Day 48 - Latham NY to Brattleboro VT
Mileage: 79 miles
Weather: Low 60s to start. Low 70s to end. Rain showers caught us on the mountain.
Highlights of the day:
It was clear when we started and sunny for most of the day until… dark clouds began to loom as most of the riders made it to the 2nd SAG. Radar looked a bit ominous with dark green, yellow, and red globs heading towards us. Temperatures dropped and rain did fall. It didn’t seem terribly consistent or terribly hard. It was just enough to make the riders a little chilly and get the bikes dirty. I can’t blame it on upstate New York this time. I’ll have thank the Green Mountains of Vermont for this little event. What ever it was, it didn’t last long and the skies cleared up at the end of the day.
We crossed the Hudson River today, seems we’ve finally made it back east. Most of Rte 7 in New York has great pavement and a new shoulder. We can enjoy the scenery a lot more when we’re not dodging potholes. Rolling hills. Green and lush. We crossed our 11th border into our 12th state. Vermont. We are back in the mountains, the Green Mountains to be exact.
We rode through Old Bennington past the Old First Church, it’s the oldest Protestant church in Vermont and Robert Frost is buried in its cemetery. Continuing through Bennington, we tackled the big climb of the day. We tackled the big climb of the day on more beautifully paved roads with a wide, well marked shoulder. The route out of Bennington has an 8-mile climb towards Wilmington, VT. It is mostly gradual at 4% with a few kicks up to 8%. The riders ate up the miles with their strong tour legs. Breathing hard? Yes. But most were still smiling as they headed towards the top or at least that is how I will choose to remember it.
Out of Wilmington, the riders went up a shorter 3-mile climb to the top of Hogback Mountain that boasts a “100 mile view of three states.” Vermont, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. I think I lost my head a bit when talking to some of the riders, indicating that we could see Connecticut as well. Seems my home state of Massachusetts is in between Vermont and Connecticut, it’s not possible. I know that. I’ve always known that. Too bad my brain failed to remember that, perhaps it was the elevation? 😛 Pictures were taken of the surrounding mountains and the riders headed down into Brattleboro. The descent isn’t technical but some very rough shoulders combined with Saturday afternoon traffic make it quite challenging. Hopefully this stretch of road will get the same facelift as the road on the way up. 14 mostly-downhill-miles into our hotel and we only have 2 more riding days to go!