After a great weekend in Lake Placid, we are back on the road for a final week. The day was mostly downhill and only about 60 miles, so we were into Plattsburgh before noon. We found a good coffee shop to while away the hours until it was time to show up at camp.
We rode mostly north, aiming for the ferry crossing of Lake Champlain tomorrow morning – and to take the scenic route. We rode past Whiteface Mountain early in the morning. The ambitious among us climbed it. It is reported to be 8 miles at an average grade of over 8%. The Dread Pirate Roberts rode it and said he was soaked with sweat by the top. The descent was cold. He also says he was humbled by The Hammerhead, who rode his wheel for much of the preceding 4000 miles but he couldn’t keep up with her on the climb. She is 30 years younger, which might help. Another rider called it “spectacular”. It being a toll road, I skipped it.
The person at the toll booth told folks that the road wasn’t open yet – one person said she told him it opened at 8:30, another says she told him 8:45. She could let them go early but only if they paid cash. When the riders came down there was a different person in the tollbooth, in uniform (she was not), so it sounds like someone found an illicit income source.
Our picnic was at Ausable Chasm, a spectacular gorge. They offer a walking tour for $18. I skipped it last time. Today I saw people on the tour and saw the reason for the cost as well as the reason it would not be a good idea to try in bike shoes.
We are in a dorm at SUNY-Plattsburgh. This was the worst night of the tour four years ago in a hot and stuffy room. I got very little sleep. Tonight will be better. It is cooler and there is a breeze.
Tomorrow we will cross into Vermont via ferry and causeway across Lake Champlain, then climb Smuggler’s Notch, a challenging climb and pass through the Green Mountains. Four years ago we climbed it in mist and drizzle. Tomorrow looks to be better weather.