Day 8. 556 Miles. Port ‘Port.

Rain sleeps are the best sleeps. And the best rains. If I’m on a long ride adventure and you told me it was going to rain five hours today and asked me exactly what I’d want to happen, I’d say I want it to rain from midnight to five am. Not only do I and my adidas sambas get to stay dry, I’m also afforded a perfectly comfortable slumber. Midnight to five for sure. That’s exactly what it does. I can hear it roll in from under the rainfly on my Big Agnes — who doesn’t pay me. Yes I sleep all night and yes I can hear the rain roll in. I can hear in my sleep. I mean who else would you want your tax dollars paying to hear 911 ring in the middle of the night? Nonetheless, I sleep like the baby each of us really is, the raindrops are an intricate lullaby courtesy of Moms N. I can’t truly articulate how completely and totally refreshing the experience is.

The morning campground is an interesting scene. Mainly because of us. Damon doesn’t like the social stigma still attached to cannabis usage and contends “don’t hate the player, hate the brain”. It’s funnier if you’re there. We’re getting all psyched about a morning trip to the nearby Wegmans and Damon reminds us that there’s also DD not far. He snickers and Kara and I laugh. I think he means it though. We make waste and make tracks out of Newark. I tell Damon, “I’m gonna play some redman”. He’s like “redman? Why?”. “Cuz we’re in Newark”. No sign of Reggie Noble as a greatest hits blend pumps over the airwaves of our first few miles.

We hit the local Wegmans, it is subpar. The egg and cheesy delivers, that’s about it. Spurio standard in effect. That’s all I have to say about that.

We move from Redman to Red Creek. My mind motivates my muscles as we meander through the Mormon motherland. Not sure how prevalent the religion is here anymore now that Utah is a thing, and no sign of Smith. Or The Smiths. Mormon Morrissey sounds like the name of an experimental hip hop trio featuring Post Malone, Danny Brown and Killer Mike. Whatever, this is the best part of the Erie Canalway Trail, in my opinion. We’re back in nonmotorized-land again, mostly crushed microstone towpath trail and it’s gonna be this way until Lockport. Oh ‘ports. The canal is actually still here and in good shape; folks are recreating on it. Oh yeah it’s the weekend! What day is it? Friday it Saturday or Sunday? Neither Damon nor Kara nor I know. Nor care. Middleport is the long goal. A long amount of miles from here. Ochenta y mas.

First good stop is Fairport. Oh ‘port. Inside this espresso and gelato shop and the woman behind the counter has a thick accent and is so super accommodating that I pretty much forget I’m in America. Super authentic job Royal Cafe. Oat milk latte twenty minute sorta stop. Seperated bike lane off the canal, id guess a bunch of businesses sprouted off outdooristic tourism, of which we qualify. I’m loving it. The hot coffee is perfect even in 80 plus degrees. Kara says the same about the fresh squeezed lemonade. Damon pounds water. Thanks Fairport. Port port. Let’s call them all port port.

Shelter Tetris commences upon arrival into this downtown Rochester park. Rochester. Could have been Rochachaport or something. But no. Anyway, this park is wonderful right now. Trees are too scattered so we look for covered tables. Goddamnit that’s right, it’s 4th of July weekend. Everything is reserved. Foiled again by Uncle Sam. Goddamn guvmint. Far edge of the park gots a small little one table shelter. I am Jack’s unreservable picnic shelter. We lay claim in a throttled punk rock bike gang fashion; a few minutes later the rearrangement is underway. Kara and I hoist and turn and move and drop and done. Effectively it allows for prime sheltered snoozability of all three of us: Damon on the picnic table top steez (a real goto in my book) and Kara and I in hammocks. The gentle breeze and a couple birds singing is just enough to make my mind pretend not to hear the drone of cars on the three overpasses surrounding this location. The sun is in that brutal part of the sky where it is actually wheee it always is. The whole orbital axis rotation stuff is what really sciences the fact that it’s the hottest part of the day. It’s our fault it so hot, global warming be damned. We need to start protesting more things in life. Like ourselves. I’m laying here — no, hanging here in this hammock ready to start a Revolution against myself. Well as soon as I get, down from this hammock. My mind is clearly as melty as a Dali Disney sequel. A little time out of the sun and off the bike is good.

Two miles outside of the ROC and a certain headwind of the 15-20 mph sustained varietal is curated for our enjoyment. I push past the ‘ports. We do. Or rather from ‘port to ‘port. All of us together. Fairport. Spencerport. Brockport. Who in the fuck are Spencer and Brock and why do they get ports named after them? Should be Karaport and Damonport if you ask me. Space doesn’t exist without time. Time doesn’t exist without space. My mind is playing tricks on me. I swallow another RXbar (def don’t pay me).at this point I’m eating them like tic tacs. Pass the ‘port.

Thirty miles to Middleport and I’m not sure we can get there. The sun is quickly retreating behind the horizon and we’ve gotta find water. We can camp anywhere, though we need water. At least to drink. Preferably to shit in as well. At one point we’re all completely gasses, without the fossil fuels. Damon spies Albion as the next town to grab water. We make tracks for then next 15 miles. It is not easy. We get water. Meanwhile Kara is on the internets. Now she’s on the phone. Now we have a place 11 miles up in Funky Cold Medina (pronounced Mah Die Nuh), and this “place” is a small space of grass in the middle of town. There are showers and a bathroom, and the caretaker Jim gives us the door code. Aw right now Jim, you’re an ally. We push into the headwind, determined. The sun is officially set and it’s past even twilight when we arrive. We never meet Jim; his generosity saves the day. We set up and shower and get a quick snack in before I plant myself into the palace, properly pooped. Tomorrow the ‘Ports finalize: Middleport, Gasport, Lockport. Ports on ports on ports.

About tonycaferro

Entrepreneur, Citizen, Marketeer, Fire Fighter / EMT, Bicycle-Tourist, Booking Agent, Youth Mentor, Activist, Agitator, Coffee Addict, Foodie, Social Media Nerd, Amateur Film Critic, Son, Brother, Uncle & Rust Belt Representative. Follow me on Twitter @dtr45
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