Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Almost two weeks later

Sitting here in Mystic I keep thinking back to the Grand Canyon.

Still Grand! I'm still going back.

Late April?

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I noticed this week that I was much more relaxed when hiking back then hiking out on a trail. That while I enjoyed the hike out it was more a walk of discovery, while the walk back lent its self more to inner reflection. I think today feels much like the hiking back part.

At sunrise I walked out to Courthouse Butte. Very cool. The dirt too.

And I realized I need to figure out what I want to do, then where it would be best to do it. I love being outdoors. Looking around here and all the places I've been who wouldn't? And yet still there is a need to do and to produce that is part of the place but also more. I don't want my job and life to be separate, and I want to live as much in the outdoors as possible.

This morning as I was walking around the Butte, my Aslo's kicking up the red dust, and my leg still hurting a bit from yesterday I saw a footprint in the dirt. Not a dog, or a deer, or a horse, or a reebok, or TNF but a human footprint. I took off my boots and enjoyed the rest of the walk in my bare feet.


Sunrise on the Airport Mesa, Sunset at the Spinx - and I am exhausted. Oh and Heavos Ranchero's for Breakfast!

Hiked into Boynton Canyon and it was a great hike. The weather and micro climates here are amazingly varied, as are the trails. I tried to get a few "trail" shots mostly because the ones here as so different from other's I've been on. This one pretty much caputures it. At this point I was in shorts and wishing I was not in a thermal techwich top and had carried more than one bottle of water. It was hot!

Things were much different at the end of the canyon. At one point the trail turns south. I rounded a corner by an alligator pine (very aptly named) and I swear the temperature dropped 15 degrees. So by the end of the trail, when I was eating an excellent humus wrap and basking in the energy of the canyon, I was thankful for the thermal and also wearing a microfleece. The hike out was good. These rocks are amazing.

Next I hiked a bit of the Soldier's Pass trail to the Seven Pools. Then back tracked and sat one of of the red rock aprons beneath "The Spinx."

Not only is the geography here amazing, but so too the plants. It's like the entire place is landscaped. Evereything in its place and perfect. This tree at the Seven Pools is just one example.

By the end of today I was exhausted and I'll confess, a bit lame. So after a margaretta and an excellent artichoke and pesto pizza I crashed at the hotel. It took awhile before I wanted to turn on the TV and then I turned it off. It's been nice without it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Today I got to see many new and amazing sides of Arizona.
First was a visit to Sunset Volcano. You can't actually go into the crater, but there is a trail up a cinder pile and through a lava field. Sunset mountain blew its top only 1000 years ago. What is even more impressive to realize geology-wise is that this whole area is full of volcanos. They speculate that the whole San Francisco range was one giant volcano at one time.

But back to Sunset Mountain. Apparently when it blew or coincidental with it blowing two types of native American settlements were formed. One of peublo houses to the North and another, or cliff houses to the south. I visited both, and gosh was a place of endless resources and variation. On the one hand it's flat, but its not, there are these giant mountains and then these deep canyons. And yet through it all, the place is vast and open and yet one feels comfortable. The forest here, and there are some huge Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Firs throughout are amazing, but still they're open.

Oh and one other thing. This whole fear of heights thing. I don't seem to have it here. Nor do these cute guys. We got aquainted on the rim of Walnut Canyon.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Soul Retrieval

First off, let me say historic Flagstaff is a cool town. Cool people, cool restaurants, cool shops, and again – those cool Arizona people. This is a shot of Flagstaff from right outside the hostel. We’re looking North, across the railroad and RT 66. And it was that very route that I took North to 89 to 64 to the Grand Canyon.

I debated on putting this out there in public – but I can think of no other way to describe my feelings about the Grand Canyon – so here goes. I have always thought of the soul as something vast and open beneath the relatively flat, calm exterior.
The Grand Canyon in 3-Dimensional model of the soul – mine at least. Standing there on Desert View Rim was one of the most moving experiences of my life. Descending into it, although only 2000 feet is again beyond words but my soul sure felt at home. Felt a few others with me as well.

This is a shot taken from where I ate a snickers bar, tanned, and turned around.

This is a shot of the same place taken from the main overlook.

Then the full moon rose.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Je suis ici

...or as they say in English. I am here!

Other than that I'm pretty speachless. Detail-wise the flight went really well, it was/is a beautiful clear day. With the recent snow among the trees and buildings in the midwest more than half the country looked like a pointalist drawing.

Phoenix is a travesty against nature, but it was warm and the people really nice.

