Denis Kertz, ©2011
My friend Dave
picked me up and drove me to O'Hare Airport for my 9:45 am flight on Jet Blue
There was a long
line waiting to get through the inspection line at the terminal. Although I had gotten to the airport almost 2
hours in advance, by the time I watched the bike box inspection and made it
through the terminal check it was almost time to board. There wasn't a non-stop flight to
When I got to
It was not a great weather
day with foggy humid weather. We flew in
over Lake Champlain and approached the airport from the north side but it was
too foggy for any good views and the
When I got checked into the Courtyard I unpacked the bike to make sure there were no surprises and I did a partial assembly, putting the pedals, seat, and handlebar back together. Then I walked downtown to get a bite to eat. Along the way I passed a Borders which was going out of business and had books off for 50% and more. I found a $15 book that I got for a little less than $5 for reading material.
After that I walked
Back at the ranch I
assembled the rest of my bike and repacked my panniers for travel. This took about an hour and a half. Then I checked the weather forecast for the
When I got up it
was raining and the prediction was for rain all day and maybe the next 2 days
as well, a rather depressing thought.
The bad weather was a result of humidity form Tropical Storm Lee from
the south meeting up with a cold front from the west. This was particularly bad news for
It didn't take a lot of thinking for me to convince myself that I didn't want to hit the road today. My general rule is if it is already raining and rain is predicted to continue that's a good case for a layover day. Fortunately, I was able to get on the Marriott Rewards website and get a second night's stay at this Courtyard. I was a little concerned that I might have to move to a different room. I had gotten checked into a room upgrade which I didn't particularly need – I didn't need the extra space or the bathtub – but I was able to stay in the same rom.
The good news is my
layover day was in
After spending some time in my room I left again near noon to walk downtown. At that point the weather wasn't looking too bad and there were just a few sprinkles. Just when I was thinking that maybe my rain day decision was perhaps premature it started pouring and lasted for quite a while. I spent some time browsing in an outdoor gear store and then decided to head across the street to a coffee shop, which a number of other folks had the same idea. I managed to find a spot at a counter and spent a while reading and watching folks navigate through the rain.
Then I walked to a used bookstore and found the prices were actually higher than the Borders with its 50-70% discounts so I browsed through the Borders again and picked up another book, under the theory it's always good to have a second book waiting to be read even though I hadn't started on the first book yet.
By mid-afternoon the rain changed to a light drizzle. I wandered around looking for a place to eat and tried the Vermont Pub & Brewery which was okay. When I walked to breakfast I found a grocery store so I headed there and did my first grocery shopping of the trip. After that I retired to my room and did a little more packing. I always find it hard to pack the last few items so I put them off until the morning when I would finally be forced to put them somewhere even if I didn't know where they would best fit.
It was raining when
I got up around 6:30. When I checked the
weather radar there was a big green area but it was moving northeast and its
western edge was almost past
I ate breakfast at the Courtyard and took advantage of their breakfast buffet. Then I packed the rest of my stuff and was off by 8:30 with no rain. My rear brake was a little tight and rubbing the rear rim occasionally so I loosened the rear brake a little. Then my heel was hitting my rear pannier. After thinking a few minutes I realized I had positioned my rear panniers as far forward as possible so I moved them as far back as possible and gave my heel the clearance it needed.
It was an easy 8
mile ride up the trail to Colchester Point.
From there the path extended out over the lake to Grand Isle via a
causeway that, unfortunately, had a 200 foot gap. During the summer there is a ferry to allow
cyclists to manage this gap but that was not an option now. So I rode along the edge of
Riding across the
causeway on Hwy 2 to Grand Isle was very windy.
As soon as I got to Grand Isle I took the first left to get off the main
road and headed south and then west to pick up the
From the ferry
landing I rode west until I picked up Hwy 9 into
I followed a bicycle route through town, passing a huge statue of Samuel Champlain along the lake, before rejoining Hwy 9 which had a good shoulder. At that point it was 8 miles to Keeseville, my planned destination and I started paying attention to possible campsites and motels. The big question was the weather which was predicted for rain for tomorrow. I wasn't sure when the rain would come and whether I might have another layover day.
