The End of Ennui, September 15

Karla: Is it possible to get bored with continuous beauty? Can you become inured to constant paradise? Can you lose interest in something that you once loved after experiencing it for days on end? Well, Zen-girl here is going to answer yes! The reason I know this is because the tandem team was beginning to feel complete ennui with the awesome country side we were riding through. For weeks we had been seeing gorgeous views of nature’s bounty, acres of green farmland splashed with red barns and towering blue silos, stands of trees and tranquil cattail encircled ponds, and huge lakes that filled the horizon as we rode their shores. Sure we met interesting people and dealt with a few minor equipment malfunctions but it was all too good for too long. Even the weather had been marvelous. Things had become monotonous and we needed something to relieve the tedium of perfection. Our adventure needed some adventure! When it came, it was thanks to the massive storm that swept through New York sending high winds and torrential rains across the northeast. We were several days into Canada and were riding another beautiful(!), flat, rails-to-trails bike path when the change in the weather hit. Suddenly we were being pummelled by a hell-roaring wind and buckets of rain. The trees were whipping back and forth while the rain pounded so hard it bounced back off the ground and up our leggings. There was nothing else for it – we burst out into hysterical laughter! The harder it stormed, the harder we laughed.  The storm was magnificent in its fierceness and it completely restored our wanderlust. To us it symbolized the essence of travel: the mystery of what is just around the corner, what will we  meet and have to overcome.
After that, what we view as the final leg of our trip began. The rain stopped and we rode on to finish in Niagara Falls, Canada. From there we crossed back into the US and followed the Erie Canal Towpath for a couple of days before turning east and riding into the Adirondacks. Everything looks new again and there are many challenges awaiting us in the final eleven days of our epic journey.

Happy, happy, joy, joy, it’s raining!!!

Even birds in a tree look interesting to us now.

You can see why this boat tour is called “Maid of the Mist.”

We are ready for our cruise.

The magnificence of nature’s raw power and beauty – Horseshoe Falls.

You will often see a rainbow in the mist created by the falls.

Murray, the Toll Captain, had to tell us how to ride over the bridge into the US from Canada. It took us 15 minutes and  three circles of the the customs building to find him.

We begin the historic Erie Canal Towpath.

We approach the drawbridge at Holley, our destination for the night.

The drawbridge tender who looked after us in Holley.

Can’t pitch your tent much closer to the canal and not get wet.

Pleasure crafts cruise the canal.

You can take a vacation on a canal boat and the water is your highway.

Wouldn’t you love to live here?

Folks from the little towns around the drawbridges run, ride and walk the towpath.

Barges still ply the waters.

Artwork depicting the history of the canal is visible to all who pass under the bridge.

They named a park after me!

We finally caught up with a rider we had been hearing about since Washington. He will celebrate his 70th in Bar Harbor.

It’s fun to ride a towpath – it’s flat!

Good fishing in the canal if you judge by the number of people we saw trying their luck.

The end of the canal for us.

3 thoughts on “The End of Ennui, September 15”

  1. I may hate to see your odyssey end as much as you will..nah, I know that is not true. What I do know is Diane and I wait for your next posts with great anticipation. Each new post reveals new possibilities…that stir my imagination.

    Mick & Diane

  2. It's so much better than the Sunday paper … can't wait to get the post on the weekend. And YES .. too much of a good thing does put the ennui into one. How can those people live in San Diego? Probably you have had lots of offers, but if you need an airport pickup, let me know. Love, Sharon

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