Luckily it didn’t rain too hard last night, I slept pretty well in the hammock, the rain fly definitely cuts down on the wind flow and hence kept it warmer. I didn’t need the sleeping bag, Korin, I spoke to the lockmaster in the morning who explained that the big metal beam along the lock is for maintenance purposes. It fits in slots in the lock near the doors to lock them should they need to drain the water down and have folks inside the lock for repairs. It’s one of three on the entire canal and it moves wherever needed by barge or truck. Got a later start than I planned but it was gonna be ok as I was only planning about 40 miles which will get me to the Herkimer Red Roof Inn. There doesn’t seem to be as many camping places with basic necessities and two days without a proper shower is too long( Salty body chaffing is a real thing) Taken me a while to pack up this morning for two reasons, first time breaking down the hammock rain fly and it needed to dry a little. I think I got going about 8:30 and rode down the trail 7 miles to have breakfast at the race track gas station in Rome. It wasn’t until I left there did I notice the heavy easterly wind in my face. It was hard pedaling through Rome it was like a wind tunnel down W Liberty Street. Somewhere around the N Charles St area, I heard loud crackling and a crash as a HUGE branch came crashing down from an old maple just missing the house. I was 2nd guessing leaving during these high winds. Passed the old touring couple somewhere 1/4 down the Oriskany trail when it dawned on me that it’s been so nice riding familiar trails since Butternut St in Dewitt and pretty soon I’ll be further east on the trail I’ve ever been. Exciting! So just as soon as I forgot about the wind, I was down the trail about a mile from River St Oriskany when another couple was turning around from a partially fallen hanging limb blocking the whole trail. The nice gentlemen said “Might be able to go around it but I wouldn’t go under it” and they pedaled away. I spent some time watching and studying the limb with heavy gusts. Then I looked for a way around it in the woods and have pricker scrapes to prove it. I finally decided I would go through it. Broke a bunch of branches that make a path through it when large gusts subsided. (Which wasn’t 20 to 30 seconds at a time) I was carefully listening and watching for creaks and such) and I finally have a way through but not without stepping over and ducking under sizable branches that either I couldn’t break or left for stability. Off the bags come and I decided to shuttle them through 2 at a time. I watch the wind gusts on a bunch of large trees bout 200 yards down the trail and time my passage and I get through to the other side( You know I am a Millbrook Blue Devil Trailblazer after all, not that new age horse crap) Okay I can do this so I get back over and the old touring couple pulls up. They say to me we met that other couple at river st and were waiting for you (meaning me) .to come back down the trail towards them
So I am rough outlining this blog post-Sun eve when I start to review total trip miles which my bike computer now tells me I am at 299 miles. I only have about a hundred more to go. Wow, the Hudson River still seems like it’s so far away but it’s really not. It’s roughly a century ride away which is an easy one-day excursion unloaded. I am loaded so I digress and am planning on splitting the remaining miles into two separate days due to weather.