Back In New York State

Hank – We woke up to pouring rain, packed up, and made our way to the bikes in the garage. We said our goodbyes to Richard last night since he was likely getting up at the same time we were leaving. We rolled through the downpour at stopped in at Muddy Waters to pick up bananas and scones for the ferry ride. Then we went down to the waterfront to catch the ferry to Orient Point on Long Island. The rain storm was moving fast so we waited out the end of it at the ferry terminal on Long Island. By 11:00 we we’re on the road.

About an hour later we stopped for breakfast and fueled up for the rest if the ride. There were available camp sites at Wildwood State Park and we we’re pretty sure we’d score one. We passed by so many vineyards and farms–and farm stores–along the way. We stopped at one and bought some fruits and veggies. Traffic constantly increased as we labored along. We got a site at the park and quickly set up camp and ate dinner.

Accommodations for tomorrow we’re still up in the air. Two WarmShowers hosts were unavailable. And I kept getting the answering machine at the campground I found. So we’ll see how it pans out. The next two days are supposed to be sunny. By then we’ll be in NYC.

Kathy – Our 43 mile ride today was tough. It was cold and rainy almost the entire day. We were soaked. The ferry ride gave us 90 minutes to sort of dry out, only to get wet once we started riding again. The wind, rain and very heavy traffic made for somewhat of a miserable ride. Often we had very little shoulder room so we constantly had to monitor the constant flow of traffic. I have never had so many cars and trucks pass me in one day while riding a bike as I did today. It is truly incredible just how many people are on the roads in the upper East Coast region. They are all in a hurry too. The cars seem to squeeze by us quickly between oncoming traffic or as soon as they pass us the immediately hit the gas pedal. There were many times today when I was concerned a car was too close to us and possibly going to hit us. Thankful in the end all went well.

I was thrilled to make it to our campsite and end our riding for the day. Needed some relaxing time after constantly being on alert to ensure cards a trucks didn’t hit us. I was freezing and my bike shoes and socks were so wet that my toes were numb.

I was looking forward the a long warm shower…well, that didn’t happen. I quickly found out the showers in the ladies bathroom at the campsite only had cold water. What the heck! Hank was lucky enough to get a lukewarm shower in the men’s room. If I knew this ahead of time I’m telling you I may have went into the men’s shower area. Even with my wool clothes on I couldn’t get warm the rest of the night. Looking forward to a dry and sunny day tomorrow.

Not Feeling It Today

Hank – I woke up tired and feeling run down and I didn’t feel like riding. But I did anyway because that’s what we do. State highway 3 is a designated bike route and the wide shoulder reflected that. After nine miles we came to a point where Google maps recommended an alternate route. It was a gravel road so we stayed on the highway.

We stopped in Wyoming, Connecticut to eat. I felt a little better afterwards. The once closed highway beyond Wyoming was just opened to one lane and we squeaked by to continue on to New London. We had to get off Highway 3 when it turned south. I stopped in at a small restaurant to get a local read on my directions. The lady there asked me if I saw the sign on the door. (See the photo) Then she said it was a joke. We followed a pretty country road until we hit State Highway 184, which we then followed almost the rest of the way.

Reaching Groton we found the pedestrian/bike path crossing the Thames River was closed due to construction. We waited for the shuttle bus and Kevin soon arrived to haul us across the bridge. Instead of unloading our bikes he said to just bring them on board. When he dropped us off he gave us directions to downtown and added a word of caution about some areas. We appreciated that. We stopped at a small shop to get a gift for our WarmShowers host. Kathy met Giovanni in the shop who was very interested in out adventure. He recommended we eat at Fat Boy’s. He knows the owner, Ron, and said they would take care of us. He was right. The food and drink there was delicious. After eating we rolled over to Richard’s house. He lives right on the shore next to a lighthouse. He’s a woodworker and the house makes use of his talents. Interestingly, he has an outdoor shower. After showing us around he ran to the store and Kathy and I took turns in the shower. We sat up and chatted with Richard who has toured all over the US and Europe. He’s headed to Vietnam next. At 68 years old he is still going strong.

Tomorrow we take the 8:00 am ferry to Long Island.

Kathy – Today Hank was not feeling the best and I was concerned about the 2,000 feet of elevation we had to do today.  This is our third day back on the bikes and and my legs were somewhat sore so I wasn’t sure how the elevation would go.  I was pleasantly surprised that it went fabulously.  We did a ton of climbing throughout the day but conditions could not have been better for the day.  We rode 43 miles in crisp cool weather.  Blue sky’s and the warm sun greeted us.  Even with all the hills, it was a very enjoyable ride.

We finished up Rhode Island our 20th state, and moved on to Connecticut our 21st state!  Planted my flowers seeds in both states as well.  The ride through these two states was very beautiful.  It was a mix of extremely busy city roads with hilly country areas, and occasional farmlands that quickly reminded us of their wonderful odors.  We seen lots of beer cans on the side of the roads out West and in the Midwest, but here we seen tons of those little empty alcohol bottles littering the roads.  Maybe they prefer the stronger stuff here.  We did not see too many dead animals on the side of the road, but I did see five live snakes! Yikes!  So happy I quickly swerved each time to avoid running over them.

After taking the month break in riding, we are getting back into our grove.  I have enjoyed the rain, wind and elevation these past three days, and tolerated nicely the sore bum and legs.  I have kept a positive attitude regardless of what difficulties come our way.  I have had Hank by my side and we have enjoyed our time together.  We have had warm beds at night, food to nourish and fuel our bodies, and have seen beautiful country and met great people.  It’s tough some days but worth it in the end.

A couple of notes…