October 13 2010
Today we left New Paltz, NY. What a cool town. It’s got some amazing scenery and it’s a funky little town where I could definitely see myself sometime in the future. The guy who owned New Paltz Hostel (super nice guy, by the way! And if you’re ever in the area, you should definitely stay there) said that they’re packed in the summer with folks who come to the area to climb the nearby Shawangunk Mountains. Check them out; they’re gorgeous. (I'll post pictures soon... too tired right now, sorry!)
We had a good day - late start (we saw frost on the cars when we got up this morning, so we weren’t exactly in a hurry. Then Ed got another flat tire…way to go. The flat tire count is Ed: 4. Vanessa: 2) and it was quite hilly at times, but we were treated to such a fantastic view of the mountains with all the beautiful colors that we had a hard time being too upset about the hills. Plus we talked to some horses and cows along the way.
On one of the hillier sections, we met up with a local cyclist who said hi and asked where we were headed. We chatted for a bit, then he zoomed off in a bolt of lightning. I’m pretty sure he broke the sound barrier, actually…. we were wondering where that sonic boom came from. (Or maybe it’s just that everyone seems super fast when you’re towing 70-lb trailers… we weighed them this morning.)
Our speedy cyclist buddy came back about 10 minutes later and asked if we needed to refill our water bottles or anything, and we said sure, since we were running low. He invited us back to his house, which was close by (and up a steep hill, of course, but totally worth it!). He introduced himself as Tony, and when we got back to his house, we met his wife Ann and his dog Kayla. We talked for a bit about cycling and about RAGBRAI, a week-long annual ride across Iowa (I was wearing my jersey today), and I hope I see them on next year’s ride!
Tony told us that he was also living the dream, like so many folks we’ve met on this trip. He’s just quit his “real” job to go into business selling his own special recipe of energy bars and granola, under the name Black Lab Naturals (named after his sweet dog Kayla). He said he’d been making it for years, and decided to start selling it full-time. He gave us a couple bags of granola and a box of energy bars made from nuts and dates, all of which are absolutely fantastic. Seriously. This stuff blows those Clif bars out of the water. And they’re cleverly named… “Date-a-nut”… which seems appropriate for me! The granola is so tasty and crunchy, we’re going to have to stop tomorrow and get some yogurt and fruit for this stuff. I’m planning to get some via mail order because it’s so good. Maybe I can talk some folks in Texas into distributing. And it’s all natural - you can pronounce all the ingredients and everything. Check out their website and get some for yourself: http://www.blacklabnaturals.com/ - you won’t be disappointed, I promise!!
We’re almost in New Jersey right now, camped out behind an elementary school in Cuddebackville, NY (what a name). Should be into Jersey early tomorrow (hopefully it won’t be very rainy, but it‘s in the forecast) and we’ll be meeting up with a friend of mine from Austin, Elizabeth, who is now in law school at Yale. I’m excited to have our first ride-along! It’ll be a great time! Stay tuned…