Mystic to Block Island

Margot’s welcoming flower arrangement.

 

We stayed overnight in Mystic with Tim’s sister Margot,

and her husband Peter (and dog Champ) and daughter Mallory (not pictured).

We caught up on family news and talked about Peter’s business (Smith-McArdle) in Mystic.

Tim produced pictures of our visit to Larkin relatives in Ohio, so many years ago.

After an excellent breakfast, we hit the road again. . .

Only to stop two miles down the road for a pit stop. Tim decided we had let the tires go too long without a refill. More pressure means less pedal-pushing for greater speed. It also means bumps are harder but that’s the price you pay.

 

He also greased and cleaned the chain—which hadn’t broken in over three days. So far, so good. Take care of that drive train!

 

Back on the road again we passed through Westerly. On the east side of Westerly we started looking for “Sandy’s”—a recommended stop for good treats. Unfortunately our GPS decided we should take a more scenic route (which had been helpful along the way to keep us out of traffic) and by the time we realized what was happening and got back on Route 1 (forget scenic—we just want to get there) we found that we missed it.

Instead we stopped for Rhode Island style clam chowder (no tomato and no cream) and some fried scallops. It was an OK replacement for ice cream—really it was.

And at last we did what we had set out to do. We reached the ferry at Point Judith, in time for the 3:00 ferry to Block Island.

There is something about having worked so hard before arriving at our place of paradise that makes the whole experience that much better.

 

We have arrived safe and sound at the Schneider House and have had a pleasant visit with the owners, Sheila and Jack. We’re looking forward to two weeks walking, riding, reading, taking photographs, and visiting with Tim’s brother Andy and his wife Anneke, who are arriving for a short island visit. I’ll combine the days from time to time and keep you posted. I love to share the joys of Block Island.

Thanks for all your encouragement along the way!

 

Sheila’s roses. There are LOTS of roses in bloom right now on Block Island.

Old Saybrook to Mystic

Tim has been very good about sending blogs as we go. I kept up pretty well until we neared the shore. Must be the air, but I didn’t want to do much more than look at pictures and hit the sack each night. Now that we have reached Block Island and are happily enconced at the Schneider House, 554 Center Road, I’ll see if I can catch up.

Tim promised more about the missed ice cream opportunities between Old Saybrook and Mystic. This happened because we stayed overnight at the Comfort Inn, Old Saybrook. It was a wonderful place to stay, and I would stay there again EXCEPT we left too early to find any of the ice cream shops open. Since you haven’t been able to taste the ice cream anyway, you could still benefit from a photo survey of three ice cream shops between Old Saybrook and Mystic. There may be more of them, but these are the three we saw.

Here’s the first: Old Lyme Ice Cream Shoppe. A short detour out of our way, but a lovely ride. We learned about this ice cream (and tried some) at the Pilot House. We arrived around 10am.

Next, again too early, we visited Hallmark. We have tried their ice cream on other trips—wonderful!

We hadn’t heard about this one, but I’m sad to say, it too was closed. (Open means open for the season, not necessarily open now) We were hungry by this time, so we bought a snack at the convenience store next door.

Next the ride through New London. I love this ride. I think I have asked Tim to stop for this picture before, but oh well, I did it again. For our friend Christina.

Highlights of New London—at least from my point of view

Tim sitting by the Mystic River and composing a blog entry.

Highlights of Mystic

Another leg of our trip completed. We have arrived at Tim’s sister and brother-in-law’s house on Mason’s Island in Mystic. More in my next blog about our final ride to the ferry at Point Judith.

Cromwell to Old Saybrook

We left the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cromwell at about 10:00 this morning. I like the room, the food, the people, and the streets behind the hotel, but I don’t like the road we used to get there. There was so much traffic that we used the button at the crosswalk to get to the other side of the road. I have to thank the people who run the hotel for thinking about pedestrians. Now that I think of it, we might have worked our way past the back gate and found a quieter route. Another time.

 

As Tim has reported, it was a lovely day. The wind was behind us and there wasn’t a hint of rain. The pictures above show my impression of Middletown. Wide roads and interesting buildings. It’s fun to ride through town and I always enjoy it. We passed the bike shop this year—no need for repairs—at least that we know about.

Next (after stopping to make the post about the thin men of Haddam) we stopped (as reported) for ice cream. We often stop at the Pilot House, and we weren’t disappointed. Great ice cream!

