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Old 08-22-08, 06:53 PM   #1
Tom Bombadil
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50+ Autumn Vacations / Trips / Plans ?

Given the advice of another thread that we should not put things off ...

Anyone going on vacations or trips or big plans around your home?

I'll kick off the thread - I'm planning two vacations:

1) Heading to Yellowstone & Utah in mid-September for 9 days. Plan on spending 5 days in Yellowstone & doing a lot of hiking. Won't have a bike with me and I doubt they have many trails that I could ride. Then spending a couple of days in the Salt Lake / Provo area with good friends, one of which has a couple of bikes and so I may get out and ride the Provo Canyon trail.

This trip is being done "on the cheap." Supersaver air fare, heavily discounted compact car rental, five nights in a $40/night motel and 3 nights spent at friends' homes.

This a real example of not putting it off any longer. Been wanting to visit Yellowstone since I was 6 and almost didn't go this year. But in reflecting on it, I realized it was a golden opportunity and one that I might sorely regret not having taken.

2) Spending 5-7 days riding bike trails in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Plan to visit Lanesboro, MN and ride the Root River Trail for 3 days or so. Then on to Trempealeau, WI to ride along the Mississippi on the Great River Trail. Could spend a day on the Elroy-Sparta Trail or in the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. Hope to ride about 30-35 miles a day, could do less, might do more.
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Old 08-22-08, 07:12 PM   #2
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As we do every now and then to impress the stickholders.............my company has closed for a week. I am now on vacation in glorious Eastern Connecticut untill the tuesday after Labor Day.

Since this plan was put in place without any input from my family (they are working) it looks as if this is going to be primarily a biking vacation.

Oh my..........I'm late......................
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Old 08-22-08, 08:19 PM   #3
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1) Heading to Yellowstone & Utah in mid-September for 9 days. Plan on spending 5 days in Yellowstone & doing a lot of hiking. Won't have a bike with me and I doubt they have many trails that I could ride.
Should be spectacular. Hope you find time to visit Grand Teton and Jackson Hole as well. We did some nice hikes in both areas when we were there a couple of years ago. If you have a chance to rent a sea kayak at Jenny Lake or Jackson Lake in Grand Teton, you should consider it. BTW, if want to bike in the area, I think there are a number of outfits that do rentals/tours of MTB's in the Jackson Hole area...or perhaps north of the park in Big Sky, Mt.

Best book ever about Yellowstone - all the ways you can get into trouble in the park (attacked by a bear, crushed by a rock, boiled in a geyser....):

http://www.amazon.com/Death-Yellowst.../dp/1570980217

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Old 08-22-08, 09:14 PM   #4
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Just landed in the Daks - it's only 90 minutes from home but it's a different world up here. I will be hiking, biking, reading, sleeping and way too much eating & drinking over the next 10 days. I hope to get 300 miles of riding in.
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Old 08-23-08, 12:04 PM   #5
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My wife and I are going to Spain with VBT in early November. This is more of a wine, food and bike cruising tour than a real bike tour. But we had a lot of fun on a previous VBT trip to Italy.
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Old 08-23-08, 05:53 PM   #6
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No plans for now. I just got back from Siggraph, the top computer graphics conference, last week so I'm good for adventure and chock full of a year's worth of inspiration. Stereoscopic film/video, Flash animation and the revival of Virtual Reality are all dazzling sugar plums in my head.

The big adventure for now is seeing what is going to happen with the company I work for. Right now, times are tight. I'm a month behind on pay. Everyone is working from their homes because the office has been disabled for lack of bill payment. Every week brings up new rumors of financing or buyout but so far they are all steam.

My adventure this week has been a cold. Yes an adventure. For once, since I am at home I can sleep whenever I wish, and since there is no one to talk to, my throat stayed relatively happy. The big benefit of all this sleeping has been a surprising, vivid and consistent series of dreams.

