Monday, August 09, 2010

Squid on Wheels: Riding the Erie Canal Days: 5 and 6

We are now sitting in our lovely hotel room in Syracuse, New York, having completed a 44.5 mile day and a 42 day yesterday. For those keeping track, we have now cycled 221.5 miles over 5 days. Yes, we are tired. Yes, some of us are very sore while others are moderately sore. Mike claims to be just fine. There's also some sunburn and some funky tan lines from the bike shorts and gloves. Except for Little Squid. Who refuses to wear bike gloves. The backs of his hands look like they belong to someone from a much darker gene pool.

Meanwhile, the backs of our legs are still mad white. ;-) (Yes, daddy, we are using sunblock!)

The ride from Palmyra to Senaca Falls was fairly quick but involved many hills as we pedaled the last 15 miles south. We reached the town of Clyde by 11:30 a.m. and had a wonderful lunch at the Brickoven Cafe. Squidette and I redid breakfast with french toast for her and eggs and bacon and toast (home made cinnamon bread) for me. Little Squid chowed down on a turkey Ruben and Mike feasted on homemade hash. We followed it up with really good pie resulting in a much happier Squidette.

In Senaca Falls we stayed at a lovely Bed and Breakfast -- Van Cleef Homestead and walked around the historic downtown. If you want the history of the area, feel free to go over to Mike's blog. He already wrote it out, saving me the effort.

From Senaca Falls, we pedaled north east, through the Montezuma Wildlife Refuge (where we did not see Big Foot) and up and down over rolling hills to lunch in Jordan. Unfortunately our good lunch luck did not hold up and we settled for decent pizza in an unairconditioned storefront.

Then on over some recently restone-dusted trails which made for more difficult riding until we got to the outskirts of Syracuse and a fair amount of road riding.

As we rolled our bikes into our hotel - the historic Jefferson Clinton Hotel - the desk staff took one look at us as proclaimed "we've been waiting for you!" They relieved us of our bikes, upgraded our room and were incredibly nice.

We showered off the road dust and sunblock in a fabulous double-headed shower and then rested for a while before heading out to the famous Dinosaur Barbque for a good, solid, dinner.

This morning we slept in for a bit with Little Squid being the last to rise at about 7:30, ate breakfast and walked around downtown Syracuse. We attempted to visit the campus of Syracuse University in the morning but conclude that we were a little lost and, with everyone rather hot (at 9:30 a.m.) we gave up and headed back down town.

We finally visited a Canal Museum and got a good taste of the history of the Canal and the different boats that travel it. The Syracuse Canal Museum is located in the only remaining Weigh-lock building. Weigh-locks were like truck weigh stations but for barges so they could determine how much toll to charge.

We then attempted to visit, in turn, the Science Museum and two sets of galleries and found them all closed. So we headed back to the hotel to veg for a bit before getting lunch and then vegging and napping for a while.

Finally, Squidette and I headed out, determined to really see the Syracuse University Campus and, armed with a map and Squidette's innate confidence in her sense of direction, we made it all the way onto campus, up to Mount Olympus and back down via the Carrier Dome.

Now, fed with some pretty good pasta, I am running a load of laundry and we are doing some more vegging and stocking up on energy as we get ready for a 47 mile day tomorrow.

Tomorrow, we continue our trek through New York State on our way to Rome.

(photos can be found here and here)

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