Vacation time is finally here! Yesterday I left Ripton, Vermont for Newfoundland via a few days of cycling, a 20 hour train ride, more days of cycling, and a ferry crossing to the island. I was originally going to use my bikepacking setup and ride my Salsa Fargo, but in the end I decided on my tried and true Surly Long Haul Trucker.
Jeff decided to see me off with a morning ride over Natural Turnpike for a second breakfast at Bristol Bakery. The weather was hot and humid, but the sun was shining and there was a light south wind pushing me north. I always seem to have an interesting wildlife encounter on the first day of a bike tour and this day was no different. I was enjoying the flat peddling on a nice country road when I heard a crashing in the brush to my left. Looking over I saw a large black bear about 10 feet away, who seemed as startled by me as I was of him. He ran about 20 feet, stopped, then stood up on his hind legs for a sniff of air. Needless to say, while this was definitely a Kodak moment, personal safety won out. While I did slow down to admire this beautiful animal, the weight of my bike and the food in my panniers made stopping seem like a bad idea.
The rest of the day, while enjoyable, was rather uneventful. I stopped in Burlington to deliver a set of tires I had to my friend Dan and to see the progress on the house he and his wife Jen just bought. After that, I continued north on familiar roads to my parents house where I spent my last night in a bed for quite a while. The train from Montreal to Truro Nova Scotia leaves Wednesday evening, so I will spend the next two days casually riding north.