Yesterday, I went and spent an hour just sitting on the shore of a nearby creek. At first it seemed like nothing was going on, but as I watched quietly, muskrats, a turtle, a snake became bolder and having decided that I was not a threat, went about their business. The muskrats are easily the best swimmers and experts at surreptitious movement. The turtle climbed onto rocks that seem impossibly high for such a creature and sun itself, prepared to slide back down into the creek should danger present itself. The snake zipped through the water, then dove to explore the bottom of the creek. Later it slipped over the top of the water race that I was sitting by and from the thrasing of the tail, it seemed that it had found something worthwhile to eat. The clouds were grey and occasionally painted the creek surface with wonderful circular patterns. All the time, the fish kept creek an interesting place, collecting, dispersing, and flipping along the surface of the water.

It was a wonderful zen moment, not possible when working in an office. It just shows that you don't have to set big plans to go far away to really connect with life.
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Old 08-23-08, 06:20 PM   #7
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I did RAGBRAI in July, so I'm grounded for now....may do a trip with the wife down to the USVIs in late October if my pal with the condo down there calls. Lets' hope....

No biking down there, tho....that would be suicide!
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Old 08-23-08, 06:39 PM   #8
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We went to Virginia Beach and Monticello last week. No bike, just doing the tourist thing. VERY relaxing.
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Old 08-23-08, 06:52 PM   #9
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We'll be camping & hiking Pinnacles National Monument for a week in late October. We're also thinking about a trip to Bass Lake and Yosemite for Thanksgiving again this year.
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Old 08-25-08, 12:35 PM   #10
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I just got back from 4 days in Seattle with the family. Then I flew back home to San Diego and they took a cruise up to Alaska (with my mother in law). So this past week I've been home alone in San Diego. I pedaled 8 days in a row.
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Old 08-25-08, 01:00 PM   #11
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My roadie brother, who lives in Colorado, is coming back East to stay at our family cabin in PA for 10 days. My wife and I will drive over to meet him next weekend and I'll bring an extra bike and three days of clothing for me. The following Thursday, I'm on vacation and, will ride the 130 miles from my home to the cabin . My brother will ride from the cabin and we will meet somewhere along the way (cellphones and GPS's are great things!), then ride back to the cabin together. For two days we will fish, ride and drink beers. My wife will drive back out for the weekend as well as other family members and we'll all have a good old time together. At least that's the plan today.
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Old 08-25-08, 02:32 PM   #12
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Yellowstone is truely spectaular. I prefer the wildlife to the geothermal features, but its all pretty special. Biking in YNP is not great. Yesterday my wife and I were told that we could not wheel our bikes over to a picnic table because it was a no biking area. Being as I had about $5000 worth of camera gear in one bag, and our tow bike are worth about 8k, we decided not to leave the bikes in a bike rack out of our sight and about 200 yards from the picnic tables.

Also, YNP is very dog unfriendly.
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Old 08-25-08, 03:13 PM   #13
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My wife and I got just back from 2 weeks in Colorado, riding around with my brother and sister-in-law. We spent the first week around Aspen and Glenwood Springs and the second week in Summit County based in Frisco.

We're planning a 3 day credit card trip next month. We'll start in our driveway and ride 50 miles to the Indiana Sand Dunes area on day 1, spend day 2 playing on the shores of Lake Michigan, and then ride back home on day 3.
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Old 08-25-08, 06:17 PM   #14
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Got back this weekend from 3 months stay in northern Utah (Logan/Cache Valley).
Got in over 1,400 miles of pedaling our tandem while there.
Great riding, nice altitude (4,500'), nice temps (50's to 90s), low traffic back roads (occasional tractor/farm equipment), relatively flat to 16% grades, friendly folks (5-finger waves), lots to do/see.
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Old 08-25-08, 08:10 PM   #15
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Going to spend 5 or 6 days in the Ottawa area with a friend who lives there. We have done 5 or 6 bike trips together, but this time we will just do some day excursions.
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Old 08-25-08, 10:15 PM   #16
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Gonna spend 3 days with the wife for our anniversary in October. Probably around the Red Wing area of Minnesota. That is if I can get the extra day approved by the boss. But I can also ride for part of one of the days also.

