bottom brackets.  Luckily we found a highly recommended bike shop  - Frog Hollow Bikes.  Middlebury is a college town and located near Vermont mountain biking hot spots. The mechanics didn’t have spare parts for our brand of bottom brackets, so they installed new compatible ones and had us back on the road in three hours!  Fantastic!


From Middlebury we rode to Ripton on 125, which starts the climb into the Green Mountains.  In the first 4 miles of climbing we struggled with long sections of 8 to 10% grades, and one short stretch of 23% !!  We expected steep but this is much steeper than we thought. 


Short ferry ride across Lake Champlain

Docking on the Vermont side of the lake

Hello Vermont !


Todays route

Monday, August 21, 2023

Day 17 - Long Lake to Ticonderoga, 63 miles

This morning we departed with low lying cloudy skies & fog.  We began at 65F and that was the high.  Rain was predicted but we forged ahead. We followed North 28 out of Long Lake to Newcomb where we stopped at a very nice Café for second breakfasts.  Shortly after passing Newcomb we turned onto route 84 (Blue Ridge Road), which took us all the way to North Hudson.  24 miles of dense forest with no services - very remote.   From North Hudson we took US 9 to state route 74, which dropped us into Ticonderoga.  Another 24  miles of forest with no services.  The rain finally caught up to us at mile 50 so we stopped and donned our rain jackets, apparently staying dry is not an option.

It is surprising how much wilderness and undeveloped areas there are. 


We were passed by many full logging trucks headed to Ticonderoga.  And many empty logging trucks headed back up the route into the mountains.   We saw more logging trucks today than we did in all of our 2021 bike trip out west. 


 Views of the Adirondack mountains.

The view from the highest point on county road 84.  The high points we crossed in the Adirondacks didn’t have names. 

Todays route

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Day 16 - Inlet to Long Lake, 33 miles

Fantastic weather today!  No rain!  Dry roads!  The temps were in the mid to upper 60s all day. Perfect!

Definitely on the ACA Northern Tier all day today.  Hwy 28 and 28 North. Lots of rolling hills.  As we left the town of Blue Lake we encountered our first longer serious climb - 8%+ for 1.5 miles.  Whew!


View of Blue Mountain from Raquette Lake.  Hard to see but Blue Mountain is the highest point in the middle of the picture, partially hidden by haze. 

We thought the motel was Peddlers Rest!  ðŸ™‚  They do have waterfront access and boats to rent.  Their laundry is what we really needed ðŸ˜‰ !   Very nice place.  

Motel room view of Long Lake.  We can hear the pontoon planes flying in and out but haven’t seen one yet. 

Todays route

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Day 15 - Lowville to Inlet, 55 miles

We entered the Adirondacks today!   We traveled on beautiful tree covered roads, with deciduous trees gradually giving way to conifers.

The roads followed a series of lakes and rivers to the famous Old Forge area in the mountains.


Our route led us down US 12 from Lowville to Port Leyden where we turned onto Moose River Road.  Moose River Road placed us on highway 28, which we rode all the way to Old Forge. 


The weather today continued to be very wet and cool.  The temps varied from 52F to 58F.  We rode in a steady rain for the first 20 miles.  Most the rest of the day was a mix of sprinkles and mist.


A simple sign in need of repair welcomed us to the Adirondacks

The rain and temps in the low 50s had us donning all our rain and cold weather gear. A quick break while climbing Moose River road.

Moose River - being from a semi-arid state we are impressed by the amount of water everywhere.

True to daily form, the skies cleared in the evening.  View of one of the lakes in the Inlet chain of lakes. 

Todays route

Friday, August 18, 2023

Day 14 - Pulaski to Lowville, 47 miles

The original plan today was to follow the ACA  route southeast to Boonville, Alder Creek and then Hwy28 into the mountains.  BUT the whole area around Boonville was booked for the annual Woodmans Competitions.  We did not see that coming!!! We found an alternate route to the north, thru the Lesser Wilderness to Lowville where we are staying.  


The weather continues to be cool and wet and we  got soaked several times today.   We asked a local why often there are no storms on the radar but they just pop up unannounced.   “ Lake effect rainstorms” just like there are “lake effect snowstorms”. Rain and 58F temps saw us using most of our weather gear.   Much better than the expected 90s!!


