Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Galveston, TX hotter than...

We did 32 miles from Port Bolivar to Galveston in 105 degree heat; ah the memories of the Trans Am, eastern Kansas and western CO.

There was a ship that looked from afar as though not moving, until we got quite close. It created a large wave at its bow and I saw it hits something. As it happened again, I realized the it wasn't hitting something, there were dolphins jumping its wake. I love dolphins. You gotta eat and work, but you can have fun while doing so.

Afterword, we did what I wish we could do after a long hot day on the bike. We drank margueritas.

Kansas biking

Came all the way down to Kansas to visit a TransAm buddy. He popped a 60 mile day trip on me and we went out with two of his freinds. 60 turned into 72 pretty serious miles in 100 degree weather. I commented that it was impressive Bill has any friends when he subjects them to grueling rides. We all held up pretty well though.
Bill, me, Kenny, Mary Jo and SamO the dog.

Look out Kenny. That combine is a mighty wide load!

Cold drinks. In the sun it was probably over 100.

A tractor was slowly and painfully overtaking us. It struggled because its passing speed required almost 2 minutes to pass us and in that time a car would often appear from the other direction.

Nice day, nice people. Kansas.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Finger Lakes day 5

Rained all night, but a good tent and good siting kept the water at bay (hahahaha, I am so funny). We ate a light breakfast, then made our way to Ithaca. Got into the coop satellite location and bought second breakfast, then visited the used bookstore, where we engaged in deep discussions about activism, cooking, books and life experiences. We spent a lot of time doing this, then returned to Viva for margeritas and lunch and jumped to Mate Format for coffee and to escape the rain. In the short interval between showers we dashed to the main store of the coop. Spending a lot of time checking out the goods, we then ate gelato and sorbet while waiting for the rain to stop. It never did and at 8:30 we headed out in the dark and rainy night to return to the CG. There we hung out in the pavillion with other groups trying to escape the rain., passing the time playing games and watching out the bat inside.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Finger Lakes day 4

No hurry today. We will probably stay at Buttermilk Falls for three more nights, so I zoomed down the hill and go a new site assignment and cranked back up. Out of the 6 or so sites we had noted as being better and empty, only one was available.
Breakfast of rolls and pesto, carrots, pretzels and trail mix. We didn't get going until 11:30, but then had a good time again eating at the Farmer's market.

On the way to the science center we dried our clothes and afterwards tried to go to the coop. Downtown pretty much shuts down at 6 on Sundays, so we ended up at a restauant for dinner. We had stopped at a toy store to look over their games and picked up a bananagrams type gave involving numbers called Sodomoku, which we played during dinner. The restaurant was Mate and the whole group running it had long hair and were very hippyish. The food was fair, but the interior was what got us into the cool zone. Decorated with wood and branches, the place looked like the inside of a log cabin where people didn't have a saw mill to mill lumber. The branches were fitted together cleverly and the whole place had a skilled wood artist look about it.
We got back to the SP at around 8:15 and Jamie showed up. We were pretty loud, but quieted down by 10 in time for quiet hours.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Finger Lakes day3: 36 miles

We had agreed to get up early and bolt to get to the Ithaca Farmer's market by 1 at the latest, so up at 6 and out by 7.
Breakfast was in Moravia at the Eatery. Yummy breakfast wraps and cinnamon muffins.
Rachel said the miles were easier and maybe we did mostly uphill yesterday. That may make for more of a struggle when we finally go back for the car. The descent into Ithaca on route 34 was a little hairy due to a very narrow shoulder, but the speed limit was 45 and we were going 30, so most drivers didn't get too upset, but we won't climb back out that way. The farmer's market was delightful and we ate a pint of heirloom cherry tomatoes, two scones and half gallon of cider. There were vendors there selling silk screened t-shirts, clay pots, hand woven baskets and canned foods like chutney. The clientele was interesting and varied, though more through lifestyle than income level. I answered an online survey about the short bike/ped trail we came in on and one question was about gender: male, female, other. Very nice.
At the Visitor's center we found out there is a large race at Watkins Glen and the whole area is filled up. The lady at the visitors center suggested we call the State Park's direct line to see what could be arranged, so this we did. The office told us they were full, but to call the park manager and in this way we spoke to Kathy. She squeezed us into an "emergency" site. So sweet.
Buttermilk Falls has no bike path directly to it, so we got dumped onto a high speed, high traffic, no shoulder road for a quarter mile span. We even went under a nice pedestrian bridge, but were later told there was no access to it and it went nowhere. Kinda stupid, considering there was a nearby bike path. Also, you can follow a low traffic road most of the way and if you know what you are doing you can go up a dead end to a tiny trail which leads to the park office. Really surprising that the bike paths and such are not better developed and utilized. Probably kind of a typical "not enough dedicated people" kind of thing. Some people are obviously working on it.
The road to the campground seems to go straight up. This is the first time I needed my granny gear and I couldn't get into it, so I walked a portion. Beautiful CG, quiet and small. We pitched the tent, dumped the panniers and rode back to Ithaca for dinner at Taste of Thai.

So yummy. Got back at 8:30, blinky lights a blinkin. Shower, Chill Out game and sleep.

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Finger Lakes day 2- 22 miles

Got up and lazed around after Patty and George left for work, then rode to the LBS and had them adjust Rachel's borrowed bike's derailleurs and rear brake. Truthfully I should have done these things before leaving, but time was tight and Rachel was suffering from a lack of gears. Breakfast then we were off.
I was busy misinforming Rachel about the farm knowledge Bill attempted to impart, when Rachel noted how it would be nice to have all that info in a little book. That's when it struck me: the Pocket Bill farm reference book- just enough Bill, but not too much.

Oats, soybeans, corn and hay fields abound. We saw several different types of combines, including one towing a hay fluffed (smile/wink).
We met a couple from Rochester while lounging by the side of the road eating pretzels. They introduced us to the maps generated by the Onondaga bike club of Finger Lakes routes.
Today rolling hills mostly, we mostly stayed off state routes.
In Moravia we stopped at a grocery for lunch/ dinner and shared a pint of Ben and Jerry's Steven Cobert. Waffle cone and caramel. Funny, but not as tasty as some. We also picked up 2 quarts of blueberries, cottage cheese, salt and vinegar potato chips, oj and carrots.
The 2 miles more to Fillmore Glen SP went quickly; we barely got a site because it was Friday, Showered, ate and played Bananagrams, of course. Rachel spent time creating blueberry people and eating them.

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tiny tour- Finger Lakes in NY

Left the car at a used car dealer at the southern end of Owasko Lake, a small lake west of Skaneateles and east of Cayuga. Beautiful roads with some small hills and a little rolling of hills led us to Skaneateles at 7:30, 1 1/2 hours late. We were hosted by Elizabeth's parents Patty and George. Super sweet and very interesting to talk with. They have similar bends to us; nature nurturers, mindful of what they consume (prob moreso than us) and just thought-full/ thoughtful people. They fed us home-made pesto and squash from their garden.

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