Having stayed in a motel we again averted sleeping in a tent through a stormy night. #missionaccomplished
And the Mexican food we had the night before at the mom and pop diner was fab. Although Tom has always eaten his meals fast, I now eat all of the food on my plate within seven seconds without a morsel left. It’s as if someone is going to take the food away at the eight second mark. #alwayshungry
But by far the most memorable conversation of the day was the chat we had first thing in the morning with Linda and Norman from New Zealand.
We were going in the direction they’d just come from and they were heading west on the Northern Tier down through Pennsylvania and Ohio.
After our route rap Linda shared more about a camping spot near Old Forge where she and Norman camped for the night. They were on their bikes and when they checked in, the ranger said to be sure to store food in their car. Linda of course said there was no car, and the ranger proceeded to tell them to hang their food bag from a rope.
In her unique coquettish New Zealand accent, she said she thought they were being a bit dramatic. Norman said their campsite number was #642. What were the chances a bear would visit their campsite, on that night.
Without a rope to hang food, as a precaution they left the panniers with food on the bikes that night.
Sure enough in the middle of the night Linda heard an animal. Yogi was there for a meal. Linda jumped out of the tent (no clothes on) and started jumping up and down and clapping her hands to shoo the bear away. Norman just giggled and said it was her first bear encounter and it was like “bare met bear”.
Folks ya can’t make this up. And they told their own story a lot better than we ever could. It was a lot of fun talking to these bicycle world travelers.
As far as the ride went, we were able to avoid all rain and actually had a tail wind. We moved back and forth between the historic and scenic Erie Canal and Route 31.
Apparently Rochester had just experienced torrential rains and the canal path was a bit muddy which made for tougher cycling as our tires sunk into the soft trail surface.
There was an REI right on the canal so we were able to resupply and then we cycled on to our warm shower host in Rochester.
We will have more of the canal tomorrow for half a day and then it’s on to the Adirondacks for some elevation tomorrow.