Day 16 - Brockport, NY to Chaffee, NY - Tot: 698.6 mi

 Steve was up early and gone by 5:30am, heading mostly south today.  The weather was clear and warm early.  Allane decided to back track a bit and spent the morning at Highland Park in Rochester.  A lovely maze of trails covering hills topped by a reservoir, the park displays trees and flowers galore.  The magnolia trees and the chestnut trees were in bloom, as well as forests of azaleas and rhododendrons.  The lilacs were mostly gone by, but their fragrance lingered on the morning breeze.  I just wandered the paths, enjoying the cool quiet and the morning sun.  I saw robins, cardinals, a flicker, and some noisy brown thrashers (I think).  Steve called just as I was making my way back to the truck.  He had traveled 32 miles in 3 hours.

Relief map of Highland Park, Rochester, NY

Once I knew where he was, I set my GPS to find him.  Of course, by the time I reached the little eatery called Twilight Meadows, he was gone.  Unfortunately, so was any signal to reset my GPS, by phone or vehicle.  I was pretty uncomfortable, knowing my final destination but not the surrounding area or how to proceed, but I drove south and southwest for awhile, wondering which roads Steve had taken.  I have to say that there is a whole lot of nothing-but-farmland in this area!  I now know we were southeast of Buffalo, but there are miles of roads with nothing but a few farms and houses.  Eventually I got enough signal to use my Find Steve App, and I tracked him down on a dusty, sun-beaten road about 23 miles from our destination of Chaffee, NY.  It became increasingly hot and humid during midday.  We compared notes, and I started down the route ahead of him.  The huge, rolling hills seemed to cruelly seek continually higher ground, topped by wind turbines waving him onward.  I tried an alternate route to see if I could find easier going for him, but encountered the same terrain everywhere.  His elevation gain was over 3000 feet in the 82 degree heat and 50% humidity!   And you know when you see wind turbines everywhere that the wind is likely to be a factor as well.

Steve soldiered on, and reached Chaffee at about 3:15, saying that he was "knackered."  He brought his bike into the room, commenting on the darkening sky.  Five minutes later, the skies opened up and the rain just poured down, with thunderclaps as well.  Talk about good fortune!

Happily we were able to connect with nephew Ian Bentham and Jenny.  They graciously offered to drive from their new home in Alfred Station to meet us for dinner.  It was great to catch up with them...we had not seen them for a couple years.


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