TRIP 2009

Update #17 - May 31st
Burlington, Vermont
3010 miles (4816 KM) since March 22nd
3273 miles (5237 KM) since January 01st

Even revised schedules have to be revised themselves. I was looking at going passed Bangor and heading west from there and then taking a more northerly route along the Canadian Border through New Hampshire and Vermont but instead I chose to follow U.S. 2 through the rest of Maine and across New Hampshire and Vermont. U.S. 2 was already familiar to me since that is the U.S. route that I took Eastward from Seattle last year during my double coast-to-coast trip. I followed U.S. 2 across Washington State, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and into Northern Minnesota. "Out West" U.S. 2 is called the "Hi-Line" since it runs quite close to the Canadian Border.

On Memorial Day, I got into Bangor a couple of hours before their Memorial Day Parade so I stayed in the downtown area to watch it. The parade was great and the applause that the spectators gave to the veterans who either marched by or traveled in vehicles was continuous and loud. I snapped over a hundred photos and hope to have them posted soon. From Bangor, I headed west on U.S. 2 to Pittsfield where I was the guest of the Nazarene Church. I camped out in the nursery in the church basement since it was one of the rooms set up for heat and also had a rug on the floor. From Pittsfield, I traveled to Farmington where I was put up in a motel by the ministerial association.
I had a soggy day's ride Wednesday, May 27th. The minister at the Nazarene Church had pity on me when I arrived chilled and soaking wet before the evening service and he offered to transport me and my bike and gear to a motel in West Bethel where his church had an account. Thursday, May 28th was another wet day and I made an early stop in Lancaster, New Hampshire. The minister at the Methodist Church offered to get me a room at the motel downtown. During my ride in Eastern New Hampshire while riding up a hill, I had a small black bear run across the highway in front of me. It happened so fast that I wasn't able to get my camera out. At a gas station-store in Randolph, I was able to take some wonderful shots of two hummingbirds who visited to feeders outside the front window. Hopefully, I will get these pictures posted real soon.

Before I got on the road, Friday, May 29th, I was interviewed by a reporter from the local paper. i was hoping for a dry day but I had rain off and on through out the day and I was soaked again by the time I got into St Johnsbury, Vermont. The minister at the Congregational Church in downtown St Johnsbury offered me the use of his church parlor for the night. I was also invited out for a hot meal and to take part in the state wide convention of the church at a college north of St Johnsbury. They were installing their equivalent of a bishop for their area. The service was pretty interesting especially the prayers and talk given by a U.C.C. minister from Hawaii.

I lucked out Saturday, May 30th because it didn't rain. For the most part ever since leaving Bangor, Maine and heading west, I had not done much climbing up long and steep grades. About five miles out of St Johnsbury, I had about a five mile climb up to West Danville and from there to most of way to Montpelier, I just had some gradual climbs with some good and long downhill coasts. I was looking at staying in Montpelier for the night but I wasn't able to make any good connections for a place to stop at. Because of this, I kept on riding till around Williston. I found a place to camp out in some woods just east of Williston. This was the third time that I had to use my tent for the night. It didn't get too cold during the night and it didn't rain.

Today, March 31st, I had just a short ride to Burlington where I arranged to stay with a CS member for the night. Tomorrow, I will be crossing Lake Champlain to New York but I have two options. I can head south and cross New York on NY 5, which runs along the path of the old Erie Canal. I've done this route countless times and I pretty well know all of it by heart. The second option that I will be taking is to head north to South Hero Island, catch the ferry across Lake Champlain to Plattsburgh, head north to Champlain and take U.S. 11 to Watertown along the St Lawrence Seaway. I've done that route only once and that was from West to East. This will mean that I will have to dress for cool weather for a little while longer but I'm gain for the challenge. Besides, there are a few ministers along that route I would like to see if they are still around.

Because of my change in plans across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, I am at least two weeks ahead of my revised schedule. I'll be contacting the churches that I've already arranged speaking engagements at to see if they could re-schedule me at an earlier date.

The next update should be between June 07 and June 14.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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