TRIP 2015

Update #16 - August 16th
Middlebury, Vermont
6,295.13 miles (10,072.21 KM) - Year Total

It's been almost four weeks since the accident in Michigan. My injuries are healing up okay. I'm sort of back to my normal pace. I am though a little more concious around vehicles. My goal for Trip Leg 06 was going to Calais, Maine Northeast of Bangor. I didn't think that my legs were going to handle the Appalachians well so I decided to end the leg in Swanton, Vermont and then start the ride back to the Gulf States. Besides, I've already ridden US 2 between Burlington, Vermont and Bangor, Maine before back in 2011. Also, I didn't really feel like riding the route that I took between New York City and York, Maine in April in reverse.

August 05 : Pittsford, NY to Wolcott, NY : 55.12 miles (88.19 km)
Trip Total: 5,898.16 miles (9,437.06 km)

I had an okay afternoon and night at the Presbyterian church in Pittsford. It was good that I was inside because there were several brief but hard rain showers. I took a couple of hour nap. It was neat having a hot meal of meatloaf, green beans, and mashed potatoes with gravy. I had organic drinks and a large muffin for dessert. I'm blown away at the main store for the Wegamons Grocery chain. The store blows my mind because it was so huge and had so many departments. It must have been the size of two or three Walmart supercenters and it was all food. There is nothing like it in the world. If each department was in it's separate building, the area would be several blocks.

I spent most of the evening watching movies on my laptop. This was after repacking my food pannier with all of the food that Bruce bought me at the grocery store and a few things that I had gotten out of the back pack ministry food pantry. It is so nice having the food pannier stuffed again.

I wasn't able to completely update my website before I fell asleep so my bioclock woke me up around 3 am to do so. I finished updating the site in about a half hour and I was able to fall asleep till around 5:50 am. It was nice having another hot meal for breakfast. I got Alice loaded up and took her down by the elevator to the narthax. Bruce was supposed to have shown up around 7:30 am but he was a no-show. I waited till around 8:00 am. but he didn't arrive.

From the church, I headed back to the canal and headed East. In Fairport, I was able to find a laundromat. It cost me $2.50 to wash and dry clothes. It was around 10:45 am when I got back on the towpath. I didn't get maybe three blocks down the towpath when something strange happen. This car had gotten past some barriers and was going down a slope down to the towpath. It was this elderly lady and she flagged me over to see if I knew where this store was. I told her that she shouldn't be on the towpath but she ignored what I said and headed west towards Fairport. The towpath in this area was paved and it was about a car's length wide. This was another case where an elderly person should have their licence revoked. I called up 911 and told the dispatcher what was going on. Hopefully and officer will catch up with the lady and make sure that she doesn't hurt herself or others.

I was going to ride to Palmyra and then find a way going North but I decided to take NY 350 North to Ontario. I backtracked and recrossed the Erie Canal again. The ride to Ontario went okay. I got on NY 104 going East to Wolcott. There was a tailwind to push me along.

I got into Wolcott around 7:15 pm. I found my way over to the First Baptist church. I called up the pastor. He remembered me from my visit Sept 16 and 17, 2012. A small group of people showed up around 8 pm for a time of prayer in the sanctuary. I got to share for a little bit.

The prayer time was cut short because there was a bat flying around the sanctuary. After some people helped me get Alice and my gear inside, I helped the pastor capture the bat and take it outside. I captured it with a trashcan and a screen from a window. I was going to sleep on the floor of a classroom on the second floor but I found a room with a sofa in the basement.

August 06 : Wolcott, NY to Pulaski, NY : 52.31 miles (83.70 km)
Trip Total: 5,950.47 miles (9,520.75 km)

I had an okay night at the church. The sofa was comfortable and the room was bat free. I woke up early. I was hoping for an early start but I misplaced my cycling gloves. I went around the church and went through my things. After about 20 minutes, I found them in a pocket in one of my bags where I never put them in before. I got on the road around 7:30 am.

I was hoping to put in some miles in the morning but it didn't happen. There were a lot of hills to slow me down on the way to Oswego and I had to stop several times to work on my steering column. I fixed the problem with a penny. A couple of miles out of Oswego, I got a flat rear tire. I found a piece of wire sticking out of the tire. It took a little while getting the tire inflated.

I got into Oswego around 1:30 pm. I stopped for a late lunch. The afternoon ride went a little bit better. There weren't that many hills to cross over.

