Thursday, July 11, 2013

Day #44: The Beauty of the Rain

Today's Route: Otter Lake, NY to Long Lake, NY (64 miles)
Total Trip Miles: 2457

Today's ride was the best yet. I had a smile on my face the entire time - even when the heavy rains began to fall 35 miles into the ride. It was so wonderful to be riding among the trees. I am definitely a nature girl way more than a city girl.

At Seventh Lake.

The tourist town of Old Forge was gorgeous. I'm not sure I'd say the same thing if the town was packed with tourists. But at 8:30 in the morning in the middle of the week, it was splendid!

I made a point of taking breaks often today so that I could soak in the beauty of the area. How can you resist with a route that looks like this?

Lakes galore! And perfectly spaced towns!

A snack break in Inlet.

It's wonderful when the message on the random bench where you take a break speaks to you.

The bench speaks to me.

The rains started to fall about two and a half hours into the ride. I put on my rain jacket, and I kept riding. The rains didn't dampen my moods. Nope, the smile remained plastered to my face.

It was wonderful to hear the drops falling on the trees and to smell the moisture amongst the forest. And, of course, the overcast skies and the rains helped to create a very comfortable riding temperature.

Plus, Shirley was thrilled that the Erie Canal mud splatters on the panniers were finally rinsed away.

I couldn't help myself from loudly singing a line from one of Dar Williams's songs over and over again. The line goes: "The beauty of the rain is how it falls."

Rain at Blue Mountain Lake.

Apparently it has rained a good part of the last two weeks here in the Adirondacks. I've been lucky on my ride, as today was the first day I have worn my rain jacket since Day #29, when I crossed the Mackinac Bridge into the mitten of Minnesota.

When I ran into Lily, Joey, and Bekah (the three riders who are heading west across the country) back in Ontario, we swapped notes about places to stay. They recommended asking around for a "Father Peter" in Newcomb, as he had opened their church to them when they passed through.

I looked up Father Peter on the interweb. As it turns out, Father Peter has a sister church in Long Lake, where I planned on spending the evening tonight. I gave Father Peter a call, and he said I'd be more than welcome to stay in the efficiency apartment at the back of the church.

My home for the night - St. Henry's Catholic Church.

Father Peter offered to show me some of the highlights of Long Lake. He drove me (yes, this was the first time I'd been in a car in over a month) to visit an interesting woman from his parish. As a child in Germany, Edith once shook the hand of Adolph Hitler. Father Peter pointed out that I am one handshake away from having shaken hands with Hitler. Yikes! Anyway, we then went to see Buttermilk Falls and a scenic pavilion overlooking the hamlet of Long Lake.

As I had access to a kitchen and no plans for dinner, I cooked the final batch of Thai Roasted Peanut Noodles that was acquired in Mercer, WI. Yes, I have carried these noodles in my panniers for more than 1,500 miles.

Eating the well traveled Thai noodles.

After dinner, I went for a walk. The lights were on at the library next door to the church, and I could hear music playing through the open windows. A sign out front indicated that tonight was Open Mic night. The Open Mic had started 45 minutes before, but I felt no problem showing up fashionably late.

I caught about an hour of performances - storytelling, poetry, music.

Storytelling below the moose.

Without a doubt, my favorite performer was Harmonica Neil. Here are two snippets from his performance:

Although I appreciated the beauty of the rain on today's ride, I'm hoping that I get to appreciate the Adirondacks in all of its glory under a sunny sky tomorrow.

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