Now here’s my plan - In the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies - CycleBlaze

January 31, 2019

Now here’s my plan

Around Sauvie Island, again

After reading of fellow bikers suffering through the polar vortex back east and a month of 45C agony in Australia’s historic heat wave, I almost feel guilty today as Rachael and I bike out to Sauvie Island.  You could hardly prescribe better conditions for a midwinter ride here - blue skies, pleasantly cool, almost still.  Much different than the foggy day we experienced here last week.  It looks like we’ve had our fun for awhile though - the rains return tomorrow and look like they’ll stay around for awhile, perhaps bringing some ice and snow with them.  Enjoy the good times while they last.

Descending from the Sauvie Island Bridge, Mount Saint Helens dominates the skyline.
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North on Sauvie Island Road. This seven mile dead end spur is my favorite part of the island.
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The view across the lavander farm
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Freshly plowed
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Some ridge beef
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Steve Miller/GrampiesChalk up a like for cattle photo!
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/GrampiesMoo!
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2 months ago
Jen GrumbyAll that's missing is the Singing Cycling Cowboy!
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2 months ago
Looking north toward Rocky Point. We’ll have to take our climbing legs out of storage before long and head up there.
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Multnomah Channel
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Multnomah Channel
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I’ve not noticed before how similar horsetail looks compared to bamboo.
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This must be backbreaking work. It makes me tired just looking at it.
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Now here’s my plan

I’ve been wrong about this Shel Silverstein cartoon all my life, which I remember from my childhood. I’ve always thought it was published in the New Yorker, but it was in Look instead.
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Of course we have a plan for our spring tour.  We’ve had it for months, letting it slowly evolve and mature from the initial rough vision.  It’s finally settled enough now that we’re at last willing to let you in on it.  We’re going to Sicily (again), of course; but there’s more than that - much more.  So much more in fact that Sicily isn’t even the main part of the tour.   So it doesn’t really make sense to name it Around Sicily, again when Sicily is just a fraction of the trip.  Instead, we’re going on the Giro di Mezzogiorno.  Mezzogiorno is a/the term for southern Italy from about Naples south, which roughly defines the scope of our tour.  

We’re flying into and will return from Palermo, and will begin with this five week meander through Sicily:

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It should be a fine tour, combining several of our favorite roads and destinations from our first visit with parts of the island we missed before.  That’s one of the beauties of cycle touring - even in a five week tour of a fairly small region, you can’t see everything in one pass.  You can go back again and again and keep finding something new and wonderful.

At the end, we will leave Sicily from its eastern extremity by catching the short ferry to the toe of Italy’s giant boot.  From there we’ll bike up the Calabrian coast to Tropea, where we hope to catch a boat across the strait to Stromboli for a day or two before continuing north to Scalea.  Then, we’ll cross the ankle (through mountainous Basilicata) east to the heel, Puglia.  Then north along the Adriatic coast before crossing west (through mountainous Basilicata again) past Pompeii to Sorrento.  We’ll end our tour of Mezzogiorno by following the Tyrrhenian coast south past Amalfi and Pollino, ending at Maratea again.  From there we’ll catch the train back to Palermo for our flight home.

Good plan?

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Andrea BrownWhat a great plan!
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2 months ago
Jacquie GaudetLooks like a fantastic plan!
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Andrea BrownWe think so too. We’d be ready to go now, if we didn’t have to wait around for dinners with friends and family and a film festival. I’m especially excited to bike through Basilicata - partly because we’ve never been there, but mostly because it has a reputation for gorgeous , untrafficked mountain roads and crumbling hilltop villages.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jacquie GaudetEspecially nice that we won’t need to post our suitcases forward this time. We should bike closed loops more often.
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2 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesJust snapping your attention way back to 11 days in January last year - when you were on Hawaii: My attention wandered there tonight, and I realized that I did not know the final outcome of the Spring and Summer eruptions of Kilauea. I got myself updated, and figured I would write an update for when Grampies had been there. To get the context, I used the Cycleblaze Search and looked for "Pahoa". Without thinking much, I landed on your January 6 entry, and assumed it was one of ours.

Scrolling through, I was struck by how good "my" photography seemed to have been in the old days. But waitaminute, those aren't my shots! Oh, it's that graphic genius Scott. Hmpphh.
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2 months ago
Suzanne GibsonGreat plan, you two!
Before you disclosed that you weren't limiting yourselves to Sicily, I was about to congratulate you on choosing a smaller area to do in depth. Oops, I should have known better, that you would have something grander in mind. And you are right, there is so much you shouldn't miss in the Mezzogiorna as long as you're there. Janos and I cycled in Puglia years ago. I know you'll love it - or have you been there already as well?
Looking forward to your journal and pictures and videos very much!
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Suzanne GibsonWell, it’s a pretty small area. Only about a third of one skinny country in three months - it almost qualifies as slow traveling, doesn’t it? And yes, we have been to Puglia, also a long while back now. In 2005 we started in Puglia and ended up in Sardinia. Puglia is great for a spring trip - it’s shown up on the planning board a dozen times since then but never quite made the final cut. It will be great to see it again.
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2 months ago
Jen GrumbyI can only imagine how excited the GBO is for this next adventure!

Oh, the places it will see!
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2 months ago