I got into Pulaski around 6:30 pm. I got a little lost getting to my friend's house. I got there around 7 pm.

August 07 : Pulaski, NY to Fishers Landing, NY : 63.61 miles (101.78 km)
Trip Total: 6,014.30 miles (9,622.80 km)

I had an okay night staying at my friend's house. It was good seeing him after three years. It was too bad that most of the family was down in Atlanta but it was still good to see Brett. Brett no longer works at Ft Drum and he has a local job. He still is in the Reserves as a Chaplain and has to go to Massachusetts once a month for a weekend.

I had Alice packed up by 7 am and Brett made me some breakfast. I got on the road around 7:30 am. I had planned to head North on US 11 but I accidently headed to NY 3, which was more hilly and close to Lake Ontario. The first available highway to turn East to US 11 was about 5 miles to Bethel Corners. It was five miles to US 11 at Sandy Pond. The ride was a lot better on US 11.

I got into Adam a little before noon. The afternoon ride went okay. I got into downtown Watertown around 3:15 pm. I stopped at the First Presbyterian Church but there was nobody around even though the sign on the office said that the hours were till 4 pm. I rode around to the other churches that were in the area but there were nobody around them either. Watertown was too big of a city that I knew that I wasn't going to get some compassionate help.

I decided to get on NY 12 and head North to Clayton Center and the St Lawrence Seaway. I took a short break at a gas station. I stopped for some dinner in Depauville. I got into clayton Center a little before dark. I got my lights out. The batteries were a little low but I kept on going. It was almost 11 pm when I found a place to camp out near Fishers Landing. I found some woods behind a field that had been cut to make hay.

August 08 : Fishers Landing, NY to Waddington Township, NY : 60.31 miles (96.50 km)
Trip Total: 6,074.61 miles (9,719.38 km)

I had an okay night camping out. It did get a little cold so I crawled into my sleeping bag. When the sun came up around 5 am, I woke up. When I looked outside the tent, I noticed that I wasn't really that far away from the road. There were only a couple of tree branches that blocked me from view.

I quickly packed up and got on the road around 7:30 am. The ride along the St Lawrence Seaway went okay. I stopped at a grocery store in Alexandria Bay to get a few things and to have some breakfast.

Between Alexandria Bay and Ogdensburg, there wasn't much. There weren't that many houses or stores. There were no gas stations along the way. I stopped at an overlook parking area for an extended lunch break. I talked to a couple of my friends on my cellphone.

I got into Ogdensburg around 4 pm. I stopped at the First Presbyterian Church. I called up the church phone number and I found the cell phone number of the pastor. She actually lived an hour away. She told me that there was going to be a cycling group coming in at 11 pm. Between that time, there wasn't anybody around to let me in to the church. The pastor suggested that I contact either the Episcopal priest or the Methodist minister. I went over to the churches but I didn't find anybody at the rectories. I rode over to the Catholic church. I was able to talk with the priest but he passed me off to the Salvation Army. I rode over to the Salvation Army center but there wasn't anybody around. There were a couple of phone numbers but when I called them I didn't get any pertinent information.

I decided to head out. I stopped at a BK for some supper and to charge up my laptop some. It was around 7:15 pm when I headed back on the road. The next town was waddington about 17 miles away. I was able to get in about 8 miles in before I had to get out my lights. The new batteries that I bought in the morning really helped.

August 09 : Waddington Township, NY to Waddington, NY : 06.27 miles (10.03 km)
Trip Total: 6,080.88 miles (9,729.41 km)

I had an okay night camping out. It did get a little cold so I crawled into my sleeping bag around 11 pm. I woke up around 3 pm to go to the urinate but I was able to fall back asleep till around 6 am. I got on the road around 7:30 am.

It was about a six mile ride into Waddington. I got into Waddington around 8:30 am. There were signs that there was some kind of festival going on "Homecoming Days". I rode passed the First United Methodist church. The sign said that there was supposed to be a service starting at 8:45 am but he there was nobody around the church. I located the First Presbyterian Church. About a block away, I noticed that there were some people already gathering. There was a guy outside and it looked like he was waving at me. It turned out that he was the lay pastor at the church. The congregation was small enough that they couldn't afford a pastor.

