Day 9, to ?, outside of Monroe, NH , 55 miles
Rain came right before dawn and slpitter-splattmered for about 4 hours. Able to crawl out of bivy tent to run the bathroom and make a thermos of tea with my probe. I ate a dry breakfast under the bathroom overhang. Packed and ready to go by 9:15—carrying so much sand and a wet tent.
The sky is massed with clouds, definitely a change in weather. More like a raw autumn morning. At maybe 4 miles from park on 114 began a 2-miles climb. Nothing horrible, just long. At 21.5 miles hit East Burke, where I ordered breakfast at a cafe. The area has a x-cycle track and attracts weekend cycle enthusiasts. The village has a great vibe. I see so many disparities in Vermont: perfect people with healthy, active lifestyles and those without, with meth scabs and missing teeth, overweight and smoking. The opioid epidemic has hit this region hard.
In Lyndon I stopped at Village Sports and asked the to check my chain. I put on a new one at The Recyclery and I think the guy I was working with wasn’t listening to me. Under so much stress and load it’s been skipping. The mechanic agreed and also replaced my rear derailleur cabling and housing--all for a fair price. Definitely check them out.
I continued on Route 5. Once my gearing and shifting were sorted, I felt golden. The temps were perfect for riding, and the gradients not crazy. So I made the fateful decision to keep going. I thought I might make it to Fairlee.
I was in and out of intermittent showers. At Barnett I crossed over a river and into New Hampshire. On 135 I was making good time, but growing tired: How could I do 30 more miles?? There was no place to camp, so I was worried. I had just wished for a graveyard and the most perfect one suddenly appeared on my left at the top of a hill. There is no road access, so I wouldn’t be bothered. I pushed my bike up the hill and rested under a tree. I drank my tea and ate cookies, just relaxing in Vermont.
I’m loving this state: its mountains, pine trees, small roads, even changing weather. I loved the clouds and wild beauty. And, while loving all this a storm blew up. I quickly threw stuff into the tent and dove in. It was 5 pm, 55 miles.
Will have to come up with a plan for tomorrow. Until ten, listening to night fall and the cows bellowing.