One step closer to the East Coast, but a reminder that there is plenty more work to do. It's not over until its over - there are some tough climbs to come first.
I started a little slowly again today, not leaving my motel until just before 8am. I was pretty worn out from the previous day.
Ticonderoga is located by a large lake so one of the first things I had to do was catch the ferry which takes you across.
Apparently this is the last remaing cable ferry in North America.
I arrived a few minutes after 8 and just missed a crossing so had a short wait for it to come back. I pulled a lever down to raise a flag to let them know I was waiting and to come back get me.
It was a very atmospheric morning. I sat on a dock watching the calm waters. Lots of dramatic and ominous clouds mixed with clear blue skies and the early morning sun. It was very relaxing sitting and waiting for the return of my lift.
The only thing that ruined the moment was the awful stink of my trainers. They seem to have taken on an evil lifeform since yesterday's soaking. I was tempted to sit with my feet and shoes submerged in the lake but realised this would not help for more than 20 minutes or so. I was also worried I may kill any nearby fish by doing so.
When the ferry returned I was the only person waiting so I had it all to myself. I paid the $2 and we made the quick journey across. On arrival I landed in Vermont, my 11th state.
It was quite a windy morning and as I rode into the first major town some seriously grey rainy clouds seemed to be closing in. I was looking for an excuse to stop, as riding in wind is not my idea of fun.
I stopped in a cafe to research local accomodation but nothing was really coming up. The skies also cleared up so stopping after 25 miles was looking like a non starter. When I heard another customer comment that the cafe 'smelled funny today' I decided to hit the road and see how far I would get.
Soon after I came to my first big climb of the Appalachian mountains. After riding the Rockies etc I feel like its a bit of a cheat calling these mountains because the maximum altitude I'm going to hit is around 3,000 ft compared to hitting 11,000 ft previously. However, these climbs are much steeper grades. These roads do not have switch backs so its a very hard, continuous effort getting to the top.
Today's peak was just under 2,000 feet and it was tough but didn't take too long. A cyclist who was riding a lightweight bike without any bags caught me up halfway to the top. I managed to keep up with him until we reached the top though which I was pleased with. My legs must be in good shape.
The downhill was equally steep and very fast. Unfortunately the road condition was poor so I had to keep on the brakes more than I would have liked.
Since hitting this region I've encountered a new problem when climbing. There are tons of Mosquitos and those evil biting flies. As soon as I slow down I'm joined by several trying to land and bite me. Today was worse - at one point I couldn't even take a deep breath in because I was in danger of swallowing the little ba@%%#rds.
They are like an army of evil personal trainers, trying to get me to go faster.
I almost got stranded with no accomodation today because everywhere was booked up. In the end I have found a place that costs way more than I can afford but it's on a nice working farm. I'm going to have a beautiful home cooked meal and breakfast included which I'm sure is going to be a massive treat.
I rode exactly 50 miles today.