38.4 miles, 1148 ft of climbing.

I missed Julie in the morning as she had left for a ride, but Marc had just returned from his and made me strong, strong coffee and a delicious and filling oatmeal with peanut butter, walnuts, sunflower seeds and more.

The weather report was rain after noon along my route, and since it was only 40 miles to my destination, leaving at 8 should have gotten me there. The weather was clear, too, and the sun was out. I was on US 11, NY Bike Route 11 for most of the ride, and it was mostly flat or gently rolling. About half way I noticed dark clouds building up. I was cresting the top of a hill when the rain started slowly. I ducked for cover at the only building in view and parked under the eaves which were almost enough to keep me and the bike dry. I knocked on the door but the only answer was a rather annoyed terrier barking and barring its teeth at the door.

The downpour was quite intense with 20+ mph gusts, fortunately blowing away from me. I checked the map and the only other shelter I could see was a Jehovah’s Witness’ church with a big covered carport entrance. It was a mile away. I donned my rain gear and as soon as the bulk of the rain stopped, I headed there. Another short downpour and I moved another 4 miles or so. And so went the day. I ducked in a grocery store for a cup of coffee and a doughnut, and continued on. Just light showers for the rest of the journey to John and Anne’s, my Warm Showers hosts in Richland, NY and I got there around 2 pm.

John had just gotten home after having his fishing trip shortened by the weather, too. In short order, we discovered that he had also hosted my touring friend John (twice) and Lisa Wandel from State College. I texted both of them with a “Hi” from John and Anne and they both replied that they remembered them fondly as great hosts. Small world again.

John and Anne were wonderful hosts. For dinner, it was chicken and pasta Alfredo which I thoroughly enjoyed (great touring sustenance, too). I had a nice, dry spot in the garden shed to sleep in — no wet tent in the morning is a luxury unmatched. The shed was by the raspberries and blueberries which were almost gone, but there were enough for a nice healthy snack!

After a great sleep, Anne cooked blueberry pancakes and sausages. I was well fed, well rested, laundry done, and in the morning, John escorted me out of town on routes only a local would know to pick over the mapping tools. Another perfect Warm Showers stay. Tomorrow is iffy. Not from a weather standpoint, but from where I’ll be staying. I do have a WS host in North Syracuse, but also waiting to hear from Oswego and Hannibal as possible alternates.