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Days 15-18

Day 15    06/02/23

Today was a very interesting day. Leaving Bayeux was definitely hard under cloudy skies and the temperature in the low 50's. The warm, comfy bed we have had for the last three nights was cruelly  dispensed of in a flash as we pedalled out of town.


Not all was lost, we spent a fantastic day riding through the countryside and without warning we came upon the great American institution, Le McDonalds. Here we are in France and we sucumbed to the golden arches. But as they say, "When in France, do what the French do." The French are known for their great food and we were amazed at how busy this place was. I could only imagine how In-N-Out would do😀



Back on the road we were within a few miles of our campsite in the town of Carentan. We stopped to take a photo of the road sign heading into town because Carentan was one of those places that held great significance during the war. Our paratroopers were dropped by the 1000's in this area to make it possible for the troops coming ashore at Utah, Omaha, Sword and Gold beaches to advance inland.



What we didn't know in coming to France was how important June 6th was to the people of France. Today, we saw many people dressed as American soldiers. We got to see three WWII transport planes fly overhead. We were told that they usually do a drop of reenacting paratroopers but today was too windy. We saw many restored American Army jeeps travelling through the village and found there to be several Army Surplus type stores.

 


As we were walking the downtown of Carentan we came upon a crowd gathering on the sidewalks. I heard some Americans talking from across the street. They were sitting in front of a cafe having some drinks. So I went over there and struck up a conversation. The gentlemen that I spoke with had a Father who was part of the liberators at Carentan. He had some amazing stories.


Back to the gathering crowd. At any minute there was going to be a military parade to commemorate D-Day, so we stuck around to watch. It reminded me of the Monument parade but very moving as we watched the US forces from Fort Carson pass by and the French broke out in cheers. As I said it was a very interesting day which made us both realize that America is still a great country.



Keep it rolling,

Scott and Sarah

Rode 33 miles



Day 16      06/03/23

We tried to leave town early because we were facing a 60+ mile day. But upon exiting the campground we ran into a couple we had met at the parade the night before. They were following a column of US marine reenactors marching in formation down the street. It was fun to see them again and we took a pic and exchanged contact info. The day was long but beautiful as we rode through fields and fields of crops, dairy cows, horses, flowers and villages and on and on.

The weather was overcast and on the cold side and soon we found a nice little coffee shop to warm up with a latte.



The sun finallly broke through the clouds around 1:00 and we stopped a couple of times along the trail to eat. The riding surface was mostly on rail trails comprised of crushed gravel. Most of the time it had the topography of the C&O canal trail that we rode on last summer. At one point, I rode too close to a post and it ripped off our back pannier. No worries, I was able the fix the damage that ensued. We ended up losing our click stick in the pole crash. The click stick works as a bicycle stand so we are bummed but we will manage.



We arrived at our municipal campsite around 5:30pm. It was a solid 8 hours of being in the saddle including stops. To say the least it was a long day. Tomorrow we ride to Mont Saint Michel. We are looking forward to visiting the historic Abby but we just found out that President Macron plans to be there so we don't know how that is all going to work out.


One last word. I woke up around 2:00am to use the restroom. It dawned on me that it was still light out but that seemed odd until I got out of the tent.



Keep it rolling

Scott and Sarah

Rode 68 miles



Day 17 06/04/23

The dew was so heavy this morning it caused our tent to collapse but the good news is that our site only cost 6 Euros! We got things mostly dry and packed up. The day before, we arrived into camp very late and with very little food. We ate what we had. When you go to bed hungry, you begin to imagine how other people in the world live.


The first action on our agenda was to buy groceries. So we rode to the nearest grocery store that was on our route. They say to never shop when you are hungry but that rule went out the window. As soon as we left the village we pulled over and gorged. After we filled our tanks the day was looking better.



It was a beautiful, sun shiney day from sun up to sun down. We were heading to Mont Saint Michel where we were going to meet up with Craig and Susie for a couple of nights.



The whole day was comprised of riding on rails trails which had a gentle one percent grade on the uphills. Unfortunately, they have installed these wooden barriers every two miles or so and you have to navigate around them. It is like theading the needle. As I said, we hit one and it ripped our rear pannier but today I managed to only skim one. Oh the trials of life!


When we finally got to the coast and we caught our first glimpse of Mont Saint Michel...stunning. Really looking forward to visiting the Mont tomorrow and maybe we will get to see Macron.

 


Keep it rolling

Scott and Sarah

Rode 60 miles



Day 18 06/05/23

Today was fantastic. We both got a good night sleep and we're up early to go over to Saint Michel. We took a guided tour of the Abby and walked the streets of the little town that is nestled around the base of it. Met an interesting young man who's family owns a house and business on Mont Saint Michel dating back to the 1800's. It was amazing to hear his story. The mount itself was built in the eleventh century and stands as a testimony of man's ingenuity and his desire to recreate God's glory on earth.


We spent a good four hours on the Mont and left in time for the President of France to give a speech. We got to see his motorcade but could not tell which car he was in. While waiting for the President, Sarah met a Native American who had served in Desert Storm. He was here to commemorate D-Day and award the oldest Native American who landed at Normandy, with a warriors headdress.



The history of Mont Saint Michel as well as the architecture were so beautiful and interesting, I have decided that some pictures are worth a thousand words. Enjoy!






Keep it rolling

Scott and Sarah

No riding today

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