Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Day #43: Cemeteries and Cottage Life

Today's Route: Texas, NY to Otter Lake, NY (77 miles)
Total Trip Miles: 2393

Seriously? I can't pedal my bike through Pulaski?

No biking allowed?

Get it? <Insert eye roll here.> I know, I know. Corny. Sorry for the bad joke.

Riding through New York, I've noticed a bunch of really old cemeteries. Many of them are tucked away in inconspicuous places, such as a grove of trees off to the side of the road.

A cemetery, tucked away in a grove of trees.

Glancing at the names on the headstones can give some indication of whether the cemetery was a family cemetery. But when the names are all so different, I wonder about the origin of the cemetery. Was it an old town cemetery? Or perhaps the cemetery for a church that is no longer standing?

Seeing the cemeteries reminded me of Paris. I had an opportunity to travel to Paris last year for work. This was the first (and only) time I'd been to Paris.

I generally prefer to visit towns that are off-the-beaten-path. But, when the opportunity falls into your lap, you just deal with the fact that it's not an off-the-beaten-path type of city.

When I first arrived in Paris, I was blown away by the beauty of the architecture and the sculptures and the fashionable people. But after a few blocks of wandering around the city (I walked many, many, many miles in Paris), each block started to look the same. I didn't notice a whole lot of variety.

I was so excited to sit at a little table on the sidewalk outside of a cafe and drink an espresso and eat a baguette. But that never happened, because the outdoor cafes were filled with smokers. And for me, it is impossible to enjoy anything when my nostrils and lungs are filled with cigarette smoke.

Oh, and the people. Tourists! Everywhere!

So the highly unfashionable me (I stuck out like a sore thumb wearing my red Goretex rain jacket, my jeans, and my Tevas) decided to head over to a less crowde section of Paris - Cimetiere de Monmartre.

The cemetery was amazing! By far, it was my favorite part of Paris, for a few reasons: it was quiet and peaceful - there were no crowds, there were lots of trees, the headstones and tombs were gorgeous, the "avenues" among the headstones were brick and winding and layered, and there were cats sprawled out all around the cemetery.

Anyway, enough of Paris. Cuz today I entered the Adirondacks!

This sign shows the "A" word. Woohoo!

I've so very much been looking forward to seeing the Adirondacks.

My Warm Showers host tonight, Louise, lives just a few miles inside the park. She lives in a cottage on White Lake. The cottage used to be the dining hall for a girl's summer camp. Louise's husband, Alan, is the cyclist. But he's away for the evening.

The gorgeous view of the lake, from Louise's living room.

I spent some time enjoying White Lake this afternoon. White Lake is the perfect lake for swimming - nice and warm.

Louise insisted that I go for a float in one of her floating chairs. I'm so glad she did - it felt amazing! I used my arms as paddles and maneuvered my floating chair to the far side of the lake and back.

Ahh! The floating chair.
(And awful tan lines.)

Enjoying the lake from the dock.

Laying on the dock and staring at the clouds.

I asked Louise if she ever tires of the water. She answered in the negative.

Wow, what a perfect way to relax after a long, hot'n'humid day of biking. I think I could live this cottage-on-a-lake lifestyle thing. It ain't so bad.

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