69 Miles / 3405.63 Total Miles
1148 Ft. Elevation Gain / 104,376 Ft. Total Elevation Gain
Boy did it rain, last night! A storm snuck up on us, just after midnight–while we were sleeping. And again, we had thunder and lightening striking almost simultaneously, which, as you know, is not a good thing. It was hot and humid, when I went to bed, so I was stretched out in my skivies with my rain fly openings up to let as much air as possible flow in. When the rain started pouring in, I had to be quick at getting the tent buttoned up tight. By the morning, the rain fly was still wet, but the skies had cleared, and the air was fresh, and it was cool and dry out–as in little to no humidity. What a treat.
Changing the topic, briefly, let’s talk about Gloria and her cooking. This morning, she prepared two different varieties of Dutch Baby pancakes–one with sliced apples, and the other, a chocolate pancake with cherries. They were scrumptious! And that was breakfast–not dessert. Dutch Babies are my favorite menu item at my favourite breakfast spot, Original Pancake House, next to Scottsdale Fashion Square, in Arizona. Note to self: I need to treat myself to breakfast there, ASAP, when I get home.
Following breakfast, Gloria and Darrel pulled out their electric assist recumbent trikes and led us out of their neighborhood and through the first 15 miles of our route. We continued along the Erie Canal, but that smooth limestone cinder path, that we flew down, yesterday, was now soaked with water, and we were bogged down for the first few hours of the day, as we dodged deep puddles, and frequently had to ride up on the grass to avoid getting mired in mud. Luckily, no one fell, but I can tell you that I had a few close calls. At one point, the puddles were so bad, that Darrel guided us down sides streets, for a few miles, to avoid them.
We met up with a super cool granddad, who had his two grandsons, ages 11 and 13, out on their first bike tour, covering a long section of the Erie Canal. I was impressed with how engaged the boys were in the logistics of their ride and in finding their way. They rode with us, for a while, and when we stopped for second breakfast, they joined us at Tom Horton’s. While we were stopped, Gloria and Darrel let them try out their recumbents.
After second breakfast we stopped for photos, then parted ways with Gloria and Darrel, and they headed home. They have absolutely been the best at looking out for us, and we truly appreciate it. When I get home, I’m going to put Gloria’s phone number on speed dial, so I can get recipes from her.
At our lunch stop, Fairport, we encountered our first bridge being raised, to let a tall boat pass beneath. A boat ride down the canal would be fun, if I ever get back this way.
After lunch, I met up with a gal named Heidi, as we left our lunch spot, and we rode together for about 1/2 hour. In 18 months, when she retires, she plans to do some long bike tours, so she had a lot of questions. And I had a lot of ideas and suggestions for her. Heidi told me about a song, about the Erie Canal, that all the kids at her elementary school had to learn, and sang it to me. It was hilarious. We sped up to catch up to Ed, so he could hear it too. Any woman who is willing to bust out in song, with a stranger, is my kind of girl. Heidi, you need to reach out to me, when you get around to doing one of those bike tours. I would love to join you.
And finally, we came up on a lock that we could see up close and personal. Earlier in the day, we encountered a lock that was in service, lowering a boat, but there was such a large fenced barrier, that we couldn’t get close enough to see anything. We could actually ride our bikes over this one, and we did.
In Palmyra, our route exited the canal path and headed north toward Lake Ontario, with 20 steady miles of headwind, blowing off the lake, to humble us and zap our energy.
When we reached Lake Ontario, in Pultneyville, we turned east and sailed to our campground, Hughes Campground and Marina. The owner led us out to a remote grassy spot, adjacent to both the marina and the lake, where we had plenty of room to spread out and our own gazebo, that we strung 3 clotheslines across to dry wet laundry.
Our gazebo is in the background below, and this large anchor was close to our picnic table. If you zoom in on the plaque, in front of the anchor and boulder, you’ll see that it is the headstone of the dad of the owner of the campground. That’s one heck of a grave marker, don’t you think?