There was an ecumenical service going on between the Episcopal, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches. There weren't that many people there. Most of the people were women and they were 70 years and older. After the service, I talked with the lay pastor and the Methodist minister. The Methodist minister actually lived in Ogdensburg and I was at his church and parsonage yesterday afternoon. He apologized that he wasn't home when I had stopped by. He told me that he had passed me this morning coming into town.

There were some refreshments in the manse next door. The downstairs is used for meetings and there is one room used as an office. I got permission to stay in the manse for the night. There are three bedrooms upstairs and I might use one of them.

I found out that yesterday there was a parade and there was also fireworks around 9:30 pm. There is supposed to be a community picnic around noon but I opted to not go there.

August 10 : Waddington, NY to Malone, NY : 55.37 miles (88.59 km)
Trip Total: 6,136.25 miles (9,818.00 km)

I had an okay afternoon and night in the old manse. I took a several hours long nap. There was a tv and a dvd player so I watched a few movies. There were three bedrooms upstairs but I opted to sleep on the living room sofa.

I woke up early and I got on the road around 7:20 am. I made the first 20 miles by 10:35 am. I stopped at the library in Massena to do some internet work. I stopped for an early lunch at a McDs. By noon, I got 24 miles in.

I was going to stop in Fort Covington but there were no active churches. I decided to push on to Malone. Seven miles out of Malone, the sky started to get dark. Five miles out of Malone, the sky opened up with a fast moving thunderstorm. The rain came down really hard for about ten minutes and then it lightened up.

I got into downtown Malone around 5:10 pm. I checked out a couple churches but there were nobody around and no contact numbers. I stopped at the police station to see if there was any way they could help me connect with a local minister. There was a ministerial association fund and the police arranged for a room at a local motel. I got Alice into my room before the rains started up again.

August 11 : Malone, NY to Moerrs Forks, NY : 40.47 miles (64.75 km)
Trip Total: 6,176.72 miles (9,882.75 km)

I had an okay night. It rained hard for a while. It was still raining when I woke up. The rain lessoned up so I left in sprinkling around 9 am. It took quite a while getting through the Malone area.

I had to find cover for a while in Brainardville. I got into Ellenburg around noon. I checked out a couple of churches but they were too small to have an office. The biggest church in the area was the catholic church and there was a funeral going on.

A couple of miles out of Ellenburg, I started to go down a nice grade so I coasted for a while. I stopped at a gas station for a break. I didn't get back on the road for a while because the rear tire went flat. I found a hole in the tire so I put a patch on it. I broke down and paid a dollar so I could get the tire inflated. As I was getting ready to use the machine, this state trooper stopped to talk with me. He seemed quite interested in what I was doing and he asked me if I needed something. I told him that I needed a loaf of bread and he went into the store and bought me one.

The patched tube lasted about seven miles. As I was riding through Moerrs Forks, the tube went soft again. I stopped on the side of a Catholic church to work on the tire. I patched up the tube but I could get the tire inflated because the pump was acting up. I tried nearly 90 minutes but I had no luck. There was a gas station-store across the street but it the air pump machine was gone. This guy came up from behind the church to go to the store. When he came back, he asked me what was going on. I told him that my pump wouldn't work. He told me that he lived right behind the church and he had an air compressor. I was able to get the tire up in fifteen minutes.

It was too late to head out so I was able to get permission from the priest to camp out in the picnic shelter.

August 12 : Moerrs Forks, NY to Swanton, VT : 34.32 miles (54.91 km)
Trip Total: 6,211.04 miles (9,937.66 km)

I had an okay night camping out under the picnic shelter. If it rained, I didn't here it. I did wake up around 3:30 am but I was able to back asleep till around 6 am. People started to come around before 7 am for an early mass. It didn't take long to get Alice loaded up. The mass lasted maybe a half hour. Afterwards, the priest let me into the rectory to use the restroom.

I didn't get far down the road when the rear tire went soft again. I found a place under cover to fix the tire. I was able to get the pump working. I lubed the piston and it helped. I was able to ride to Rouses Point. The ride was slow because I had to stop a couple of times for pop-up showers. There was some road construction to walk through in the Champlain area and I stopped for a late breakfast at a McDs so I could charge up my laptop. In the parking lot, I stopped to talk to this guy for about twenty minutes. He told me that he had a pacemaker put in four years ago and his mission now was to take people for their doctor appointments.

