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cycling trip Odyssey 2015: Sea to Shining Sea Cycling Tour NEWjersey


(59 days, 58 nights; Mon - Wed)

Whole Tour
June 8-Aug 5

Segment 1
June 8-July 5

Segment 2
July 6-July 20

Segment 3
July 21-Aug 5

Assembly Point: Neah Bay, WA

(airline service to Seattle, Timberline van shuttle from Seattle to Townsend prior to tour. This tour ends in Bar Harbor, ME)

Meeting time: 6/8 airport 1:30pm, hotel 2pm Drop off time: 5pm

Tour Cost: $16,000

(includes all lodging, breakfasts and dinners, park entrance fees, support van, transfers, leaders, tour maps, narratives & jerseys)

Single Occupancy Lodging Cost: $3,235

Every year the Odyssey cycling tour is our signature voyage.  The goal is to balance the physical challenge with a bucket list experience.  To many it becomes a quest.  In the last 16 years the Odyssey Series has;

Arguably the grandest Odyssey was our cross-country ride in 2010.  Even as we basked in the warm feelings of achievement, it was clear at some point, we would be compelled to ride our bikes across the North American Continent again because it is the dream of every touring cyclist, and a truly an irresistible challenge.  After all such a quest inspired Jack Kerouac to write his epic trip novel On the Road (recommended Odyssey reading).

And so, in the year ahead, in the context of Odyssey 2015, the time has come again to ride from Sea to Shining Sea.  From the northwesterly-most point in the lower 48 at Neah Bay, WA, to Bar Harbor, ME, we’ll ride just shy of 4,000 miles across the North American Continent in a 59-day life-defining (forgive a bit of hyperbole?), but, for sure, a never-to-be-forgotten adventure of a lifetime.

We’ve chosen a route that is neither the shortest nor the easiest of the alternatives out there to cross the continent.  But the scenic quality, along with the quality of cycling and utter absence of urban chaos from beginning to end of our route,  are without equal among those many alternative choices.  Grab a map and trace our course through Washington on remarkable State Highway 20,Glacier Park and Montana’s Highline, the wild beauty of North Dakota, the lake country of Minnesota and Wisconsin, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Mackinac Island, the rolling rural countryside of Ontario, Stratford’s Shakespearian Festival, a touch of French Quebec and a layover day to cross the St. Lawrence and play tourist in Montreal, New York’s Lake Champlain, northern Vermont and New Hampshire, our lobster feast in Belfast, ME, preceding our heroic ride into beautiful Bar Harbor, and a tour of Acadia National Park on our final day which starts with a sunrise from atop Cadillac Mountain ---this is the essence of Odyssey 2010.  And, more than anything, we hope that we’ve conveyed our commitment that this is definitely not a “put-your-head-down-and-crank-out-the-miles” experience.  Excitement is so high for this ride that we are producing a special jersey to commemorate the experience for the participants.

As we’ve done with past odysseys, for those unable to commit to the full 59-day ride, participation in Sea-to-Shining-Sea is possible in three segments of unequal duration (segments have been determined by transportation issues):

Contact us for details relative to participation in selected segments.  There is some flexibility for guests to join at different times with the transportation challenge lurking in the background of every such conversation, call us and we will do our level best.  Group size will be limited to a maximum of 12 participants.

As though there remained any doubt, we could ramble on forever as we attempt to detail all of the “nuts and bolts” of Odyssey 2015.  The better choice, if we’ve whetted your appetite, would be to contact us by phone or e-mail and we’ll fill in the gaps, including a day-by-day itinerary.  Most of all, know that we hope to share with at least some of you still reading this, what we expect will be among the great adventures of our lives.

Detailed Segment Descriptions

Segment 1: Pacific to the Great Plains, (28 days) $7,868 SO $1,589

The western end of the Sea to Shinning Sea Odyssey begins at sea level and offers large expanses of mountains, the Great Plains, and some beautiful farmland areas in between.  We begin in Neah Bay, Washington, which is the northwesterly most point in the lower 48, after dipping our wheels in the Pacific, we are off.  At the start, the combination of lush forest and ocean feeds and moistens the soul. Heading eastward along the rushing Skagit River, you carry that feeling up to the top of Rainy and Washington passes in the Cascade Mountains. Descending to the east side of the Cascades brings you into the drier part of the state and the widely known orchard country of the Okanogan Valley. Leaving this valley, you'll be climbing and descending several more passes full of ponderosa pines and finding many sleepy farming communities along the rivers you cross. The river valleys tend to run in a north-south direction across the northwestern part of the United States, and because the route travels west to east, you will be working your way up and down. There are plenty of towns, rivers, lakes, mountains and forests in eastern Washington, Idaho, and western Montana until you reach Cut Bank on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains.

