From September 19, 2011....
It turned out to be a good thing that I did not get to set up my tent. Rain, lightning and trains woke me up last night. I slept until 9 AM. Didn't leave Franklin until 11. I have no idea why it takes me so long to get everything together and to get rolling. Went to the store to stock up on bananas. A girl that worked in the deli filled my bottles with ice. She said, 'have a nice ride!'. She had no idea. Met an 84 year old man in good shape who said that he dances with 8 women every night at a local bar. The reason so many? He wears them all out!
In Marquez(French, pronounced 'Mark-ee')I met a lady at the local convenience store whose father in law is a cyclist, and she was checking out my bike. I told her about my idea to go up to Fairfield State Park via 75 from Buffalo to Fairfield. She said the ride would be real pretty up there, and that was the first greenery I began seeing on my trip.
When I got to Fairfield, I had in 60 miles for the day. I was told there it was only 5 more miles to the park. In all, it ended up being 8 to the park and another 3 to the campsite once I was there. A difference of 6 miles may not seem like much in a car, but on a loaded bicycle after a long day, I decided that from now on I would add 5 miles to whatever future mileage estimates I would be given.
The park ranger was very helpful getting me checked into the park. I was a bit delirious after my ride and he was ready to go home. But a few minutes after I got settled into my campsite, a car drove up. It was him and his son, who had gone into town to get me a plate of steak fajita tacos and some Gatorade in a plastic Sunny D bottle. The bottle will be put to use to hold ice throughout the rest of the trip. A real trail angel.
It was already dark riding into the campsite, and I set up my tent this way. So that I would be able to find my tent from the bathhouse, I hung my red safety flasher from the middle of my tent. It looked very erie from a distance but I was able to get back to my site in the dark.
And so here I am, surrounded by nature, and I can see every star in the universe. I was having some fun with some raccoons earlier. But while I took a shower they tore a hole in the mosquito net of my cheap tent. I started growling at them and they left me alone. There eyes make them look lovable, but all they want is as much food as they can get and they seem to be interested in mine. I noticed a large bite missing from a package of tortillas I bought once I got back in the tent.
I've got the cycling down good, but I need to find a better way to organize my gear. Every night I go through all my bags looking for what I need and now my tent is a mess. But it is in the low 70s at 11PM so am looking forward to a good night's sleep. I will need it because the last 6 miles to the park was downhill, so I get to start tomorrow's ride with some climbing.