Huge Milestone - Erie - 7/19/2006
 

Talking to a woman this morning at the camp site, she told me that lots of people actually live there full time in their RVs.  I had noticed that people had satellite dishes.  Others leave their RVs there and use that as a weekend getaway or vacation home of sorts.  Weird.  This is foreign to me, but I guess it's pretty common.

Leaving Bemus Point, we stopped to take a picture along a lake.  Here I am doing my favorite Michael A. pose.  Not as cool since my foot should actually be on the back tire but the rack and panniers are kind of in the way.

As you may/not know, we took New York state bike route 17 the entire way in New York.  Here we are at the end of the bike route.  So sad, no more just looking for the green sign with a bike and the number 17 on it.

At the end of SBR-17, it dumps you right into Lake Erie.  I was so excited to get to Lake Erie.  This was a milestone since I started the trip.  I can't believe it, I finally made it on day 12 of the ride.  I think New York was pretty much 500 miles.  I was on an unbelievable high once I reached the Lake.  I called my dad - he got to hear the news first (he immediately emailed my entire family).  Lake Erie is huge and gorgeous.  So calm, so pretty.  I could go on...

A few miles down the road on Route 5, we came to a bridge that they were re-doing.  Sure, we were warned a few miles back but I talked to a local and he said he was pretty sure a bike could cross the forbidden area.  When we got to the bridge, I asked the construction workers if we could cross.  They said no problem.  While trying to walk our bikes across the construction zone, we talked with the construction people.  They asked about our trip and wished us well.  Before we left, we asked when they thought they'd be done with the bridge.  They said October.  I replied that was about when we'd make it to California.  Funny - when they finish the bridge, I wonder if they'll remember us and wonder if we made it to Cali.

A few miles down the road, we crossed over to the Pennsylvania border.  How exciting!  The 'Welcome to PA' was kind of plain.  Looking across the street at the 'Welcome to NY' sign, the PA sign just didn't compare.  New York tells you "Welcome to New York - The Empire State".  I have no idea what Pennsylvania is the state of.

In Pennsylvania, we had lunch next to a fruit stand.  You know, I don't think we even bought anything there.  We just laid out our tent footprint and started eating our grocery store lunch.  I think lunch consisted of tuna, spinach salad, bread, fruit, carrots.  I tell ya, I think I eat better lunches on this road trip than I did while working at home.

Funny story, back in New York, we saw a sign that said, "Erie, PA 15".  Great - that was our destination.  A few miles in Pennsylvania, we see a sign that said, "Erie 15".  What the hell?  Are we going to see another sign 5 miles the road that also says "Erie 15"?  15 or 20 miles later, depending on which sign you believe, we make it to Erie, PA.  We rode through the historial area where Gannon University and all the houses are so nice.

Making me wait just a bit longer to jump into Lake Erie, Dave got a flat when we were in a more G.O. Erie neighborhood.  No worries, he was able to fix the flat in about 30 minutes.  I even asked a woman who was working on her lawn if I could use her restroom and no problem - she let me in.

Once we got going again, the Lake Erie/state park was just a bit further.  We finally got there around 6:30pm and I couldn't get to the water soon enough.  Pretty fun - there was a blues band playing on the beach so it was more packed at 6:30pm than normal.  The water was so nice.  And still warm enough for me to get in that late in the evening.  I can only imagine how much better it would have been in the afternoon.  Here's a gratuitous sports bra/bathing suit shot for all my fans.  Look how happy I was to finally be in Lake Erie...

That evening, we camped at a campsite where we literally pitched our tent on the beach.  Pretty cool to be on the beach.  (Better than wet grass - I hate wet grass - nothing grosser to me than wet grass - okay, there are a lot of things grosser than wet grass but wet grass ranks up there for me.)  For dinner, we had a really gross cheese steak sandwich and cold hamburger at the on-(camp)site diner.

Since I had no cell phone and Internet access, I went to sleep early this night.  Damn communication gets in the way of my sleep.

That's it to this most amazing day.  I made it to Lake Erie!