Northern Tier 2010

September 2, 2010

Moon Rocks in the Adirondacks

Filed under: Geology, New York, Section 10, Section 11, Vermont — Henry Scott @ 11:30 pm

I faced a tough decision early this morning: after a small breakfast in Blue Mountain Lake, Travis and I rode to the Adirondack Museum, which is housed in a large, rustic, yet modern building. Having grown up in New York, Travis had heard very good things about the museum, so we were anxious to see it. Unfortunately, it didn’t open until 10:00, which would have meant a two hour wait.

With hurting knees, waiting for the museum was the obvious choice for Travis, but for me it was harder because I want to make sure I have time for a thorough visit in Acadia. As I mentioned yesterday, I can get there on the 8th with modest daily mileage, but I ultimately decided to push on. The Adirondack Museum will be yet another site that will have to wait for a future visit with Jennifer.

I have absolutely loved riding through the Adirondacks: I can see how the combination of beautiful mountains, a sporadic population of small, seasonal vacation towns, and a decent balance of public and private land have continued to make them a popular destination.

The hills may be a little steeper than what I encountered in the West, but not by much, and they aren’t very long. But, being older, and much more eroded, they are heavily forested, and the many lakes give long stretches of rolling hills following the shores with gorgeous lake views.

I need to do more research about Adirondack geology, but the brief description I’ve read so far said there would be anorthosite in the interior, and that bright white igneous rock is exactly what I found. It is a somewhat unusual rock in that it is mostly made of just one mineral: anorthite. Anyone who has ever looked at the moon has seen anorthosite, at least from a distance: it is what makes the lunar highlands so bright.

Today’s ride took me up and down through Long Lake, Newcomb and North Hudson before ultimately delivering me to New York’s eastern edge with a long, screaming descent into Ticonderoga. From there I took a small cable-drawn ferry across Lake Champlain and entered Vermont. I didn’t need the welcome sign to let me know where I was: maple syrup was for sale on the boat.

I’m staying Dan and Judy, who I contacted through Warm Showers. They live in a two hundred year old farmhouse a few miles west of Middleburry. I haven’t seen their home from the outside yet because I arrived after dark, but the interior is fabulous. We’ve stayed up until almost 11:00 talking about touring: Dan did the Southern Tier a few years ago, and the two of them will be doing a five-month tour of Asia starting this November!



  1. Congratulations on getting to Vermont. Very glad that you are not near the coast at this time. Tropical storm Earl is on its way, but you are not likely to feel the effects.

    It’s just too bad that you didn’t have room on your bike for some of that maple syrup. Would have gone so well with Jennifer’s legendary pancakes!

    Comment by Sally — September 3, 2010 @ 11:56 am

    • I’ve been getting so lucky with weather on this trip I figured I was past due to get soaked and would get bogged down in persistent rain at the end of my trip. But, so far it looks like I won’t get very much, if any rain from it.

      Comment by Henry Scott — September 4, 2010 @ 2:17 pm

  2. Henry-it looks like you ride right through Breadloaf (near Middlebury)where Kevin went to school. It is beautiful there and Kevin will be jealous when I tell him:)

    Comment by Joanna — September 3, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

    • it was indeed incredible — I’m jealous you got to spend an extended period of time there!

      Comment by Henry Scott — September 4, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

  3. What a beautiful picture of the lake.

    Comment by monika — September 4, 2010 @ 12:45 am

    • Thanks — it has been tough getting decent landscape photos the past few days because it has been hazy for much of the day. While here it is easy to appreciate the beauty but, for the most part, the photos don’t do it justice.

      Comment by Henry Scott — September 4, 2010 @ 2:18 pm

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