Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 48: Latham, NY to Brattleboro, Vermont

Before I met John I lived in Troy and worked at Russell Sage College-- that was 1974-1979. Nothing about the area was familiar to me as I rode in and I began to doubt my memory but a few miles out of the motel in Latham we turned onto 19th Street in Watervliet and everything clicked into place. Ahead of me I could see the bridge across the Hudson and the buildings of Troy. I was riding with Nan who swooped over onto the sidewalk to get across the river and that turned out to be a great move. The sidewalk funneled us away from the tunnel that goes under the Russell Sage campus and I knew exactly where to turn to make a nostalgic side trip past my old apartment on Second Street and get us back on route uphill out of the city.

We followed Route 2 east, a route I drove many times while I was living in the area. At mile 12.6, however, we were routed on to Route 278, a gorgeous road with less traffic and one I had never taken. The riding was splendid and even though I knew I was not yet in Vermont, it sure felt like Vermont to me. At mile 32 we turned east on Route 7 toward the Vermont line and Bennington. Then followed the challenge of the day-- a ten mile climb. I felt great and found the climb very doable. We were rewarded with a great descent into Wilmington-- fast but not frightening. John waited for me there so we had a coffee and pastry break and started climbing again up Hogback Mountain.

The first time I ever went downhill skiing was at Hogback-- I was a teenager and did not know how to ski and it was something of a disaster; the kind you laugh about even at the time. The ski place is no more-- crumbling buildings overgrown with vegetation and the remains of an old lift sagging against the hillside. Made me realize that many many years have passed! From the top we had a "100 mile view" before more fun and fast downhill into Brattleboro.

In Brattleboro we were delighted to meet up with our daughter Eliza and her husband Michael, my stepmother Babs, my niece Viney and her husband Francisco, my old high school friend Don Sluter and a genealogy pal Joann Nichols. We all had dinner together and you will understand why my blog has not appeared until four days later.

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