• Mary Anderson

Mary’s Cycling Challenge: Day 21

Mary Anderson is cycling through her home state of Vermont on her ebike. Her goal: to visit all 251 towns in one go. Since hitting the road on October 6, she has logged 179 towns and 1,172 miles.

Day 21

Fair Haven and West Haven

Miles: 12

By Mary Anderson

Today’s geology was really different from yesterday’s. Rather than marble, I was now in slate country. Walls and buildings were constructed with it. I passed a large, now closed slate mine. These waste slate piles are some of the few places in Vermont where timber rattlesnakes can be found. The rain brought out the colors in the slate and gave a muted beauty to the leaves. I had a flock of turkeys cross the road, but luckily they caused me no problem on my bike.

I expected to ride 12 miles out and 12 miles back to get in the towns of Fair Haven and West Haven. Given the route I mapped out, based on where I had places to stay, West Haven was a bit out the way. Rain was predicted for most of the day, so my friend Karen Deets offered to put my bike in her truck and drop me off with it in West Haven, allowing me to get the two towns without having to do an out-and-back. While I felt like I was cheating a bit, I took her up on the offer. I still was riding through all the towns. And on my return, I was able to soak my wet, cold body in her tub with air jets.

I met Karen many years ago, as we are both volunteers with Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports. She is a true artist and creates stained-glass pieces of all sizes. Many of them are whimsical nature scenes enhanced with fine hand-painted and kiln-fired details. She works hard to make her butterflies and painted flowers match their real-life counterparts. I am lucky to have a window she made in the home I live in.

I spent almost all morning firming up the mapping for my next three days of riding. If all goes well, I will have most of the southwestern quadrant done by then. The weather looks like it will be fairly decent. I feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle this next section. It is hard for me to believe I could be finished in ten days or less!


About Mary Anderson

When Bethel resident Mary Anderson set out to hike the southern half of the 3,000-mile Continental Divide Trail in the summer of 2020, nobody thought she would make it. Hikers give themselves trail names, and Mary’s was Old Lady Hiker. A few days into her solo trek, she ran into some younger hikers who decided she needed a new name. From then on, she was known as Mary Badass. In the fall of 2020, Mary began writing her story in a Korongo workshop hosted by Kimball Library in Randolph. After completing her CDT hike in September 2021, she began a new challenge: A bicycle tour of Vermont’s 251 towns. Estimated time: four to six weeks.

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