Upstate New York

Wind turbinesMore about the iPhone and WiFi soon but first a final travelogue for the summer. The total Trike ride was 550 miles. The first day got us up close to Utica where my brother lives. Utica is situated in the Mohawk Valley and is the county seat of Oneida County. Like many industrial towns and cities in the northeastern Rust Belt, Utica has seen continuous reduction in manufacturing activity during the past several decades. It is sad to see a beautiful area with open space and clean air be suffering economically.
The next morning we met some friends and rode 100 miles up to Sackets Harbor, on the shores of Lake Ontario, at the eastern-most and smallest of the Great Lakes. The lake flows into the St. Lawrence which then flows northeasterly through Canada connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. Because of the strategic position of Sackets Harbor, it played a key role in protecting America’s northern frontier during the War of 1812. Had it not been for Sackets Harbor, the majority of the day’s motorcycle ride might have been Canadian.

The ride back to the Utica area was beautiful and educational. We saw huge wind turbines — 195 of them — that produce 2% of the New York state’s residential electricity. I had seen the giant turbines before from a distance but a visitor center allowed us to stop for a closer look and hear the whooshing sound of the giant blades.
As we came across the Tug Hill Plateau, we could see tens of miles to the Adirondack Mountains. There are extensive park systems throughout the state of New York, but . Adirondack Park, with six million acres (half of which is private), is the largest by far. In fact it is the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States, greater in size than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon National Park combined.
Riding back to the lake the next day through rural New York and Pennsylvania was a treat. There were clouds and sprinkles on the first day’s ride but the last two were perfect blue sky and warm. The scenery included a lot of great views, mountains, hills, rivers, streams, farms, tractors, cows, and American Flags.