The Irving Gas Station you mention, Tsun, on Route 107 West just off the highway exit is NOT open 24 hours. It is open until 9 pm on Saturday and opens at 7 on Sunday. Riders must be prepared to ride with enough hydration to last from Barre back to Woodstock.
Earlier in the ride, around mile 30, the Rochester Irving Control is open at 6 am. I think riders will be past it before it opens. You can initial each other cards if so, if I am not mistaken. There is another convenience store in Waitsfield, an Irving as well, that is open at 6. They will have breakfast sandwiches available and know some of you will be stopping. FYI, I spoke with two of the store managers this morning and they said they had no news of either the App Gap or
the Lincoln Gap being closed--this for anyone interested in the 6 Gap permanent.
Most of the streams have subsided. There is a significantly long gravel climb, interspersed with pavement, a mile or so south of Hardwick. This will be a great hill to walk in the evening or at night or early in the am on Sunday. Please remember that there are a number of sections of gravel on Route 14 between Hardwick and Barre. The water pump on the Hardwick hill is, unfortunately, busted.
If anyone hopes to swim/bathe at the "4 Corners" swimming hole across from Boutin's market, be sure to make your way down by following the path that leads from the south west corner of the parking area along the side of the field (to the right). It will lead you to an opening from which it is relatively easy to walk down to the stream and swimming hold. "Relatively" being the operative word. It's easy to have a mishap getting to it if the legs and mind are already beat. With 120 more miles to go!
Again, the toughest section of climbing is from Stowe to North Troy & Boutin's. The worst road conditions are from Hardwick to Barre. The Cumberland Farms in Barre at mile 160 is open 24 hours and is everyone's last place to chow on real food until you get to your temporary home. Riders needing to may camp in our back field. It has a fire pit. We do have running water and operating toilets, etc., in our house.
Let me know if you have other questions. I hope all who plan to ride will get all the necessary information through NER. Tsun and Sarah will have the cue sheets on hand and brevet cards. Tsun and Sarah, you are welcome to post today's email messages or reference them on the Website.
Have a great adventure!