I got into Rouses Point around 11:30 am. The rear tire went soft again. I stopped at a Stewarts gas station/store that had an air hose but it didn't work. I wasn't sure if I had any patches so I went across the street to an auto repair shop to see if they had any patches but the guy told me that I had to go to a Napa store that I had passed. I was concerned about leaving Alice alone but I wheeled her near a window and asked the people in the store to keep an eye on her. It was a long walk to the Napa store and back. I was gone maybe 40 minutes. When I got back to the Stewarts, I was happy to see that Alice hadn't been disturbed. While I was getting the tire fixed, it rained hard again for a while but I was under cover. I had to use my hand pump because the air hose was broken. The pin in the nozzle to push in the valve stem was missing.

I headed North to get on US 2. About a half mile from the bridge to Vermont, I met up with a lady and her child on a recumbent tandem. The tandem was rear seat driven. It didn't look safe for the child being up front. She could pedal but the steering column didn't move the front wheel. The little girl had a hat on and her helmet was loosely fastened by a zip tie. The mother told me that she had done this because the girl had gotten her hair cut and the helmet didn't fit. I chastised the mother for the ill-fitting non-protective use of the helmet.

I was able to ride across the bridge to Vermont. Instead of staying on US 2 to Burlington, I headed East to Swanton. I got into Swanton around 6 pm. I was thinking about heading South to St Albans but I decided to try and stay in town. I saw a sign that said that there was a thrift store at the First United Methodist church. There was a sign that said that the pastor was in. The pastor was quite young in his late 20s. He has only been in the ministry for one year and this was his first church. There was going to be a Bible study but I was asked to share. After the Bible study, the pastor took me to a local motel to get me a room.

During the walk to the motel, the rear tire went soft again. There is supposed to be a bike shop in the area but the guy who runs it is elderly and he doesn't keep regular hours. There is supposed to be a bike shop in the hamlet of Georgia south of St Albans.

August 13 : Swanton, VT to Georgia Center, VT : 15.91 miles (25.46 km)
Trip Total: 6,226.95 miles (9,963.12 km)

I had a decent night at the motel. It did take me a while to fall asleep and I slept till around 6 am. I updated my website and then I tackled the rear tire. I filled the bathroom sink up with water to check out the tube. I found out that one of the patches that I had put on the tube yesterday had gone bad. I put on one of the patches that I had bought from the Napa store in Champlain.

It was a little after 10 pm when I left the motel. The bike shop was a couple of doors down and it was open. Mr Porter has run the bike shop since 1977. He had taken over the shop when his father had passed away. The bike shop has been in business since 1917. Mr Porter is the third generation to run it. I got a 26x1.5 65 psi tire and 2 tubes for $26.

I headed South to Georgia Center. I saw some cars at the Methodist Church. The pastor was in his office. I actually saw him at the Methodist church in St Albans. He was from Korea and he had gone to the church in St Albans for some English lessons. He gave me permission to stay in the church for the night.

I've decided to not go to Maine. My left leg isn't fully recovered from the accident and I don't thiink that it would take the strain of climbing through the Appalachians well. I'm going to ride South to at least Poughkeepsie, New York and then make a swing around New York City.

August 14 : Georgia Center, VT to Charlotte, VT : 40.29 miles (64.46 km)
Trip Total: 6,267.24 miles (10,027.58 km)

I had a decent night at the church. The carpeting was thick enough that I didn't pull out my sleeping bag. I found a chair cushion and used it as a pillow. I had the chance to talk to the praise team group who had come to the church to practice. I'm counting this as my 31st church. Sometimes afterwards, Pastor Yi must have come over to the church from the parsonage next door. There was a note for me on the fridge telling me that there were some pastries for my breakfast and a small carton of milk. There were also a couple of packs of cookies to take along with me.

I got on the road around 7:45 am. I took my time during the morning because of the hills. I've decided to not go to Maine. I've made the trip to Maine on US 2 several times. The last time was 4 years ago. I just didn't think that my left leg could take the stress of the Appalachians. Also, I would be repeating the route in reverse that I took from New York City to York, Maine. I'm going to continue going South on US 2 in vermont and then somewhere South of Lake Champlain I'm going to swing back into New York to get on the West side of the Hudson River and then either at Poughkeepsie or Peekskill start make a swing to the West around New York City.

