July 7th, 2004

Chaz' Avatar

I'm back home!

The trip to Rochester/Hemlock Lake was a great bike ride! I took Derek on the back for his first long-distance bike ride ever! The new bike made the trip quite comfortable! We couldn't ask for better weather! We did hit a few drops of rain as we left the Boston area, but didn't see any afterwards! We took I-90 all the way to Canandaguia, then 20-A to Hemlock. We were there by 18h00 (6pm.)

Friday was the early-arriver group: Dan & Al, Derek and I, Tom and Bob (both from the Unicorn M.C. of Cleveland, OH.) We proceeded to so shots at the bar and hang out until the wee hours of the night. I guess we drank a bit too much, as Derek and I don't remember anything after 23h00!! Eeks!

We got up late on Saturday morning, after nursing my hangover, and NOT making the early-morning trip to Jones Pond to visit Larry, Terry and Bruce; Derek and I only had a few hours before we were expected at my brother's house for a BBQ. We hopped on the bike and went into Rochester for a quick tour and some minor shopping. We enjoyed a really nice BBQ with my family at Robert's. Lesley, my cousin, whom I haven't seen in about 15 years was there also. Following dinner (around 7pm), Derek and I headed to Lake Ontario and Charlotte to see the new Toronto/Rochester Fast Ferry Terminal and to get an Abbot's ice cream (chocolate almond, of course!) -- we then went up Lake Avenue to complete our tour, visiting downtown. Our last stop was Wegman's in Pittsford to pick up some Zwigle's White Hots for Derek to try another "taste of Rochester" the following day.

We got back to Al & Dan's about 9:00pm. Almost all the Rams were there: Russ, Bob, Michael, Chip, Frank, etc., etc. it was starting to get chilly out, and the bugs were out like crazy - so many that it looked like it was snowing outside the last few miles to the house. We decided it would not be a good idea with the change in weather to drive 1.5 hours to Jones Pond (and 1.5 hours back to the house!) We hung out with the gang, watched some videos, had some shots, hung out by the campfire and went swimming!

Sunday, as more people showed up for the 4th of July (Bruce & Bill, Randy and more) - we began our steak & hot dog BBQ around 2pm. Tom made some fresh french bread (yum), and Bruce brought a home-made strawberry pie! After everyone was full, we all lounged around -- some of us watching the new Margaret Cho video (most of us sleeping through more than half of it because we were fo full!) Sunday night we did more shots and shared stories around the bar. It was a great end to a wonderful weekend!

Monday morning, it looked like rain was going to come our way -- Derek and I packed up the bike and took off promptly at 11am. Rather than taking I-90 all the way home, we took NY-5&US-20 to NY-5 to US-20 (then to the Mass Pike for the last 54 miles after it got dark.) This brought us through many towns along the fingerlakes and beyond: Canandaigua, Geneva, Waterloo, Seneca Falls, Auburn, Syracuse, Fayetteville, Chittenango, Sherrill, Utica, Herkimer, Little Falls, Amsterdam, Scotia, and Schenectady.) It was a beautiful trip! We made several stops, including one stop in Palatine Bridge to buy some NYS cheese from a small dairy where they made it right there in small batches! Good stuff! We did hit some rain briefly in Scotia, NY (just outside of Albany.) The one fact I was missing on the trip was that NY 5 ends in Albany ("NY 5's eastern terminus is at US 9 in downtown Albany. An interesting thing about one of New York's longest state highways is that there lacks end signage at the eastern terminus.") we were a little bit lost looking for "5" signs; and after looking for about five minutes, we just took US-20 into and across most of Massachusetts.

None of the links I could find about route US-20 discussed the really beautiful, tree-covered, rolling hills from Albany to Pittsfield. It was a remarkably nice ride (too bad the roads were not completely dry!) I will take this route again!! Here's a PDF map! ... and more maps!

I found this information about US-20 in Mass:

General Routing: NY line in Pittsfield to Boston via Springfield, Auburn, Marlborough, Waltham and Watertown.

Upgrades and Multiplexes: Cosigned with US 7 from Pittsfield to Lenox. Cosigned with Rt. 8 east of West Becket. Multiplexed with I-291 through Springfield.

History: Originally NE-5. In 1930, US 20 took a more northern route from Palmer to Worcester, passing along what is now MA 67, and 9. East of Worcester, it originally passed through Shrewsbury in a more-or-less straight route into Northborough. By 1933, US 20 was onto its current routing.

The only other significant route changes are in the city of Springfield. Originally, US 20 crossed the river where MA 147 does now and then routed up State St to Boston Road. Between 1972 and 1974, US 20 was routed up I-291 to Page Blvd, where it took over 20A's routing to Boston Rd.
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