Day 77

Eagle Harbor, NY to Sodus Pt, NY
$29 :: lots of food, new map
83.50 mi :: 7.10 hr :: 27.2 mph :: 11.6 mph :: 5362 mi

5 AM, still dark, I wake up when somebody lights a lighter outside my door so they can see to unzip it. Strangely, my immediate reaction is to protect my tent. “Wow, wow, wow,” I say in a commanding way, as if to a stubborn horse. He steps back, mumbling something stupid like, “I thought it was just a tent.” Still thinking of the tent, I say “Don’t ever light a lighter that close to a tent.” “Sorry you,” he says w/ distinct New York cadence. He was just a kid in baggy jeans. I resolve to resume my practice of concealing my campsite. It does help me get an early start, though.

I like riding the canal, always reflecting the moods of the sky. In Brockport, Vinny cooks me an awesome frittata with buckwheat pancakes in a small diner. Those guys are all kind of fascinated and freaked out by my bike. Vinny goes outside three times to look at it.

Rochester proves that not all NY cities are ugly. The canal even winds near the city limits, where industry often replaces beauty. Here are both. I spend a lot of the day riding around the city, first along the canal to Pittsford, then through well-groomed suburbs to the lakeshore. All this time I’m looking for some lunch, finding nothing.

I forgot – earlier I had an accident due to my carelessness putting my seat back on after lounging in it in Ontario. It wasn’t tight enough, and came off while I was approaching Rochester. The only results: a scraped knee and a lost map. I didn’t find it was gone until several miles had passed, and soft of welcome the challenge of finding my own way through the Adirondacks to Ticonderoga.

I have ridden miles of lakeshore before I find a place to eat – a little deli/convenience store. The smiling firl there makes me a fantastic toasted veggie sandwich. Thankfully it is sufficiently huge.

The lakeshore seems to be endless farms and residences. Occasionally a park. But I have developed a good eye, and I find a perfect secluded campsite beneath a fatherly white pine.

Speaking of which, I finished reading “Into the Wild,” by Jon Krakauer. The book, through tragic contrast, shows how my relationship with my father has saved me in many ways, as he claims it has also saved him. I think I’ll send it to him.

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