High of 79 degrees, breezy, thunderstorms punctuated by sun
Flash ahead 10 hours. I am camped in a farmer’s field in the town of Whitney Point, New York next to its namesake lake. The day has been wet and in a way wonderful. At about 9 am the rain stopped and though the sky was still a solid gray that would keep the most tenacious indoors, I decided it was brighter and therefore becoming more rider friendly. With words of encouragement and multitudinous directions, “Bear right at Mike’s Tavern. It will be closed. You’ll see the grey barn, you can’t miss it,” I suited up driving into the gray, barn or no barn. I was hoping to stumble upon a lock on the Erie Canal. A photo op. The canal runs along the Tomahawk River. I crossed the river in a downpour. Staying upright and avoiding potholes was my main focus. No canal this trip.
What this day held was fierce weather in farmer’s fields. Follow any county road in New York State and you are confronted with endless farms of the English and Amish. Cows need milking, grain needs cutting, new furrows must be laid. Farmers of all social persuasions are out in force every day. This rainy day is no exception. I ride over long inclines into broad valleys dotted with silos and barns framed by dark clouds and softened by wet haze. Here are the mechanized English, there, the horse drawn Amish. Each farmer waves as I pass at a robust 25 miles per hour. The Right Speed for agrarian New York county roads.
I said in an earlier post I did not hit my groove or stride or some such on the first day. Today was not my stride, but my introduction to the living vibrancy that is America. It was humbling. Today it rained, it poured, it cleared, and it rained again. Baptism? I have to ask.
Lastly, my down sleeping bag was a water absorber for the camping bag. It was saturated. Intermittent thunderstorms and gray skies did not allow time for natural drying. So my second night on the road was a damp one, not completely uncomfortable, all a part of scamping.