On into New Hampshire

Spent long beer visiting with mtn bike riders in the Outback. Learned some rides.

Slept in same spot behind flat bed truck. Got cold, down to 44 deg inside. Started heater & warmed up.

Decided to research other rides in NH to avoid riding a cherry during the weekend. Found one in N. Conway.

Turned off heater so I thought & closed windows. I started felling light headed and discovered that the heater was still on & I was possibly breathing less O2. Managed to shut off heater & opened windows and wooziness went away. Scary lesson.

Drove over hwy 112, Kancamagus highway. Lots of birch kill. Lots of motorists & people. Overcast day. Colors have lost a bit of intensity. Back in the mountains again.

Into heavy traffic in Conway & into N conway.Lots of factory outlets (PI), EMS perhaps flagship store.

Found owner of Red Jersey bike shop & riders out for a ride. Couldn’t join them, said to come by tomorrow & he will have maps for rides. He also said that The Nan, the IMBA epic was too wet to ride because of all rain they have had.

Drove out to Echo Lake to ride without map or local data. Wandered around woods & trails around lake. Beautiful setting over lake with rock cliffs in background.

Ready to quit when I spied a rider getting ready to head out & I invited myself along. He was hesitant at first but gave in. He took off at a hectic pace for me through the tight twisting ST that he knew.  He pedaled all the time & I pulsed & stayed w/ him. Maybe his style is better than mine. Trail dumped out on a closed gravel road & climbed up to Mineral site. Then dropped down hill on a well built trail. Dark in woods, leaves covering trail & hidden delights. He smoked me on downhill as he should have as a local.

We entered ST from golf course. He said he worked at the resort hotel just off trail. I asked about a shower and he gave me building layout description. It will be up to my incognito dirt bag mannerism to enter luxury building & walk hall ways undetected to the shower room & back. Made it. Another shower this time in the lamp of luxury. But used my own towel.

Drove back to outside gate of Echo Lake for camp.

Presidential Range of White Mtns has fresh snow dusting. Thinking about a backpack trip into at least Tuckerman Ravine and perhaps a summit bid on MT Washington. Tomorrow I will learn the particulars.

Kingdom trails & free shower

Slept undisturbed. Temp inside was 54 degrees, single down blanket right @ being cold. Ran the heater for fresh blue berries & local Vermont maple syrup.

Finally left for ride at 9:30, no cars in parking lot. Rode up Darling Hills road & found a few in an upper parking lot. Riding route laid out by staff woman. Glad to have ridden down fenceline as it had a bit of climbing on the up & wet roots. Spent all of stopped time navigating from map. Trails for most part were labeled well. Lots of little ups & downs for like 2700′ in 20 miles. Base elevation is about 875′

Ran into same group of riders several times and saw a few others. Could see the tracks in the mud. Many of the leaves have dropped covering the trail. Again, that’s what happens:

Find the bike and then find the trail.

Places almost all the leaves are down which opens the light.

Added another fall to the log: Almost at end of ride roled over a root drop & strayed too far to right edge & maybe a touch of front brake. Front wheel quit but I kept going. Slow speed but a hurl none the less.

Checked back in with the staff wopman to compliment her on her route she laid out for me. She said she lives here and rides the trails front wards & backwards: She lives on the trails.

Parking lot behind Outback was plugged but didn’t see all those people. Never did see a bike patrol person.

Drove up Burke Mtn road to check out the showers at the XG. No office person there; drove around found small building with shower & lots of bikers. Figured line was long & no idea how much $. Burke looks steep. Narrow cut runs. Wonder what tree skiing is like. Mostly all broadleaf.

Plan B was to drive North to state XG for shower. More back roads, just so beautiful. Colors and how man made objects fit in. Roads are mostly in valleys. Abandoned farms & broke down barns. Farming as an income failed. Imagine farmers who had been on the land for generations moving to some city job or just quit. Found XG which was closed. Drove a little further & found a private small XG. Pulled in & proprietoress was just walking away. I asked if I could buy a shower. She said they normally don’t do that but I could put my quarters in the box and have one. Washed sweat & mud off.

Drove down E side of Lake Willoughby on 5B. Just beautiful. parked at same spot on road behind Outback & kingdom parking lot. Fixed dinner. Going back to Outback to watch baseball, drink some beer.

Tomorrow is off to White Mountains in NH.

Oh, catch this: maple sap trees are plumbed to the syruping kettle:

Tubing has tap for tree plumbed into collection plumbing back to sugar shack
Tubing has tap for tree plumbed into collection plumbing back to sugar shack

Mostly all roots, little inkling of rocks.

A stop at Ben & Jerry’s home

Clean body, clean flannel sheets. Life is good.

Rained during the night adding more water the the already saturated trails. I read an article that said something to the effect that this part of country received 27″ of rain over the summer.

I stopped at a bike shop in Waterbury where the guy told me the trails were unofficially closed but then he wanted to describe them to me. I would have been trusted to honor his closure. He is a builder of them.

I saw on the map that Ben & Jerry’s plant is in town. I asked directions. Big parking lot, lots of cars & people going in & people coming out eating all sorts of their ice cream products. It cost & to go on a tour so I bought a small size vanilla, warm VT maple syrup, whipped cream, & walnuts. Sin. Plus 2 pints to go.

Caught w/ my hand on the ice cream cup @ Ben & Jerrys
Caught w/ my hand on the ice cream cup @ Ben & Jerrys

Drove US 2, Steven’s Pass, hwy East.

Colors: if you have seen them you know, if not, breathtaking
Colors: if you have seen them you know, if not, breathtaking

Colors are the background color. Rolling hills w/ a valley in between. Some canyons are so narrow that the house is built almost on the road. Probably built in horse days. Saw beaver dams along hwy 100.

Drove onto East Burke for Kindgom trails. Visited at LBS asking about dirt bag info: quiet place to park & shower. No real positive vibes about their leads. Trails take off right from town to the Darling Hill XC side. The mountain trails are closed because permit ran out.

Bought ticket $10 & the woman host there laid out a route for me. She has been instructed to tell people that there is camping up on the mountain pay XG. She thought she indicated the IMBA epic ride. Looks to me like she colored all the black diamond trails. That’s tomorrow to find out. Glowing reports of trail excellence, almost that the roots & rocks have been removed.

Try my crashing in Burke which presents more options & might not be so sensitive to dirt bag mtn bikers.

At a local Brew pub, Trout Rive(?). Ate a store bought green salad,

Think these new glasses and my eyes don’t agree. Eyes ache.