May had a dream, to bike with the boys all the way from Rennes to St. Malo along the canal, a whopping 133 mile round trip. Since this was part of a camping vacation, it included trying to fit all our camping gear, clothes, food, rain gear (you get the picture) into our bike trailer and saddle bags.  Our final destination after taking the ferry at St. Malo was the island of Guernsey.  I was skeptical.  Being the one who is responsible for keeping our bikes in working order and packing our camping gear, I was stressed.  And when we got flat tires and fought with patching inner tubes for a couple hours on the side of the trail I was quite visibly frustrated. But…

BUT WE MADE IT and had a GREAT time.  And so I can only take my hat off to May for her vision and determination that fueled our adventure to Guernsey and back.

Here are some of the discoveries we made:

  • Riding the canal is great with kids, calm and relaxing and pretty level.
  • Guernsey, where only Guernsey cows are allowed, has fantastic ice cream!
  • Sometimes mice, who happen to love May’s homemade granola as much as we do, might sneak into your trailer.
  • Watching boats pass through a lock is really cool.
  • If you want your tent partner to snuggle, sleep on a slope.
  • A dock, four Crazy Creek chairs, sandwiches and a thermos of coffee is a great recipe for lunch.
  • Victor Hugo had a marvelous view of Cornet Castle from his house, but it’s best to call ahead to reserve a tour.
  • Don’t ask for four orders of fish-n-chips, you’ll only need two.
  • Cadbury chocolate is, well, not our favorite.
  • We tend to stop less for breaks when riding in the rain.
  • Even if it looks pristinely blue and it’s the middle of August, the water is COLD.
  • A 150lb trailer can be carried up stairs or lifted over barriers when necessary.
  • The tooth fairy doesn’t make rounds in tents (Silas lost a tooth)

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a lock along the canal

Crazy Creek chairs lined up along a dock

Sitting on our Crazy Creek chairs on the dock

Riding along the river

Efrem lying in his sleeping bag

Posing in front of Guernsey's little ceramic chapel

The Workman family

Silas and Dan swimming at the English Channel

At Victor Hugo's house on Guernsey

Efrem looking cute

Our bike trailer fully loaded