Friday, August 14, 2009

Day One Hundred Sixty-two, 090809 - Oriskany, NY

Day One Hundred Sixty-two, Date Sunday, August 9, 2009
Time in Saddle: 9:36
Distance for the Day: 84.91 miles From Schenectady, NY To Oriskany, NY
Accumulated Trip Distance: 7745.19 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 257’/689’, Highest: 900’ Accumulated: 2753’
Speeds: Avg: 8.8 mph, Max: 39.0 mph
Weather: 64°
Expenditures: $5

Woke up at 5:22am got up at 5:30am. The mosquitoes are still quite active, so I packed up fast and got the hell out of Dodge by 6:10am. The sky last night cleared enough so I could see a big orange moon above the eastern horizon, but this morning, it was overcast, though still no rain. Last night, I’m ashamed to admit that I ate all 6 or 7 of the Italian pastries that Richard and Chris gave me, and I washed them down with half a bottle of orange soda, to boot. Even *I* was worried I might have overdosed on sugar, but I seemed to have experienced no deleterious aftereffects of my splurge, though it’s not something I’m going to try very often. At 7:30am I found and followed a bike path that follows the Eerie Canal, but it decided to take me over some railroad tracks that happened to have a train sitting motionless, there. I climbed up onto the top of one of the cars to see if I could see the engine, but it was too long, and went around a curve. Hmph! Some bicycle path. After hemming and hawing for a few minutes about whether I should risk trying to drag my trike across 8-10” high tracks *under* one of the cars (that had just enough clearance for my trike), or to go back a mile or so and take the regular road, I decided to do the stupid thing, and go under the train. I took my flag off, and carefully dragged my trike under the train car, over the several rails (it was just at a junction of two sets of tracks – even better), and got across okay. I kissed my yellow plastic wristband and silently thanked St. Armstrong (as in ‘Lance’) for my good fortune, and continued west on Rte 5S. The weather threatened to rain, but for one brief light shower, it hadn’t happened, yet. Not long after the track crossing, I witnessed a really big excavation machine using its to do some quick, rough, and dirty “tree-trimming,” kind of like using a sledge hammer to cut some roses. Interesting. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful, just me chugging along, stopping every now and then to consult the map, get liquids, or just rest the ol’ legs. At 3:30-4pm, I stopped at Subway for meal deal ($8), and stopped again in Herkimer at 4:15pm and get food items ($5). I entered Utica at 6pm, and saw three or four really old, impressive churches. The neighborhoods were poor, but I didn’t feel particularly threatened; I took pictures of the one downtown. After getting out of the city and back more into the country, I found a stealth camp site behind the maintenance building of the Oriskany historic battlefield state historic site (N43 10.542’ W75 22.227’) at 7:30pm. They’ve got a huge monolith in the middle of a football field-sized grassy area, but I read my book and waited for dark behind the maintenance buildings – tons of mosquitoes – got hit a couple of times despite measures. I was possibly visible from the road, but with my mute green and white tent, and cloaked trike, nobody saw me. I was set up by 8pm, and dove into my tent with munchies, drink and book, and read/ate/drank until 9pm before falling asleep. It was a nice quiet site in a low-traffic area, so I was undisturbed the whole night. Zzzzzzz!

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