Monday, December 5, 2011

back issue #5: New York City: bits and pieces from my three-week stay

WARNING: Rampant tense-switching ahead...

The Brooklyn Bridge (duh)

Mouse on the sidewalk:
On Tuesday, while walking north on Broadway, I saw a brownish smear on the sidewalk.  I paused to examine it.  It wasn't (as I had thought at first) a squished, half-eaten 'hot pocket', but something nearly as disgusting: a mouse.  An ex-mouse, that is.  A very flat ex-mouse.  A very, very flat ex-mouse.  It had been steamrolled by thousands of feet belonging to thousands of people in thousands of hurries.  I walked around it.

The Doughnut Plant:
I have wanted to go to this place ever since I read about it in a review of New York City doughnut shops.  The Doughnut Plant features flavors such as salted peanut, peanut butter and jelly, and pistachio.  I went with my friend Shirley.  We ordered doughnuts for breakfast.  Then we sat around talking.  Then we ordered doughnuts for lunch.  It was awesome.  

The bathroom at the Doughnut Plant (I'm pointing the camera  at the ceiling).  In addition to having the best ever doughnuts, the Doughnut Plant also has the best ever bathroom, which is completely covered in tiny mirrors, and has a disco ball hanging from the ceiling.

Thoughts about eating food on the subway: 
Avoid this at all costs.  If you absolutely must eat because you are about to faint and your stomach is consuming neighboring organs for sustenance, then eat something with a wrapper (like a granola bar) so that you can put the food into your face without having to touch it with your hands.  I would also recommend thoroughly 'Purell'-ing your hands and mouth before and after consuming said granola bar.  Now, I am not normally a 'germaphobe', but after witnessing a (most likely homeless) man masturbating on the subway I can only assume that everything I touch on the subway has, at some point, been coated in semen, which does not happen to fit into my idea of a 'tasty snack'.

...all of which makes this next bit even more disgusting:

On Wednesday when day I when was riding the 'A' line, a woman eating a fried chicken drumstick boarded the train.  All the seats had been taken, so she stood, grabbing onto a pole with one hand while continuing to gnaw on the greasy pile of deep-fried flesh in her other hand.  As if this weren't revolting enough, five minutes later she decided that it would be a good idea to SWITCH HANDS.  So she was now holding the chicken drumstick with the hand that had previously been grasping the (probably semen-covered) pole, and holding the pole with her greasy chicken hand. <involuntary shudder>

Conclusion: everything in the subway is covered in semen and fried chicken grease.
(Note: despite all this, I still love riding the subway.  Great people watching.)

Coney Island restrooms:
It is almost as hard to find a public restroom on Coney Island as it is in Manhattan.  There are some restroom/changing room facilities on the beach, but, it being October, they are closed.  McDonalds turns out to be the most reliable option for relieving my bladder.  The employees there are apathetic and/or depressed enough that they don't make any attempt to enforce the 'Restroom For Customers Only' sign.

On Friday, before setting my easel up on Coney Island Beach to paint the 'Wonder Wheel', I ducked into the McDonalds to pee.  I pushed open the door to the Ladies' Room.  A short, barrel-shaped woman waiting for the next stall turned to survey me.  Her pursed lips curled downward as she took in my short hair and angular six-foot frame.  She narrowed her eyes, and in a thick Russian accent, hissed, "Zees eez veemens rhestroom.  For veemens! Not mens!"  I stood, staring at her blankly, until it dawned on me what she had said.  "Ohhhh," I thought, "she thinks I have a penis."  Just then, a stall opened, and the Russian woman waddled toward it. Before she shut the stall door behind her, she looked back at me and snarled, "Dhon't luke".

Painting the 'Wonder Wheel' on Coney Island

Painting the 'Dreamland Roller Rink' on Coney Island

Comic Con:
The following Friday I went to Comic Con (a comic book, video game, fantasy, and all-around dork convention).  If Manhattan is  overstimulating, then Comic Con is overstimulating to the point of being potentially seizure-inducing.  Thousands  of people (many of them in all manner of superhero costumes) packed themselves into the Javits Convention Center to revel in their collective geekiness.  It was a blast.

 Needless to say, I now have several more piercings...

