Dear Friends,

Chuck and I would like to invite you to join us on the 2009 Rip Van Winkle Tour!. The two-week tour will begin from Chuck's house in Rockville, Maryland on Saturday, June 20, 2009. We'll return on Saturday, July 4. This is an unsupported tour, i.e., there's no sag and you will be responsible for carrying your own gear, as well as for making your own hotel reservations. Consequently, it's a very economical tour! I have included our itinerary, including contact information for each hotel/motel, at the end of this very long email. I've quoted the rate that we got when we made our reservations. If you can join us we urge you to make your own reservations as soon as possible, as many of the towns we're staying in are busy during the early summer season and lodging sells out early. If you can't swing two weeks, we would love for you to join us for any part of the tour that works for you! I will provide (at no charge) detailed cue sheets (including daily mileage options), detailed maps with the routes clearly highlighted, a cue sheet protector for each rider (but of course it will never rain so you won't need it), and a sunny disposition. The first two days are rather long (110 miles both days) and the last day back to Chuck's house is 90 miles. Aside from that, most days will feature two or three mileage options varying from as low as 60 miles (for those who like to do a lot of sightseeing) to 90 miles or more for those of you who participate in the UMCA Year-Rounder or, like us, just like to spend most of the day riding and enjoying the scenery. And if you want to do 100 or more miles a day I can accommodate you there, too! Of course I'll be doing some "remote" scouting work in the coming weeks to find the best possible lunch and dinner opportunities!

We're very excited about our itinerary this year. We're heading up to the beautiful Hudson River Valley and the Catskills, land of Rip Van Winkle and Ichabod Crane. In fact, "Rip Van Winkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" are assigned reading for anyone participating in the tour! I know you read those stories in your youth, but we're all old enough that we need a "tune up." Expect to be quizzed daily as we ride along, always watching out for the headless bicycle tourist.

We plan to have one lay-over day mid-tour at the Catskill Mountain Lodge. On this day we'll have several options, including rides from 30-90 miles that include some challenging climbs and visit Kaaterskill Falls, Devil's Kitchen, Hunter Mountain and Woodstock. Or, if you want a rest day, you can sit by the pool and soak up the sun (reading Washington Irving stories).

Here are just a few of the highlights that you can look forward to on the Rip Van Winkle Tour -- -please forgive me for relying on links to websites; I had hoped to have time to write flowery descriptions of everything, but I can see now that just isn't going to happen; I'll be spending whatever spare time I have between now and June working on refining the routes.

the "mighty" Susquehanna River -- you'll see it many times on this tour! Also the Delaware River, Lackawaxen River, Schuylkill River and, of course, the Hudson River.

Lancaster County PA - bicycle heaven - lots and lots of lovely Amish farms, one-room schoolhouses, scooters and buggies, and covered bridges

Fireman's Drinking Fountain, Slatington PA: http://www.delawareandlehigh.org/site.asp?siteid=210

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area http://www.nps.gov/dewa/

Millbrook Village http://www.njskylands.com/hsmillbrookvillage.htm

Peter's Valley Craft Center: http://petersvalley.org/

Dingmans Ferry bridge: http://www.dingmansbridge.com/

Raymondskill Falls (we definitely plan to stop and hike to the falls): http://www.waterfalls-guide.com/pa_raymondskill_falls_leeanne_1.htm
And http://www.picsearch.com/pictures/travel/nature/waterfalls/waterfalls%20l-r/raymondskill%20falls.html

Pennsylvania's "endless mountains" region -- made famous during Tom Rosenbauer's 1000K brevet - http://www.endlessmountains.org/

Lake Minnewaska - http://www.lakeminnewaska.org/

Mohonk Mountain House -- sorry, we can't afford to stay here! - www.mohonk.com, http://www.mohonk.com/photo_gallery/photo_gallery.cfm

Ashokan Reservoir Dam - http://bearsystems.com/ashokan/ashokan.htm

Shawangunks - http://shawangunks.org/photographs/

The Hudson River Valley

Catskills -- land of Rip Van Winkle and Ichabod Crane

"Devil's Kitchen" climb up Platte Cove Rd

Kaaterskill Falls - http://www.epinions.com/content_178503454340

hippy-trippy WOODSTOCK NY!

World's End State Park - http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/worldsend.aspx

Swatara State Park - http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/swatara.aspx



Best Western Revere Motor Inn
3063 Lincoln Highway, Paradise PA, 717-687-7683
AARP rate $88.99, continental breakfast included
website: http://www.reveretavern.com/rooms.htm

SUNDAY, JUNE 21, 2009
Pocono Inne Town
700 Main Street, Stroudsburg PA, 570-421-2200
AARP rate $76.45, continental breakfast included
website: http://www.bestwesternpocono.com/

MONDAY, JUNE 22, 2009
The Inn at Lackawaxen
188 Scenic Drive, Lackawaxen PA, 570-685-7061
$92.65, continental breakfast included
dining room & bar on premises
website: http://www.theinnatlackawaxen.com/

TUESDAY, JUNE 23, 2009
Days Inn Newburgh West
915 Union Avenue, Newburgh NY, 845-564-7550
AARP rate 80.95, Continental breakfast included
website: http://www.daysinn.com/DaysInn/control/Booking/property_info?propertyId=05183&as_srp=SP2&cid=carat_search-Days_Inn

Cobblestone Motel
Route 214, Phoenicia NY, 845-688-7871
RATE $76; credit card will be billed at time reservation is made,
but can cancel up to June 10 and get refund
website: http://www.cobblestonemotel.com/

Silvanus Lodge
9350 Route 22, Hillsdale NY, 518-325-3000
website: http://silvanuslodge.com/

FRIDAY & SATURDAY, JUNE 26 and 27, 2009
Catskill Mountain Lodge
334 Route 32A, Palenville NY, 518-678-3101
Standard room w/1 queen, $95 + tax per night.
2-night minimum, total for two nights including tax: $205.20
Website: http://www.catskillmtlodge.com/

SUNDAY, JUNE 28, 2009
Rainbow Inn
5690 NY7, Oneonta NY, 607-432-1280
Senior rate $107.10, Continental breakfast included
website: http://www.therainbowinn.com/

MONDAY, JUNE 29, 2009
Laurel Bank Motel
1 Oak Street, Deposit NY, 607-467-2427
RATE: $65

TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2009
Riverstone Inn
US6 & Leisure Rd, Towanda PA, 570-265-8882
$99.99, continental breakfast included
Website http://riverstoneinnpa.com/

Country Inn & Suites
134 Walter Drive, Lewisburg PA, 570-524-6600
AARP rate $103.50, continental breakfast included
Website: http://www.countryinns.com/lewisburgpa

Best Western Lebanon Valley Inn & Suites
4 Fisher Avenue, Jonestown PA, 717-865-4234
AARP rate $89.99, continental breakfast included
website: http://www.bestwesternpa.com/hotels/best-western-lebanon-valley-inn-and-suites/

FRIDAY, JULY 3, 2009
The Yorktowne Hotel
48 East Market Street, York PA
717-848-1111 or 800-233-9324 for reservations
$119 special bicyclist's rate!, Café opens for breakfast 6:00 a.m.
Website: http://www.yorktowne.com/

So, my dear friends, please let me know if you're interested in the tour at your earliest opportunity!