Friday, August 24, 2007

To the Inland Seas

I'm officially out of the New York mountains and slogging it out across the upper state. I spent last night on the shores of Lake Ontario, the last ocean I'll see until the Pacific--amazing.
I awoke in Boonville in a camp tucked into the far reaches of a fair grounds. Up half the night doing battle (not!) with a skunk, I struggle out of my tent into a dim morning, the sky hanging like a vast beef steak gone bad, an immense grey slab of meat hanging low over the earth. Not inspiring. But it was cool and not raining--yet--so good enough for cycling.

I'm a constant source of interest wherever I go. I end up answering the same questions a lot (where from, how far, did you make that...?), but this offers me a way to open conversations and meet folks, so I have to be patient. The people continue to amaze me with their generosity and kindness. I expect that experience to be one of the greatest legacies of the tour for me. What a great bunch of people we have in this country.

I crossed the 700 mile mark officially this morning. My body has mostly adapted to the demands of the tour. The various bits and pieces may complain a little, but they know their work: a 4 to 7 hour spinning class every day.

Soon I'll be on the canal path, about 90 miles of car-free bliss and then Niagra Falls. I wonder if anyone has ever ridden a German recumbent over the falls?


Richard said...

Hi Scott,

We just finished up with opening day activities, so I thought I'd take a moment to check out how you're doing. The first thing that always strikes me about your site is the beauty of your pictures. You seem to have an eye for finding the beauty in something as simple as a collection of river rocks or a couple of red Adirondack chairs. As Monday fast approaches, I envy the serenity of your ride through some beautiful country. Thanks for doing this and sharing it with us. We'll miss you on Monday.

Scott Wayland said...

Thanks for the note, Richard. I do my best with the photos. I've been learning by looking at other folks' work, trying to zero in on what looks interesting. Have fun this semester, and give 'em hell, as you always do.


debra schubert said...

Hi Scotty,

So glad to see your tired expression and beautiful photos of upstate NY. I got a chuckle from what you wrote as to when you meet new folks. Where are you from? Where you going? I just finished reading Eat,Pray,Love about a woman who goes soul searching for a year through Italy, India and Indonesia (Bali). Folks abroad also ask the same questions, but with one more addition, Are you married? I should say these questions are mostly coming out of Bali. And since the Balinese don't understand the concept of not married and/or divorce which the writer is and recovering from, her usual response to the marriage inquiry is "not yet". But as we know that in the good ol' US of A anything goes, so you won't have to deal with that.
It was fun reading your road encounters and I'm glad people are opening up to you and providing generosity. Look forward to reading more.

Ride on brother!


Scott Wayland said...

Hey, Deb: Thanks for the note. I'm totally in love with up-state NY. The place is so beautiful and the people supportive. Go NY! I look forward to seeing all of you when I get home.

You and Popy be well. And give Hunter a kiss for me.