Some of the many costumes to be seen at Comic Con

On Wednesday I walked to Babeland, a sex toy shop in Soho.  After sampling every single bottle of 'tester' lube (on my hands), I decided to buy a t-shirt.  The t-shirt featured a drawing of a hand with two fingers extended. (If you don't get the reference, ask someone. I am not going to explain it here.)  Delighted with my purchase, I walked out of the store and removed my phone from my pocket to text a friend about my awesome new t-shirt.  The phone slid through my lube-covered fingers and onto the sidewalk.

The next day I wore the t-shirt.  A woman came up to me on the sidewalk to ask, "is that a sign language symbol on your shirt?"  "Uhhh," I stuttered, "kind of."  Later I thought of a much better (and by better I mean tasteless) response involving Anne Sullivan teaching Helen Keller the word for 'fingering'.

The t-shirt in question...

Parting Shot: Sad Umbrellas:
The Thursday before I left it rained all day.  I walked to the art museum holding a $3 Walgreens umbrella over my head in a futile attempt to stay dry.  A gust of wind immediately blew the umbrella inside out, leaving me clinging to what looked like a disembodied, mangled webbed foot.  Later in the day I saw a garbage can stuffed to overflowing with other mangled webbed feet.
Umbrella Graveyard

As a conclusion to my last Rust Belt Ride blog post (*sob*), I would like to invite everyone to my Rust Belt Ride art show:

Friday 12/9: 6-9pm*
Saturday 12/10: 2-5pm
2716 Atwood Avenue 
Madison, WI

*Bonus: my biological clock ticks over to 29 on Friday 12/9, so there might be a cake or something... 

Hope to see you all there!
If you have any questions, please email me at

I have thoroughly enjoyed my Rust Belt Ride project.  Thank you all for your love and support.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

back issue #4: Arriving in Manhattan (last day on the road...*sigh*)

(Note: as will soon become painfully apparent, I do not really know how to use [brackets], but I've decided that they're fun and want to use them [anyway])

Instructions for my last day on the road (written after the fact):

Start with:
A few minutes of drizzly rain [put on rain gear]
Drizzly rain stops [get hot, take off rain gear] 
Repeat 8 zillion times.

Feel suddenly very hungry [look for place that has food]
See a McDonalds [stop at the McDonalds]
Order cholesterol-laden Big Mac [receive Big Mac 47 seconds after ordering it]
Eat cholesterol-laden Big Mac [tell arteries to shut-up complaining]
Get back on bike without noticing ketchup 'fu manchu' style moustache adhered to face.

Think to self, "back tire feels a bit flat." [stop to check tire pressure; tire is, in fact, fairly flat]
Look for spare innertube [find no spare innertubes]
Look for patch kit [find no patch kit]
Inflate back tire [tire goes flat again in 10 minutes]
Continue to stop every 10 minutes to inflate tire over the next 80 miles.

Arrive in Manhattan at 9pm
Wait for brother to arrive
Take picture of hilarious intersection where brother lives [double over with laughter]
Brother arrives [hug brother]

back issue #3: Schenectady: in which I realize that there are very few words that rhyme with 'Schenectady'

There once was a flood in Schenectady
That ruined my bike route inexorably
All the small roads were closed
So I rode, quite exposed
On freeways that put life in jeopardy

Hurricane Irene had caused quite a bit of flooding in upstate New York, and as I neared Schenectady the roads got worse and worse. When my planned route led to a closed road, I replanned my route...and immediately encountered another closed road.  More replanning.  More closed roads.  Like a  mouse (a very well-outfitted mouse with a smartphone) in a maze, I scurried, whiskers trembling, from dead end to blocked road to washed-out bridge.  Increasingly, it seemed that all Schenectady-bound roads were either impassable or closed...except for the interstate. (Note: it is actually illegal to bike on the interstate, and for good reason).  But, as the saying goes, desperate times call for foolish, life-threatening measures (or something like that).  So, dusk descending, I pedaled up the on-ramp to the freeway.  Battalions of distracted drivers sped past as I maneuvered through the roadkill obstacle course on the shoulder.  Wind from passing semi trucks threatened to suck me into traffic. The occasional angry honk startled me nearly out of my spandex.  One particularly cheery soul rolled down his window to give me a one-fingered wave.  Forty adrenaline-fueled minutes later (teeth ground to nubs, eyes bugged out cartoonishly, and knuckles permanently white) I arrived in Schenectady. 

