Day 9 was a big day. Rolling out of Middlbury early on Saturday morning, I knew it would be. I realized I’d left my sunglasses somewhere in Larissa’s car, so I stopped off for a new pair of $9 sunnies. I learned early on (the hard way) what happens to your brain if you stare at a road all day without them. Vermont was BEAUTIFUL. And full of cows. It actually reminded me a lot of rural Hungary, even down to the smell!
That could totally be Hungary, right?
At the edge of Vermont, I took a ferry into New York. I’d been looking forward to the ferry, and it didn’t disappoint! It was a small boat, but big enough for several cars. I was the only one on a bike, and everyone was so friendly! An older gentleman came up to me and started asking questions about my trip. It turns out his son and (now) daughter-in-law did a similar trip not too many years ago. They actually met on the trip, so it must have been quite an enjoyable and memorable ride! To make the connection even more complete, it turns out this man’s son was a 1984 Bowdoin grad! Serious polar bear pride on this ride! 🙂
(The view from the ferry)
Once on the New York side, I had a quick ride up into Ticonderoga, where I stopped to call Vij and Mama. Numerous people stopped to ask if I was ok. Apparently sitting on the side of the road on a cell phone with a map and a bicycle is universal language for “help!” They were very sweet to stop. The ride out of Ticonderoga was steep and very very slow going. At the top of the 5ish mile hill, things evened out and became more rustic and beautiful. I even saw a fox off in the hills. Somewhere before Paradox I got caught in a huge thunderstorm. I have to admit it was a bit scary. You don’t realize how vulnerable you are to the weather when you’re coasting around in a car! I pulled off the road and (after getting soaked because I was silly and thought it couldn’t rain that hard for too much longer…) pulled out my raincoat and my tent’s rainfly. I hunkered down for about 40 minutes. It wasn’t pleasant but in retrospect it was good. I found out that my panniers are very nicely waterproof (you never know till you’ve tried, right?) and I also found out that I don’t need to wait until I’m soaked to the core to take my raincoat out. Oops. One little friend I met during the rainstorm. He didn’t seem bothered in the least!
Once the storm passed, I continued on my way. Vij (sweetest man!) decided to drive up from the Bronx to meet me, so we were trying to coordinate meeting largely without cell phones. Knowing I’d meet him along the road was inspiration enough to dry myself off and set out again. He finally caught me along the Blue Ridge Road. By that time it was muggy. With an abundance of beautiful swimming spots, why would one stay muggy long? Here was our river of choice:
After swimming, we stuffed Guffy in Vij’s car and drove the short ways to the campground. I contemplated riding the last bit, but I’d be silly to miss time hanging out with Vij just in favor of a few extra miles of riding. I think by the end of this trip I’ll have seen lots of miles by bike. Very few will have been with Vij (silly medical school… why can’t they have 3 months off between Boards and 3rd year!?!?). We found a waterfall. Pictures hardly ever do natural wonders justice. You lose the dimensionality. But you get the idea…
I can’t quite explain how happy I was to see this man’s silly face. It really made my day! From there, we drove to the campsite, right at the source of the Hudson! This picture is for Ruth and Mahesh:
We made an awesome dinner of couscous, Herring from a tin, and delicious beans from Vij’s CSA share. Oh, and raw garlic, obviously. I wish he didn’t have to go back to the city, but I’m grateful for our adventure on Saturday!