After a day of rotting on the dock, eating bacon, donuts, and fruit of the forest pie we were feeling spoiled and a bit sluggish. We hung around, waiting for our clothes to dry and rotting until after lunch when we finally pealed ourselves off the dock and road to Raquette Lake to the tap room we were going to visit two days earlier. It wasn’t much of a tap room and we were thankful for the decision we made to stay with the Socci’s instead of camping at Raquette. We drank a Utica Club, the first beer licensed for sale at the end of prohibition, and then continued on to Blue Mountain Lake with views of the mountain we needed to climb the next day.
The next day, after trying our hardest to find good apples from the tree by our stealth camp, we climbed the mile long hill to Long Lake. It took us about 15 minutes to climb and about 2 to go down the other side. We climbed all day through the Adirondack Mountains, 60 miles, to Paradox Lake State Park. On the way there, we passed the Adirondack Buffalo Company, quite a surprise for us to find. Of course, the items we purchased did NOT include bison meat but instead a bunch of kale, carrots, and zucchini bread… Only us.. At camp, thesun was falling and we were tired, sweaty, and in need of a shower. We spent an hour trying to fix the fuel pump to our stove. With no cell reception, we had to figure out why the pump wasn’t working and then how to make it work so we could make dinner! My appetite continues to amaze me as it grows fiercely each day. We finally figured out the pump, taking turns working on it, and quickly cooked up a delicious stew of noodles, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, and kale. Exactly what we needed for such a long day!
After Paradox Lake, we pedaling up and down, about 10 miles to Ticonderoga. After going up the massive hill before town, we stopped to take a shot of the view, overlooking Vermont and the Green Mountains. A Star Trek convention, “Trekonderoga” was taking place downtown and for $40 you could go in and have all sorts of fun! Instead, we settled on a slice of pizza and a beer to cheers our last town in New York. From there we took the 7 minute ferry across Lake Champlain and into Vermont!
Once in Vermont, the scenary changed noticeably. There were still hills and mountains, but more farmlands again. Absolutely stunning. We stopped at Champlain Orchard and enjoyed some refreshing cider before continuing on to Middlebury where a Warm Showers host told us about an area with great stealth camping.
Before heading to camp we stopped at the local bike shop to pick up some rear lights (small shoulders in Vermont) and picked up a map of the area. After the bike shop, we headed to the food co-op to pick up sustenance for the road. That evening we enjoyed another round of stew similar to the night before but with Salmon added. Delicious!! Thank you Jami and Ryan for helping us keep our drinks cold with the adorable koozies from your wedding!
The next morning we started early and went back to the co-op for bagels and coffee. Encouragement before climbing the 2,000ft Middlebury Gap. My legs have been growing stronger each day, despite their screaming. The Adirondacks were tough and I was feeling very anxious about climbing through the Green Mountains and the the Whites! The guys at the bike shop advised us to take Brandon Gap (Adding miles South) instead because the descent through Middlebury was rough and patchy. We talked to another tourer outside of the co-op that told us that Brandon Gap was more steep and that he bikes Middlebury all the time and that we shouldn’t have a problem. Decisions. In the end, we decided to let our legs decide… Middlebury Gap won the argument. We started the climb to Ripton, about a third of the way up the mountain and stopped to refuel. After Ripton, we road through Bread Loaf which has the most beautiful yellow buildings ran by Middlebury College. The scenary was spectacular.
After Bread Loaf we climbed another 1,000 ft, stopping only once to break in the shade and down some water. When I made it to the top, Alvin was there stretching and I was skeptical that we were actually at the top. A family of day hikers assured us that we were at the top and we congratulated ourselves with stretching, water, and snacks. We carefully made our way down the mountain and stopped at Texas Falls State Park for lunch and a dip in the river.
We decided to ride to Rochester where there was a bike shop and ask around about camping. The guys at the bike shop were super nice and own a soon-to-be hostel down the road with everything we could ever need. We enjoyed a relaxing evening drinking wine and eating popcorn.
Today, our legs are feeling rather stiff and we’ve decided to take another rest day before climbing up and over another large pass.