It rained for most of the time I was in Schenectady.  I managed to do a few sketches between cloudbursts, but mainly I stayed inside while my nerves knit themselves back together.  And I saw 'Contagion'. It was okay.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

back issue #2: Utica

Utica Train Station

Not sure what this Utica

Rested, but still top-heavy with clogged sinuses, I packed up my camping equipment and pointed my bike towards Utica.  The roads gradually unflattened themselves, swelling into ever steeper and more arduous hills.  Huffing and puffing my way up what I estimated to be a eighty-five degree slope, I recalled a tidbit I'd read in a 'Men's Health' type magazine while waiting in the checkout line at a grocery store.  The tidbit advised that a  modicum of well-placed swearing during intense physical exertion could help one tap into hidden energy reserves.  (My vocabulary already tends toward the potty end of the spectrum, so this was an idea I had no qualms about trying.)  "FUUUUCK!," I shouted as I struggled to keep the odometer over 3mph. The suggested 'modicum of swearing' quickly snow-balled into an outburst resembling a Tourettes attack. "YOU...MOTHER...FUCKING...JERK..." I wheezed, addressing the hill ahead of me, "you think you're all BAAAD because you're all steep and shit, but you'll see...I am going to ride you like a FUCKING PONY till I get ON TOP of you, you FUCKING UN-SHADED ASSHOLE." Just then I noticed a couple and their young child out for a walk on the other side of the road.  "Oh hi!" I said chirpily, using my best I-would-never-swear-at-inanimate-objects-you-must-have-been-hearing-things voice. The couple paused, mouths ajar. The child clung to her mother's leg and fixed me with what I imagine was her steeliest staring-down-monsters-under-the-bed gaze. "Well," I panted, "have a nice walk, it's a beautiful day!"  Chagrined, I pedaled away as fast as I could, which was not nearly fast enough, thanks to the F***ING A**HOLE hill.

My uphill efforts did pay off later in the day, when the hill finally ended.  I paused at the crest to catch my breath and to survey the twisting descent ahead of me, which was easily as steep as the slope I had just climbed.  Using my well-honed skills in completely disregarding my personal safety,  I released the brakes and shoved off.  Ten, twenty, thirty miles-per-hour. My tires buzzed down the pavement and my panniers rattled tenuously, threatening to unhook themselves from the bike. As the odometer climbed past forty miles-per-hour, I whizzed by a "Speed Limit: 35" sign (getting a speeding ticket for biking too fast is one of the things I hope to accomplish in this life, but alas, no cop was around to pull me over).  I continued to zoom downward, the wind forcing tears out of my eyes.  When I spotted an intersection ahead of me, I reluctantly squeezed the brakes and trembled to a stop.  I pushed the 'max recorded speed' button on my odometer: 47.6mph

my max speed...!

I don't know what this sign was referring to.  The closest things to it were a barn and a  graveyard...


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

back issue #1: Resting in Slothville (post-Syracuse, pre-Utica)

solitary confinement in tent: day 3

I've spent the last few days curled up in my tent and resting my sinuses, which have apparently decide to throw a week-long snot party in my face.  After 72 nearly-motionless hours devoted to marinating in my sleeping bag while watching back-to-back episodes of  'Little Britain' on Hulu, I have endowed my tent with the distinctly un-beguiling aroma of damp socks and chicken soup (an odor strong enough to penetrate my barricaded nasal passages). Time to move on, snot party and all.  Next stop: Utica.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

New York City

A quick post to let everyone know that I did, in fact, make it to New York City last Sunday!

I have been painting and drawing and preparing for the two shows I have (which are on the 11th and the 15th, not the 11th and the 13th as I said in my last post). There's so much to see and do and paint and draw here that I haven't had a chance to update my blog recently, but promise* I will soon. I have a few good stories to tell...

*cross my heart, hope to die, etc.

Sunday mileage: 93

Total trip mileage: 1,898

Below are a few of the paintings I've done so far in New York:

The Brooklyn Bridge (as seen from Manhattan)

Wonder Wheel (at Coney Island)

Dreamland Roller Rink (at Coney Island)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Last Day on the Road (if all goes smoothly...)

I am writing this in a Dunkin Donuts in Hyde Park, New York. (While on the road I have developed an embarrassing penchant for Dunkin Donuts' "Big and Toasty" sandwiches...I assume my taste buds are skewed by near constant hunger and will return to normal in time.)

