Day 2 Saturday June 15th: Killington VT to North Troy VT – 300 miles.
We woke up to an awesome sunrise at the Killington Motel. Sometimes you get the feeling when you are in VT in the summer that the locals are sick of catering to the NY\NJ\CT crowd after the ski season and are grudgingly putting you up for the night just to make some off-season cash. But I didn’t get that here. They had a great breakfast laid out and even offered to make us pancakes to order. MMM real VT maple syrup!
Big thumbs up for the Killington Motel!
And we head back to where we broke off of the southern PDR route the night before. We still had about 78 miles to go to finish that route and it was all awesome. At this point in the trip we really only ever hit very small pavement connectors in between many miles of dirt. For the most part it was all tightly packed and well graded. As I was riding I thought many times I wished some of the roads in Sussex County were in such good shape. Some of the paved roads that is. That being said, there were some spots of very deep gravel that lead to some puckering from most of us. There also was a couple of technical sections that I do not believe unless I was a very confident and skilled rider, I would take a street bike. But I mean maybe a half mile of stuff like that the whole PDR. another key aspect of this trip is that it was dry just about the entire time. can see these dirt roads being a little slimy in steady rain. I had read a few PDR ride reports beforehand where guys struggled with the mud on adv bikes. It was what inspired me to run the Continental TKC-80 front tire on my Tiger, which was an awesome choice even in the dry. I am a firm believer that if you are gonna go with a knobby put it up front. Most of all the wrecks I’ve had off pavement in the past involved washing out the front wheel. On the back you run an 80/20 tire for the longer wear and you’re all set.
Nothing but Mountains ahead
We finally get to the end of the southern PDR around 11 am. We stop to regroup and the Shogun and I try once again to calibrate our GPS’s. We both had the routes, and were both using Garmin’s but I was using my now long in the tooth Zumo 550 and Shogun was using the latest and greatest from Garmin the Montana. This proved to be one of our biggest challenges on this trip. These routes tend to be somewhat challenging to follow since they usually meander a bit trying to keep you on dirt roads the whole time. A lot of times my GPS would tell me one thing and Shoguns another and then we would try to reconcile on the fly. We decided long ago that we would alternate leading on this trip. Safety Man and Nick had the routes but were smart enough to just be happy to follow and enjoy the ride and let me and Shogun duke it out. We ended up confounded a lot more than we should have but enough of these first world electronics problems.
End of the PDR south and the “brain trust” is trying to figure out where the hell to go…..Again!
So we have 2 options for the northern PDR. There are 2 routes, the long route is 222 miles, and the short route is 178. We decide as a group that there is no chance we are not gonna do the long route, and off we go to North Troy, the long way up! My plan was to stop for lunch at the Warren General Store in Warren VT. For all of you that have spent some time travelling around VT, you know that the very best places to eat and mingle with the locals are at the small General stores in these little towns. Having spent quite a few family vacations in the Sugarbush area, I had eaten at the Warren store before and with the route basically going right through Warren it was a slam dunk that was the next stop. The food was awesome as always and other than a couple of local hens at the table next to us yacking it up very loudly the entire time we ate, it was a great lunch. Safety and I over indulged as usual and managed to cram down a very delicious helping of chocolate mousse for “lunch desert” (does that even exist?) and felt horrible about ourselves for it. Never the less, the weather was perfect and we were riding!
There’s always room for chocolate mousse. No?
The ride from Warren to North Troy was fantastic. It pretty much consisted entirely of dirt. I think maybe 10 miles of pavement. The views were phenomenal and although we knew we had a lot of miles to cover we tried to soak in as much as we could. It was extremely dusty that day which necessitated we ride with some pretty big spacing between us. Luckliy I remembered to grab my old dirt biking Scott’s tinted goggles for this trip. They really did the job.
Somewhere between Warren and North Troy we stop for probably a bathroom break I’m guessing
We finally make it to North Troy at 7 pm after 10 hours of some of the best riding ever. The sun is quickly starting to go down and we still need to find a hotel but Safety flags us down and want’s to lead us to a little spot he found in a past ride up there, Big Falls state park. So we swing by and it is truly an awesome sight that these pics just cannot do justice to. If you are ever in the area I recommend you stop by.
We make our way to the official end or start point of the PDR, depending on which direction you are running, The Junction 101 restaurant, which in an even bigger gesture of poor taste then the Long Trail Brewery, went out of business before we arrived. Oh well we still made it. We rode every mike of the PDR! If we did nothing else but ride slab I would have been satisfied. As it turns out we did ride much more great stuff the next 2 days. But more on that later.
Wish I could tell you how the food was at the Junction 101 but….
We scuttled around a bit in Troy. Had a bite to eat and some beers and flirted for a while with staying at the lodge at the Jay Peak ski resort. In the end Shogun kibitzed a bit with the waiter where were eating who turned us on to a motel in nearby Newport. 11 miles later we pulled into the Newport City Motel at 9 pm. We dumped the gear and everyone decided we were done riding for the day, so with no walkable bar, we went across the street to the local Quickie Mart and picked up some crappy food and beer and assumed the position.
The waiter said his parents ONLY stay at the Newport City Hotel when in the area. Good enough for us!
Coming up next Day 3: North Troy VT to Lake George NY……