Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Visiting Vermont 3/3

Day 3 - Missisquoi Bay to Essex

It was a foggy and soggy morning. I woke up at half past six and realized that the whole tent was wet from dew. Fortunately, only on the outside. My bike was also covered in a film of water and the cap and the towel that I hang up on the bike previous night were completely soaked as well.
I packed everything on the bike and plugged my phone to a nearby outlet I found at the camping office. With my phone alive again, I left the campground the time most other tourists were just unzipping their tents. It was very quiet at the bay and sun was just rising.
I had to move south towards Burlington, which means I rode along Rt 2 most of the time. It's a major road with a decent shoulder that is often used by cyclists. One thing that I noticed quickly was that it was much cooler at the lake, compared to my previous day between the mountains.
I stopped at Hero's Welcome - a general store and a cafe in North Hero to resupply and then I left Rt 2 to take West Shore Rd on the western bank of Grand Isle. It's a much quieter and enjoyable route that apparently is often chosen by cyclists, judging by the number of "bike rest stops" along the road.

Soon after I arrived at the Island Line Trail that is broken into two sections by a 200-ft gap in the causeway. Fortunately, there is a seasonal bike ferry bridging two parts of the trail, making it a viable bike route to Burlington.
The only problem with Island Line Trail is... dust. The surface is made out of fine gravel and leaves a white powder everywhere. My tires, chain, cranks, brakes, rims and shoes were completely white after riding the trail. My legs were whiter than normal too, probably because the dust got stuck to the sunscreen I put on my skin. I also started being worried about the chain since it seemed to make some squeaky noises for some time already, but after the Island Line Trail they became constant. It desperately needed oil, but I hoped I could make it back to the car with no issues.
I didn't really spend much time in Burlington - just rode through it, passing by Old Spokes Home - a bicycle store and a museum (which was closed on Labor Day).
I got back to the car in Essex at 2PM after riding the last miles in full sun again, not that I enjoyed it. It was then time to pack the bike, change in some more "street-legal" clothes and stop at a nearby Sweet Clover Market for lunch. This place is a like a grocery store and a lunch place in one and is pretty amazing, so if your are in the area definitely check it out.

The rest is a history. Just another long drive back home, unpacking, washing, etc. I still have to clean the bike though. And probably need a new chain.

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