“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien
I had left my home in California without a clue of what it meant to bicycle 10,000 miles. Like Frodo, I had no idea where I might be “swept off to.” There was even a chance when I reached the East Coast, I might decide to head for Europe and bicycle around the world. Why not? My personal commitments were limited and my job was a maybe. Other people would eagerly step in if I didn’t return.
By the time I reached Nova Scotia, I had gone about as far as I could go east in North America, however, and had enough adventures to last a lifetime— or at least a year.
I had bicycled through rainstorms and hailstorms and snowstorms. I had been up and over three mountain ranges. I had crossed through deserts, swamps, farmlands and forests. I’d been on remote, lonely roads and on highways clogged with traffic. I’d had close encounters with 18-wheelers, cars, dogs, and a coiled rattlesnake. I had met a lot of good folks, and a few not so good. And I had toughened up. I could now bicycle 100-miles in a day with much more ease than I had bicycled 30 miles on my first day out of Diamond Springs.
So I had decided it was okay to head home. Besides, I still had 5,000 miles to bicycle! More adventures waited.
From Nova Scotia, my plan was to bicycle across New Brunswick and into Quebec. (Would my high school French suffice?) I would bike up and over the Gaspe Peninsula, cross the St. Lawrence Seaway by ferry, and then head up into remote northern Quebec before cutting south across Ontario. At Thunder Bay on Lake Superior, I would return to the US and bicycle across Minnesota. I would then bike through North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, and Nevada before finally crossing the Sierra Nevada Mountains again, having gone full circle.
Here are some photos and a map to introduce my homeward journey.
NEXT BLOG: I will finish my trip through Nova Scotia and include a detour Peggy and I made to Prince Edward Island.