Mileage from start: 4,292
The first ferry across Lake Champlain to Vermont went at 7 a.m. We woke up at 5:30 so we would have time to eat a big breakfast and pack up and ride the two miles to the ferry by 7.
And it all worked perfectly.
We got on the ferry — it was just us and the ferry operater — and started across the lake.
About 200 yards from the New York shore Richard realized he’d left his phone at the hotel.
The ferry man stopped the boat and took us back to New York. Richard unloaded his bike of gear and rode back to the hotel. His phone was jumbled up in the sheets on the bed, so we missed it.
No harm. Phone retrieved, he made it back just in time to catch the ferry on its second crossing of the lake and we were on our way, only 30 minutes later than we’d planned.
We rode up the hill to Middlebury, Vermont and to the base of Middlebury Gap. We stopped for some quick fuel before the climb at a gas station.
Turns out it was the same gas station where we’d parked on a different bike ride nearly 10 years ago. It was my first visit to the area with Richard and he wanted to take me on “The Four Gap Ride.” It’s about 100 miles with four long climbs up and over and up and over the spine of the Green Mountains. That day a decade ago, I could only make it through two gaps before we ran out of time and I ran out of energy.
My, how much has changed.
We started up Middlebury and only a couple of miles in we came upon a sign that said “Loose gravel in Hancock. Cycles not advised.” Apparently they were repaving the road at the top of the gap and the whole east slope of route 125.
Fortunately for us, we didn’t ask for their advice, so we went up and over anyway.
It was hot and sunny on the climb, but we made it to the top without encountering much trouble from drivers or construction.
We got to come down route 125 on brand new pavement for a few miles, then it became gravel and mud.
We slogged through and eventually made it to the bottom splattered with grit and dirt. But our wheels were still inflated!!
We stopped in Rochester, Vermont for lunch at my favorite bakery/bookstore.
Then it was just 45 miles to the Upper Valley!
It was so nice to finally be on roads I recognized and views I will always remember.