Just outside Keeseville I stopped briefly at the Ausable Chasm, a sandstone gorge. There were a couple of moderately steep hills the last few miles to Keeseville, a small town of 1815 people. There wasn't much in town but there were a couple of motels. I couldn't find anyone at what I figured was the cheapest motel and a motel occupant said she didn't think there were any vacancies. So I stopped at the motel next door and got a room for $55, knowing I could well be spending an extra night there.
There was a nearby restaurant that I walked to after cleaning up. It wasn't much but it had some warm food and that promised to keep me alive to ride another day.
This day turned out
to be longer than I expected. I thought
it was only going to be something in the 40s but other than for a few last
minute hills into Keeseville it was an easy route. Had I wanted to I could have ended up in
Keeseville by riding less than 10 miles.
There was a ferry from
It was raining lightly when I walked to breakfast. I expected to layover with the rain prediction so I didn't necessarily need a large breakfast and didn't get one with my order of pancakes. The newspaper said rain all day and some heavy rain.
I slept a little
more back at my room and settled in for a long day in my motel, since there
wasn't anything to do in Keeseville.
Just before 10am I figured I may as well pay for another day and was
surprised to see that it was barely sprinkling.
So I decided I might as well hit the road for a few hours and make it to
my next destination
I rode just a short
way and picked up 9N. The road had a
good shoulder and followed along the
There was some
climbing along the way to
for me was that
Instead, I looked
As I took the turn
It was drizzling
fairly hard when I rode into
I was fairly wet when I finally called it a day and checked into my motel around 3:30pm. There were a couple restaurants within easy walking distance. I ate at a Howard Johnsons which featured a Shrimp Buffet on Wednesday nights for $10. It was pretty decent and I got my money's worth.
As I retired to my room the real question was when would the weather become decent. Thursday was still questionable and it looked like things might not really get better until Friday. Only time would tell.
It was overcast in the morning but it wasn't raining. There was a Sourdough Cafe nearby and I was sure pancakes would be a good bet there but I was wrong. My idea of sourdough pancakes is that they are dense and chewy and these were light and airy and they looked like wheat pancakes. They tasted fine but there just wasn't much to them and they soaked up syrup like a sponge. The other bad thing about the cafe was that it didn't open until 8am.
When I left town I
had to climb a little but then descended a ways on a rather rough
shoulder. It was only about 7 miles to
I left town on Hwy
3, leaving 86 behind, and got an enthusiastic honk from an oncoming
motorist. It was 20 miles to
Just north of
Tupper Lake Hwy 3 merged with Hwy 30 and I rode that into town right around
noon. I stopped at a little park
By this time the
weather was looking pretty nice with some clouds and some sun and the temps
around 70F. About this time I realized if I had stayed in
my motel in Keeseville yesterday I would most likely have been able to follow
up on my plans to ride to the top of
There were several
While I was
deciding where to stay I was approached by a local who thought I might be a
touring cyclist on Adventure Cycling’s Northern Tier route since I had yellow
panniers like a cyclist he was following on the Internet. I was confused when he asked if I was coming
The motel was not the greatest although I'm sure it was the least expensive in town. Based on looks I thought the price might be in the $40s. The inside didn't look all that great either, certainly not as nice as the last 2 motels. Then after I took a shower I discovered I couldn't shut the cold water off. Fortunately, I eventually figured out that the faucet handle was just spinning and I guessed the Phillips screw that held the handle on was loose. My bicycle multi-tool kit contains a Phillips screwdriver so I was able to use it to tighten the screw and turn the water off. That was good because I don't know how the proprietor would have handled this situation. He was an elderly guy and mostly blind so he would have had to call someone. Then a little later the smoke detector started screaming at me and I thought I was going to have to rip it off the wall. I don't know what precipitated that but eventually it stopped.
I ate at a bar a short walk from my motel since there wasn't much in the way of eating establishments in this town of 850. I had a small pepperoni pizza which was just about the right size for my appetite.