I apologize for the lack of blog updates recently. In the past couple weeks I seem to have developed an allergy or sinus infection or something of that ilk. So now, in addition to being stinky and sweaty and dirty, I am also runny-nosed and watery-eyed. Most people give me a very wide berth.

I do plan to go back and write blog posts for Utica and Schenectady, but I wanted to touch base before I get to New York City.

I have two art shows lined up while I'm in NYC ( one on October 11 and the other on October 13). I plan to continue painting in New York...if the weather cooperates. And, of course, I will continue to post anything pertinent, interesting, or funny in my blog.

Thank you all for supporting my adventure and reading my blog. It's been quite the journey and I've enjoyed the hell out of it.

Thursday 9/22: 59
Sunday 9/25: 46
Monday 9/26: 44
Wednesday 9/28: 89
Friday 9/30: 65
Saturday 10/1: 35

Total trip mileage: 1,805
(This is not including today, which will be 90-95 miles, bring the TOTAL total to about 1,900 miles)


On the last day of the trip. In the rain.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


On Saturday and Sunday (9.17-9.18) I biked from Rochester to Syracuse. Saturday night I stayed at a KOA (Kampground Of America, or, as someone suggested, Kamping On Asphalt). My campsite (excuse me, kampsite) wasn't asphalt... it was more of a sand pit. I set up my tent in the dark, warmed up a can of Chef Boyardee 'Beefaroni' for dinner (not recommended), and, exhausted, crawled into my sleeping bag. As my eyelids drooped, a low growl floated into my tent. I sat up. A yowl joined the growl, and a few seconds later a sharp 'hisss' completed the dissonant choir. Cats. I unzipped my tent and poked my head out. Across the way, the escalating, atonal meows leaked out of a saggy, weatherbeaten camper. In front of the camper, an equally saggy, weatherbeaten woman (seemingly deaf to the feline choristers) slumped in a tattered lawnchair. A Coleman lantern dimly illuminated her Einstein hairdo and walleyed, Igor visage. She looked like the crazy cat lady from 'The Simpsons', come to life. Maybe she was...

I spent Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in Syracuse. I drew, painted, went to a few galleries, and scoped out the MFA program at Syracuse University.

On Thursday I biked east out of Syacuse, and towards Utica.

Saturday 9.17 mileage: 39
Sunday 9.18 mileage: 75
Total trip mileage: 1,467

Coming soon: Utica

The 'Crucible' factory in Syracuse

An abandoned warehouse

At the Jerome Witkin show

New tire time! (this is a picture of my old rear tire...I'm rather chagrined I let it get this bad before replacing it.)

Pear break on the way to Syracuse. The pears were twelve for two dollars. I bought six.


Potato building

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


(In which I can no longer truthfully utter the sentence: "I have never, as an adult person, pissed myself.")

I arrived in Rochester on Thursday evening, and checked into the Radisson Inn. (My several attempts to find a place to stay through had proved fruitless.)

On Friday morning, after several cups of weak 'complimentary' hotel coffee, I gathered my painting supplies and headed to Rochester's historic 'Brown's Race' District. I situated myself next to the Genesee River, looking toward an abandoned factory. After a couple hours I had finished my painting and went in search of a snack. I found a convenience store, where I bought a bag of fritos and a big-gulp-size orange soda (which I drank and then surreptitiously refilled when the clerk wasn't looking). Hunger sated and thirst quenched, I headed back to Brown's Race for round two of painting.

I parked myself on the Pont De Rennes pedestrian bridge, which overlooks High Falls, a spectacular 96-foot waterfall that spills into the Genesee River Gorge. In 1892, an ancestor company to Rochester Gas and Electric built a steam and hydroelectric plant on the northwest edge of the gorge. The plant is still used for hydroelectric power today.

As I painted, streams of people wandered across the bridge, snapping photos of the Falls and leaning over the railing to look down into the Gorge. A couple walked past me, holding hands. I overheard a snippet of their conversation:
Woman: "You know that other waterfall? It's like this one, only a lot bigger...what's it called?"
Man: (after pausing for a few seconds to think) "Oh, you mean Nigger Falls."
I nearly dropped my paintbrush. I tried to think of something to shout after them as they walked on, but my stupefied brain refused to come up with anything.

Stunned, I continued painting. I mixed colors and measured angles. As I worked, my bladder reminded me (with growing urgency) of the whale-sized soda I had consumed a few hours before. I scanned my surroundings: there were no nearby public restrooms, and the constant pedestrian traffic across the bridge eliminated any possibility of inconspicuously relieving myself. I could either pack up early and seek out a restroom, or cross my legs, hope for the best, and keep painting. I chose the second option.

