In spite of ticking just one state (Vermont) off the list, it was a fairly productive day.
Up early and out of my sketchy AirBnB by around 6:30, I chose the backroad route through New Hampshire and Vermont, headed to New York. It was a good choice, I think. Very pretty country and lovely towns as I floated down the various state routes. It got a little chilly but never below the 60s as I headed into the final remnants of Fred, which were just arriving at New Hampshire as I left. (I believe that the storm has finally stalled out and is dying pretty much over that state right now, as a matter of fact).
I rode through the rain and crossed into Vermont, which was the first time I’d ever been in that State. Very hilly, green, and wet, but the roads were good and gave plenty of passing opportunities to get me around the various trucks and dawdling service vehicles. I was flagged down by a motorcyclist as I cruised through the little hamlet of Wilmington. He was a New Yorker that had dumped his (gorgeous) BMW K1600 touring bike on some gravel on one of the local roads. He was able to get the bike upright (I’m assuming he had help…that thing is a beast), but it was disabled. The throttle-by-wire system wasn’t responding to inputs. We worked to troubleshoot it, but nothing was effective. His phone wasn’t getting a signal so we called to a nearby BMW dealership for help on mine. About then his friends showed up looking for him and I was relieved of my duties. All told, I lost about an hour of road time. Hopefully someone will do the same for me someday, even if it’s just for moral support and a cell phone.
Back on the road I was soon headed into upstate New York. I was hoping to make Cleveland, so I routed myself onto the turnpike and took advantage of the higher speed limits to make up some time. There’s not much to report from this part of the trip. The scenery in upstate New York is gorgeous. Rolling hills, green pastures, forests. And loooots of state troopers. They didn’t seem to be super aggressive, but there were loads of those guys.
I finally made it out of Fred’s clutches around the middle of the State as I headed west. I realized at some point that the humidity had finally dropped to a tolerable level, even as Fred was dumping on me. I realized that some of the misery in the south had come not just from the deluges, but from the humid conditions. I mean, you can’t get much more humid than being soaked in a rain storm, but the ambient humidity really changes the experience.
Unfortunately, though, I decided I wasn’t going to make it all the way to Cleveland and bailed out a bit early at Erie, PA. This place is BLEAK. I drove around downtown for a bit and settled at the Voodoo brewery while I got my hotel sorted. The area looked like ground zero for the opioid crisis. A high homeless population. Urban blight. Not to mention that the humidity spiked back up as I pulled back into town. It was maybe the worst city I’ve seen in my travels, and I’ve been around a bit at this point. I had a passable burger at the brewery and booked a place just out of town. I think it was a good call.
Starting Mileage: 58685
Ending Mileage: 59271
Daily Mileage: 586