TRIP 2012

Update #22 - October 14th
Saunderstown, Rhode Island
2,806.43 miles (4,490.29 KM)

The first nine days of Mission Trip 33 have been okay. I finished my ride to Boston, Massachusetts Thursday, October 11th, It was a 335 mile (536 KM) ride from Chittenango, New York. I'm now four days into my ride South along the Atlantic Sea Coast.

October 03rd : Chittenango, New York to Herkimer, New York - It was around 8 AM when I was ready to head out. Dennis wanted to take some pictures. The sky was overcast and it looked like it had rained a little bit during the night. I got on NY 5, which is also designated NY Bike Route 5. The ride East went okay. There were a few hills along the way. I got 27 miles (43,2 KM) in by noon time. I stopped for a late lunch in Kirkland.

 New York Leaves

NY Bike Route 5 wasn't marked very well in Utica. I pretty well used dead-recogning and my compass to get into downtown Utica and then across the Mohawk River so that I could get back on NY 5 in Deerfield Heights. In Deerfield Heights, I stopped to get a few groceries. There was some brand new pavement between West Schuyler and East Schuyler. The miles flew by. Between East Schuyler and Herkimer, the pavement hadn't been resurfaced so there was just grooved pavement. It was a little tricky but I still maintained 8 mph. The road construction ended before the Herkimer city line.

I got into Herkimer a little after 5 pm. I rode to a motel that I had seen on Streets and Trips. I got a room in the upper $40s but they didn't have wi-fi. The pluses was that the motel and room were clean and there was a functioning heater unit in the room.

October 04th : Herkimer, New York to Amsterdam, New York - I left the motel around 7:40 AM. The sky was overcast and the temperature was in the 60s. I took the bridge over the Mohawk River and for on the Erie Canal Trail until Little Falls and then I got on NY 5. I got 27 miles (43.2 KM) in the morning. I stopped for some lunch at a Stewarts quick-mart in Palantine Bridge. I had to wait until a brief rain shower ended.

 witch hitting tree

The ride to Amsterdam went okay. I got into Amsterdam around 4:30 PM. About 3/4 mile (1.2 KM) down from the Amsterdam city line, the front tire went soft. I really had a hard time getting the tire inflated. I had a hard time finding the right position for the pump. The valve stem kept on coming out of the pump. I tried inflating the tube that I had patched and was carrying but it didn't hold air long. I had to take it out of the tire a couple of times. I reset the patch and I got the tube inflated but I couldn't get a lot of air pressure into the tire to ride it. It had taken me 90 minutes to get the tire up. I scraped up the skin on a couple of my fingers. One of the fingers had a blood blister.

I remembered passing a motel on the edge of Amsterdam. I walked back to the motel. I paid a little more than what I had expected for the room. There wasn't any wi-fi. This might be a motel where people come for sex. There was a hot tub in the room along with a regular bathroom. Also, there were a lot of mirrors in the room. There were fancy mirrors around the headboard of the bed and fancy sheets. The tile in the bathroom was cracked and loose.

It took a while to get the front tire fixed. I switched innertubes after I patched a pinhole leak in the tube that was in the tire before the repair. The tire is up and sort of hard but I'm not sure how much psi is in the tire because I don't think that the tire gauge works right. I've got to find and buy a couple inner tubes and maybe a new tire guage. I might try and find one of those quick inflators using CO2.

October 05th : Amsterdam, New York to Castleton-On-Hudson, New York - I had an okay night. It was around midnight when I fell asleep. It was a surprise that I did fall asleep. The bed was comfortable and the sheets were clean. I was surprised at that. It was good that I was able to get the tire inflated but I wasn't sure how much psi that I got because the pressure guage didn't seem to work right.

I woke up a little after 6 AM. When I looked outside, there was a thick fog. I took my time getting cleaned up and packed up. It was around 8 AM when I headed out. I turned on my back flasher. The front tire worked pretty well. I had enough pressure to ride. I stopped at a Stewarts quickmart in Rotterdam Junction. I took my time sipping some chocolate milk and I called up my friend in Baton Rouge to see how his recovery from pneumonia is coming along. He will be going to his doctor next Tuesday. A guy stopped to talk me because he had gotten a glimpse of the cross on the banner flag. When he came out of the store, he slipped me a $20 bill in a green handshake.

 New York Church Sign

About 4 miles (6.4 KM) out of Scotia, four deer ran across the road in front of me. Traffic heading west slowed down for them. The ride down NY 5 to Scotia and then on to Schenectady went okay. The ride through the Schectady downtown area went okay. I stopped to take a few pictures of two Amtrack trains at a railroad station. The railroad was elevated about the highway.

A mile east of the downtown area, I decided to follow the signs for Bike Route 5. I thought that there was a marked route that would take me along lightly traveled roads. This was a mistake. The bike route took me way out of the way. I was traveling way south of where I should have gone. For about an hour using my compass and some dead reckoning, I did some road riding. I was surprised that I was able to get back on NY 5 about 4 miles out of Albany. I must have road six or seven miles (10 - 13 KM) out of my way in a long circle.

It was good to get back on NY 5. I should have never left it. I stopped for lunch at a Wendys. On the way into Albany, I did some shopping. I stopped at a bike shop to get a new innertube for the front tire and a patch kit. The front tube cost almost $7. If I would have gotten a tube at a Walmart, I would have paid about $5. I stopped at a Dollar General to get a few things.

The ride into downtown Albany was a couple miles longer than posted. Stopped to take a few pictures of three police officers on horses. Rode past the state capitol. I am glad that I had some new disc pads because I needed them to get down to the Hudson River. I got on the Hudson River Bikeway rght next to the bike lane across the US 9/20 bridge to Rennselaer. The bridge was under construction but the bike walkway was open. They were in the process of repaving the bridge surface. I stopped to take some pictures of the construction. Also, I took some pictures of the Hudson River looking Northward and of Albany. The bridgeway dropped me off about 3 blocks north of US 9/ 20.

I started my ride east on US 20. There was about a mile and a half (3 KM) climb out of the Hudson River valley. I had to take my time because the roadway was bad with bad pothole patching and potholes. There wasn't any shoulder. Around 4:45 pm, I stopped at a motel in Castleton on Hudson. The traffic was getting thick because it was the start of the evening rush hour. I had to pay a little more than expected because it was on the weekend.

I'm about 23 miles (36.8 KM) from the Massachusetts State line and about 31 miles (49.6 KM) from Pittsfield, Massachusetts. There is supposed to be some rain in the morning and the temperature is just supposed to be in the low 50s. This is going to be an 18 degree drop in temperature. I'm about 179 miles (286 KM) away from Boston.

October 06th : Castleton-On-Hudson, New York to Coltsville, Massachusetts - I had an okay night. I did have to put both towels above the curtains to fill in the gap because there was a lot of light coming into the room. I woke up around 6 AM. I left the motel around 7:40 AM.

The ride Eastward went okay but I walked a couple of the hills because of some bad pavement. There were some good downhill coasts. I switched over to braking with the rear brake. The ride went okay this way. The ride leveled out some in the Lenox Valley area. There was a racetrack and a drag strip. I stopped in New Lebanon for some lunch.

About a mile (2 KM) East of New Lebanon, the road switched over to climbing so I switched over to walking up Lebanon Mountain. This was my first taste of the Appalachian and Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts. The sky was clouding up and it started to sprinkle. About 2/3rds the way up the mountain, I crossed into Massachusetts.

 Massachusetts State Sign

There was a roadside rest about a mile (2 KM) more so I stopped for a while. There was good cell phone coverage so I made a couple of calls.

The top of the hill wasn't that far away. I saw on a sign that I walked up a 5% grade. The downhill coast went okay. I stopped to take some pictures of the Hancock Shaker Village.

 Hancock Shaker Village; Pittsfield, Massachusetts

 Hancock Shaker Village; Pittsfield, Massachusetts

In West Pittsfield, the front tire went soft again. I put in the new innertube. I had a really hard time with the pump. The pump kept slipping off the valve stem. I got the tube inflated just enough so that I could roll the bike a couple blocks to a gas station where I was able to pump up the tire to 90 psi for $.50 .

I stopped at a bike shop but they wanted $35 for their cheapest pump. A couple blocks away I stopped at a motel but they were booked up. I rode into the downtown area. I stopped at the police station. The officer on duty didn't know of a minister. He told me that there was a homeless shelter in town but he didn't think that I would be safe there. He did tell me that there was a motel in Coltsville that was on my way.

I got a 10% discount on the room but the room was still over $70 after taxes. The bad thing about the room was that it was on the second floor. There were a couple of rooms downstairs but the electronic locks were broken.

Since I'm about 4 miles (6 KM) east of the Pittsfield downtown area, I'm going to head east to Dalton and stop for church. There is a chance that the weather might be bad tomorrow. If it is, I'm going to try and see if I make a short day tomorrow.

Between Dalton and Windsor, I'll be crossing the Appalachian Trail. I walked along the Appalachian Trail here back in the 1980s.

October 07th : Coltsville, Massachusetts to Dalton, Massachusetts - It took me five trips to get everything upstairs to the second floor room. I still cannot believe that there were no rooms downstairs. The parking lot was empty with just a few cars in it. One of the housekeepers was taking her time getting one of the rooms downstairs cleaned up. The heater in the room worked so I was able to get warm but the heater really made a lot of noise. I had to turn the tv up loud to hear it. The lighting in the room was really dim with the flourescent bulbs.

When I looked outside in the morning, the parking lot was as empty as it had been last night. When I went to the lobby for the free continental breakfast, there wasn't anything. The breakfast area was under reconstruction. I was told that they wouldn't be serving any breakfast until Tuesday. Can't believe that they couldn't have gone to a grocery store and bought some stuff. Donuts and juice would have been enough.

I got out my warmer jacket. It was around 8:40 AM when I got back on the road. I stopped at a nearby quickmart to get some milk and do some sewing on one of my cycling gloves.

When I got into Dalton, I was going to stop at the First Congregational Church but I decided not to but instead check out the other churches. Rode passed a motel that might have been cheaper than what I paid. I didn't know about that one. It would have only been three more miles on the road to get there.

I stopped to talk to three guys who came off the Appalachian Trail. The Trail goes right through Dalton. They had started up in Maine at Katadin and were hiking South. When I asked them when they expected to be at Springer, one of the guys said some time in January. They said that they were only hiking 15 miles per day.

I stopped at the First United Methodist Church. There were a couple of guys looking at something in the back part of the parking lot. It was a fox. I got out my camera and walked over close to it so that I could take some pictures. I stopped about 20 feet from it. After about 15 minutes, it walked through the parking lot, across the street, behind a house, and into some woods.

 Fox ; Dalton, Massachusetts

 Fox ; Dalton, Massachusetts

It was about 30 minutes before the service started. I got to meet the pastor. He was from Korea. He has only been at the church since July. He has two young kids under three years old. I talked with the guy who was the liturgist. I asked him and the pastor if they knew of a place where I could hang out for the rest of the day. I was still tired from the climb over Lebanon Mountain yesterday. I was told that there would be an announcement to see if somebody could invite me over.

The service was okay. I got introduced. The pastor's sermon was okay. After the service, there was a fellowship time. Bernie (the liturgist) invited me over to his house with his wife and their 15 year old son. As I was getting ready to leave the church, one of the ladies stopped me and slipped me $20 in a green handshake.

I'm going to have about a 39 mile (62 KM) ride to Northampton tomorrow. There are going to be two mountains to climb over but the grades are not going to be as bad and what I did yesterday.

October 08th : Dalton, Massachusetts to Dwight, Massachusetts - I had an okay night at Bernie and Sarah's house. I stayed in the bedroom in the basement. It was a little musty but it was warm. I took a two hour nap. Sarah did my laundry. I had a really good supper. I went to bed around 10 PM. I slept till around 5 AM but I went back to sleep till around 6 AM. Bernie got back from a three mile run as I was finishing packing Alice back up. Bernie made me a light breakfast.

