Sunday, August 7, 2016

3 Ferry Bike Overnight, Just Because

Camping on lush lawn at Cumberland Head State Park.
It's a rare occasion for my husband and I to have 24 hours together on a weekend, so we took advantage of our good fortune, and crossed Lake Champlain on the 3 o'clock ferry to New York.

My partner in last minute mode, stuffing odds and ends in his panniers. 
It was also a celebration and experimentation of sorts - leaving our teenage boys alone overnight for the first time. We left a 2 page to-do list, just so our sons would remember to feed our pets, and pick up the kitchen, among other basic household chores that teens are notorious for forgetting. Both boys have become fairly independent and get along well together so it was time for the next step.

Taking a short break to eat.
My husband and I love this route, a fairly easy 40-45 mile loop that most people ride in one day, but it's also a scenic journey that can be enjoyed as a simple overnight, with easy access midway to a very nice campground. I completed a similar route 3 years ago, then, tacking on additional miles to get in shape for an upcoming longer trip. However, this time we pedaled the direct shoreline road, gazing at calm lake water for most of the journey.

Our boys would've loved watching this mower.
We stopped for a snack break beside a property that had a robotic lawn mover. As we munched, we were captivated by the black stealth-like handle-less mower on a seemingly erratic course, zigzagging, disappearing behind the house, cruising out front again, bee-lining diagonally across the lawn towards me then backing up and heading somewhere else. We wondered how such a contraption could be an efficient machine, tracking all over the place...

However, what a fun little diversion! 

My husband loves to bring everything but the kitchen sink, whereas as I age, I'm leaning
toward the minimalist approach.

Cumberland State Park campground borders a good-sized beach, complete with cement boardwalk and swimming area, however, the beach water when we visited, unfortunately, was full of slime...
hope it's not always so.
Arriving near 7 pm, we set up in a nearly full campground, but our site is spacious and full of thick grass - important to cyclists wanting a good night's sleep. Then we hightailed it to the beach for the remaining daylight.

My husband's in the white shirt.
Walking barefoot in the sand, we admire the calm lake, and unusual views of Vermont's Green Mountains...

and eastern views of New York's Adirondacks.

In the morning, my husband, (an early riser) had gone to get milk for our coffee and oatmeal. Gotta love a partner who surprises me with a donut!

Then it's 4 fast miles to the ferry docks...

walking the bicycles on-board next to motorcyclists (heading from Ontario to Nova Scotia). It's a 20 minute crossing and we depart by 9 am, quickly pedaling along a wonderful dirt road with more glimpses of Lake Champlain.

Of special interest: a Bike Stop at a farm barn. Free water fill up with ice cream and snacks for sale plus farm produce. As more cyclists ride the flat, low trafficked back roads in South Hero, the community is embracing bike tourism.

The causeway bike ferry is late for their first 10 am run, so we relax, watch the sailboats and power boats navigate the narrow opening. Then, the final ferry ride is quick and we ride the familiar 11 miles home.

A sub 24 hour bike overnight is a satisfying adventure, allowing solo time with my husband, doing something that we both love - perfect on a weekend. We arrived home to discover our boys managed quite well without us and the kitchen was clean. Yeah!


  1. Looks like a lovely trip. Hooray for responsible, independent teenagers!

    1. Yes, very encouraging indeed! I'm hoping we can more of these adventures...

  2. I love all the photos... I get to feel as though I made the trip with you. Sounds fantastic (and glad the boys survived too)! :)


Due to increased Spam, I am moderating comments. Thank you for your patience.