I left the motel
around 7:00 and rode to a cafe that claimed to serve breakfast but they weren't
open. So I rode across the street to a
foodmart for a ham&egg sandwich. I
left town around 7:30 am riding to
I had another ham&egg sandwich at another food mart because there was nothing else in town for breakfast. Then I looked to find where the Blue Mountain Fire Tower was that is supposed to give a great view of the surrounding area. I had thought it was south of town but I learned the trail was at the top of the hill I had descended to get to town. So I had to climb back up the hill to get to the trail head.
I started the trail around 9:30 and I figured it would take maybe a couple of hours since it was only 2 miles long with a significant climb of 1300 feet. The trail was actually fairly difficult because it was wet and it was a rocky trail. I thought I might be able to do the climb non-stop but eventually I had to rest about ¾ quarters of the way. Then the route got tougher as it got steeper and parts of the route was just a slab of rock with some running water that made it somewhat slippery.
When I reached the
top I climbed the fire tower and had a great panoramic view of the Adirondacks,
ringed by mountains in all directions and a number of lakes and
The return trip was fairly difficult because of the wet rocks. I had to take it very careful at times and even then I managed to slip and fall a couple of times although they were minor falls because I was being very careful. A number of folks were climbing up as I descended so it was good I had been able to start early and avoid the crowd.
By the time I was finished it was 12:30 and the trip had taken long than I expected, about 3 hours. I rode back to town and stopped at the same foodmart for drink and a pizza slice.
Then it was on to
Speculator, my goal for the day. First I
The road continued it’s up and down with not many difficult climbs so I made pretty good time to Speculator and got there just a little before 5pm, a little better than I expected. I stopped for a quick drink and then headed to the Moffit Beach State Campground just a couple miles away. I had no problem getting a campsite but it cost $30 ($22 +$5 out state + tax), which was rather excessive.
I got a site with a lake view right next to a couple from North Carolina, Earl and Arlene who were there spending a few days fishing. They invited me to dinner and I got treated to some beer and a hamburger. So it turned out to be a very good campsite and a pleasant evening although flies were a real pest for some reason and there were some mosquitoes although were less bothersome than the flies. Fortunately this couple were early risers so I was able to give them my food bag for them to store overnight.
My tent was very wet in the morning which was a surprise. Since it is a single wall tent it does suffer from condensation. However, when I got up I could see everything was foggy so I presume that caused the wet tent.
Earl was already up when I got up at 6:30 as he promised he would be and I retrieved my food bag. I packed up with a very wet tent that I would have to dry out at some point. I left my new friends behind around 7:00 and headed back to town to a place that I saw yesterday served breakfast. I had a pancake sandwich with 2 pretty decent sized pancakes so I was satisfied with breakfast.
My goal for the day
It wasn't until
almost 50 miles that a small store finally popped up and I stopped for my
second breakfast around 12:30. This was
shortly after I detoured off of Hwy 8 and picked up Hwy 365 that went all the
Traffic picked up
as I neared
While I was cleaning up I pitched my wet tent in the parking lot. It dried out in about 15 minutes in the sun and a little breeze.
I spent a good part
of the evening researching tomorrow's route which I was undecided on. My original plan was to ride the Erie Canal
to Dewitt and then make my way to Seneca Falls and ride down to
There wasn't much choice at the motel's continental breakfast. They had these small waffles so I took two of them, a bagel, and a pastry and that was breakfast. After packing up I had to get my loaded bicycle down the stairs and I eased the bike down using the brakes.
I rode just a
little further and I was able to get on the actual canal route, a crushed
gravel path following along the canal, which was covered with green scum in
this area. This area was where the
As expected in a level area, this was easy riding and the only thing that would have made it better would have been a paved route. The crushed gravel surface exacted a penalty of 1-2 mph in exchange for no automobile traffic. This early section was mostly through trees and in some places the tree coverage was dense enough that it was almost like riding through a tunnel.
Later, a section of the route was paved and it was a perfect trail. Then the route passed through a couple areas where it joined the road for a bit but the signage was good enough that there was never a problem finding the next canal section.
