Day 4: Ludlow VT to Brandon VT
I had a good night's rest at the Happy Trails Motel. The clothes I had washed in the tub last night, and then hung on clothes hangers, had dried nicely. I had somehow managed to scatter my gear all over the motel room, and it took a while to get everything packed. After a breakfast of coffee and pizza left over from last night, I was finally ready to hit the road.
It was a beautiful day, not quite as hot as yesterday. While the winds were still out of the west, they had calmed somewhat. I rode through downtown Ludlow and swung north on Route 100/103 for a short bit before 103 cut west again to cross the ridge of the Green Mountains. The climb wasn't bad, especially as I got to do it while still fresh in the morning. Route 103 takes the climb in three stages, with a short level stretch between. While spinning up one of these stages in my granny gear, I was passed by a couple of guys out for a training ride (zoom!!).
As I neared the top of the pass, my nose caught the scent I associate with being up high; evergreens. I hadn't seen the forest change from deciduous to evergreen. Now I looked around. The side of the road was lined with wildflowers. I was about to enjoy several miles of free-fall down the other side of the mountain. The sun was shining. I smiled.
Alas, it was not to be. As I crested the pass, the headwinds hit me in the face. They were strong enough that I actually had to pedal all the way down the mountain. I had been tricked, double-crossed! I was angry. I yelled. All to no avail. There's a life lesson in here somewhere, but I was just too pissed-off to figure out what it is.
After stopping for a second breakfast at the 'Over Easy' Diner, I continued my descent towards Rutland in a much better mood. Here I made a big mistake. Instead of trying to pick a way around Rutland, I decided to follow Route 7 straight through town. Route 7 turned out to be four lanes of bumper-to-bumper commercial traffic, and no shoulders. It was a high mental stress day! I finally got off Route 7 in Brandon, where I turned east on 73, then north on 53 to reach Lake Dunmore and Branbury State Park.
Branbury State Park was beautiful. The day-use area consisted of a large grassy field, a nice sand beach, picnic area, and a concession stand. The lake itself was very appealing, and the whole scene was enhanced by the mountains and cliffs in the background. Across the road was the camping area, where I rented another lean-to. While setting up home for the night, my knees stiffened up, and I was glad to note that tomorrow was scheduled to be a short day, although it was expected to be raining again.
The days statistics:
Distance from home:
Copyright © 1996 - 2011 Allen F. Freeman