Day 20 - Pulaski to Boonville NY - 52 miles (1045 total)

We left our Super 8 Motel after a SuperStart Breakfast. I thought it was good, the girls were not impressed. After a few hotels in a row, I am itching to camp. The hotels seem more cushy when deciding, but the camping experiences are what makes the better long term memories. The hotels all blend together in the mind.

I picked out a campground at just over 50 miles and confirmed it was on route and had showers. Perfect. We have not missed a nightly shower yet this trip. Amazing! The east half of Northern Tier is entirely different than the western half. We often have several options, rather than just one, for overnight stays.

To prevent some backtracking into town, we took a little shortcut that paid off well. It saved us some climbing and a mile or two. Good thing, the day was all about climbing. A few days ago we were having a hilly day if we did 500 feet of climbing. Then day 17 we had 1000ft of climbing. On day 18 we had 1500. Day 19 we hit 2000 and thought it was rough. Today we crested 2500. Will tomorrow be 3000, I hope not. The weather was so hot these last few days; today was perfect. 70 to 80F, mild breeze, medium humidity. Awesome. If yesterdays weather had hung around another day, I think we may have given up after 30 miles today.

We rode through some beautiful Amish country today that reminded me of home. The Amish are very friendly here. They always wave and say hello as you pass. I did not take their pictures though. Back home the Amish do not like being photographed. I assume they are the same here.

Again, the 10%+ grade hills are back. We started the day at under 500ft of elevation, and we went over 1500 at one point. Things are getting hilly! Rog and I stuck to 2mph on highway 2. It seemed like that might be the reason for the name.

We blew past the 1000 mile mark for this trip so far. This is our third tour of 1000+ miles together. Pretty neat. Rog did a little dance as he rolled.

We had a little fun in some road construction. We were given "the go" by the flagman to take the other lane and go. It was downhill, so we were doing 15-20 mph zipping past all the workers. A steam roller then decides to pull out in front of us. On the slick new blacktop it took us all a bit to stop with loud succession of skidding noises. He then looks at us funny and pulls back into his lane. What a dufus. The construction guys in many areas are really friendly though, a few here seem less than bright. They want cars to slow down when passing them, but they don't slow down when passing us before and after the construction. Nice.

We stopped for lunch at what Katie calls "The grumpy sign store". There were hand written notes everywhere, essentially complaining about things customers of the past had done that irritated the owner. There were notes on the garbage cans, the coolers, the doors, pretty much everywhere.

When we ordered, we found out that the owners mother was not the friendliest. We each ordered the same thing, a BLT. Not customized or anything. When I said, "that was easy", she replied angrily "not really", and stormed off to the kitchen. Very rude. We noticed the restrooms were locked, and had to ask to use them. They don't just let anyone use them it seems. Four small BLTs, and 3 Sodas, cost us over $35. What a ripoff. Big Bear Country Store, you stink. The owner needs to find a real staff, and change the spirit of the place. Instead of complaining about foot traffic using the restrooms, maybe try making money off that foot traffic.

Well, I got a flat tire today. Number 3. That ties me with Chuck and his 3 flats. Still none for Katie, Roger, or Laura though. This is our first flat since Michigan. I notice now that I have tan spots on my head now....hopefully they make me faster.

The drivers and roads were pretty good today. One guy lectured us on safety and suggested a different route than our map. We stuck to the map and it was a really good road. 4 foot shoulder on much of it. Better than anything in Wisconsin. We love getting local advice from locals, but it is annoying when a 400 pound guy gives us cycling safety lectures. Sorry man, I know your intentions were good.....but bike it yourself before you tell us what route to take. Anyway, it was a great day. We did have one really steep climb.

Since our lunch was tiny, we stopped for a snack at a gas station. Did you know that Hostess Cupcakes come in an 8 pack now? Why waste time on the 2-packs? The 8 pack and a "medium" chocolate milk really hit the spot. Okay, I didn't eat them all. Sorry Fran, I did eat "most".

We found our campground, and it is a special find. Remember the Bicycle Bunkhouse in Dalbo Minnesota? This is the Bicycle Bunkhouse in Boonville NY. It is $5 per rider, and includes a kitchen, showers, living room, game room, and much more, all in a neat barn. We pitched our tents outside, but in bad weather the owner, Dan, allows bikers to pitch indoors. We made dinner on the stove with some supplies we grabbed in town just a couple miles before the campground. Mac-n-cheese mostly. Mmmm. We also grabbed some eggs and hard boiled them for breakfast with our oatmeal.

The Barn.

Also, I want to say hi to Eric. He is a local person that lives here with Dan. Eric wants to take a big tour someday and is collecting the gear. Eric, one day you just need to hop on the bike and follow along with someone for a day or two. Eric is fortunate to meet hundreds of cyclists that visit here. That must be awesome.

Dan says he saw us pulling in and figured we were either in crazy great shape, or we were not doing the full Northern Tier. Most riding from East to West have already passed for the season, and the West to East riders are not usually here for another couple weeks. That explains why we have not seen many touring riders lately.

Roger warming up his desert (gas station hostess fruit pie).

Off to sleep my little tent that I put another coat of waterproof spray on. I wanted to use up the can and not carry it anymore, so I put 6 coats on Laura and Katies trunk bag covers. They probably gained an ounce now. Haha.


Cupcakes, Fruit Pie??

Sounds pretty cushy to us. What is next the Hyatt? Are you sure all that elevation change was not downhill? If Rivers like Niagra Falls flow down hill, how come you only follow rivers that go up hill?

Love the photos, especially the mean sign BLT place. Very NYish. You should have begun your conversation with "How you doin'", like Joey from friends. I bet you and that sly move would have resulted in free BLT's. You are correct about the Amish.

Keep on Keeping on!

Maria and Glenn

I have 2 questions for you Chris........

Are you thankful? - and - How many more miles, any idea? Ok technically that is 3 questions. Just wondering.