We wanted to get an early start today, so we took advantage of the free (mediocre) breakfast at the hotel. Then we were out the door to drop the van off at the nearby Enterprise location. The folks there seemed a little confused as to why we showed up with a minivan full of bikes and bags, but we soon had the bags on our bikes and rolled down the road. First stop: a grocery store for some food items we needed. Second stop: the ferry terminal to buy a ticket across Lake Champlain. Burlington, Vermont is on the east shore of the fairly large Lake Champlain and the easiest (and shortest) way across is by ferry.
When it came time to board the boat, we were allowed to go first. We leaned our bikes against the rail in front of where the cars would park and grabbed a seat on the upper deck. I honestly can’t describe the ferry ride too much because I spent most of the time on my laptop, writing up a blog post. Before I knew it we were at the dock and entering New York, for what, the third time on this trip?
We were both hungry, so it wasn’t long before we stopped at a picnic area for sandwiches. I felt bad because I could tell that Caroline wasn’t interested in yet another lunch of peanut butter sandwiches. Even with chocolate Jif to liven up her sandwich, she would have rather eaten something different. I guess I didn’t adequately warn her about the monotony of food while bike touring. When you have limited room to carry supplies and no way to keep things cold, your options are pretty limited. Some days we can stop at a restaurant for lunch, but today we had no such option. We wouldn’t come across any towns until later in the afternoon.
Despite the mediocre food today, we did have some nice scenery to balance things out. We crossed a gorge on the Ausable River that was quite impressive. At other times we saw mountains in the distance, rocky streams along the road and tall stands of pine trees. As we rode further into the Adirondack mountains the scenery reminded me of the mountains back home in Colorado. At one point I told Caroline it felt like we were biking near Breckenridge or Vail and she agreed.
It was a long day, one which would have been less tolerable without the great scenery to look at. Finally we made it to the KOA campground near Wilmington and paid for a tent site for the night. Of course, showers were the first order of business. Dinner consisted of some instant side dishes from the grocery store, but Caroline improved the meal by adding a couple fresh eggs we had bought at a roadside farm stand earlier this afternoon.
This campground is quite large. So large, in fact, that they have their own hay ride that circles through the campground. The kids in the wagon really enjoyed yelling “HI!” at each occupied campsite they passed. It was pretty funny. After dinner we walked up to the campground store to buy ice cream bars and use their wifi for a while. Some people were inside the lodge watching a Robin Williams movie, others were eating dinner on the back deck. Meanwhile the pool and playground were a raucous din of yelling kids. It’s a cool evening and we’re both wearing our lightweight down jackets. It will be nice to bundle up in our sleeping bags for a good night’s sleep.
Note: I wrote this post the day after Robin Williams died, but I didn’t hear about his suicide until the day after writing it. The fact people at the KOA were watching a movie of his was just a coincidence. But it goes to show how popular he was that one of his movies happened to be playing at the campground a couple days before he died. As someone who greatly enjoyed his movies, I’m sorry that he is gone.