It is cooling down quickly out here in New York. If we continue to bike fast we may make it up to Portland, Maine, we'll see how the weather holds up for us.
In Cleveland we lucked out and were able to stay with a couple of great guys we meant in a bike shop they work at outside of the city. We arrived close to downtown and stopped by the bicycle shop to pick up a map of bike routes through the area. Josh and Brad were working for the day and invited us to stay at their apartment for a night. The following day the four of us went to the farmers market and to a waterfront park with a stunning view of downtown Cleveland. Josh and Brad were great; and we thank you guys for all the help with everything and for a nice place to stay.
A couple of days later we made are way through Pennsylvania and into New York. Since Chicago we have been hugging the lakes while heading East. Pennsylvania only borders Lake Erie for about 50 miles and so we didn't see that much of the state. In both Pennsylvania and New York, near the shoreline, there are an amazing amount of grape orchards which never seem to end. On on way down the Atlantic we should be seeing some more of Pennsylvania, which I'm really looking forward to.
Now that we are going across New York the hills have returned to our daily routine. There are some serious hills out here. They are shorter than many of the hills we climbed through the Cascades and the Rockies, but are not gradual at all, coming up one after the other without much, if any flat road in-between. The two of us have readjusted to continuous hill climbing after hundreds of miles of very flat expanses, which sucks, but it's just the way its going to be until we reach the Atlantic. Hills make any area more beautiful despite the pain they cause us.
Just outside of East Senica, NY after climbing a huge hill, we were met at the top by a resident of the area named Ed. Ed treated us to a Coke at the restaurant that he and his wife own, then let us stay in a 100 acre campground that he has been working on. It was a great night with a big fire and long hot showers. The next morning Ed's wife bought us breakfast. Bacon, pancakes and milk are a huge treat for us.
We are now in a medium sized town called Canadaigua, NY. Tonight is a rare treat for us. We have a hotel room generously purchased for us by a local named Mike. Yesterday he stopped to chat with us and ask where we were biking from as we pulled into the state park near Lake Canadaigua. Later we parted ways and Ryan and I pitched the tent in the furthest corner of the park to camp. It rained all night and started up again today right around the time that we were planing on heading out. Mike had come back to walk his dog and noticed that we were still camped out in the corner, waiting out the rain, so he purchased a hotel room for us so we could take a break from the bad weather. We are so grateful to have a room to relax and dry ourselves off in for an evening. It was a gesture of kindness that we still can't believe from a perfect stranger. So much thanks to Mike for your wonderful gift.
Ryan and Allegra
Wonderful old house in Gowanda, NY.
Looking off of Hwy.20 toward Buffalo, NY.
Along Hwy.20. It's all hills out here.
Making it to New York.
Stream in Pennsylvania.
Grape vineyard in Pennsylvania near Lake Erie.
Arriving at the border of Pennsylvania.
Josh, Ryan, Legs and Brad in Cleveland, OH.
Josh poking fun at a VERY dedicated Cleveland sun-bather.
Cleveland from Lake Erie.
Farmers market next to downtown Cleveland.
Ryan (at right) feeding a raccoon Twizzlers in a park outside of Cleveland that we camped in.