We hadn’t been since the fall. And although upstate New York was dealt an unusually mild winter, last weekend was my first time out for a bike ride with my mom in a while.
We tried the path at Rotterdam Junction, which was underwater last August when Hurricane Irene caused the Mohawk River to swell and flood the city of Amsterdam, parts of Scotia, the Stockade section of Schenectady and the Rotterdam Junction.
It was difficult to tell whether the drab brown landscape was just a recently melted spring landscape or a post-flood landscape, or a little of both. But there was a smell along parts of the path that I know to be the lingering odor of flood.
The first smells of spring were also alive, so our trek west toward Pattersonville was not so bad. Except we didn’t get too far. The trail is blocked off with Jersey barriers by a rail company, so we turned around and biked toward Scotia, along parts of Interstate 890.
The path has some of what you might expect: hissing geese, swampy looking fields, litter along the banks of 890. And some of what you might not: a junk yard to the south and an old man jogging with very visible nipple chafing through his white wife beater.
To be fair, it’s probably too soon to rate the junction as one of my least favorite biking trails. But the paths in Fort Plain, Saint Johnsville and Little Falls were beautiful during summer and fall, and the sound of traffic was distant, if not non-existent.