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Slooowly making my way to Wisconsin, but first this, and this, and this.

Greetings!  I am back in the lovely state of New York.

This will be a long post with a lot of pictures.  So skim if you want.  I just wanted you to know I am still thinking of you and wanting to share the sites with you.

I am on my way to Wisconsin.  I have been on my way, kind of, since I left Florida in late April.  But I took a few side trips.  I wanted to see New York and Vermont and see friends in Canada.  I wanted to spend time with Steve, I wanted to see Steve's New York home, and I wanted to meet his extended family.

Right now I am near Niagara Falls on the American side.

My friends, Jean and Keith are in a motel near my campground to visit me.  I had planned on writing to you today. It will be my last chance to connect with you until after Steve and I return to his home to prepare for the Gap and C&O ride. In between, there will be lots of days of driving, a full week of riding in Wisconsin as Steve and I do a little tour,   and lots of site-seeing and visiting friends and family. 

I feel  bad to take this day away from visiting with Jean.  Jean's visit got shifted a day, so we only had one full day of riding together here.  It was a great ride, a great day.  I will tell you about it later.  

I had planned on writing to you before Jean and Keith arrived.  But I had fallen so far behind with the "business" end of traveling, that I had to spend all day on the computer trying to catch up with plans and routes and reservations.  

Yes, I am retired. Yay!  I love that. But I am not on vacation.  This is my life.

I get frustrated sometimes that the view of my life from the outside is like being on vacation all the time.  Or maybe that is my view from this side?  Ya, it is probably me.

I still have to do banking, wash the car, promote my books, keep in touch with friends and family, maintain my stuff.  

Steve says it is a good thing when he is out of a cell service zone. For him, travel is still a short-term thing.  Me, I feel "hungry" when I don't have service.  I am like an addict looking for my next fix, but for me it seems a necessity every few days to purge my email of unwanted stuff, to check the weather, to map my route, to find gas, or a gym or a grocery store.  Though I have an atlas, I only have it if I can't use google maps.  And then it won't help me find the gas station, gym, or laundromat.

Currently, I am staying at Four Mile Creek State Park in New York.  The spaces are huge, the bathrooms clean, the bugs not too bad.  But there is little or no cell service, so I have found a park in Youngstown with shelter and electric to write.  

I got here before seven a.m. and it took a whole hour and a half to get my computer up and running.  It had to update and then when I connected to my cell hotspot, it had to update again.


And guess what?  Even though I have not written to you much this month.  Verizon just sent me a text.  I only have 10% of my 9999 GB of my hotspot left.  It renews on the 21st of this month.  Today is the 19th.  

I have so many pictures to share of people and places I have visited.

I guess I will have to leave this lovely outdoor spot and go find a library open and use the wifi there.

In the meantime, here is a story for you to read.

When Steve and I were in the Adirondacs, Steve and I went for a bike ride.  I told you about it, but I forgot to tell you about the grandpa and the girl.

It happened when we went for a bike ride on the roads in Adirondac Park.  It was a nice bicycling loop.  It was one of several described in a brochure we picked up somewhere.

I told you about the ride last time I wrote.  We had stopped at a tiny ice cream shop.  Donnelly's I think it was called.  It is near Saranac Lake.  The little shop only has one flavor besides vanilla each day.  With our treats in hand, Steve and I snatched a seat on a long bench, our backs resting on the front of the store wall.  In front of us, across the road was a lovely vista, over-looking a valley and the mountains beyond.

After a short time, a girl about eight years old sat next to me, then her mom next to her, and in the end sat (probably) her grandpa.

It was quiet as we all enjoyed our cones.  Then, I heard the mom say that no, the girl could not have some of her ice cream.  It was too bad she ate hers so fast.  Now it was all gone.  

A minute or two more passed and the Mom and daughter stood up and started to walk away just as the grandpa said,  "You know when I was young..."

The mom and daughter continued to walk away.  I turned to the grandpa, "Tell me, I want to know what happened when you were a kid."

He chuckled and said, "We used to have contests to see who could make their ice cream cone last the longest."

