Just wrote “Day 41” and cannot believe it … tomorrow we will be in New York State – well-known territory for us! such a strange mix of feelings .. we do not want this adventure to be over, yet today I had my first real home-sickness when we biked by so many farm stands and I could not stop in and buy blueberries or corn or tomatoes … this are truly could be Western Massachusetts. When we got up at 5:45 it was showering – but no lightning. We bike in wet … but by the time we loaded our luggage at 8:00AM the showers were over and it turned out to be an overcast but really pleasant riding day. About 60 degrees early so we actually wore our arm warmers until the SAG at Mile 32. I love those arm warmers .. the best investment! And, either I am thinning down or the warmers are stretched out as they creep down my arms now …
Our route was rural and pretty quiet. Small farms with a few large mixed in. Saw several large chicken farms and fields of ginseng, tobacco, tomatoes as well as the corn and soybeans.
Crop rotation is apparently a big deal here since the dust bowl in the 1930’s. Rotating crops adds nutrients to the soil. Legumes, plants of the family Fabaceae, for instance, have nodules on their roots which contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria. It therefore makes good sense agriculturally to alternate them with cereals (family Poaceae) and other plants that require nitrates. An extremely common modern crop rotation is alternating soybeans and maize (corn). For days now we have been biking by fields of corn on one side of the road and soybeans on the other. I just had to take the photo of the corn peeping out of the soy bean field. We had just one SAG stop today in the town of Springfield. The got points because there was a Port-o-Pot there. Lots of turns so we did not have extended headwinds or tailwinds. The towns were unremarkable. One little general store and many auto repair facilities (or so it seemed).
I do hate riding into cities still. Brantford seems pretty big. (Population 93,000+). When we arrived at our hotel, our room was not yet ready but I asked if there was a place I could walk to, to get my nails fixed up. “Yes! 15 minute walk!” So Bob agreed to schlep the luggage and do laundry (we need our ABB shirts to come back to USA) and I was able to get my hands and feet cleaned up! I feel pretty! I did not even miss dinner or RAP. we had an awesome buffet at the hotel. A HUGE selection of food. I had the white fish again. Excellent! Great salads and potatoes and desserts! I cannot believe I can eat so much! Bob stood up at RAP and made a nice plea to the cyclists to respect the drivers. We have several people who will not move to single file despite traffic. One comment we heard was “they can use the other lane.” Unbelievable self-centered-ness. More stories in real life …tomorrow a 77 mile bike ride to Niagara Falls. We have a day off and will stay on the New York side. The ABB folks are concerned about being “out of the country” should there be problems. We plan to do the Maid of the Mist and probably to caves and just be walking tourists for a day. Will let you know how re-entry goes!