Team Bowditch reached the summit of Jerimoth hill, the highest point in RI. A marker next to the road pointed us into the woods, where a cairn marks the summit. No need for hiking boots or supplemental oxygen, as the summit is only five feet above the road bed. We enjoyed the walk anyways and the chance to stretch our legs.
Connecticut was just down the hill and I knew from past trips that it could be a challenge. It is a near constant roller coaster ride through the countryside and our route would take us through the worst of it. We mounted our bikes and started the run down the hill saying goodbye to Rhode Island and hello to the nutmeg state. A stop in Killingly,at the general store for supplies and then onward.
The forecast was calling for rain, starting in the evening and continuing for most of the next day. We have been very fotunite so far as to weather, and knew that at some point we would need to ride in the rain. We Biked along knowing that miles added today would be fewer miles we would need to ride tomorrow.
Later that evening we found a wooded spot off the roadside and set up camp. While Jo and I set the up the tent Clint set up the cookstove and put the water on to boil. We set out a tarp as a ground cloth and lounged on the ground as we ate out of the communal pot. Radiattori pasta with tomato sauce and, perhaps a bit too much hot sauce. Just as we were finishing up cleaning, the rain started and we sought the shelter of the tent. Journals came out and we each made our entries for the day. We talked about what we had seen during todays ride and what tomorrow might bring.
About midnight the rain came down in earnest and clint and I, both being close to the tent walls soon realized that we were getting soaked. I had lent my tent out a few months before and did not realize till now that before having it returned it was washed thus removing the waterproof coating from the tent. Clints new sleeping bag was now just a big sponge. The rain continued through the night and into early morning and with a long day ahead we broke camp, donned our raingear and set out for East Haddem, CT.
We decided that rather than cook our usual pot of oats for breakfast we would find a diner in Willamanic and treat ourselves We spotted the Areo diner, a vintage diner complete with stainless steel and neon interior we knew we had made the right desition. After a hearty breakfast of eggs, sausage, and pancakes we pushed on.
The rain would stay with us for the better part of the day but it remained light and by evening we no longer needed our raingear. It was a long day. We had our first flat of the trip and celebrated the occasion with a small bottle of champagne that we had brought for just this event. The last hour or so was ridden in darkness and though we all had the necessary lights and reflective gear we were eager to get off the road and someplace dry and warm. That place was with my dear friends Bob and Kathy, in East Haddam, and soon after our arrival we were warm and dry and enjoying a wonderful meal of Morrocan lamb stew.
We enjoyed Bob and Kathys hospitality for a few more nights but the road was calling and, as hard as it was to bid farewell, we needed to go. Our bikes were newly cleaned and lubed and ready to roll.