Days 63-65 – Hills of the Northeast, small but mighty

Lake George, where I wrote from last, was a tourist infested mess, but beautiful non-the-less. Upon leaving town I tried to take what I thought would be a shortcut to my next destination, Lake St. Catherine State Park. State route 18 was probably about 5 miles shorter, but the map, being flat as it is, did not demonstrate the 6-10% grades all along the road very accurately, and the last 15 of my 113 miles on the day were by far the most challenging. I made it to the park just as the sun went down and almost fell into my sleeping bag. Since I didn’t want to pay $.50 to take a shower, being stingy as I am, I am now two days without bathing. This is nothing compared to the week I believe I spent in Oregon in such a state, but it wasn’t nearly as hot and muggy there.

I got up at 5:00, the earliest of my entire trip, and set out for Claremont, NH, about 65 miles away. I was excited for a short day, and enjoyed the ride through the wooded and winding roads of Vermont. After a few minor hills I dropped down into Ludlow and visited the tourist bureau. Definitely a place to revisit, maybe in the winter time for some skiing and sitting in a hot tub with some northeastern snow-bunnies. The road to Claremont was mostly downhill, but the hill up to Hannah’s grandmother’s house was definitely not. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I had actually gone up the right hill in the first place, but I didn’t listen to directions well enough and ended up riding up to the very top of the other side of the mountain, at which point Hannah’s Uncle Billy found me, I turned around and rode up the other side. This mountain was steep enough that I was forced to slalom up the road for a good portion, since going straight up was nearly impossible. It only took me about an hour to make it those four miles (both hills included) and then I sat down to a magnificent dinner prepared by the wonderful Sylvia Michaud. Two helpings of steamed beans, yellow rice, stuffing, nana’s special meatloaf, cranberry chicken, bread and butter, plenty of water, wine, and beer, and two pieces of pecan pie with whipped cream and fresh blueberries filled me up just right and I slept in until 7:00 on a full stomach and an extremely comfortable bed.

Breakfast was just as delicious: eggs, bacon, cereal, orange juice, homemade donuts, coffee cake, and coffee got me set for the 50 miles to Tilton, where I worked a four hour shift and relaxed for a while. Tomorrow I think I will spend another day in New Hampshire at one of the State Parks nearby before moving on to Maine.