I painted (while choreographing my own particularly urgent version of the potty dance) until I could no longer ignore the protestations from my distended bladder. Belatedly, it occurred to me that drinking nearly a gallon of soda and then staring at a waterfall for hours on end was perhaps not the wisest idea. I pronounced the painting 'sufficiently finished' and scrambled to pack up my easel, wondering if it was too late to start doing kegel exercises. It was. As I loaded my painting gear onto my bike, my weather-balloon-sized bladder declared enough to be enough, and pulled its own plug. I stood, paralyzed with embarrassment, as warm ex-orange-soda streamed down my legs. I tried to squeeze my bladder shut again. Unsuccessful. If you've ever pissed yourself, you know that once you start, it's REALLY hard to stop. Meanwhile, throngs of people continued to walk by. I glanced down and saw a pool of liquid rapidly spreading at my feet. I yanked a water bottle off my bike and and emptied its contents on myself, saying loudly, "Oh no! I've spilled my water bottle all over my legs! Just water! This is definitely just water! Which I have spilled on myself!"

I'm pretty sure my charade did not fool anyone.

Moral of the Story: the karmic justice for stealing soda is remarkably swift and harshly ironic. Always pay for your refills.

Jen's Handy Camping Tips-Tip #2: if you are going to piss yourself in public, wear black pants. Black hides a spreading urine stain better than lighter colors.

Coming Soon: Syracuse

'High Falls' (6"x8")

An abandoned factory in Brown's Race (8"x6")

Genesee Brewing Company (6"x8")

Sketch of the Tap and Mallet Bar in Rochester

View of Rochester from the Genesee River

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Thursday 9/15: more Erie Canal...

On Thursday I again rode along the Erie Canal. The pancake-flat path along the canal offers an unrestricted and fairly monotonous view: water, water, water, bridge, water, water, water. I began to wonder if I might be stuck in some sort of groundhog day, doomed to an eternity of biking along the obsolete waterway...

After a couple hours of riding, I stopped and set up my easel facing the canal (although I probably could have painted the canal from memory by this point). As I began painting, a parade of dark clouds marched across the sky. They took turns jumping in front of the sun, causing the light to change every thirty seconds. "Just pick one place and stay there," I instructed the clouds. They ignored me. "Stay still or else...!" I shouted, shaking my fist at the sky. In response to my threat, the clouds pelted me with heavy, over-sized rain drops. Frustrated, but unwilling to surrender, I kept painting. The rain came and went, and the clouds continued to play shadow puppet games with the sun. As I finished the painting, the rain stopped completely and the clouds vanished, leaving behind an expanse of uninterrupted blue. "Well NOW you decide to behave," I grumbled at the sky, and settled myself comfortably into a grumpy mood. A man (whom I will dub the Annoying Comment Fairy) ambled by and stopped to inspect my painting. "Very nice," he said "but why did you put all those clouds in there? It's such a beautiful day!" He beamed at me. Still dripping from being rained on five minutes before, I gave him my steeliest stare. The Annoying Comment Fairy smiled back at me and walked away, an annoyingly cheerful spring in his step. I resisted the urge to paint a bright yellow 'Kick Me' sign on his back.

Wednesday (9/14) mileage: 50
Thursday (9/15) mileage: 41
Total trip mileage: 1,355

Coming soon: Rochester

Painting of the Erie Canal (with clouds!)

Northernmost point on the canal (which looks just like the other less-northerly points on the canal)

My newfound traveling companion. She needs a bath. So do I.

'Butts Road' (which passes over the canal)

A boat on the canal

Tuesday 9/13: The Erie Canal

On Tuesday I biked north from Darien Lakes campground outside of Rochester to the Erie Canal. I joined the canal at the 'I know how quaintly cute I am' town of Medina. As I approached the canal, the wind, which had been a mildly annoying headwind, grew into a ferocious gale. It whipped about unpredictably, coming at me from unexpected angles. I'd brace myself against a blustery outburst from the west only to have the wind suddenly, and recalcitrantly, change directions, nearly toppling me. I thought back on a malicious game I had played as a child: blowing ants off-course as they earnestly ferried crumbs and debris back to their holes. "I'm so sorry," I apologized, feeling very ant-like as I maneuvered my loaded bike (almost equal to my body weight) through gusts so harsh and capricious they may well have come from the lungs of a giant, mean-spirited seven-year-old. Karma, I guess.

