For a bird’s eye view of the route that Lothar and I travelled across North America (mostly by bike), I have Welican-the-Pelican’s reports.
This is another post for my young friends and for everyone else that’s interested in a sneak peek of the cross continent part of our bicycle journey.
We rode our bikes out of our driveway in late spring 2015 with the birds singing along with us. We crossed the Canada-U.S.A. border to head south along the U.S.A. eastern coast in early fall 2015 with frost nipping at our heels. All along our journey, I’ve been furiously writing in my journal and taking photographs. So I have lots and lots of thoughts and ideas for more blog posts to come.
For now, I’ll just say that riding my bike across and down a continent is a busy adventure. There is so much to learn along the way. All kinds of interesting things pop up, change, or disappear as we travel along depending on what I’m noticing, experiencing (seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting, or touching), thinking about, or talking to someone about.
I love looking at the world through different lenses, like putting on different colours of sunglasses. Maybe, I should try pink today. Or what about blue? How about green? I can look at the world around me in just one way or I can look at it in a rainbow of ways from paying attention to the physical geography, natural history (the plant, animal, and fungispecies, and ecosystems that I see), human culture, human history and much more. It’s my choice whether I deeply experience something or I don’t. I also appreciate learning from the people we meet, experiencing how they live, and hearing about what they know and what they’re interested in. I try to connect with the people around me and our environment in lots of ways.
I feel very lucky to be doing a trip like this. I want to learn as much as I can. I hope that when you read about our journey, you’ll want to find your own way of adventuring and connecting with and understanding the world around you, whether its as mind boggling as a continent or as cozy as your favourite hiking trail. I think when people and communities feel more connected with each other and their environment, everyone lives better.
So kids, it’s time to drag out your atlases and blow the dust off them. I hope that you have fun following along our path across North America.
Note the distances that I have for each province are from me mapping our route on Google Maps so they’re just a rough estimate. I have the real distance that we rode from the odometer that Lothar has on his bike at the end of this post.
Date: 8 June to 22 June 2015
Distance we travelled: 720+ km by bike
I’m deeply connected to British Columbia, my home province. I love the diversity (many types) of landscapes and ecosystems that I can enjoy in B.C., whether out on the water or out on the land. I can’t image wanting to live anywhere else. Even so, I have to say that I don’t think it’s very nice manners to call B.C. “the best place on earth.” I think there’s probably people that live in other places that think that where they live is pretty special too.
Date: 22 June to 5 July 2015
Distances we traveled:
316+ km by bike
250+ km by hitch-biking (that what we call traveling in other peoples cars or trucks)
226+ km by bike
Date: 5 July to 14 July
Distances we travelled:
615+ km by bike
463+ km by train
Date: 14 July to 19 July 2015
See Saskatchewan for our total distance by train.
210+ km by bike
Date: 19 July to 24 July 2015
456+ km by bike
Date: 24 to 28 July 2015
253+ km by bike
28 July to 5 August 2015
517+ km by bike
5 August to 18 August, 2015
58+ km by bike
184+ km by hitch biking
145+ km by bike
40+ km by ferry
118+ km by bike
851+ km by hitch biking
27+ km by bike
Whew, we were busy!
When we got to Ontario, we started thinking more about our need to be further south before the snow flies in the north. Lothar and I have both spent time in Ontario, so we decided that we wanted to spend more of our time in Quebec and the maritime provinces where neither of us have spent much time. We’re learning that we can’t do everything, even though we want to.
18 August to 24 September, 2015
1,433+ km by bike
245+ km by ferry
Prince Edward Island
24 to 29 September 2015
210+ km by bike
118+ km by ferry
29 September to 30 September, 2015
17+ km by bus
50+ km by bike
29 September to 14 October, 2015
312+ km by bike
800+ km by hitch-bike
15 October to 17 October 2015
81+ km by ferry
118+ km by bike
Looking back on our route:
When we were planning our trip, we wanted to ride north to the Yukon and then west. I was a bit sad when we decided that we didn’t have time to ride north because I think of Alaska and the Yukon as being in my backyard. As it turned out, we barely got across North America in time to head south to stay ahead of the snow. We definitely made the right decision but I hope that one day we can ride north and west from home and beyond.
Sadly, we missed visiting Labrador and Newfoundland. I think letting go of our dreams to experience these areas was hard for both of us. Given our decision to drive less and fly less, we probably won’t make our way this far east again. Even so, I greatly appreciate and I am deeply grateful for the many colourful experiences we did have.
We’re learning that we need to find a balance between moving slow enough to experience the places and people we meet and fast enough to avoid challenges like winter. Plus, I want to make my way back home before my young friends grow up so much that I don’t recognize them or they forget who I am! I do miss my family, friends, and community. I feel lucky to be able to call northwestern British Columbia my home.
And the grand totals for this leg of our adventure are…
6,720 km by bike (by bike odometer. I have 5,784 km based on mapping plus details missed in mapping and side trips etc.)
2,565 km by train, bus, hitch-bike
518 km by ferry
9,803 km total distance
Just to give you an idea of how much we wandered around, the shortest route across Canada from Vancouver to Halifax is 5,794 km and from Victoria to St. Johns is 7,463 km
Now I can say, “Oh Canada, you are a big country!” And Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, U.S.A., I’m happy that you share beautiful Lake Superior with Canada.
I’m thrilled to report that we made it and that we both had a most rewarding and remarkable adventure. I’m so glad we did it!
Stay posted for my next posts!
I have two posts that tell the stories of all of the many people that have helped us along the way across North America and down the eastern coast and Gulf of Mexico in the U.S.A.
I also have a summary of our bicycle route south along the east coast of the U.S.A. and then west along the gulf coast into Texas where we’ll cross into Mexico. We’re just a few days from completing the eastern and southeastern U.S.A. parts of our journey…
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