July 17-18 (When Mom Assumed I Died)

July 17

Leaving Lake Dunmore the weather was very warm, but beautiful. I passed several dairy farms along rolling hills. This was probably the first day I felt strong, rarely having to dismount and walk the ogre up a hill. I was even able to talk to my mom (hands-free of course) for a while. As I approached Shoreham, VT, I noticed a thunderstorm to the north. Shoreham is located along Lake Champlain and is also where the ferry to New York is located.

Waiting for the ferry

Waiting for the ferry

As I stepped off the ferry, it started to rain. I was back in New York! The ferry attendant suggested I head to a McDonald's a few miles down the road in Ticonderoga to wait out the storm. I ate my weight in food while periodically checking the weather. I talked to my grandfather and he informed me he would be up my way the following day, and we would get in touch the next morning to meet up for breakfast.

The radar showed the storm was going to escalate and get worse around 5pm. Since it was only 3 and the next campground was 10 miles away, I figured I had plenty of time to make it to the campground. What I didn't realize was that I was immediately heading into the Adirondack Mountains. While walking the ogre up yet another never-ending incline, the skies opened up. I already had on my rain gear but put on my flashers. The sky was incredibly dark at this point and I was on a busy road frequented by 18-wheelers. There was a decent shoulder but I was still concerned with how visible I was to passing motor vehicles. Enter Lee Peters. Lee pulled his truck over and offered me a ride. He told me he had driven by me in the downpour and gone home to get his rain jacket and pickup truck. He drove me 10 miles to the campground, probably saving me from getting hit by a car. Sometime during this drive I lost cell service, which means that my GPS also stopped transmitting my location. (For those of you that don't know, almost every day my personal facebook page has a Garmin link to follow my location live.) 

To my loving, caring mother who watches this livetrack avidly, all she knew was that my phone and GPS had turned off, with the last transmission of the latter showing me traveling at 50mph.


July 18

I woke up at 5:30 to another flat trailer tire. This time the culprit was a rusty staple. I patched the tire tube relatively quickly and got on the road in pursuit of cell service with which to contact my grandfather. After about 2 miles a black truck pulled up next to me, and so singular was my intent that I didn't realize it was him, and I was instead annoyed that someone wanted me to stop and talk to them while I was coasting down a hill. I loaded Shrek and the ogre into the bed of his Avalanche, later that day realizing I tweaked the muscles in my back in the process. Pop informed me that my mother, in fear that I had been kidnapped, had contacted not only the Ticonderoga police, but the New York State Troopers as well. She had dispatched my grandfather on a rescue mission, sending him to all the campgrounds in the area to find me. Crisis averted, we decided to drive to the nearest breakfast spot along my route, which ended up being 50 miles away in Long Lake, NY. We ate a delicious breakfast and then Pop took me to a camping supply store to see if there was anything I needed. I bought some new ditty sacks to organize my toiletries, because organization makes me happy. 

After Pop and I parted ways, I mailed my extraneous gear home and rode from Long Lake, NY to Blue Mountain Lake. It was mountainous terrain and as the day progressed I was faced with just how badly I had pulled my back muscles. I reached the next campground and gingerly set up camp. I went to sleep at 6:30 pm, sleeping until 6 am the following morning. I was forced to sleep with my knees pulled up to my chest as this was the only way to prevent severe pangs of pain in my lower back. 

We had traveled 590 miles.