The apple orchard was the perfect place to get some rest. Before clouds overtook the night sky, a sliver of the waxing crecent moon arced up over the fruit trees and provided just enough illumination to invite a little dance down the arboreal aisle. Feeling refreshed the next morning, we slipped out onto the trail early and made the easy ride to Sodus Point Beach Park, where we had a little breakfast and confirmed that we’d be meeting up with Anita in Rochester by the evening. I checked my GPS, and it suggested a route that was half the distance of the Adventure Cycling route, but the latter was far more appealing because it included about 20 miles of the Canalway Trail. Excitingly, this stretch would be familiar as well, as bicycle-lover Anita and I had rode around on it on a couple of occasions over the last two years when we’d been upstate on business. It was exciting to see it again!
It was a comfortable, easy day, with the warm sunshine buffered by the cool air from Lake Ontario. I made a little stop in Palmyra at an historic looking house with an exterior meticulously covered in lake stones. Some signage indicated this had been the site of the home of Martin Harris, one of his first scribes of the Book of Mormon. Turned out that he mortgaged part of that farm to pay for the book’s publication, and he was one of the witnesses who claimed the book’s divine origins. There was a clean looking water fountain out front that I did not drink from and rolled onward.
Finally, canal path! At the path’s entrance, the water looked like putrid pea soup.
No matter– it was in the shade for the most part, and there were playgrounds and outdoor fitness/gym equipment that Tunes and I stopped to play on!
The flat, dusty gravel was a delight because we were completely safe from motor vehicles, and lots of other pedestrians waved and gawked and cheered us on. As we closed in on Rochester, the canal became more beautiful and also somewhat familiar.
Tunes took the opportunity to do what she does best:
And finally, we made it to the hotel where we’d been invited by bestest boss, dear friend, and wise mentor Anita. We hadn’t planned the timing where our paths crossed so that we could work together, but all of the best parts of this journey have been serendipitous that way.
Over the next couple of days in Rochester, I wrote a report that summarized monthly service delivery and client outcomes for an organization that provides health, social and well-being services for elders and their caretakers; edited a couple of surveys and set them up to be administered automatically; and followed up on a few other projects in progress. I also availed myself of the clean bathtub and had two oatmeal baths to help soothe my sunburned and saddle-chapped skin, and pigged out at the free breakfast buffet. Even Tunes got eggs and bacon, and caught up on her summer reading– lucky dog! It was fun to couch-camp in such a roomy hotel with great company.
We took a few short rides down the canal path and the Genesee River Trail, had an indulgent afternoon at the Lake Ontario Beach Park, ate craving-sating food, and even sat outside around a little hotel-provided fire pit one evening. It was such a great and productive visit, that I somewhat dragged my feet when it came time to leave on Thursday.
But we eventually hopped back on the canal path, stopping to hear some live music along the way, narrowly avoided a snake speed bump, and ended up camping canal-side, anticipating our trek to Niagara Falls and our international debut into Canada tomorrow! We were already picking up radio stations from Toronto, and our day ended sserenely with a beautiful classical piece called Dusk by C. Armgstrong Gibbs. It is, of course, the song of the day.