So I headed due north up I-17 and stopped an hour later at Arcosanti. An architectural experiment on how people could co-exist with the desert and live in community. It's only in the beginning stages. I took the tour with Joanne. A local horse rancher, and Berkeley grad who just loves the place. Stopping in the bakery on the way out I met Kim who grew up in Woodbury but came to Arconsanti to cast the bells. (I'll fill this in later or you can check out their website) Again very cool people.

Back on I-17 and over the ridge(?) into the Verde Valley. Oh my god! and then I saw the rocks to the North West. So...took the road to Sedona. Airport Mesa. Oak Creek Canyon. Again Speachless. (And that's saying a lot for me).

Now however, it's time to eat!

Monday, October 09, 2006


Just going to collect a few of my favorites:

  • Ain't what you do, it 's the way that you do it.
  • Follow your bliss
  • Don't put off to tomorrow what you can do today because if you like it, you can do it again tomorrow.
  • "Simplify, simplify, simplify" Henry David Thoreau
  • "One 'simplify' would have sufficed" Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The path is the goal
  • The thief who stole my life, has taken too my faith
  • I sing the body electric
  • "Between two evils, I always choose the one I haven't tried before." Mae West
  • Be not afraid of death, be afraid of the half-lived life

Monday, August 14, 2006

You never know ( or the path is the goal) after weeks of trying to decide where in NH I'm going to hike this weekend, I'm driving through Springfield when deep in my gut I know I'm going to Vermont; to the trailhead on rt 103. Its time to pick up the path, and continue on from where I left off.

11:30 and here's Angela at the trailhead. Clarendon Gorge to the south, my first 4000fter to the the North. I feel great, really good. It's time to move on, to be continuing on the path I set out on many years ago. Guess, unconsciously that I've been avoiding this section because - well, its hard to backpack up a mountain.

The Trail immediately heads up. On the way are some of these trillums in seed. I walked the previous section in spring when they were blooming, and I'd never seen so many in one spot. Now its amazing to see their brilliant red seed pods.

About 1000 ft up there is an overlook to the South. Cool to think I've hiked through those hills.
After a little drink and a snack, it's time to move on. While I'm happy my gut decided on this route, I'm a bit concerned about having to hike 12 miles, up a mountain, with a 26 lb pack - but gosh it is beautiful and there is always trail magic! I'd been hiking about 2 hours through amazing woods - huge pines trees and beeches, across little brooks and a few abandoned farm fields when I came upon an exceptionally nice stream - in which - very strangely - were 10 cans of soda. The sign on the other side of the stream however, explained it all.

Gosh! I love the Trail - and the people on and around it.

And of course aside from that there is just the miles of unending simple beauty...which my feet and hips are begining not to appreciate. Its 4:00 and I'm not even to the base of Killington. I'm starting to question my gut feeling to do this route. I'm wondering how I'm going to make it all the way back down, and I'm not even up, but right now I'm at a bridge crossing the Cold River and its time for a break. And then I remember - bus. Someone once mentioned that there are buses that run along rt 4, and according to my map, rt 4 is on the other side of Killington. The map also says its 7 miles from the rt4 trail head to Rutland, and 5 miles from Rutland to the rt 103 trailhead. So if my legs give out I don't have to go back over the mountain. Cool. This is, once again, doable. Sometime you have to go with your gut and trust that things will work out for the best.

At 6:30 I arrive at Cooper's Lodge. The days destination. Talking to a local there I confirm the bus option, stash my pack and head up the .2 mile scramble to the summit.

Need I say more?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Amended saying

You know how I always say - "Try everything atleast once because if you like it enough you can do it again tomorrow".

Well, I have to change that to "Try everything atleast once every five years because you might find you like it now, and if you like it enough you can do it again"

---I went kayaking Thursday (in a Thunderstorm!) and even if there hadn't been a storm and some really great company - I really liked it. Went again Saturday and will definetly go again.

Hence the new saying.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Guess What?

I just realized---I could easily just go back to Holland next year.

Why do BRAN or BRAT - I'd rather go to Holland.

The cost would be the same
I know the area - less stress
I've got most of the maps

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Annual Aug 14 Hike

I've been section hiking the AT from New York northward on and off for the last few years and have made it to Clarendon Gorge/rt 103 in Vermont. The next long weekend section would take me from rt 103 to the Connecticut River. Looking over the maps, following various discussion and looking at shelter pictures makes me wonder if this is would be a nice hike - or if I'm just obsessing about doing the trail section by section when I could take the 4 days and skip ahead to NH, or (don't say it) do a hike that's not on the AT at all.

i.e is the next NH section just so much better that I should just jump ahead?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I am

My daughters tease me that I have become a groupie. Well... this article clinches it:

Another Landis Story

(But only for Floyd)

So then I have this decision to make. There is a rumor that he will be in a parade in Lancaster. Do I go? Could I be that much of a groupie?