After Joe invited us to dinner, Tim wanted to stop to buy a shirt. He left his only t-shirt in Norfolk (not on purpose of course) and the bike shirt wasn’t what he wanted to wear for dinner. We stopped in Deep River and I sat on a bench near the trike while Tim went shopping. Remember Tim’s discription of the young man who made an unfriendly gesture earlier today? I want you to know that 99.9% of the people we meet are just the opposite. Friendly and curious, with waves, beeps, and thumbs up. The pictures above show just one small episode in our daily life on the road. In the top picture Tim is returning to the trike with his new shirt. Note the two people walking behind him. In the bottom picture the man has stopped and started a conversation. He was interested in the tandem trike, and after seeing our Cornell flag related that he is in our class—the class of ’69. We didn’t know him, but enjoyed the short conversation. Travel in an unusual way and you get a chance to meet new people.

It’s possible that we could have kept going for a 50 or 60 mile ride today, but we’re glad we didn’t. It seems that the closer we get to the beach, the more we begin to feel like we are on vacation. 34 miles was perfect. We look forward to dinner with Joe and Jane tonight.

Windham to Hillsdale

Tim kept you up to date with our progress so I’ll fill in a bit and call it a day. Here’s Tim’s method of transporting the trailer wheel from the bike shop back to the Thompson House, riding the tandem solo. Who needs a stoker?

 

WhileTim was cleaning and doing bike repairs this morning, I was cleaning the luggage. The ghost hand helped clear away the last of the road grit.

Hyalophora cecropia – thanks Tom (and others) for the information. Here is one of the pictures I took as Tim patiently waited on the trike (and sent you the picture he took).

 

Two opposable thumbs (and the rest of the fingers) at work replacing the tire and the tube after we were “screwed.”

My hand hanging on as Tim stands (right under the no standing or stopping sign) to take a picture from the bridge over the Hudson.

I decided on the second day that I would stop trying to take pictures from the back of the moving tandem with my iPhone. I don’t have any kind of strap to keep it attached in case I drop it. I figured I could make up for it when we we were stopped. But these trucks called to me on Route 23. I asked for a slow down so I could take a quick snap of these beauties.

 

 

The GPS told us to leave Route 23 and take Route 82 south, followed by a few other turns until we rejoined 23 in Hollowville. We have never tried this before, and it was a wonderful detour. Quiet, scenic, not too hilly. A real treat we hope to repeat again in the future.

We rejoined Route 23 in time to spy a favorite shop along the road and arrived in Hillsdale just at suppertime. Pizza restored the energy – at least enough to get us to the Holiday House Motel across the street from the Four Brothers Pizza Inn. Early to bed – at least for Tim, while I finish up my contribution for the day.

Thanks again for your encouragement, weather reports, extra information, and comments. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tomorrow on to Norfolk, Connecticut. The trip continues.

 

Brooktondale to Oneonta: June 7 and 8

You’ve read of Tim’s trials while waiting for me to be ready to leave, so I will spare you further details.

 

 

 

I planned to give all sorts of other details of our trip—first to Afton (55 miles) and the next day to Oneonta (33 miles). I experimented with the iPhone camera.

Pictures of friends’ houses

Pictures of strangers’ houses

Pictures of friends! We met Dan and Linda Finlay while having lunch in Whitney Point.

Points of interest along the road

Experiments with my iPhone lenses:

Details of wonderful meals along the way. If you stop here for lunch, you can listen to a lesson in Italian while using the restroom.

But hours of pedaling, and relearning the blog program, and reviewing the editing program, and finding a new resizing program, and uploading methods have taken their toll.

 

We had two excellent days of riding:

Saturday promises rain (but not all the time). Our hope is to skip between the showers which means we once again make an effort to start early—breakfast at Denny’s in Oneonta and off before the showers begin. I’ll let you know how we make out.

Thanks to all for your kind words and encouragement!

 

Block Island – What do you do there?

As a retired teacher I have created a life which is incredibly full. It’s amazing how many things there are to do when I am not at work 40-50 hours a week. At home I have a calendar and relish a day when I find there are no appointments, meetings, scheduled volunteer work etc etc. I love my life at home, but sometimes wonder what it would be like to have nothing required—at least for a while.
Continue reading Block Island – What do you do there?