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Showing posts from June, 2018
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Singing in the Rain (28 June) The last 90 miles, only 90 miles of 3,404 miles,  just the last little teeny bit and through lovely countryside and three states...and it is pouring rain, relentlessly! Adi and Roz are observing their partners with some worry as we follow them along the narrow, winding roads to the SAGs. How are Navi and Adam (and Emil!) dealing with the weather and the oblivious and even aggressive Massachusetts drivers? We were relieved to see our guys and gal spiting the elements and finally arriving safely at the last of 46 different hotels.Unfortunately, our wonderful Ichi, who had doggedly completed every mile to within the last 10 before Burlington, fell and damaged his knee so badly that he could not  complete the ride. Ichi has become the darling of the group with his infectious smile and his ability to get lost at some point nearly every day, thus actually completing many more than the prescribed miles! Today's route passed by Great Brook Farm, which I reme…
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Riding with Roz (26 and 27 June) During the past two days, while our husbands have been pedalling from Herkimer to Latham (NY) and on to Brattleboro (VT), Roz and I have been traversing the countryside, enjoying the views of farmlands and forests, strolling through charming little towns or hiking at Owen D. Young Education Center and Woodford State Park. Since the tours weren't all too long, 78 and 74 miles respectively, our guys were in at the hotels early afternoon and we had time to enjoy their company. Emil and I spent the time searching for David's Maine Beer. Both days we found taverns that were on the website list which should have been serving David's special brew, but unfortunately they were out. Still, we enjoyed excellent meals at the Tipsy Moose in Latham and the Whetstone Station Restaurant and Brewery in Brattleboro. We did actually find a few bottles in an amazing grocery store and shared them with the CrossRoads riders at dinner.

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Destiny America (25 June) As of today I have the great pleasure of a companion to travel with: Roz Abram. Her husband is one of our CrossRoads riders and she will be accompanying me on this last leg of the tour. This morning we went to the Destiny America Mall in Syracuse for a "walk". It seems a lot of people use these enormous malls as a venue for taking a morning walk. The Destiny America Mall is one of the very largest in the USA and aside from a beautiful carousel, myriad shops and food courts also boasts at least 20 movie theatres (where Emil and I saw "Jurassic Park - The Fallen Kingdom" at the IMAX yesterday). Roz and I walked through the labyrinth of hallways and stairways, chatting and gazing and even doing a little line dancing when the right music started playing. Especially interesting would have been this Wonder World Adventure section, where everything was topsy-turvy, or the Mirror Maze or the Canyon Rope Park ... but nothing was open yet. After a …
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Grau in Grau and Grausam (24 June) When asked to describe today's tour from Canandaigua to Syracuse, Emil said "grau in grau" (grey in grey), but beautiful countryside and charming little towns. The whole day was quite foggy, sometimes so thick it was almost like rain. The tour at "only" 69 miles was one of the shorter ones, but another flat tire added to the time on the road. In view of the weather, I had promised myself a special treat today and planned to see the new Jurassic World movie, the Fallen Kingdom, at the IMAX theatre in Syracuse. Emil was sweet enough to come with me, although it was certainly not the kind of entertainment he enjoyed and the sound system was quite overpowering. I must also admit that the first Jurassic World movie had more substance as far as plot and acting went. However, we both were impressed by the animation and the enormous shopping mall with its 20 theatres where the movie was playing was also something special. Oh, and &qu…
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With cheers and rain and flats again (23 June) The spirit and determination with which the CrossRoads riders cover mile after mile, spiting heat, rain, wind and those aggravating flat tires, is a continual source of amazement and admiration. Today they crossed the 3,000 mile mark, with "only" a little over 400 miles more to go.As I was waiting for the group to arrive at the second SAG in Avon, I met this distinguished group of riders (Delaney, Harrison, Charlotte and Reed) and their father. They were so excited about the idea of seeing our CrossRoads group that they stayed for the first arrivals, practising the Swiss chant used to fire on profi racers "hup, hup, hup". And then the big moment as Pete crested the hill and was enthusiastically supported by our cheerleading group. Unfortunately, Emil, who just an hour ago was right behind the first riders, had to endure 2 flat tires and missed the big reception!Avon is a lovley little town, quite representative of a l…
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Gigantic! (22 June) Yes, the Niagara Falls are truly gigantic, a breathtaking marvel of nature. Since the Cross Roads tour took us so close to this spectacle, we drove out there together with the two British guys, Mark and Pete. Luckily it stopped pouring rain during our brief sojourn at the Falls, and the view was worth the 30 minute wait in traffic (and paying $0.35 for that pleasure at a toll booth). Unfortunately, I found there were way too many tourists jostling for photo ops and the power of the Falls was lost in the swaying, milling crowds. For the real Falls feeling, I prefer Vernal Falls in Yosemite, and the hike you have to take to get up there. Originally I had planned to cycle on Presque Isle today, but leaving the shelter of the hotel I already encountered the first rain drops of the day. So I put poor Sirrus back in the car and mounted the much less attractive training bicycle in the fitness room. As it turned out, the timing was right as far as cycling went because I b…
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Rest(less) day on Lake Erie (21 June)
This is the view from Lady Kate's backboard, a drenching spray of water as we rode the waves of Lake Erie on our boat tour along Presque Isle. The 90 minute narrated tour of the bays and lighthouses of Presque Isle was interesting and informative, but we really did not expect such a lively roller-coaster of a ride. From the Presque Isle State Park brochure we learn that "Presque Isle is a major recreational landmark for about four million visitors each year. The park offers visitors a beautiful, sandy coastline and many recreational activities..." There is an asphalted bike path all along the shoreline which I hope to cycle tomorrow. There are also hiking paths, but the one we chose ended in a pond of water.Although there is said to be a great ecological diversity and we were looking forward to observing the bird colonies at Gull Point, all we got to see was this lovely little frog on our ill-fated hike there. It really is a pretty …
