Day 38--Northampton, MA Day Off

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I slept poorly last night. Nothing to do with the comfort of the bed or the hour, but more to do with a racing mind. Finally conquered the insomnia around 1 a.m. I am near the end of this journey and my mind was spinning with the logistics of these last five days.

The original plan was for me to stay at the Holiday Inn Express until Thursday when I would cycle to Northampton to meet Sherrill Harbison, a friend we met in Norway the year we were there; Jody Rosengarten and Ann Tompkins, two new friends I met this past March while on an Earthwatch Expedition in the Gulf of Mexico where we three helped scientists study the effects of the BP oil spill on wintering loons; and Judy Allen a woman with a connection to the Judith Karman Hospice and Oklahoma. Judy's Wilburton, OK, neighbor and family friend Bernice Ray was cared for by the Judith Karman Hospice in her last days.

Judy was on the Judith Karman mailing list and had offered her Northampton condo when she received word of my charity ride, but I had not heard from her, so Jess had gone on Priceline to get a good room rate for Tuesday and Wednesday nights. We were in the Holiday Inn Express in Hadley, MA, about six miles from Northampton. Jess is going to drive back to Schenectady today to box her bike and return the rental car to the Albany airport before flying home. I was to spend tonight at the HIE and Thursday night with a Warm Showers couple, Priscilla & Adam Novitt.

Judy Allen posing with my bike before we went to the Mosaic Cafe for dinner on the last night of my stay; thank you Judy for a great dinner and a good stay in your condo. It was fun living in your arty workshop for two nights.
Well, the best laid plans . . . Sherrill called and e-mailed last night to say that she would pick me up at the hotel and we'd have lunch today. I opened my e-mail at 7:15 a.m. to find that Judy had been away from her computer for a week and had just got my e-mail about the condo. It was available!

We called the front desk to ask if we could forego our second night without penalty. They said yes.  I called Judy immediately and we arranged to run to Northampton to get the condo key before Judy drove to work in Greenfield MA at the Hospice of  Franklin County where she is the Bereavement Coordinator. I then called Sherrill to tell her of the new pick-up location--condo not hotel. Ann called, and I got back to her. She and I and Jody are going to meet for lunch tomorrow (Thursday). Ann will call me when the two of them get to Northampton. Since the condo is located downtown, I should be able to walk to meet them in this very artsy town with many restaurants and unique shops.

Jess and I had just taken the bike & B.O.B. out of the car and reassembled them. Now we disassembled them, packed up our gear, and drove back to the condo. After getting me settled, Jess left for NY. I am going to miss her company these last few days . . . and her smart phone, and her encouraging personality: "Come on Mom! We can do it! We're closer than we've ever been before!"

One end of Judy Allen's condo which serves as her studio and workshop

Some of the fabrics that Judy has hung above her kitchen cupboards

Family photos, piano, and memorabilia from Judy's parents' home in Wilburton, OK

After Jessica left, I hooked up to the Internet again and e-mailed Adam and Priscilla to tell them that I was cancelling. Too bad. They sounded like a great cycling couple and I'd been looking forward to meeting them. Then I e-mailed my Sturbridge and Woonsocket overnights and gave them a head's up. Then I called brother Phil, who will meet me on the East Bay Trail and ride the last 10 miles or so with me. We made arrangements of where and when to meet.

Brother Phil with his "ancient Schwinn"; we will meet on Sunday and ride into Bristol together on the last day of the ride

Then I met Sherrill and we had a 2-hour lunch and got reaquainted. It was a great deli lunch and a good reunion. Sherrill and a brother and sister are leaving for ten days in Scotland on Memorial Day. Have a super vacation, Sherrill! You look wonderful, and I really enjoyed reconnecting with you over lunch.

Sherrill Harbison, Instructor of Scandinavian Studies, U Mass and a friend from our year in Norway

So . . . you can see that the logistics of such a ride can be all consuming . . . Time to pull the remainder of last night's dinner (half a calzone and salad) out of the fridge and veg out.

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