I heard that there were going to be possible rain showers and thunderstorms in the area so I thought that I would try and make it an early day. While going passed a shopping center, I saw some kids and some adults playing an interesting game with some wading pools and plastic. It was some kind of kick-ball. The group was from a store front church that was finishing up a summer vbs. After stopping at a store to buy a loaf off bread, I went over to the church to see if I could connect with any of the leadership. The pastor's wife was leading the vbs. The pastor was at his full time job. I saw something that I didn't want to see at a church. I watched a father verbally abuse his young son because his clothes were slightly damp and he had a bag of candy with him. They left so fast that I wasn't able to get over to talk to the father.

I tried to make connections with a minister in Winoski but I couldn't. A couple of miles into the ride into downtown Burlington, I had to find cover at a car wash to wait out a rain shower. The rain lasted about twenty minutes.

I continued on my way South. A couple of miles south of Charlotte, I found a place to camp out in a meadow. My camping spot wasn't that far away from the road but there is a row of trees and the tall grass to hide me from view.

August 15 : Charlotte, VT to Middlebury, VT to Brooksville, VT : 23.57 miles (37.71 km)
Trip Total: 6,290.81 miles (10,065.30 km)

I had a decent night camping out. It didn't get that cold so I didn't crawl into my sleeping bag. I woke up a little before 6 am. I took my time getting packed up. I did some sewing on my computer bag. The camper leg that I found held Alice up while I loaded her.

The afternoon ride was a little slow because there were some long hills to ride up. I didn't have to get off and walk up them. At a gas station outside of New Haven, I had to take an extended break to wait out a thunderstorm. I had to wait about an hour. I spent most of the time inside of the store but it was too cold inside because of the air conditioning.

In a fluke, I stopped to talk to a young couple who had two young children (one was just two months old). It turns out that the guy was actually a pastor of a church in the country North of town near New Haven. Andy offered to take me home to their house to get me some supper. He also arranged for me to get me a room at a motel that I had passed near Brooksville. Andy took out the car seats and transported me to the motel.

August 16 : Brooksville, VT to Middlebury, VT : 04.32 miles (06.91 km)
Trip Total: 6,295.13 miles (10,072.21 km)

I had a decent night at the motel even though it was run by some Indians. The room had quite a lot of problems. There was a large hole in the ceiling tiles where somebody hit the tiles with their body or something else. There was very little water pressure in the bathroom. I wished that the pastor hadn't paid what he did on the room. At least, there wasn't any bugs in the room.

I got to the church a little around 9:45 am. There were a few people already at the church. A Sunday school class started around 10 a.m. and I was invited to take part and share. There were a dozen people there and I was the youngest. The class was basically a video study on some falicies that people associate with church and the Bible. The topic today was "God only helps those who help themselves". This actually came from Ben Franklin's Poor Richard's Almanac.

The congregation was quite small maybe 30. Most of the people were over 60. There were three people under 50. One was a teenage girl and the other was a little boy maybe three years old. There wasn't a minister. I found out that there was pastor who was a lady and she was on vacation. The pastor actually had three churches to take care of. Because of this, there were lay leaders. The lay leader concept was started last year.

Before the regular service, there was a gathering in the fellowship hall for announcements, concerns, and prayer requests. One of the older men was going to celebrate his ninetieth birthday tomorrow. The sermon was okay. It was about community and compassion towards others. I found out that the church seemed to have restrictions on how they help people. I asked the lady lay leader who led the service and gave the sermon if there was any way that I could spend the night in the church. She hemmed and hawed and she told me that the trustees don't really allow people to spend the night but she would ask some people about it. She did mention that there was some kind of shelter close by. I excused myself to try and find a restroom. When I got back to the fellowship hall, I watched the lady that I talked with disappear going out the kitchen door. She didn't really want to talk to me. This got me quite upset because during the closing prayer she led the people saying that they should be more compassionate towards others. Here was a good example of people not wanting to practice what they preached.

While I was getting Alice ready to go, I talked to some of the people outside telling them what had happened and that there was no way that I was going to recommend the church to anybody. It was well passed noon and the other churches were closed. I was really hoping or an afternoon off because my legs were hurting some. It was a hard 220 miles from Waddington, New York.

I'm going to start my swing towards New York tomorrow. I'll either stop for the night in Fair Haven, VT or go on to Whitehall, New York. Tomorrow should be another hot day. They are projecting that the high was going to be above 90.

The next trip update should be posted sometime between August 23rd and August 30th.



Bicyclist in Sunset



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