The Start - New England September Sojourn - CycleBlaze

September 14, 2021

The Start

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  A nice cool, sunny morning, I rode 9 miles north of Plattsburgh to the Grand Isle Ferry. On the way I rode through Cumberland Bay State Park to take photos of Lake Champlain. At the ferry terminal, make sure to go to the booth where the cars stop to buy your ticket. Don’t be like me.

  At the ferry was a group of about a dozen bicyclists waiting for the boat. They were on the last day of a three day, two night, self-contained Adventure Cycling Tour. The group had spent the night at Cumberland State Park Campground and said it was great, with a beautiful sunrise over Lake Champlain. The night before they had spent at a private campground in Swanton, VT. The consensus was that it wasn’t as nice.

  The road after the ferry was magical, with the lake on the right, farms and nice homes on the left. I stopped to rest and take photos at White’s Beach and the group caught up with me. We had a few hills after and my GPS said to make a left, but I was curious about the ferry the group was headed to and what the put in looked like. The Adventure Cycling group asked for directions to the ferry. I told them it wasn’t running. They informed me that the group had chartered the ferry for the short crossing. I threw those dice and rode to the ferry dock. About two miles later, I asked the captain if he could shuttle me across with the others. He said that since it was a private charter, it wasn’t up to him. I waited around for the group leader to arrive. The captain and his hand mentioned how people sometimes fill an inner tube and wade across the 100-foot gap with their bikes. I filed that idea.

   The saintly group leader didn’t have a problem with me getting a lift. She suggested I give the captain a tenner. No problem! I saved over 15 miles to Burlington and added one of the ferries and a gravel component to the ride. After the shortest ferry ride in the world, one of the group members said, “It pays to be chatty.” I smiled, thinking, ‘The squeaky wheel gets the grease, baby.’

   The rail-to-trail into Burlington was sweet, passing numerous parks and lake views. 

Leaving the shortest ferry ride.
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As I was rolling past some construction on the trail in downtown Burlington I heard my name. My beautiful bride is calling me from across Battery Street. We had a nice lunch, I had a Vermonter: turkey and apples on white bread, go figure. We even nabbed a reasonable hotel, The Anchorage, a clean, nicely-decorated room with period (early 1980s) furniture. Life is good.

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Today's ride: 31 miles (50 km)
Total: 31 miles (50 km)

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