Monday, July 24, 2006


Off to a meeting in Worcester today, then EMS tonight.

What I would like to do soon however is plan the next year and then make an even longer term plan. I know one goal is to establish a sustainable, healthy, awesome body life-style. I really like being fit.

Gotta run

Sunday, July 23, 2006

We love Floyd!

Today Floyd Landis won the Tour de France. An excellent example of the saying, "it ain't what you do its the way that you do it". His fortitude in Stage 17 will serve forever as a symbol of how never to say never, that when things look impossible one can still act with great determination and spirit. Doesn't matter if one wins or not, what matters is the spirit.

On the other hand, can't say many American's know of this momentus event. I made and wore a "We love Floyd" t-shirt to EMS and not a single person made a comment.

tsk, tsk.

Had a good ride after work. I'm thinking about doing BRAN and BRAT in 2007, but I'd like to have a friend to ride and train with. Any volunteers?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Turkey Day

So yes, I for know I didn't keep the blog during the trip and I've failed to upload the photos since. But... I have continued riding my bike.

Had to get up and out on the ride early what with the forecast for thunderstorms - and Floyd leaving the start gate at 10:15. Took one of my favorite routes East on Rt 1, North on Anguila Rd., West on 184, South on that really cool ride with the great hill.

One of the things I like to do on a ride is look to the side. It feels just like it looks like when they show the races on tv. Today, every time I looked there was a turkey family. There were about 5 in all. Some very large, having 6 or more chicks.

So now I'm watching Floyd. Whatever happens...stage 17 was amazing. We should all be like Floyd.

Monday, June 12, 2006


We made it after a very interesting train/bus/train ride.

Sorry I,ve been a slackqrd on the blog; its just turned out to be expensive to get internet access, and then frustrating to type!

This morning Amy and I rode down along a cute river; not sure what our future plans are asie from the fact that we will now be staying in Paris on Saturday night - just to be sure we make it on time.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


As Amy said; the Belgians - and we suspect the french - have a different keyboard:i.e.
Qs Q,y sqid the Belgiqns - qnd ze suspect the french - hqve q different keyboqrd:

This makes typiung a bit slow:

As Amy also mentioned we qre in Namur: Just got train tickets that will take us to Luxe,bourg tommorow, where we plan on spending a few days.

As to the events of the last few days - there are stories to tell; things about the 2006 shimano 105 rear delairer; unexpected trips to large cities; sleeping at an airport; me (waking with a migrane) - and then there is the fact that Jerry needs to update his book:

But we are well now, climbed the Citadel and I am resting: Miss you all!


Kelly Time

Kelly Time

We're in Namor. It's been a rough couple days. This keyboard is French and obnoxious.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Leaving Gent

Amy and I are just about to set out from Gent for Tervuian (near Brussels).
Yesterday we left Brugse and about 43 km, my first fall with my foot still in the clip, a real hill! a few cute towns, and lots of farms later arrived in Gent. Another nice hostel.

Gent is cool, but Amy and suspect we shouldn't have done two similar towns in consequtive days. Gent is like a bigger, older and more complex Brugse (hope the Belgians don't take offense at this offhand summation of their cities). Spent an hour in the post office and will not be mailing any more packages. It cost 20 eruos for one small package.

Also went to the Museum of Belgian Folklife and Culture. A Curiousity Type Museum with some strange ideas about farming and babies. Is there any other incident of a culture explaining babies as growing on farms, i.e. hatching from eggs and growing in plants?

Well, time for breakfast. We'll probably be out of internet access range for the next few days. But we'll be thinking of you.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Good morning,

Since it is still fresh in my head, I'm going to jump ahead to yesterday's adventures in Brugge.
After the hostel breaksfast, tiny relativly week (American-like) koffee. Amy and I headed out to do laundry! 1 stupe cost 2.50 euro. Of course it took awhile to figure what a stupe was and how we could get one but dealing with the language barrier has become well - not second nature - but doable.

After the laundery we lathered up with sun scree. (have I mentioned the weather?). Until today every day has started cloudy, sometimes with rain, and gotten windy, gotten sunny, gotten windier and goten cloudy again by sunset (22
;00) Today was completely sunny and needless to say we don't need anymore tan (i.e. sunburn)

Bruge is beautiful. To orient ourselves we taook a boat tour through the canals. Then Amy and I split up to do some shopping and wandering on our own. I headed for the bookstalen to locate the next fietsrout fart. This has become an impiortant part of the nisiting town routine. The detailed fieltmmpas only get us between 40 and 60 km. So far we've ridder through 5,. In addition, they're not all the same format so it takes a while t o tranltate and locate the correct next one. I found a reallly good one the Brussels area but not one of the area between here and Ghent - which is our next stop. I'm pretty sure that I can turst Jerry's directions however (you remember Jerry, I mentioned Jerry yesterday) and then in Ghent I'll try again for another fietroute map between there and Brussels.

