Day 7 – Rest Day in Old Forge NY

I gave myself the day off to recover from the past 6 day’s 370 miles. It felt great to slow down and stay in one place for a bit. It gave me a chance to catch up on email, laundry and such, with a little left over for strolling the town and checking out the community gallery.

When’s the last time you were in a laundromat? Honestly, before today I can’t remember – probably when I was single and living in “shared housing” situations. But honestly my trip to the laundromat was probably one of the most interesting parts of the day. I’m just sorry I didn’t take my phone because I’d like to share more of the experience. But on second thought – taking photos there probably wouldn’t have felt right.

My Morning Hours at the Laundromat

No one uses a laundromat who doesn’t have too; so it’s a pretty solid way to get, at least a little bit, more in touch with what’s it’s like to not have enough money to have certain choices. Without exception, the people there were friendly and helpful – even sharing their dryer with me when it still had time left on it and their loads were done.  But even so I felt pretty “other” there in my Patagonia windbreaker and Marmot pants. More than one mom of a toddler came and went, and one woman even left her car running while she put a load in the wash, even as she brought her baby inside. She said she left it on “because I’m stupid” which hurt to hear – she was just obviously tired, run ragged, and too much going on.

I think part of why the seemingly pedestrian experience of going to the laundromat touched me emotionally was that it brings up powerful memories for me. When my folks split up when I was 5, I moved with my mom into temporary housing and we had to go to the laundromat regularly because we didn’t have a washer or dryer at home. That immediately made us feel “poor” because you’re surrounded by other folks who are poor and many because they’ve made pretty poor choices, or just weren’t that smart, had rotten luck or poor health or… Obviously there are a lot of things that can land you there that are out of your control. I didn’t have to live in that environment long but I could see how, if you did, it could change the way that you think about yourself, and what options are realistically available to you. BTW if you haven’t read J.D. Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy” yet – it touches on some of these same chords. JD was a lot worse off than I ever was but I was close enough to it, and observed enough other families, that his experience was very familiar to me.

The Local “View” Arts Center

So what do you do in Old Forge after you’ve seen the laundromat? Go to the gallery of course! They have a community building here that doubles as a gallery, and classroom space – it’s quite big actually and must be well funded. They even are LEED certified with enough solar on the roof to probably offset a quarter of their energy use.

So I probably wasn’t supposed to take photos in there but I did anyway so you get to come along. And most of what I took photos there are out of the norm for the gallery. They had tons of watercolor landscapes of mountains and fish and eagles. But these are the ones that caught my eye.

By the way – I’m linking all my photos now to the originals, so just click if you want to see the larger version. For these it’s worth it.


This is a watercolor. No way! Tiny tiny brush strokes!

Why the hell would you hang this lovely painting over the top of an electrical access panel, I cannot fathom. And somebody snatched it up for $275! Sheesh i love this painting and it’s worth a lot more I think.

I just loved how ridiculous this was next to all the fish, mountains, and eagles.
This is just drop dead incredible. A self portrait. If I could do that I would never do anything else.

And this wonderful quilt – reminded me of my sister Synda  who was a quilter and would have loved to see this.

This quilt looked royal with all the gold and purples.

Around Old Forge

And a few other random shots from my stroll around town.

I had to look at this for a long time. Basically it says “Beavers slept here a long time ago”. Now I love beavers but do we need a sign up every time some important beaver sleeps here for the winter? Is this memorial-worthy? Maybe I’m tired and cranky.
I felt like I was at Wally World and it was closed for repairs. It’s the entrance to the “Enchanted Forest”.
The lake in town with golden highlights.
Quiet cove across from the town art center. In the big version you can see the “boat garage”. Don’t you have one?

I wrapped up the day with a trip back to the arts center where they had a yoga class that I dropped in on. Babe, have I told you lately what a genius you are? Megan told me I should seek out yoga across the county as I go and I tried it. What do you know but the teacher is quite good (hi Carla) and even gives us some stretches geared for me and “if I was biking across the country I’d do this one every day”. Coach Matt you’d approve – she taught me how to use my own bones for a roller since I didn’t bring one along.

Tomorrow my buddy Adam joins me for the ride. I hope the forecast is as wrong as its been so far. Otherwise we get pretty wet tomorrow. We’ll see…

9 thoughts on “Day 7 – Rest Day in Old Forge NY”

  1. One more thing. I installed a new plugin that’s supposed to deal with the stupid iPhone-photo-rotation issue. Did it work? Bill? Others? Thanks and I hope to put this pesky issue to bed.

    1. We love this expression of what an individual can do to make a BIG statement regarding climate change. We talk every day about how important it is not to become complacent about our planet. We’re proud of you! Thank you! Dana (and David) Hacker, Bolivar.

      1. Dana, so nice to hear from you and David! I’d love to say hi when I come through Bolivar.

    2. Since you asked, YES your plugin seems to have worked. All these photos look right-side-up. Up until now, about 1 in 7 was either sideways or upside-down (as viewed from an Android phone). I’m loving the updates, keep on pedaling!

      A couple months back our washer died which had me at the laundromat a couple times until we got it replaced. Definitely a hearty serving of humble pie!

  2. Mom, Burt and I are reading your updates outloud. We think your day of rest is an outstanding idea and love that you found a yoga class to join. Your observations of the area are very keen and bring back my own memories of doing laundry at the laundromat. Keep taking such excellent photos. We agree that hanging the painting of the girl on the swing over a panel box was indeed odd. The painting was lovely.

    Take good care of yourself. I forget, is it eat no doughnuts or eat all the doughnuts?


  3. Glad you took a day off and got to experience culture in its many forms, laundromat and art gallery.

    1. The day off is part of the plan to stay healthy – especially at this point in the ride. My friends who have done this before tell me that the first two weeks build your conditioning, then it gets a lot easier.

      Thanks for letting me know you’re reading everybody. Makes it feel like I’m not alone!

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