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Monday, July 23, 2012

Biking in Burlington Vermont up to Montreal

Dutch Connection hits again! We have biked in Austria, Holland, Cape Cod, Vermont mountains, Georgetown and Hilton Head with the Dutch Connection over the years. Pat and Ernie Myers are former "Flint-ites", who fled to Hilton Head to avoid the winter months. We visited them on our Great Loop trip.
Pat and Ernie Myers on Crawdad in Hilton Head Harbor

Burlington Vermont (12 hour drive) is a beautiful city on its own and it is located on Lake Champlain, an expansive and well-located lake. Loopers can cruise the area by heading north up the Hudson River to Lake George and up to Lake Champlain. North from the Lake is the Richelieu Canal and the Chambly Canal to Montreal. We rode along Lake Champlain the the Canals. We can't wait to cruise the area with Crawdad.

Lots of choices in this area. High Spirits is cruising from Ottawa, on the St. Lawrence River on "the Triangle". I hope I have this right, but I believe they travel to Montreal and back down the St. Lawrence. Looks like a fabulous trip.
University of Vermont Catamount. You may ask, what is a Catamount? Beats me, but here is a picture.

Randy Anderson, our dear friend, had driven us home, so we visited with family and loaded our bikes on the bike rack he provided on the back. 12 hours to Burlington and we were on our bikes almost immediately. We had ridden a total of 61 miles before the trip on our excursions and visits to the local grocer. (The odometer on my new bike told me so!) Needless to say, we had not prepared out legs or bottoms for the rigor of biking 25-50 miles a day, but we never do! We have a pattern.  Show up and ride! Pain!
Ernie modeling Da Brim on his bike hat. Check out the website. dabrim.com

Every morning we have a meeting at 830AM we have a meeting to discuss the day. Notice Casey with her helmet with the addition of DaBrim. Discussion includes weather, choices of ride and this year updates on the demise of John Dough, the Pillsbury Dough Boy. He is survived by his wife Jane Dough, dog Fido, son Weirdo and we found out a lot more about him over the 10 days. Ray Collard updated us daily on the information he had gleaned that day.
Peaceful.
Jim found an amazing surprise, riding in 85 degree temperatures - a pile of snow, behind an ice rink!
Traveling through a corn field on a remote path we found another surprise! A tree across the path. The Dutch Connection group has experience at brainstorming our way out of a dilemma. We picked up the bikes and passed them over the tree. No problem!
Along the bike path there is an awesome tree house! Better not let the grand kids see this or you won't have time for biking!
Why is it that meals with friends when we are enjoying the water are so much better? Jan and Chester Koop, Becky Byam and Gail Burger join us for dinner as we watch the sunset on Lake Champlain.
The Shelborne Country Store is a 10 mile ride from Burlington, VT. Great stop.
Somehow Chet Koop and Dave Wittner were handcuffed to the local
Constable. Seems somewhat deserved knowing these characters!
After riding another 10 miles, we were hoping for something a bit more picturesque.
Here is the Dutch Connection athletes posing in Burlington, VT. We may not have been athletes in the beginning, but we were a lot closer after 10 days of riding. The competition (for ice cream and eating) was relentless.
Jim and I were especially interested in the waterways as we plan to travel this way soon in Crawdad.

Along the way we passed a bog surrounded with trees, each with a colorful birdhouse. The artist lived adjacent to the field and was on the beach. Curious souls that we are, we stopped to ask his purpose and he said they were tired of the mosquitoes and other bugs. At some time during the spring/summer, birds migrate and chow down all the insects. Good thinking, but a heck of a lot of work!

Bike mechanics, (and professors at Mott), Dennis Awohl and Stephanie Diane repair Stephanie's flat tire.

Casey may have been attacked by DaBrim.


With brilliant blue, we crossed the border into Canada on our bicycles. Amazingly, the crossing guards let us through! Our luggage was in a van that crossed ahead of us.

Fort Lennox was another stop. Jim and I have seen a LOT of forts through our travels.

As you can see, we travel over bridges, dirt paths, bike paths, roadways and soon to be cobblestone streets.
Part of the professional crew, my dentist Jim Williams and his partner in crime, Donna.
There are times when the leader of the pack, just needs to pray for patience.
Somebody ought to tell Jim he still has his bike helmet on his head.
We are about to enter Montreal. Riding in the ferry probably is not as exciting as riding in this buggy!
Welcome to the harbor in Montreal. Of course, Jim and I are spying out the boats in the harbor.
Bikes can be rented as this kiosk and returned at another. Very cool idea.
Riding the streets in Montreal is a bit more exciting than riding in the countryside.
We enjoyed the market,

and Ernie showed us how to maneuver through the parks.
Jim can always find free samples.

My gal pals Casey Russell and Michele Vincent.

Habitat 76 was built for the 1976 World Fair Exposition. Interesting in appearance, but apparently not well received as the design of the future.

Biosphere from the 1976 Exposition.

Is that Ernie consulting a map? Wow! Must be Gerry's influence.

Jim bought a new pair of crocs. We can always rely on Gail to assist in appropriate (or inappropriate) poses.

Montreal has so much to offer! We passed on this 6 flags park.

We did not miss the opportunity to see Montreal on the double decker bus. The sun was shining for our entire visit. In fact, we had sun every day we were on the trip!

Who are these people and what are they doing? Watching the fireworks on Saturday night! Montreal has a fireworks competition with other countries. Canada provided the show during our visit.

Walked to the subway station from our hotel.

Then rode the train to Lake Champlain.

Finally a short walk to the Ferry landing.

Back to Burlington, VT.

Many fine meals with old and new friends. We hear there is one more trip? The Netherlands again, anyone? Seems that would be appropriate for the Dutch Connection.


















Sunday, July 22, 2012

Big Sound Marina

.Next stop was Crawdad's destination for one month - Big Sound Marina in Parry Sound on the East Coast of Georgian Bay. We were off to visit elderly parents and a 10 day bike trip to Burlington, VT and Montreal. You'll see more on that later.

A drawbridge guards the south entrance to Parry Sound. The bridge tender only opens the bridge every hour on the hour. There is no traffic on the bridge, so why......


Randy having dinner with us overlooking the Sound.
This cruise to Parry Sound is delightful as the scenery is as beautiful as any area we have cruised in the past. Last year we visited Parry Sound and we are looking forward to the Grand Banks Great Lakes Rendezvous. Until that time, visiting family and biking is our priority. Got to see those grand babies, now 14 months and 6 months.


Every 10 days of cruising we need to pump out the head. We usually pump out before we enter the marina.
Jim is always in the engine room fixing something. The solenoid on the generator broke and though we have a spare (good thinking!), Jim fixed the one that had broken. Way to go!
Our friend Randy Anderson drove 7 hours to pick us up. He is such a good friend he took care of Buddy and BooBoo while we were biking. He also drove us back after the bike trip. 28 hours of driving. We owe you, Randy! Big Time!

Lots of float planes in the Georgian Bay as access to most cottages is only by boat. The service here in Parry Sound flies to Henry's Fish Camp for lunch. Beautiful trip by air!

Parry Sound Festival. Lots of people having fun.

Getting down - playing our kind of music!


Crazy people doing crazy things....rather well! I sure couldn't do this!

Another beautiful sunset - with big fireworks to follow! No pictures of the fireworks, as poor BooBoo hates fireworks and trembles at the first crack. The photographer was busy during the fireworks providing support to BooBoo.