The girl turned back to listen.  He looked at her with a mischievous grin and started taking tiny tiny bites of his cone.  

"Mmm, its soooo good!" He said.  Teeny tiny bites all the while grinning as she watched.

Steve and I giggled.  Oh ya, we had played that game.  The grandpa moaned with pleasure, "Boy, this ice cream is soooo good."

Finally he popped the last bit in his mouth, stood up eith a big smile, and put his arm around the girl as she leaned into him.  So cute!


OK!  I am hooked up at the Lewiston Public Library.

Isle La Motte and Ride with Mari and Jerry

I was in Vermont when last I wrote.  I had one more day in that area before heading into Canada.  I was fortunate enough to connect with my friends and former neighbors, Mari and Jerry.  They were staying at her brother's rental cabin within an hour's drive from my campground.

We went for a short ride around Isle La Motte.  Mari's brother, El and his friend Phyllis joined us for the ride.  I didn't get much chance to talk with Phyllis, she was out in front all the time.  Mari told me she is very interesting.  She was a costume designer for the movies.  "She has lots of interesting stories to tell," Mari told me.  The ride was lovely, with some historical sites.

Mari and Jerry have a new-to-me dog.  He is real cute.  After our ride and a lovely lunch that Mari made, I helped them put out the floating swim raft.  I used the kayak and they tied the raft to it.  It was easy pulling it out.  Mari and El had the hard part of swimming out to the boey where they had the tie-down chaines attached.  The chains were heavy.  At one point I went to shore to get something for them.  The dog, which doesn't hardly want to wade, let alone swim, was happy to climb into  the kayak and ride with me.  It was the dog's idea.  I didn't even have to invite or coax him.  He was so cute, riding in front of me.

After that, I dashed back to camp to pack up.  I was heading into Canada the next day.

Canada and Riding with Louise and Richard

I was kind of nervous going through customs at the border.  Richard had directed me to the less busy crossing.  He also told me to answer only the questions and not elaborate or offer more information.

The agent was pretty nice and when he asked if I had and guns, weapons, or pepper spray, I told him I had a small bottle of pepper spray I carry with me for dogs when I ride bicycle.  

He ignored that statement.  That was nice of him.  The next time I crossed into Canada... not the same.

Louise and Richard were our neighbors and friends from the Withlacoochee Bicycle Riders.  Louise and Richard's house is like five minutes from the border right on the Richelieu River that feeds into or from (I don't remember) Lake Champlain.

I was having trouble finding a place to stay on the fourth of July and they invited me to come hook up at their place in Canada.  

I got wonderful warm and welcoming Louise and Richard hugs!    They showed me their house, Louise grew up vacationing in the area, many of her family are also on the River nearby.  One of her sisters lives a couple doors down, and her son lives a couple doors down in the other direction.  Their house used to be just a squareish cottage.  But after visiting France they were inspired to design some additions and re-dos.  They actually lifted the house up and made it a split-level home. It is lovely, with angles, light wood-work inside, and lots of flower gardens.

The next day they were going to take me on a bicycle ride along a canal.  They contacted Mari and Jerry and they came too!  What a joy to all be together in Canada!

Below is a picture of one of the lovely boats we saw at a lock on the canal.  Even the dingy on that boat was lovely.  

The locks are still operating, but not for freight so much as tourists and recreational boaters.

They had these neat lounge chairs in several parks that we passed.

We went around an old fort that had been used among many other things in the United States Civil War!  I had no idea the conflict reached this far north.

Louise and Mari enjoyed a long conversation with the young folks working the hand crank locks.

I was parked right in Louise and Richard's driveway.  I had expected to be off on a different property.  But as it was, Louise was planning meals and happy hour refreshments and snacks for us together.


One time while I was there, it was threatening rain.  But I went for a walk anyway.  While I was out it began to rain.  No problem, it was warm enough, I didn't mind.  Then it started to thunder and then pea-size hail began to fall.  I passed by an area open to the river and snuggled my backside against some trees and bushes close to the road.  The hail didn't hit me.  But the wind started to really blow off the river through the field next to me.  Small limbs began to fly and land nearby.  I was wondering if where I was huddled, by the trees was a good idea.

