Monday, May 14, 2007

Beeline West

In the news today: Tony Blair is resigning! One more Bush ally drops from the picture.

At 9:45 a.m., Jeff saw me off as he left for the office. 83,619 miles on the bike leaving Waterbury. A stop at "Shelburne Village Wine & Coffee" (seen in passing on previous occasions.) An excellent chocolate croissant, coffee and the NY Times. A civilized start.

A useful habit one develops on bikes is using the crowns of hills for those frequent "elective stops" (to check the map, adjust gear, use the "Great Green Bathroom", etc. The hill brings you to a stop without the use of brakes. Since there's no load on the transmission, down-shifting is smoother and the changing inertia favors a safe stop. It often leaves you with a good vantage point for observing traffic and being observed by traffic. Similarly, starting off from the hilltop involves little burden on the machine.

There is also something psychologically calming in this method. I have used it during much of my motorcycle traveling. For obvious reasons, I abandon the strategy during electrical storms.

Decided to follow the Moose River down the west slope of the Adirondacks. Since I would be unable to attend Chris and Amber's wedding in June, I thought I'd at least see the area that has had such a big impact on their lives. (They have spent many summers as river guides and kayakers up here.) So many lakes in this beautiful Adirondack high country. The town of Old Forge (where I believe the reception will take place) is too developed for me; a big "Water Park" and an abandoned "McDonalds"(!) along the main drag. Passed "Nathan’s Bakery", wondering if that's where Chris’ friend, the baker works.

***

8:40 p.m. "Cracker Barrel" restaurant, Erie, PA

Sunset about 10 minutes ago. At the Pennsylvania border, I entered a warm, humid air mass, which was welcome since I was beginning to get chilled. I entered cloud cover in Western New York. Otherwise, it had been a wonderful day for a ride.

Hague, New York, on the western shore of Lake George (long ago...this morning) struck me as a beautiful setting. An idyllic little town. I'll add that to my list of prospective home sites for that day a fortune falls my way.

Followed the Moose River where I could. I may have seen the rocks where Chris and Amber’s wedding will be. But the wildest stretches of the river were hidden from view by dense forest.

On the road today, a bit less distracted, (stuck with myself, really) I tried to be more aware, more conscious, as if this might be my last day. So, it may seem contradictory that I bypassed East Aurora. But I felt I’ve imposed enough and spent a bit too much time in the East. Still, it felt strange to pass without a word. The cousins would think it crazy, I’m sure. Most people would. But I’ve got to move! And if I stopped, I'd certainly have been coerced to stay.

***

Day's End

An unhurried 585-mile day, finally camping in Geneva State Park, Ohio, near the Lake Erie shore.

No comments: