Fulton to Dexter, NY

I got started on the ride with Bruce this morning. Breakfast was on-route, about 18 miles in at a banquet hall called The Eis House. We filled the place up with cyclists, as even though we got there at different times, many of us took our time leaving, since it was such a warm and cozy place, and the buffet was excellent. When we finally got up the energy to leave, Bruce and I joined Colleen, Molly, and Marisa.

Just a few miles after leaving breakfast, it started raining, pretty hard and steady. It lasted until we reached the lunch stop, at mile 57 in the town of Sackett Harbor, on the shore of Lake Ontario. We were in a park that was the site of a U.S. Army barracks during the War of 1812; there were several museums and other historic attractions. Young volunteers were dressed in period clothes, and demonstrated the muskets and camp stove cooking of the time.

Bruce and I left lunch and headed through the main downtown area of Sackett Harbor, where we stopped at a small coffee shop. It was only about another eight miles before we got to our destination for the day, the Black Water Bay Campground in Dexter. There, I set up my new Wal-Mart tent for the first time without any trouble, even in the light rain that just started. The only complaints I have about it are that there is no vestibule to leave your shoes under outside the tent, and I have to be very careful when zipping the door not to catch the flap edges in the zipper.

The showers in this campground took quarters; you get 6 minutes of water for 50 cents. I joked that it would never be enough, and Peter said that I shouldn’t be so high-maintenance. The 6 minutes ended up being plenty, but when I came out, I joked, “That was the best $4.50 I’ve spent all week!”

I walked a mile or so into town with Matt Olson, where we found a bar called Coho’s, and inside we found (surprise, surprise) some others from our group, including Matt Sheehan, Richard, David Butler, and Molly and Marisa. We had a couple pitchers of Sam Adams, and once again enjoyed some of our favorites on the jukebox.

Dinner was barbecued chicken provided under a shelter at the campground. We had the weekly awards ceremony tonight, one day early this week. Keith recognized several of us as recipients of the “railroad spike award,” presumably better than a “tough as nails” award, for the various physical obstacles we all overcame. There was John Piser, a guy in his 60’s who, one day in Wyoming, got extremely exhausted and was lost until 10:00pm; David Butler and Brian Hall, who had dehydration issues; David Beraru, who suffered through the mountain passes of the first week on his recumbent bike, then returned in the third week with a regular road bike; Robert with his bad knee; and of course, me with my collar bone.

We made a camp fire after dinner. David Butler borrowed Ryan’s guitar and played while the rest of us sang along. We picked songs based on what anybody could remember the lyrics to, and what David knew how to play; he did a great job remembering songs and sometimes ad-libbing. It was mostly 60-era folk-type music at first–a lot of Simon & Garfunkle, Arlo Guthrie, and the like. As we started running out of material, it shifted to religious and patriotic songs. Many of us were wishing for some more modern selections, but it was a very fun experience nonetheless. We retired to our tents around 10:00pm as the rain started to pick up once again.

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