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Shades of Green (2018.06.20) Today I was finally able to do some cycling again, riding 25 miles on the Niles Greenway Bike Path and the Mill Creek Bikeway. I almost made it the whole way without getting wet, but the last two miles really poured and I had to perform the most complicated acrobatics to get out of my wet clothes and into dry ones within the confines of our van. The Cross Roads riders also got their share of rain on the way from Niles to Erie.My ride was complicated by the lively cross traffic along the route: one large deer, myriad rabbits, a near collision with a chipmunk and the startling glimpse of a beaver crossing from the swamp on the left of the path to the creek on the right. Unfortunatly, as I was peddaling away I couldn't take any pictures, but here's one just to give an impression. After dinner, Emil and I went for a walk along the Bayfront (our hotel is right at the waterfront) and discovered a beautiful little mini-golf course. I talked Emil into pla…
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Precious uniqueness (19 June) While the Cross Roads riders completed another near century (93mi, over 1,000m total of climbing), I remained in Wooster to do some hiking and to capture a photo of this arch, which Emil and I had discovered the evening before. First though, to my hike in Wooster Memorial Park. Here some notes from the trail map: Consisting of more than 325 acres, the Park is known for its wooded, steep ravines and scenic Rathburn Run... that bisects the Park.  Paul Spangler (1900-1986), a Wooster native and high school teacher, long dreamed of the area becoming a park and over a number of years he donated land for this purpose. More parcels of land were bought or donated and the park continues to grow. While getting directions to the Park, I learned some details about Mr Spangler. The man at the hotel reception related enthusiastically, that he was once a high school student of Mr Spangler, adding that the teacher was a former boxer, who having "killed a man in the…
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Of climbing goats and trotting horses (18 June) In the photo above, those two mountain goats, Chris and Emil, are enjoying the steep rollers between Butler and Wooster. The day was hot and at 97 miles one of the longer ones, but the countryside was absolutely beautiful. The route wound through rich farm country, green forests and picturesque towns. And the wind was friendly, too, mostly moving the riders smartly along. I also enjoyed a bit of cycling this morning along the Jim Simmons Memorial Trail in Marysville. This popular path follows a creek, passing through woods, along golfing tees and lawns sloping down from tract houses. These houses remind me of the song: little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky-tacky, ...little boxes all the same. Actually, these were pretty big boxes but they really did look all the same. The lyrics of the song go on later: ...and they all play on the golf course...This could also fit, because there is a disc golf course stretching alongsi…
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Who loves humidity? (17 June) Well, the dragonfly pictured above, and all those awful mosquitoes and flies that bombarded me during my walk through the Shawnee Prairie Preserve certainly do. For the Cross Roads riders, who pedalled through 104 miles of the sticky, hot air, the appreciation was not so pronounced. However, the beautiful countryside, the good, almost traffic free roads and friendly wind conditions made the long ride enjoyable. Meeting a number of Amish along the road, who responded to greetings with a friendly wave, was a highlight for many riders. Tom sent me this photo as I missed this special moment. My visit to the Preserve took me in another direction. Since it was Sunday, the visitor center (and restrooms!) was closed. Unfortunately, the box containing trail maps was also empty so there was no information about the area. Trails wandered through the forest, out into meadows, along a slough, crisscrossing themselves. Luckily there was some signposting or instead of …
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Learning from the world of animals (16 June) A hot and humid ride of 72 miles from Indianapolis to Richmond faced the Cross Roads riders today. I think the walrus in the Indianapolis Zoo had the right idea of how to spend the day! After cycling (in the fitness room) and doing a little aquafit in the pool, I spent the morning at the Zoo being amazed by the beauty and variety of life that surrounds us on this planet.Especially difficult to catch with the camera are the butterflies in the Flower Garden pavillion. There were so many beautiful little winged jewels that could have graced these pages, if they had only held still! Here is one guy who made it onto my blog. Other rewarding subjects can be found in the bird family. Their gorgeous feathers are a constant source of wonder and admiration for me. Nature is truly the great Master of color.
Animals can teach us humans so much. For example, one of the least assuming members of the Indianapolis Zoo is the very rare Adora gazelle that …
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Indianapolis (15 June) Indianapolis is a beautiful city with rivers and canals, trees and flowers and parks, an imposing modern city center, horse drawn carriages and patriotic sculptures, a modern zoo and a fantastic 3-D Imax theatre ... and much more. While the Cross Roads riders covered the 55 miles from Crawfordsville to Indianapolis, I drove straight to the hotel, unloaded the Sirrus and went for a ride along the White River Trail. I had just completed my ride and decided to wait for the group at the junction of the Trail and the Walking Bridge, managing to reach my post a few minutes before the first riders appeared. After a quick lunch, Emil, Adam and I took in an amazing show at the IMAX theater at the Indiana State Museum. "American Musical Journey" told the story of how music developed under the influence of the many immigrants to this country. The popular singer, Aloe Blacc travels through the cities, seeking out the different musical styles and their origins. Di…
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A Kickaspooky walk through the woods (14 June) While the Cross Roads riders rode into Indiana today, I stayed in Illinois to go hiking in the Kickapoo State Recreation Area. Between 1850 and about 1940 this area was strip-mined for coal. This is actually said to be the birthplace of strip-mining practices and one of the first areas to use mechanization for strip mining. Now nature has recovered from the spoil piles and mine pits left behind, forming  tree covered hills and numerous pools for fish and other aquatic life.



One feature of the Clear Lake Trail is "Spooky Hollow" where the wooden faces of forest spirits can be found high up on the tree trunks ... if you are lucky enough to discover them.