In the spring, Dick and Sandy invited Candace and me and another friend, Jeanne, to join them for a few days of camping at the North-South Lake Campground in the Catskills. That sounded like fun, so we did. We also thought as long as we’re in NY, we could get in some cycling. The final plan involved arriving at the campground on July 6, camping the nights of the 6-7 and breaking camp the morning of the 8th. Then we would drive to Fayetteville, about

10 miles east of Syracuse, check into the Craftsman Inn, ride to Utica on the Erie canal trail, check into a Red Roof Inn, then continue on the trail to Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Castle, then turn around and spend two days riding back to Utica (Red Roof Inn) and Fayetteville (Craftsman Inn) where we would spend the night of July 12. The next day we would drive to the southern end of Skaneateles Lake (Andrew R. Fuller Park), ride around the lake, then drive to the Mirbeau Inn and Spa in Skaneateles, where we would have a massage, dinner, and spend the night before returning home on July 14.

We more or less followed this plan. However, there was lots of rain which led to lots of mud! It rained on our “fancy dinner” at the campground on July 7, and we packed up in the rain and mud on July 8. On the first leg of the cycling trip, we got caught by several thunderstorms - the first when I was fixing a flat! We found an underpass to wait out the second. Of course, this meant more mud! The next day, the unpaved parts of the trail were still quite muddy. In Amsterdam, we had dinner with my son Jeff and Candace came up with plan B. The next day we would ride back to Utica as planned, but then we would catch an Amtrak to Syracuse, stay in a hotel in Syracuse and the day after would ride from Syracuse to Fayetteville (where our car was) rather than ride Utica to Fayetteville. On the way back to Utica, we met and rode with a local (from Little Falls) who helped us avoid the muddy parts of this leg.

Only one Amtrak per day took bikes and it left Utica about 9pm and arrived Syracuse about 10pm, so we got to spend a lot of time in a pub next to the Utica train station and we got to know the Utica station master really well! We reserved a room at an Embassy Suites in Syracuse only about a mile and a half from the station, but we still had to do a little night riding. I have a very bright rechargeable light! It was raining in Utica when we left and in Syracuse when we arrived. The hotel let us take our muddy bikes to our room!

Our route around Skaneateles Lake was on paved roads, so we wouldn’t have minded rain, in fact it would have been nice as it was a very hot day and the route was quite hilly. There were thunderstorms around, but they missed us until after we got to the Mirbeau.

I screwed up a little with recording the tracks by GPS. There are four trips that were actually recorded. Clicking on one of the links below will take you to the Ridewithgps page for the ride:

Fayetteville to Utica

Amsterdam to Utica

Syracuse train station to Embassy Suites

Around Skaneateles Lake

The rest of the story is in the pictures below.

Clicking on a photo below brings up a larger version. You can also activate a slide show.

Camping/Cycling Trip, July 6-14, 2021