Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Back in the U.S!

Well, it seems the Northernmost US and Canadian portions of this trip were not bloggable- no Internet service, and no Internet cafes that I could see in those small towns. I checked in with a quick post from the hostel in Montreal. It was my first time there, and I made sure to have some poutine and walk around the city before passing out from biking exhaustion. I headed east out of Montreal last Wednesday AM along the route verte- Canada has an amazing system of bike- friendly roads and paths around the whole of Quebec. I followed the river east to trois rivers and spent Wed. night at a campground. Thursday, I kept going east, north of the river on 138 to Quebec city, and stayed at a campground just before the city proper. The nice girl running the office at the campground fed me cereal and grapefruit for dinner b/c the campground snack shop had closed by the time I checked in, and I was so hungry and sad to be without food! The next morning, Friday, I biked through Quebec city, and had an amazing chocolate croissant for breakfast from a little boulangerie. I headed South from Quebec city along CA 173 toward the Canadian border of Maine. Friday night I stopped just before St. Georges to camp, and ate corn dogs- again, my only food option at the campground. But so rewarding after a long, long biking day. All the time in Canada, I was able to use the 7 years of French class that I've never put to use- my first time traveling in a French- speaking area! Very fun, though I am rusty. Saturday I went from st. Grieves south to the border, where CA 173 becomes US 201. I waited in line with the cars, on my bike, to cross. They let me through, even though I have become quite smelly. Then, after 3 hours of uphill climbs to the border, I spent another couple of hours climbing in to the mountains of Maine- such a hard day! And the sun was so incredibly hot and intense. I got to jackman, then lake Parlin, and then.... Miles and miles of amazing downhill Rodin to west forks. I got there around 7:30 pm, and took a huge sigh of relief b/c I had a couple of days to relax and hang out there with friends- rafting, hiking. This morning, tuesday, I said goodbye to west forks and to stationary ways, got back on my bike and headed south on 201 to skowhegan, where I cut east onto 2 toward Bangor. I am staying tonight at a lake campground in newport, and will be at the ocean coast tomorrow where the road heads down from Bangor to Belfast. Then, three days of riding alongbthe coast to Portland, where I'll hop on the train back to NYC on Sunday. Crazy! It will be so fun to see the ocean, and the coastal Maine towns. More about that tomorrow!

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