A raccoon kept me up half the night trying to get at my stuff. I tried to tell him he wasn’t going to get anything because it was all locked away in the bear canister. He didn’t believe me and kept coming back to check again. Finally, a little after midnight, he tried to pull a water bottle off my bicycle and ended up knocking it over. He must have decided the risk was too high because he left me alone after that. In the morning, another camper walking his dogs let me know there were three bears wandering the campground overnight. His dogs scared one off early in the morning. I guess dealing with a raccoon isn’t so bad after all.

It rained again overnight. Not much, just enough to make sure the things I set out to finish drying were thoroughly wet again. Because of the late night with my friend, I overslept. I used Google to lay out my route for the day. Outside a city, it can be a bit risky to use Google for cycling directions. Google likes side roads, and those can be hit or miss. Today, it worked out pretty well and I ended up riding down quiet country roads. Part of the ride took me along the south side of the Ashokan Reservoir (one of the sources of water for New York City). Along the route, there were signs pointing out what used to be there, like the former sites of towns or bridges.

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When I have driven through wooded areas in the past, I always said I literally could not see the forest for the trees. That first row of trees blocked the view and I didn’t like it. It was like driving down a long wooden tunnel. I don’t know if it has to do with growing up on the plains where there is nothing to block the view. You get to the top of a hill and can point to trees that are such and such town or so and so’s farm.

From he seat of a bicycle, the view is completely different. I see the forest, the trees, the blooming flowers along he side of the road and under the canopy, the creeks, streams and springs, the squirrels and chipmunks running through the undergrowth, the stone fences, abandoned houses, houses that probably should be abandoned and those well maintained. I don’t only see the forest, but hear it, smell it, and feel it.

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I’ve been a bit snippy since late yesterday afternoon, so thought taking a rest day tomorrow would be probably be a good idea. I haven’t had a day off since Quechee Gorge. When I got to the south end of Ellenville, NY, I just couldn’t pedal any further. That was another indication that a day off was due.

3 thoughts on “Country Roads (June 7)

  1. These 2 latest blogs are outstanding. I’m so glad you’re doing this trip. I feel a little envious of your relative youth and vigor. But yet I love the vicarious experience, Brad.

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  2. Brad, My name is Carol Nichols…I am a friend of your Aunt Roberta Kline…I am SO enjoying your blog…the photos are GORGEOUS! Would it be ok if I painted one or two? I especially love the covered bridge…but all of them are excellent…You are a great writer…Sincerely, Carol

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