Day 97: (54 miles) We hit the road at 7:00. Kit and Lou headed to work just as early. They had given us a few places to try for breakfast and we went with the greasy spoon diner option, cause you just can’t beat ‘em. Home Town Diner was right down town. They served us so well, we didn’t even need a second breakfast. Fueled and ready to go, we hopped on our two wheelers and were off into the hot day. It was barely 8:30 and already 80 degrees. We headed out of town on what we thought was Route 2, but soon realized we were heading north instead of east. Luckily we didn’t get too far before correcting. Once back on the right route, we started to feel the heat and the black flies were horrible! We stopped in Osceola for a Poweraide and some relief from the flies and heat. One of the locals gave us a remedy for the flies but we didn’t have mouthwash on hand so we used our OFF! Bug spray, which may as well have been sugar water because they weren’t quitting. We tried to stop for lunch on the side of the road but could hardly make our wrap with the pests attacking from all angles. Pacing back and forth in an effort to dissuade the less coordinated flies, we quickly scarfed down our food because our efforts were failing. By the time we finished, we were both bloodied and looked like we had the chicken pox. The heat, hills, and bugs continued for the next 12 miles until West Leyden where we stopped at Hill Top Market for a cold lemonade and some AC. The next seven miles to Boonville were the easiest, aside from the crappy road. Once there, we enjoyed a round of Coronas at “The Pub”. We attempted to call the campground we planned to stay at, but no one answered so we hopped over to the local motel to see if they had room. They didn’t, but they had beer. So, another round of Coronas was had. We made a call to the local B&B, our cheapest option, they had a room available. As Shayna was walking back into the bar some guys on the porch inquired about our trip and were surprised to hear the campground wasn’t picking up. We chatted a bit and they wished us well. We figured we should call the camp one last time. This time someone answered and we got the green light. Before leaving the motel though, we snagged some dinner. One of the guys Shayna was talking to on the porch earlier offered to put us up for the night, but he lived 12 miles away. Appreciating the offer, we thanked him and told him we were able to get in touch with the camp. We closed our tab, thanked the bar tender for our round on the house and made our way to the Brown Barn Campground. Upon arrival, Dan, the owner pulled up on a 4-wheeler. He apologized for missing us earlier; he had been out bailing hay. He gave us the tour. The first floor of the barn had showers, laundry, a kitchen, games, a sitting room, and Barney, the stray Persian cat that has made a home there. The upper floor is where they host events. It was decorated with beautiful lights and a rustic décor. They held prom there this year and just had a wedding this past weekend. For us, this meant for $14 we had a spot to camp and limitless left over wedding beer. We only grabbed two, but they were tasty after a long hot day.
Day 98: (38 miles) The alarm went off around 5:30 am. We were happy to make it through the night with no rain so we packed up and hit the road to beat the heat. The morning started off hilly and although cooler, the humidity was already in full effect. After one of our steepest climbs we met a park ranger that had pulled over to offer his information in case we needed anything as he only lived a mile or so down the road. He is planning on doing the Great Divide trail later this summer. We thanked him and he wished us well. We continued along the tree lined back road of the Adirondacks, climbing small hills until we reached Old Forge where we stopped at the local outfitter for some stove fuel and asked if they had anything that would help ward off the black flies. “Bye Bye Black Fly” was their recommendation. Hungry and lacking coffee, we stopped at Ozzie’s Coffee Bar. We intended to stop at the brewery after, but once we arrived we realized they were closed, so were all of the ice cream shops- our two favorite things. Chris still had some room left in his hollow leg, so we grabbed a sandwich at the diner before pedaling our last 12 miles to Inlet. We arrived at Marina Motel around 1:30. The owner greeted us and got us checked in right away. She even offered to have breakfast ready at 6:00 instead of their normal 7:00 knowing we were getting up to take advantage of the cool mornings. After getting situated in the room, we headed to the bike shop to see if they knew why Shayna’s shifter was not shifting at its best. The owner took it for a spin and kindly greased and tightened some things. It didn’t completely fix the problem, but it was better. We thanked him and headed down to check out the local waterfront. There we had a wonderful view of the Fulton Chain Lakes and the lush mountain surrounding. We headed back to the room to shower and went to Matt’s Draft House for dinner. Pizza and few tasty brews hit the spot.
Day 99: (50 miles) This morning was the coolest we’ve had since leaving Dansville. We both put on long sleeves, and it felt good! After enjoying our complementary bagels, coffee, and cereal, we loaded up the bikes and were off. Not sure if it was the weather, terrain, or the coffee- probably the combination- but we were cruzin! We had made it 25 miles and it was not even 10am. We decided to have our second breakfast (left over pizza) by the shore of Blue Mountain Lake. The water was crystal clear and the pines were green as ever. Being in the Adirondacks (aside from the black flies) has been just as we remembered, but possibly more beautiful. Probably because we’re used to San Diego’s brown, but it is just stunning. Sadly, many of the mountain towns appear to be struggling. Hopefully it’s just early in the season and as the summer sets in they will bloom. After snapping some photos and fueling up we tackled our biggest climb of the day, up Blue Mountain itself. About half way up we stopped and the Adirondack Mountain Museum and although we didn’t pay for admittance, we thoroughly enjoyed walking around the gift ship where we found ADK stickers for our bikes. Back to the hill we went, and soon we were cresting it- followed by a joyous coast down. We called to make reservations at a campsite in Newcomb, and we were there about an hour later. Not much to the town but there was a pub & grill. It was only 2:00, but we set up in the bar for a bit to escape the bugs. There we met Harry. He works at the racetrack in Saratoga for the summer and rents a beach house in NJ for the winter. He was impressed by our story and bought us a round before he headed out. We followed not too far behind him to set up camp and shower, but we told Joanne, the bar tender, we would be back. We kept our promise and reclaimed our bar stools about an hour later. Joanne has the do-it-all job of bartending and cooking, so she whipped us up some cheeseburgers. We enjoyed them and washed ‘em down with a Coors light. Joey, a local, kindly bought us “non-bikers” (non motorcycle bikers that is) a round. Soon we were joined by a few more fellas, Charlie and Bryan. Charlie has owned a hunting camp in the area for the last 50 years (he’ll be celebrating his 89th birthday this August). He sweetly offered a room at his place to us for the night but we told him we already had set up camp, so he bought us some beers instead. Bryan followed the gesture and the four of us chatted and laughed until they had to head out. It was pushing 8:30 and aside from the hour we had left to shower and pitch our tent, we had sat at those stools since two. It was time to turn in for another early morning.