September 27:  Lakeville to New Paltz, New York  65.2 miles

The sun was just coming over the horizon as we exited our motel rooms and pumped the tires.  The motel had a continental breakfast starting at 7am and we had a long ride, so we decided that we should be first in line for that coffee and muffin!!  Chores first, then breakfast!

Now the air temperature was hovering around freezing as we started this process, so many layers of clothing were attired.  Layering is a good thing in that as you warm up you can shed -- however, in order to stay warm in the beginning you look something like an overstuffed sack of potatoes.

The ride headed first into New York State and to Millerton and then out onto into the countryside onto Winchell Mountain Road -- notice the name of the road!!  After over a mile of panting, pedaling and swearing, sweating, the crest was achieved right at Colonel Winchell's estate.  Well, the for sale sign said the place was from 1720 and available for purchase if the new owner would relocate it.  The present owners seem to want to dismantle it in a hurry.  By the sight of it, the only thing one would be buying is the foundation and the studs!!  The realtor was so anxious to sell, that when the sag pulled into the driveway, he came running asking if we were interested.  A little desperate to sell a rundown old frame of a house!!  Plus we were much more in awe of the beautiful view from this high peak.  The Hudson River Valley loomed below with the mist of the morning still hanging in the air.

No luck with this group, we had a hill to descend and it was long as steep.  There is nothing like the feeling of letting the bike just run -- under control, of course -- but after such a steep climb the wind felt good and the road surface was prime for a fast downhill race.  

Stanfordville was the next stop.  It is a quiet little village tucked deep into the Hudson River Valley.  Very quickly thereafter came Violet Hill Road -- this time a more down than up "Hill Road"!  

Rhinebeck was our lunch stop.  It hails as the home of FDR, but really it is the sister city to Hyde Park where FDR was born and lived.  Rhinebeck is the home of Wilderstein, the Victorian home of three generations of the Suckley family, descendants of the Beekmans and Livingstons.  Daisy Suckley was a distant cousin of FDR as well as his constant companion for years.  She was also responsible for giving the Roosevelts their dog, Fala.  

But more history comes as we ride on.  Hyde Park is the home of Franklin Delaware Roosevelt, the 32nd President of this country, as well as the home of his wife Eleanor called Val Kill.  The homes and estate were originally his parents, situated on the Hudson River.  Seems that his father purchased the land early into his marriage and built the home only to prematurely die.  His wife, FDR's mother Sara, continued on as "chief" of the household until her death 60 years later.  FDR and Eleanor raised their five children under this roof also under the constant eye of his mother!!  It seems no surprise that Eleanor would want her own cottage down the road a piece as her place of solicitude.  

Ten more miles to go and it is into Poughkeepsie and over the Hudson River.  A quick climb out of the valley and out into traffic.  Highland was the first small community after reaching the other side and with a couple of quick turns we found ourselves completely lost.  Fortunately for us there was a local woman on her bike that had just ridden into town to get some supplies at the neighborhood drug store.  After asking her how to get to New Platz and our motel, she promptly said "OH you don't want to go that way -- too much traffic!  Follow me!!"  45 minutes later and having ridden on a delightful bike trail that everyone who passed us knew our new leader, we were deposited out on the highway we needed and only a few miles from the hotel.  We totally missed rush hour traffic and were excited to see the Super 8 sign.

Dinner in town and then off to bed.  Tomorrow is another day of ups and downs!

Early Morning

The Countryside

And Some More Countryside!

Nancy At The Top of Winchell Hill

Another State Entered!

The Front Entrance to Springwood -- FDR's Home


FDR and Eleanor's Grave Site

Nancy at Hyde Park Overlooking the Hudson River

Jan with Franklin and Eleanor!

Peg About to Cross the Hudson

The Hudson River

More of the River from the Bridge

The Bridge!