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Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

Almost There…

Sue the lobster at Belfast, ME

August 17, 2009: Damariscotta, ME to Belfast, ME

During our off day we obtained some much-needed rest and recreation. Sunday night we visited Marshall’s Aunt Marge in Round Pond, Maine. Marge took us down to the waterfront area and we enjoyed a traditional Maine supper of clams, mussels, corn on the cob and, of course, lobster. The whole evening was perfect – thank you very much Marge!

Marshall and Marge.

Marshall and Marge.

Lobster feast at Round Pond, Maine.

Lobster feast at Round Pond, Maine.

We began today’s ride with the thought in mind that Maine had not been too kind to this group of bicyclists, visiting from the west. The combination of heat, humidity and steep rollers  has taken its toll on everyone. Regardless, we began to travel north towards Belfast, ME, 52 miles closer to our goal of Bar Harbor. The weather today was not as warm as previous days, but  the humidity was still evident. The map followed State Route 1 for most of the day, and although not as difficult as previous stages, today’s still presented some challenging hills.

The worst part about today’s cycling was the continual presence of automobiles in one’s hip pocket amidst the negotiation of Route 1’s narrow shoulders. On the flip side, today did give us the opportunity to travel through some of the quaint towns of northern Maine such as Camden and Belfast. Each of these communities really does have an individual charm of its own.

The Camden waterfront.

The Camden waterfront.

We are currently camped at Moorings Campground just outside of Belfast. Tomorrow’s ride will take us an additional 55 miles up the coast of Maine to Bar Harbor where, at long last, we’ll cast our collective gaze on the Atlantic Ocean.

Today’s bicycling distance: 52 miles.

…A belated birthday shout out to Howard Headley, who turned 69 (According to Howard) yesterday (Aug. 16).  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HOWARD !!

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Poor man's welcome to Wisconsin.

Poor man's welcome to Wisconsin.

July 16, 2009: Duluth, MN to Lake Nakenogan, WI

July 17, 2009: Lake Nakenogan, WI to Mercer, WI

These notes are a little brief, as we’re not blessed with the best of Internet connections right now (hence the lack of an update yesterday).

First off, thanks so very much to John Woodward for the use of his home for two days. The night before we left, we held a mass birthday party for all who celebrated or will celebrate birthdays while we are away. Chuck and Suzi’s daughter Eileen prepared a scrumptious cake.

John, Ann, Gabe and Bob.

John, Ann, Gabe and Bob.

...and Ely

...and Ely

Prior to leaving Duluth, Chuck led us on a “short” bicycle tour of the downtown area. The tour included a viewing of Chuck and Suzi’s old mansion.

Said mansion.

Said mansion.

As we left Duluth, we crossed over a portion of Lake Superior and entered Wisconsin. Our route yesterday took us to Lake Nakenagon and a relatively primitive camp site. The day’s mileage was about 105 miles.

This morning we said goodbye to Lake Nakenagon on a cold rainy day. It is difficult to comprehend that it is the middle of July, based upon some of the weather conditions that we have faced lately; the climate seems more in tune with October.

Rainy morning at Lake Nakenagon

Rainy morning at Lake Nakenagon

At any rate, Friday’s route took us to Mercer, WI. The riding included rain, headwinds, and some pretty challenging rollers. The distance cycled was about 75 miles.

Tomorrow we will cover a 59-mile route to Phelps, WI. We are making a request for a little sunshine.

Suzi and Chuck in Glidden, WI.

Suzi and Chuck in Glidden, WI.

Suzi, Ann, Gabe and Bob.

Suzi, Ann, Gabe and Bob.

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Happy Birthday Ann!

Happy Birthday Ann

July 14, 2009: Duluth, MN

We arrived in Duluth, MN yesterday and will remain here for two rest days. The weather here today is extremely rainy; cycling would be very hazardous.

Today is Ann Schilling’s birthday, so we celebrated heartily. We dined at the Outback Steak House and enjoyed birthday cake at John’s house. Please post your congratulations for this special lady.

Unfortunately Debbie missed the celebration, but it was for a good cause – she had to drive to the Twin Cities in order to pickup Dennis. We are all looking forward to Dennis rejoining the ride!

Great cakeYummy

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Happy birthday Debbie!

Happy birthday Debbie!

June 17, 2009: Eureka, MT to Whitefish, MT

Well, now we can rest!  A quick re-cap of the last 24 hours:

  • Last evening in Eureka, Cole caught a fish…and a frog!
  • Our shower area left a lot to be desired with water flooding the floor and a mixed-up hot and cold arrangement. Needless to say, by the time Howard hit the shower it was pretty chilly!
  • Pork chops and potatoes for dinner – yum!

And now onto today:   RAIN!

We started in clouds and some sun but the wet caught up with us. Mark and Sue hit the worst, especially on treacherous Route 93.  However, we all made it in to the state campground at Whitefish safely, if soggily. En route we passed many “high-class” ranches and lakes,  and even saw two baby skunks on the road! Some of us (Chuck, Chicken, Howard, Debbie and Dennis) found shelter from the storm and ate lunch in a bar at Stillwater Lake that exuded the fragrance of old stale cigarette smoke.  Still  we met some very friendly people and missed the torrential downpour.

Also, today was Debbie’s 57th birthday, so she has a personal note for all of you:

I wouldn’t want to be anyplace else on this special day! I have so enjoyed the company of all these caring, strong, and fun friends! I am so grateful every day that God has given me all this beauty around us , the  strength and endurance to enjoy it all and his protection along the way. It is an awesome experience and through this blog I know that all of you are out there encouraging and praying for us – we so appreciate knowing that! What a way to spend a birthday!

As I always say when I start feeling the joy of a downhill ahead: Let ‘er Buck!


Debbie contemplates her birthday card from the gang.

Debbie contemplates her birthday card from the gang.

Our home in Eureka

Our home in Eureka

Confusion for the Noxema twins

Confusion for the Noxema twins

The Pendleton peloton cruising to Whitefish.

The Pendleton peloton cruising to Whitefish.

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Howard in Republic, Washington

Howard in Republic, Washington

“To all of my pervert friends in Alaska, my ass is sore.”

-Howard Headley


Chicken meets chicken

Chicken meets chicken

Happy birthday Suzi!

Happy birthday Suzi!

Pit stop in Wauconda, Washington

Pit stop in Wauconda, Washington

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June 10, 2009: Omak, WA to Republic, WA

Leaving Omak this morning, we had a beautiful ride through the countryside. We’ve been noticing the changes in the terrain, getting drier as we go east. At Riverside, we discovered an old shop with antique bikes everywhere, an iron rooster, wasp nests hanging from the ceiling, and a variety of old items that reminded some of us of our youth.

Lunch was in a healthy food cafe in Tonkasket. There we ran into a couple from California who are traveling our route, but fully loaded! We also met several other cross country cyclists today and had fun comparing notes.  There was even a young woman coming East to West, who left April 11, towing a BOB trailer. What a brave girl!

Along our climbs, we saw so many old deserted cabins. Our climbs today were much more gradual, but still gave us some exercise, especially with one ascent out of Wauconda. The people there were SO friendly! The ascent was short, compared to the thrilling descent into Republic, a cute Western town. And then it was party time, celebrating Suzi’s birthday with cake and ice cream. As her grandson said “you’re older than Barbie!”.

70.12 miles traveled today, 4,621 feet climbed

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