It didn't last long... maybe a couple minutes.  When the wind died down enough, I started walking home.  Up drives Richard in his car, coming to rescue me from the storm.  He even had towels expecting me to  be soaking wet.  Which I was.  Thank you, Richard!  But I didn't get in the car.  The storm had passed and I still had walking to do.  I sent him on his way.  It is nice to be cared about.

One day they took me to Montreal to ride through the city!  It was great!  There was soooo much to look at.  I don't know how many miles we did that day, but not very many.  I kept stopping to take pictures.

I took a picture of the trails across Canada to show to Steve.  Ohhh the places we will go!

Richard pointed out a bridge that is in a Y configuration.  If traffic is backed up by the lift allowing a ship to pass on one branch, the traffic is redirected to the other branch.

They took me to a race track that is split when not in use.  One lane for cars, the other lane for bicycles.

We rode leisurely, others bicyclists were training.  A man with one leg zipped by us twice while we were on the track.  He did not have a prothesis, he was just pumping with one leg!

The old port is now for tourism and entertainment.

We went by this interesting condo/apartment building.  I was taking a picture when a man in a long white bathrobe stood at the window looking at me.  I turned to Louise and pretended to flash her with my imaginary robe.  She laughed and said she thought the same thing.

At one point on the port we got separated from Richard.  As we stood looking around I heard a strange noise above me.  There was a zip line from the pink tower seen in the picture below.  People were zipping down over us.

We found a picnic table in the shade and ate our packed lunches.  A man who lived nearby chatted in English and French with Louise.  She told him about me traveling and selling my house.  "I admire that! You are living the life!" he said (or something like that).

On our way back to the car we rode a really long bridge (over a mile?) over the St. Laurance River and the Seaway.  The river is too shallow for shipping and boating traffic, so the Seaway was dug.  There were about four places along the trail with a pull-over location so we could stop and look out and take pictures.  

There is a bike trail that we could see below running between the river and the seaway.  

While at Louise and Richard's I could use their wifi, which was great.  I was missing Steve.  Louise and Richard would be celebrating their anniversary (57 years!?) and Louise's birthday.  They would be otherwise occuppied.  Plus, you know the saying.  House guests and fish are great, but start to smell after three days.

On a whim I checked how far away Steve was at his home.  Less than 150 miles!  I then plotted from his home to my next destination, Letchworth Park.  Less than my daily limit of 300 miles!  Hey!  

I texted Steve,  "Would you mind if I came to your house for a few days before heading to Letchworth?"

"Nothing could make me happier," he replied... or something like that.  He's so nice!  I was thrilled with this change of plan.

Richard told me I would have trouble pulling out.  The angle out of his driveway to the shared drive with his neighbors was more than 90 degrees.   

I said my goodbyes in the evening because if I woke at four a.m. I wanted to be able to just get up and go.  In the morning I studied the angle and agreed.  I decided to pull forward and back into Louise's sister's driveway.  It seemed generously wide, with an RV parked on one side and a fence on the other.  But I don't know what I was thinking or doing.  I wasn't watching the right mirror.  When I checked it I was shocked.  I had jackknifed the trailer and it was almost hitting the RV!  OMG!

In fact, now that I think back I was so shook up by that discovery that I may have not been thinking clearly.  Please, Louise and Richard, if I actually hit her RV, let me know.  I will happily pay for any damage/repairs.  I don't think I did.  I think I was about four inches from it.  Thank goodness if I didn't!

I pulled forward and straightened out.  Now what.  The shared drive was a little curvey and ... I don't know, maybe 1000 feet long?  I decided to back out.  

I did pretty good, going very very slow.  But I didn't do well backing into the road.  The road isn't heavily traveled, thank goodness.  I could not see because there are lots of trees and bushes lining the narrow driveway.  I got out to check if traffic was coming but realized by the time I got back in the truck and started moving, traffic could be coming.

There are narrow ditches on both sides of the road.  It took a few tries, but I did it.  With a big sigh and a smile, I was on my way!


Steve had planned to go up to Margaret's Family's Cottage.  He had a project he wanted to do.  I was happy to go with him.

