Train Hopping Cheektowaga

Train Hopping Cheektowaga

Letchworth became my favorite hangout to disengage from work-related activities outside of the drop zone. Recently I found myself relaxing by the upper falls on more than one occasion, not just to hop passing trains (Although on this occasion train hopping Cheektowaga was in the near future), but to free myself from the stress of work and temporary settlement in WNY.
I set off for a two-day adventure adding another line to my rail riding experiences. These random bits of travel between work made me feel like a 40-miler, but nonetheless, the thrill and pure freedom of riding through the countryside brought smiles to my face. Aside from a hop-out in Flagstaff, where literally the train pulled up as I arrived at the C-C, this came as a close second for my quickest hop-outs, taking roughly 30-minutes.

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Train Hopping Binghamton

Train hopping Binghamton

“Happy Birthday Marien! I hope exploring Castle on the Hill, your first skydive and train hopping Binghamton made your birthday one to remember buddy.”

After spending a few months backpacking around Europe with his girlfriend, my friend booked a ticket back to the USA and took a bus to Rochester, where we picked him up. Arriving Sunday with the intentions of making his first skydive, he waited patiently with anxious urges to jump only to get it pushed back by the sunset. I felt responsible in some way, but I held to my promise and tried to make this the best birthday of his life. Out of all my friends back home in Delaware he was the only one who took the plunge to visit me at WNY Skydiving and with that the story unfolds, a three day escapade filled with adventure, adrenaline, a little doggy and my wife.

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Abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital

Abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital

So we finally took a day to check out the abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital located in Perrysburg, NY. The hospital is located in the small, desolate town of Perrysburg on 300 acres of overgrowth hidden between County Road 58 and its main entrance off Airview Drive. We read much on the web about people getting arrested so we took extra precaution, but for a Friday afternoon for a few hours, we did not encounter unwanted attention by the police.

Where did we park? We hit up the Perrysburg Diner across from the Spoon Saloon and ate a few sandwiches, which ended up giving us both explosive defecation. So I do not recommend eating there, but if you park around lunch time and look inconspicuous, you have a clear approach down the roadway to the entrance. Watch out for patrol vehicles that randomly drive down the access road to catch trespassers. If you hear a vehicle approaching just hop in the overgrowth and lay low until it passes. We did not have much trouble finding the abandoned JN Adam Memorial Hospital, however, we did have a difficult time gaining entry to the complex, well Kelly did.

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Van Life

Van Life

We started slimming down for van life in the fall.  I am unsure of our exact plans.  I am waiting to hear back from the BBC in regards to a documentary.  Then we will go forward with our whereabouts.  It looks like we might push back South Korea and instead find temporary work that provides housing so we can hike the Appalachian Trail come March.  But really, I have no idea.  Van life is a big step for me and my wife.

For me, it’s adding more possessions in my life.  For her it’s getting rid of them.  She started the first phase of van life by moving out to New York with me for the summer and living out of a closet.  She struggled leaving possessions behind.  First with throwing away old clothes and selling electronics, but slowly we progressed to a closet in the hangar.  With just a mattress, dresser drawer, a few shelves and rig racks for hanging clothes it’s the next step towards a stress-free life, a van life.  Although we still need to buy a van, she is slowly realizing the important necessities of life, which will make it easier to purchase a van in the future that suits our needs.  I just want a cheap, work-van for like $2,000 to $3,000 equipped with a mattress on a wooden bed-frame, with storage space underneath, a shower pole for hanging clothes, 5-gallon bucket with a toilet seat for our bathroom and a mini propane stove with cookware for food, not to mention a 5-gallon outdoor shower.

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Letchworth State Park

Hitchhiking Letchworth State Park

Over the past month of June I worked a mere three or four days with actual Tandem numbers aside from the occasional sport pack.  The murky weather, low ceiling, squirrelly winds and rain made me lose my mind.  I hate being stuck. I start to get emotional, but my spirits changed after a short trip to Letchworth State Park.

I mentioned hitchhiking Letchworth State Park to a tandem instructor at the drop zone and his home happened along the way.  Quickly closing the last few containers I ran to my room and packed up my backpack, grabbed some tubes, and a jug of water.  Then I put my bike in his trunk.  He gave me a lift to Geneseo where I followed 63 South until I noticed signs for Letchworth State Park.  Hitchhiking to Geneseo shaved off much allowing me to arrive in the park well before dark, however, the entrance deceived me, much like last year.  14 miles to Letchworth Falls put a damper on my mood, but I pedaled the small grades, while walking up the steep ones, as the sun slowly snuck away beneath the horizon.  The mileage did not seem like much, after all, just years prior I pedaled 2,600+ miles from Delaware to Colorado, but my body took adjusting to long distance bicycle touring.  My knees ached, quads spasmed, and legs locked from lack of potassium.  Much of the hills I waddled up like a penguin, leaning on the handle bars as I pushed Virginia Red along, with her little bell and cheap frame glimmering in the light.

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Bicycle touring, hitchhiking, train hopping, itinerant work, extreme sports, wandering