The Substance of Faith

The Substance of Faith

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Smuggler’s Notch

Above:   Atop Smuggler’s Notch – Joe Takes “Shoeless” Ed Hine’s picture.  Cheryl puts her shoes back on after walking her bike up.  Ed Watters in the shade while guide, John Humphries, watches.

I was back on the bike Wednesday after taking Tuesday off.  Joe Burch made the commitment to watch me on my first day of riding after Monday’s spill.  Thanks, Joe.

Wednesday was the last hard day of the tour.  We rode up Smuggler’s Notch, starting just a few miles from the Trapp Family Lodge where we spent Tuesday night.  No photo can do justice to this climb.  Ed Watters logged 31% grade on the inside of one curve.  There was plenty of road around20%.   I’m not sure how to convey the difficulty of this kind of climb to anyone who doesn’t ride a bike.  Perhaps you should note that most highways warn trucks of a 7% grade or more.  Think 3-4 times steeper than that.

I think Jeff Smathers was the only person from Rome who rode all the way up.  Ed Watters was close, but had to walk his bike a short way.  Many of us walked 1/4 mile or more, some of us in our bare feet.  My camera did not survive Monday, so I’ll have to get photos from others and post them later.

Following the climb we had a long descent to lunch.  I was the most careful person on the way down.


Monday was very cool.  Having on multiple layers saved me from additional road rash.  Wednesday, however was brutally hot, particularly for Vermont.  We showed 95 degrees after lunch.  The news reported 90% humidity.  After the only climb of the afternoon, I decided to pack it in.  40 +/- miles following Monday’s events seemed like a good accomplishment to me – and the heat was more than I could handle.

We stayed on the shores of Lake Champlain in North Hero, VT.  Thursday we cross into Canada.  The weather is a little uncertain.  We had a thunderstorm Wednesday night and rain is predicted tonight and in the morning.   We’ll see what the day brings.

Thanks to everyone who has been interested and supportive of the trip.

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