Monday, June 13, 2022

Home from Maine 2022 Day 7 - Sutton, MA to Ellington, CT

 We are camped at The Quarry campground just east of Ellington, CT.

Today was insanely hard. It was only 55 miles, but with 4300 feet of climb, and many, many steep hills over 10%. My bike with all the gear probably weighs 90 lbs.

I am feeling pretty spent. Garmin says my Body Battery is at 6%. Strava recommends a recovery period for today's ride of 4 days. I told Max that we may knock off early tomorrow and add a rest day, especially if tomorrow is as bad as today. Max hates this idea. He comes up with all these schemes on how to make the days longer so he can get home a day earlier. (He wants to be home playing computer games with his friends.) 

Max is *very* adept with Google Maps, and he is well aware of how bad the elevation estimates are on Google, and how very accurate they are on the Strava route planner. So first, he makes me plot the elevation for tomorrow's route. (We pretty much do Adventure Cycling's routes.) Tomorrow is as bad as today, if you follow Adventure Cycling, so Max reworks it on Google Maps and makes me put his alternative on the Strava route planner. His is a mile shorter with 900 feet less climb. He does the same thing with the next day's route and removes 7 miles and tons more climbing. Max now hates Adventure Cycling.

Today's route was all Adventure Cycling, and apparently adds 20 miles and a ton of hills just to go a teeny way into Rhode Island, so people riding the East Coast can say they went to Rhode Island. 

Here we are entering Rhode Island. Max grudgingly concedes that it was cool to go to Rhode Island and he's glad we did. Here is proud Max sitting on a stone wall in Rhode Island.

I am super excited that we went to Rhode Island, because while grinding up yet another super steep hill at 2 mph, I spotted this tree!

It's an American Chestnut! Almost every American Chestnut was wiped out by Chestnut Blight 120 years ago. This made my day. My "Picture This" plant identifier app agrees with me that this is an American Chestnut. I was so excited!

A couple miles later, we were in Connecticut.

The hills get even longer and steeper in Connecticut.

That's looking back at the bridge I just rode over. I took a break before tackling the rest of the crazy climb, but I still wound up walking part of it. It was 13%. Max rode it just fine, but he is carrying much less gear than I am. This was the only hill I had to walk up.

Apart from all the hills, it was a great day. The weather was perfect, and we had a tasty lunch 20 miles into the ride at Famous Franks in Thompson, CT. We had dinner at a deli at Crystal Lake just before the campground. 

Here is the Strava track. Look at all the hills. Ugh.

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