I took a break this week to clear my head and hauled three bikes to Vermont. I brought a KTM 690 Enduro R, Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 and the Ducati 860. After two full days of trail riding around Mount Snow in Southern VT and the Lincoln-Ripton area near Sugarbush with my best friend, he went home. Yesterday I explored the Adirondacks for the first time.
I took back roads from Warren VT over the Route 17 Appalachian Gap
then north to Huntington and west through Hinesburg to Charlotte on the east side of Lake Champlain. Outside of Charlotte I found where they grow Hondas.
The ferry to Essex NY leaves every 30 minutes. I met a great couple riding their Harleys back to NJ. It’s easy to trash talk Harley owners, harder not to really like them in person.
From Essex I rode straight west towards Lake Placid, stopping in Elizabethtown for a wonderful cheeseburger and a quart of oil. The local Napa had the right o-ring for my dipstick and my favorite VR-1 50wt.
Lake Placid was pretty and had a waiting-for-the-season-to-start vibe. I took a quick picture of the Olympic facility and kept going.
From there Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake and Long Lake in succession with a quick stop in each to get a picture.
The roads between the lake towns are wonderfully smooth two-laners with uphill passing lanes and 70 mph sweeping corners. The Ducati was in its natural hunting ground and the Contis boomed away. Sometimes I listened to music in the helmet but mostly just listened to the bike. I could feel each firing of the pistons hammering the pavement.
From Long Lake I took Route 84 east to Newcomb and picked up Route 84, the Blue Ridge Road, east to North Hudson. This was about twenty miles of 30-40 mph curves with no houses and no traffic. It is a gem of a road.
Then straight up 87 back to Essex. I had a work zoom hearing which took place in a great tavern overlooking Lake Champlain next to the ferry terminal. I had two sips of a great stout but no more since I had to ride home.
Just as the hearing ended I jumped on the bike and coasted engine-off down the hill and caught the ferry across at sunset back to Charlotte.
From there the worst part was the ride over the Lincoln Gap home. It was dark and the lower parts of the gap road are graded hard-pack with patches of loose gravel. On a KTM in the daylight it’s a hoot but in the dark on a vintage street bike just stressful. I was glad to be home. Here are the maps.