Massachusetts to Virginia, sort of

In September we rode to Burlington to see Leah and Nick. This month we cross paths with Keith and Leeann and their three boys near Lake Placid. All these Alaskans are on the east coast. When darkness sets in up north, it’s time to go south.

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Leaving friends behind, we have good intentions of making a large detour to ride a section of the TATR. We make it about a mile before changing our minds. It’s cold and rain is in the forecast. Instead, we point east, towards the shores of Lake Champlain. The lake creates a micro climate and we know it will be warmer here.

It is.

A short ferry ride delivers us to Grande Isle. It’s an oasis of farms and orchards and baked goods. There’s nothing not to like, and we stuff our bags full. Tyndall’s seat post bag easily swallows a half peck of apples. Cider donuts are tucked in the spaces veggies aren’t.

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We promise ourselves to not buy anymore food for another day, knowing full well something else will appear that we can’t resist.

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For a bit, we go north, connecting the lake’s islands. But with winter licking at our heels, we soon turn south. Amtrak helps us make the journey to DC in a day. The Vermonter’s roll on bike service is exactly that: roll on. No box needed.

Soon, we are tootling west on the C&O Canal trail. It’s pleasant and flat and an easy way to exit the city.

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The wind whips up in the afternoon, blowing down the Potomac, bringing rain.

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I ride on, peering out from under my hood. One, two, three, four, five other groups of touring cyclists pass us going east. All bundled up against the weather, most with smiles on their faces.

We pick a tent spot near the river, beneath big trees. The wind dies down, only to return late in the night. A branch falls, it’s pointy end falling just so, coming through the rain fly and the mesh inner of the tent, and landing on Tyndall. It’s light. He is uninjured, but startled. I sigh and rollover. Something else to fix, more patches to sew.

From the Potomac, we make our way to Rixeyville. We’ll be here for awhile, spending time with his parents and scheming up plans for the future.

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With fresh tomatoes and eggs every day, it’s a good place to be.

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