Saturday, July 15, 2017

July 14--Day 32--I Know They're There, I Just Can't See Them

I woke up at 6:00 to the patter of rain drops on my tent. Dang! Fortunately, I had set my tent up in such a way as to be able to take it down under the rainfly. My picnic table was under the trees enough that it wasn't getting very wet, so I was able to cook my breakfast.


It was still raining when I took off. This is the first time I've started out in the rain--the first time I've worn both my rain jacket and my rain shorts on this trip. 


It was just a handful of miles to Raquette Lake. It looked like an okay place, but I just rode through. The terrain was the same as yesterday. I kept wondering when the mountainous part was going to start.


I pulled into the town of Blue Mountain Lake. I thought I had better at least stop and take a photo of the lake.

Blue Mountain Lake, there should be some mountains there too

I was heading up out of town when I came to the Adirondack Museum. I pulled in to have a look. It was just after 9:30, and the museum didn't open until 10:00, but the gift shop was open. I wandered around, found an Adirondack magnet, and a book for Grayson called "My Grandma Can Do Anything in the Adirondacks!" It's pretty cute.

Big sailboat in the museum



I thought about doing the museum, but it was pretty extensive (several buildings), and cost $20. Instead I used the wifi to upload yesterday's post. When I returned to Tilmann, a couple were standing and looking at him. Turns out their daughter is riding eastbound on Northern Tier from Anacortes to Ithaca, but is taking the North Lakes and Erie Connector, which I will do on my way back. It will be funny if I meet her.


After the museum, I found one of the few bigger climbs of the day. It wasn't that bad once my legs warmed back up. Also, it had finally stopped raining, so I was able to take off my rain gear. It was still overcast. I know there are mountains all around, but I couldn't see them. Blue Mountain is one of the bigger ones (according to my map), but I'll never know what it looked like. 


Now the climbs were a bit longer, but so were the downhills. It was about 10 miles to Long Lake, the next town (and lake, of course). According to my itinerary, I was to stay in Long Lake. I planned shorter days for the Adirondacks because I didn't know what the climbing would be like. Well, I got to Long Lake at 11:45. I stopped at a bakery and had a ham and cheese croissant, then a raspberry cream croissant for dessert. It was a double croissant meal!


I pushed on, now setting my sights on Harris Lake campground in Newcomb, 15 miles away. Just like leaving Blue Mountain, there was a climb out of Long Lake. It wasn't quite as steep, though.


As I was going up another hill, I could see a couple of cyclists stopped on the other side of the road near the top. When I reached them, I crossed over to talk to them. They were Andrew and...well, her name means Hope in Bulgarian (but I can't even begin to spell it), father and daughter from Maine, going to Oregon. I was kind of surprised. I didn't think I would see any more westbounders by now. They were doing a lot of stealth camping, but were staying in someone's camper in Blue Mountain. 


I continued on for another 10 miles. It looked like it was raining up ahead, so I proactively put my rain gear back on. A couple miles later I took it off again because it never started raining. There was a bit of a headwind though.


I just rode straight to the campground as there wasn't really anything in Newcomb (even though it's supposed to have all services). Unlike last night, I had to pay for my site tonight, another $25.75. Sheesh!


I had set up my tent and taken a shower when the guy camped behind me came walking through my site to go to the restroom. He hadn't noticed that I was there. He apologized for cutting through my site. I told him it was no problem. When he came back he stopped to talk. His name is Tom, and he is here with a hiking group. They have several sites. He's from Utica. Later, I was just sitting down to do my blog post, when Tom asked if I wanted to take his kayak out on the lake. He was going to go swimming, but I could go out in the kayak if I wanted. Of course I wanted to do that! I mean, here I am in the Adirondacks where kayaking and canoeing is the thing (and hiking, of course)! 


He got his suit on to go swimming, and we carried the kayak down to the water. He pushed me off from the shore, and told me I could paddle over to the Hudson River (yes, THAT Hudson River). I'd already crossed it twice today as I came into Newcomb, and on the way to the park. 

The Hudson River

Kayaking on Harris Lake

Me in a boat, on a lake, in the Adirondacks



I paddled where I could see the river, but it was quite a distance away. I paddled back to where Tom was doing his water jogging (he wears a float belt, and runs in the deep water). He told me not to run him over. I paddled back to shore while he jogged.

Water jogging Tom

We carried the boat back to his campsite. It was totally fun kayaking out on the lake! These parks rent canoes, pretty cheap I guess, but the kayak was fun.


I cooked my dinner and took it over to Tom's campsite. He cooked his dinner, and some of his hiking friends came over to chat. They were talking hiking like cyclists talk biking--all about the hikes they had planned (seems like all day hikes as opposed to overnight), who was leading, doing certain challenges, and all that. 


It started to rain, so I excused myself to go do my dishes and make sure everything was taken care of. I took my food panniers over to do my dishes then park them in the restroom for the night as it's too far to take them to the recycling building like I did last night. I met two gals, I think mother and daughter. We talked for awhile. 


I put my panniers in the restroom, then came back to get my toothbrush and brush my teeth. While I was brushing my teeth in the restroom, the rain really started coming down. Well, now I was trapped in the restroom! I stood in there for about 30 minutes (okay, it was probably only 15 or 20), then made a mad dash back to my campsite when it lessened just the slightest. I dove into my tent, and here I remain. It's still raining. I really hope it gets it out of its system by morning!



Tomorrow I may be in Vermont!

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