Total Elevation Gain (ft): 3792
Weather: Rainy, Cool
Hillbilly Insults: 0
Roadkill: 13 (3 Birds, 3 Frogs, 2 Snakes, 1 Beaver, 1 Fox, 3 Unknown)
Bugs Swallowed: 1
Mean Dogs Chasing: 0
Animal Rescue: 0
Falcon Day 2
"I could stay in and be comfortable and warm or I could shiver and make the miles," I kept telling myself from the comfort of my dorm style twin bed. Each time I looked out of my linoleum and wood paneled motel window, the rain was coming down in buckets.
Paralyzed like Buridan's Ass, I was nudged in the direction of a swampy ride by a knock on the door. It was the housekeeper and she wanted to finish up early. I knew this because I was the sole boarder in the joint and it was only 8:30 in the morning.
I was soaked and chafing but got some relief from the wind which was blocked by the lush Salmon Forest. Traffic was sparse. I put my head down and listened to Nassim Taleb's rants about "Mediocristan" from his fabulous book, "Antifragile," and ignored the dampness.
50 miles in, I needed to eat something and spotted a little store festooned with handwritten signs about all manner of things: bait prices, hamburger specials , store hours. One read, "We don't have a restroom, so don't even ask."
I began to park the bike when a churlish woman raced out of the storefront and scowled, "No bikes on the deck! See the sign?!"
I replied, "No, I'm sorry, but do you have a restroom?" Then, I turned around and left. Better to be hungry and thirsty than spend my money on unfriendly trolls.
I learned from some equally churlish trolls in the next town that the woman I encounted hit a cyclist with her car not long ago. Then I got a lecture about how locals don't like cyclists taking up the road and how hard it is to drive around them on downhill corners. I suggested that a motorist could just wait a few seconds until safe passage was possible.
"We ain't like people from Brooklyn," blurted one of the trolls, "because we don't take no shit!"
I'm mostly sanitized from my Brooklyn roots, but I'm pretty sure my feisty family could give these eannabes a run for their money. When I was tyke in Flatbush, my mother would curse like a sailor and threaten any one that looked slightly predatory--priest or prostitute--and she was tame compared to a few of her sisters!
Nonetheless, I was paranoid that someone would run me off the road when I pedaled off. The feeling passed when I got to Boonville, NY and met some very loquacious kids and their mom at a pizzeria. We had a typical New York conversation where they would yelled questions for me across four tables in the restaurant and none of the other patrons complained.
I got to Old Forge as it grew dark and looked for the motel I frequented 10 years ago when snowmobiling with my pal, Mike and Surrin. The Christy is a dive, but the nostalgia would overcome the shortcomings of dirty sheets, intermittent hot water and the" maple syrup" drippings on the toilet. Fortunately, or unfortunately, it was full. So, I found a clean room and set out to get some swill.
It was nice to see the old Strand movie theater still in business. It was shutting down for the night and the owner, Bob Card, was putting new titles on the marquee. A friendly chap, he let me inside to look around. The theater is more than popcorn and sticky floors because it houses hundreds of old cameras and other visual arts paraphernalia.
Bob told me he had been threatened this year with shutting down because of Hollywood's digital transformation demand. The tab to upgrade is upward of $300,000, which might as well be eleventy jillion to a small business owner in a hamlet. Miraculously, the town organized numerous fundraisers and the Strand has been spared, for now.
Bob, I now recall the movie I saw in 2003. It was the horribly produced "Darkness Falls" about the tooth fairy turned spawn of the devil. It was wonderfully awful and I recall throwing popcorn at the screen with rowdy high school kids. Sorry about that.)
The long day grew longer at 1 a.m. as I became glued to CNN's "Our Nixon," starring Richard Nixon and filmed by cohort jackals Robert Haldeman, Dwight Chapin and John Erlichman. This past history Is riveting and revolting, but in retrospect nothing compared to the criminality of our modern presidential administrations.
Hit steep climbs in the Adirondacks tomorrow. Concerned about the Falcon.