2016 BAC VT Northeast Kingdom Fall Foliage
September 27 - Newport to Lyndonville
Who says that the weather forecast is never right? Maybe it's the improvement of forecast technology because the prediction for rain in Newport was perfect. It called for rain in the early morning hours. I awoke to a few puddles in the parking lot of our motel, but the sky was blue and the sun was shining brightly. This put me in a good mood. I was dreading a ride in the rain over hilly terrain especially because I haven't done a multi-day ride for a few months.
I was able to get plenty of sleep last night even though I was wound up over the presidential debate. I have been avoiding listening to Donald Trump but I felt that I needed to hear him to reinforce my opinion about him. Toward the end of the debate, I resorted to playing solitaire on my iPad so I could retain my sanity. So I was surprised to fall asleep when it was over.
(As an aside, the Leevers have a rule that participants on their tours should not talk about sex, politics and religion. Even with this rule, in general conversation, it seemed like everyone was against Trump).
Our breakfast at the Newport City Inn and Suites was basic, very basic. Fake orange juice, Raisin Bran, mini store-bought muffins, coffee, sugar loaded yogurt and extra hard boiled eggs. It was enough, though, to get me on the road. I was getting saddle sore so it took a while to get comfortable.
The scenery was beautiful. The leaves were starting to change. I could see lots of red and yellow in the hills and alongside the road. It will be another week or so before the leaves are at their prettiest. Maybe I will see more at the end of our tour.
I saw the Haskell Free Library and Opera House along the way. It sits on the border between the US and Canada. It is directly on the border. Part of the library is in the US and part is in Canada. No passports are required to go back and forth. I didn't go inside. I should have. We were routed parallel to the border on the US side.
I stopped for lunch in Island Pond. Some of the advanced rider were in the Ponds Edge Pub & Eatery having their meal. Julie saw me passing and hailed me down. She and I split a BLT. I tried the onion soup but couldn't finish it. After eating, I joined Julie and Stu. We rode together for the next several miles until we reached East Burke which was just a couple of miles before our inn. John Beland was there and he joined me looking for the local brewpub. It wasn't open until 5:00. So John, Julie, Stu and I went into the really old Northeast Kingdom Country Store. John and I had some good iced coffee and shared a large chocolate chip cookie. While we were leaving, a large group of mountain bikers showed up. We chatted with a couple of them. They were from across the country and meet here every year. This is a very popular off-road bicycling area.
The route before lunch was very hilly with short, sharp climbs. The route after lunch was generally downhill with the following exception.
John and I rode together to our inn. Our route took us up an extremely steep East Darling Hill Road. (I had to mention this for Ann and her sibs). We checked in to the Wildflower Inn. We will be here for three nights. I will have more comments about the inn in later posts.
After Happy Hour, we split up in staggered groups for dinner at the inn. The kitchen could not cope with all of us arriving at the same time. I ate with Alice and Marion Campbell, Dave Hanson, Jeff Smith and John Beland. My entrée was the best scallops that I have ever had - pan seared in a wonderful mushroom sauce. I also had a good double IPA. No dessert tonight. I'm watching my waistline.