Work to do

Thunderstorm in Stowe gave way to a beautiful evening. The air was clear and it seemed we had weathered the storm. It turned foggy overnight and the forecast was for rain all along our route. Rain in the forecast all night and all day Thursday all along the route. It looks like we will have to earn this.

We’re on our own for breakfast. I rode into Stowe and am sitting outside a cafe waiting for it to open at 7. Riders are slowly streaming by – either because they got a convenience store breakfast or because they can ride without food. With 75 tough miles ahead, I need fuel. We’ll be on our own for dinner tonight as well. It seems things are falling apart as we near the end.

As I waited for the cafe to open, two other people stopped to wait. As other riders waved to me, one asked, “Do you know everybody?” I said, “No, just everyone who will ride by on a bike in the next ten minutes.” He shrugged, but the other guy was intrigued and began asking questions – ending with, “You did this on a bike?”

Cafe in Stowe – chocolate-pistachio torte

The Salsa Twins joined me for breakfast. It was a relief to see someone else not in a hurry.

Twelve miles in, I caught up with folks getting breakfast at a convenience store.

The ride was a hilly 75 miles – up and down all day, including a climb in the last couple of miles to town and a climb from downtown to the school. We rode through forests and farms. At picnic (10 AM) the sun peeked through. By the time we reached Littleton we were back under a cloud cover.

Arriving in town, I scouted dinner places for tonight. There is a bustling downtown so it shouldn’t be a problem. An espresso with a pumpkin scone awaited me in town before heading to the school to dry stuff out and set up for the night.

Cafe in Littleton

The forecast on my weather app calls for rain all night, with a 100% chance of rain when we are packing up and heading out. That calls for sleeping inside and for not washing today’s bike clothes, as they won’t dry. NOAA calls for a 60% chance of rain tonight, tapering to showers in the morning, with intermittent showers along the route. I like that one better. It is raining in Fryeburg (Thursday’s destination) now (Wednesday afternoon).

Yesterday’s bike clothes are drying, as is the rainfly. When the fly dries, I’ll hang the tent and ground cloth, as space is limited with all of us trying to dry things. My sleeping pad is dry – it always traps moisture underneath it overnight so it’s wet in the morning. If yesterday’s shorts and socks dry I can get through the week if it’s too wet to wash and dry any more.

Three days, three states to go.