Friday, July 21, 2006

Thursday, July 13th

The weather started out cloudy, but cleared by late morning as we headed towards Rome and Fort Stanwix.
In the corner- parts of a bilge pump

I took time to check out the Chittenango Landing Boat Museum, which though very local was extremely nice. Cool stuff was displayed related to the Erie Canal, including an actual bilge pump, with a description of how it worked. So many ingenious solutions to the problems presented at the time. Different types of local products were also showcased, with original signage and advertising from the period. The town had a little welcoming committee of two, and the town is obviously trying very hard to realign itself to tourism- successfully.

We were welcomed into the Rome Erie Canal Village, but it was at the end of the day’s ride and my feet were uncomfortable, still being wet from the rain yesterday. I must admit that there was no one in the main museum building, for most people wanted to view the houses and barns, so I wandered around in my sock feet, carrying my shoes to get some relief. Having seen similar buildings and displays in Mumford/Genessee Country Museum, I skipped most of the other buildings and moved on to Rome.

At Rome, we encamped right on the grounds of Fort Stanwix. In hindsight, I am very sorry I did not take the time to go on a tour of the fort or spend more time in the National Park Service interpretive building, for I got a glimpse into the interpretive building and the exhibits were well done.
Tent City at Fort Stanwix- note the guard on the horizon
We were on our own for dinner, and since I could not find any of my previous pals (and did not feel outgoing enough to find new ones), I walked to a grocery store nearby and bought blueberries, chocolate milk, rolls and cashews for dinner. I have done this before and find it quite fulfilling. An amusing gentleman camping near my tent asked me to get him some lime vodka from a liquor store next to the grocery, with which he was happily mixing lemonade.

Earlier in the day I had been asking people how to adjust the front derailleur, for the dust had entered the cable housing and I could not shift in front. I had searched the front derailleur for the adjustment screws I seem to remember seeing, but thought I was wrong, because there were no screws. It turned out that I did know what I was doing, but the screws had been concealed under the stone dust. I paid the bike fix-it people to clean my bike of stone dust. Can’t be good for the chain/cogs. It was well worth it, because my bike was again white.

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