You know when you are cycling on a road named Furnace Road in New York at the end of July at 4:30pm its going to be a scorcher.
Just the same as when your hubby has claimed a campsite in the Bluff Campground you know you’re going to have some climbing to do before you rest for the night.
That would not be so problematic except that…we’d already climbed a lot! And we stopped in town at the C-store for provisions which included three cold Molson tall boys, a free piece of hot pizza, some broccoli and a sammie.
While “grannnying” up to the “bluffs” I’m thinking our beer is getting warm, the pizza is getting cold and is this hill ever going to end.
All good though! We arrived at site 83 and immediately received invites from camping neighbors. One for dinner and one for s’mores.
Are New Yorkers the best or what?
We passed on dinner because there was that pizza, broccoli and sammie but opted in on the s’mores.
As far as the ride, it was splendid. It really was. However surprisingly we took very few pics. Mostly Tom and I were in prayerful reflection about a very special young man named Owen.
Owen’s parents were our warm shower hosts for the night. They let us sleep in their home, fed us, let us use their laundry, etc.
We met Chris several weeks ago just outside Babb, Montana as he was touring around Jasper and down to Glacier. We met in a parking lot just after we came down from Logan Pass.
He said he and his wife Kate were warm shower hosts in Rochester and we should look them up if our route took us near there.
I never gave it a second thought, however Tom took a note and contacted Chris on the WS app a few days ago. We discovered from their write up they are parents of two young adult sons, one however was killed in a boating accident in August 2017.
What to do? Honestly it was a bit daunting. We have been in cycling/vacation mode since June 1 and meanwhile these people whom we’d not met were experiencing the most significant loss one could experience. What would we even say and how could we be happy in the midst of their great loss?
We decided to let the Spirit lead us and stay with Chris, Kate and Michael.
What we walked away with was more than we could have imagined. Chris is a solid adventurer and litigator. He’s been everywhere and has his own hand glider.
Kate is one of the most compassionate, poised, intelligent, faith filled woman I’ve ever met. There are no words to explain what Tom and I walked away with from our morning conversation with Kate. Through the loss of her mother who suffered from Alzheimer’s, the unexpected tragic death of their son and even a propane gas explosion in their camper that could have killed Kate and did destroy many treasured family artifacts they were transporting this woman remains peaceful, prayerful and hopeful.
So sometimes it’s not what we say, but how much we listen and learn.
What’s in a name? The name Owen will be honored, loved, cherished and sweetly remembered for many reasons by many people but also by those who benefit concretely from Owen’s House.
So more about the ride. The first 30 miles we continued on the Erie Canal on what we think might be our fave stretch of the canal. And then it was on to rural New York, a place lush with apple orchards and loaded with hills. #ouch
We also met several riders riding the Bon Ton ride. That’s been on our bucket list for a while so that was fun chatting it up with the riders.
Finally, we said hello to our third Great Lake, Lake Ontario!
As we spin toward the finish we are so very aware of the gifts of others and what we can learn from them. And while we are so anxious to see family soon, we know we will miss our bicycle adventures.