Waiting for our wave to go
The day started out rainy but before we had even started to ride it had stopped. They started the 30 mile riders in waves. I was in the second wave. I don't know how many there were. We started up a hill right away but it wasn't too long before the first farm stop. When I saw maple candies I knew it was going to be a good day! There were maple walnuts, maple candies and several grades of maple syrup to sample!
Off we went again. This time we turned onto a dirt road and went down! The next farm stop had hard boiled eggs (organic) and organic honey to sample. There were chickens wandering all over the yard.
With a good friend I used to work with
The third stop was my favorite. There were three types of cooked squash, pork soup (I passed on this but comments were good) and cookies. And they encouraged us to try each kind. I tried all the squash so of course I had to try all the cookies! I liked the pumpkin chocolate chip the best.
Lots of squash...
....and cookies at this stop!
I thought I parked my bike in just the right spot for a farm tour!
After this stop it was a longer way to the next one. We rode through some apple orchards on the way and parted with the 10 milers who looped back toward town. Once we got there a friend informed me the cider doughnuts at this stop were why one did this ride. These were a purchase not a sample but with a recommendation like that I had to buy one! Apples and cider were the samples. There was a band playing and probably the longest line we saw all day. And yes the doughnuts were great!
Through the apple orchards
After this stop we separated from the 25 milers. We got some glimpses of Lake Champlain along some very pretty but hilly roads. Then we were in Orwell where we sampled turkey cooked a couple of ways and the best ice cream ever. I am not a chocolate ice cream person and this was just unbelievable.
A glimpse of Lake Champlain
The town green!
There was some discussion about sticking to the pavement and not going on the dirt road to the winery because it was very hilly. I really really didn't want to do this. I like to meet my original goals and yes I wanted to go to the winery. When we came to the point of decision we went right to the dirt road. Oh yeah, I was in front, I went right to the dirt road!
Riding by some sheep
Waiting for the others on the way to the winery, a beautiful spot
When we did reach the winery it was up a hill and around a corner or two just to get to it. This was one stop where they truthfully said, "Have as much as you want!" Maybe not a great idea when you are riding a bike!
Some of the vines
Leaving the winery
After we left the winery we had several more hills ahead of us but first we stopped for liquid yogurt where they again wanted us to sample all of the flavors. Darn! Okay I can to be polite. They also had some calves and a cow to be photographed with. I got talked into doing it. Had to be because it was the stop after the winery!
Yeah, I am a dork petting a cow. Who talked me into this?
Then we went about 4-5 more miles back to the beginning where there was an apple festival going on with many local products for sale! We hung around awhile and then headed home. And because we hadn't had enough of each other we went to one rider's house and made waffles and had local sausage and her own maple syrup in the spirit of the day! Can't wait to do it all again next year!