Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dodging thunderheads in the Finger Lakes

I'm in a motel again -- this time in Seneca Falls, N.Y. I stopped at a gas station near Syracuse to wait out a thunderstorm. After it finally blew over, I had a beautiful ride, mostly in sunshine, out to the Finger Lakes. But when I reached Seneca Falls, the next storm blew in and I had to stop.

I waited out a thunderstorm near Syracuse

It was 7:30 p.m. by then, so I went looking for a cheap motel, unpacked the bike and headed back to town for a bite to eat after the rain stopped. If it would just stop raining, I'd camp again. At least it cools off after a storm -- it got up to a humid 89 today after I got down from the Adirondacks.

Long Lake, N.Y., is a perfect landing strip for a squadron of seaplanes

I met a couple of guys from Asheville, N.C., at a gas station in Old Forge, NY, on the way down from Lake Placid. They had camping gear lashed onto their sport Suzukis.

Who says you need a mule like the KLR to go camping?

When I pulled in and parked next to them I asked, "If I take off these rain pants, do you think it will start raining again?"

"If it doesn't, I'll just put on my sunglasses," the big dude said. We walked off our monkey-butt and chatted about bikes, weather and road trips.

Asheville is a motorcycling Mecca on the Blue Ridge Parkway where the local loop through the mountains is call the "Tail of the Dragon." It's on my itinerary. They invited me to join their group on their weekly Thursday night ride. I'll have to see if I can time my arrival to do that.

Here in Seneca Falls (I'm told there are no falls in Seneca Falls, by the way), I met Fred and Deb Hawke at the local bar and grille on the main drag, where I went to eat. They asked me where I was headed and when I said Niagara Falls, they said they were headed home tonight to Buffalo on their Harley.

Fred and Deb travel with handy hand-out photos

We swapped stories, they had the bartender take our pictures and we exchanged email addresses while another thunderstorm blew through. They want me to give them a call when I get to Buffalo and they'll ride up to the Falls with me. Cool.

The Starlight Motel didn't have a single, non-smoking room, so I'm in a smoker. I didn't think it would be too bad, but yuck! I know I'll get used to the smell in an hour or two, but I can't believe everybody used to put up with this.

At least I have itchy ankles to distract me from the musty odor. Back at the campsite in Shelburne the other evening, I sat at the picnic table catching up on email. I'd put insect repellant on my hands, neck and face, but neglected my feet. Note to self: When camping in sneakers without socks, don't forget to put bug dope on your ankles.

My friend David's dad's farm is only a few miles from here; so I'll go check it out in the morning before I get back on the road. In fact, I might try to stick around the Finger Lakes for a day before I head up to the Falls. It's a beautiful area.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you are getting into the gypsy spirit! I'm glad you are having a good time. j