While he worked on putting a new roof over the wood pile, I mowed the lawn.  

It was warm so afteward I swam out to the floating dock.  Then I heard some splashing and here came Steve.  Done with our work, it was time to play!

Steve and I went for a kayak ride around the lake. Then he took me to one of his favorite places on the way home.  There is a lovely view from the deck.  There was music inside, but the only seats were right next to the band.  We opted to sit outside and then played our first game of corn hole.  I made up the scoring.  Steve won.  I gotta practice.

One night we tried to go to music again.  But the band wasn't that great.  It was for a good cause, though, to support the historical Strand Theater.  Afterward we went to a great Italian restaurant and got take-out to take home.

The food was really good.  Enough for at least two meals.  It was lovely.

Now, because of this change in plans, we only have 20 days apart instead of 30.  

Letchworth State Park

Jean and Keith, our Florida biking friends, are staying in New York about one hour from Letchworth State Park.  They drove up and we biked the park together!  It was great having some folks with whom I could share the views and experience.

There are hills in that park.  I only had to walk up one.

There were historical markers and lots of other evidence that the CCC's of the 1930's had a big part in making Letchworth a tourist attraction.  Much of the rock walls, picnic tables, stairs and shelters are still in great shape.

We pulled into one area and the children were facinated by Jean's trike.  She has electric assist and she was happy to chat with them and answer their many questions.

The next day I drove to where Jean and Keith were staying in Cuba, New York.  I took my overnight bag and tent and the new air mattress that Steve had bought for me.  

We biked around Cuba Lake and in the evening we went to music on the park.  They treated me to supper at a restaurant.

Jean took me up to the hilly area near Olean where she grew up.  It was lovely up there.

I was pleased that my camp spot at Letchworth AND at Four Mile Creek near Niagra Falls had electricity.  

Niagra Falls Area

Jean and Keith were coming up to ride with me in the Niagara Area.  But they wouldn't arrive until late on their first day, so I drove over to the Canadian Side to ride.  This time when I mentioned my small bottle of pepper spray for dogs the guy at the border said they would have to confiscate it.  No pepper spray allowed into Canada.  He directed me to Aisle A.

I drove and parked in Aisle A.  A guy came over and I handed him the passport and the report that checked I had pepper spray.  I told him about it.  He said, lock it up in your glove compartment and don't bring it across the border again.

After that I remembered that Steve has given me two pepper sprays.  He worries that I am vulnerable.  I am debating about hiding them or ditching them.

Statistically I am not very vulnerable to violent crime in the US.  According to the latest statistic I read.  Out of 100,000 people in the USA, seven of them will experience a violent crime.  I would not buy a raffle ticket with those odds.  Just sayin'.

I parked by Queenston Park.  $30 to park for six hours.

I found it cool that the trail goes right under a ropes and ladders and zip lines course.  I saw the staff testing it out in the morning and some chubby girls doing it in the afternoon.

I stopped at a nature center that had a metal staircase that took me down the side of the gorge into onto a very rocky trail.   I took a picture of the shoes I was wearing, not suited for that kind of hiking.   The wild pants were a gift from Jean.  Those of you on the Withlacoochee, look for Jean and I to be wearing matching pants this winter!

As I was leaving the nature center two young men walked up and one pointed to the trash container and said, "Como se dice eso."  And the other boy said, "Trash".  Then the first pointed to the recycling sign, "Como se dice eso."  And the other boy said, "Recycle".  Then the first man pointed for him to look inside.

When they left, I looked too.  One garbage can, one bag, two recepticals.  And this is the nature center?

That evening I met up with Jean and Keith at their motel.  We were sitting outside their room when the owner, Christie, showed up.  Keith asked her a question and she started telling the story about how they live across the street and this motel was so run-down.  The yard was full of tall weeds and rusted out old cars and junk.  The place went up for auction.  They came over to buy two chairs.  They ended up bidding on the motel against a man in a porche.  But he stopped just before they were going to stop.  

They ended up with it.

