Thursday, September 3, 2015

Day 48. Sterling, NY to Osceola, NY

Today (Wednesday) is the last day riding with Brian.  We sink washed out cycling clothes the night before and hung them out on the porch of the cabin to attempt to dry overnight.  They do not.  The heavy dew and fog have ensured that the day starts with wet cycling kits.  Except for the initial moments, it isn't really that uncomfortable, as we have some big hills to climb to start the morning and we will be wet in due time. 

There is light fog and high haze during the morning ride and the upcoming sun is a shrouded deep orange ball as it rises above the trees. We ride together for the first 17 miles to Fulton, NY and have breakfast at a roadside diner and skating rink.  Then we cycle over the bridge and part ways, Brian to the south to Syracuse and I turn north.  Brian makes Syracuse in good time and takes his bike to the local shop for disassembly and shipping back home.  He has time to relax at the airport before he returns home.  It was a great week of riding.  

My cyclometer has quit working and my cycling shoes are coming apart in different sections.  I make three different stops to fix both, only to have success in finding shoe goop to apply overnight to keep them together for another 11 days before they are permanently retired.   Cyclometer still not working.  

The route turning north is increasing in climbs, a prelude to the mountains in front of me for the finishing 1 1/2.  The towns and hamlets are becoming smaller and further apart in this part of northern NY.  We have enjoyed various roadside wildflowers the last few days, but here the late summer high grasses have choked out the remaking sparse blooms.  I cycle in heavy overcast skies past areas that appear to be seasonal shacks and cottages.   Many of them are in various states of structural stability.  The darker skies, thick woods and cabins in disrepair give off the feeling that this is the area that New Yorkers tell stories about around the campfire.  

Pulaski is a town along the route and it has that All-American Main Street feel, with a well-adorned Central Park.  In another 10 miles stop in the small town of Orwell at the Village Restaurant.  Literally, the only place to eat.  As I select a seat, as often happens, I am a bit of a novelty in the smaller communities.  Teresa, the owner, is welcoming everyone that enters by their first name and makes me feel welcome as well.  As I am asked about my trip, I am asked where I reside.  As it turn out, Teresa was born and raised in the Combee area of Lakeland.  Small world indeed.  

I finish the days trek covering some more rolling hills and stay at a cross-country ski cabin in Osceola.  A terrific place and concept.  It is a place that skiers can come for a holiday, and ski the local trails.  It has a loft with beds and a full kitchen, communal room and a dryer, so I can finally get my gear dry.  In the springtime, the owner has installed two 18 hole frisbee golf courses along the ski trails that have at least 10 visitors come through while I am here.  I try my hand at one of the courses, playing basically a round of bogey+ frisbee golf.  It was a great change of pace and a nice walk through the wooded trails. 

I end the day with a bit of bike maintenance before I enjoy just sitting on the couch and reading for a bit.  Tomorrow is on to my campsite at eighth lake campground.  

Moose search:  zip

Music in my head:  The Band: Up on Cripple Creek.