It was around 7:40 AM when I got back on the road. Along the way back into Dalton, I crossed the Appalachian Trail but I couldn't remember seeing any of the blazings. I stopped at the Methodist church to see if the water bottle that had fallen out of it's pocket was there but it wasn't. I headed up the long climb up to Windsor. It was a seven mile (11 KM) climb but I was able to ride all of the way with quite a few breaks along the way. There wasn't much in Windsor. I did stop for a break at a gas station to get something to drink. I took my camera inside because somebody had made a portable bee hive. It was neat taking some picture of the bees working in a hive. The bees didn't have a way in and out of the hive.

 Bee Hive ; Windsor, Massachusetts

The ride was sort of downhill to West Cunningham and then I started to climb again.

 Massachusetts Road

Right near Goshen, the front tire went soft again. I was able to fix a pinhole leak in the tube. Getting the tube inflated was another story. I was having a really hard time with the pump again. I was able to get the tire inflated with enough pressure that I could walk it but not enough to ride on it. I walked down the hill for about 4 miles (6 KM) until I found somebody who had an air compressor that I was able to use to get the tire inflated properly.

The ride from Williamsburg to Leeds was pretty downhill. There was a bike trail next to the road but I didn't take it since I didn't know where it went. It was around 4:30 PM when I got into downtown Northampton. Northampton was a big college town. On the way to the police station, I went passed a building that said that it held the interfaith shelter so I decided to not stop at the police station and just find a place to camp out instead.

Between Northampton and Amherst, I stopped at a Walmart to buy two innertubes for the front tire. I was going to buy another pump but they only had the pump that I had and another one that was more expensive one but I had already had it before but it had broken on me. I could have bought a foot powered floor pump but I'm not sure how I could carry it. I've got to think about it some more before I buy it.

I got into Amherst at dusk. It was another college town so I passed on it. I turned on my headlight and rode on to Dwight. I came across the Dwight Chapel church. There wasn't much space behind the church in the grass so I found a place in the woods next to it to camp out. It was around 8:30 PM when I crawled into the tent.

October 09th : Dwight, Massachusetts to Brookfield, Massachusetts - I had an okay night camping out. It was a little cold but I was warm in my tent. I woke up around 6 AM. I quickly packed up because the open field that I camped next to was somebody's yard and there was a paved road 200 feet from where I had camped out. I was back on the road by 7:40 AM. I had to put on my extra pair of gloves.

There was a light drizzle in the morning. It was an up and down ride to Ware. I got into Ware around 11:30 AM. I didn't find anybody around the churches to I decided to go on. There was a long downhill run to West Brookfield. The terraign opened up and became more level. I rode on to Brookfield.

I got into Brookfield around 2:30 PM. I decided to see if anybody was around at the Brookfield Congregational Church. Rev. Ellie Kraner was in the office. She welcomed me and said that it was okay for me to stay in the church for the night. Alice was stashed in a storeroom that opened up onto the back porch. There was a long enough sofa in the foyer of the church and there was a kitchenette. Ellie went out to get me some things for a late lunch and she told me that she would bring me a meal from her house when she comes back to the church for the Stephans Ministry training. I got a nice home cooked meal and also a $20 Duncan Donuts giftcard.

October 10th : Brookfield, Massaschusetts to Northborough, Massachusetts - I had an okay night at the church. The sofa was comfortable and the exit light didn't bother me much. It was good having a wi-fi signal. I went to sleep around 10:30 PM. I slept till around 5 AM. I got a good shower before I got dressed. Had cereal and juice for breakfast.

I left the church around 7:30 AM. It was cool in the 50s and there was a light drizzle. It was an up and down ride but it was mostly downhill. I had to make an emergency stop at a hair salon in Leicester because I was sick in the stomach with some diahhrea. I rode through downtown Worcester. I had to stop twice to get to the restroom quickly. I took some medicine but I wasn't sure if it was going to work.

I got 20 miles (32 KM) in by noon. There were a couple of long climbs to get up and over so I walked them. Around 3 PM, I had enough. The rain was getting harder. I called up my pastor friend in New York to see if he could help me get a room for the night at a motel. I had stopped at a shopping center next to an EconoLodge in Northborough. With a couple of phone calls, I got me a room for the night. If I need it, I could stay over tomorrow.

It is supposed to be dryer tomorrow. I'm about 38 miles (60.8 KM) from Boston.

