Our first American bike overnight en famille didn’t go as smooth as hoped. It started out lovely, with beautiful weather through country roads in upstate New York. We set up camp in a state forest and hiked to a small summit blessed with heavy laden blueberry bushes. We basked in the evening sun and then retired early.

Long story short.

We woke to torrential rain, no food, no saddle bags for hauling our drenched camp home and no phone service. To ward off bears, we’d hung our food in a tree using our saddle bags. But somebody took them down while we were sleeping. To note, André isn’t a happy camper in the rain. He was already grumpier than a hungry bear, plus he was hungry.

What to do? We jammed all we could in a backpack and rigged the rest onto our racks with tent straps and shoelaces. We hauled our soaked stuff (plus Clara), in the rain and on empty stomachs, to the tiny post office we’d passed on the way in. Luckily it was open and amenable. We borrowed their phone and called our bail out car (Nana).

It wasn’t exactly the best introduction to traveling by bike in America.

Happy ending.

We couldn’t believe someone would intentionally steal our stuff. So we tied  a note with a fluorescent reflector to the tree where we’d hung our bags. Three weeks later I got an apologetic email from a guy saying he had our bags. Turns out he hadn’t seen our tent. He thought a friend of his left the bags behind. He hand delivered everything exactly as he’d found it, apologizing profusely for the mistake.

Faith in my homeland is restored (current politics aside).