Day 8 (45 miles)
For much of the morning, I rode alongside the Hudson River. It took me a long time to get acquainted with what I was seeing. My memory of the Hudson River was the slow moving behemoth that separates Manhattan from the New Jersey Palisades. It was worth getting to know the younger Hudson that flows fast and free through rapids and falls. This particular view was from a bridge between the towns of Hadley and Lake Luzerne.
Just before lunch in Corinth, I officially left Adirondack Park. Ahead of me was one more climb before trip’s end. I crossed the Palmertown Range with ease. It’s name sounds much more formidable than reality; fear instead the names Graphite Mountain and Whiteface Mountain!
My last night of the trip was in Saratoga Springs. I knew I was officially back in the big city when I learned that there was a vegan restaurant nearby. I ate at the Four Seasons, which served a vegan buffet and local brews. The perfect ending to my mountain adventure.
Day 9 (the final 34 miles)
The best way to describe the last leg of my trip back the car would be Trains, Plans and (lots of) Automobiles. From Saratoga Springs to the Albany International Airport, I had nonstop interactions with these other modes of transportation. I must have been in a hurry to get home. I left the hotel in Saratoga Springs at 6:30am and did not stop until I reached Lions Park in Niskayuna at 9:30am (31 miles). My last farewell photo of the trip shows the Mohawk River valley just before Lions Park, with the last of the morning fog slowly lifting. After the break I biked the remaining 3 miles to the airport and was packed and driving back to Cincinnati by 10:30am.
Looking back on the adventure, I realized that the two most impressive views/experiences of the whole trip occurred on the day riding to Lake Placid and on the day leaving Lake Placid. The High Falls Gorge between Wilmington and Lake Placid is spectacular. The Ausable River churns through a narrow gap between high rocky bluffs, showing plenty of white water. I felt I was in the West, not the East. As for leaving Lake Placid, I will never forget the 40mph decent past the Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes just before landing in Keene. The mountains giveth and the mountains taketh away!