Aug 11

Into the Adirondacks

by in Week 8

  • Star Lake to Lake Placid, NY
  • 71.8 miles/3,887 total
  • 3,550′ of gain/132,461′ total
  • No rain! Lots of hills!

After yesterday’s day of rain, we were greatly pleased to see dry pavement this morning and throughout the day. It was a perfect day to ride. The sky was lightly overcast most of the day which kept the temperatures down. Everyone local who we talked to told us it was supposed to rain all day, but somehow, it never did.

It was a day of climbing without really going anywhere. We only gained about 300′ in absolute elevation from beginning to end, so most of the climbing we did was rewarded with equal downs. THAT’S the way to do it. Most of the climbs were gentle, but those which were steeper had steeper downs to compensate. We often broke 40 mph. In addition to giving us a boost up the next climb, that kind of a descent gives us a mental boost to keep struggling up the hard ones

There are a lot of lakes in the Adirondacks. Every where you turn there’s another body of water. This being Saturday, there were people heading out for boat rides or fishing trips. We saw bunches  of people hitting the hiking trails, too. This is definitely a vacation destination.

We spotted a couple of interesting sights while climbing today. One was this beaver dam which has now been co-opted by local fisher-folk as the best place to start trolling. Another was this stand of evergreen trees. For some reason the bark seems to be missing on more than 2/3 of the trunks. They remind me of Pacific Madrones which lose their bark annually. They look perfectly healthy other than the bark.

We cruised into Lake Placid in the early afternoon and found Daria (shown with us below) waiting for us. Daria is one of our blog followers who came to us via our coast-to-coast friend Ric from Monroe, WA. The two of them are running friends. Daria lives a few hours away and wanted to greet the coast-to-coasters as we arrived on our rest day. She and some family members were on hand to take our pictures, laud us with great praise, and generally make us feel like superstars.

After a long visit, we trundled over to our hotel, found the local health food store, and laid in our supplies for the weekend. We got a visit from Christiane, the Quebecois woman who rode with us for 5 weeks. She kindly gave us a bottle of maple syrup from her home.

Then, in a burst of genius, we took pizza fixings to a local pie shop and had them make us a vegan Italian sausage pizza for dinner. We sat on the porch in the evening sun looking out at the panorama of mountains and blue sky. It was delicious, and I don’t just mean the pizza. What a great way to ease into our day off. Plus, we have enough left over for lunch tomorrow. Wooo hooo!

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5 Responses to “Into the Adirondacks”

  1. From Debra Darkow:

    My cousin Nancy’s daughter Sara De Costa Hayes is at the Olympic training Center at a training camp at Lake Placid. Her husband and three kids are there for week 2. If you remember she won the gold in Japan and a silver in salt lake city for Hockey. She goes there to help other athletes.

    Posted on Aug 12, 2012 at 4:49 am #
  2. From Bill:

    I live in Saranac Lake and met a group of 5 riders at the Blue Moon Cafe: Steve Sedgwick, Brian Cox, Jim Young, Allan Deeley, and Lauri Young.

    I’d researched and considered doing this ride a couple of months ago, so it was interesting to bump into them. We had a conversation and I took a couple of group photo which I sent in to our local newspaper. I don’t know if the newspaper will find it as interesting as I did.

    I thought this was the whole group. Obviously you break up into smaller groups. While I am not a forester or botonist, I believe the pines you took pictures of are Scotch Pines. They have dark bark as well as a thin orange bark I think the orange bark looked like missing bark to you. Those in your picture are typical looking. Scotch Pines aren’t native to North America but was imported. They have many uses not the least of which is erosion control as they grow rapidly in poor soil. They were widely planted in some areas and now is naturalized. We see it mostly near roads, many times planted in neat rows plantation style, but it is hardly seen at all in the back’country.

    Good luck in the rest of your ride. You have some great sights to see in Vermont and beyond. Once of the best things about Vermont is the view of the Adirondacks!

    Posted on Aug 12, 2012 at 6:34 am #
  3. From Phil Beard:

    40 mph! Just putting along the bike path at Sunriver I hit 20 a few times and thought about you daily averages. Wow my short rides don’t seem all that much. But we are biking and enjoying it just the same. It is so great that you have friends to meet you as you travel as well as those on the ride-what an awesome experience. Thanks again for the daily pictures and reports. Phil

    Posted on Aug 12, 2012 at 7:27 am #
  4. From Marla:

    Sheila and Spencer, I have to think that this part of the country is really nice after all the interior heat and treeless spaces. The lakes look beautiful! And I would think that the bark problem on the trees may be due to the beavers chewing it off…they had a similar problem on the Burke Gilman trail years ago and had to wire all the bottom of the trunks before they killed the trees!
    At any rate, journey almost done! We’re looking forward to having you back with the group!
    Marla

    Posted on Aug 12, 2012 at 10:25 am #
  5. From Daria:

    It was great meeting the 2 of you. What a wonderful day you had to ride in to Lake Placid. I was a little worried the night before because they had been predicting severe storms for the night and then rain on Saturday but as I said in an email…..I don’t believe it until it happens. Getting up on Saturday morning and seeing dry pavement and also the sun trying to peek out, I thought what a fantastic day and not too hot either. So, we found our spot in a small park just as you enter the business district of Lake Placid and watched as riders came down that hill…..No, that’s not them, not them either, no just some locals, no, no and finally a tandem! Yes, that’s Sheila and Spencer….what a great photo op. We heard Spencer yell out….that’s Daria….imagine, we had never met before. So glad you could stop and visit with us. My son Stephen was interested in your tandem….especially the part where you could take it apart and get it into 2 suitcases. He took some nice pictures and I will email them to you. Hope you had a restful day in LP. Wishing you safe travels on your last week and a safe trip home. It was great to see Ric and have dinner with him. It was a very enjoyable day for Stephen, Diana and me. Someday, somewhere, our paths may cross again.

    Posted on Aug 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm #