Fairport to Weedsport
June 5, 2017 § 3 Comments
We’re biking for three or four days along the Erie Canal in upstate New York, starting just west of Rochester and hopefully finishing around Albany. This trip we’re finally close enough to Massachusetts to drive out to the start instead of flying! The end is in sight.
After leaving the car in Albany, driving a one-way rental to Rochester, and spending yet another fabulous evening with our unofficial sponsor, we picked up the bike from RV&E and started rolling east. Today and tomorrow have been looking pretty rainy in the forecasts we’ve seen, so we kept a close eye on the skies all day. We caught a few sprinkles in the morning, but missed the larger storms. Phew!
We were right next to the canal for most of the morning. The bike path winds through a deciduous forest, and the canal was glassy smooth and almost totally free of boats. Quiet! After a quick lunch at a cute café in Lyons, we broke off the canal and went for a mile or so in exactly the wrong direction before switching from a stranger’s directions to a map’s. We followed a New York State bike path alongside highway 31, through farms and small towns, for the rest of the day.
We passed through Palmyra, Newark, Clyde, Savanna, Montezuma, and Port Byron before stopping at a Days Inn in Weedsport (or maybe the town is Brutus – the signs on the buildings here seem undecided). Most towns had a funeral home and graveyard on their main streets. When we stopped at convenience stores to check the map and weather, people mostly walked out with pizza and American beer. Small town charm was everywhere. I feel like I’m noticing bits of Americana more this year than any other so far – I just returned from a semester in Spain, and although the two countries share the basic structures of Western cultures, all the little things are so different.
As seems to be the case most days, we were lucky with the weather – as we moved, we dodged some nasty thunderstorms to our north, south, east, and west. It was also great to encounter random people as we went along. The residents of these towns were very kind to us, interested in us, and frequently offered to help us navigate (although two out of three times today they were pretty horrendously wrong).
Let’s see how the weather looks tomorrow!