Thursday, June 28, 2007

New Itinerary and Profiles

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Parking, cont'd

I had a not so good feeling about the Laku Campground, the more I thought about it, and decided it would be wise to have a backup or other choice. It's more of a seasonal-site campground, is currently "full", backs up on a major rail line, and I'm to be squeezed in somewhere for the night. And we never discussed how much I would pay to camp and park for a week. It may all turn out just fine, but if it doesn't, and I haven't planned for that, I'll be up shit creek at the last minute. So.... I called the 10 Acres Campground across the bridge - parking not an option. Called the Lake Champlain Visitors Center - YES, I can park there. The lot is lit at night and sees lots of daytime visitor traffic. My only concern is whether this might be the same "park and ride" lot that the DEC personnel had warned me about (breakins, vandalism, etc). So now, I could camp at the adjacent DEC campground for $14.00, and park free at the Visitor Center. I'll need to scope this out sometime in advance, I think, and make reservations accordingly.

Monday, June 11, 2007


I haven't updated this blog in quite awhile, but there are definitely some things going on, and I now am planning to do this tour in 2007 if all goes well. Here are some of the things I've been working on and/or trying to resolve:

  • Dates
Given all the other stuff beginning to clog the summer calendar, I'm thinking of either the week of July 29 - Aug 4 or the week of Aug 5-11 for this trip. I'd prefer to push it as late as possible, for conditioning's sake, but also want a fallback if the first choice doesn't work out. At the rate things are going, I don't really think conditioning is going to be an issue anyway, so those are the choices, in that order. Third choice would be sometime in mid-September, depending on other potential commitments in that timeframe.
  • Parking
Back in mid-May, I sent an email to the Village of Port Henry, asking their opinion about places to leave a car for the week, somewhere in the Village. No response after a month. Sent a second email to Doug Yu, of (Adirondack Regional Tourism Council? - linked from Lake Champlain Bikeways web page), asking for his thoughts. He recommended either the Lake Champlain Visitors Center (518-585-6619) or the Crown Point DEC Campground (518-597-3603), both at the south end of the Crown Point Bridge. He said he had once parked at the campground for a short tour, after having first spent the night there. I called the campground, and parking there for a week is simply not an option. They recommended I try the Laku Campground, a private facility nearby (518-597-3495), which might allow me to park for the week. I just called that campground, and the gentleman I spoke to was very accommodating. Even though the campground is "full", he has a few tent sites that he could rent me for the night. We didn't get into the dollar amounts, but I'm running out of options, so will probably take it. The distance from there to Port Henry is only 3-4 miles, and relatively flat ones, so that would bump the first day's distance up to about 45 miles or so, still reasonable. I would drive up late on Sunday, camp Sunday night, and leave early Monday morning, avoiding both weekends. And that seems like a fine idea to me, allowing an early start on the first day, rather than having to drive up there first.

I was also exploring non-car options. Drop-off and pickup could work, but inconveniences somebody else. Amtrak does not allow bicycles on the Adirondack route, so even though there is train service to Port Henry, it does me no good in this case.
  • Route
I still think that pushing on beyond Rouse's Point to North Hero would be a good idea, and will redo the profiles with that in mind, possibly depending on resolution of the parking issue. The more time spent relaxing on the Islands, the better, since that's really the main attraction of this trip. And a trip on the Charlotte-Essex ferry is probably also almost cast in stone as a necessary feature of any Champlain adventure.
  • Hills/Preparation
I set a goal for this summer of climbing all of the major hills in Schenectady County that begin at the Mohawk River and lead up into the adjoining hills. So far, I've climbed Rector Rd (1.5 miles) and Rynex Corners Rd (3 miles, 900 ft). The two major climbs on Day One of this trip are 400 feet in 3 miles, and 500 feet in 4 miles. Aside from the fact that I'll be fully loaded, I'm pretty well satisfied that I'll be ready for those hills in terms of conditioning. I'm also now over 500 miles for the season, and it's only mid-June, so again, I think I'm probably ready even now, and things will only improve from here.