Day 6 (September 30, 2004) - Long Lake to Boonville
Today was the day we descended out of the Adirondacks. We'd hoped for a nice speedy day because of that, but there continued to be quite a few climbs in between the descents, and by now our legs and butts were pretty spent. Additionally, we ran into the first rain of the trip today, and that slowed us down as well. I guess it was about time we had some rain after so many pretty days in a row; we really had gotten extremely lucky. We were also lucky that the morning was not as cool as it could have been; some areas in the Adirondacks got below freezing, and we had 43 when we set out. It was our chilliest morning, so we left a bit later (8:50 am) after a good pancake breakfast at the Long Lake Diner, which we walked to.
The riding began with overcast skies, no wind, and a lot of climbing up to Blue Mountain Lake. Once we got to Blue Mountain Lake, we finally got a long and much-appreciated descent (see sign).
Here is Blue Mountain Lake, which was breathtaking.
From here on for the rest of the day, there were still some climbs, but there were more descents, flats, and lightly rolling areas now as we were on the "down side" of the Adirondack Mountains now. This was a very good thing since this was to be one of the longest days of the tour. The scenery was lovely with numerous pretty lakes on either side of the road, bright foliage, and lightly traveled, tree-lined roads. There were many Adirondack "camps" (vacation homes) with creative names and fancy signs along the road, which made for interesting riding. A summer home here would be very nice!
The rain began very lightly when we were getting things to drink at a convenience store. Near Old Forge (a tourist town), we saw deer grazing by the side of the road that didn't even budge when cars and a cyclist rode by them in the other direction. The cyclist, a nice local woman, made a u-turn and pulled up to talk with us for a minute. She asked us about our tour, and, when we commented about the fearless deer, she said that they are so tame they will eat out of your hand and cause problems in town (fawns being hit, etc.)
Right as we were leaving Old Forge, the rain started getting heavier, along with the traffic. We pulled into a parking area and put on our rain gear and our pannier rain covers for the first time on the trip. We rode in a moderate rain with temperatures in the mid-50s for several miles, which was pretty miserable, but there was no place to stop. Eventually the rain slacked off. From this point on, it sprinkled on and off for the rest of the day but never rained hard. Once the harder rain stopped, we were in much better spirits, as you can see from Barry's smile in this photo.
The last 25 miles of the day were primarily downhill or flat with just a few short climbs (whew!) We found the Headwaters Motor Lodge in Boonville at long last and checked in. This is another motel that Barry and his dad had stayed in before. Fortunately, the room was very large, as we had to hang our wet clothes, pannier covers, and bike clothes we washed all over the room. I haven't mentioned yet that nearly every night, upon arrival at our lodging, we hand washed one set of bike clothing and hung them to dry. In nearly all cases, they were dry by the next morning. I had taken three pairs of shorts at the last minute but could have gotten away with two since we had no problem with things drying.
After showers, we walked into town and found a nice restaurant, the Boonville Hotel. We ate a huge and delicious meal, then walked to the nearby grocery store to pick up yogurt breakfast drinks for morning.