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Author explores Empire State

It should have taken Bruce Northam two hours to get from Westport to Saratoga by train, but downed trees across the track slowed the ride to over four hours. Delays like that can be expected when you take a 23-day, 2,000-mile odyssey across New York state.

Northam is on a break from traveling the world to explore the Empire State.

A travel author and journalist, Northam has visited 105 countries worldwide in an effort to satisfy one of his life's goals.

I'm on a mission to visit every country on earth, said Northam, but, he added, "I want to take a time-out to rediscover my backyard."

Northam, who is from Long Island and lives in New York City, started his journey 15 days ago in Niagara Falls and has traveled just about everywhere in the state since.

Just the day before Northam found himself in Saratoga Springs. And even though his train was running late, Northam said he arrived in time to enjoy an open mic night at Gaffney's.

This night, said Northam, featured an 11-year-old guitarist/singer "phenom."

"He stole the show," said Northam.

Gaffney's wasn't the only stop of Northam's short-lived Saratoga stay. Northam rode a thoroughbred and groomed the track atop a harrow tractor.

"A piece of cake," said Northam.

The tractor and the horse are just two of the many modes of transportation Northam has used in the 15 days of his venture.

From rocketing at 85 mph across Black Lake in a fishing boat to go-kart racing a Mark Twain impersonator in Elmira, where Twain is buried, Northam is trying to travel in as varied of ways as possible, using, amongst other things, stilts.

And it's not just transportation that has become varied but, at least once, so too have Northam's clothes as he roamed across Saratoga's battlefield in full costume.

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