What was a problem
was finding food. When I rode through
Durhamville I thought I might find something but what I found was food for the
soul, in the form of a couple of churches, but nothing for the stomach. I had to ride somewhat further to Canasota, a
town that grew up to support the
Up to this point the canal route was reasonably wide to allow traffic in both directions. But then the route narrowed in places where the crushed gravel was wide enough only for a single cyclist or pedestrian in one direction. Then later again it became reasonably wide again.
Since this was a
Sunday I had worried that the canal route might be crowded and perhaps
difficult to travel at a reasonable pace.
That turned out not to be the case.
I didn't see any substantial traffic until after 11am and that could
have been because I was getting closer to the western end and closer to the
larger population of the
For the most part this late morning traffic didn't pose any problem. But I did have one case where two joggers were filling the path so I rang my bell, then announced “on your left”, and all of this caused the two joggers to separate so I rode between them, not the typical expected behavior where they should have moved to the right so I could pass on the left.
After a little over 40 miles I reached the end of the tail near DeWitt. Riding a little further south brought me into DeWitt where I spied a Chase Bank and I stopped for some cash at an ATM where I wouldn't get charged a fee. Then I grabbed some food and drink because I was only at about the half way mark for the day and the second half would not be flat like the canal path.
I started riding on
the second half just before 1pm. My
route suggestion was the
The only problem
was that 91 started a pretty big climb and I guessed the other side didn't have
the big climb. Then with the aid of my
Garmin GPS I discovered the road on the west side was initially called
I could have just
ridden down 13 to
Other than a couple
of manure spots on the road this lesser traveled section was nice cycling with
little traffic and nice views. As I
It was only another
mile into town where I81 passed through and there were the usual high priced
motel suspects. I wandered around some
more because I knew there were other places.
Eventually I found a motel just off
Today was a fairly
hard day and the longest day of the trip so far. The morning was pleasant on the flat, traffic
There was a diner next door where I ate breakfast. It was an old fashioned diner with a long bar and a grill where the cook cooked. I had pancakes and ham and it was good.
I had less than 30
After getting a bite to eat in town I made my way to the public library where I spent some time researching the next part of my trip. I spent some time along the river south of the library and caught a short nap. Finally, I called Andrejs to let him know I was in town. I assumed he would be working but I learned he was retired so I rode to his house.
Andrejs is a member
of the phred bicycle touring list and made a number of route suggestions
Of course, we
talked about bicycles and bicycle trips.
Then Andrejs took me out on the road to show me a gorge at
Diana, teaches at the
I left Andrejs and Diana around 7:30, leaving them to their own breakfast and rode to the Bakery that Andrejs had suggested in response to my query for a good breakfast place. It was a good choice. They had a breakfast bar where you loaded up a plate and paid by the weight. In addition to the usual breakfast food they had very good French toast made out of some kind of wheat bread.
I left around 8:30
and headed for
There was some
significant climbing on 13 as it climbed up one ridge and another ridge later
on. I thought there might not be any services
Eventually 13 ended
Then I rode south a
little further to link up with 328 but there was a Pennsylvania Ave that
paralleled 328 for a ways that I was able to ride and avoid high speed
But there was really no other camping option so I rode on another 4 miles to Tioga. I asked around but nobody knew for sure about Ives Run. Instead at a small restaurant, Me-Ma's Country Kitchen, I asked the owner and his wife about camping in a town park overnight. They called Kathy, the mayor, and she gave consent to camp at a little memorial park with a gazebo nearby. So I locked up my bike at the restaurant and ate there and waited for near dark to set up. I had a really big hamburger that was almost more than I could eat. Then I washed up a bit in the men's room and headed to the park. I set up behind the gazebo so it was very likely no one even noticed I was there.
So far I liked PA more than NY with its absurd camping costs. Just one night in PA camping and my camping costs were $0.
It wasn't a great night for sleeping. First, it was too warm. I laid on top of my sleeping bag most of the night and slipped inside later in the morning but it was still too warm to keep the flap over me. The other problem was trucks. They were passing through town all night long. I guessed they were water trucks involved in fracking.
