Day 131 Plattsburgh to Westport, New York: A Hard Slog - Grampies on the Go - CycleBlaze

September 8, 2011

Day 131 Plattsburgh to Westport, New York: A Hard Slog


It rained all night, making us glad we had decided on a motel. Now in the morning there was just a mizzle going on. It was a bit of a bug because it made it hard to decide if rain shells should be on or off.

Our brief look at Plattsburgh revealed a place slowly weathering away. Our motel, it turns out, was reasonably in character with the rest of the place. (Maybe there are new and/or spiffy parts of town, but if so we missed them.)

Plattsburgh
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I favored biking straight through what appeared to be downtown, while Dodie was looking for any scenic lakeside drive. We got a little of both.

Dodie found this bike path but it soon petered out.
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The road runs by the lake for much of the time
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We were not too stressed about where we cycled because we were feeling pretty good about our good distance the day before, and figured we could noodle around.

There was a tall monument in the centre of town, but we did not check it out directly. However we soon learned that in Plattsburgh the battle with the British in 1814 is a big thing. The monument commemorates the battle, and the four outgunned American ships that defeated the British. Each year at this time there is a major commemorative event, with scads of activities. Here is the program for it:

Seemingly every year Plattsburgh celebrates (gloats over) the Battle of Plattsburgh, where the Americans beat the British in 1814.
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We continued south, following the lake shore

This is the county where the border officer said the most Irene impact was, but we have not really seen it.
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Arriving at Ausable Chasm, dodie took the snapshot while I cowered far from the edge.

Ausable Chasm
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In Keesville we found a restaurant where we got a good square meal. We were confident that with so much turkey and pie on board we would have the energy to just zoom down the lake.

Here was good home cooking. We had a sort of decent turkey dinner and blueberry pie (with ice cream!)
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The truth was that after Ausable Chasm the road switches to hills as its general rule. Some of these hills were real buggers, and we came to realize that we really are in the mountains. We stopped at a take out restaurant, mainly to collapse at their picnic tables, but also ended up downing a huge chocolate milkshake for me and ice cream for Dodie. Here, coincidentally was a sign on their wall:

Irene remains big news here
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In Montreal, Josh and Sabrina's favourite ice cream shop has ten flavours. We had a lively discussion about how these were chosen and what would be the logical next ones if the selection could be increased. How about this for a lineup of seventeen:

17 choices at a take out in Willsboro
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As we proceeded along, we encountered many beautiful sights, but also many hills. Just as drinking more water has its limits as a way of dealing with hot sun, drinking chocolate milkshakes has its limits for energy draining hills. Now we started to get seriously pooped.

We came to a section of road with unique beauty. First was this field of flowers
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Stone walls and barn
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A picturesque settling
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The town of Essex
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Lake Champlain
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It's hard to make a believable photo of a hill in the road. This looks hilly enough, but these hills are not long and tall as most others were.
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The church in Westport. Not like a Quebec village but still interesting
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Nearing Westport, we ran into a pair of cyclists (Ken and Rhonda from New Hampshire) who encouraged us by reporting that it was now downhill into town, that they were on their way to a small grocery, and best, that they were at a super campground just outside of town. We followed them to the town, the grocery, and the campground, and it was all just what we needed.

Westport. We were really glad to make it here.
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One B&B possibility in Westport.
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The very nice lady at Barber Homestead Park says our proposed route is too hilly.
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The covered pavilion. Lights, power, tables!
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The laundry room and rec room.
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The library. The books are sorted by category. If you look closely on the top shelf, labelled "fiction", you will find the New Testament. A subtle message from an unidentified scholar!
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Rhonda and Ken, tipped us off to the wonderful camp site and then gave us tea and cookies there!
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The website for this campground is at www.barberhomesteadpark.com. We recommend this place as the best we have encountered on this trip!

With the power, the lights, the tables, and Ken & Rhonda to talk to, bedtime may not be too early. Still, we now know that we have several days of hard slogging to get to Schenectady. We will need to turn in so we can get up early and start slogging!

Today's ride: 76 km (47 miles)
Total: 7,186 km (4,463 miles)

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