Joey here. Today, on Shavuot, the holiday celebrating the receipt of the Commandments (variously interpreted) at Mt. Sinai, we stood at Mt. Sinai . . . New York. The town is flat as a pancake and only 30 feet (10 meters) above sea level. The experience reminded us that calling something a mountain doesn’t make it so, that belief can trump reality (for better or worse), and that ideas and words change the world . . . if we don’t just think and talk, but act.
We left Stony Brook on a pedestrian/cyclist path. Everyone we saw on the path was wearing headphones instead of listening to the red-winged blackbirds. We felt we were the only ones in the moment. One alert walker interrupted her phone conversation to ask about the Ride and human rights.
We never had been this far east on Long Island. It is beautiful here, with pretty towns, thick woods, real agriculture, and many vineyards and wineries.
Here’s something odd. What are Custer and the Indians doing on eastern Long Island?
lt turns out that the Custer Institute, an astronomical observatory, chose the name in 1927 to honor the hospitable grand niece of Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer. You’ll recall that Colonel Custer and his 7th Cavalry were wiped out by a coalition of American Indian (First Nations) tribes in Montana in 1876. That the Indian Museum, affiliated with the NYS Archeological Association, is next door, seems to be coincidence.
In some villages, motorized traffic moved more slowly than we did. A driver saw us as we pedaled past, honked at us when he passed us later, and we all pulled over to talk.
Dennis’s Jeep’s vanity license plate says KAHUNA. Jeffrey asked if he’s Hawaiian. He isn’t. Dennis has lived on eastern Long Island his whole life. He doesn’t surf, but rides stand-up boards, which he said we could learn to use in a few minutes. He said he read our sign and admires what we are doing, and plans to follow our journey.
Dennis knows what we’re about. Some others may get the wrong idea from a quick impression. Several people called out “Thank you!” as they drove past us this Memorial Day weekend. We suspect that they spot the U.S. flag we fly from the Sprint 26, count our wheels, and assume that Jeffrey is a disabled war veteran.
Jeffrey pedaled hard to make the 3 PM ferry from Orient Point, the eastern tip of Long Island’s North Fork. We passed lighthouses as the ferry left Long Island . . .
. . . and more lighthouses as we entered the harbor 21 miles across Long Island Sound at New London, Connecticut.
Here’s New London. And here’s the Electric Boat company, where part of an under-construction submarine (at the photo’s center) is outdoors for spies to admire.
We left the ferry, setting foot in New England! After a few miles of pedaling, we crossed the Thames River to Groton, Connecticut, where we are spending the night. Here we met Mary Beth and Evonne, who took a keen interest in the Ride. Their excitement suggests that they support acting, not just talking, about human rights.
Tune in tomorrow as we travel inland.