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August 1


Wednesday, August 1        Syracuse, NY   to  Utica, NY      68 miles


     I reckon them there are hills out yonder!  About five miles from Utica, we got our first glimpse of what lies ahead – THE MOUNTAINS.   In every direction.  It will be impossible to escape the Berkshires. 


     But what a glorious ride I had from Syracuse over here to the Red Roof Inn on the outskirts of Utica.  We are next to the Barges Canal.  Part of the ride we followed on the road next to the Old Erie Canal, as we did yesterday. 


     Since Doug T. is gone until next Friday, Mike M. has taken over the Route Rap.  As we looked over the cue sheets last night for today’s ride he was advising us to get going early as the morning commute traffic in Syracuse would be heavy.  Our first 13 miles was going to be all city streets.  But the luggage truck wasn’t scheduled to open until 6:45 and breakfast at the hotel wouldn’t be served until 7. 


     I was pretty nervous thinking about rush traffic so I had juice, milk, power bar and banana in my room for breakfast and I threw my luggage on right at 6:45 and headed out.  Anthony, Francis and Mike were leaving at the same time too.  After all the hype Mike had made about the traffic it wasn’t bad at all. Got lucky with all the traffic lights too and didn’t mess up with any turns.  St Christopher was right there watching over me.  Francis was just a few feet in front of me when a SUV coming from the opposite direction turned right in front of her!  WOW was that close.  She swerved out just inches enough to miss getting hit!  He slammed on his brakes just in time.  I nearly ran into the side but went around the back.  We were in clear sight of him but he tried to make that turn anyway.  Creep.  We were warned about these crazy New York drivers.  Actually, over all I have found them to be courteous -  except for that one. 


     After about 15 miles we were on the country roads.  It was a sunny gorgeous day for our ride and the country roads were smooth and everything was quiet and peaceful.


     Update on Larry the luggage man.  Monday when he hurt his leg loading  luggage he was taken to the hospital in Niagara Falls.  He tore a ligament in the leg and he is on crutches with orders to keep leg elevated and take pain meds.  He is still in lots of pain.  He has had to give up the job of driving the luggage truck – but will continue to travel with us to the end.  He still takes care of business that needs to be attended to with the offices at the places we are staying.  Mike’s wife Barb is driving the big Ryder truck getting the luggage to our destination before we all start arriving.


     I had a swell ride today.  Riding on high, having a grand time.  That’s it for today on my cross country odyssey. 


     Dinner tonight is at the Pizza Hut up the road.  Some are pretty happy about that saying they haven’t had pizza since Wyoming!


Have you signed my Guest book?  I invite you to say hello by opening the guest book on my Homepage.  Thanks everyone.



P.S.  A special “Hello” to Wilson’s girlfriend. He told me this morning you’ve been reading my web.