Brianís Cross-USA Bicycle Tour
Day 66 - Wednesday, August 22, 2001
I had a good breakfast at the B&B and I was on my way. Now that I had already made the 6 mile climb up the hill into Dolgeville, I had the choice of staying up in the hills on Highway 29 or dropping back down to 5. I saw the big climb out of Dolgeville on 29 and decided to drop down to 5.
Much of the ride along 5 was a bit mind-numbing. I couldn't even get excited about some of the towns I passed through on that route.
I stopped at the side of the road to look at some maps so that I could estimate my arrival time in Boston. As I was stopped, two other eastbound touring cyclists - Steve from western Massachusetts and Dwayne from Kansas - stopped. It turned out that we all had the same planned destination for the day - Ballston Spa. So we all rode together.
All three of us had started our tours in Seattle. I'm headed to Boston, Dwayne to Portsmouth New Hampshire, Steve to Kennebunk Maine. Steve and Dwayne had just ran into each other about 10 miles back - Dwayne was the first eastbound cyclist that Steve had met on the whole trip, and I was the second. They were the first eastbound cyclists I had met since Yellowstone.
Steve had grown up in the area north of Albany, so he had a bit of local knowledge - part of that being that the horse track in nearby Saratoga Springs was open for its six week season, making finding a place to stay a little difficult. We got a phone book out and made some calls - even the place that high schoolers would go to after the prom cost $100! So we decided to just keep riding and see if we could find a mom and pop hotel along the road.
We found a hotel in nearby Malta for only $70, cheap for the area. They're not in the phone book, since they're only open six weeks a year during the racing season. What a bargain, we thought, since it wasn't too bad split three ways.
We had a chance to talk more at dinner, although we were more concerned with eating than talking. Both Steve and Dwayne were about my age, and both of them had quit their jobs to do this trip. We did talk a little about our experiences on our tour, but there were moments that nothing needed to be said, as we were all in the same boat with respect to our tours all winding down.
Now that realization has *really* come that the trip is almost over - today is Thursday, and I could be in Boston as soon as Saturday! It's probably a good thing I met up with the other guys today, as I'd probably end up doing 30 mile days to drag out the trip! We'll probably ride together to Brattleboro, VT tomorrow, after which I will split off to go to Massachusetts.