Day 8 – Jefferson, NH to Saint Johnsbury, VT – 35 miles
Glad to be inside last night at the Evergreen Motel in Jefferson. What a nice, neat, comfortable place to stay & a great value at the off-season rate of $45 / night. The owners (Gordon & Janice) are so nice – he offered to take us to the store up the road yesterday afternoon but we had already stopped on our way, picking up dinner, not wanting to walk / ride back a mile. We had tossed around the idea of taking a rest day because we really like this place and we haven’t taken a rest yet, but we’re excited to move along too! We’re feeling real good – Shawn’s quads are reminding her of what she put them thru yesterday but it really is a very mild reminder and is the first time the muscles have reacted to the day’s cycling. 🙂
Thinking of my niece, Nicole today on her wedding day. She is such a sweetheart and I know her new husband, Jason is, as well. Jim & I are both praying for a lifetime of love & happiness for them! I’m also missing being with the rest of my family as they celebrate this occasion. I have 8 brothers & sisters, so it is quite a treat when all 9 of us get together with Mom and spouses and all our niblings and grand-niblings! Love you all! Love you Mom!!!
Back to the ride… Heavy rain this morning, so we’re just hanging out. It seems that the rain has let up but we’ll wait a bit more for the road to dry a bit. Gave us plenty of time to write the blog and make arrangements for WS accommodations for the next few days. Better get dressed – Jim is antsy to go!
We headed out toward Lancaster NH. As we passed a dirt road, Shawn said she saw a cute ground hog, then she asked if wood chucks have flat tails. This would be the first beaver we’ve seen on the bike..
We had a nice ride into Lancaster with a nice long, fast downhill. We only had a bagel for breakfast, so we knew this would be a breakfast stop, so we asked a young couple if they had a recommendation. (Something about arriving on bike lets you approach any random stranger and ask for advice.). These guys happened to have the biggest Great Dane we had ever seen! A head the size of a rugby ball! Plus a little brother puppy Great Dane that was spotted and cute as could be! I think Shawn and I were both doing some mental math on how much two dogs like that would eat…glad we could enjoy their dogs for a bit. Their recommendation was Moonbeam Cafe which happened to be right across the street – the special was Nava Scotia omelet. We usually order different dishes, so we can try more stuff, but neither one of us wanted to pass on an omelet made with fresh salmon…we were not disappointed! So good!
We left Lancaster, crossed a rusty bridge over the Connecticut River and we were in state 3!! Welcome to Vermont!!! After following the river for several miles and getting lulled by the flats we suddenly turned away and then the pain began! The next 4 miles were uphill after uphill, without much chance for coasting (or butt breaks as we call them, as we typically stand when coasting). They were tough climbs – all the way through Lunenburg, VT. In the local vernacular, these were wicked steeps.
After the 4 to 6 miles of climbing, we had some reasonable hills through moose country (lots of warning signs but none seen) and then a long down hill to Concord, VT. As we cruised down a hill, Shawn looked to her left and yelled out “Mooselook!” I knew immediately what she meant. Four or five days ago, I guy in another diner had told us we had to try the Mooselook Diner. He wasn’t sure where it was, but knew it was on US-2. Probably should say that Mooselook was a little over sold, not bad, good clam chowder, that was about it.
Back on our bike, we once again followed the Connecticut River to our overnight city of St. Johnsbury, VT. It was a welcome relief to have such long down hills, but we also know the more we sink into the valleys, the more we will have to climb out!
We looked for a hotel in St. Johnsbury. Hopefully we are not carrying this tent and sleeping
bag in vain, but with over night lows in the mid 30’s, let’s just say we like roughing it in warmer temps! We got a room at Holiday Motel, not a deal like last night, but not too bad, and this is a pretty nice place. The lady at the front desk really talked up the wifi – ” we have excellent wifi here”. We are not so impressed!
Jim was thrilled that there was a beer and pizza place next door, so dinner was an easy decision. We walked over and had the special: wood fired pizza with fiddle heads, bacon, grilled onions and a drizzle of maple syrup – when in Vermont, do as the Romans do!
The real treat at dinner was a (very) young couple that was singing, guitar playing and bongoing (they took turns!!). They weren’t the most polished team, but they did not lack enthusiasm and the courage to push past some mistakes and breaks in their songs. We both have some strong emotional ties to music, and the songs they sang made us both realize how special this moment and this trip is. We both find ourselves saying ” we’re doing this!” and these simple words sink deep into our souls. We are very blessed to be here..to be making our way!
That’s quite a dog! A Great Dane with European bloodlines & a pup too! Made us think of Joe vs the Volcano. 🙂
Neat church in Lancaster, NH
Following the Connecticut River
A little comic relief
Beautiful Vermont Northeast Kingdom
Fiddlehead pizza special
Hallelujah! We’re living our dream! 😭