It’s been in the planning stages for months. I’ve alluded to it in several previous posts. It’s only just over a month away. So I think it’s time to elaborate on our plans for our most extensive cycling trip yet – The Grand Gaspé Tour.
This trip is Rich’s brain child. That’s nothing new, he plans most of our adventures. But the sheer magnitude of this one makes it unique.
The inspiration is his missed opportunity to take a college graduation trip. While his friends piled into old cars to cruise the USA, Rich dove right into work at his first job. It’s a decision he came to regret, and one he expects to rectify with this trip. Having taken all three of our children on graduation trips when they finished college, now it’s Rich’s turn.
Since we are now both retired, we have plenty of time. Rich took that concept literally and dreamed up a 2-month, 2,000 mile trip through the Canadian Maritimes. When he proposed it, I jumped right on board. After all, it combined my passion for fitness and love of travel.
The idea is to take small roads and hug the coastline as closely as possible, taking in the stunning scenery. It must be our Duluth upbringing – we just can’t get enough of coastline and water views. We will also visit Quebec City for the first time.
For the first week our son, Carl, and my high school friend, Myra, will be cycling with us as we travel up the cost of Maine. That week is well scripted, with reservations already in place at small motels along the way. We plan to spend an extra day in Acadia National Park, and reach the border of Canada by the week’s end.
From there on, we’re on our own. And it’s all virgin territory. We’ve never cycled with such an open agenda and flexibility before. We know that if we maintain our normal pace, doing about 60 miles a day, we could complete the route in under 6 weeks, even taking one rest day per week. But the idea isn’t to just cover the miles. We have enough extra time to allow spontaneous side trips. If we like a place, we can stay longer. If the weather turns rotten, we can wait it out. Even our end date is loose – we can extend that too, if we choose.
Some of our kids keep wondering just why we’d want to do this. Who in their right minds would spend two months on a bicycle with only the contents of their paniers? We just smile and nod, looking forward to the challenge and seeing the countryside up close, at cycling pace.
So come August and September that’s where we’ll be. On the Grand Gaspé Tour. You can’t miss us. We’ll be the ones sporting the lighthouses.