God has smiled on us with great biking weather. Today the winds are very helpful and ease the burden of the 94 miles we put in for the day.
We leave our Hostel and get a quick breakfast at a local bakery and then work our way around the Niagara River towards US customs. Along the way, we stop and gawk at the massive natural whirlpool created by the erosion of the Niagara Escarpment. We literally are in awe of this, almost as much as the falls themselves. Incredible.
We have to do a bit of climbing when to reach the border where we navigate through the tolls and the auto lanes to the customs agent. There are "back ways" that cyclist are directed to skip the bridge toll, but we wait in the car lanes to clear customs, just like everyone else. We pass through with ease and are back in the States and headed to Rochester.
Most of the rest of the route is on the Erie Canalway trail. We follow that for 60 to 70 miles, a simple slip and fall away from the banks of the Erie Canal. After some slight trouble finding the start, we cruise down the bank only to realize that this is an un-paved trail with fine gray gravel and and hard packed substrate. At first we are very concerned about the miles we must endure the "off-road" path. Especially Brian who is on much thinner tires than I. At is turns out, this route is fantastic. It is smoother than most of the roads we were on in Ohio for sure. Not even close. The winds are behind us, the deck is firm and it is flat. With the extra friction, it is certainly slower than a smooth road, but we make pretty good time. We also make a big mess. Our bikes, bags and ourselves are coated with the dirt kicked up by the road. We are a sight to see as we arrive in Rochester.
It is still a long day and we turn in early get some rest for the ride to Sterling the next day.
Moose Search: Real 0. Large fake carving 1.
Music in my head: The Allman Brothers Band; Ramblin' Man