I packed up early and headed for the country kitchen for breakfast. I had a good breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and ham for a little less than $6. Easily the best value breakfast so far.
As I was leaving town I passed by a white bicycle hanging from a pole that marked the spot where a cyclist was killed in 2008. A surprising location since it was still in town and you wouldn't think enough speed would have been involved to cause a fatality. Of course, the problem might have been too much speed for the location.
Yesterday as I was casing the town I saw a dog lying in a couch outside a house. When I stopped to take a photo of his leisurely approach to protecting his property he reluctantly got out of the couch and took a few halting steps toward me. This morning he was in the same spot – lying in his favorite couch. I guessed he had his share of chasing cyclists and no longer found it exciting. Or maybe he used to chase the cyclists that got killed and was still mourning his favorite chase victim.
A few miles later I rode by the Hammond Reservoir where there was a turnoff to the Ives Run CG that I thought I might camp at. There was a sign saying facilities were close. Obviously the recent rains had caused damage to the recreational facilities.
It was 15 miles on
287 to the turnoff on 6. Just prior to
this junction it was possible to get on the Pine Creek Trail but Andrejs had
suggested it would be better to wait until
When I got to
When I got up the weather was overcast and a little foggy and the local paper predicted some showers. Now the clouds had dissipated and the sun was shining and it looked like another warm day.
After my second breakfast
I started on the Pine Creek Trail, a 2% grade, 62-mile rails-to-trails in the
Pine Creek Gorge that is sometimes referred to as the Grand Canyon of
Pennsylvania. Formerly this trail was
used by the
When I first started on the trail I stayed to the right like a good citizen and I was not impressed by the trail. The path was fairly rocky and had some pot holes. But then I discovered there were really two parts to the trail. The right most part was like a regular road and the left half of the trail was the real cyclist path. Once I figure that out the trail was pretty good with its crushed limestone.
The area was called
the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania which was rather misleading. It was nothing like the real
One of the good things about the trail was that it was often shielded from the sun. First the sun had to be almost overhead to get down into the canyon. Then on top of that trees often formed a canopy over the trail providing further shelter from the sun. So riding the trail was cool in more ways than one.
My plan for the day
was to camp at Bonnell Flats at the southern end of the trail. However, I discovered that even though
camping was free in this primitive camping area you needed a camping permit. I had a brochure that gave a phone number but
I couldn't get my cell phone to call the number for some reason and once I was
in the canyon there was no cell coverage.
So when I stopped at
So I didn't know
what to do about the camping permit.
When I stopped at the
The trail switched sides of the creek a couple of times. The trail also had a 2-mile section that was shared with vehicles because a section of the road had gotten washed out by the recent rains and vehicles got rerouted on this 2-mile section of trail, although no vehicles showed up while I rode that section.
When I got to
I was relieved to be set for camping. I cruised back down the hill and rode back to the store and finished my drink. It was about another 4 miles to Bonnell Flats and then I had to find my assigned camp spot. It was quickly clear that mosquitoes were going to be everywhere with the lush vegetation around. So I threw up my tent and dumped my panniers inside. Then I walked down to the creek and found it was deep enough close to the edge to lay down in the water and clean off. The water was a little cool but not bad. Refreshed by this “shower” I headed back to my tent and settled in for the night.
It rained during the night. First it was a little drizzle and then it rained pretty hard for a while. Eventually it stopped raining and I hoped that was it but no such luck. It started drizzling again in the morning. So I packed up in the rain and left around 7am.
It was another 7
miles to the end of the Pine Creek Trail and then I rode into
It was still raining when I left the comfort of the breakfast place. I retraced my route and headed west. This eventually turned into 150. I passed through several towns and crossed the river at Lock Haven. When I reached Mill Mall I picked up 64 south. The rain had steadily diminished since breakfast so things were looking up. 64 was a busy road with a lot of truck traffic but a decent shoulder so the traffic was just very noisy. I thought I would be taking 64 all the way to State College but then a PA-G sign showed a turnoff which I took.
