On Tuesday, we left Middleberry, Vermont and biked to Lake Champlain where we took a small cable ferry across the lake to New York State. We went through Ticonderoga and then started going up the Adirondacks. It turns out that the Adirondacks are actually a large plateau with mountains perched on top of it. We biked about 1500 feet up to get to the plateau and then the grade mellowed out and we biked passed lakes, rivers, and streams. It rained all afternoon, which has been the pattern since the beginning of the ride. Ultimately we landed at Newcomb, New York in Hamilton County, which is one of two New York counties completely inside the Adirondack Park. We stayed in a small Catholic church. The pastor is 78 and is caring for a diminished flock. He says he will do this for as long as he can and when he dies or is unable to perform his functions, the church will close. It seems like a microcosm of Central New York; people leave, and institutions get smaller and ultimately disappear.
Today we continued biking through the Adirondacks. It’s incredible how different the three mountain ranges that we have passed through are. The White Mountains of New Hampshire were the most sheer and rocky, the Green Mountains were green as expected but quite steep, and the Adirondacks are much more gentle and there are lakes everywhere you look. We stopped at Old Forge, which I learned got its name from its mining past. This region was extensively mined for iron but not terribly successfully as the iron was impure. The impurity turned out to be titanium which was used in the construction of submarines and airplanes during World War II.