The spectacular Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park is a hard climb, but well worth it for the scenery.  Cut Bank is the beginning of the Great Plains, and from here on we'll start praying for tailwinds.  Heading eastward – our direction, tailwinds predominate in the summer. We’ll follow the Milk River from Havre, Montana eastward. The plains of Montana eventually transform into the green rolling hills of western North Dakota. From Glendive, Montana to Bismarck, North Dakota sunflowers are everywhere, and they become the crop of choice as the terrain flattens out in eastern North Dakota. Fargo is located on the banks of the Red River, on the border of North Dakota and Minnesota.  Our first segment ends in Bainerd, Minnesota after the obligatory picture with Paul Bunyan, of course.

Segment 1 Itinerary

Day 1 (Assembly): Seattle; van shuttle to Neah Bay, WA  
Day 2 Neah Bay—Port Angeles 70 miles
Day 3

Port Angeles-Dungeness Spit-Sequim-Port Townsend-ferry to Whidby Island- Oak Harbor-Deception Pass-Fidalgo Island-La Conner

90 miles
Day 4 La Conner—Mt. Vernon—Marblemount            62 miles
Day 5

Marblemount-Newhalem-North Cascades N.P.-Ross Lake-Rainy Pass (4,855’)- Washington Pass (5,477’)-Mazama-Winthrop

88 miles
Day 6 Winthrop-Methow River-Twisp-Omak-Wauconda Summit (4,310’)-Republic 110 miles
Day 7 Republic-Sherman Pass (5,575’)-Kettle Falls-Colville 54 miles
Day 8 Colville—Tiger—Pend O’Reille River—Priest River, ID 89 miles
Day 9 Priest River, ID—Sandpoint—Lake Pend O’Reille—Libby 120 miles
Day 10 Libby--Kalispell 88 miles
Day 11 Kalispell—Columbia Falls—West Glacier—Glacier N.P.—Apgar 35 miles
Day 12

(Option A: If Going-to-the Sun is open): Apgar--Going-to-the-Sun—Logan Pass (6,646’)—St. Mary—Looking glass “Hill”—Two Medicine—East Glacier                                                                                                      
(Option B: If Going-to-the-Sun is closed): Apgar—West Glacier—Essex—Maria   Pass (5,213’)—East Glacier                                                 

76 miles    

58 miles

Day 13

East Glacier—layover day (hiking options at Two Medicine); overnight at Glacier Park Lodge

Day 14 East Glacier—Browning—Cut Bank—Shelby 68 miles
Day 15 Shelby—Havre                                   104 miles
Day 16 Havre—Malta 85 miles
Day 17 Malta—Glasgow 70 miles
Day 18 Glasgow—Wolf Point 55 miles
Day 19 Wolf Point- Circle-Glendive 100 miles
Day 20 Glenive - Dickinson 90 miles
Day 21 Dickinson - Bismarck/Mandin 97 miles
Day 22 Bismarck/Mandin - Napoleon 77 miles
Day 23 Napoleon - Jamestown 77 miles
Day 24 Jamestown - Enderlin 40 miles
Day 25 Enderlin - Fargo 60 miles
Day 26 Fargo to Park Rapids 60 miles
Day 27 Park Rapids to Walker 60 miles
Day 28

Walker-Paul Bunyan Paved State Bike Trail-Brainerd                      END OF SEGMENT 1                                                                       

56 miles

Segment I mileage  1,981



Segment 2:  Great Plains to Great Lakes (15 days) $4,215, SO $851

Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan stand out as some of the greenest and lushest of all the states along the route. This greenery proves to be a relief from the giant plains to the west and acres of farmland to the east.

Minnesota has become perhaps our most cycling-friendly state.  The cyclist is not a second -class citizen in Minnesota; how refreshing it is to realize how cycling has been recognized as a cherished, protected mode of travel.  The state’s network of paved, long-distance bicycle trails is without equal in the U.S.  We will take full advantage of this as we cross Minnesota on our way to Wisconsin.

We will have plenty of opportunities to sample the famous Wisconsin brats as we cycle the Northern part of the state.  We enter Michigan at the very top of the Upper Peninsula.  The Great Lakes are vast bodies of water---not oceans, for sure, but as you gaze across their waters, who would ever know?  And, in every sense, the quaint lake side villages that dot the shorelines of Michigan are no less charming (and maybe, with their Midwestern grace, even more so) than those that mark the Oregon and California coasts.  Mackinaw Island is the personification of this charm, which we will experience on our well-deserved layover day.

Canada awaits, we will cross the St Clair River on the Blue Water Bridge to Sarnia and ultimately Stratford home of the Stratford Festival, a huge Shakespearian theater.  Perhaps you will take the opportunity to attend a play during the Layover Day.

