The rain arrived as expected overnight. I was glad to have the lean-to, as it made cooking breakfast and packing up much easier than it would have been if I were tenting. I dawdled through breakfast, not particularly anxious to be heading out into the wet. For once, procrastination paid off. The rain soon tapered to a slight drizzle, and I left without having to wear raingear.
As it was still somewhat wet and foggy, I had the VistaLite flashing as I left the campground. By the time I had rounded the north end of Lake Dunmore and was heading west to link up with Route 7, the rain had stopped completely. After yesterday's experience, I was certainly not thrilled to have to ride Route 7 again. Fortunately, the 7 miles of it I followed on the way to Middlebury were graced with decent shoulders, and far less traffic. In Middlebury, I turned west on Route 125, heading towards the shore of Lake Champlain.
Just as I made the turn, I saw a group of cyclists sporting orange bicycle flags turning from 7 south onto 125 behind me. As I soon spotted a bagel shop and stopped, I had a chance to watch them pass by and wave. Soon after, the Vermont Bicycle Tours van went by.
Route 125 passed through Middlebury, then through the campus of Middlebury College, before heading out into the rolling farm country on its way to the shore of Lake Champlain. I made slow progress through here, stopping often to take pictures and enjoy the sights. Eventually, I caught up to a couple from the VBT group at a small store in Bridport, and visited with them briefly, as they were leaving as I arrived. As I came back out of the store after buying a snack and a drink, another cyclist arrived. She was the sweep rider for the group, and I sat on the front porch of the store for about an hour, eating snacks and listening to her stories of touring in various parts of the country. She, too, rode a 25 inch frame (a full-sized bike!), and tried my fully-loaded Beast, declaring her satisfactory. Obviously, she doesn't know my Beast well enough to appreciate what a superlative machine she really is!
After reaching Lake Champlain at Crown Point, I headed north along the lake until I reached Button Bay State Park. As this was July 3rd, and many people were off for a four-day weekend for Independence Day, the campground was fully booked. Fortunately, I had anticipated this, and had reserved a campsite.
Yet another lovely state park. Vermont is to be commended on their park system. All of the ones I visited were consistently excellent. The views of the lake were stunning, with the Adirondack Mountains rising to the west across the lake in New York. After setting up my tent, I walked along the shore to a small preserve area within the park. There was a small nature center there that has a display of the 'buttons' Button Bay is named for, but the center was not open. Apparently, clay deposits were formed into shapes that resemble button molds by the action of the water, and used to wash ashore in the area. British soldiers stationed here named the area Button Bay. Unfortunately, an overabundance of collectors, and a change in the vegetation along the lake, have eliminated all of these 'buttons'.
Although this was a relatively short and easy day, my left knee is still bothering me from yesterday's climb. Ibuprofen and rest are in order. I hope it feels better tomorrow.
The days statistics:
- 39.5 miles
- 3:11:25 riding time
- 12.4 mph average speed
Distance from home:
Day 4: Ludlow VT to Brandon VT
Day 6: Basin Harbor VT to South Hero Island VT