The next day someone came and offered them $10,000 more for the place that they paid, if they decide right away.  She was like, YA!  But her husband said they were keeping it.   17 months later, she is still working away, frustrated with the drunken contract workers and all the work and slow progress and money only going out.  Someone came by and wanted to rent.  She said it wasnt ready, they could not stay.  He sai they have to stay.  His wife is exhausted and begged him to stop at the firat place they came to.  

We can't go on, he told her.  

She put them up in her own house and didn't charge them. 

She said that her friend does horiscopes.  She said she didn't want hers done because she is Catholic but her friend bugged her until she gave her the date and place of her birth.  

Then the friend told her they would have lots of medical people and scientists coming to stay.  She said that people would pass the place and turn around and come back to it.  "Which they have done," Christie says.

Christie said that she has had lots of doctors stay there.  A doctor that takes care of the Astronauts stayed there, neurosugeons, platic surgeons.  A couple of their first customers were husband and wife doctors.

And entertainers, she told us.  Buffalo and the Art Park in Lewiston bring in talent.  

Once , she said, a white buck came out if the woods.  And stood in the yard a while.  It had a huge rack.   She said the Native Americans started coming, the buck was a sign or a great spirit.

She went on with stories for about 20 minutes!

We were awed by her verbosity... is that the word, Keith?  It was fun!

The next day Jean and Keith and I biked on the US side of the Niagra River.

We were at a park when I saw a few signs reminding parents how they should behave during their children's games.  Sad they have to be reminded.

Right next to the tail that was passing by lovely homes with awesome landscaping, I saw this sign and had to turn around and take a picture.  I pointed it out to Keith and he laughed out loud.  Jean didn't get it.  Lol.

There was a sign on the tree in their yard too.  Fun!

We rode in to explore the Art Park.  Keith and I played on the gongs.   Bowowowowowow

What's Next?

Tomorrow I head through Canada to Michigan just north of Detroit.  There I will meet up for dinner with Steve's Florida neighbors, Debbie and Jim.  

Bam bam bam, three days of travel and I will be in Wisconsin and seeing my sister again and my  brother-in-law Dave.  

Friends and family are coming to Rhinelander.  We are going to have a good time.

Alzheimer's, the Good News and the Sad

Steve sent me an article when the FDA approved a new drug to treat Alzheimer's symptoms.  This drug, Donanemab, is promising and is moving in the right direction.

What frustrates me is it has to be provided to someone very very early when the symptoms first appear.  Well, hello, try to get a diagnosis when the symptoms are light.  You have to be at the stage where  you can't draw a clock before they will diagnos you.  

The only way to really know is to get a PET scan which currently insurances don't pay for and is out of financial reach by most at over $4,000.

Second of all, the side effects would make anyone in doubt that they have Alzheimer's hesitate to start this drug.  It caused brain swelling in a majority of the patients in the trial.  And a good number of them had brain bleeds!  Microhemorrhages was detected in 24% of the treated participants.

The trail was for 18 months, I think.  47% of those taking the drug showed no progression in their disease symptoms.  The placibo group showed 29% no change.  The plaque was actually cleared in 18 months for 72% of the participants on Donanemab.

I have friends showing signs of dementia.  Some of them have been diagnosed with mild cognitive imparment.  My good friend Jean started out not being able to find words.  Now when she speaks her words are slurred and she sounds drunk.  I am worried.  I think something else might be going on.  Not that anything else would be better or worse.  

She has been trying to get into neurologist.  It takes months to get in.

I remember making an appointment to get George tested at the Byrd Alzheimer's Institute in Tampa.  We had to book six months out!  That is a long time to wait when you can sense you or your loved one is declining.

But the good news is that they are making progress on treating (and maybe someday preventing) Alzheimer's Disease.

Final Words

Tourism looks like it is going strong in Niagra.  The people riding the boats at the base of the falls looked like thousands of little ants.  Some with the blue rain ponchos and some with the red ponchos.  Blue and red ants riding in the boats and climbing up the side of the water falls.

Trying to navigate through the crowds with my bike was challenging and slow.

I ate a salad, coffee and ice cream and it cost me $38.  I am supporting the local economy.

