I was up around 10, due to a strong case of hot-van. I took my dirty smelly self all over the place getting some wifi and getting my ducks lined up. Matt tried again to cash his boss's personal check, which again did not work. That's more his problem than mine, but I don't like seeing him get so incredibly fucked over. He found eight quarters and got a coffee. He's been bumming constant cigarettes. It'll work out.
After the bank, Matt dropped me off in Manhattan near the bicycle path along the Hudson. On my way. I'm following the cue sheets for the East Coast Greenway now. They are not perfect. I got crazy fuckin' lost all over the Bronx. Directions said left, shoulda said right. It seemed unclear - and ultimately incorrect. I blamed the directions again later when I got lost and went tons of miles out of the way for the second time. But that one was my fuckup. I mistook the direction of a street sign. None of this would even be a slight problem if my GPS had street level info here - but it looks like that's just missing. I'm shitty at following directions, so if the directions are at all shitty to begin with, the problem is magnified to a scary intensity. I don't know how my brain survived this confusion. Maybe I'm getting better at relaxing and going with the flow. I wasn't happy about it, but I didn't have any sort of meltdown. Those who know me well might honestly have expected a meltdown. I'm not proud of that, but I'm glad I was able to keep my frustration to bottled up muttered cursing. Lesson learned: get a GPS with street level everything, everywhere. For me it's all about riding the bicycle, and directional peace of mind goes a very long way. I'd be ok with a ton of good maps - but I'm a big GPS fan.
It took me until long after dark, but I made it to Connecticut after crossing a little bridge from Port Chester NY. It was past 11pm, and I didn't have a clue where to sleep. My best plan was to hit the bar and drink slowly until closing time, but the music coming out the door was irksome enough to give me pause. I was sitting around looking like I didn't know what the fuck to do next when help arrived.
"Know where you're going?" a girl pulled up on a bicycle in the parking lot where I was existing, and asked me this. Ivanna.
I told her the next street that I couldn't find. She'd never heard of it. Probably because I was looking at the wrong fucking cue sheet. Seriously. At this point I told her I'd be doing just as well if she could tell me where some woods were - or a few trees somewhere. She saw right away what I meant, and began a description and simple directions for something that would work.
I was stowing directions all over my brain and trying not to get them mixed up with omlette making instructions and bicycle component prices. Then she asked if I wanted her to just ride over there with me. "That would be great. That would be awesome." That's what I said, and there was a sizable gap between these, and I imagine sounding sincere as well as feeling very sincere. Good thing she helped, cause that got me let off at the perfect spot to wander slightly to find my ultimate sleeping spot. We talked. I wondered where on the weird-scale it fell that I had a big Barney head strapped up on my panniers, so as to seem to be staring at any vehicle behind me. We said goodnight, and indeed it was good, and at 11:30ish: also night.
The sleeping spots were sparse, but I found some bushes to hide behind. Good landscaping posed a bit of a challenge, but nothing a bivy sack can't compensate for with style. It was too hot for the bivy sack, so I inflated the air mattress and used the bivy as a ground cover, opting to just sleep on top. At about 1:30am it had cooled enough for me to crawl inside, hanging out the mouth, using my jacket as a pillow. I was comfortable, but I still only got half of the sleep that I really wanted. I'd hate to get discovered by some ornery kid with a dog. He'd think I killed Barney, and stand there bawling his eyes out while cops would be pulverizing me with night sticks. Knight sticks. Swords. Fuck it - I was up at 5:45, bleary eyed, making dog walkers wonder.
I'm wearing all the same clothes as I was when I left Philly. A shower would feel totally boss at this point.