I found a park bench next to the canal and leaned my bike against it, thinking to take a break from biking and draw. My drawing 'break' proved to be even more frustrating than biking. The remorseless wind snatched at my sketchbook, flipping through its pages as I attempted, distractedly, to draw a bridge. I sketched for one blustery hour, and then quit, declaring the drawing a success because the wind had not blown the ink right off the paper.

Tuesday mileage: 40
Total mileage: 1,264

Coming soon: more Erie Canal...

Bridge over the Erie Canal

Wind face

Erie Canal Corridor Sign

Bike Barn! (on the way to the Erie Canal) Should I switch to a trike? Might be easier to stay upright in the wind...

'Awsome Motor's' sign seen on the way to the Erie Canal. Apparently the school system here is 'awsome' too...

My shadow on the grass, taken on the way out of Darien Lakes state park.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Erie...and beyond

On Thursday morning I woke up to discover I had left my stove out overnight. In the rain. The pilot wouldn't light, which coffee, a potential disaster (I have werewolf tendencies that are activated by lack of coffee instead of the presence of a full moon).

As I packed up camp and fought off a fast-approaching caffeine headache, a man walked over from his camper across the way. "Hi," he said, "looks like you're on some sort of a bike trip."
"Where you going to?"
"New York City."
"My son works as a carpenter in Wyoming."
"Oh," I stammered, flummoxed by his complete non-sequitor, "that must be very...woody for him."
The man turned and walked back to his camper.

I pedaled out of the campground, thinking I would stop at a gas station or a fast food joint for some coffee. No such luck. I rode twenty miles without passing a gas station or convenience store or fast food restaurant. Just corn fields, mobile homes, and rusty heaps of car corpses. I didn't have a map of the area, and was relying on the GPS on my phone. The reception dwindled from meager to none. The sky flickered and grumbled, unleashing a stampede of large, heavy rain drops. I waved at a passing truck, hoping to ask where to find the nearest gas station. He slowed down enough to give me the finger, then zoomed on, spraying me with a sheet of muddy water. As he sped into the distance, I noticed a pair of steel 'testicles' dangling from the rear hitch of his truck. Probably a prosthetic, indicating complete lack of the real deal.

Finally, in the miniature town of Pierpont, I came across a saggy Shell gas station. I leaned my bike against the crumbly cement facade, creaked open the screen door, and walked into the dimly lit, cavernous interior. Miscellaneous car innards lay scattered on the floor. A geriatric Oldsmobile sat atop a hoist. Several naked incandescent bulbs hung, bat-like, from the ceiling. In the corner a scoliotic rack sagged under the weight of candy bars, lighters, road maps, and engine oil. I picked out a Pennsylvania map and a Snickers bar and set them on the counter. A wispy-haired man tottered in from the back room. "Good morning," I said, "I'd like to buy these." "Well," he said, "I was just going to give those to you. I saw your bike out front. You're on a trip?"
"Wow...thank you. And yes, I am on a trip. To New York."
"You be careful out there. Say, you want some coffee?"
"Yes please!" (This guy was a mind-reader.)
I drank the coffee while he (Bob) regaled me with tales of his youthful wanderings. He'd hitch-hiked to New York City and slept on park benches. "Gives me the willies thinking about it now, but at the time I didn't know any better," he said, shaking his head. "So you watch out. There's a few scoundrels around here. A few years ago I sold some gas to a woman and she drove off in the same direction you're going. They found her body the next day. Murdered."
I promised him I'd be careful, thanked him again, and got back on my bike. I'll send him a postcard when I get to New York. If I make it alive...

I spent a rainy Friday, Saturday, and half of Sunday in Erie. On Sunday afternoon I headed north, and into New York. I've been biking through the countryside, suburban sprawl, and saggy rust belt towns of New York State.

Next up: the Erie Canal

Thursday mileage: 67
Sunday mileage: 42
Monday mileage: 45
Total mileage: 1,224

Sign outside Pierpont, OH

Sketch of Erie at dusk

Sign in Erie, PA

A shack near Lake Erie Beach State Park in New York

The inside of the shack

A bird's nest I found in the shack

House outside Lancaster, NY

NY welcome sign