Saturday, September 5, 2015

Day 49. Osceola, NY to Eighth Lake, NY

The cross-country ski cabin was a super place to stay.  The cabin is well- worn and with a distinctive slope towards the front door, but that creates more of the ambience and indeed the comfort of the place.  

After coffee and oatmeal, I wait for the heavy morning fog to lift.   It is humid and there is no wind, so it has set in for quite a while.  After it somewhat of an impatient wait, it appeared to lighten enough, so I decide to pedal forth.  It takes me the next two hours to cover just 15 miles.  The fog had not lifted and is in fact thicker and heavier in patches along the way.  There is no shoulder on this road and although I have my flashing taillight and my yellow cycling vest on, I am afraid they do little to penetrate the density.  In fact, I hear some cars before I can finally see their headlights dimly emerge at what is essentially the last second.  I pedal slowly and every time I hear or think I hear a car I get off the road as far as I can. I am a bit unnerved by my mistake to leave and often hear cars that never transform.   Where the gravel edge of the road it rideable, I stay off the road as much as I can.  This has been a very bad choice.   The moisture is so heavy that my helmet is literally dripping wet and my arms and legs look like spiderwebs in the early morning dew.  Finally, the sun starts to break through the abyss and melt the fog.  About this time I come upon a small town where I plan to find a place to eat something and wait until it is crystal clear.  There is a small market up the road, so I get a bottle of milk and a snack and wait it out.  

I have found the people of Upstate New York to be exceptionally friendly and generous.  As I enter the town and check my map, a lady pulls alongside to make sure that I have everything I need and ensure I know my way.  At the market, several different men coming and going ask me about the adventure.  They stop and ask many earnest questions, one offers me a ride, since he is "going that way".  Another buys me protein bars and all give encouragement and respect.  As a matter fact, the previous day, I decided I did not want ramen noodles for dinner, so I biked a short way to town to the bar and grill.  After many questions and banter from the locals, a couple bought my dinner.  Earlier that same day, at a break two motorcyclist, Vinny and Chris in their full Andrew Dice Clay accents come over and talk for 10 minutes.   They were hilarious and yet earnest in their inquiries.  The store apparently specialized in fudge and they treated me to some of the finest.  

(I am keeping all the direct donations and "free meals" to make a total donation from my friends from the road at the conclusion of the ride). 

Finally the sun breaks through completely and it is time to get rolling.  The hills today ensure that I do, in fact, roll up and down the Adirondacks.   It went from a mistake of a start to a truly glorious ride.  I spend most of my day on Moose River Road.  Yes, Moose my hopes have risen again for Moose sighting.  I was warned that this road was hilly and windy by some folks at lunch yesterday, but their alternate suggestion of "just up the road you can take Woodgate road and it is straighter" added about 10 miles to the route.  That is another lesson of the road, be careful who you ask.  Most people give directions with driving in mind.  "Just up the road" can be miles.  Ask follow up questions such as "would you walk it"?...."it is uphill?"   Etc.  As it turns out I loved riding this road.  It was narrow, unlined, and winding, but beautiful with light traffic.  Rustic cabins and homes set in the Adirondacks. You might think that road such as this would cause safety concerns.  These do not bother me as people traveling here are paying attention to the road, usually with a higher level of intensity.  Even those that speed around like they are on a slalom course, are intent on the road and pass me with a wide berth.  

At lunch I am told there have been Moose sighted in the area.  I am hopeful.  I am staying on Eighth Lake tonight and will be up early in case one is spotted.  My neighbor in the adjacent site tonight has a high end Bushnell scope on a tripod pointed out over the lake for such sightings.  

Tomorrow to North Creek, NY.  

Moose Search: 0

Song in my head:   Van Morrison; Into the Mystic