After the bookstalen I wandered around the markts having koffee, paying to use the toilet, sampling chocolates, trying a Belgian waffle with cream, and touring the churches and convents.

PS Pinkerstag may be Pentecost but needless to say the Belgians, Dutch and French all celebrate it not by going to church but by bike riding, joggin, walking or going to Brugge. The place was busy. And that reminds me of an important cutlureal shift that occured here. In Holland they spoke Dutch and if you asked, and were in a major city, English. Here they speak Dtuch, Flemish, French and English. There are signs we can read!!!! It's nice to understand 1/4 of what is going on without having to plead ignorance first. The multi-lingual situation is also helping me brush up on my French - hopefully when I need it, I'll be passable.

Then Amy and I went back to the hostel, got ready fot settle in and enjoy a bottle fo Brugges own "brugse zot" a light beer, brewed here in Bruge. The brewery is in a cute building and has been working since 1856. This beer was brewed this year and won some awards. The label is in 4 languages - and the beer is really good.

A votre sauna, to your health!

PS The beer stein situation is looking up. There are some here - even one that was passable but we're holding out for something less touristie

PPS I miss the Dutch pastries! Really badly.

Monday, June 05, 2006

June 2

This day ended up as Oudewater to the Bar.

I'm running out of internet time so will just rough in the day and fill it up later when we're home and have photos. (We have lots of great photos)

Ride from Oudwater to Gouda was beautiful. The houses and gardens were old, pristine and incredible.

Gouda was just waking up. We had koffee in a nice cafe where the gentlemen kindly helped us with the different breakfast options.

Bought an awesome Hazelnut torte thing fand chesse for snack.

Met a couple from South Carolina

Saw the cheese weighing building and the stad huis.

Decided for the first time that we really liked Jerry,

Rode to a small ferry. Had koffee on the beach. Rode to kinderjink saw lots of windmills (18). rode through and industrial area (think we missed one of Jerry's turns). Rode through a large tunnel. Rode over a 4 km bridge (have to love that North Sea headwind). Found a minicamping that was next to a bar. Set up tent in a field. Dutch kids played football until 10:30. Spoke to a nice man who thought I really should know what Pinderdag was, but though the idea of the bike trip was really interesting. While the Dutch always ride bikes, I do not think they go too far. Also they often take us for Dutch and will have long conversations with us before finding out we don't speak the language. Then, of course they assume we are English.

June 2 - Gouda to Willemstad 84 km
  • Begin at the N207, the road that urns along the southern border of Gouda (and the one that you cycled in on)
  • Head South on the N207 toward Stolwijk and Bergambacht.
  • Through Stolwijk turn LEFT toward Bergambacht, and 100 meters ahead, turn RIGHT toward Bergambacht. [area map]
  • 10.4: Bergambach (market and bakery). From Bergambacht, follow white and red bike signs to the Goot Ammers and Streefkerk at a roundabout.
  • At the end of the street, turn RIGHT and then a quick LEFT to reach the ferry.
  • Turn RIGHT as you exit the ferry
  • 17.0: Streefkerk. Follow signs to Kenderdijk
  • 26.0: Turn LEFT for Kinderdijk and a long row of windmills(19 in fact). There is a tourist restaurant on your right.
  • To leave Kinderdijk, follow the bike path toward Dordrecht 16km. You'll be cycling along bike paths that run parallel with the A15/E31 adn the N3
  • 31.0: Ablasserdam. As you head to Dordrecht, follow signs LEFT for Dordrecht via Brugge 6km. (not via Dordrecht via the Veer 2km)
  • There will be a hotel on your right as you make the turn.
  • Keep following signs to Dordrecht. Past the hotel, turn right toward Dordrecht and cross a bridge.
  • After the bridge, turn RIGHT to Breda.
  • After you turn right, take a LEFT 100 meters ahead. Over another bridge
  • Follow the N3 to Gravendeel, 10. Exit onto the N217 to 's Gravendeel.
  • You'll pass under a tunnel.
  • As you exit the tunnel, floow the N217 to Mookhoek 3, Dordrecht, and Breda on the N217
  • Follow signs to Mookhoek and Strijen.
  • From Mookhoek, follow signs to Strijen and Numansdorp.
  • 60.0: Strijen (markets, restaurants), turn RIGHT to Numansdorp and Rotterdam
  • 71.0: Numansdorp. As you leave the town, you;ll pass a golf course. Follow the blue sign LEFT to Willemstad 7
  • Continue following signs to Willemstad. As you cross a large bridge, continue following signs to Willemstad, STRAIGHT ahead, 6 km.
  • 84.0: Willemstad

Camping Bovensluis in Willemstad

June 1

The real story...

Stage 1

Don't know that this is an exciting day, it was more like a day for learning how to navigate and forage in a foreign country.

We left the hostel around 9, heading south along the N208 and soon passed Haarlem and into some suburb or other. The houses were nice, some very big estates, and the trees along the fietspad were huge. Somehow I went west instead of east. The orginial plan had been to not follow Jerry's route exactly as we were starting a bit North and East of Amsterdam but to met up with his route around Oudewater (I mean who doesn't want to see where they weighed witches?).

Oh - Jerry. At this point I should introduce Jerry who has become a close friend of ours. He is the man who wrote the book from which many of the route directions came. We are now very close and sometimes we are very fond of him, sometimes a bit disappointed.

But at this point in the ride, we've yet to really rely on Jerry. Trying to get back on course, we really begin to trust the little red and white fietsroute signs. The idea however is not to take a route, but to pick the next town you are going to. The signs only point to towns and also give you kms to the town.

So around noon, after riding through some nice industrial land (and for industrial land it was nice) we stop and have a snack which thankfully we'd brought. An hour later we realize that we will need to carry more food because its not for another hour that we come across a markt. Neither Amy nor I do well on really empty, tired stomachs. But we manage to find some good bread and cheese (its hard not to find good bread and cheese here), and ride on . The countryside has become more agricultural. Very agricultural in fact, we're riding through what were, only 3 weeks ago fileds and fields of tulips. We've seen a few windmills, although right now I can't recall our first.

And then we arrive at Oudewater around 4. It is a cute Dutch town. Really cute. brick streets, brick houses, little cafes. The lady at the VVV directs us to a nearby Kamping. By now we're pretty tired having riden about 70 km and although it is next to a highway and in the middle of the field we settle in. Very happy with our first day.

I figured out the maps and it looks like we are out into the country now!


June 1 - Amsterdam to Gouda 71 km (44m)

  • Ride begins at the Vondelpark (which we'll have to add to the milage), at the western end of the P.C. Hoffstraat
  • Follow P.C.Hoofstraat to Stadhouderskade and turn RIGHT.
  • Follow Stadhouderskade until you get to the Amster River, and turn RIGHT down this street.
  • Amsteldjik (also called S110)
  • When you pass Martin Luther King Park, the S110 is called president Kennedylaan. You'll see signs for the A2
  • Follow bike path to Utecht. Follow it toward Hilversum and Utrecht along the A2 bike path
  • Exit the A2 heading toward Utrecht and Abcoude, following the bicycle signs. Follow the path through Abcoude, Bambrugge.
  • 19.5: N201. Follow signs to Loenen. You'll follow a pleasant raod along a canal.
  • As you hed into Loenen, there's a gas station on your right.
  • At the first bend, follow green and white bike signs toward Breuekelen and Maarse. This will lead you alonside a canal and beautiful Dutch houses.
  • Head next toward Maarsen
  • 32.0 As you approach Maarsen, follow sings to Maarsenbroek.
  • Next follow sings for Vleuten and De Meern.
  • Continue following signs to De Meern
  • 43.0 De Meern
  • Follow signs to Oudewater 17 adn Montfoort 9
  • continue on the road to Montfoort and Oudewater.
  • Oudewater was founded in the 10th century. It was internationally known because of its "Heksenwaag", Witches weighinghouse. Emperor Charles V granted Oudewater the privilege to weigh women, who were prosecuted for witchcraft, in the Netherlands and abroad, and to give them a "Certificaet van Weginghe", confirming that they had been weighed in Oudewater and were not too light, and thus were no witches.
  • Follow this path all the way to Gouda.
  • As you approach Gouda and the N207, you'll come to a large roundabout.
  • Turn RIGHT and head toward Gouda.
  • At the intersection ahead, turn LEFT to Centrum, Alphen and Rijnm, Rotterdam, and Den Haag.
  • Follow signs to the VVV and Centrum.


June 3

Bar to Veere ( Past Kamperland)

Crossed smallish bridge. Watched the sailboats get locked out with a Dutch couple who were also bike touring. Saw a giant clam and clamboats in Briensknee. Amy met a friend while I was in the bakker getting koffee. He suggested and alternate route which we took along the bayshore as opposed to along the highway.

Crossed a Killer Bridge 12 km over cold and windy water. Had lunch in the daisies on the other side. Colinsplatt - saw a working windmill. Rode to the VVV in Kamperland and learned there was a ferry to Vere that left in 20 minutes. Pedaled for the Ferry. Rode over to Verre where we realized - these Dutch towns just keep getting more and more amazing. This one was really amazing! But we (especially Amy) were tired so we rode up the coast to look for a minicamping. Got turned away at the first but the second was better. It was at a farm. The tents set up around a field in the middle of which Dutch kids and parents played football until 22:00 (I think you may sense a trend here).

Willemstad to Kamperland 68 km (42m - headwind warning)

  • From the center of town, follow signs toward Zieriksee 37 km and Rotterdam.
  • A half-kilometer later, follow signs to Zieriksee and Rotterdam, your first left.
  • Just past that sign you'll see a bike path sign for Zieriksee. Follow it to the Right
  • As you cross the bridge, keep following signs to Zieriksee. The terrain is flat and you're parallel with the N59.
  • You'll follow signs for Den Bommel, Middelhamis, and Zieriksee 32km
  • You'll cross another bridge as you pass through Grevelingendam; continue following signs for Zieriksee and Vlissingen.
  • As you approach Zierikzee, turn left for Vlissingen
  • Vlissingen is 49 kilometers away as you leave Zierikzee. You'll cross the Zeeland brugge as you turn right for the N256 and Vlissingen
  • Once over the bridge, continue straight. Ride for 2 km and turn Right on the N255 toward Kamperland and Kortgene. As you make the right, Kamperland is 11 km away.
  • Continue following signs to Kamperland. You reach the town center at 68 km.
  • [Camping]

Thanks for all the comments

Its so good to hear from everyone at home!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Happy Piderdag Everyone

Did you know there is an important Catholic holiday we do not celebrate? Nien? But they sure do here.

Anyway, we have arrived in Brugge. Oh wow! The trip has been great. Sorry for the lack of posts. The Nederlands may be beautiful but they are woefully lacking in internet access. On the plus side I'm just not sure where to start. We have stuck pretty much to the itineary listed on the blog with a few side trips and a few shortcuts. You wouldn't believe how cool, beautiful, old, orderly, neat, all the towns and cities are. The Gouda and bread are excellent too. Not to mention the pastries and the koffee. (which is more like espresso and served in small cups) And the biking! It is fantastic. The original problem wasn't finding the bike routes, but figuring out which one we were supposed to take. We got that figured now. I have learned how to ride a bike, read a map and follow directions all while trying to keep my feet out of the clips in the pedals.

And speaking of maritime. This place is full of boats. I knew there was water but all the boats - and windsurfers too.

All the equipment has held out well. Bodies too. But have certainly learned a few things to do differently next time.

Well, we are limited here on access and someone is waiting so I'll say so long for now. All is well. We will be here in Brugge until Tuesday so I"m sure I'll get to write again this time.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Phone does not work

Amster, Amster, dam dam dam

So...while I slept late this morning (confesses the old woman) Amy scouted out Haarlem. She discovered that you are required to bring your own grocery bags to the grocery store and that there is a large community garden behind the hostel.

We went to Amsterdam after lunch. Saw the red light district, lots of canals, with boats. All kinds of boats. barges and tugs, big and small and a sailboat with a mast step just like Albion! And it makes perfect sense here. (Albion's mast steps on the deck with a pivot attachment.) We learned be danka (Thank you in Dutch) and be danka I did not go to school here as I would have been an even worse speller. We also went to the Torture Museum and that was enogh culture for us. (Kitchie but with a very good political statement at the end that made it worthwhile). Also stopped in the VVV and bookstores where we found 2 fietsroute Karts that should help out a great deal here. I knew there would be bike roads, I didn't realize there would be so many,

When we returned to Haarlem (took the train to Amsterdam) we were happy to discover our bikes still safely locked amoung the million and one other bikes.

We're now tired again, but looking forward to hitting the road tomorrow.

PS Beth - We've enjoyed the stopenwaffles immensely. Amy especially thought they were /are great.

Hope all is well back in the USA

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Stayokay Haarlem

Well, we arrived. We are tired, we went 10 hours without eating.

All the plane/flight/luggage connections went perfectly.The problem came when is was time to assemble the bikes and get to Haarlem. But with help from some great Dutch people we succeeded. Bikes still need a bit of work.

There are mountains in Iceland, and none in Holland. Lots of water and all we heard about the bikes is true. They are EVerywhere and they have their own roads.