It was a blessed relief to get off the busy, noisy highway and gain the peace of 445. Scenery was also much better as the road followed a stream uphill. For a while the climbing was modest but then the climbing got serious and I had easily the hardest climbing of the trip so far. The descent was steep and with the wet conditions I kept my speed under control. When the road terminated I took 192 west.
At this point the
weather deteriorated. The rain picked up
and the wind was a nasty cross wind.
Fortunately this only lasted about 20 minutes and then the rain
gradually diminished. 192 passed between
two ridges with large farms lining both sides of the road. When 192 ended at Centre Hall I kept riding
We parked my
bicycle in Jeff's work room and drove to meet Robert, another touring
cyclist. Robert was a taxi driver and
had to go to work shortly so we discussed our various trips as best we could
before he had to leave for work. Robert
has toured extensively both in the local northeast area and
After visiting with
Robert we returned to Jeff's work location to retrieve my bicycle and then Jeff
gave me a quick tour of the
As we decided last night, Jeff and I left for breakfast at 7am. Jeff knew that I liked pancakes so he took me to the Waffle Shop. When he first mentioned this place I thought he meant the Waffle House chain which I didn't think would be found this far north. We had a good breakfast and had some interesting work related conversation since we work in somewhat related wireless tech industries.
After breakfast we drove back to Jeff's house and I completed my packing and left right around 9am. Jeff was a great host and it was nice to be able to just show up in a fairly large town and not have to worry about where to stay or how to get around. And Jeff was considerate enough to position his house just a couple miles from where I resumed the PA-G route. I only had to ride downhill and make a couple of turns and I was on 45 heading south.
We reviewed this
section of the route from State College to
This was a good
riding day with pleasantly cool temperatures and some sun. 45 headed along farming country, some of them
A little further
and 45 ended and I picked up the Lower (as in flower) Trail. This was once the Petersburg Branch of the
Pennsylvania Railroad, which operated from 1879 to 1979. Before that it was
part of the Pennsylvania Waterway system that connected
At one point I passed along a short field where corn was being chopped up into silage. In this case two tractors were involved. One pulled the corn chopper and the other pulled a wagon with a narrow slot for the corn chopper to shoot into. That seemed like a poor arrangement but I wanted to get a photo. So I raced ahead to the end of the field so I could stop and get my camera out and get a photo which I did and then I watched until they reached the end of the field. At that point it got interesting. As the first tractor started turning the corner the second driver stopped. That caused the stream of silage to shoot past the wagon and started swinging towards me. As I saw this I started riding my bike to avoid the stream when these guys realized what was happening and the first guy stopped the stream. They were laughing, as I was, when the second guy leaned out and exclaimed that this wasn’t deliberate. I told them I was going to call the police, which probably wouldn't have been useful in farming country.
Then the day almost ended in disaster just a few miles from Martinsburg. Two vehicles came over a little rise and apparently the trailing vehicle knew the road and was determined to pass as soon as he got over the rise. Neglecting to notice me or ignoring me he pulled right out into my lane and I was facing an accelerating vehicle. 866 had no shoulder which wasn't really a problem with the light traffic. In this situation I had no choice but to ride off the shoulder which turned out to be a run out on to a grassy shoulder and nothing difficult. This all happened so fast I didn't even have time to have a heart attack. But I wondered if the driver of the passing vehicle realized what a dangerous stunt he pulled and how it could easily have ended in disaster.
I reached Martinsburg at 3:30 so I wanted to find some Internet access. As luck would have it there was a bakery near the corner of the junction where I stopped. When I found they had Internet access I stopped for a desert and started my PC. Shortly after 2 guys, Josh and Mike, pulled up in regular bicycles. This was obviously a regular stop for them on their ride. I gave them some grief about not having enough weight on their bikes but I also got some useful information on how to get started on the PA-G route tomorrow.
