100 Mile Detour

100_Mile_DetourLeaving Connecticut and entering New York we crossed the familiar bump in the road that designated different paving styles and budgets. It was a beautiful day with full but transparent cloud cover. We pushed up and down each foothill aiming for Pine Plains. I couldn’t imagine a place titled after pine trees and plains in this part of the country. All I saw were deciduous trees and more hills. Luckily though a few trees still had spots of leaves; they were refusing to give up for the winter much like us battling the time between here and our first snow. We stopped alongside the road as a woman came out to grab her mail. We talked for a bit and after words of encouragement, she warned us of Winchell Mountain.

Another mountain, do you see a theme to some of these posts? Atop Winchell Mountain is a road titled ‘Skunk’s Misery’, I’ll leave it to the reader to decipher the metaphor. We donned our proverbial high altitude gear and set a cadence.

Coasting down the backside of a mountain is worth more to the rider than imaginable. We make up for time estimates, gain speed, and thrill ourselves keeping up with the occasional car, all while soaring. I found myself attracted to the landscapes in and around Pine Plains, NY. Every home had a plot of land expansive and cultivated. Each fence on the property was cared for and painted. Even the cattle seemed at home.

We met up with the Donson family, one of our most eagerly awaited stops. We took the time to shower and clean up. At the dinner table that night we were introduced to one of their dear friends, Gary. For me, the people I know I am going to meet often then introduce their friends and I find them all of good company and am most excited to meet them. That night before bed we watched the Chris Botti Live in Boston DVD per Gary’s request. Needless to say, the small hook in our planned path to reach Pine Plains was well worth the feeling of ‘home’ that we received upon entering.

About Clint Valentine

Clint is currently enrolled in two undergraduate degrees in Biology & Environmental Science at Northeastern University. He enjoys pursuits of endurance and distance which have included summiting many peaks in New England during winter alpine ascents, sailing the Atlantic in a vintage gaff-rigged schooner, rock climbing in five states including Oregon, and cycling 5,000 miles across North America. He has goals of pushing the envelope of his limits and combining his many outdoors interests into one big trip. He has a passion for photography and hopes to one day produce a documentary for a round-the-world tour.
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