8/14/2015 Rochester to Syracruse Area- Green Lake

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The new wheel is working well. Time will tell how durable the components are, but at least they will be cheap and easy to replace if they break.

This Erie Canal trail is a treat. The Erie Canal is still used in places, and in other places it is filled in with swamp, other places made into park space, and it keeps changing. It is a very long trail, running for hundreds of miles. For your first bicycle touring experinece, it would be a decent choice. Camping is permitted all along the trail, and there are enough villages to feed at.

A small town along the Erie in the AM.

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There are not many boats ususally. This is exceptional. Early AM.

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Here is a sailboat going through one of the locks.

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OK, look closely, this is unique. This is a river bridge. It was constructed to allow users of the canal to cross the creek underneath. It was in shambles and was rebuilt recently. It is the only working water bridge on the Erie canal. Last night another cyclist pointed out that the Romans had been building water bridges that still stood. I explained they were actually aquaducts, used for transporting water- then realized he was right- he just had a very flexible mind.

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I ride over 100 miles to get to Green Lake which has a state campgrounds. I arrive about 7pm. They are full, but allow me in to take a shower. After the shower I ride back to the Canal Trail and find a grassy spot to camp. A cycling couple stops to talk. I pitch my tent in the dark, as it starts to rain. Later, the cycling couple shows up in their car with a little care dinner!

I was also escorted a nice distance around a busy shopping mall by a man retiring in a month who wants to go touring. I also meet a 67 year old touring cyclist who is trim and clean cut and fit as a fiddle. He is riding to Arizona. We swap advice on stealth camping, eating, relaxing, etc. He almost lives on his bicycle and is an inspiration.

Not to mention a touring couple Heidi and Marcus who are on a round the world tour from Austria. They have been cycling for over year and fly over the road together. We swap stories about gear and countries. Marcus is especially interested in my experiences in Tanzania. He says I am the only cyclist he has met who enjoyed Tanzania!

Finally the (former) world record holder for longest electric bike tour Troy contacts me. I am thrilled. He knows so much more than I do about battery and motor technology. He offers to help me in any way he can.

So many good people, so little time!

7/01/2013 North Cape to Mill River Provincial Park.


I awaken to the powerfull roar of the Colossus. What a thrill, to sleep in the giants shadow, to awaken to it’s voice.

But I still have arrythmia. I set off anyway. I’m working my way back south east having been to to Cape North yesterday. i’m going to follow the coast on route 12, it’s more interesting than the bicycle trail. There is almost no traffic.

At last- a ship raking for Irish Moss near Tignish. I confirm this with a strolling local.

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Again, so much beautiful water.
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The red of the island’s soil creates a surprising beach.

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The water is turbid with red soil.

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Spraying the potatoes.

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I stopped at the town of Alberton for some breakfast. I liked little Alberton, the people all said hello, and they had just stocked their little pond with fish and were having a fishing tournament. So many young people!

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But my arrythmia was really hitting hard today. I had to catch my heart by resting on hills I should have breezed up. I decided to take camp as soon as possible and made Mill River Provincial Park around 2:00PM. It is $32 for a tent site. Wifi is in the country club next door.

So I clean up and walk to the private Mill River Country Club, find a cozy spot, and enjoy the wifi. Ahhh, it is so nce to relax indoors. I feel tenson easing. Later I enjoy a rather elegant dinner in their resteraunt. I feel the tension drain, and my arrythmia leaves. Yay! So I need to treat this trip a little more like a vacation, and less like a marathon. I am used to being tough on myself, can I learn to relax? I must, or I can’t continue to cycle tour. I stopped cycling to keep from passing out, my heart in arrythmia can’t keep up with the work of cycling uphill.

6/30/2013 Chrysostome to North Cape, PEI.


I awake in the middle of the night to go pee. Wait- there’s a light just outside my tent- a flashlight- I’ve been discovered- Merde! Then the light goes away. I cautiously step outside- and am surrounded by blinking firefly fairy lights. Oh, how marvelous, it is so lovely, I jump with delight.

I awake with arrythmia, so I decide to take it easy. Fortunately there is a strong tail wind, and I can just sail along up highway 2, then cut to the bike trail in Portage.

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There are so many different wildflowers I decide I must photograph some to show you.

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I ride up to Bloomfield, and then tiring of the bike trail scenery, I cut for the coast, go sailing up lovely highway 14 and stop to visit Miminegash, the self proclaimed Irish Moss capital of the world.

But the place looks pretty dead.

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I pull over to talk to the gentlemen sitting outside the convenience store, always a good source of knoweledge. They tell me the industry has been dead for thirty years. There is another moss growing in the bay, from which carogeen can be derived, but that carogeen is green, whereas the carogeen from Irish Moss is white, which makes it a much better food aditive. They bemoan how this end of the island is emptying out, and I am sympathetic, having seen a fair percentage of empty looking homes and farms.

I decide to try and cycle to the end of the island today, North Cape, which has a large experimental wind facility.

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These guys are enormous. For me, it is like being in a cathedral to be close to such creations. Check out one blade resting on the ground:

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Another shot:

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I spend a few hours there learning all I can, soaking up the sun, and charging my laptop. When I leave, I have a hunch I can camp close to a giant, having seen a promising road. And it pans out. Can you find my tent, orange, bottom left?

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I am leaning against the base of the giant as I write this, sitting on it’s concrete pad. The tips of the blades slice the air at 70 plus mph. They sound like whips. The steel clyinder that holds up the windmill creaks and twangs and sounds like a gearbox, hums with power. This turbine is generating 330 thousand watts. The rooftop solar on my house, in comparison, generates 3 thousand watts. I am so thrilled to be on intimate terms with this most elegant expression of the good man can do.

I’ll guard it well tonight.

6/29/2013 Carlton to St-Chrysostome, PEI


I am excited to ride the Carlton Trail on Prince Edward Island. I have checked it out last night and the surface is smooth, and there are no large potholes to dodge.

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What a good trail- Good job trail builders. But like most rails to trails, the scenery is mostly uninteresting as the trail does not go through towns. It is all about potato farms.

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So I break off and ride highway 1A into Summerside after 5 miles or so. The potato industry is well, though it has a dark side. In an effort to minimize the amounts of chemicals sprayed on farmlands, the government has mandated that potatos must be rotated with other crops and can be grown only once every three years. It’s not pesticides that are sprayed, but Roundup, as the potatos don’t compete well with the amazing crush of green evident everywhere. My sourse tells me that Prince Edward Island has the highest cancer rate of Canada, and it is believed it is due to the extensive farming.

Potatoes- worth it?

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Prince Edward Island has a wonderful resource in the wind. I am heading towards the North Cape which has a wind power reseach station. Many individuals and institutions
have cast the net and wind generators are fairly common.

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Here’s another from my theme of “Churches too Big for their Community”. This is the Eglise Notre Dame, and there is an inspiring story about a mans vision.

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The minister back in 1898 had a dream of building this church, and managed to borrow seventy five thousand dollars. The church was built with all local materials, woods, bricks, labor. The loan was paid back in 30 years.

There was a blind man sitting in front as a docent. He was a wealth of information. He was Acadian, which refers to the French population that was expelled when the island became English. Later they were allowed back. His native tounge is French, and he speaks English like an Irishman. This area, north of Summerside along route 11 is the old Acadian area.

An lovely structure, an inspiring story, very cold inside.

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What can I say about the feeling here? It feels gentle, soft. The island is lushly green, very moist. The grund everywhere is hummusy. It is like a dream cycling here, mostly level, few cars, idyllic scenery. And occasionaly something odd like this pops up. Hmm, gives me an idea of what to do with all those old olive oil bottles.

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Typical landscapes

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It is hard to find a place to stealth camp. I try many spots, but the ground is too boggy. Also, there are a lot of small acreages, I think I have found a good woods, but dive in and realize it is someones yard. At last I find the right spot. I make camp, take a shower, and the sky opens up. Sigh.

6/28/2013 Borden-Carlton, PEI


Trucks roll by all night. My little nest is 300 yards off the road behind some wild rose bushes. In the morning it is still misty/rainy and I hear the slush as the trucks speed along the wet highway. But Prince Edward Island is close, and I am jazzed to get there. Besides, I have been reading Anne of Green Gables on my Kindle and am feeling perky. What would Anne do?

You can’t actually ride a bike across the bridge. You have to call for a van pickup at the visitors center. I am lucky and get a young guy who is really into a light carbon footprint, and we hit it off. I invite him to my home in Florida. I think I’ll see him again someday.

The visitors center on PEI is very helpful and I end up riding a short distance to a bonafide campground, which costs $42. I do my laundry in shifts so I have something to wear, and even wash my smelly tent. I have a little shelter to camp under, and a big piece of blue tarp provided by the manager so my tent doesn’t have to get dirty again. The game room has free wifi, so here I sit, completely comfortable, while it rains outside.

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Moose are considered to be the most dangerous animals in North America- partially because if you drive into one you hit it’s legs, causing its 1200 lb. body to crash into your windshield. I’m going to give em a wide berth.