I learned earlier from a customer that the town had a municipal park just up the street where I could camp. So I left around 4:30 to see what I needed to do to set up camp. This was quite a park with swimming pool, a playground, and even a bowling alley. The bowling alley looked to be the only thing with any personnel around so I stopped in and inquired about camping. I eventually learned it would cost me $15 although it wasn't obvious where I should/could camp, where the restroom was, whether there were any showers. Nevertheless, this was good enough for passing through and I picked a spot near a pavilion with picnic tables.
Then I realized my tent was still wet from two nights before. So I had to set it up to dry it out. With little sun because of clouds, this took a while so I left my tent to dry and rode the couple blocks to a Subway for dinner. When I returned my tent still wasn't completely dry but it was going to have to do and I settled in for the night. On a positive note there didn't seem to be any mosquitoes around so I was able to type up my day's report outside on a picnic table, a big improvement of trying to type away cramped inside my tent.
I slept well in the tent for a change and that's because it was finally cool enough that I actually used my sleeping bag and zipped it up part way. I packed up and rode the 3 or 4 blocks to the bakery for breakfast. I had the Almond Crescent French Toast, 4 thick slices that were very good.
I left at 8:30. There was some question about the best way to start riding since there was some question about the safety on 164 heading west. However, I had queried the two local cyclists yesterday and they didn't think there was any particular problem with 164. So I started that way and didn't have any problem with traffic and some of that could have been due to the fact it was a Saturday morning.
The route headed northwest through Roaring Springs and McKee to get to a gap between two ridges and get on the west side of the ridge that I rode towards. Then the route picked a road that paralleled 220 so this was a nice rural road with only local traffic and good riding.
When I got to
Osterburg I stopped for a second breakfast but didn't have any cereal so made
do with a quart of chocolate milk, a banana, and a bear claw. That was good enough to power me up a hard
climb on the way to
Right at 4:00 I
When I finally
There was a motel/restaurant on the other side of the Interstate that was within reasonable walking distance to I ate there. They also had WiFi so I used it to book a room at the Fairfield Inn for tomorrow using my Marriott Reward points. It was interesting that I could still get this WiFi from my motel room but it was password protected so I had to eat at the restaurant to get the password in the first place.
Since I was in no hurry when I got up I decided to do a little bicycle maintenance so I wouldn't have to bother later. I cleaned up the frame which was mostly due to riding in the rain Thursday morning when I finished the few remaining miles on the Pine Creek Trail. Then I cleaned my chain and I was good to go.
I rode the 4 miles
back to downtown looking for a place to have breakfast. I was sure I would find something downtown
but I didn't and ended up settling for a McDonald's. There was a grocery store near the McDonald's
so I did some food shopping but they didn't have much variety so I only picked
up a couple things. I went back to the
I was pleasantly
surprised to find the Fairfield Inn was located right on the
I wanted to do some more grocery shopping so I got directions to a better grocery store. It was a bit of a hike but mainly because I had to walk west a ways to cross the railroad tracks that ran through town and then walk east. This was a real grocery store and I picked up a number of items since it might be difficult to get anything along the canal route.
When I was done
grocery shopping I walked back west to get across the tracks and then walked
I walked back to
the motel and unloaded my groceries and then walked back to the old town
section. In its heyday
All of this was set
on a hill and as I was walking back I had a nice view looking down the hill and
through the pedestrian mall on
I finally caught a gap in the traffic and managed to get a reasonable photo so I walked back towards the motel. There was a restaurant, the Crabbie Pig, right at the start of the canal route and they had some lunch specials until 4pm so I stopped around 3:30. I sat down at a table outside on a nice day and watched everybody else get served. It seemed the waitresses must have thought I had leprosy. I finally had to go inside and ask if it was possible to get service before I got any service. I had a fish and shrimp plate with a beer that was good if slow in coming.
Back at the motel I
paid some bills, sent some emails, and sorted through some of the travel
material I had collected so far along the way.
I actually had quite a bit of material that I would have liked to mail
home but couldn't on a Sunday.
Nevertheless I gathered the no longer needed travel material so I would
be able to ship it home at the first opportunity, perhaps tomorrow in the small
Copyright Denis Kertz, 2011. All rights reserved.