Tuesday, September 30, 2014

DAY 58--Through New York

Today was sunny with some headwind and more rolling hills. We saw less farmland and more wooded areas. The falls colors are increasing day by day. There are also nice flowers blooming along the roadway, especially asters. Made our usual stops for doughnuts, pie, and the library. In the past week or so we have decided we really need to increase our calorie intake. We're wearing down, and have more significant hills ahead of us.
Saw signs for the Fiddlers' Hall of Fame (sadly not open). Steve managed to snag us a camping spot on the lawn behind the bar in Osceola (one of the few buildings in town), saving us a big climb into the park campground.

DAY 57--The big apple

We finished up riding on the Erie Canal trail, then headed into rolling hills. This area is full of apple orchards, which were beautiful with all colors of apples, and trees sagging under the weight of the apples. We stopped at a large roadside stand, which also had a small cafe. They had all kinds of pumpkins, squash, gourds, mums, and other things for sale. Inside, they had a wonderful selection of fruit pies, which we took advantage of.
We got our first look at Lake Ontario. Later down the road we stopped at an artisan shop, with many locally made items.
We camped at the Fair Haven State Park on Lake Ontario. We were the only campers, and we had to shoo several deer from our site. We took the time to walk to the lake and have a look around.

DAY 56--You'll always know your neighbor and you'll always know your pal

Had some rain (and wind) overnight. Today we spent the entire time riding on the Erie Canal bike path. This is literally right next to the canal. Historically it was one of the tow paths. It's great having NO traffic to deal with. Along the way we stopped at a bakery for cookies. Also stopped at a trail-side bike shop where we refreshed our supply of pepper spray. Talked for quite some time with the owner of the shop. In discussing the excuses people have for not riding a bike, he mentioned that he knows a guy with NO ARMS OR LEGS that cycles--he has small stumps for arms, and has rigged up a cycle that he can crank rather than pedal. No excuses.
Along the canal we saw many water fowl--cormorants, geese, ducks, herons, and kingfishers. Starting to see more fall colors.
Our route took us through Rochester on a great trail. It was almost culture shock to be around so much traffic and noise after all this time.
We had intended to stop at Pittsford and get a motel room as there were no campgrounds around, but the motel there was $249 a night, so we went an additional 10 miles to Victor. While checking out the motel in  Pittsford, Steve managed to lock his keys in the car. We were able to rescue him. Fortunately this did not happen near the beginning of the day's route-- no way were we riding back 70 miles for that!

The BIG APPLE. We considered this to be our official "Welcome to New York" sign.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

DAY 55--The Falls

It rained overnight, but we set off undaunted in our Toggs. The skies cleared through the day. We had our last views of Lake Erie, then got on a bike path along the Niagara River. There seemed to be a lot of HUGE houses along this route.
We stopped at a little cafe for apple pie.
The river eventually became rapids, and then the trail took us right to the viewing area for Horseshoe Falls (the Canadian counterpart to Niagara Falls). The Falls were spectacular! We were there on a Sunday, but since it is slightly past the high tourist season the crowds weren't too bad. We felt quite smug being on bikes and not having to deal with parking issues and traffic (including a triathlon that was taking place)! We stopped in at the Visitor's Center, where we spent the last of our Canadian change on doughnuts at Tim Horton's. Then we rode on. We had a good view of Niagara Falls also.
We did not cross back at the Rainbow Bridge right at the falls, but went farther north on the bike path by the river, to the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge. We had to go in an auto lane to cross, and waited in line about 45 minutes to get to customs. When asked where we were coming from, Lonna replied "Canada," and got a stern look, so she quickly added "Niagara Falls," which seemed to be an acceptable answer.
Once back in the USA--in NEW YORK, our 9th state!--we rode along a ridge road through woods and farmland to Lockport. There we camped right next to the Erie Canal.