14. Rest day in Erie, PA and UPDATES on past days - Gass-powered Tandem Around Lake Erie (clockwise) - CycleBlaze

June 12, 2023

14. Rest day in Erie, PA and UPDATES on past days

As the forecast predicted, it rained steadily all morning.  We stayed in our shabby motel room and had bad coffee and snacks from our packs.  We slept well in this surprisingly quiet motel.  The owners are also very nice.  But the washing machine (advertised) is broken.  I walked a mile to a laundromat yesterday and found out the woman staffing it lived in Tacoma most of her life.  She and I had a delightful conversation.  The rain stopped at one p.m.  but the wind was howling at 17 mph.  We walked a block to Applebees for lunch, then across the street to CVS and one more half block to a great bike shop to buy a new rear view mirror for me.  I loved my Velo helmet mounted mirror, but it is made of a mylar material that simply deteriorated.  I now have a handle bar mounted mirror.  Then another block to the grocery store for bananas and then I set out for Starbucks.  I not only enjoy walking but also like the alone time. 

So, for those of you who are considering repeating this trip, my advice is to search Google well for accommodations.  We bought online routes from Adventure Cycling which included an app: Bicycle Route Navigator.  We were excited because in planning our trip, I used this app to find lodging close to our route.  It is totally inadequate!!  I am embarrassed that I trusted it so much and didn't also search with Google.  Don't make my same mistake!  For instance, there is a nicer hotel  within 50 yds of the Steelhead Inn where we are staying and it does not show up on Bicycle Route Navigator.   Two nights ago, I decided to do more research and we have changed our reservation at another 2 star motel to The Lodge at Geneva on the Lake in two days for Ken's birthday.  On a positive note, the owners of the motels have been kind and helpful and most of our needs have been met.  We have been close to restaurants and as today attested also close to grocery and bike stores!

Steelhead Inn
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A day indoors
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I have been obsessed with that park in Buffalo (just as went entered the city on the waterfront) that was so dilapidated.  I remembered I had an acquaintance who once lived in Buffalo.  It took some searching to remember her name and when I found it, I was able to Facebook message her.  She didn't know, but she had a friend who still lived there and when I sent pictures, the friend said that it is the site for a beautiful new park!  https://www.buffalorising.com/2022/07/ralph-wilson-park-a-new-day-for-buffalos-waterfront/ I was glad to hear that there were plans to upgrade it!

On the afternoon of June 10 as we were riding the last few tired miles into Dunkirk, a dog snuck up on me.  Ken heard me swear before he heard the dog growl and me yell "DOG!" First it came on my right side and then on my left and quickly was gone.  I think our back panniers kept me from being bitten and when it was on my left, it was in traffic, so cars probably saved me too.  It was terrifying.  Not only do I not want to be bitten, but the risk of falling is great. 

We have only seen about 3 other loaded cyclists.  I think we are on the early side of the season. 

KG section:

Site of the sinking of the sailing freighter Edmond Fitzgerald, 1882, in Lake Erie off Long Point, Ontario (red-trimmed arrow below base of L.P.).
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The November 10, 1975, sinking of the iron ore freighter the Edmund Fitzgerald, the largest ship on the Great Lakes, was made famous in ’76 by Canadian singer & song writer Gordon Lightfoot. Most people do not know that 92 years and 4 days earlier, on November 14, 1883, a ship by the same name sank in the same gale-force winds of November on the Great Lakes. The first sunk in Lake Erie, the second in Lake Superior. It may be an unwritten law, but it is widely  understood that it is bad luck for two ships to have the same name, especially if the first one sank! 

We learned about the sinking of the first ship on Lake Erie from a roadside historical marker west of Port Dover on our June 7 ride, aptly titled “The Ghost Fleet of Long Point, Graveyard of the Great Lakes.” The Edmond Fitzgerald, a wooden sailing freighter, sank near shore in the shallow waters off the base of Long Point which kicked up the largest waves. Both ships were built near Detroit and by now the keen-eyed will have noted their names are not the same, the first ship bearing the French spelling “Edmond” and the second the English “Edmund.”

FG again:

We had dinner directly across the street at the Hibachi Japanese Steak House.  We tried to go last night but they were full, so we made a reservation for tonight.  We sat at a table with two other parties: three women from Franklin, PA and a Dad and daughter also from Franklin (about an hour away and apparently a town of about 7,000 people).  We haven't been to this type of restaurant in years!  It was great fun and the chef made a flaming onion birthday cake  as we sang to Ken a day early.

All in all a productive and restful day!  

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