So I know everyone is wanting to see some summit photos for the end of the AT. I peruse through and post some others later, but for now:
I was also up there with good friends and we got some group shots too.
In the back, from left to right is Mooch, Fair Enough, TK and me (Parks). Sputnik is down in front and looking way more stylish than the rest of us.
The bike trip continues. After heading out of Rutland I made my way up to the ferry crossing for Lake Champlain. There was no pedalling or paddling as I crossed the lake. Did I cheat?
It’s a gorgeous lake though.
Once on the other side I took the time to visit Fort Ticonderoga. It’s a very early fort, first built by the French and used in multiple wars. Eventually it was used in the Revolution and later abandoned. Private interests have preserved and rebuilt it. The tour guide for the presentation I saw was quite skilled.
After the fort I slogged up a giant hill. This wasn’t quite as bad as the one at Killington or the one past Gorham, but certainly one I won’t soon forget. Why do I hit these at the end of the day?
I rolled on down to Paradox and hoped to stay in the state campground. I didn’t know in advance, but it was closed for the season. It was getting dark, I was tired, I had few options. I’ll leave it up to your imagination as to how I handled that.
The next day brought the Adirondacks. Talk about hill climbing. The day was pretty brutal overall, but I did get some awesome views.
I met one another cyclist right by this view. He was out from Albany for the day. I had a decent long chat with him before he rode off. There was no way I could keep pace. Besides, just a short jaunt later I came across a place that had baked goods. They raised buffalo there and had a view from their porch to be envious of. But really I stopped for the baked goods, let’s be honest.
I finished up at a motel in Blue Mountain Lake, which happens to be near the top of Blue Mountain, go figure. The owner has seen visitors from 51 different countries. I never knew the Adirondacks were so worldly! Oh, and I hit a new top speed today:
Setting off in the morning I was sure to get wet. Riding in the rain is not my favorite type of riding. But you know what? Neither was hiking in the rain. I signed up to move by foot and I’ll take it all. Besides, if I suffer enough maybe someday I’ll be a badass. Not yet though, I chilled for a while in Inlet once I was thoroughly soaked. A nice coffee shop gave me a hot chocolate even though they were closed for the season. I also hung out in the foyer of the closed library just snagging some WiFi. I startled an older lady returning some books.
I pressed on to Old Forge and checked in to a motel. I ran into the same lady at the IGA. She was impressed with my progress. I got some decent pizza in town and a new rear light for my bike. My first light has failed to turn on twice now after being fully charged. I don’t know what’s going on, but safety equipment has to be reliable.
Wednesday promised to be drier, which I appreciated. I made my way to Utica. I hit the road at a reasonable time and realized how many miles I’d made by about halfway. I decided I wanted to make 50 by noon. I cranked on and made my goal with 20 mins to spare, averaging 13.7 mph. Is that decent in the bike world? I have no idea.
I got to the bike shop in town to cover some squeaks and ailments that were developing. They made note that my chain was disgusting, and yes, that was their word. I hadn’t cleaned it since the beginning about 500 miles ago. I was embarrassed, for sure. I’m a rookie though and I’ll just have to own that. I got cleaning supplies and some other odds and ends.
The most notable thing about Utica? They drive like assholes. Seriously, I’ve traveled all over the country by car, hundreds of thousands of miles, and now by foot and bike too. This includes cities big and small (NYC, Chicago, Houston, SF). Utica is a standout for awful drivers. Protip, guys: The shoulder is not an extra lane for when someone is turning left!
So…. Signing out for today. I’m sure I’ll blog again in a few days after I try my first WarmShowers and hang out with Mooch when she finishes her last section.