BTW, I also read the book "Death in Yellostone". Great book. Picked it up in the park actually. But that was 12 years ago.
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Old 08-26-08, 09:55 AM   #17
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One week from now my wife & I will be in Gatlinburg to celebrate our 30th anniversary. It'll be the first time in 23+ years we've gone anywhere without at least one kid along. We're planning on riding around Cade's Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Wednesday morning (and possibly Saturday morning as well), when they close it to car traffic. Depending on how it goes, we may ride it other days as well.
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Old 08-26-08, 10:14 AM   #18
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Mrs. Grouch and I are driving to Springfield, IL this Friday for the Midwest Tandem Rally.

I hope to meet Trsnrtr while we're up there. Shouldn't be too difficult to do. All we have to do is leave a little early for the Saturday ride and he can say when he's on our left.

Incidentally, we'll be celebrating our 45th anniversary while we're up there. I think that's pretty neat!

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Old 08-26-08, 11:17 AM   #19
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For some reason that I do not understand, I've never been down to Springfield, IL. I'd like to visit the Lincoln site. Have thought about heading down there for years. But have never made it.

45th anniversary, that is a biggie.
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Old 08-26-08, 11:19 AM   #20
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BTW, I also read the book "Death in Yellowstone".
Exactly what are you trying to say, megaman??
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Old 08-26-08, 11:27 AM   #21
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We're taking the bikes to the San Juan Islands, staying on Lopez, and will do day trips from the Bed and Breakfast.
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Old 08-26-08, 11:51 AM   #22
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Not quite the Autumn but close enough, I s'pose.
Mrs S and I will be heading back for our annual trek to the Apple on Sept 6 to visit the folks.
Sadly, no bikes involved unless you count the stationary up in the roof top gym.
We might try to rent a couple and take a ride through the park.
Lots of walking, though... lots of walking
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Old 08-26-08, 05:36 PM   #23
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Mrs. Grouch and I are driving to Springfield, IL this Friday for the Midwest Tandem Rally.
...
Incidentally, we'll be celebrating our 45th anniversary while we're up there. I think that's pretty neat!
Congratulations, Retro. 45 is pretty neat indeed. Mrs Recycle and I are celebrating our 45th this year, too.

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For some reason that I do not understand, I've never been down to Springfield, IL. I'd like to visit the Lincoln site. Have thought about heading down there for years. But have never made it.
Springfield is on the Illinois Service Amtrack route between Chicago and St. Louis. The very cool thing about that route is that you can roll your bike on the train without having to box it or treat it like baggage. Then just get off at any stop and pedal around checking out all the interesting sights.

Home to Springfield is one of the Illinois Service Amtrack bike trips we have planned for next year. Bike 35 mi to Joliet, catch Amtrack to Springfield, bike around Springfield a little, then bike 35 mi to Lincoln for more sight seeing. After that, bike the 175 mi back home. That would be about 210 mi spread over a week. Or if the weather turns sour, we can jump a train back home from any of 4 stops along the way.
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Old 08-27-08, 07:02 AM   #24
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Not quite the Autumn but close enough, I s'pose.
Mrs S and I will be heading back for our annual trek to the Apple on Sept 6 to visit the folks.
Sadly, no bikes involved unless you count the stationary up in the roof top gym.
We might try to rent a couple and take a ride through the park.
Lots of walking, though... lots of walking
Same with us except the bike is coming along.
Driving to NJ to visit parents and to ride the New York Century. Then driving up the Hudson and use New Paltz as a base to explore Ulster and Duchess Counties. Probably spend an extra day or two in NYC.
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Old 08-27-08, 08:23 AM   #25
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I'm thinking of going up to Northern Michigan to ride the Glen Lake circle when the trees are turning, and the Niagara Peninsula to go along the Niagara River from Niagara on the Lake to Fort Erie, ON and back. 60 miles RT, and just a few hours from Ann Arbor.

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