Today was a very good day. Unlike yesterday, I did not follow Google Maps’ advice, but instead took my own route to get back to the Adventure Cycling route. It paid off!
- Miles today: 36.7 @ 9.1 mph
- Difficulty: 5 out of 5
- Execution: 5.1 (I make the rules)
- Fun/interesting: 4.8
- Total: 14.9 out of 15
The day started well with a veggie omelette at the Twin Colony Diner, across the street from my hotel. Then I went back to the room to pack, finally starting to pedal at 9:07am, in anticipation of a not very long day. Once again, the weather was practically perfect, although a bit on the cool side in the low ’70s.
I was using Google Maps to navigate to the town of Norfolk, CT, where I would rejoin the Adventure Cycling route. Two miles in, nominally following Rt. 272, I came to the following intersection:
There are several things worth noting in this photo. First of all, the nearest intersection says “Mountain Rd” . The far intersection includes a right turn to Rt. 272. The sign for “Norfolk” is ambiguous as to which of those two roads it is pointing to. One thing is clear: Rt. 272 is a numbered highway, and Mountain Road is not.
In my experience, when the name of a road includes words like “Mountain” or “Hill”, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect. This Mountain road did not disappoint.
Up to this point in the ride, that is to say, for the last 3 days, I have been patting myself on the back for not having had to walk, yet. That changed big time today.
I turned right onto Mountain Road at Mile 2.0. The road climbed very steeply ahead. Within 50 yards, I was walking. Here are my notes from the ride:
9:26am. email@example.com. Bottom of Mountain Rd. WALK
9:45am. firstname.lastname@example.org! Top(?)
10:07am. email@example.com. Top( for real)
In other words, I walked 1.1 miles over 41 minutes. Good thing it was a beautiful day and a beautiful road, because I was sure taking my time getting up it.
Somewhere along the next 5 miles, all of which was steep ups and downs, I came to a valley which was filled with stone walls. They were on both sides of the road and on both sides of the many long curving driveways going to the big houses on either side. Here are some photos, which do not do the walls justice:
A local guy told me a local landowner had an obsession with stone walls, and the means to satisfy that obsession. They were beautiful.
About 8.5 mi in I came to the town of Winchester, CT, an incredibly scenic, tiny, little town.
Finally, at around 12:45 p.m. at Mile 16, I rejoined the Adventure Cycling route in Norfolk. There I met a fellow who was refurbishing a monument at the entrance to town.
There I also had a delightful outdoor lunch at Wood Creek Bar & Grill, a grilled chicken sandwich with melted cheese.
Norfolk was pretty much the high point of the day, geographically speaking. From there to Millerton was mostly downhill, pay back for all the climbing in the morning. I love it when the day is front loaded like that. That’s why Difficulty got a 5 out of 5 today.
In Salisbury, CT, I intersected with the Appalachian Trail, always a high point for me. I expect to cross the AT again in a few days.
Shortly thereafter, I crossed into New York State and the town of Millerton, where I was staying at the Millerton Inn.
The Inn was built in the 1860s and is a fine, old hotel, well maintained, with ornate wood work and stained glass. Although normally above my price point, it was the only option for miles around, and I am very happy to be staying here.
While walking around town, I met a guy with a 1961 MGA 1600. We chatted a bit, and he popped the hood for me. Sorry no picture of the engine.
Dinner was a great lasagna at Taro’s, and my first real ice cream of the trip was at Candy-O’s (salted caramel with pretzels – killer good!).
Tomorrow, I have a short day to Hyde Park, New York, where I have a reservation at a Quality Inn. I then have a reservation to go to the FDR museum on Friday morning, after which it’s a 15 mile ride to the town of New Paltz. So it looks like my next two days will be relatively easy. I’m looking forward to it.