Miles to Date: 694
May 17, 2015 – Cloudy, 60 degrees
Nature is breaking me into her fury in a most gentle way. After encountering no rain for ten days, this morning’s forecast called for a few hours of showers. Reality turned out to be a gentle mist and steamy fog rising off of Mount Equinox as I pedaled south from Manchester.
Rolling through Arlington brought forth memories of many good times there with my housemate Paul, who had a house there for years. I rode past his old house, the park where we walked his dog, Silas, and the covered bridge over the Battenkill where we taught Silas how to swim. Since he got used to the water, that dog dives into any pool or puddle he can find.
The metaphor of the Empire State in decline was too obvious to ignore as I passed the state line and the solid road, pristine gentlemen farms, and well proportioned white houses of Vermont yielded to cracked blacktop and farms past luster. Still, New York’s countryside is beautiful and the expanses of planted fields already further along than those I saw north and east only a few days ago.
I plan to be in New York State about a week, cutting a swath through the center of the state. I traversed the Erie Canal, Mohawk Valley, and Western New York on my last bike trip, and will spend time in the Big Apple on my return. There is a lot to see in New York.
I stopped for breakfast at the Country Gal’s Cafe in Cambridge. There’s nothing like it in Cambridge, MA for sure. That gave me plenty of energy to push through to Saint Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham for lunch, where I met with my aunt, a 93-year-old nun, and her fellow sisters to talk about tomorrow.
I took an easy ride to the other side of Albany to stay with my friend Dave Gibson, his wife Chris, and the three children they still have at home. They have ten children in total and several grandchildren to boot. We made flatbread pizzas on the grille and ate on the deck overlooking their wooded yard. As old friends do, we talked until nearly midnight – very late for this cyclist, but a great time to catch up.