Ride Through Michigan Amish Country

Deb and I returned home from our 15 day adventure trip to Nova Scotia, just 2 weeks ago.  Already we were longing for another riding adventure and savoring the memories of Nova Scotia.  This Labor Day weekend we decided to take advantage of the extra day off and take a ride north through what I will call our local Amish country.

Did you know that Michigan is home to the sixth largest Amish population, approximately 11,000?  Michigan’s 86 Amish church districts are scattered over 35 settlements, from Hillsdale and Branch Counties in the south, to Mackinac County in the Upper Peninsula.  The Amish community that we visited this day is shown in the route map below (primarily contained within the square).

Our route for this trip.  Approximately 130 miles.

Amish Country Route

We woke up to this Saturday with the forecast of partly cloudy with a high in the mid 80’s, sounded like perfect riding weather. We did not have a specific route in mind when we left only that we wanted to head up Meyers Lake road, go north to Morley, MI area.

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Day 13 – Up to Quebec!

This was a day of adventure, mishap that became a blessing. Our planned route is shown below. Destination, Cornwall, Ontario Canada. It was to be a long day with a planned 319 miles. Starting out going thru some mountains in Maine, duck back into Quebec for a while heading west. Then finally into Ontario.

Well that was the plan. But the plan went awry when I decided that I did not need to use the GPS for the first half of the day. All we had to do was head up scenic Rt. 201 north and take a left into Quebec. So we headed up Rt. 201 (which we should have turned left somewhere within the first 20 miles). After about 2 hours, I thought I should check the GPS. Well I found out that we were on the wrong route for most of the 2 hours. Whoops!

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Day 12 – Back in the USA for One Day

Now starts the ride back home to Michigan.When I was a child the trip to Grandma’s house was always more exciting than the trip home, and so can the ride home be over multiple days, if we let it. We try to find adventure in even these return days. This day we find ourselves leaving Sussex, New Brunswick Canada heading back into the USA. Actually into Maine. Our days destination is a small motel in Skowhegan, Maine. Our route is shown in the map below.

We started with a gourmet breakfast at the Jonah Place B&B in Sussex. Our hosts were Deborah & Phil Sellars. This was one of the most elegant B&B’s that we stayed at.

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Day 11 – Our Last Day in Nova Scotia

This is our last day in Nova Scotia. In a way we’re sad that we have to leave but excited about what this day will bring. We start the day at Back in Thyme B&B with a wonderful breakfast that Jeff, our host, made.

As you can see everything was wonderfully decorated. Here’s a photo of our room.

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Day 10 – Off to Sheet Habour, on the Halifax East Shore

This morning we packed up and left Vespers By The Sea B&B, where we have stayed for the past two nights. We hate to leave, this is such a relaxing place to be, on the sea shore. As I’ve said in a previous post, the B&B was once the Sisters of Charity Convent here in Glacé Bay. It appears that the interior and exterior has been restored keeping as much as possible to the original. Here are some photos of some of the common rooms.

The Breakfast Room


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Day 9 – The Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island

Unlike yesterday, today we woke up to the sunrise on the Atlantic Ocean coming thru our window. It was a beautiful day for a scenic ride. The trip is best described in photos.

Cape Breton Island, is rated the #1 Island to visit in continental North America – Travel & Leisure Magazine. The Cabot Trail is the most scenic drive on Cape Breton, especially if you are on a motorcycle. Our ride today took us 284 miles, that's a lot of scenic riding!

Here is our route for the day. (click on the image to enlarge)

We started from Glacé Bay and headed to Englishtown where we took the ferry across St. Ann's Harbour, shown below.

Englishtown Ferry Crossing

Englishtown Ferry

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Day 8 – Alexander Graham Bell and Marconi

Q: What do Alexander Graham Bell and Guglielmo Marconi have in common (for you history buffs)?

A:  Both were pioneers in communications and changed the world.  Bell invented the telephone and Marconi developed the technology that enabled him to send the first wireless message across the Atlantic.

Our travels today were changed due to the bad weather on Cape Breton Island.  Forecast was for 100% chance of rain along with high winds.  We had planned on taking the scenic highlight of our trip to Nova Scotia – Cabots Trail.  But the next days forecast is for 0% chance of rain 100% sunshine.
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Day 7 – Destination Nova Scotia

Today’s route has us ending up in Nova Scotia, we finally made it!!!  Our final destination is the Gagnon House B&B in Port Hawkesbury, NS.

The Bayview motel in Alma, New Brunswick was our lodging last night and this is where we started our day which would end in the small town of Port Hawkesbury on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.  This was one of the top motels that we have stayed at so far.

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Day 6 – Up the Coast to Canada

Today was mostly a travel day, our destination was the small town of Alma, New Brunswick on the Bay of Fundy. Here is our travel routed:

We started early, coming out of Bar Harbor with all the other tourist.  The morning was very overcast, as we pulled into McDonalds in Ellsworth for breakfast, it started to sprinkle.  Not a good sign, so we put our rain gear on before we left.  Heading up the coast on Hwy 1 we skirted the rain.  After an hour or so, we left all the tourist behind.  If you take a look a map of Maine, probably over 2/3rds of Maine is not inhabited, that’s the part we were headed into.

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Day 5 – Rest Day, Bar Harbor, Maine

Today was a rest day for Deb and I.  Last year, on our Out West Ride, we traveled every day for 15 straight days.  We learned that we need to have some travel rest days – this day was our first rest day.

After sleeping in, we took a leisurely trip around Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park to see the sites.

Our first stop, top of Cadillac Mountain.  Here are some views from the top.

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