This last week feels a bit like a cool down, and I think mentally and physically we are starting to gear down for the finish. It has a sort-of coming together quality to it, as the threads of the story along the way are starting to tie themselves into succinct knots, little ribbons and bows as we prepare to start our transition back into ordinary life.
The transition that we are currently passing through feels a bit like the archetypal ‘sage’ stage. Talking to people here in New York, there is a genuine admiration for how far we have come, and a degree of respect that comes with it. We stopped to help two cyclists who had a flat tire, and although we ended up not fixing their problem without an appropriatly sized inner tube, they certainly treated us like we knew what we are doing. At the ice cream shop, when we got to talking with the owner, he ended up just giving us the ice cream for free, and wishing us well. Our schedule, fit with several stops including a definitive ice coffee break in the mid afternoon, is rote in nature, and ingrained into a fairly systematic daily rhythm, despite the unending novelty of new places every day. I’m not even sure where my mind goes when I ride anymore, it sort of has just accepted this way of life as the status quo, and before I know it we have arrived 8 hours later from where we started, some 80 miles or so from where we left.
I suppose the one piece of intrigue from today was the questionable quality of the path we were on, as it slowly went from gravel to dirt, to mud, to grass, to areas with trees blocking the path and so forth, until we look at each other and are like, ‘perhaps the road is not so bad’.
Little Falls was a nice town to stop in, and after dinner we walked down to the river to find a small rehearsal for an outdoor play and some nice shops to check out as well. There are a number of nice small towns here up around the Erie Canal.