Sunday, July 22, 2007

Climbing in the Green Mountain State Day 50

We are riding over the Appalachian mountain range today and tomorrow. As soon as we left our hotel in Troy, NY (on the east bank of the Hudson River, we started to climb. After entering Vermont (see above), we really started to climb. The terrain was lovely, the weather nice (and not too hot), and we did several sustained climbs. Unlike our climbing in the Rocky
Mountains, we were surrounded by beautiful streams and creeks, and lots of greenery. The Green Mountains are aptly named. The second photo was taken in a valley, and you can see the mountains in the distance.
When we entered the town of Bennington, Vermont, Howie, Pete and did an additional mile plus climb to the cemetery where Howie's brother and sister-in-law are buried. They were killed in a car crash 4 years ago. The tombstone was topped by a sculpture of a man and woman embracing--Howie's brother had sculpted it himself. It was beautiful, and there was an engraving on the stone that said "Together Forever". It was very touching.
The second SAG was set up after the longest climb of the day. We then had a nice descent, followed by another climb to the eastern peak of Hogback Mountain. The lower photo shows Howie celebrating as we reached the top of the climb. We chatted with several motorcyclists at the mountain top (called the hundred mile view). While we envied their ability to get up the mountains easily, they were camping every night. With the rains that were here until about 48 hours ago, they had to deal with some difficult conditions.
Of course, we were rewarded with a lovely descent into Brattleboro, Vermont (just west of the Connecticut River, which is the Vermont-New Hampshire border), where we're staying tonight.
Riders all felt the effort in their legs today, and we will do more, even harder climbing tomorrow. Since tomorrow night Banquet, and get a chance to tell stories. Carol will be driving up to share the evening (she's made a great impression on many of the riders), and several other spouses will be here as well. It should be fun.

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