I woke in the night with the realization that I'd forgotten to take an enzyme pill with my dinner of lentil soup... just what I need on a cold, rainy afternoon, I thought: fatigue and despair! But I lucked out and didn't have a reaction.
The mountain pass I had to face today was daunting enough, but I woke to cold, wind, and rain as well. I had a pretty miserable morning. My front wheel started making ominous noises around lunchtime, so after lunch I worked it over ... though if the rain keeps up as forecast, I'll be doing that every day!
It was slow going all day; I finally started ascending after 3:00, and it was after 5 by the time I reached the "summit" -- the high point of the pass. I wish I could say the view was great, but between the forest and the clouds there wasn't much visibility.
In addition to the mountains, I had to contend with a stiff headwind all day, but I made reasonably good time. Lake Champlain looks to me like an artificial lake, long and narrow with steep shores and little evidence that the water level ever deviates, but apparently it was here when the first European explorers arrived.
I passed through the town of Ticonderoga, which has a living-history fort and a beautiful waterfall and a rich history and a lot of motels attesting to tourist traffic. It also has a paper mill. I sincerely hope the wind doesn't shift overnight!
I swear the sun rose earlier this morning up on the plateau... I woke at 5:30 and completed the day's 50-mile ride by 3:30.
The Hudson River and I finally parted ways at the town of Hudson Falls; I followed the connecting Lake Champlain Canal the rest of the way to Whitehall.
I was getting nervous about crossing the mountains tomorrow, so I gave away about two pounds of clothes to some folks who were having a garage sale. I shouldn't need so many now that it's summer...
[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on May 20, 2005]
Greetings from Whitehall, New York, where the Hudson River valley becomes the Lake Champlain valley. I was planning to wait to write until my last day in the US, but I have time now and won't then, so...
I had a very short ride today: I was at my campsite by 2:00! But my knees let me know I shouldn't try to make it to the next place.
I was put off by the price of the campground that was given to me over the phone, so I looked for other options, but it turned out that was the peak-season price, and the season doesn't start until May 27. I've managed to follow the off-season all the way north from Florida! It'll hit me hard in Michigan, though, I'm sure.
My campsite is up on a plateau overlooking the river.
This afternoon, after several hours of route research on Eleanor's computer, I biked back to the Empire State Plaza and the State Museum. I spent most of my time there in the 9/11 museum, the first permanent exhibit on the subject.
Eleanor and I both slept in until about 11, and then I caught up on my e-mail while she ran errands. Around 2 we took a bus to downtown. While she watched some AIDS documentaries in the film festival, I walked around downtown.
I had a very leisurely day... stayed in the hotel and watched two episodes of Buffy before hitting the road, and then the trip to Albany didn't take nearly as long as I expected. Near Castleton-on-Hudson I met another bicyclist who lived nearby and was on her way into Castleton for her morning coffee. The cafe turned out to be the only business in Castleton that I could see. I told her that if she wants to help cyclists she could open a campground or hostel near her home.
I was expecting a short day's ride today, so I had a very leisurely morning -- the ranger never did show up to collect payment for the campsite -- and rode at a slow pace. The rain was substantial for a few hours, so when I got to the campground and found it would cost me $30 to set up my tent in the rain, I decided to ride on into Hudson and get a hotel instead.