October 11th : Northborough, Massachusetts to Boston, Massachusetts to Ellisville, Massachusetts - I had an okay night at the motel. About 5 minutes after I got Alice into the room, it started to rain pretty hard. The rain lasted for about an hour and then it finally stopped and the sky got clear. The room got warm enough that I was able to get most of my wet things dry. It was good to get on the internet.

I woke up around 6 AM. There was a good free breakfast with waffles. I left the motel around 7:30 AM. The temperature was cool in the 40s. The ride east on SR 9 went really well. There was a lot of downhill coasts. I was amazed that I got to the outskirts of Brookline before noon. I got 30 miles (48 KM) in by noon. The last 4 miles (6 KM) into downtown Boston went okay.

I wasn't able to connect with somebody to stay with in the Boston area so I decided to catch a MetroTrain to either Kingston or Plymouth. This would get me around 30 miles (48 KM) out of the metropolitan area. I checked out some of the sites around the Commons and then I made my way over to the waterfront and then to South Station. I took a lot of pictures along the way. I took pictures of the Boston Tea Party ship.

 Boston, Massachusetts

 Boston, Massachusetts

 Boston, Massachusetts

I found my way over to the South Station. I got to the station around 1:30 PM. I bought a ticket to Kingston that cost me $10. The train was going to leave at 2:47 PM. I bought some postcards and a muffin and some hot tea from Dunkin Donuts and waited for the train to leave.

 South Station ; Boston, Massachusetts

 South Station ; Boston, Massachusetts

 South Station : Boston, Massachusetts

Getting onto the train was pretty easy since I just had to get over to Track 13 and roll the bike onto the train. I got into the second car behind the engine. The ride was about an hour long and I had ridden 32 miles to Kingston. From the railroad station, it was about a 5 mile ride into Plymouth. I went to the waterfront to take pictures of the harbor, the Mayflower 2, and Plymouth Rock.

 Mayflower II ; Plymouth, Massachusetts

 Plymouth Rock ; Plymouth, Massachusetts

 Plymouth Rock ; Plymouth, Massachusetts

It was about 5 PM when I got to Plymouth Rock so I opted to get on MA 3A and take it South to the Cape Cod Canal. I rode passed Plimoth Plantation. I got up and over the high bluffs at Manomet Bluffs before it got wet.

I used my headlight for about an hour and I was able to find a place to camp out in some woods near Ellisville.

October 12th : Ellisville, Massachusetts to Swansea, Massachusetts - I had an okay night camping out in my tent. I got on the road around 7:20 AM. It was a little cold so I didn't shave. It was a short ride to Sagamore where I was able to get on the Cape Cod Canal Bike Trail to Buzzards Bay.

 Cape Cod Recreational Trail ; Massachusetts

The ride went okay. I took some interesting pictures. Somebody had made some murals of sea gulls. Near the mouth of one sea gull somebody had painted the word Jesus.

 Seagull proclaiming Jesus

In Buzzard Bay, I took quite a few pictures of scarecrows.

 Scarecrow Gathering ; Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts

 Scarecrow Gathering ; Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts

From Buzzards Bay, I got on US 6. The ride to Fairport went okay. There was some road construction on the bridge between Fairport and New Bedford. I took quite a few pictures of the fishing boats. When I got to the edge of a sidewalk across the last bridge, I came across a set of stairs so I had to walk back across the bridge and get on the road to ride across the bridge and then I had to walk up a hill to get into New Bedford.

I stopped at a gas station at the west edge of New Bedford for a break. A guy who went into the station asked me if I was hungry. I told that I wasn't at the time. When he came out, he slipped me $2.

I stopped in Dartmouth to try and contact some people who I had stayed at before but nobody was home. I called up a number that I thought was one of their work phones but they didn't work there anymore. I decided to go on. The ride to Fall River went okay. I got through Fall River before it got dark. I came across a bike trail that would take me across the Taunton River to Somerset. There was a sidewalk most of the way to Swansea to I walked it instead of trying to ride the narrow shoulder. I found a place to camp out in the Swansea area.

