We slept in a little this morning as we only had 49 miles left on this leg of our trip. Our hours in Amsterdam were fun, restful and nourishing – it was a pretty and friendly little town. We coasted down the steep hill by the Castle and were back on the trail in minutes, heading east. There had been some rain and predictions of more, but we stayed dry, though there was a little headwind.
The Mohawk River Valley has been really beautiful to bike through and we could feel the history all around us. To me, it started to feel a little like New England as well as the landscape of novels by James Fenimore Cooper or the stories of Washington Irving or the poetry of Walt Whitman. The forest around us was lush and deep.
We rode through Schenectady and down a street in Little Italy where breads and pastries and prosciutto were in the store windows. There were a couple of steep hills, and a ride by a huge General Electric/U S Navy/Department of Energy nuclear research facility at Niskayuna. People (nuclear scientists, I guess) were out for walks at lunchtime and we also took a break to eat some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches we brought with us from yesterday’s hotel.
As we came through the town of Cohoes, the trail suddenly broke up and we had to walk our bikes as long as we could and then reached a tunnel full of logs and beyond that, brush covering the entire trail. We decided that someone had forgotten to put up a detour sign. So we figured it out, as we must do in these situations.
It was in Cohoes that we ran into the Hudson River – just under 400 miles from our start back in Buffalo. It seemed like a big moment – we’d cycled across the entire state of New York and we turned south for the final miles into Albany.
It’s actually more than 145 miles down to NYC on a bike
As we turned south, the wind really picked up and we rode into Albany city. The skyline is beautiful and at one point some sort of festival looked to be setting up – we asked what it was and learned that it was the weekly “Live at 5” show with a band and food and beer. But we wanted to get to our hotel, so we rode a couple more blocks, found the Holiday Inn right next to the trail and checked in and cleaned up.
After a meal at a Cajun restaurant (Parish Public House) we walked back to the park and listened to the band, which was good, with a jammy Steely Dan sound, and a very interesting crowd. Recreational marijuana is legal in New York and plenty of people were partaking. It was a gentle vibe and really fun. We’d have stayed longer if Lisa and I didn’t have a 75 mile ride in the morning and laundry to do tonight.
So, this was our last day riding with Cindy and Paul. They have been wonderful traveling companions over the last 8 days. What we did was tough – and they were always cheerful and positive and funny and interesting. It will be weird to hit the trail tomorrow without them. They’ll be sleeping in, then making arrangements to board the train with their bikes headed back to St. Paul in their roomette. We might be a little jealous, but we are also excited to see the Hudson Valley and are thinking about what we will do with a couple of days in Manhattan. Stay tuned to see what we come up with.