David Johnson's Travel Blog
Bicycle Trip 1999
Okefenokee 2002
Anza-Borrego 2003
Texas 2003
Road Trip West 2003
Sequoia National Park 2004
Hiking Florida 2005
Nomadic 2005
Bicycle Trip 2009
Bicycle Trip 2010
Nomadic 2010
Little Bicycle Trip 2011
Wisconsin Bicycle Trip 2011
Bicycle Trip 2011
08/07  Oh No! Casey's is Leaking!
08/08  Yo dawg I heard you like creeks
08/09  Low bridge, everybody down
08/11  Camping in Suburbia
08/12  Camping on a bunker
08/13  Amish on Bicycles
08/14  Ohayo Ohio!
08/18  Saddle Sores and Boredom
08/19  Houses houses houses
08/20  Neither see nor be seen. Now bike!
08/21  Down and Up in Pennsylvania
08/22  I don't want to scare you
08/23  Yard elk in the mist
08/25  Pine Creek Trail
08/26  Welcome to New York
08/27  Oswego
09/03  Erie Canal
09/04  Road Closed
09/05  Vermont
09/08  Old Stage Trail
09/09  New Hampshire
09/10  Hapless Trails
09/11  Mainely tourists
09/13  Mainely Traffic
09/14  The Hills!
09/16  Arcadia National Park
09/17  Mainely ATVs
09/18  I am farther east than you
09/21  North into Real Maine
09/22  Mainely Trees
09/23  Annoying Noises
09/24  Baxter State Park
09/25  Mainely Bear Hunters
09/27  Mainely Sick
09/29  Mainely Trespassing
09/30  All Done
10/01  (pictures)
Nomadic 2011
Kayak Trip 2012
Nomadic 2012
Liverworks Productions
Nomadic 2013
Liverworks Productions
Texas Pig Hunting
Bicycle Trip 2014
Bicycle Trip 2015
Biking West 2015
Chickens and Pheasants 2016
Biking About 2016
New Zealand 2016
Kayak Trip 2017

Road Closed

2011-09-04

tl;dr: I have finally met with some closed roads that I couldn't ignore. And the police are not helpful to me.

Due to an inherent laziness I usually lounge around in hotels and attempt to get all my money's worth. This morning I left just before sunrise. The only reason I don't regret not camping last night is the air conditioning. Though it mostly drained water into the room itself, it did work, and it never did cool off much outside. Even biking along in civic twilight I was sweating.

I'm now entering an area that was more directly hit by hurricane Irene. At first there were some trees across the trail. Then roads were closed. Then entire towns were pretty much destroyed.

Rotterdam Junction appears to have been built on the flood plain of the Mohawk River. Just about every house in that town was under water. There was no power. Folks were just emptying their houses of garbage. I'm not sure if these houses are salvageable, but, apparently, there are towns up in the valleys that are just gone. The plan is to completely bulldoze those towns and either relocate or start over.

I wanted to take more pictures, but I felt like such a gawker. It was uncomfortable just being there. Had I known what I was getting into I would have gone all the way around.

By this point the bicycle trails were unusable and were very low priority for maintenance crews (obviously). So I decided to change my route and hop across the Mohawk River and head north a little. After waiting out a storm outside Rotterdam Junction I calculated I had 30 minutes to get to a State Preserve that I had picked out as a camping spot before the next storm came through. It was only 3 miles away, so I figured I could get there and set my tent up before getting soaked. What a pain in the neck that turned into.

Apparently the only bridge in the area is part of the interstate system, though if you look at the map closely, it appears to switch to a normal highway status right there, and there were none of the usual signs indicating a bike shouldn't be on that road. I only needed to be on it for all of a mile, but, unfortunately, some poor family's car had been struck by lightning while driving along (no shortage of hard times around these parts) and some police officers were waiting with them. By the time I reached them I was stuck, because they wouldn't let me go back the way I came or continue on. Officer By-The-Book insisted that the road was dangerous, when in fact it was probably the safest road I'd been on so far today given that it had a ten foot shoulder. He made a big deal of taking my ID and calling in all my information. Another cop, Officer I've-Got-More-Important-Stuff-To-Do was there, and he would have just let me go on and get out of his life, but he was the junior officer. I got the feeling they were not familiar with the area, because I had an awful hard time explaining to them my goals. I must have said, "I just want to cross the river" a dozen times. So they held me there until it started raining again. I loaded up my bike into the back of a squad car and strapped it down good enough for a careful mile. Officer I've-Got-More-Important-Stuff-To-Do wasn't careful. When he finally drove me across the bridge he accelerated to 65 mph in about eight seconds. I thought for sure my bike was going to come loose and be splattered all over the highway. He then dumped me off on a busy, rainy road that I was forced to peddle along as it slowly got dark because my next chosen route was closed off because of flooding.

I never made it to the state woods, but set up my tent in the wet mud in a very Posted patch of woods behind a locked gate and garage with one of those security system signs. It was raining real good as I set up, so everything is damp. This brings out the lingering smoke smell from last night's motel stay.





Monument at the General Herkimer Home






muddy river


apparently this was recently flooded


Rotterdam Junction destroyed


police making my life harder

contact me at le@liverworks.com
< 2011-09-03 Erie Canal 2011-09-05 Vermont >