Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer Travels

Annapolis, Montreal, New York, Annapolis, New York, Quebec, Annapolis!

Our good progress on the to do list, the oppressive heat of an Annapolis summer and the need to spend some time with our Canadian family and friends meant a busy 2 months of riding back and forth on our bikes.

In mid July we headed to Montreal on our bikes via Amish country and the Adirondacks, passing 3 excellent days of riding great roads in the sunshine. 

Canada Trip_006I will never forget the wave and look I exchanged with this Amish man as I sat by the side of the road on my FJR1300 looking at him on his horse and cart.  We both thought the other were from outer space, but could also see the good in each others choices.

It’s a fascinating culture, each invention is assessed by the community for it’s likely impact on the community and the family and accepted or rejected accordingly.  So for example a mechanised thresher is OK as it helps the harvest on your land, but it must be pulled by a horse and cart, as a tractor would encourage you to farm more land, thus making you want to buy your neighbours land, hence live further from your other neighbours and thus decrease the sense of community.

Canada Trip_034The Adirondacks were less of a culture shock,  but the mountains, lakes and forests that are so much part of North America never cease to amaze me, much as Linda is blown away by the old villages of England.

The riding was superb too, fast smooth roads and winding curves, no traffic and no speed cameras.

We spent two great weeks in Canada visiting Linda’s parents and friends, lots of laughs and a few beers, and Canada too was experiencing a glorious summer so the sun shone nearly every day. 

It was all too soon time to head south again as we had promised Dave and Donna that we would help them move their new motor boat from Long Island back to Annapolis.  We rode down through the stunning scenery of Vermont and joined them on Long Island for our first ever week on a “stink” boat.

We had a great trip, the weather played along and we had days of no wind and sunshine which is ideal for motoring.  It was odd to set off with no expectation of sailing, resigned to the chug chug of a diesel for the whole day, knowing to the minute what time we would arrive and nothing at all to do other than watch the scenery slip past.

The journey took us back along a route we had done in Matsu in 2007, down Long Island Sound, through the eats river at NYC then down the Jersey coast, up Delaware Bay, through the C&D Canal and back into Chesapeake Bay.  We had an excellent time as I hope the photos show, lots of laughs with our great friends, watching Dave’s face as the fuel pump ticked round and around on the dock, and being back at sea cruising gain after all this time.Paule & Louis_013

We arrived back in Annapolis in time for Paule & Louis to stay with us for a week, we went into Washington DC and walked the length and breadth of the National Mall, perfectly sensible on a 104 degree day!

After that we headed back north, riding through the White Mountains of New Hampshire this time.  More stunning scenery, mountains, forests and lakes again, we camped out at night and even saw a bear, Ride North _0023my first wild one, she had 2 cubs with her who climbed into the skip in search of food while she stood guard.

It was outside a restaurant and we had visions of an unsuspecting bus boy coming out to empty the trash and being ripped to shreds.  An amazing sight, so powerful and dangerous yet cute and cuddly with the Paddington, Teddy Bear etc image they retain!

More fun with family and friends in Canada saw out the rest of the month, we still didn’t get to see everyone we wanted, but as summer passes into autumn it is time to head back to Annapolis and get on with the massive to do list that we have before we can head south.