Working your body hard and being pampered every step of the way, is a good definition of a Vermont Bicycling Tour experience. Each day it feels wonderful to be outside all day, pushing your body to do more than you usually ask of it, and so grateful for everything that is done for you such as beautiful accommodations, delicious food appearing constantly, and van support.
"Van support" for those not familiar with how this works, this is how it works. You pay a good amount of money for someone else to plan your rides, shlep your luggage to each inn, service your bike if you have flats or other bike issues, or even supply you with a different bike, fix delicious meals and snacks for your whole week, and a van follows all bikers each day to stop and provide anything needed during our rides. It doesn't get easier than that!
Our last 2 nights of our week we have been deep in the lap of luxury.
Woodstock Inn in Woodstock, VT.
Breakfast was extensive; if you could think it up, it was on the buffet table. Complete, of course, with real warm maple syrup. I found myself selecting foods that "required" the syrup. Stuffed French toast, sausage, scrambled eggs, oatmeal with walnuts, bacon, muffins, omelets, even yogurt tastes divine with warm maple syrup! And fresh raspberries as big as your thumb.
But time to start biking.
Last day of pedaling...so sad to know it's the last so I opted for the longer route and 2 sets of 3 mile climbs. Should probably note, 5 GIRLS decided to go for it. IT WAS TOTALLY WORTH IT. Miles of uphill, and miles of downhill. The payoff!
The Old River Road was just that; old and along the river, and serene, bubbling along, forever stamping into our memories what Vermont feels like. I smelled hay being mowed, new wood being cut, met a hiker on the Appalachian Trail, ate watermelon in a state park, slurped maple cremee (only in Vermont), and spent 2 minutes on the AT with friends.
Rahawa, 31, an AT (Appalachian Trail) hiker crossed our path early this morning. She has been hiking since March and plans to keep going. She carries a 35lb pack on her back and has lost 10lbs. And WE are huffing and puffing over a 6 mile climb this morning. We, on bikes, with no packs and a van to carry us if we feel too tired and lunch and snack stops feeding us along the way, dinner and hot showers await our arrival. Kudos Rahawa!
Stopping by Simon Pearce this afternoon was a sparkling experience. Glass blowers showed how it's done and a sales floor showcased exquisite glass displays of their craft.
This beauty is growing right outside their doors. Beauty begets beauty.
After today's ride there was still time to visit art galleries in Woodstock, The Village Butcher--with broccoli salad that got me through till dinner--and the authentic General Store.
The stay at the Woodstock Inn, is a perfect ending to this trip.
Tonight was our good-bye dinner and a few competitive board games and pinball with our
biker group of friends at the hotel.
Though it seems like the end,
a 2.5 mile hike is planned for the
morning, and unplanned surprises await!
Today's color is glorious Sky Blue.