October 13th : Swansea, Massachusetts to Saunderstown, Rhode Island - I had an okay night camping out in my tent but it was really cold. When I looked out my tent, there was some frost. I took the time to shave. It was around 7:30 AM when I got on the road. It was a short 8 mile (13 KM) ride to the Rhode Island state line.

 Rhode Island State Sign

Along the way, I stopped for something hot to eat and drink using the Dunkin Donuts gift card.

From the state line, it was an okay ride to East Providence. I stopped to check out a car show for the block party. There were some really nice antique fire engines. Quite a few people there asked me about Alice and my trip. From the block party, it was a couple of blocks to the Seekonk River. There was a bike path over the I-95 bridge across the Seekonk River but it was closed for reconstruction. I had to go north about a mile to get on the bike trail over the Angell Street Bridge.

Once across the bridge into Providence, it was a long ride into downtown Providence and to get on US 1 going South. There were no road signs for US 1 so I had to stop at a visitor center to get directions. It was still a confusing ride even with the directions that I was given to Broad Street which became US 1A. I stopped for a late lunch at McDs in Warewick. Before getting back on US 1A, I happened to spot a wrist watch in the grass. The watch was pretty nice and it was a Casio. The watch has a lot of functions. The face of my old wristwatch is scratched up and I was thinking about having to get another wristwatch soon.

In East Greenwich, I almost got involved in a crash. Right after I had gone through an intersection, there was the sound of two cars colliding into each other. It wasn't five seconds later when it happened. I stopped quickly and looked into my mirror. I saw one of the cars careening off the front of the other car and going across the road going north. The other car couldn't move because the left side of the car was crunched in. I quickly got my cel phone out and called 911. I got Alice off the road onto the sidewalk. It wasn't a minute later when the first police car arrived. There were five people in the car that had gotten hit and two people in the other car. The five people were two young ladies, a boy maybe 14, and two boys under 10. Nobody seemed to be hurt. It turns out that the driver of this car was the person who had caused the accident. She was 21. She was traveling south and the light was turning yellow. Instead of slowing down and stopping, she thought she could gun the car and make it through the intersection before the light turned red. A car that was turning left to go North on US 1 hit her. I told the police that I wasn't able to see the whole accident so I couldn't be a witness. I did wait to see if everybody was okay before I left. It turns out that the people in the first car was from a church and the parents of the boys were in a family counseling weekend. The father of the 21 year old lady was the assistant pastor of the church. I stopped at a gas station about a block away to calm down some and call some people.

The ride down 1A and US 1 to North Kingston went okay. I had to switch over to 1A again because US 1 became restricted to Wakefield. I saw some activity at the North Wakefield United Methodist Church. There were a couple of cars there. The pastor was in the office. They were finishing up a fall festival. They were having some septic system problems at the church so the pastor called up one of the members to see if I could spend the night with him.

Herb lives in Sauderstown. We packed up Alice and my things in the back of Herb's work van. I've been invited to stay over tomorrow. That's okay since I had ridden 260 miles (420 KM) from Dalton, MA. There is also a pretty good chance for rain tomorrow.

October 14th : Saunderstown, Rhode Island to Saunderstown, Rhode Island - I had a good night last night. It was so good to be inside for a change after the last two nights being in my tent. I woke up around 5:30 AM. Herb and I went to the 8 AM service at the United Methodist Church in nearby North Kingstown. The congregation was small. I was able to speak for a few minutes. I'm off the road for the rest of the day. It will be cold and raining the rest of the day. Tomorrow, the temperature should be in the 60s but there might be a stiff headwind to ride against because a warm front is coming into the area. There might be gusts up to 30 mph (48 KMph).

I am looking at stopping in the Norwalk, Connecticut to visit with friends who are involved with the New England branch of the
National Network of Youth Ministries . I am hoping to possibly stay for the night or two in the New York City area. I will be also taking the ferry between Cape May, New Jersey and Lewes, Delaware and finding a way across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland outside of Annapolis. There might also be a brief stop in the Washington, DC area.

I don't know how long this next trip will be, how long I will be on the road, and where this trip will end. I'll be waiting and praying for what the L-RD has me to do. The next update will possibly be posted between October 21st and October 28th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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