The climbing today was steady uphill. Near the high point a powerful tailwind almost blew us up and over the top and we enjoyed an unexpected steep fast descent into town. 


Wind turbines were on both sides of the road for several miles.  The wind was wailing and the turbines were taking full advantage.  The low storm clouds were whizzing by adding to the dizzying perception of speed.   This was the first significant wind farm we have seen since leaving Dayton.  We were very happy to be moving with the wind!

Our AirBnB tonight is quite unique - built into an old jail ! But it chose us ðŸ™‚   It was literally the only place available tonight in the region. 


Todays route 

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Day 13 - Fulton to Pulaski, 33 miles

It didn’t rain last night so we got to ride on dry roads today.  Nice change.  And it didn’t rain all day.  We planned a shorter day today since the next several days we will be in the Adirondacks. We took a side tour into the Selkirk Shore State Park since we had extra time.  We found our selves in deep forests on nice roads.  


The daily temperatures are surprising.  We were prepared for highs in the upper 80s and 90s, but the high each day has rarely been out of the 70s and always with heavy cloud cover most of the day.


Things are still really busy here with holiday travel. In Colorado all the kids are back in school and family travel has slowed. Here many schools don’t start until after Labor Day.  We are having to make reservations well ahead. 


Forest at Selkirk State.  They had several nice campgrounds and cabins. 

Todays route

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Day 12 - Sodus Point to Fulton, 43 miles

Hmmm … is this a weather pattern?  It rained all night once again and then stopped about the time we were getting up.  So again today it didn’t  rain on us but the roads were soaking wet all the way.  When we arrived in Fulton the sun was just peaking out from behind the clouds.


Hills hills hills today.   Some hills were “rollers” where we could get a good downhill run before we hit the uphill side.  Some started up from a flat road.  And some rollers had stop signs for crossroads at the bottom!  Arrrgh!


The route took us south around Sodus Bay, then across the bay inlet.  Gradually we moved northeast back toward the lake.  We are mainly following the ACA Northern Tier with customizations. 

Day 11 - Rochester to Sodus Point, 54 miles

It rained all night and right up until we left.   The weather report forecast rain all day but we only had a few sprinkles here and there.  However, the roads and trails were wet all day. 

We rode the canal trail as far as Palmyra and then took Rt21 north.  21 had decent shoulders to ride most of the way to Lake Ontario.  Rt21 ended right at the lake cliff, and the sun made an appearance, giving us a fantastic view.  


We are staying at an AirBnB in Sodus Point.  We walked to the lighthouse that is out on a pier in the lake.  While we were out the clouds gathered and started raining once again so we got wet walking back to the BnB. 


After about 60 miles on the canal trail we reached the next lock!  Lock 33. Lock 32 was just a quarter mile away. 

The canal has a number of guard locks which can be used to drain sections of the canal quickly.

Good-bye Erie Canal - hello Lake Ontario !

Lighthouse at Sodus Point

Todays route (Navigator reports she forgot to turn her cycle computer on until about 3 miles in ðŸ™‚)

Monday, August 14, 2023

Day 10 - Lockport to Rochester, 68 miles

We had a pleasant day today riding on the crushed stone tow path of the Erie Canal.  We followed the canal tow path all the way to Rochester.   The weather was sunny, cool and no wind.  Great riding conditions.

We noticed that the canal waters are very clean. No floating trash, not even any floating branches.  The canal tow path was very clean and well maintained as well.   There were small towns with services every few miles along the canal.


Typical view along the Erie Canal tow path.  Called the tow path because the canal boats were pulled by horses from the path. 

At Medina NY the canal is built over a river gorge!   This is the walkway along the canal at Medina.  The river gorge is right under us.

The view over the railing into the gorge below

Each community built next to the canal has a drawbridge.  The bridge lifts straight up about 15 feet as one piece using motors and counter weights.  The operator sits at the top of the building on the right. 

Lots of apple tree orchards today.  The trees are planted very close together and trimmed to be tall and narrow.  Too bad we won’t see the harvesting!

Todays route