Segment 2 Itinerary

Day 29

Brainerd—Layover Day —BEGINNING OF SEGMENT 2

Day 30

Brainerd-Garrison-Mille Lacs-Finlayson-Munger Paved State Bike Trail--   Hinckley

88 miles
Day 31 Hinckley, MN—Minong, WI—Hayward 71 miles
Day 32 Hayward—Field—Minocqua 92 miles
Day 33 Minocqua, WI—Eagle River—Iron River, MI 65 miles
Day 34 Iron River—Escanaba 88 miles
Day 35 Escanaba—Manistique 48 miles
Day 36 Manistique—St. Ignace—ferry to Mackinac Island            88 miles
Day 37 Mackinaw Island—Layover Day  
Day 38 Mackinaw Island—ferry to Mackinaw City—Cheboygan—Rogers City 56 miles
Day 39 Rogers City—Alpena—Oscoda 86 miles
Day 40 Oscoda—Tawas City—Bay City 85 miles
Day 41 Bay City—Lexington 85 miles
Day 42 Lexington—Port Huron—Cross Bluewater Bridge—Sarnia, ON—Grand Bend 6 miles
Day 43

Grand Bend—St. Marys—Stratford                                                    END OF SEGMENT 2                             

82 miles

Segment 2 mileage 1,000 miles



Segment 3: Great White North to the Atlantic(16 days) $4,215 SO $990

We will spent the next week in Ontario heading North paralleling Lake Ontario and the historic and powerful St Lawrence river.  We bid farewell to the Great Lakes in that dominated much of the geography during our last segment in Kingston.  The dynamic presence of the St Lawrence River will satisfy anyone’s desire for aquatic vistas.

The Route Verte in Quebec will guide us to Montreal.  The Route Verte is the multi year program by the Province to establish a cyclist’s dream with a network of roads and resources for cyclists.  We will take another well-deserved layover day in the Paris of the New World, Montreal.  After enjoy the delights of French Canada we will cross back to the US.

The overlooked beauty and character of upstate New York is our next stop.  Lake Champlain dominates the geography of this part the country.  After a short ferry ride over the lake, you are in New England, cycling through Vermont farmland, forested hills, and picturesque villages. In New Hampshire, the route follows the Canadian Border, passing through the villages of Newport that sits on east shore of Lake Memphremagog - a 27-mile long lake that straddles the US and Canadian border and Dixville Notch, a classic New England village with its fenced village commons and old homes. Entering Maine, you'll traverse forests and fields, arriving at Belfast on the coast, where Young’s Lobster Pound will fill us with fresh lobster (or anything else).  Young’s is a 4th generation business where Raymond always takes great care of us. 

Allow time to savor the quintessential ambiance of the coastal towns. Before crossing the Penobscot River, stray off route to visit Ft. Knox, an exceptionally well-preserved unused Revolutionary War fort. Finally, we can’t end our trip without cycling Acadia National Park, viewing a sunrise from atop Cadillac Mountain and of course dipping our wheel in the Atlantic. The park is near the town of captivating town of Bar Harbor, at the end of the route.  We will enjoy a lovely last meal to celebrate an adventure well taken.

Segment 3 Itinerary

Day 44

Stratford - Layover Day—BEGINNING OF SEGMENT 3

Day 45 Stratford—Linwood—St. Jacobs—Elora 55 miles
Day 46 Elora—Fergus—Orangeville—Loretto—Newmarket 72 miles
Day 47 Newmarket—Oshawa—Waterfront Trail—Port Hope 90 miles
Day 48 Port Hope—Wellington—Picton 80 miles
Day 49 Picton—Bath—Kingston—Gananoque 75 miles
Day 50 Gananoque-Thousand Island Parkway-Brockville-Cornwall 100 miles
Day 51 Cornwall-Enter Quebec-Route Verte- Montreal 62 miles
Day 52

Layover Day (Tour Montreal)

Day 53

Montreal—Napierville—Re-enter U.S.A.—Rouses Point- Cross Lake Champlain—Swanton, VT

72 miles
Day 54 Swanton—Enosburg Falls—Montgomery Center—Jay Peak—Newport   65 miles
Day 55

Newport-Derby Center-Island Pond-Bloomfield-Colebrook, NH-Dixville Notch

64 miles
Day 56 Dixville Notch-Errol, NH-Wilton, ME 74 miles
Day 57 Wilton—Belfast 79 miles
Day 58 Belfast—Bucksport—Ellsworth—Bar Harbor 58 miles
Day 59 Tour of Acadia National Park, explore Bar Harbor; afternoon shuttle to Portland, ME, Airport Total Segment III mileage---946

Total cycling mileage — 3,927 miles


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Routes, mileage and accommodations are subject to change due to safety, road/trail conditions, weather and availability.