Friday, May 19, 2006

Euro Tour 2006 Agenda

  • May 29: 21:30 - Icelandair FI630 From: BOS Seat Number: 15A, 15B To: KEF

  • May 30: 21:30 - Icelandair FI502 From: KEF Seat Number: 15E, 15F To: AMS

  • May 30,31 - Haarlem, Netherlands [map] [Hostel]
    • Maps: Michelin #211, ANWB/VVV toeristenkaarten 1:100.000
    • From the Arrival Area in Terminal 3 go to the end where the car rental companies are located. Go out the door and turn right. Begin by going left on the service road opposite the Sheriton. At 0.5km you pass a fietsenstalling (bicycle parking). The red paved path is the start of the bike path. This path weaves you out of the airport area, then through a bike tunnel. Follow signs to Badhoevedorp and Amsterdam. Cycle along a farm road until Badhoevedorp.
    • At 4.4 km cross Schipholweg (N232)and turn left for Haarlem. Follow the Haarlem bike signs for 11 km.
  • June 1 - Amsterdam to Gouda 71 km (44m)
  • June 2 - Gouda to Willemstad 84 km (52m)
  • June 3 - Willemstad to Kamperland 68 km (42m - headwind warning)
  • June 4 - Kamperland to Bruges 71 km (44m)
  • June 5 - Bruges, Belgium [map] [ Hostel]
    • Maps: Michelin #213, 214
  • June 6 - Bruges to Gent 43 km (27m)
  • June 7 - Gent to Brussels 67 km (42m)
  • June 8 - Brussels to Namur 80 km (50m)
  • June 9 - Namur to Han sur Lesse 65 km (41m) [campground]
  • June 10 - Han sur Lesse to 1/2 Luxembourg 50 km
  • June 11 - 1/2 Luxembourg to Luxembourg 50 km [Hostel]
  • June 11 - Luxembourg [map]
  • June 12 - Trier, Germany [map]
  • June 13 - Luxembourg
  • June 14 - Luxembourg to Montmedy 70 km (44m) [Route map]
  • June 15 - Montmedy to Donchery 56 km (35m) [Route map]
  • June 16 - Donchery to Reims 108 km (67m) [Route map]
  • June 17 - Reims [map]
  • June 18: 14:15 - Icelandair FI543 From: CDG Seat Number: 15A, 15B To: KEF
  • June 18: 17:00 - Icelandair FI631 From: KEF Seat Number: 05G, 05H To: BOS
this is an audio post - click to play

June 16

This is the location for DHL shipping (if we decided to ship the bikes home)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

June 4

Kamperland to Bruges

Includes 30 minute late afternoon ferry that transports you across the Western Schelde [schedule]

  • From the center of Kamperland, follow the N255 to Domburg 20, Middelburg 17, and Burghaamstede 17.
  • Follow signs all the way to Middelburg
  • Middelburg makes a great lunch stop. I especially like the poffertes, tiny Dutch pancakes available at several local cafes.
  • From Middelburg, follow signs to Vlissingen, turning when necessary.
  • 27.0 As you reach Vlissingen, follow signs on the N58 to Engleland and Breskens. To reach Breskens the ferry runs every 20 and 50 minutes past the hour. Crossing cost is 2.90 including your bike.
  • As you exit the ship, follow the N58 toward Schoondijke, Sluis and Oosturg. About 3 km ahead turn RIGHT toward Groede 3, and Cadzand 11 km
  • Follow signs to Cadzand and Cluis. You'll pass Groede. Don't turn off for Cadzand-head for Sluis 6 and Knokke 15. You'll see signs for Sluis and Bruges.
  • 51.0 In Sluis, there are marked and Bruges is 18km away.
  • Follow the LF1 path left to Bruges 15 km. There's a VVV on your left just past the turnoff.
  • 53.0 Belgium. In Hoeke, continue to Oostkerke and Damme, following the LF1
  • After Damme (windmill, market) Bruges in 5 km.
  • 71.0 Bruge

Monday, May 08, 2006

June 8

Brussels to Namur

0.0 Begin from St. Michel Cathedral at the corner of Rue d"Assaut and Rue du Bois Sauvage. Follow the Rue d'Assaut to teh end of the street and bear Right. Make an immediate Left down Wolvengracht in the direction of De Brouckere; pass the main street and turn Left down rue de Laeken/Lakensenstraat; the street bcomes Poissonniers Visverkopers; keep going Straight for Mons and you are now on Rue Van Artevelde.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

June 9

Namur to Han sur Lesse 65 km (41m)

Caves of Han (Grottes de Han) of the several cave complexes in the Ardennes, this one is probably the most spectacular. Guides take visitors on an hour-long tour. The highlight is a boat ride on an underground river

Friday, May 05, 2006

Seven Sisters Hookie

Today, May 5th, was such a nice day that I took it off work and headed North to hike the Seven Sisters trail near Mount Holyoke. The trail is described as "Extremely hilly with 3,700 feet of climb consisting of many steep hills with hazardous footing in places due to the many sharp basalt rocks that comprise the elevated ridge of Mt. Holyoke." There were a few spots that I had to lift Isaiah down. Also, bike riding does really prepare one for hill climbs.

