Friday, August 14, 2009

Day One Hundred Fifty-eight, 090805 - Montpelier, VT

Day One Hundred Fifty-eight, Date Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Time in Saddle: 6:05
Distance for the Day: 52.63 miles From Concord, VT To Montpelier, VT
Accumulated Trip Distance: 7489.11 miles
Altitudes: Starting/Ending 1105’/593’, Highest: 1759’ Accumulated: 2484’
Speeds: Avg: 8.6 mph, Max: 40.1 mph
Weather: 65° light rain in the AM, warming and clearing with hazy sunshine
Expenditures: $15

Woke up at 5am this morning, and got up at 5:15am. The weather was cool and mostly cloudy, with some bits of blue sky showing, here and there. I packed my gear, had a bit of breakfast (munchies and grapefruit drink); and was ready to go by 6:30am. With all this hilly terrain, my knees were giving me a bit of trouble, again, so I resolved to take it a little easier on ‘em. The region is very beautiful, with a lot of camping places, gift shops with maple products, and other touristy stuff. I kept looking for places to recharge my notebook and cell phone (I forgot to turn my cell phone off, yesterday, and its charge level was low). At about 8am, it started to rain, and then it started to rain harder. I was on a road that didn’t have a shoulder, so I had to wait a few moments before I could stop to put on my rain clothes. Of course, by the time I stopped, dug my gear out of my panniers, and put it on, the rain became a very light drizzle – I hate it when it does that. Oh, well – I might as well keep the stuff on for a while, in case it started raining again. At about 10am, I found a piece of wire on the road that I used to replace the cloth strap that held my chain guide tubes beneath the trike’s main body. This seemed to make a difference to the gear problems I’d been experiencing, lately, but it unfortunately seemed to just make the problems “different” – it didn’t make them go away. I was still able to function, though, so I continued on. Passed through Danville at 11am, and stopped to get liquids and food ($6); Up, down, up, down, through the green, rolling hills of Vermont; stopped to take pictures of cows. As the day progressed, the sky cleared more and more, little by little, until it was almost somewhat mostly clear, with an occasional bout of warm sunshine.
Made it to Montpelier, VT at 3:15pm, and stopped in at Dunkin Donuts from about 3:30pm – 4:30pm to recharge notebook, cell phone, and get a milk and apple fritter to munch on ($5) while I read my new Robert Ludlum book, “The Bourne Ultimatum.” I found a weak wi-fi signal, and was able to handle my email, too (yay!) For at least a little while, I’m not sure I’ll have much access to wi-fi, as there are no large towns between here and Rome, NY – probably a good 200 miles. We’ll see. Called my trike dealer Steve, who gave me some tips to diagnose the chattering chain problem. After leaving Montpelier on Rte 2, I saw a flashing sign that said the bridge on my route (Rte 100B) was not passable. Hmmm. I stopped at mini mart for Gatorade ($4), and verified that the bridge was indeed impassable, so with the help of my computer map, and a bit of advice from the locals, I figured out how to get around it. It actually wasn’t that difficult, or even that much longer a route – all the better. As I headed out from the mini mart, I came across a church, so I went up to it and asked the people inside if it would be okay to camp out back. They weren’t really in charge, but didn’t think it would be a problem. I rode my trike into the back lawn, and parked it at 8pm (N44 17.515’ W72 40.739’). Whew – lots of mosquitoes. On with the rain gear!, I setup my tent by 8:30pm, hopped in, and read my book for a bit before going to sleep.

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