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!