Every night Steve and I chat about our days on the phone, if I have enough service.  He is working to get his house ready to leave it for the rest of this summer and all of next summer.  So much to do, so little time.

The great news is that his Mom is doing much better.  Her arm is out of the cast, she is moving around much better and in great spirits.

And I want to thank you for commenting.  Last time I had 14 comments here and some emails and comments on Facebook.  It really helps to know you are with me and to hear from you.  

Until next time, be well and enjoy some great moments.


  1. You sure are busy Sue. Sounds like a lot of fun and excitement and making new friends and catching up with old friends.

  2. So impressed with your travels and your blog! I’m just finding my way into the second year of widowhood and don’t have a direction yet. I enjoy your travels and thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi Anne! It is good to hear from you. If you are living and enjoying lots of moments, you don't need a direction now. Flowing with the current is OK. A big hug to you and Linda.

  3. I’m sure lots of ur Inverness and other friends are following u. I so enjoy reading and seeing photos of ur adventurous life! And so thrilled u and Steve found each other. A companion surely makes life sweeter, so continue to enjoy! Travel on and smile.

  4. Dear Sue,
    What a lot of adventures you have had since the last blog! I know it must be hard just to sort through and write about some of them but we certainly appreciate you taking the time to share with us. I am very happy the you were able to ride with Louise and Richard - and stay with them at their lovely little home. Fred and I also “camped” in their driveway in our big motorhome several years ago. From the smile on Louise’s face, she certainly enjoyed your company.
    Fred and I both follow the news about new drugs and medical treatments for many diseases and are frustrated by the enormous costs of these treatments and that they are usually not covered by insurance. I wish our country would accept universal health care. Yes, taxes, especially for the rich, would go up, but society as a whole would be healthier.
    I loved your photos from Montreal. Fred and I went there several times when his aunt and uncle lived there but too many years have passed since our last visit. Your trip encourages us to plan another to Canada now that the border is open again.
    Do keep finding joy in each day and looking forward to life’s next adventure!

    1. Thanks Ann. I just listened to a podcast saying that studies have shown that older people are happier. She puzzled over it and then figured out it is about time being shorter for us. We don't have time to be sad, life is short, we gotta enjoy what we can while we are able.

  5. Yikes! As you were backing out of your friends driveway so carefully, I didn’t realize I was so involved that I was holding my breath until you said “big sigh” and I did the same thing. Thanks for your stories and letting us ride along.

  6. When you were backing out of your friends driveway, so carefully as not to scratch or bump their RV. I didn’t realize I was so involved and holding my breath until you said.” big sigh.” And I did the same thing. Thanks for letting us ride along.

  7. Love reading you! We enjoyed your visit very much. We are so sorry you had a hard time figuring out how to maneuver your way out but you did it! Enjoy your travels!

    1. I assume this is Louise or Richard? It was great seeing you and your place. Thanks so much for the wonderful visit!

  8. It is great fun reading about your adventures and your growing relationship with Steve. It is wonderful you share your life so openly. I wish I had know you were in Letchworth Park area. The park is almost in our back yard, about ten miles away. If you travel again to the area (with or without Steve) we would be glad to host you and show you more of the area.

    1. Thanks for the invite, but you are listed as anonymous. Who are you? I'd love to touch base if we go that way again.

  9. Always enjoy your travels;good for you. Hoping to see you in Wis.

  10. I enjoy reading about your journey as we are sharing similar paths now and can relate to your experiences, good and bad; and to your enthusiasm and passion. We are all enjoying the journey.
    My best to Steve and see
    You both in November.
    Happy Trails!

  11. It took me some time to read this entry but I enjoyed your update! Continue to enjoy and be well. 😘

  12. I read your blogs when I have time and enjoy them. As for me now that I am retired I do not do much at home. I swim 4 days a week at a different gym now that "Experience Fitness" shut down. I joined Innovative Fitness so I swim there now. I help my mother out and take her to appoinments. I ride my bike about a mile when the weather permits with our dog Lucy in a doggie front pack and she LOVES it. Christopher is still busy at work and thengames at night. Take care and have fun. Melody


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