We arrived in Boston late to find a soggy, cold city. When the pilot described the weather during our descent, I swear he said they had a ceiling of five hundred feet, but surely that couldn't be right. We had checked the weather countless times before we left and it didn't sound all that bad. The plane moved down through clouds so thick we could barely make out the engine on the wing outside our window. After what seemed like forever, we finally broke through and saw lights just right below us. Five hundred feet was about right, but the light rain he mentioned had changed by now into harder rain. To save money, I picked a hotel close to the airport. The best part turned out to be that they had a shuttle that came to pick us from the airport and deliver us. We checked in a little after 9:30 and found out they had a restaurant that closed at 10:00. We threw our bags into our room and ran for a bowl of soup. The place was packed, even just before closing, because of the chiropractic conference they had going at the hotel. I kid you not. There were chiropractors everywhere, telling stories at the bar, standing around judging people's posture. At least they seemed to be a fairly quiet lot.
After breakfast, Dana called to find the Campbells and we were off to join them at their hotel. We should have stayed in their place! It was absolutely beautiful. And it is always wonderful to see Alison and Ross and catch up with their families. They have three grandchildren now as well as 65 new cattle. Alison says their family is growing very quickly.
After a cup of tea and a chat, the bus to start the tour came to the hotel and we were off! We had a two hour bus ride from Boston to Chatham, through very beautiful and diverse country. We crossed rivers and drove through forests, passed landmarks like Saint's Bog and Meyer's Swamp, and saw signs for towns like Sandwich and Buzzards Bay. About two thirds of the way, the sun managed to burst through and we enjoyed sun the rest of the day.
They had us change our clothes and fit us for our bikes and a test run. The Vermont Bicycle Tours people have this down to an exact science with bikes a prepared with labels and numbers, ready for each rider. They add the pedals the rider prefers and he is off! We took a quick six mile ride around town to see one of the places the Pilgrims tried to land, the local lighthouse, and some of the beaches in town.
The town is gorgeous. They appear six weeks behind us in the season, so everywhere we look they have rhododendrons and dutch iris in bloom. The guide tells me that the rhododendrons peaked last week with absolutely amazing colors. They look absolutely stunning now, like nothing we can grow in Oklahoma.
Oh, the guides. We have three: Kassie, a private school teacher who does bicycle touring in the summer; Kaja, a ski coach in winter and bike leader in summer; and Torill, a Norwegian citizen who raised her family in Massachusetts and a tour-leader in training. Like other guides for these types of these things, they really seem to know their stuff. The service so far has been outstanding.
After our ride, we had the orientation for the rest of the trip followed by dinner at the Wild Goose, a very nice restaurant about a block from our inn. The haddock was perfect. For dessert they had chocolate milk with chocolate chip cookies. Sure, they had other things, but who could pass up chocolate milk?!?
Tomorrow we start riding around here in earnest. They have different options, the longest of which is 56 miles. Dana already says she won't go that far. I have decided to reserve judgement until I see what we are up against. So far, things have been pretty easy, though it has been very windy. Seems much like riding around the lake at home.