Sudden change of plans, this morning. I got up, packed and loaded everything up, then headed to the motel lobby for breakfast and a “map meeting,” to discuss our route for the day. We were facing another entire day of rain and a route not vetted by Adventure Cycling (ACA). Their route would have taken us to Ticonderoga, where we would have taken a ferry across Lake Champlain, but the ferries are all closed down, for some reason, so your have to find your way to a bridge to get across the Hudson River, and there are 3 possible routes. The owner of the motel was familiar with all 3 routes and was of the opinion that the route proposed by ACA was the best route, because it is less hilly, but it is on a busy road with little or no shoulder. We leaned toward the route that had less traffic, 8 less miles, but more hills and climbing. Hills never killed a cyclist, but traffic does all the time.
When I headed back to my motel room to put my rain clothes on, my brain came to a screeching halt. Tomorrow was going to be a zero day in Middlebury, and, per the weather forecast, it most likely was not going to be raining tomorrow. Why ride in the rain, when I could take that zero day today at this little motel, then ride in dry weather tomorrow. I looked out the window, and both Ed and Chris were standing over their bikes, ready to go. I called Ed, on his cell phone, and told him I wanted to stay back at the motel and ride tomorrow, and within seconds, he and Chris were in their saddles, and moving down the road.
It took about a minute to extend my stay one more day, with Tammy, the owner of the motel, and now that I was going to be around for another day, she wanted to know if I needed anything from town, because she was headed there later in the day. I was out of dental floss, so she added that to her list of things to pick up. Once back in my room, I called my sister and girlfriends, took a nap, then went outside to check the weather. A couple, from one of the neighbouring rooms, was having a steak dinner they’d prepared out on the porch in front of their room, so I stopped over to say hello.
Mark and Maggie were about to head over to Fort Ticonderoga, and when I asked if I could tag along, they graciously agreed. I put on my fastest drying clothes and rain jacket, and we hit the road a little after 2 PM, with me sitting on a folding chair in the back of Mark’s Honda Element. On the way there, I checked out that busy road I mentioned up above, and it was a definite no go for riding on tomorrow. Beyond being busy, it was hilly; sometimes did not have a shoulder; and it had foliage growing all the way up to the edge of the road, in a lot of places, that would force a cyclist to have to ride in the lane. This would not be my top route choice, if I had other options.
We had a little over 2 hours to see the fort, so we had to be efficient. Unfortunately, the exhibits and museums didn’t lay out the history of the fort, which is significant, for our country. Its capture from the British, back on May 10, 1775, was the first rebel victory in the Revolutionary War. It kicked off a string of other successful attacks, and the armaments from the fort were relocated to fortify locations that used them successfully against the British. Tomorrow I’ll be going to Crown Point, which US troops captured the following day.
Just before the Fort closed, we drove over to the King’s Garden to see what we could, before they closed the grounds at 5 PM. We ended up being the last men standing, when the buildings closed and all the employees left. We were able to walk around the gardens and take our sweet time looking around, but it was raining nonstop, and we were soaked and getting cold, so we headed back to Mark’s vehicle..
As we headed out of Fort Ticonderoga to head toward our motel, we took a wrong turn and ended up at the ferry landing, where we could see for ourselves that the ferry was indeed closed for the season. .
When Mark was a kid, he spent his summers in Schroon (pronounced “Skroon”) Lake, so he knew everything about everything, there, and wanted to show Maggie. He headed that way, stopping to check out the little lakes along the way. In town, we circled the downtown area and checked out the waterfront, then made a few little stops for treats and groceries, and, of course, to take in the local veterans memorial.
And here we are, back at the Blue Ridge Motel. Thank you, Mark and Maggie for taking me with you today! I enjoyed meeting you and seeing sights I would never have been able to see without you. Mark, I enjoyed your sense of serendipity and never ending interest in seeing everything there is to see, while you can. Maggie, I love your curiosity; your quiet, calm nature; and your courage to speak up when it’s needed. Best of luck to you in your travels together!