Day 80

Woodgate, NY to Newcomb, NY
$26 :: Fuel, BF, topo map, grocs, ice cream
93.87 mi :: 7.35 hr :: 37.9 mph :: 12.3 mph :: 5602 mi


Rather than ride the 4 or 5 miles of trail back to the highway, I continue, figuring I’d hit a road before long. After about 1.5 miles, I do. I am back at Woodgate, a few miles before the place my trail began yesterday.

I have a tasty but somewhat pricey breakfast in Old Forge. I consider taking the tourist train ride, but looking at my map I wonder if I can make it to a trail up Mt. Marcy, the highest in the state. The idea appeals to me, so I buy a good trail map. I have been lazy so far, and the trailheads look like a good ride from here, so I get going.

A crazy fundamentalist with big bushy sideburns schools me in his way on the physics of recumbent bike design, pointing out all the flaws in mine. He’s awaiting the patent on his design, he says. One piece of his advice – to take the South Shore road around Fourth Lake to bullet – turns out to be good. It’s picturesque and trafficless.

I buy some lunch and trail groceries in bullet, then head for Blue Mountain. I realize the distances are greater than I’d thought.

Out of Blue Mountain is a tremendous hill. Steep and long, I’m drenched with sweat when I reach the top. The downhill to Long Lake, though, seems longer – much longer – and I despair that I’ll never be able to regain the elevation and make the trailhead by dark.

I spend the last of my cash on a milkshake in Long Lake. Examining the map, I see I have only a couple of hundred feet to climb over the miles to the trailhead. Hope renewed, I set off vigorously, dreaming of tomorrow’s climb.

I stop in Newcomb for a quick dinner of burrito and apple, and to stock up on water. It’s 6:30 PM. My energy soars with my desire to make the 20-mile, 4000-ft ascent early tomorrow morning.

7:30PM: My first choice of trailhead is blocked by a gate. Private road. I set off for option 2. The sun is gone behind the hills.

It gets dark and I must use my headlight, but I reach the trailhead, having done 93 mountainous miles. I sleep in the inky blackness, no tent, on an old track next to the trail.

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