Three weeks, two bikes, and all the camping gear you can pack into a 1960 Cessna 172: Lincoln Benedict and Jessica Marion got general aviation travel down to a science on their honeymoon, an airplane-supported bike touring trip from Maine to Newfoundland. Benedict and Marion spoke with AOPA about the once-in-a-lifetime adventure on the Hangar Talk podcast. Plus, read more about the couple in “Happy Trails,” from March AOPA Pilot.
The route from Brunswick Executive Airport to Newfoundland and back. (Photography by Lincoln Benedict)
Our first stop in Eastport (KEPM) for the night.
So here is what it looked like in the plane; a bit cramped but not crazy. We have an extended baggage kit and had removed the rear seat. We had about 100lbs left and weight and balance worked out so we were well within the envelope. Go Old Mustardsides!
We MADE IT!
The flowers were lovely and we had two days of lovely weather.
I couldn't believe how well things had gone. We'd expected to be weather bound for days. Mechanical troubles could have happened. Yet everything lined up and then we were hiking in this magical place. It is what we love to do; its how we met. Exploring this remarkable land was a moment of bliss I won't ever forget.
Before we went down a massive hill into a massive construction zone!
Woo hoo! Finally almost there. A few hills to go though...
We then hiked the mountain of Gros Morne. The views were sublime, especially out over Ten Mile Pond to the northeast.
After a week in the park, we packed up and pedaled back to Deer Lake. We then loaded the plane and took off for Blanc Sablon, in Quebec. On the way we overflew some of the spectacular sights we'd seen. This is the park's signature "fjord", Western Brook Pond.
Once in Blanc Sablon we'd planned to go farther into Labrador but the weather was not great and the winds were pretty epic. So instead we tootled around on our bikes and looked at icebergs. This road to the south is one of the most spectacular bike rides we've done.
Here's that first bit of rain shower we passed through.
At Herrington Harbor. I can't describe how magical this place was- definitely one of the highlights of the trip.
But if you look to the right you can see that it wasn't that clear and a fog bank rolled in. The helicopter couldn't make it back. Thankfully Jean had room for us so we weren't too disappointed to be staying another night!
Coming back down. You can actually see the grand couve to the right- where we skied this winter!
Managing Editor, 'AOPA Pilot' and 'Flight Training'
AOPA Pilot and Flight Training Managing Editor Sarah Deener is an instrument-rated commercial pilot and has worked for AOPA since 2009.