Oui, Les Montagnes Vertes
My itinerary from the Adirondacks had me pointing a few hours south, but a last moment cancellation had me scrambling for a spot to lay my head (and celebrate the big birthday). What luck as I moved myself from my tent in Tupper Lake to a grand property in Pawlet, VT on 54 acres. I could most definitely pontificate on how much I enjoyed this location and the people, and how normal life felt in this rural region north of Manchester. Not only did I feel comfortable cycling, hiking, and chatting on the Green with strangers over ice cream, but I was in complete comfort in my Airbnb and ready to move in through Fall! Best of all, a good friend and I were able to meet within 35 miles to start the new year off with plenty of food and fun. I'll tell the story easily with few words as I took more than 110 photos this past week.
How Did I Miss This?
From the indoor life, I arrived to the Adirondacks for a first night of 43 degrees in the tent! Refreshing, and simply one night that was followed by three days of rain. By day 2, I had the entire 12 tent sites to myself for 48 hours and wasn't really minding it. I can walk in the rain and Mother Nature made sure the sunset did not disappoint. That said, I was glad I'd booked a 10-day visit to Tupper Lake as I biked along the Adirondack Trail a few times discovering lakes and rivers, as well as enjoying the Town Park. Word is there's a Rail-to-Trail route planned from Tupper Lake to Saranac Lake and I'm not sure that pleases me. Will this develop the town? I hope not.
When I arrived, I was clueless as to where hiking would take place but learned about the "Tupper Lake Triad" -- three small mountain hikes totaling 7+ miles with 2000+' of elevation gain. The best part was that Coney, Goodman and Mt Arab were all within 30 minutes of my tent. While the mileage seems short, I agree with a gal I met at the Coney peak that "an Adirondack mile is different from most" on the East Coast.
The final gift I was given were camp hosts who were tremendous! There were no rules & regulations posted, and while people were considerate, the hosts were actively managing and keeping everyone happy. A great experience all the way around, and as I drove East toward the Green Mountains of Vermont, it was a scenic tour of small towns and lovely places I hope to return to for a stay.
This is Rochester?
It's been 2.5 weeks of the indoor life: a planned visit to housesit then socialize with a friend. While life in the toxic US culture stretched this an extra week, it took just 3 days, a come-to-Jesus meeting with myself, and lovely greenspace to alleviate the PTSD.
I've been to Rochester on day trips, but living in the South Wedge neighborhood has been a much different experience. High school friend (!) Barbara has a gorgeous townhouse located where you can enjoy Highland Park (150 acre arboretum), visit the Mount Hope Cemetery (196 acres near the U of R), and easily pedal onto the Erie Canal Trail. Walk a mile and a preserved, regenerated neighborhood feels like small town life. If not for winter...
This was also a great time to be productive as the year is indeed flying by -- bike repairs, teeth cleaning, amazon necessities, mail delivery, and plans in place to sleep for the next 30 days. And so it goes, as I roll back into my little tent at Little Wolf Pond tomorrow.
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover