- Saturday, June 25, 2022
- Waterbury, VT
- Lodging: guerrilla camped at Waterbury/Stowe Fish & Game club.
- Miles: 47.5 @ 9.6
- Vertical: 2,431 ft (per Strava)
- Start time: 9:37 am
- Arrival time: 6:10 pm
- Elapsed time: 8:33
Today, Day 11, was a long, hot day with a fair amount of climbing. It had the added stress of not knowing where I was going to sleep, until I finally got there. On the third try. But it all ended well.
I slept well in Doon’s backyard, waking up around 5:00 to blue skies and pleasant temperature, maybe low 60s. I had my normal camp breakfast in the garden, sitting at a picnic table under an amazing patio roof constructed with pinned joints, no nails (except for the roofing).
Speaking of amazing coincidences, Doon told me that this patio roof was built by a school called the Yestermorrow Design Build School, in Warren, VT. He supplied the materials, and the school students designed and built it. The coincidence is, I rode past this school later that day, traveling up Rt. 100. That’s it.
When I started riding, it was very pleasant, maybe low 70s and sunny. I wore shorts, t-shirt, WinBib, & short sleeve jersey. Not even a jacket. I also wore my sun hat, the stupid looking one with the curtain around my neck and ears. (I’ve been wearing that hat since the beginning of this ride.)
As it turns out, the day warmed up significantly, and I wish I had worn my sun shirt. As much as I love the sun shirt, the problem is that it’s too cool below 75°. So for a cool-morning-day, I don’t start with it. I will try to leave it more accessible so I can change as need be.
I had been warned that a parade in Waterbury would close the road. Sure enough, when I came to the edge of town, the police were diverting all traffic around the center of town. I asked the cop if a bike could go through. He said yes, so I rode on.
It was great! I rode down the empty street, but as more and more people were lining the sides, I moved onto the sidewalk and walked the bike. It was pretty crowded!They were all waiting for the parade to start at any moment.
I thought about riding down the center of the street and waving to everybody. I didn’t do it. Oh well.
I made it all the way through town, to the end of the detour, before the parade even started, then I resumed riding.
There were two hotels in Waterbury near I-89, and none others that Google could show me. I turned down Best Western at a discounted rate of $295. The Fairfield hotel was full. So I was looking for a place to stay.
It took 3 tries, but I found a really good place to camp. The first spot was a vacant lot with a sign in front that said “Future home” of some business. I checked it out for about 2 minutes and decided it was uncomfortable and unsafe. The second spot was the backyard of a t-shirt business gone out of business and “For sale by owner” . Same verdict.
Finally I passed a dirt road off to the left with a sign that said “Waterbury/Stowe Fish & Game Club” and a locked metal gate. I removed my panniers, and squirmed through the gate with my bike. I intended to ride up the road just far enough to find a flat spot to camp, but I figured I may as well go up a little bit further to see what’s there. I found a gun club, similar to many I have been at in the past. It had a large pavilion with a cement floor and a tin roof and maybe a dozen picnic tables along with a wooden stage in the front. I pitched my mosquito netting on the stage and sat at a picnic table to cook my dinner and do my stuff. It was very comfortable.
It occurred to me that this place was very similar to the shooting clubs I’ve been to with my friend Joe. Sunday morning was a big time to shoot. That was tomorrow morning. I did not want to be here when the first person arrived. So I resolved that when I first woke up to pee at 4:30 or so, I would get up immediately, pack up as quick as possible – no breakfast, no phone – and get out of there.
So the plan for tomorrow is to get up early, get out of here, ride 5 miles to Stowe, have breakfast, and visit a bike shop to see about some issues with Billy. Then ride 10 more miles to the town of Morrisville, where I have a reservation at a hotel. That’s the plan. Till then.