Monday, August 22, 2011

Buffalo to Bar Harbor - Prologue

Tour Leader - Emperor Lee

Cycling from Buffalo to Bar Harbor, concluding in Portland, Maine. What an amazing tour!

The 5-week tour took place between July 10th and August 18th.

First and foremost, let me give Herb Lee the highest of accolades for conceiving, organizing, and leading this tour. He did a magnificent job in all respects.

Herb laid out a route that hit many of the major points of interest in New England.

We flew into Buffalo and visited Niagara Falls, followed the scenic Niagara River to Lake Ontario, and along the shores of Lake Ontario. We headed southeast to the Finger Lakes region, and then northeast to 1,000 Island State Park along the St. Lawrence Seaway. We continued east to Burlington, VT, down to Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain, then east into the Green Mountains of VT and White Mountains of NH. Finally, we crossed ME easterly to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, concluding with a ride to Portland. We flew back to Sacramento from Portland.

The total distance was 1,360 miles, averaging 45 miles/day. The route was very mountainous and hilly and we climbed a whopping total of 60,100'.

The tour encompassed 40 days and we camped 16 nights, motelled 21 nights, and stayed at the Bronk home 2 nights.

Besides Herb and myself, the tour participants included Bob Anderson from Santa Rosa, Jay Okada from Los Osos, and Tom Gamage from Watertown NY.

I jokingly referred to this tour as Emperor Lee's Kung Pao Chicken Tour. We hit as many Asian eateries we could find.

Touring with Technology

Smart-phones and GPSs have revolutionized the way we cycle tour. Herb wore out his I-Phone with way-finding, finding and reserving campgrounds and motels, and good eateries.

Most of the tour was determined on the fly so high technology pointed the way to cycle-friendly roads and minimized the grief of getting lost.

The photo-journal blog is organized with the major points of interest having separate entries:

Niagara Falls
Watkins Glen Gorge
Bronk Home Vist/Lake Skaneateles
Antique Boat Museum
1,000 Island State Park
Ft. Ticonderoga
Acadia National Park/Bar Harbor
Great Dogs
Movie Houses

Photos of "Places in Between" follow with 5 entries.

A plug for Bike Fridays. Herb and I toured with our folding bikes.
This is the 3rd tour which involved flying and I can't say enough about the convenience of schlepping a Bike Friday on an airplane, let alone the cost savings.

My Pocket Rocket ROCKS!

To view the entire tour, continue to scroll down or click on "older posts" to the end.

Happy travels!!

For enlarged view, click once/twice on pic

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Niagara Falls

Below American Falls

Our first stop - Niagara Falls

Bob, Herb, Tom, and Jay

We meet up with Tom Gamage, a friend of Herb's from Watertown, NY, at Niagara Falls. He rode from his home and met us at the Falls.

View of City of Niagara Falls on the Canada side

Beautiful parkland promenade on the Canada side

Rainbow Bridge over Niagara River connecting Canada and US

Observation Tower provides great views of both falls

Edge of Horseshoe Falls (Canada-side)

A popular photo spot

View of American Falls (US side). Bridal Veil Falls to right.
American Falls drops 70-100' and is 1,060' wide.

Overlook at American Falls (above and below)

"Mist Trail" below American Falls

View of American Falls (near) and Horseshoe Falls (distant).

The Niagara Falls are the most powerful waterfalls in North America.
The waterfalls are situated on the Niagara River which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario.

Niagara Falls is composed of two sections separated by Goat Island: the Horseshoe Falls on the Canada side and American Falls on the US side. The smaller Bridal Veil Falls are located on the American side.

The lads at Goat Island overlook. Goat Island separates American and Horseshoe Falls.

Another view of Goat Island

View of Horseshoe Falls overlook from the US side

Switch-back ramps below American Falls

View of ramps below Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls from boat

Taking "Maid of Mist" boat ride into Horseshoe Falls

The Blue Man Group

Tom and Jay


They don't call it Maid of the Mist for nothing!

Full speed ahead! Let's get outta' here!

One of about half-dozen tour boats

Maid of Mist at base of Horseshoe Falls.

Horseshoe Falls drops 173' and is 2,600' wide.

End of the rainbow

The "Fisherman's Wharf" Entertainment District of Niagara Falls City is pretty garish but is popular with young families

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Watkins Glen Gorge

The Gorge is located in the Watkins Glen State Park near the edge of the Village of Watkins Glen NY. The Gorge is south of Seneca Lake, which is one of the Finger Lakes.

The Gorge is about a mile long, 400' deep, and created by a stream cutting through sandstone and limestone rock over the last 12,000 years.

The trail follows the narrow chasm over stone-arched bridges and by many cascading waterfalls and pools of water.

On a really hot day, this was a really COOL place!

The Gorge is Gorgeous!!

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Lake Skaneateles (Finger Lakes) & Bronk Home Visit

The 2 day visit to Tom's relatives was a highlight for all of us. What gracious and delightful people. The timing of the visit couldn't have been better. On the road for 10 days and temps hitting 100+ degrees with dripping-wet humidity. It was time for a layover day.

We were hosted to a couple great BBQs, went swimming in the lake, treated to a fantastic boat tour, and just lazing around for a couple days.

Thanks to Mary Beth, Jeff, Margaret and the rest of the family for hosting us. It was great to meet you and really enjoyed the talks and fun times. Indulging in the gracious lifestyle of Lake "Skinny-atlas" for a couple days was just what the doctor ordered.

Jeff took us on a boat ride around the Lake

Time to hop in!

A family pulling in as we were leaving

Lake Skaneateles, one of the Finger Lakes, is surrounded by upscale homes. The boathouses were particularly cool.

I could live here!

Tara on the lake

Look like a giant dollhouse

The big estate on the Lake

The townhomes in the village of Skaneateles

Even the church has a lake-front view

A magnificent new compound with matching boathouse

Jeff, in the middle, gave us a running narrative of the people and history of the Lake

Tough life, heh guys?!

It doesn't get much better than this . . .

Jeff and Mary Beth's home overlooking the Lake. Our base camp for 2 days. Herb and Tom decided to camp out on the back 40.

A lovely BBQ on the deck w/ the fam - Margaret, Mary Beth, Chip, Ellen, Conner, Thomas (?), and Jeff

Next evening, dinner at Chip and Ellen's home

Margaret (Tom's sister), Ellen, and Tom

A great view from the house

Kickin' back on the deck

On our lay-over day, we take stroll thru the Village

Grand homes in the Village

A lake-side park

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