Day 75

PA-NY State Line to Niagara Falls, ON
$18 :: food
92.37 mi :: 7.53 hr :: 30.2 mph :: 11.7 mph :: 5214 mi

Got up about 5:15 AM, packed, and was on the road long before anyone was thinking of charging me for camping. In the dark I realize my headlight is out again.

It’s a long way to any breakfast spots. I struggle and struggle with the urge to buy more Drum, especially when I go through a reservation with many smoke shops. I give in and enter one, but they have no rolling tobacco. I make it through the day without smoking.

Lackawanna strikes me as ugly, but here is a nice library. By the time I reach Buffalo, Lackawanna seems a vision of loveliness. This is the ugliest city I’ve every seen. It surpasses the Chicago projects on south State. It looks like once-flourishing industries have set off bombs in their boiler rooms and evacuated. Concrete detritus is everywhere. People don’t seem afraid, I see no guns, drug addicts, or dealers. They seem to be trying to make the best of it. I get lost and wander the construction signs, underpasses, projects and detours till I find the lakeshore. Now there are wealthy condos on one side, freeway on the other. It’s still ugly.

The peace bridge to Ontario is just an extension of the mess. The lady in the tollbooth says I don’t have to pay, tells me to follow the crosswalk left. I do, crossing in front of cars and trucks, then coming here. There are people sitting at the end, I crowd through them and start across on the sidewalk. It all seems weird. No one has asked me the usual questions. I’m all alone on the bridge. On the Canadian side I squeeze through more construction, pass more people waiting, and ride on my merry way along the Niagra river.

I’ve been starving since Lackawanna, but I see no place I’d like to stop and leave my bike. There are a bunch of run-down Chinese places, an adult entertainment club, a hot dog joint. Then I’m in residential areas. I give up on food until I come to a marina. They have only hamburgers, so I say to hell with being a vegetarian and order a super-deluxe with fries and a shake. I eat on the riverside among trees, grass, and picnic tables.

It’s nice on this side of the Niagra. The other side is either homes or industry, I see no paths or picnic tables there. I stop and read a lot. I feel comfortable. I find a perfect spot for the tent off the trail a ways, where I sleep in bliss.

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