DAY 13 (6/23/05): Fair Haven to Macedon, NY 64.7 mi. Feeling very relaxed and rested, the quest for the west resumed today as I left Fair Haven. Not without leaving something behind, though: a racoon bit a hole in the side of my tent last night in an effort to get to a clif bar that I had carelessly left in an interior pocket. I repaired the damage with a patch from my sleeping mat and that seems to be holding up well. In any event, just past Fair Haven, the scenery changed again, from sort of scuffy deciduous forest to fruit orchards and a few fields. During this morning's ride, I met a tour group from Delaware. They were all very nice and of course excite about Dagny (who doesn't love a gorgeous orange bike?). So, before our paths diverged, we stopped for a little photoshoot. A bit down the road, I happened upon a strawberry farm that also served excellent sandwiches, I have never before eaten an entire quart of strawberries solo, but when the fruit is still warm from the field it is a rewarding experience. I then proceeded on through the town of Palmyra which, for all you LDS history buffs, is the site of the initial printing of the Book of Mormon. In Palmyra, I picked up the Erie canalway trail, which runs parallel to the canal at a distance of about 10ft from the bank. I rode this for a few miles until I arrived in Macedon, where camping is allowed in a public park immediately adjacent to Lock 30 on the Erie canal. There are no facilities there other than a port-o-john, but you can't beat the location or the price. DAY 14 (6/24/05): Macedon to Middleport, NY 87.6 mi. Today's mission was simple: ride all day on the Erie canal trail from point A to point B. Knowing that it would be a long day, I got up early and started on my way. After about 30 mi of the trail, I started getting a little bored. There was no navigation, no change in scenery, and no hills to keep my mind occupied. Let this be a lesson to my fellow cyclists: never, ever, think sacreligious thoughts like these while you are riding on a beautiful trail, for the gods of cycling will hear your evil thoughts and punish you for them. Punishment #1 came very quickly: the trail was closed for repaving starting basically at the Rochester city line. Not too phased, I looked over the map and picked a street just inside Rochester that paralleled the canal and would drop me off back at the canal at the end of the closed section. Off I went. Unfortunately, the road I had chosen was _also_ closed for paving. But, there was a clearly marked detour, which I followed until I reached the sign marked “End Detour.” Unfortunately, this sign appeared in the middle of a recently unpaved wasteland with no street signs in what I would describe as one of the less-nice neighborhoods in Rochester. Looking to my left, I thought I could make out a street sign with the name I had originally wanted, but access to it was blocked by more construction. Not to be deterred, I hopped off the bike, carried her up a couple of stairs, under a piece of 'caution' tape, through the front yard of an apartment complex, and on to the street where I wanted to be. Finally, I was back on the trail. Seeing that I had not attoned adequately for my evil thoughts, the gods called up a steady headwind that pushed against me for the next 40 miles. I was absolutely exhausted when I rolled into Middleport, but I sure wasn't bored... DAY 15 (6/25/05): Middleport, NY to Fort Erie, ONT 74.9 mi. I crossed two major milestones today, as I completed the 1000th mile of my journey and crossed an international border on my bike for the first time. The day started out with the final 15 mi of the Erie canalway trail. Since I was still doing pennance for my evil thoughts of yesterday, the headwind was still there. I passed through the town of Lockport, which contains Locks 34 and 35. Together, these two locks can move a 3000 ton vessel 49 vertical feet. Pretty impressive. From there it was only another 10mi to the canadian border. Arriving at customs was made substantially more exciting by a road closure which forced me to go through two huge cloverleaves to get to the customs booth. Crossing the border itself was fairly anticlimactic, they took a quick look at my passport, asked if I had a gun, and waved me through. After getting some Canadian $$, I rolled onto the Niagra recreation trail, which lead all the way to Niagra Falls. It was the first time I had ever seen them, and they are spectacular. However, there are just too many people there. Between the shops, the boat rides, the restaurants and the shops I think some of the natural splendor of the falls is lost. From the Canadian side you can look across to New York and see tons of tourists on that side walking down stairways to the falls in matching ponchos like hundreds of blue ants. The scary thing is that the falls were not yet operating at full capacity: the motels all still had vacancies, and they hadn't opened the auxiliary parking lots yet. After taking in my fill of the falls and the thousands of tourists, I got back on the trail and headed to Fort Erie, which was much more peaceful, and with beautiful views of the Niagra river and Buffalo, NY. There are also, oddly, five or six chinese restaurants all next to each other on the edge of town. While I was waiting for my lo mein at Happy Jack's, the owner told me that his family has been in Fort Erie since 1895 and has operated several different businesses all on that same site on the waterfront. The food was very tasty and the portions were huge!