Day 24 - Ticonderoga NY to East Middlebury - 26 miles (1204 total)

Well, tomorrow it begins. The Green Mountains. Today we did the planning of our route through the mountains. Yikes. To top it off, record breaking heat is gripping Vermont. We decided that the smart plan would be to take an easy day today, and set ourselves up for an early morning mountain climb tomorrow rather than a late day climb today.

We left our cushy air-conditioned hotel room and hit the road. The temperature outside was already in the 80's. That's okay, we planned only a 25 mile day. After pausing at the entrance to Fort Ticonderoga, we decided to take the tour. The weather was already approaching 90, so it wasn't like we were going to miss the cool morning riding.

The fort was pretty slick. Lots of battles have taken place here. The French held off the British again and again even while being massively out-manned. Finally, with help from many revolutionary troops, the British took the fort. Soon after, the French started sending arms to the revolutionary troops to help them take the forts from the Brits. The enemy of your enemy and all that....... Too bad it wasn't cooler; we would have stayed longer.

The fort guards the portage area between Lake George and Lake Champlain. This is a major water route into Canada. This is the area pointing out into Lake George.

Katie found an Arthur St.Clair on the list of important people that have passed through the gates at Fort Ti.

We watched demonstrations of why the French had advantages in most of the battles. Their weaponry and attack styles seemed to better suit the terrain. Also, the British seemed to have bad luck, losing their logistics experts before any battle got to the point of needing the strategy expertise. The British continually made some terrible mistakes, costing them battle after battle, to the surprise of the French. The French expected to lose the battles as they were grossly outnumbered. The British even went so far as to send cannon ships into the wrong locations, directly within the firing focus of the fort. Anyway, we had some overpriced sandwiches at the fort and went to the ferry into Vermont. Good Bye New York!

Roger waits for the ferry in the shade, with lake Champlain in the background.

The heat really was a scorcher today. This made us darn glad we decided on a short day and an early rise tomorrow to do the first mountain climb of the trip. We are setting our alarms for 4 something in the morning, so we can be out early.

111F and 5% grade on my bike computer, crawling along at 3mph. Yuck. Six miles into the day and already soaked in sweat. We will be biking tomorrow on the warmest July 16h on record here. Hopefully the fridge in our hotel room can freeze my water bottles.

We did about 1500 feet of climbing on our short day today. The girls think that is too much for a rest day. We stopped to cool off a few times in our 25 miles.

Laura found some cool air inside the drop box at a post office when Katie was shipping a postcard.

Roger found a Beer Cave to hide in.

Vermont looks a lot like Wisconsin, except with some Green Mountains in the background.

The side roads in Vermont are crumbling. They might be better off as gravel in some sections. The main highways are in great shape however. This seems somewhat like New York, except there are few shoulders on the roads here.

Some 11% climbs. So Hottttttt.

A nice guy (never got his name, shame on me) gave us a quicker route to dinner and our hotel. Thanks random guy! We owe you! It worked great. He gave us another option for lessening the steepness of our climb tomorrow in exchange for more miles. We are debating it still.

So, we are taking cool showers here at the Grey Stone Motel, and heading to bed early. With any luck, and a lot of climbing, we will end our day tomorrow at an awesome warm showers host that was highly recommended by Jay and Sarah.