The world awaits - The Great North American Sticky Bun Hunt - CycleBlaze

The world awaits

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THE GREAT continent of North America has many things to offer the wonderstruck tourist. The magnificence of Niagara Falls, the majesty of the Rockies, the chance of bumping into Pamela Anderson. But forgotten behind the obvious is the irresistible. What of the Dan Quayle Vice-Presidential Museum, the world's largest heap of tin cans, a museum of outdoor privies, a bank with an otter in a tank? Of such things, all of them along the Northern Tier route or fractionally off it, is North America made wonderful.

I want to see where in Montréal Charles de Gaulle stood and waved his enormous arms at the crowd and boomed "Vive le Québec! Vive le Québec... LIBRE!", occasioning a speedy retreat from Canada with, you'd hope, the hint of a blush. I want to detour to Titusville, Pennsylvania, where oil was first brought commercially gushing from the earth and the modern world began. I want to go down into a nuclear missile bunker in North Dakota, to look round the Boeing factory near Seattle, to see Judy Garland's childhood home. I want to see the whales off Anacortes, the bridge where the Sundance Kid robbed a train, the harbour at Bremerton with the holed-up American fleet. And the glory of the Canadian Rockies, the Icefields Parkway and so, so much more.

I envy Americans and Canadians who can set off and then, when they happen to get there, just take a train or a plane home. We have had our plane tickets booked since the start of December. We get nothing back if we reach the airport a day late. For that reason, I've drawn up a time table. It's down below. The dates and the towns, other than those where we have already arranged to meet friends, aren't absolutes - they are just the places we have to have passed by that day if we're to reach Calgary at the right time and without having 250km to ride on the last day. Nevertheless, it's likely we'll stick to it more or less.

I have, of course, alerted all the mayors along the route. If you're kind enough to come looking for us, you should find us easily enough by heading for the welcoming band and the mayoral rostrum. If neither of them is there, well, mayors are busy people these days.

Here's the list, then. If there are enough complaints, I'll go through it and add the states and provinces. It doesn't come obviously to me because they're of much less consequence to a European than an American or a Canadian. Added to which, it's not as though we are battling our way through virgin jungle. You'll find just about all the route just by clicking on "Northern Tier" on this site or that of the Adventure Cycling Association. And, for the inverted V through western Canada, well, there's pretty much just the one road anyway.

If you care to join us anywhere, you will be guaranteed a welcome and, if circumstances permit, a beer. I am the uglier one of the two.

Sat 1 May  Montréal   
Sun  2 May  Lurking in Montréal   
Mon  3 May  Lacolle    
Tue  4 May  Keeseville     
Wed  5 May  Crown Point     
Thu  6 May  Severance
Fri  7 May  Long Lake
Sat  8 May  Old Forge    
Sun  9 May  Boonville     
Mon 10 May  Texas    
Tue 11 May  Sodus Point    
Wed 12 May  Rochester    
Thu 13 May  Lockport    
Fri 14 May  Fort Erie
Sat 15 May  Rest day
Sun 16 May  Dunkirk
Mon 17 May  Corry
Tue 18 May  Titusville   
Wed 19 May  Erie   
Thu 20 May  Rest day
Fri 21 May  Geneva-on-the-Lake   
Sat 22 May  Cleveland    
Sun 23 May  Huron   
Mon 24 May  Gibsonburg    
Tue 25 May  Bluffton   
Wed 26 May  Celina    
Thu 27 May  Monroeville   
Fri 28 May  Huntington   
Sat 29 May  Rest day
Sun 30 May  Salamonie River Forest  
Mon 31 May  Buffalo 
Tue  1 Jun  Iroquois  
Wed  2 Jun  Odell 
Thu  3 Jun  Henry  
Fri  4 Jun  Cambridge 
Sat  5 Jun  Muscatine 
Sun  6 Jun  Rest day
Mon  7 Jun  Oxford Junction 
Tue  8 Jun  Dyersville   
Wed  9 Jun  Marquette 
Thu 10 Jun  Brownsville
Fri 11 Jun  Winona
Sat 12 Jun  Rest day
Sun 13 Jun  Lake City
Mon 14 Jun  Afton State Park
Tue 15 Jun  Osceola 
Wed 16 Jun  East Bethel
Thu 17 Jun  Rest day
Fri 18 Jun  Isle 
Sat 19 Jun  Palisade 
Sun 20 Jun  Grand Rapids   
Mon 21 Jun  Pennington 
Tue 22 Jun  Lake Itasca
Wed 23 Jun  Round Lake, Tamarac 
Thu 24 Jun  Hitterdal
Fri 25 Jun  Fargo
Sat 26 Jun  Rest day
Sun 27 Jun  Page  
Mon 28 Jun  Cooperstown 
Tue 29 Jun  Binford 
Wed 30 Jun  Fort Totten 
Thu  1 Jul  Esmond 
Fri  2 Jul  Towner 
Sat  3 Jul  Minot 
Sun  4 Jul  Rest day
Mon  5 Jul  Parshall 
Tue  6 Jul  Key's Cove 
Wed  7 Jul  Culbertson 
Thu  8 Jul  Wolf Point 
Fri  9 Jul  Spare day in case of bad weather
Sat 10 Jul  Glasgow 
Sun 11 Jul  Saco  
Mon 12 Jul  Rest day
Tue 13 Jul  Harlem  
Wed 14 Jul  Havre
Thu 15 Jul  Chester  
Fri 16 Jul  Cut Bank
Sat 17 Jul  Cardston 
Sun 18 Jul  Rest day
Mon 19 Jul  Babb
Tue 20 Jul  Lake McDonald    
Wed 21 Jul  Whitefish
Thu 22 Jul  Eureka
Fri 23 Jul  Libby Dam
Sat 24 Jul  Cabinet Gorge 
Sun 25 Jul  Sagle
Mon 26 Jul  Rest day
Tue 27 Jul  Ruby Mountain
Wed 28 Jul  Colville
Thu 29 Jul  Republic    
Fri 30 Jul  Wauconda
Sat 31 Jul  Omak
Sun  1 Aug  Rest day
Mon  2 Aug  Mazama
Tue  3 Aug  Newhalem  
Wed  4 Aug  Sedro-Woolley 
Thu  5 Aug  Anacortes
Fri  6 Aug  Port Hadlock
Sat  7 Aug  Bremerton 
Sun  8 Aug  Seattle         
Mon  9 Aug  Seattle
Tue 10 Aug  Seattle
Wed 11 Aug  Everett
Thu 12 Aug  Mount Vernon
Fri 13 Aug  Bellingham
Sat 14 Aug  Vancouver
Sun 15 Aug  Rest day
Mon 16 Aug  Mission
Tue 17 Aug  Hope
Wed 18 Aug  Lytton
Thu 19 Aug  Cache Creek
Fri 20 Aug  Kamloops
Sat 21 Aug  Rest day      
Sun 22 Aug  Barrière
Mon 23 Aug  Birch Island
Tue 24 Aug  Wolfenden
Wed 25 Aug  Canoe River
Thu 26 Aug  Mount Robson Prov Park
Fri 27 Aug  Jasper
Sat 28 Aug  Rest day
Sun 29 Aug  ?       
Mon 30 Aug  ?        
Tue 31 Aug  Lake Louise
Wed  1 Sep  Canmore
Thu  2 Sep  Cochrane
Fri  3 Sep  Calgary
Sat  4 Sep  Fly home

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