This is a view to the South off Bear Mountain.

Trillium WakerobinTrillium erectum. There were many clumps and single trilliums on the mountains. They are amazing and delicate.

Wild Columbine Aquilegia canadensis

This appears to be another variety. Don't know how well it shows in the photo, but the leaves are greyish. (Speaking of which, has anyone seen my wildflower book?)

When I wasn't looking down (at flowers and rocks) there were some great views. This one is to the Northwest. That's the Connecticut River.

All in all, it was a good hike.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

June 7

Ghent to Brussels 67km (42 m)

From Vogelmarkt (center of Ghent)
  • Follow Vogelmarkt as it changes to Brabantdam
  • Continue following signs to the R40
  • 1.0 At a roundabout, take the thrid exit toward R40 Strads Ring/Dampoort on Niewwebosstraat. The road will become cobblestone, follow it around and you'll come to Tweebruggenstraat and then cross over a bridge.
  • Continue Straight and you'll be on Kasteellaan (there will be a bike path on your right)
  • 1.7 Turn Left toward Lokeren on the N70 and Zell on the N445
  • 2.4 As you reach a roundabout, follow signs to the N44t and Destelbergen. Go under a bridge then continue to the right on the N445.
  • Continue on the N445 and you are out of Gent.
  • Follow the blue sings Right to Zele and Laarn on the N445
  • 10.5 You pass over the highway
  • 18.5 Overmere; Follow signs right for Uitbergen and Aalst
  • 21.5 Uitergen; follow signs to Wichelen 2; as you enter Wichelen (23.5) turn Left for Dendermonde on the N416
  • 32.3 Dendermonde. Follow signs Left for Dendermonde.
  • 33.0 Turn Left for Andere Richtingen. As you pass through the area, head for Brussels on the N41 and Mechelen on the N17
  • 36.3 Turn Right for Lebbeke on the N41 and Brussels on the N47
  • 40.2 Go Left for Lebbeke on the N47
  • 41.4 Turn left toward the church, then Right at Broed and Banket (Jules Buck Street)
  • 41.5 Turn Left onto Laurierstraat; the road becomes Opwijkstraat
  • 43.3 Opwijk
  • 46.5 At a roundabout after crossing a bridge, follow signs for Brussels and Vilvoorde At the next roundabout continue Straight for Brussels and Vilvoorde
  • 49.0 Turn Left for Merchtem 2
  • 50.7 Merchtem. As you head through the town turn Right for Brussels 15 on a blue sign. Ahead 100 yards make another Left for Brussels 15. Keep following signs to Brussels and Wemmel.
  • Wemmel. Head toward Brussels.
  • Brussels. Follow signs for the Centre/Centrum
  • 64.5 The Basilica.

Brussels Camping Druivenland

June 6

Bruges to Ghent 43 km (27 m)

Heart of Flanders with several small towns.

  • Start from Novotel at the corner of of Katelijnestraat and Oude Gentweg.
  • Turn Right onto Oude Gentweg
  • 0.7 At Gentpoorststraat, turn Right and head over the bridge.
  • Cross over the Buiten Gentpoortvest (a major road marked R30)
  • After crossing R30 we're on the N337 (Gen. Lemanlaan)
  • Continue straight on the N337 following signs to Knessselare and Assebroek
  • There will be a bike path along the right side.
  • 3.5 The bike path crosses the street Continue along the N337
  • 8.4 Dedelem. Continue following signs to Knesselare on the N337
  • 15.2 Knesselare
  • 16.4 Cross the N44 and join the N461 (Straight ahead) toward Ursel 4/Eeklo 13
  • 21.2 As you leave Ursel, you'll come to a stop sign. Continue Straight on the N461
  • 24.9 You'll see Jubilar de Sportsman pub on your right; turn Right.
  • Continue following signs to Hansbeke
  • Take a left just ahead on Spinhout Straat.
  • 29.9 As you reach Hansbeke, cross a white bridge. Continue into town and just before you cross the train tracks, turn left (30.4 km) Stay on the N461.
  • 32.9 Continue over a bridge, and when you reach a stop sign at 33.6, turn Right toward Drogen 7.
  • 37.8 Veer Right onto the Antoon Catrie Straat
  • 41.3 Turn Left onto the N466
  • 41.8 At a roundabout, continue Straight on the N466
  • 42.7 Cross a large bridge and enter Gent.